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Allie's Bedroom Makeover - From Tween to Teen!


Paid partnership with Elfa, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. 

The thing about children is that one minute they're tiny babies, the next they're whizzing off on adventures with friends! Take my daughter, Allie. She's turning twelve this October! Where has the time gone? Always a ray of sunshine, she can't go two steps without a cartwheel and loves to ski, play football (that's soccer to all my American friends!) and lately, has become passionate about fashion and interiors (hmmm, I wonder who she gets that from?). 

Needless to say, she grew out of her bedroom a long time ago - and a makeover was well overdue. Since I promised 2022 would be the years we'd organise our home (with my new wardrobe checked off the list last month), one of the key factors would be to ensure it had plenty of storage! It would also need to cater for Allie's needs - and of course, reflect her personal style and wish list. 

Before

I told you our house is messy / disorganised! I'm surprised there wasn't a pair of pants (UK version) on the floor! Chaos aside, this side of the room was dominated by low storage which was crammed with books, toys, cuddly bears and a load of other bits and bobs. 

I've noticed that the toys have slowly started to collect dust and her room has become a place to hang out with friends, do homework and experiment with fashion, hair and make-up - in between making TikToks and doing backflips on her bed - not always in that order!

I asked Allie what she felt was missing and we narrowed it down to:

- A desk area with drawers 
- A pinboard for small pictures, notes and general inspiration 
- Book shelves - with book ends! 
- A dressing table 
- Good lighting 

Oh, and the look and feel should have a hint of boho with lots of greenery, natural material and plants! 

Planning 



Above is the original design, which was created using the Elfa drag and drop online planning tool. Once the items arrived, we rejigged them a little to make use of the natural light (that's one of the beauties of Elfa - it's a flexible system so you can constantly adapt it according to your needs as well as add items over time). 

After 


Just like the wardrobe system in my bedroom, this shelving system is centred around a series of vertical rods, to which you can click-in a whole tray of items such as shelves, drawers, clipboards, mirrors, hooks and more. For a children's bedroom it's an absolute dream! Here's a breakdown of the items we added: 

The desk area


Above the desk we added a Storing Board with attachable hooks and boxes for small items like pens, paperclips and scissors (Per always marvels at how many 'tiny' items the girls amass, all of which are apparently crucial!). 

I particularly love that the desk height can be raised as she grows!


mesh basket under the desk is used to store cables (her room is officially neater than my office!). 

And we also added a series of deep wire drawers with Décor fronts for all her notepads, paint etc. 

The shelves 


To create the shelving, we used a series of melamine shelves mounted on click-in brackets. Lesser used items are / old photos etc which Allie would like to save for the future have been stored away on higher shelves (we might buy a small footstool which could double-up as the dressing table stool) and the things she uses daily are within reach on the lower shelves. 

One of the niftiest items we discovered is the reversible shelf / tray which can be used as a shelf for plants etc or a tray for paper, prints etc with a ridge so they don't slide off.  


We also used a series of book supports and wallbands to stop tomes and other items from falling off the shelves (you haven't seen the chaos when Allie does gymnastics!). 

Sidenote: have you read 'The Boy, the mole, the fox and the horse'? It's the sweetest book and a Brantmark family favourite! 

The pinboard 


I made the pinboard using a cork board covered with stretched linen.  


Slim hooks that click into place created a place for hairbands, necklaces, sunglasses... you name it! 

The dressing table 


A dressing table was highest on Allie's wish list! She's actually not allowed to wear make-up outside of the house yet, but she loves to experiment and have fun with it at home!

To create the dressing table area, we added a Decor Mirror - which is the same as the one I have in my new wardrobe. We also put a reversible shelf underneath it for nail varnish, brushes etc and a series of clear boxes (from the Elfa Studio in town) for make-up, jewellery etc. A simple lamp above lights up the area after dark. 

The drawer underneath has been fitted with a Decor accessory tray so that Allie has a place for her bits and bobs like earrings, hairbands, purses etc. 


And finally, we hung a Bracket hook rack on the side for her bags. 

Oh, how I'd have loved to have had this setup when I was a kid! 

The best thing of all, is that it's created so much space in the rest of her room, perfect for phase two of the make-over - rumour has it, Allie's planned a gallery wall with Per's old LPs, a garland of trailing ivy and there was a mention of a lava lamp! I'm looking forward to seeing the boho look unfold!

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the keyboard, there's space for it on the long desk but she might also use a stand instead. 

I hope you like the results as much as Allie does! Please do give me a shout if you have any questions - or if you have a children's room to plan, you can find out more about this system over at Elfa

I hope you have a relaxing, fun weekend planned. I'm heading off to Stavanger, Norway this evening to write a city guide for an English magazine - very exciting, Norway is my favourite country in the world! I hope I can squeeze in a trip to the fjords and a hike on the Saturday. If you'd like to follow along, I'll be sharing my trip on Instagram stories. 

Trevlig helg! Have a great weekend! 

Niki

Photography Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home

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A Cool Yet Calm Rose-tinted French Family Home


Every now and again I come across an entirely unique home that totally draws me in. This is one of them. The house (from the early 1900s) is located in Nancy, North East France and belongs to Coralie, so doctor,  her partner Nicolas, an architect, and their three adorable children. Coralie has a penchant for pink - the dominant accent throughout their home - but twee it's not. Her preferred pink is distinctly calming (Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball to be precise) and when paired with neon, brass, ochre, wood and rattan it emits a wonderfully bang up to date look that's cool and contemporary yet incredibly calm. Ready to feel inspired? Pull up a seat and enjoy the tour - I've added a few tips on where items are from - just in case you'd like to get the look at home! 

Kitchen countertop from Mosaic factory. Print: I love You. In French.

Lamp: DIY (how cool is that?) - see Coralie's instagram highlights for more info. 

Palm lamp, poufs from Muskhane

Dusty pink accent colour: Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball, Good Vibes light*


Colour on the wall: Setting Plaster by Farrow & Ball, bedding: Le Petit Florilège, Print: Rabbit by Fine Little Day 

Bed canopy: Nordic nest*, Boheme bed by Bon Ton

Wallpaper: Roomblush, hanging light: Ekatarina Galera, Garland on wardrobe: Happy Moon Studio. Print: Marta Abad Blay

Such a wonderful home! The pink hue is spot on, and there are so many great details! 

Could you imagine having a dusty pink accent in your home? Or perhaps there were some pieces / details that really stood out to you? Share your thoughts below, I'd love to hear from you! 

See more of Coralie's lovely home over at @coraliefelicie

There are a ton more French homes to feel inspired by here. 

I'll be back tomorrow with a charming, pared back Danish cabin - I think you're going to like it, so make sure you stop by! 

Niki

Photography: @coraliefelicie, shared with kind permission

*affiliate links

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7 Simple Steps To A Tidy Home!

For some right now, it's simply about muddling through the day in the best way possible, and that's perfectly fine *breathes a sigh of relief*. For others, the chaos that comes with working from home, home-schooling, working out in the sitting room, plus everyday activities such as cooking, crafting etc can feel a little overwhelming. And to be honest, my home is a bit of a mess at the best of times, right now, it's an all time high (I know it can be hard to see that from my pictures, but ask any friend and I'm sure they'll concur!). Can anyone else relate? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it when my home is tidy, I'm just not always sure how to get there quickly!

For those of you who already have a wonderfully tidy home - or simply have come here today for a little eye candy - relax, sit back and enjoy the pictures (Esra's home is lovely!). 

But for those of you, who like me, could use a little guidance on keeping the mess at bay - and would love a calmer, more organised home - these 7 tips from Esra from @i.like.it.tidy - might just come in handy! 

Hi! My name is Esra and I live in Berlin, where I was also born and raised in Berlin. My partner and I have two children Max (7) and Mika (3) and a dog Bex. Our apartment is 160 square metre. It's an old house and very typical for Berlin - with its large rooms leading into one another and high ceilings. 

Our place is known for being super tidy, which is of course not true all the time. But I do like my home to be clean and tidy. I would therefore love to share my tips with you on how to keep your home tidy. 

7 Simple Ways to Keep Your Home Tidy

1. Declutter: I know this is so Marie Kondo, but it's the ultimate way to enjoy a tidy home. We tend to hoard things like candles, vases, and bedding, so start by going through your things and ask yourself: how often do I use this, and do I have too many of them? Start with the small things as these are the easiest to declutter. 


2. A place for everything: Everything you own needs to have a home - somewhere you can put it back after you have used it. If an item doesn't have a 'home', it will be in your way all the time and you will constantly move it around. Trust me, a home always feels calmer if nothing is in your way!

There's a useful article here about how to create a home for the tiny bits and pieces in your home. 

Wall mounted storage units are great for storing items you don't want to be on display. I particularly like IVAR units from IKEA since they can be painted the same colour as the wall - and you can combine them for extra storage.  

3. Avoid impulse buying: only buying the things you need is better for the environment and better for you. It's better to save money and invest in something valuable - and that you know you'll use for years to come, like a sofa or armchair. 


4. Children's rooms need lots of storage: always use big boxes or baskets so that kids can put things away easily. It's especially important that the storage containers are in easy reach - low shelves, drawers, containers etc. Let them literally throw things back - don't make it complicated for them. 

Above left and below: IKEA toy storage is ideal for little ones - it's low and the buckets make it easy for even the youngest of children to tidy their toys away. If your child has a small bedroom use storage that doubles up as furniture like low drawers that can also be used as seating, or drawers that tuck neatly under the bed. For tiny items like beads, nail polish etc (of which my girls have many) - the Moppe mini chest of drawers is a winner! 

5. Edit toys regularly: if you overload a kid's room with toys they don't use, they will quickly feel overwhelmed. If they'd like something new, try to sell or give something away that they no longer need at the same time, this will help keep toys at a manageable level. 

Above: is it just me, or do children tend to want you to read the same books over and over again? Usually the longest ones - to draw out bedtime! Why not keep a little book stand (the Douve book box* is similar) by the end of the bed - it will help keep their favourite books off the floor and in easy reach. Note the desk has built-in storage underneath so craft items can be quickly stowed away after use (this one is from IKEA). Woven seagrass baskets* are also super handy for storage - plus they can be flattened when not in use! 

6. Tidy-up straight away: Whether cooking or crafting with your children or carrying out your own tasks - always tidy up immediately after you have finished. Don't let the mess fester and take control. It's so much easier to tidy up in the moment than to be confronted with a huge mess at the end of a long day! 

Note Esra has combined two IVAR cabinets in the picture above  - one on top of the other. Store items that kids don't use daily higher up (or the pieces that require adult assistance like felt tips, paints etc!). 


 7. Make it routine: last but by no means least, try to do all the steps above as a routine to keep on top of your home, it's an ongoing process. Enjoy it. It will make you happier! 

Thank you so much for sharing these tips Esra. 

Perhaps you are already a neatnik and have your home perfectly well organised - if so, wonderful! 

If not, and you feel you have the time and energy (seriously, no pressure guys - I know times are tricky right now), shall we agree to make a start? Here are three things I'm going to do: 

1. Clear out our bed linen and towel cupboard - there are WAY too many things in there and I have a feeling that's why there are always about twenty towels on the go (it drives me insane!). 
2. Invest in more storage so that I have somewhere to put post and bills, as well as other small items like candles etc. I've realised not everything has a home! 
3. Encourage the entire family to deal with their clothes at the end of the day immediately (way too many 'chairobes' in this house!) - and while we're at it - our wardrobes could use an edit too! 

There you have it, in black and white! 

Is there anything you're thinking of doing at home after reading this? Or perhaps you have some great tips on how to keep a home tidy not covered here - if so, please do comment below! 

Niki

Photography: Esra / @i.like.it.tidy
*This post contains some affiliate links

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Before & After: Liv's Tween Bedroom Becomes a Teen Bedroom!

In Collaboraton with Nordal
My eldest daughter Liv is turning thirteen this summer. THIRTEEN! Where on earth has the time gone? I've noticed her bedroom has become more and more important to her - it's a place to hang out with friends (both in person and online), do homework, chill, spread clothes out ALL over the floor.... you name it! 

The upshot? It's time to transform her room from tween to teen. And the pink's gonna have to go! 

For this, I needed a partner. And who better than Danish brand Nordal - a family driven interior design business selling exciting furniture and accessories for the home and garden - and valued long-term partner of My Scandinavian home. 

Here's what we did:

Before

I didn't think of taking real 'before' pictures, these were snapped with my phone a little into the make-over process (hence the blank wall and tape!), but hopefully it'll give you a hint of what it looked like before. The pink has served Liv well over the years, but everything was starting to feel 'too young'. Plus, at 177 cm (the same height as me!) - and all her sleepovers, it was time to get a bigger bed!


The brief


Liv is a real water babe. She has ALWAYS loved the water. I'll never forget her first bath - it was as if she was suddenly in complete harmony and at one with her surroundings. Over time, she became really fond of swimming in the sea and going to the local pool. These days, she swims four times a week with a local club. Blue was therefore a natural choice for the walls - and natural materials such as rattan, linen and jute would help to bring the feel of the Swedish coastline she so loves, into her room. 

I headed to the store for some samples. Let me tell you now, pale blue isn't the easiest of shades to get right. Firstly, there are about a thousand to choose from (which was a little overwhelming!), and secondly, they never look the same once on the wall. have you found that too? Gaaah!

In the end we settled on Moln by Alcro. Meaning 'cloud', Moln was the palest of pale blue shades - yet on the wall it felt calm and created just the hint of pale blue Liv was after. 

In my world, there's nothing like the last minute (I'm known for it - just ask Per!). All the beautiful items arrived from Nordal the day before the shoot (amazing turn around by the Danish team - thank you guys!), and it was all hands on deck - with help from Per as well as the My Scandinavian Home stylist extraordinaire Helen Sturesson, and even Liv and Allie! A fun day, I have to say! 

After

Tadaaaa! From teen to tween in a matter of days! Let me talk you through the transformation:


There's nothing like rattan to bring a relaxed beach vibe to a space and this beautiful 180 cm headboard was just the ticket! It's a perfect piece as it's stand-alone, meaning it simply slots behind the bed with absolutely no installation required! Hooray! 


I love the imperfection, plus Liv tells me it's surprisingly soft to lean against as it's very smooth. I can already imagine her and her friends leaning against it, chatting into the night! 


A reading light is an absolute essential for any bedroom. Since the room is fairly small - and children tend to have a LOT of things - I thought it was important to go for something wall mounted to keep it out of the way. I love the brass touch of the Athene golden wall lamp - it fitted well with the rattan and can also be tilted and swivelled in order to provide light for both the bed and desk area. 

In the height of the summer, it really only gets dark for a few hours a day, so black-out blinds / curtains are essential. Liv has always been a bit of a poor sleeper too (although a little better these days thanks to all that swimming!) so I placed a lot of importance on getting the window dressing right! These black-out curtains are from HM Home (I got them adjusted to the right length at a local dry cleaners). If you look closely, you can also see blinds!  Yep, not taking any chances! 

The desk has been updated to a lighter look from IKEA (the old one is now in Allie's room!) - and she also has a new ergonomic desk chair (in the hope that she'll sit there for longer doing her homework, worth a shot!). 


Since her bed is also her hangout zone, we ramped up the cosiness with Nordal cushions - including the dark blue Capella, knitted off-white Lyra and beige Capella.

We also added a grey-brown linen bed cover and dark blue cotton yoga blanket for contrast and cold nights! helping to keep warm on cooler nights. 


Another bedroom essential: the side table (this one is the Victoria pillar side table in light blue) for her books, glasses of water, no doubt her phone, earrings and other bits and bobs! 

The wall basket was designed by my friend Maria Gustavsson from Swedish Ninja and made locally here in Southern Sweden. 

Oh yes, and I haven't mentioned the amazing lamp yet! How could I forget that? The oversized SIF lampshade is a real statement piece and instantly brought a relaxed, rustic beach vibe to the room! I can imagine it looking FAB over a dining table too (if you have high ceilings).  

And finally, the rug! This Ava hemp carpet in size 160 cm x 240 cm is so soft and completed the look beautifully. Love the fringe! 

Needless to say, Liv's thrilled with her new room! 

But it's not quite finished. 

On the opposite side of the room, some new shelves are needed (update to follow!). And most importantly of all, this is a mere 'backdrop' for whatever she'd like to do with the space - including layering the wall with posters and photographs and surrounding herself with all her favourite things. 

In other words, it's time for me to step back and let Liv take over!



I hope you enjoyed the make-over!

If you're curious about any of the items, please do ask away in the comment section below. I'd be happy to help! 

You can find Nordal items in these webshops

Right, I'm off downstairs to see what Liv's done to her room (I can hear her pottering about!). I'm sure some posters and prints have already gone up! 

See also Albin's teenage bedroom make-over and Allie's before and after bedroom make-over (they certainly don't look as tidy as that today!). 

What did your childhood bedroom look like? Mine was covered in Laura Ashley wallpaper and my clothes were stored in an antique chest-of-drawers (I remember having to pry the drawers open!). 

Naturally, I ruined the entire look my Mother had created with posters of Bros, Aha and the Pet Shop Boys (totally showing my age here!!). Later, I remember adding framed black and white Robert Doisneau photographs. 

Those were the days! 

Niki

Photography by me, shoot styling by Helen Sturesson

This was a paid partnership with Nordal - however, all words and products choices were mine and Liv's (with a little guidance from Helen!). Thank you for supporting the wonderful businesses that help make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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