Let it Glow: 5 Pretty Candle Displays You Can Make In An Instant!

The winter solstice 2019 will be at 05.19 this Sunday, 22nd December (counting down the seconds? You bet I am!). From then on, the days slowly get lighter - PHEW! Anyone else feeling a tiny bit relieved? In my mind, the only saving grace is that the darkness gives us an excuse to light candles, and lots of them, which makes for one very cosy home! On the dining table, in the window, by the sink. As long as there's nothing flammable nearby, there's no end to where you can add a little glow. Here are 5 of my favourite, simple DIY candle displays this winter! 

1. Swedish Advent ljusstake: two weeks ago, Per mentioned in this interview how much he loves the traditional Swedish 7-arm candelabra. I have to say, they do look very beautiful in the window (from the inside and out!). Sadly, they're not easy to find in all countries, but if you fancy something similar, why not make one yourself with different size vintage brass candleholders. So pretty! 

2. Jam jars and pine: everyone has a few jam jars lurking in a drawer - why not make use of them and create these simple tea light holders using garden twine and pine (if you don't feel like lopping them off your tree, ask for a few off cuts at your local Christmas tree market, I'm sure they'd be happy to help! 

3. Moss candleholders: no vintage brass candlesticks to hand? Fill glass jars with moss for an instant candleholder - twine and rosemary optional! Do keep an eye on them when lit though - especially if the moss is dry! 

4. Candles and pine in the window: you can't get more simple than white candles in jam jars and branches of pine laid across the windowsill - and it looks super cosy too! 

5. Simple DIY table wreath: A daily Something has shared this simple DIY candle wreath here. I love the idea of the delicate grey, tapered candles too - so elegant! Could this be something for your Christmas table?

Did anything catch your eye? I'm a big fan of moss and have already made a few candle holders with it at home (I also love to wrap moss around the bulb of hyacinths and amaryllis). 

A quick reminder to be really careful with candles - always blow them out when you leave the room and make sure your home is well ventilated! 

If you'd like a few more Christmas decorating ideas check out: 

There's also plenty of Scandinavian home tours all decked out for Christmas in the archive

Have a cosy day!


Credits: 1. Christina Strehlow 2. Linnea, Lovely Life 3. Source unknown - Pinterest (tips welcome!) 4. DIY Jewellery ideas (if this is not correct, please let me know!) 5. Pufik Homes 6. A Daily Something

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All Fluffed Up: This Autumns Cosiest Trend (And The World's Most Simple DIY IKEA Hack!

I've kind of got over my end of summer angst and finally starting to embrace the chillier Autumn days, dhow about you? There's something about the idea of layering the home with cosy blankets, warm chestnut tones and lots of candlelight that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! But there's also another cosy item to hit the scene and it's fuzzier than ever. It all started with the re-emergence of the short faux furry Teddy jacket back in 2016 (so called for its 'teddy bear' appearance) - an item that has become a bit of a wardrobe staple in 2019. And now stools, armchairs and sofas are being upholstered in undeniably cosy, super fluffy fabrics too. From The Tired Man armchair to the Banana Sofa (great names!) - this Autumn's seating is akin to a big bear hug - just add tea! 

1. &Tradition 2. Oliver Gustav 3. Paustian 4. Jesper Florbrant / Lovisa Häger 5. Louise Holt Design 6. Suite NY 7. The modern House 8. RandCompany 9. Warm Nordic

Get the look

1. &Tradition Little Petra Chair
2. Paustian Arctander Chair
3. DIY Stool by Lovisa Häger
4. Flemming Lassen Easy Chair
5. By Lassen The Tired Man Chair
6. Danish Cabinetmaker Banana Sofa
7. Pierre Yovanovitch Pappa Bear Armchair
8. House of Hans Olsen Fried Egg Sheet Chair

How To Make Your Own Faux Fur Stool

Looking at Lovisa Häger's beautiful Stockholm home, you'd never guess that many of the pieces are handmade. Stools, tables, paintings - she is without doubt one of Sweden's queen of DIY! If you're feeling inspired by the fluffy furniture in today's post but a little tight on budget, Lovisa's DIY faux fur stool is super simple to make and looks fab!

What you need: 
  • Frosta stool from IKEA
  • A section of thick foam 
  • Black paint
  • Faux white fur 

What to do
  • Before assembling the stool, cut the foam so it's the same shape and size of the seat surface 
  • Glue the section of faux fur to the foam and the foam to the seat
  • Paint the legs black
  • Assemble the stool
Et Voilà!

If you love this, you might like to check out other DIY ideas on Lovisa's beautiful blog An Interior Affair and see more pictures of her fabulous Stockholm home here and on Instagram.

Could you imagine curling up in one of these seats this Autumn?! I most certainly could!


PS Thank you to the wonderful Ana Degenaar for helping me to compile this post! 

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Before + After: An Attic Becomes A Light + Airy Guest Bedroom

I'm into tricky spaces at the moment - and love seeing how they can be transformed. Today's make-over sees a cramped attic space in an 1800s farmhouse in the Catskills transformed into a lovely, bright and airy guest bedroom. The house is owned by florist turned writer Lisa Przystup and husband Jonathan Linaberry and used as a weekend retreat; a perfect respite from a more hectic life in Brooklyn, New York. The tools? A lick of paint, a selection of charming furniture and some delightful accessories. In other words - completely cosmetic and not costing the earth either! So, if you've got a spot in your home that's currently full of stuff (don't worry, we all have one!) I think you'll find this hands on DIY make-over truly inspiring!


The attic was already in quite good condition when the couple acquired the house and just needed simple updates like clearing out the clobber, a fresh coat paint on the floor and walls and some pretty pieces! 

Honestly - this is nowhere near the amount of stuff we currently have in our attic - in fact, my husband and I would be congratulating ourselves if our storage looked like this! But still, it's not quite guest bedroom ready! 


The pair wanted to keep the backdrop monochromatic to fit the look and feel of the rest of the home. They painted the floors in Tricorn Black and the walls in Extra White by Sherwin-Williams. 

A simple belgian linen blind in oatmeal with a black-out lining adds softness to the space while keeping the sunlight out and a pair of pendant lights have been hung from a single power outlet on the ceiling and hooked to either side of the bed to serve as reading lights (I love this idea - Holly Marder did something similar in this bedroom she designed). Magic Linen is a great source for linen bedding* like this! 

Although pared-back, the bedroom has a lot of charm thanks to the blend of old and new - like this chest-of-drawers left behind by the previous owners and a more contemporary leather and brass chair.  The chest-of-drawers is also perfect for guests staying a little longer, my Mother always says "you've never truly arrived somewhere until you've unpacked."

Every guest room needs a little mirror and side table and these fit perfectly against the central pillar. Feathers and other items found in the Catskills serve as a wonderful reminder of the fantastic nature on their doorstep (I was lucky enough to visit the Catskills for my book The Scandinavian Home and I've been wanting to return ever since, it's a magical place!). 

The room is entered via this beautiful reclaimed door which was already in place when they bought the house. They deliberately left it as it was in order to make it a feature. The folding chairs belonged to one of their grandfathers and serve as extra seating when guests come to stay (source similar vintage ones here*). 

Wow! So simple, yet so lovely! 

I'm already wondering if we should finally do something with our attic space - or even somewhere else in the home. 

Are you feeling inspired too?! 

I first spotted this wonderful make-over on Remodelista (read more about the room and see more pictures here).

If you love a before + after as much as I do, you might also like to brighten up your Monday with these:

Here's to an inspiring week!


Photography: Sarah Elliott, shared with kind permission. Design Lisa Przystup

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Simple Easter Table DIY: Bunny Ear Napkins

If you're looking to do something a little extra this Easter but don't have much time - these bunny ear napkins are so easy to make and look super cute on the table!

- Square napkin (any material - even paper works!)
- An egg (you may like to opt for different colours for each place setting). 
- String or ribbon
- Scissors (for cutting string)
- Baby's breath or other pretty flowers (optional!)


And that's it! Five minutes and you'll have an entire table of bunnies!

Here are mine in action on our Easter table.

Wishing you a lovely Easter break!

PS I'll be back here early next week. 

PS Don't forget to enter the spring give-away to win a TRIWA watch!

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Is Embroidery the New Avocado Toast?!

In my Lagom book I talk about the importance of swapping screen time for analogue activities such as reading, writing a diary and handiwork before bedtime in order to feel more relaxed, doze off quicker and enjoy an improved quality of sleep. So you can imagine how excited I was to see embroidery popping up more in the social media sphere! Pinterest, Instagram (6 million hits!), blogs, DIY magazines, you name it. For those of you shuddering as you cast your mind back to a cold classroom with pricked fingers - fear not, we're talking embroidery with a modern twist and a Swedish start-up has you covered! Founded by Sofia Magnusson, The Folklore Company combines the digital world with old school cross stitch embroidery, meaning that anyone who hasn't done a cross-stitch since primary school can still enjoy the mindful activity and create something wall-worthy too! How fab is that?!

When Marielle at The Folklore Company first approached me I was quick to notice you can buy ready made embroidery patterns too - the 'busy' person in me was incredibly tempted! But then I realised I'd be missing out on the whole relaxation side  plus I'd never find out if embroidery truly was the new avocado toast! I fired off a mail with my concerns and was assured: "it’s really not hard to embroider your own, it’s a little time consuming but a very soothing activity, which is made even more cozy with a cup of tea."

Being a Brit, she had me at the tea. Here's how I got on:

1.  Selecting the pattern. The Design Editor offers a large variety of patterns ranging from more traditional flowers and lace to swallows, hearts and even unicorns! I went for the The Malta pattern - which is one of their best sellers since it's a relative simple pattern (best not to run before I crawl!). 

2.  Selecting the colour: I opted for the pewter grey thread, which I'm really pleased with. On the home run I exchanged one of the birds for a pink thread which I found at home. I think it added a nice little twist do you?!
3. Adding your text, favourite quote or poem: (remember the longer it is the more hours it will take, but then again, the task is not meant to be rushed and March is one looong month!). 
4. Choosing the text style: I chose the Primus Script as I kind of wanted the juxtaposition of the modern quote with the traditional lettering.
5. Ordering the kit: The embroidery kit contains everything you need to get started right away including a needle, fabric, yarn and pattern but I kind of got carried away and ordered the pretty peacock scissors (was tempted with the Eiffel tower ones too), a wooden embroidery hoop, and a thimble!

6. The process: I was so grateful for the very straight forward instructions and the embroidery was truly therapeutic (it's a perfect activity for a long journey, wiling away a few hours at the weekend or simply kicking back in the evenings!).

Once finished I placed the fabric in a black frame and hung it on my bedroom wall! I have to say, I'm so happy with the result!

Keen to make your own? All the information you need to get started is right here
- and the fab team are offering you 15% discount with the code: 15%SCANDINAVIAN up until 31st March. You The Folklore Team girls rock!

Don't forget to share a picture of your masterpiece using the hashtag #folklorecompany, we'd love to see it!

Thank you to the fab girls at The Folklore Company for setting me on the embroidery path and sponsoring this post - I'm already wondering what pattern to create next. Something for my daughter's room perhaps?! Watch this space!

Photography credits: 1 (montage) & 2 courtesy of The Folklore Company / 3, 4 & 5: Niki Brantmark - My Scandinavian Home.

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A Norwegian Bedroom Gets a Budget Make-over

Welcome to the second post in the before and after mini make-over series in association with Builders Bay (a builder's little black book for all things needed to renovate your home). In the first we looked at the fabulous transformation of a Miami penthouse (I'm still dreaming, are you?!).  But of course not all renovations need to be on this scale, sometimes you simply want to pep up a room without investing too much time and money, right? So today, I thought we'd go a little closer to home: and take a look at the beautiful bedroom of  blogger, photographer and visual storyteller Katerina Dima in Oslo, Norway. Katerina was looking to add warmth to a fresh white room and allow the history of the 1850 building to sing - all on a shoe string budget. I caught up with her to get the low down!

Who lives in your home?
Me (Katerina Dima), my husband and our cat Milo (who is largely undocumented on my social media because she sleeps and rests in the most ridiculous and unflattering positions. If I was running a comedy instagram account I think she would be a total hit.

Sounds to me like he could be a #CatsofInstagram star?! The  interiors you show in your blog are simply stunning, do you work in the world of interior design?
I am a trained architect with a masters in renovation and restoration, although now I work full time as a freelance photographer / visual storyteller for brands in association with my blog Only Deco Love and instagram

Ah, what great skills - do you find that you're constantly updating your home as a result?
We are renting but have carte blanche on any renovations. This was the reason I was allowed to completely change the look of the bedroom and skirting boards plus paint the windows.

I see you have great bones to work with?
If I am not mistaken, the building was built around 1850. It's a really funny story, one of the most convenient things is a small and remarkably beautiful storage room right by our stairs (our apartment is the only one on the floor), and I thought, I was really lucky to have it. It turns out that in the 19th century these buildings had no toilet (our floor was made up of many smaller apartments) and the 'storage under the stairs' was the common bathroom. There's no evidence now this was a bathroom but I have the most elegant storage ever - I really shoot in it but it is super cold!

What were you looking to achieve with your bedroom renovation?
When we moved in, the owner had painted the entire apartment white. It is a beautiful old apartment with ceiling rosettes, very high ceilings, big windows and original floors that were painted grey - and I guess white made perfect sense as a neutral palette. However, no matter how I tried to style the bedroom specifically, it always felt unfinished. Really tall ceilings can have that effect. I didn't want to overwhelm it with furniture and decorations in order to impart some life into it, I prefer my living space minimal and clean, yet welcoming and warm. The solutions was to create layers with paint and skirting boards.

How did you envisage the paint to make a difference to the space?
The layers of paint would provide interesting transitions that would fit the old apartment and define the space between the floors and ceiling, but without making it too heavy.

How did you choose the colour?
I knew I needed to offset the grey-blue floors with beige, this way the resulting tone would be warm (blue hues give cooler results and I'm not a fan of cold hues in the bedroom). I am a big fan of the Jotun Lady beige palette, especially the darker colours.

What other renovations did you need to carry out to create your vision?
I installed new skirting boards.  

Did you have any challenges with these?
I knew I would have to do everything on my own (with my husbands help), or else it would be too expensive, and our budget was in fact our biggest challenge. Buying the big pieces for the new skirting boards/panels I needed was not an option after all due to the enormous price, so instead we opted for DIY. In Oslo we don't have the equipment to create our own panels (another obstacle), and this is where the idea came to me to buy simple small and relatively cheap skirting boards, and create the panels I wanted by means of an illusion. I  added the small boards 30cm above the previous one, nailed them to the wall and painted the old skirting boards on the floor the new board and the wall in between the same color . This creates the illusion of a single but quite bigger panel which gives the room an added desired layer while it brings a palatial feel, exactly the result I wanted! And honestly you can barely tell even when looking at it up and close. We painted 5 times over and over again so the wall looked exactly like the wooden boards, and that was the only difficulty. We used a saw to cut the boards in the length we needed and a plastic guide that we found in the same hardware store in order to cut the corners of the boards in a 45 degree angle. 

FYI - you can source different size skirting boards on Builders Bay here

 It looks beautiful! So calm! What colours did you use? 
I painted the skirting boards and the windows the same colour (Space 10678 from Jotun Lady in Supreme Finish Matt for wood panels) to give a sense of community, but also because darker windows appeal a lot to me lately. I painted the walls in a light beige / grey colour (Sommersne 1928 Jotun lady, super mat). The colour is described as not quite grey, it was exactly what i was looking for. I debated whether to paint the whole space the same colour along with windows and skirting boards but decided against it. I wanted to add layers and introduce interesting transitions. This is also why I didn't paint the wall all the way up to the ceiling, leaving a ribbon on the top in the previous color that matched the ceiling (white).

I love the effect of not painting the walls all the way up to the ceiling, can you tell us more?
Because the ceilings are so high I wanted to create layers so there would be interesting transitions making the room feel warmer.  I decided to create a bottom layer with the panels/skirting boards, a middle layer with the wall painted in a different colour, and finally an upper layer that stayed the same colour as the ceiling. This way there would be a natural transition from the white ceiling to the wall as there is no decorative ribbon, making the design feel deliberate rather than incidental.

 How long did the renovation take?
The whole room took us two days from start to finish after we had decided on the plan ( the boards took us about two hours to cut and nail to the wall, then filled any holes with a special white glue that gives a smooth finish ), and this was mostly waiting for the paint to dry. The costs were very minimal, and I feel if we did it, anyone can!

How would you describe the final look?
The style is very minimal and combines early century with contemporary Scandinavian accents. The building was built in the Neo classic era with modernist yet romanticism architectural influences, I wanted to keep the feel of it but also bring it into this century. I think the colours helped me achieve that, but also the details I chose to use in the form of art and furnishings.

And finally, do you have any tips for anyone looking to do the same?
If you want to lightly renovate a room on a budget, painting and creating “faux” panels is a great way (if it matches your spaces original architecture), and it can completely transform a room beyond your imagination. Come up with a plan and create a moodboard to help you out, but I would say my key learning  to be able to adapt your plan on the go while trying not to stray too far away from it. Also if I learned anything from this is that these things are much easier than they look , you will be surprised by how much you can achieve on your own and in a short time! So go for it :)

What a beautiful space. I love how the clean, calm look allows the period features of the building to stand out, how about you?

In case you're curious about any of Katerina's carefully curated pieces - here's a quick guide:

Get The Look

1. April 02 Poster
2. Skagerak - Georg Desk
3. Skagerak - Edge Pot
4. Mobil 100 pendant - Monika Mulder 2016
5. Spade Stool Black
6. Snowball Floor Lamp
7. Skagerak - Reflect Wall Hooks
8. FRAMA Adam Stools

Thank you so much for sharing your renovation with us Katerina!

You can follow all of Katerina's latest projects over on her beautiful blog Only Deco Love and instagram

Have a lovely day!

CREDITS: Photography and Styling: Katerina Dima / Only Deco Love

 * All words are my own, and I only ever work with brands and services I feel are of interest to my readers. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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Five beautifully simple Easter DIY ideas

With Easter fast approaching (yikes!) I've been scanning the web for some cute (yet simple) DIY craft ideas. I've narrowed it down to four beautifully simple ideas.  Think napkins shaped into bunny ears, delicate egg vases, the cutest gift wrapping, eggs with a floral crown and your very own Easter mug. Here are my favourite five:

How cute! I'm going to give all of them a whirl with my girls over the next few days. So fun!

Did any of these ideas catch your eye?

Get the know-how (might need good old google translate for some):

1. Frida Ramstedt of Trendenser's super quick bunny ear napkins
2. Nina Holst's delicate egg vases
3. Steffi's cute bunny rabbit gift wrapping
4. Flax & Twine's pretty floral wreath easter eggs
5. Jewelry & Stuff's fun bunny mug

If you'd like a few more Easter craft ideas you might also like to check out these wonderful easter DIY ideas I shared last year.

I also always love Norwegian blogger Nina Holst's easter inspiration - all of which you can find here. 

Happy crafting!

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