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7 Great Ways To Make The Most of An Attic / Loft Space!

Good morning friends! I'm feeling extra sleepy today after relaxing over the four-day bank holiday in Sweden. Two super strength coffees down and still no affect. What is a girl to do?! Maybe make my way to Gothenburg so I can hang out in this beautiful apartment? The wonderful space is currently on the market (any takers?) - and a great lesson in how to make the most of an awkward attic / loft space. Got a room like this in your home - or thinking of finally converting that attic? Here are 7 tips to learn from the Swedes! 

1. Skylights and dormer windows: the lower side of the sloping roof is incredibly low and could prove a real challenge, especially for taller folks. This is where the skylight and dormer window come in handy. Not only do they flood the space with light, they also help to create extra head room. notice how the sofa and dining table have been placed by the windows - capitalising on the extra height and natural light! 

2. Go high! Knocking through the ceiling to maximise height helps to add a light and airy feel to the space (which is crucial as attic spaces can feel really pokey). The beams also help to add character. 

3. Park life: I love how the space is dotted with plants (and even a small tree). It helps to draw nature closer (especially which it can feel so much further away when you're living amongst the rooftops!). 

4. Storage that blends in: shelving and other cupboards that match the colour of the wall (in this case white) will help a small space to feel less cluttered. 



5. A bespoke kitchen: Just because you have a tiny space it play with, it doesn't mean you can't have a practical kitchen. Invest in custom-made units that ensure you make use of every last inch (or if you don't have the budget, chat to the kitchen planning team at IKEA, they're likely to have some great solutions). 


6. Double skylights: placing your bed under a double set of skylights will feel less claustrophobic and help you to capitalise on the big plus of living on the top floor: sleeping under the stars! Skylight brands such as Velux do great blind solutions for them too, so you don't need to worry about losing any shut-eye! 


7. Custom wardrobes and cabinets: in small spaces, every nook counts! Get handy and build units that perfectly fit the space you have, or invest in someone to build them for you. Having lots of storage will make your home feel more practical and organised as well as less cluttered. 

We do actually have two spaces on the top floor of our home like this. They're full of stuff - but seeing this, makes me wonder if we should finally do something with them. Hmmmm. Suddenly feeling alert after all! 

Did any if these ideas spring out to you? 

In case you're struggling with a small space - or simply looking for ways to make it even more beautiful, take a tour of the small spaces archive, there are hundreds of stunning Scandinavian spaces in there! 

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week! 

Niki

Photography: Alen Nordic 
Styling: Nouvel interior
For: Bjurfors 

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5 DIY Projects to Try During Quarantine

I wish I could say that I'm an absolute whiz at power tools or a sewing machine, but to be honest, I am a reluctant DIYer. A lot of the DIY or craft projects I find look a little too homespun for my liking, or the effort required to make it look like the real deal is overwhelmingly tedious or calls for carpentry skills I just don't have. But this quarantine has me wanting to spruce up my home in a more resourceful, hands-on way, so I've rounded up five DIY projects for you that are simple, can be mostly done indoors (with the exception of sanding!) and actually look more high-end than you'd expect.

1. Plant Propagation Wall
This delightful wall of plant cuttings DIY is brought to you by Christine Higgs of @forthehome. It's the perfect project for those who've had extra time to mist, primp, sing to and propagate all your plant babies during this quarantine. 

Christine Higgs / @forthehome


2. Textured art
Here's another DIY from the very resourceful and productive Christine, who created some beautiful, dimensional pieces for her home with acrylic paint and modeling paste. She's got a video tutorial on her IGTV if you'd like to check it out! It's the perfect addition to a bare wall or corner that just needs the subtlest touch of texture that won't compete with its surroundings. 


Christine Higgs / @forthehome

Christine Higgs / @forthehome


3. Wireless Pleated Lamp
This is more of a hack than a DIY, but it's still very satisfying to the lazy DIYer! I've been wanting the right ceramic base for a pleated lampshade I found online and for now, settled on a ceramic vase I already owned. But since the lamp shops are closed, and I don't feel like drilling into the bottom of my vase (risky!) and wiring it myself, I was inspired by Lisa Danielle Smith to simply plunk the shade on top of the vase and call it good. But if you'd actually like a functional lamp rather than a decorative statement, there are also plenty of wireless bulb options, such as LED lights controlled by remote control that you can jimmy rig into the vase. Thanks, Janae for that last tip!


Lisa Danielle Smith




4. Trash to Terracotta
When Geneva Vanderzeil found a can of liquid terracotta at her local hardware store, she tried to find as many applications for it as possible. One of her projects was taking a motley bunch of thrift store vases and turning them into some of the lovely terracotta pieces you see here. While this specific liquid terracotta product isn't available everywhere, she's created a DIY chalk paint recipe to give you a similar, textured ceramic look. You can also check out the hashtag #trashtoterracotta on Instagram to see all the people who've been following her lead! 

Before



After
Geneva Vavanderzeil / DIY tutorial


This handy little tool can work wonders on old wooden furniture and decor items with a less than desirable stain (or paint job). If you're looking for a light, neutral, raw-looking finish, you might be surprised at the wood that could be lurking under a shiny, orange-hued layer of lacquer or a dark, mahogany stain. And if you do uncover a beautifully rustic and antiqued wood underneath but still want a protective top coat, I recommend using a water-based, matte polyurethane as it'll still look more raw plus the water-based poly's are less prone to yellowing than oil-based! Cynthia Harper is someone who is constantly making use of her orbital sander and going to town on anything from coffee tables to cheap, wooden bowls from her local thrift store that end up looking like chic, weathered, farmhouse bowls rather than .99 cent castaways. 


Cynthia Harper / Orbital Sander



It's been so fun to share these ideas with you. I hope you've discovered a DIY project you'd like to replicate in your own home! Are there any that stand out in particular?

It's a public holiday in Sweden today and Niki will be back on Sunday. She sends a 'stor kram' (big hug!).

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Ezz

Ezz Wilson is an interior and photo stylist and holistic home consultant based in Portland Oregon. You can find her over on instagram here

First picture by Christina Higgs / @forthehome

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Scandi Meets Mallorcan Style In a Wonderful Boho Villa!

I'm always intrigued to see how Scandinavian expats decorate their homes. There's something about the merging of cultures and styles which makes the decor extra special and intriguing. Photographer Jonas Ingerstedt recently went to Spanish Balearic Islands to capture the bohemian home of Edin and Lina Kjellvertz. Founders of furniture store Dusty Deco, the Swedish pair swapped their stressful Stockholm life for the picturesque village of Gènova, near Palma, Mallorca.  

The island holds a special place in my heart since my older sister and nieces live there (we're devastated that we won't be able to visit them this summer) - so I have become well accustomed to seeing the interiors of apartments, townhouses and fincas on the island. I was excited to see that Edin and Lina have kept many of the island's trademark features - including brown window and door frames and dark wood furniture. At the same time, they've added some fab touches including contemporary art photography, Danish and Swedish design pieces and vintage finds - making it a wonderful, truly personal family home. Välkommen in!  

In the kitchen a little bamboo drinks trolley sits beside an open fireplace (source a similar one here*). A photo of Lara Stone by Tyrone Lebon and a drawing by Bengt Orup can be seen on the wall. The double doors open up onto a wonderful terrace.

The sitting room features an eclectic mix of furniture - including a wonderful Børge Mogensen armchair and a sofa and coffee table found at a local flea market. The porcelain and pendant lamps were also sourced locally. 

The corner unit was found at auction and the painting was picked up at a local market. To me, the real showstopper is the salmon pink wall - which fits perfectly with Mallorca style (along with the lace) but also has a contemporary feel. Love it! 

A lithograph by Wilhelm Wik brings a graphical, modern touch to the bedroom. 

Imagine morning coffees on the balcony? *Sighs*. 

While I shiver in the May breeze here in Sweden, I can't help feeling a little envious of Edin, Lina and their children Lola and Max in their summer attire! 

For now, I'll be enjoying the warmth oozing from these pictures, how about you?


What a lovely home! I'd be perfectly happy hanging out here year-round, how about you?

If you love the furniture in their home, you'll really like the Kjellvertz's shop Dusty Deco

And in case I've got you in the mood, here are a few other lovely Balearic Islands homes to enjoy today: 


soooo hope everything blows over soon - I've got a sister to visit, summer dresses to roll out and an island to explore! 

have you been to Mallorca? If not, I can highly recommend it once we're free to travel again!

Have a lovely day friends! 

Photographer: Jonas Ingerstedt - shared with kind permission
*affiliate link

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Mindful Decorating: Tips and A Tour of a Cosy Swedish Home in Holland

This grey, rainy Tuesday in Malmö calls for a day indoors - preferably in 'mysbyxor' (comfy track pants) and some very chunky knit socks (although these days I swear by my Swedish Shephard slippers!). Slightly further South, founder of Hemma Interiors Matilda Kristoffersson, a Swede living in Amersfoort, The Netherlands is cosying up at home with her Dutch husband Thijs and their three children Luuk (2.5 years) and newborn twins Joep and Lill. Matilda is an interior stylist who prides herself on a 'feeling first' approach. The mindful home has become a hot topic in recent times, especially as we find ourselves spending a copious amount of time indoors. I caught up with Matilda to find out a more about what it means and garner a few tips. 

Can you tell us a little about your house? 
We live in a terraced house measuring 135 square meters, divided over three floors. On the ground floor, we have our kitchen, dining, and living room as one open space with warm oak floors throughout. On the first floor we have our bedroom, family bathroom and our children's bedrooms  (Joep and Lill share a room). On the third floor, we have an attic space with high ceilings which serves as my workspace as well as a guest room for when my family comes over from Sweden. Both the first and second floor has white stained pine wood floors. I am very traditional Swedish in that I love white walls and light wooden floors. The house is situated on a quiet street in a newly built area with a canal just in front which we can see from our large windows in the kitchen and our bedroom. It is a great place for children to grow up and our son often plays with his friends out on the street in front of our house. 

How has being Scandinavian influenced your style and work? 
Being Swedish I think home is something really important. It gets pretty dark and cold during a big part of the year, so we tend to spend a lot of time in our homes, and that of our friends. I am very passionate about helping and inspiring others to create a home that truly makes them feel good and “at home” via my company Hemma Interiors (hemma means "home" in Swedish). I do this via my Instagram, my Online Course in Mindful Interior, and a new Guided Room Meditation that I am about to release. 

That sound really exciting, I'll be keeping a look out for your course! How has your interest in mindfulness and your Swedish background contributed to your home decorating? 
I take a mindful and “feeling first”  approach to how I decorate our home. This means that I think about how I want to feel in a space, and then connect this to design and style choices. So there is quite a mix of styles in our home with a more rustic kitchen, minimalistic bedroom, eclectic and classic look in the living room. But our entire home is still very Scandinavian I would say. In order to have a peaceful flow in the house, each space still has a similar color palette and materials; I’m very traditional Swedish in that I love a white wall and natural wood. We buy most of our furniture second hand as I believe that it is the best for our environment and it gives a very personal feeling to a home. I also buy a lot from IKEA (also second hand often) which I hack and upgrade to make my own. This really gives an outlet for my creativity.


Mindful decorating has become a big topic lately, can you tell us more about it?
When people hear I combine mindfulness and interior, they assume that it must mean minimalism and light colors, kind of like walking into a yoga studio. But in reality, a mindful interior does not necessarily mean that it looks in a certain type of way, but rather it is about the power of really tuning into our own personal style and focusing on how you really want to feel in your home, rather than how it looks from an outside perspective. Something I call “Feeling First” interior.

I think how we feel in our homes have become even more important over the last few months as we spend so much time in them now. Our homes are, and can be, so much more than just a place where we eat, sleep and watch TV. It is truly a space that we can use to relax, spend loving time with family and friends, and fully be ourselves in. 
  

How does mindful decorating differ from the usual way you might approach decorating a home? 
Decorating your home in a mindful way, 'Feeling First' instead of 'Design First', flips around the traditional decorating and interior process. You start off by exploring how you want to feel in your home, and then think about what type of colors, materials, designs and styles fit with this feeling. It is about starting from who you are and realizing your own personal style in your home, rather than trying to recreate that of someone else. And by doing so, empowering yourself to be and show who you really are in your home. Because if we are not able to celebrate our true selves in our own homes, then where else?


Do you have any tips for anyone looking to try a mindful approach to decorating? 
To me, the core of mindfulness is to embrace what is and be grateful for what you have in the now - because at the end of the day that is all we ever have - this moment now. By embracing what our homes are right now we can decorate from a place of gratitude and start to truly connect to how we want to live in them. I believe that we all have something that I call “Interior Intuition”, a sort of powerful guiding gut feeling of how we want our homes to look and feel. The trick is just to learn how to connect to it, and trust it. 


Here are three tips to get your started: 

  1. Dare to listen to, and trust, your own interior intuition
  2. Start with gratitude. Embrace what is already there rather than get caught up in the things you don’t like 
  3. Think about how you want to feel in your space rather than how you want it to look

***

Thank you so much to Matilda for sharing her home tour and mindful interior tips. Oh - and a big congratulations are in order on little Joep and Lill! 

You can find out more about Matilda's online courses here.

I hope you found this topic as interesting as I did - do share your thoughts below, I'd love to hear them! 

Niki

Photography: Matilda Kristofferson 

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A Relaxed Danish Artist's Cabin In Copenhagen

Do you love a relaxed, creative home as much as I do? If so, you're going to find this lovely little oasis near Copenhagen utterly charming! The allotment house (in Scandinavia many allotments have little cottages on them which you're allowed to stay at during the summer months - much like a Dacha in Russia), provides a space where artist Mie Olise Kjærgaard can paint and create sculptural installations as well as relax in the garden with her five-year-old son Neo. Mie bought the 50 m2 (538 f2) cabin in 2005 and worked with the original 1933 structure, adding on a living room and bedroom using recycled materials. The bright living space has been simply furnished creating a wonderful, warm and inviting atmosphere. Karina Tengberg was there to capture these lovely pictures. Welcome to Mie's creative world! 

Mie has an MFA from the St. Martin School of Art in London and has exhibited her paintings, sculptural objects and installations internationally.  

The high ceiling and wood floors have been painted in a fresh white, which instantly creates a light and airy feel, despite the small living space. 

A tea set, found in a nearby 'loppemarked' (flea market) hangs from a simple metal rod, so that it's easy to grab when a friend stops by. 



Mie's work hangs on the wall beside a piece by Mia-nelle Drøschler


The err, eye-catching breasts are made from mouth blown glass at The Glass Factory in Sweden. 

In the garden is a small lean-to / conservatory which is a perfect dining spot in warmer weather.

It's hard to imagine that this gem of a cabin is located in Denmark's capital city - what a find! 

It reminds me a little of some of the houses and boathouses you find on the small islands on the river Thames in London (I used to paddle passed as a kid and be fascinated by the relaxed way of life in the heart of the city). I guess properties like these are like gold dust! 

Do you live somewhere like this? Or perhaps you feel inspired by some special and unique properties near your home. if so, I'd love to hear more! 


I hope you have a great start to the week, I have a feeling this is going to be a good one for us all. Stay well, stay safe! 

Niki

Photography: copyright - Karina Tenberg, shared with kind permission. 

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