A Bright, Family Home by The Ocean

Hej! How was your weekend?! It's a luxury long one here thanks to Valborg: a Swedish tradition to light bonfires in honour of the 8th century German vestal St.Walpurga (we're heading to a little fishing village further up the coast later to celebrate - you're so welcome to follow along on IG stories if you're curious to see more!). In the meantime, I'm taking us somewhere much, much further afield here on the blog today: a beach side suburb of Newcastle, Australia! Ring a bell? Interior stylist and talented lady behind The House on Beach Road, Caitlin lives around the corner from Maddy who's relaxed home I shared last Monday. The pair are good friends having met on Instagram. Caitlin and her husband Jon have been renovating their beach house, slowly transforming it into a vibrant, open-plan family home which they share with their three children Olivia, Ellis and Harriet ("Harriet is 4 weeks old so the house is total chaos at the moment!"). I caught up with Caitlin mid-chaos (although you'd never guess!) to find out more:

This black pendant light is similar,  prints by Mapiful, Loom and Field sell similar rugs

 When was your house built? 
Our house is a mixture of styles built through the eras. The original part of the house was built in the 1940's and across the generations it has been added onto creating a large beach style home.

The before and after pictures of the main living area are quite incredible! What did you do to transform it into the bright space it is today?
The exposed beams were pre-existing in the house however, they were a heavily stained timber which made the room feel dark and heavy. We decided to paint the entire room white and it completely transformed the space. It's such a beautiful bright and airy space now and the heart of our home. 

What are the advantages of an open-plan living space?
We love the open planned nature of the house as it works well with the small children. The space opens onto a large deck which has ocean views and is a place where we spend most of our time. The kids wonder in and out of the house and onto the verandah and from this living space they are always in sight.

How did the coastal location influence the style of your home? 
Being only 200 metres from the beach, our house style definitely reflects coastal living. The use of neutral tones, light filled spaces and lots of greenery are all influenced by our laid back lifestyle.

See pictures of the local beach here - I wouldn't mind having this on my doorstep, how about you?! 

Have there been any other influences on your style? 
My husband and I both have strong opinions on how we renovate and decorate our home. He loves all things industrial and minimalistic and I love mid century modern and coastal so we tend to fuse these all together to make it work for us.

Rattan sofa from Au Fait Livingwhite pom pom cushion.

Where do you shop for items?
I shop from a wide range of places. My favourite local store is definitely Willows Home Traders. So much of my home is filled with their beautiful pieces. I'm also a keen thrifter. I spend hours scanning Gumtree for second hand goods that can be given a second life. From my treasured mid century sideboard to my vintage oak dining table, I have found them all for a steal on Gumtree.

Moses basket

Isn't it the most lovely beach house? I'd so love to see the view of the ocean from the terrace - I'll be watching Caitlin's instagram like a hawk in the hope I might get a glimpse!

In the meantime, I wish Caitlin all the best settling in to life as a family of five!

If you'd like to see more picture of Caitlin's lovely home there's a load more pictures on her instagram feed.

And for more beach house inspiration it's totally worth checking out the entire beach home archive. A couple of my favourites include a dreamy urban beach home,  a dream Danish house by the sea.

Have a great start to the week all!

... things are starting to heat up here in Sweden, better get packing!

All photography  ©Caitlin / The House on Beach Road

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Sitting comfortably?!

Earlier on in the week I completed my well overdue home office revamp (see the before and after here)- phew! It's been a dream sitting there ever since (I'm not sure why it took me so long, isn't that always the case?!). Even so, there was still one piece of the jigsaw missing. As someone who loves design, I'm often tempted to go for form over function. And one thing I've been compromising on is my office chair. Apparently this is so easy to do when you work from home. And as someone who sits for long hours at a computer - the flea-market wooden chair was just no longer cutting it. The final straw came when I needed physio on my neck - apparently thanks to my beloved chair - gulp! It was time to bring an ergonomic desk chair into the mix!

I was thrown into a slight panic: we all like things to look good in our home, and well, ergonomic chairs are not always synonymous with 'design'.  After a little research I selected the Humanscale Diffrient World Chair, created by iconic industrial designer Niels Diffrient.

The chair has everything my physio listed. Made from an intelligent mesh, it's height adjustable (to find your optimum height, stand in front of your chair and adjust so your seat is just below your knee. In a sitting position, your feet should be flat on the ground and knees bent at a 90 degree angle), features depth, back tilt and arm support, has good lumbar support, and offers all the features needed to encourage posture changes throughout the day: it swivels, rolls on good quality castors and has a back rest that flexes with your body.

In other words it's unbelievably comfortable when I'm sitting around reading magazines all day working - and good for my general well being. Result!

Now, I thought it was just me who thought it looked pretty sleek, but then my Danish artist neighbour Daphne (not to be confused with my other neighbour's dog by the same name!) popped in for a fika (coffee and cake) earlier, spotted the chair and started hopping up and down saying this is exactly what her husband needed to replace his giant-sized monstrosity currently cluttering up a corner of their sitting room AKA the 'home office'! And let me tell you, she has very good taste!

So here I am, happy as Larry (anyone know who Larry actually is?!), tinkering away at my desk - no neck pain in sight.

Although I do need a new monitor.

And I once read in a guide somewhere that you should always keep your feet warm by wearing socks when working from home.

Is there no end to the list of 'office well-being' requirements? Oh well, at least I have the chair now. Baby steps my friends, baby steps!

If you're feeling inspired for your office (home or otherwise) - the Humanscale Diffrient World Chair is available in black, grey and white from Houseology (ships worldwide). You can also see other chairs in the collection here.

Stay comfy!

PS  For those of you who think my office is usually this immaculate - it's not - it's simply because I've just renovated the space (except for the floor which, thanks to the high res image, I can clearly see is also in need of a touch up - although it's quite charming, no?!). I'm certainly going to make the most of it while it lasts though!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Houseology,  however all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too.

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Free-Spirited Family Home on A Swedish Island

It's Friday afternoon friends - yaaaay! Any plans? Before I head off I wanted to share one final home tour to finish the week! I'm often being asked to recommend places in Sweden and one of my favourite tips (aside from my adoptive home town of Malmö, of course!) is the Gothenburg archipelagos. I recently discovered one talented creative who's lucky enough to live there all year round!  Catarina is a freelance photographer and stylist living on a car-free island with her husband and two daughters. Catarina is part of the relatively new Northern Sisters Collective - a delightful community of eight Swedish bloggers who share a free-spirited, slow, sustainable approach to interiors (it's so worth checking out all the blogs in the community - you could get lost there for a good few hours!). The relaxed family home is awash with earthy greens and blues, second hand finds and seasonal blooms. Enjoy the tour!

Photography: © Catarina / Annacate

What a perfect home tour to complete the week - don't you think?!

If you'd like to see more of her home (I can't blame you!) check-out Catarina's lovely blog and instagram feed.

I think I've also actually featured most of the homes of the Northern Sisters Collective at some point in the passed including Mari Strenghielm's stunning island home, Elin Lannsjö's idyllic cottage and Tuva Minna Linn's vintage inspired house. So inspiring!

If you're thinking of visiting Sweden this summer - my guide of places to stay might just be helpful (it includes a couple of places on the West Coast too!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Vi ses på måndag!

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8 Interior Trends from Milan Design Week 2018

Last week over 400,000 companies, designers, creatives, makers, architects and communicators flocked to Milan Design Week to feel inspired by a week of talks, exhibitions, latest news and tours across the fair and design districts. It was one crazy week but fascinating to find out more about the latest trends and news from the interior world. One of the highlights of my week was a Safari Blog tour organised by the monthly Italian DDN magazine in which we visited some of the major Italian Design Brands. From dark wood and cool stone to soft, velvety textures and amber accents, here's my round-up of the latest 2018 interior design trends from the tour:

1. Dark wood

Wood remains a key material in the 2018 interior, but there's a distinct move to the rich, dark side. These beautiful wooden worktops by luxury modern furniture brand Poliform, slide so you can place them where you like on the countertop (in fact, the entire kitchen worktop is adjustable to fit your needs - Italian design at it's best!).

2. Black metal

 While brass is still present, black metal might just have stolen it's party crown. Think sleek, slim furniture, small details, accessories and art made from black metal with a matt finish. Known for creating innovative bedroom furniture (such as the iconic Natalie bed), Flou featured examples of this across their stand in the form of slim, handles on chest-of-drawers, side-tables and art!

3. Dark earthy blue, green, and Brown. Powder and Amber accents

2017 was the year the world fell in love with pink (in all it's powder, blush and earthy forms). And it seems we haven't quite had enough of it yet. But there's also a new accent in town. Amber. Walter Knoll's carpets and Badawi cushions (I soooo need one of these in my life) were designed in collaboration with fabric designer Helmut Scheufele and inspired by the landscapes and colours of Africa. The deep amber tones and soft pinks looked particular beautiful against a dark backdrop (loved the statement blooms too!).

4. Silk, Velvet and Other Soft Fabrics

Who doesn't love a beautifully soft fabric? Tactile materials such as silk and velvet are adding a lush feel to the home in 2018. Treat your feet to a silky smooth rug and sit back in an upholstered chair (like these on trend beauties: Soft and Jane by Poliform) or add decadent curtains in a rich coloured velvet. The movement and texture in the fabric also adds depth and interest to a space.

Note the angle on the Jane chair leg - another key trend to look out for this year!

5. Texture

I love pieces that want to make you reach out and touch them - and 2018 promises to be a year of enticing textures. Think simple patterns, tactile materials and other subtle undulating surfaces. This swoon-worthy cabinet by Natuzzi (one of is the world's best known furniture brand, known for creating harmony throughout the home) is spot on - and such a great colour too, don't you think?!

6. Sustainability

In a time where there are serious concerns about the planet and the effects our lives have on it,  I was relieved to experience a conscious effort to move towards creating furniture with a sustainable mindset. A fine example of this is the Kartell Organic Chair, made from a revolutionary organic plastic material that's both sustainable and high quality. Hurrah!

7. Slim-line furniture

Forget bulky pieces, in 2018 it's all about a slimmed-down, more streamlined look. Shelves, chairs, and tables have come over all sleek and the airy look and feel gives a wonderful feeling of space. I particularly loved the floor to ceiling BROMPTON Shelving Unit and other streamlined furniture by Boffi, it created a real sense of calm.

8. Stone

And finally, concrete, marble, terrazzo and limestone have risen up the interior rankings, adding cool texture, tactility and interest to different areas of the home. I was completely taken by this powder pink stone against grey steel (and touches of brass) by Scavaloni - producer of Italian design kitchens and bathrooms as well as furniture. 

I hope you found these trends as interesting as I did. Is there anything you find particularly exciting or intriguing? 

A big thank you to Francesca Russo from DDN magazine for designing the tour and to the fabulous gang of bloggers who made it so much fun (from left to right: Desiree Groenendal / Vosges Paris, Stefan Nilsson / Trend Stefan, Mary Middleton, Agata Dimmich / Passion ShakeFrancesca Russo / Design Diffusion, Me! Holly Becker / Decor8 and Ula Michalak / Interiors Design Blog

If you'd like to see more from the Blog Safari check out the film on DDN Video News (in Italian), a dedicated film of the blog safari and a film about the Fuorisalone Inhabits and Milan Design City in Piazza Castello.

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Duvet Day Here?!

How much are you looking forward to your weekend lie-in (a mere two sleeps away - phew!)? I know one person for sure who must be: Katrin Bååth. You might remember, I featured Katrin's studio a few years back and finally got to meet in person last month at an event held by Sandberg Wallpaper where she works as Creative Director. Not only is Katrin one very cool cat (and so much fun), her creativity knows no bounds! It was no surprise whatsoever to discover her home is also a feast for the eyes. Her bedroom in particular, is everything you can imagine a freelance art director and stylists boudoir to be. The bedroom occupies a room in a small house in Jönköping, Sweden which she shares with her husband and two children, Minna (13) and Flora (9). Although not very spacious, the bedroom covers the practical side of everything while being truly personal.  Walls are adorned with originals by local Swedish artists and storage comes in the form of quirky brass hooks, a hand mould and a glass cabinet, while a quilted headboard adds a touch of luxe. And the shoes. OH THE SHOES!!!

The black and white gallery wall above the bed is made up of art by Stina Persson, Jennie Ekström and Joel Dittmer.

Katrin painted the bedside tables in a warm grey matt to tie in with the yellow tones of the room.

How cute are these rabbit hooks for hanging necklaces, bags etc? I found similar ones here.

Katrin has continued the gallery wall around the corner (this picture features art photography by Alvreten and two originals by Swedish artist Annefrid Sjöman). Two Club wall light by House Doctor have been placed either side of the bed.

Such a handy (sorry) way to stash your glasses! Katrin picked up the mould at H&M Home over ten years ago (love how it's aged). 

The pretty kimono is by Sandberg for whom Katrin is Creative Director. Sadly it's sold out (I just checked in the hope I could pick one up for myself!). If anyone has any tips for a similar one, it would be wonderful if you can leave it in the comment section below!The glass cabinet is from IKEA.

Just how fabulous are these shoes? Understandably Katrin's favourites! The beauty of having a glass cabinet (this one is from IKEA) is that you get to display fine specimens like these.

Katrin found these pink shoes in the Zara children's department a few years ago (which tells us she must have very dainty feet... unlike me!). 

Photography / styling: Katrin Bååth

Oh how I love this bedroom, it's so personal and packed with inspiring ideas! Thank you for inviting us in Katrin!

Could you imagine waking up here each day?

If you're curious, you can see more of Katrin's bedroom over on her blog (while you're there it's totally worth taking a snoop around the rest of the Lovely Life too, it's one of my favourites) and instagram feed and find out about her latest freelance work here.

More bedroom inspiration here!

Have a relaxing day!

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