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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 



LATEST COMMENTS:

  1. Such a beautiful and thoughtful place. truly a family home.

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  2. Hello! The house looks amazing. I think that I need to make a new repair and remodel the whole house in the Scandinavian style. Rebuild completely. Because I like the place and the school is not far. In general, there are places and in a better way, but there I definitely will not have the money to rebuild the whole house anew, lol. I think that I would not be easy to take the Scandinavian style, but I would also select the appropriate materials. I love it, right from childhood.

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