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The Delightful Home of a Plant-Lover and a Darling Dalmation!

In my mind, there are several key ingredients that help make a house a home. This list includes people (yes, I can see how this one might be an obvious one *laughs out loud*!!). But lately, it's become really popular for brands to recreate 'apartments'  - and no matter how amazing the interior designer / stylist, they can never truly give a place its soul! Other key factors include art, plants and books. And throw in a delightful pet (or should I say 'companion?' - anyone else following the UK news lately?!) and a home instantly becomes warm and inviting (awww, I miss having a cat!). Twenty-six year-old interior architect student Aya's 80 m2 (862 f2) in Krefeld, Germany includes all of these factors and more (the handsome hound is actually Till's parents' dogs - but he's often over to visit). But above all else, it's Aya's passion for collecting rare plants that really brings their home to life. Enjoy the tour! 

This striking black kitchen is from IKEA.

"I would describe my style as a mix between Scandinavian minimalism and boho - inspired by our vacations abroad."

A plant in the kitchen sink is a daily sight in Aya's home - and I have to say - it sure beats dirty dishes (thinking of my own right now...). 


"My parents use a greenhouse full of plants for their dining area. When I moved out and moved to a new city, I missed taking care of things and needed a hobby - so I started collecting rare plants."




I love how Aya has created different ways to display her plants using plant boxes, plinths and unusual pots! 

"I really like plant boxes - they are great for hiding plastic pots and stuff. It's also a good way to combine plants with different shapes and colours." 

I love the idea of an indoor mini greenhouse and wanted one ever since I saw one in the kitchen of this beautiful, creative Stockholm home. Isn't this one lovely in Aya's home? 

Design House Stockholm sells a great mini greenhouse

What do you think? 

Does Aya's home make you want to bring more plants indoors? I love greenery but I have to say, I'm, hopeless at looking after plants. These days I stick to plants that require as little maintenance at all - like plants that root in water and terrariums - genius! How are you with keeping plants alive? 

If you're looking for a little more green-fingered inspiration over the weekend, here's a little more:



Have a fabulous weekend friends! 

Niki

PS If my writing is a little off today it's because I've been at design fairs all week and was up at 4.15am this morning to travel to Frankfurt for Ambiente. Very excited to be here but have to admit, I'm on my third coffee and counting.... if you're curious to see more, I'll be sharing my finds over on instagram stories today and tomorrow. 

Photography: Aya / @living_lush_life - shared with kind permission.

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A Magnificent Danish Home With a Touch of Hygge!

I am not sure when we last saw the sun here in Southern Sweden, so we're busy making our own light in a way the Scandinavian's know best: with candles. A few bridges away on the Danish mainland, Helle Rye is doing the same in her magnificent apartment in Aarhus, Jutland. Dating back to 1899, the palatial property features parquet flooring, beautiful period touches and large, awe-inspiring rooms which lead through to one another via double doors. Light and airy the space may be, but Helle has also create a wonderfully cosy home for herself and husband Bo. Look closely and you'll spot sofas laden with cushions and blankets, cosy daybeds and sheepskin throws draped over the back of chairs. Oh, and candles, plenty of candles! Welcome to Helle's hyggelige world! 








I am so curious about the black curtains - my guess is that they are in place to dampen the sound, but they also add a certain cosiness (and drama!) to the space too. UPDATE: Helle tells me that she's put the curtains up to hide some really ugly paintings (it's a rental and they're not allowed to do anything about them!).




Does this scene also remind you a little of a sun lounger under a palm tree? Such a great idea to soak up the winter sun (when it appears!). 





Oooooh wow!  Isn't this lovely?!

There's something incredibly regal about Helle's home - and yet it feels cosy and personal too.

Is there anything in particular that stood out to you?

See more of Helle's magnificent home on her instagram A Nordic Moment (news alert: she's started decorating her home for Christmas and it looks magical!).

There's also a load of other danish homes in the archives, I'm loving this Copenhagen family home,  an enchanting apartment in shades of sea-green and an art-filled apartment in Aarhus.

Hav en dejlige dag! - I hope someone, somewhere is enjoying a little sunshine, and if you are - please send a few rays this way!

Niki

Photography: Helle Rye

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A Monochrome Swedish Home Where Creativity Shines Through

Maria Karlberg describes herself as a creative Mamma to her magical daughter, an interior designer and a furniture store salesperson. Looking at the wonderful monochrome apartment in Örebro, a few hours West of Stockholm, it's easy to appreciate this. Despite the pared-back nature of the space, Maria's home oozes creativity. Art, ceramics and sculptures appear on every wall and surface and there's something refreshing about the stacks of paper on the floor and desk. Keeping it real. Yay! Not tom mention making me feel way better about my own "filing system" or lack of! From now on, I'll be following Maria's instagram and blog - Studio Naya avidly. She has me sold! I hope you feel inspired by Maria's home too!



This is the second time this week we've seen a polished concrete floor (remember the fabulous Sydney home?!). I've always been a fan (if accompanied by under floor heating, especially in Sweden) - how about you?

Also spotted: a Marshall speaker*.


In Maria's home office candlestick holders, frames and sculptures (try Love Warriors) line a concrete worktop sourced from Conceptbetong

This is one of the stacks I was talking about! And guess what? It seems if you put a pretty vase of flowers on top, no one will notice it. Are you feeling as inspired as I am?!

Check out that candlestick holder to the right, too! It's available here. Just saying!


Cork boards are ideal for mood boards (Allie has one in her bedroom and loves it, and I've always been a little envious of it!) - try combining these tiles to create similar. 


I hope you feel inspired by Maria's home and have picked up lots of ideas! 

I'm so happy to have been reminded of the Swedish online shop Love Warriors. It's a PERFECT place to pick up art and sculptural pieces. It should come with a warning sign, if you're like me, you'll want everything in the shop! 

There are a load more pictures of Maria's home over on her instagram and blog (so worth a peek!). 

You might also like to take a peen at Anna Kvarnström's stunning home in the same Swedish city!

Have a lovely day!

Niki

PS I'm having so many problems with my blog comment section this week - GRRRRR! I can't seem to leave a comment, it just disappears, is anyone else finding this? If you have time to test it by leaving a comment and then send me a mail if it's not working, I'd be sooooo grateful. Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know that I'm enjoying reading your comments even if I can't respond!

Photography: Maria Karlberg shared with kind permission
*Affiliated links

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One of Norway's Most Beautiful Homes Is For Sale!


The Oslo home of Nina Holst is a bit of an institution. Instantly recognised for its clean lines, soft, muted colour scheme, sloped wood ceiling, scandinavian design furniture and fabulous views over the Oslo fjord - it's been at the heart of Nina's wonderful blog Stylizimo for years. And now, it's up for grabs! Yes, really! Not only does this mean one lucky person gets to move in (could you imagine?!), it also gives us a chance to see what Nina does next - which will no doubt be incredible! In the meantime, let's enjoy a tour of her Norwegian home, one last time! 

Egg chair*, I am not sure who this artwork is by (tips welcome) - but Nina creates and sells paintings in similar hues here.





Kubus candleholder


IKEA cabinet, series 7 arm chair, Limited edition PH 3/2 table lamp, source made to measure white linen curtains here*




Do you recognise this fabulous walk-in-wardrobe? I once wrote a feature about it: Tuesday DIY: A Fab Walk-In Wardrobe on a Shoestring.   


I will never tire of Nina's home - it's so simple, yet so serene and inspiring.

Could you imagine living here?

After my trip to Norway earlier this week, I'm certainly tempted!

It's for sale here. Just saying....

Fancy dipping into a few more Norwegian homes this weekend? How about a serene japan style home in western Norway, a Norwegian house by a fjordan elegant Norwegian home in striking dark colours and a stunning Norwegian home in many shades of blue.

Got to love the Norwegian flair for interior design!

In the words of our Norwegian friends:

Ha en flott helg! 

Niki

PS I'll be stopping in tomorrow to share the latest update on my summer cottage kitchen renovation.

PPS It's been one crazy week, I'm so looking forward to a more chilled one next week (fingers crossed!) and spending a little more time on here. Is there anything in particular you'd like to see? If so, give me a shout below!

Photography: Nina Holst / Stylizimo shared with kind permission

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Before And After: A Dated Georgia House Gets The Scandi Treatment!

Oh, how I love to see before and after shots. I find it so inspiring to get an idea of the complete transformation - and the feeling that anything is possible with a little imagination and hard graft (and depending on the scale, some cash, of course!) - how about you? When my amazingly talented friend Valentina Fussell acquired her home in Georgia, Atlanta it was dated and a sea of beige, beige and more beige. But the moment she and her husband Jack and their three children stepped through the door they were in love. Looking at the bones, I can totally see why! Valentina had the vision to turn the house into a striking, contemporary, light-filled home inspired by their years abroad, including a stint in Copenhagen. You might recall a previous feature of the house here (and a tour of their Danish home here) but I couldn't resist revisiting the space today to share a little more about the transformation and show some of the before pictures. Drumroll, please! 

KITCHEN (BEFORE)

AFTER 
Valentina and Jack completely gutted the kitchen and decided on dark grey cabinets (from Bell Cabinetry & Design) to add energy and a sense of drama to the space. Dark colours also help to mask appliances. 

VALENTINA'S OFFICE (BEFORE)

AFTER
Perhaps the most dramatic room in the house, Valentina's office has been painted entirely in dark grey. the large windows help to bathe the space in light. It reminds me a little of the lovely home of Lotta Agaton - what do you think? 

LIVING ROOM (BEFORE)

AFTER
Valentina stuck to her monochromatic scheme and added warmth with details such as books, figurines, photos and plants as well as cushions and blankets. The wood floor is from Authentic Reclaimed Hardwoods and selected due to the imperfect 'alive' nature of the grain which adds texture and a relaxed feel to the monochrome space. I have to say; this room is BEYOND...!!! 

JACK'S OFFICE (BEFORE)

AFTER
This bedroom was transformed into Jack's office. A work in progress (although I struggle to see how it can be improved!), the office has been decorated with a black and white scheme with added texture and interest from a large, patterned rugs, art other personal possessions. 



MASTER BATHROOM (BEFORE)

AFTER
The master bathroom was the first room in the house to be renovated. The pair opted for a more classic look so it would stand the test of time. 

VALENTINA'S DAUGHTER'S ROOM
Valentina's daughter was given free rein to decorate her bedroom. And judging by the results, it seems an eye for design runs in the family! My eldest daughter also loves to personalise her room with pictures - usually ripped out without scissors and haphazardly stuck to the wall using copious amounts of Sellotape! I am feeling particularly inspired by the way the pictures have been displayed in this teenage bedroom! Great inspiration! Thank you! 


What an incredible transformation, don't you think?! Valentina is just so clever!! 

If you're curious to hear more about the renovations and see more of the home (including 'the catwalk' and amazing conservatory, take a peek at her films here and here

Valentina recently relaunched House of Valentina stateside and helps others buy, sell, renovate and decorate. One day she dreams of opening a shop loaded with all the items used to stage and decorate homes. If she does, I'll be the first in line, how about you?! 

See more fabulous 'before and afters'! 

Have a lovely day! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Valentina Fussell with thanks. 

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