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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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15

A Beautiful, Space-Saving Family Home in Stockholm, Sweden

I'm still buzzing the Swedish country home yesterday (and judging by the 20,000 hits about it on my instagram I sense I'm not alone!) - did you fall in love too? There's only one thing for it. Move on. After all, a move to the country is not on the cards for the Brantmarks (being the city slickers we are)! So, today I thought I'd focus on living in the city - and how to deal with the space-limitations that so often come with it. On the surface this wonderful Swedish apartment looks pretty spacious. But add a few children to the mix and the tiny bedrooms become a bit of a conundrum. After all, kids demand quite a lot of their rooms: a bed, a desk, somewhere to hang out with friends and / or play and storage. In this wonderful Stockholm home, the owners have made maximum use of the height to create three loft bed solutions which help to maximise space in the children's bedrooms. They've also worked with internal windows to ensure natural light flows into the darkest of corners. Best of all, everything has been done with the utmost style and the entire home has a wonderful personal and relaxed feel! Ready to feel inspired?


The kitchen has been artfully arranged around a classic masonry oven / tiled stove - with a space for wood storage built into the cabinetry

Imagine how cosy this must be with the roaring fire at night? It's set up for some seriously cosy and romantic dinners! 

A more formal dining setting occupies the window area in the sitting room - with a wonderful Nelson Saucer Bubble lamp overhead! 


One of the biggest decorating mistakes people make is buying a rug which is too small for the space. Well, not in this room! 

As a rule of thumb, a sitting room rug should be at least 15 cm - 20 cm  (6" - 8") wider than your sofa on each side. You may then decide whether to place all four legs of your sofa on the rug, or just the front two. 

FYI: I'd never judge anyone for the size of rug they choose in their home - so this is just a helpful guide if you're struggling to decide. Otherwise, anything goes! 

The owners have made the most of a narrow passage - using it as a library and wardrobe space.

Oh, and check out that beautiful wood floor! 

A built-in shelf behind the bed has becoming increasingly popular and is especially useful in a smaller space. 


I love all three of these small space children bedroom solutions! The owners have capitalised on the tremendous ceiling height to create 'vertical' bedrooms complete with desks, storage and cosy seating areas. 

Fun touches include striped wallpaper, gymnastics rings (my daughter has the same ones from Finnish company Lillagunga - as do all her gymnast friends!) and a Ferm Living pineapple rug


I really appreciate the eclectic mix of pieces in this tiny room - including a round shelf from Ferm Living*, a vintage chair and terrazzo side table. 

It's not unusual for magnificent old apartment blocks in Scandinavia to have grand entryways like this. Look at those tiles and how paintwork has been used to highlight the period features. Wonderful! 

What a truly inspiring home - and great inspiration for anyone looking to maximise space in the city!

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

Here are a few more Scandinavian city homes for you to enjoy today: 


Har det så fint! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Historiska Hem 

*Affiliate link (which means I may make a very tiny amount of money should you click on the link and buy something - at no extra cost to you). 

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Ulli's Beautiful, Relaxed Urban Family Home


In the mood for a wonderful, relaxed home today? Ulli's apartment in Stuttgart, Germany is the type of place you walk through the door and feel instantly at home, it just oozes warmth and character. Dating back to 1900, the building features original parquet wood floors, high ceilings and large windows which flood the space with warm pools of light. Huge glass doors in the kitchen open right back to let in the morning light and large bites of greenery, despite the urban location. But best of all, every room has a relaxed and lived in vibe, offering a perfect haven in the heart of the city, which Ulli, her husband Nils and their two daughters Smilla (5) and Ida (3) can kick back and be themselves. 

What an apartment! 

I love all the personal touches - especially in the children's bedrooms. And can we just take a moment to admire the ceiling in the master bedroom?

How nice would it be to sipping a coffee in Ulli's kitchen right now, looking out at the trees?

Is it just me or has it been one crazy week? Maybe we should all put our feet up just a little longer today and enjoy a few more home tours in the same, relaxed vein. Here are a few I love: 


I hope these beautiful spaces have put a little spring in your step this Wednesday!

Niki

Photography: Ulli / @uls_andthekids

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