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Simple DIY: My Narrow Hallway Update


Do you have any pieces lying around that you haven't got round to putting up on the wall / fixing? I was gifted this beautiful Arles mirror by Made.com around a year ago. I originally ordered it for our landing but for some reason it didn't quite work - so it's been waiting for a new home ever since. And then the other day I had a lightbulb moment. Now, our house might have many great features, but the hallway is not one of them; it's fairly dark, has lots of doors and like Piccadilly Circus when all five of us are home (it doesn't help that our kids don't seem to have mastered the art of hanging up their coats). I have to admit, we haven't done anything to it since we moved in - until now! 


The hallway feeds into the kitchen (see above) and sitting room (last picture) and has a few in-built cupboards - which I've often contemplated painting (thoughts?). 

This wall has always been blank. I painted it in a Farrow & Ball shade many moons ago (could it be Down Pipe? I can't remember now!). I still love the colour, but it needed something more! 

And here's where the mirror came into the picture! Here's a step by step guide of my DIY project: 

1. The Arles mirror in brass is really heavy (tip: always check the weight of a mirror before you order it as some can be incredibly heavy - especially if the wall you'd like to put on is not that strong). I wanted to make sure it was hung in the right place from the start (I've made plenty of mistakes in the past!). I marked out the centre of the wall and made sure it was at eye height (the lower edge is 117 cm from the floor). 

2. I measured out exactly where I wanted the hooks to go beforehand, ensuring they were centred and also a good height from the floor for bags and jackets (102 cm from the underside of the rack to the floor). I also used a spirit level to ensure it was straight. 

The wooden pegs are from a local store - this coat rack* is similar. I've had this Ryobi drill for years and use it all the time - it's way more fun (and less work) than a manual screwdriver!  

3. And then all that was required was a good polish! 


I have to say the mirror instantly lit up the narrow space and together with the hooks, makes better use of the space. It's also handy to have a mirror near the entrance and extra hooks. 

The framed 'Twined 02' print is by Copenhagen-based design studio Moe Made It. And just peeping into the picture is a rubber plant, which Per calls 'Farfar' (Grandad) - since he inherited it from him just before he died over thirty years ago. Everyone in his family has a cutting - such a lovely way to remember someone! 

It's just a simple DIY but I thought I'd share it all the same - you never know, you might just have some empty wall space waiting for some TLC, in which case, I hope this inspires you.

I wonder how long our hallway will stay this tidy? I give it 5 minutes!! Oh well, life is designed to be a little messy, and it's a real sign of summer when balls, scooters, swim stuff and whatever else start to appear! 

Next stop, a new light - I haven't decided which yet, tips welcome! 

So, Friends, that's it from me this week. I hope you have a wonderful couple of days, see you Monday.

Trevlig helg! 

Niki

*this post includes affiliate links

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5 Clever IKEA Hacks to Steal From a Danish Home

You might recall the name Puk Munch Sjeldan from my feature about a tiny Copenhagen apartment that's big on handmade design a while back. That apartment is now occupied by her daughter Luna, so the Dane has turned her hand to her own home - transforming it room by room into a wonderful living space. Dating back to 1904, and located in the suburbs of the Danish capital, the family home is full of fun, quirky pieces, pops of colour as well as books and art. But it's Puk's IKEA hacks that really caught my eye! Here are five ideas to feel inspired by: 

1. Designer Table
Puk added a 90 cm x 190 cm sheet of plywood (painted white) over an existing GÖRAN table using angled metal brackets to transform a budget fold-away piece into a sturdy designer table! 


I couldn't see any hacks in the sitting room area - but knowing Puk there are no doubt some lurking somewhere. I couldn't resist sharing a couple of pictures all the same, as it's so unique! Love the blue 'bold stool' by Moustache in particular, how about you?

2. PAX wardrobe with customised doors
A friend of mine pointed out that the issue with IKEA wardrobe doors is that they never extend all the way to the floor (which would give them a much cleaner look). Puk solved this by adding her own, longer ones, using plywood cut with a circular saw (you can also ask your DIY store to do this for you). She matched the holes with the original PAX wardrobe doors so that she could reuse the hinges. See more details about the hack here

It may not be an IKEA hack - but I can't tell you how important it is for your neck and back to ensure your screen is at the right height when you're working from home. I love how Puk has used a stack of books to give her laptop a lift! 

3. Striped stool 
Puk took 30 minutes to transform a little FROSTA stool into a designer seat using a layer of foam / polyester batting, fabric and a staple gun! See all the steps in her Instagram 'DIY' highlights on instagram if you'd like to know more.  





4. Bed with storage
Puk and her beau used the IVAR 3-drawer dresser to create a bed with oodles of built-in storage. Looking at the DIY steps in her Instagram highlights (you can also find a tutorial on YouTube here), it's one for the more hardcore DIYers among us, but it's fun to know it's possible with a little work! 

No DIY hack to be seen here in the bathroom (that I know of), but it's always nice to share more of someone's home for inspiration! 

5. Hallway storage
I spy a set of four MOPPE storage chests mounted on the wall to create a larger storage unit that's also slim enough for narrow spaces. Perfect for all those bits and bobs like keys, wallets etc! You could also paint them to match your walls so they really blend in. 

Did any of these DIY IKEA hacks catch your eye? 

I love the table - GÖRAN is only around 40 euros and a piece of PLYWOOD / MDF is also very budget friendly. Such a great idea! 

You can see more of Puk's home and discover more IKEA hacks / DIY ideas over on her instagram

Feeling creative? Here are a few other ideas: 


Vi ses imorgon! 

Niki

Photography: Puk Munch Sjeldan

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Weekend DIY: Simple Twisted Candle Hack!


Sculptural candles in sweet pastels: one of the biggest micro trends to hit Scandinavia right now. And guess what? They're actually not that tricky to make! Just to be clear I'm not talking making the entire candle from scratch - I know we're all spending copious amounts of time at home right now, but that could be a push (although I'd love to see the results if you do!). I'm talking giving ready made candles a funky twist that will make our Danish friends proud! 

Curious to try it this weekend? This film by the swedish queen of DIY Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner tells you everything you need to know! Can't access Instagram? There's another great tutorial on Youtube with more detailed instructions. 

No time for DIY / arts and crafts? I hear you! Here are some of my favourite sculptural candles right now - the only problem is, they're way to pretty to go up in smoke!  


Candle sculptures that will put a smile on your face - no holder required! He has also made some fabulous pillar ones in collaboration with Hay. 

This Danish store sells pastel, sugar-coated-style candles that look good enough to eat (although I probably wouldn't!). 

Funky blob-shaped 'Goobers' (guys) that add a little pastel-shaped fun to the home. 

What do you reckon? Are you willing to give the twisting a go? Or perhaps another candle caught your eye? Either way, if this trend is anything to go by, it's totally time to up the candle game! 

Have a wonderful weekend friends! 

Niki

Film shared with kind permission from Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner. 

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This Year's DIY Christmas Decoration (Made From Toilet Paper Rolls!)

If ever there was a DIY Christmas decoration of the year, this would be it! All you need is a toilet roll - and we all have A LOT of those! 

Read on to find out how to put your toilet paper rolls to good use and make the prettiest of Christmas decorations-

How to create a Christmas flower from toilet paper roll: 

What you need:
- 3 toilet rolls
- Ruler
- Pencil
- Scissors
- Glue gun
- String

What to do: 
1. Flatten one of the toilet rolls so that there is a fold on each side
2. Use the ruler and pencil to draw horizontal lines 1 centimetre apart.
3. Follow the lines to cut 1-centimetre strips (creating a series of loops)
3. Arrange the loops into a flower shape to form the centre of the flower and glue the tips together 
4. Flatten another toilet roll and repeat step 2. And then cut the strips in half horizontally and use the glue to create smaller loops. Attach these to the flower using glue
5. Flatten a third toilet roll and repeat step 2. Cut the loop open to create an arch and then attach these to the flower with glue. 
6. Add string to hang your decoration


There is no end to the creations you can make with toilet rolls - I also love the angels above, and have also seen stars and snowflakes, as well as a load of other shapes! 

Got quite a toilet paper roll hoard at home? Here are a few tutorials to get you started: 


And one for the kids: 


Will you be making one of these this Christmas? 

Niki

Photography: Thank you so much to Frida Ramstedt of Trendenser for allowing me to share these lovely pictures. Frida is the author of The Interior Design Handbook - in which she divulges the secrets of successful Scandinavian interior design. 

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Per's Best Tips On Laying Hardwood Flooring Yourself







A few weeks ago I mentioned we needed a new wood floor in our open-plan living, kitchen and dining room. Thank you so much to everyone who shared their thoughts on which floor to go for - we loved reading all your comments, they were so helpful! After much deliberation, we decided to go for the Cured Oak LYBY wide plank (28 cm), with a rustic, white matte lacquer finish from Swedish brand Bjelin. We felt the wide plank fitted well with our modern townhouse and loved the light tone with a subtle yet lively, natural rustic touch (being a naturally dark room we were keen to brighten it up as much as possible). The cured wood is also known for being incredibly strong and hard wearing - perfect with the crazies around! Here's a close-up:


Rather than get someone in to install the floor professionally, we (or perhaps I should say Per!) decided it would be more fun to do it ourselves. With the work well underway, I thought it could be interesting to ask Per a little more about the workings of a wood floor, how difficult they are to lay and whether he'd recommend it!

Have you ever laid a wood floor before?
Yes, which actually made me hesitate to do it again as it was pretty difficult to get it right (*laughs*)

Why's that?
I started at one end but left a small gap, which made it tricky to lay the next row and so on. A small error at the beginning meant it took me way longer than it should have done. But the end result was good, which gave me the confidence to give it another go! 

Why would you prefer to lay a wood floor yourself than get someone in professionally? 
I think it's a nice feeling to know you've done it yourself: there's a certain pride in it. Of course, you save money in the process too, which is also a bonus!



Could anyone lay a wood floor?
I would say that anyone could lay a wood floor like this one. This time it was much easier because Bjelin floors have a special locking system which means the planks click into place without the need to use glue or nails. The only time it can get a little fiddly is around places like the radiators - but there's always a solution!

Are there any useful sources if you get stuck? 
Our wood floor came with a step-by-step installation instruction sheet. I also find YouTube tutorials helpful - especially when dealing with trickier areas.

What tools do you need to lay a wood floor?
The only power tool I used was a jigsaw but it would also have been good to have used a circular saw to cut the planks to the right size. You should also wear an eye mask and preferably a work bench and clamp to cut the wood planks too!

Side note: as with any work environment, you should also wear good, protective clothing - such as proper shoes (something I will think about for next time!). Thank you for the 'unknown' for pointing this out in the comment section, very good point and very important! 



How do you prep a room before laying the floor?  
1. Remove the furniture from the room (since ours is quite a large area, we shifted the furniture over to one side and then shifted it back once we had finished the section)
2. Remove the skirting boards and mark the back of them with a pencil so you know exactly where they were (it can be tricky to remember otherwise which can be time consuming later on).
3. Remove old flooring
4. If you're lucky there'll be an underlay already in place, if not you'll need to lay one.
5. Give the surface a clean.

Do you have any advice for anyone laying a wood floor for the first time?
Choose a good quality floor, preferably with a locking system like Bjelin's and dare to throw yourself at the task. Planning things in advance like which side of the room to start and plotting any tricky areas will save time later. If in doubt, get advice from your dealer. Also, measure up to five times before you cut any wood- a stitch in time saves nine! 



Did you make any errors this time? 
Not really. A professional floor layer would probably have made a cleaner job around the radiators, but I found that a special filler matching the tone of the wood did wonders to cover up any imperfections!

How long did it take for you to lay the floor?
Around 3-4 days in total. And no doubt 3-4 years to finish the details (like repainting the skirting boards etc!).

Did you learn anything for next time?
Next time? Are you plotting something Niki?

Might be...!
After removing the skirting boards and old floor, I'd give the walls and ceilings a fresh lick of paint before I lay the new floor.

Any final words to anyone considering laying a wood floor? 
Laying a wood floor yourself may sound daunting, but if you have the time and energy, it's a surprisingly easy task and you'll feel really proud knowing you did yourself!

***

What do you reckon, do you recognise this from laying your own wood floor? If so, perhaps you have some more tips to share with us. If you're about to get a new wood floor and considering laying it yourself, I hope this has given you the confidence to dive in!

I can't wait to show you the final results next Sunday!

Niki

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Time for A New Wood Floor - Which Sample Is Your Favourite?

Houston, we have a problem. We need a new wood floor. It's not a decision to take lightly - but sadly, ours has bitten the dust! When we moved in over 12 years ago, our open-plan living room featured a dark oak floor throughout. It's a really dark room, so we decided to lighten it up by sanding down the floor and then applying a whitewash. It was only then that we realised that the owners before us had laid a laminate oak wood floor -  and the actual oak element was only a couple of millimetres thick. It looked beautiful to begin with, but over time, cracks started to appear, and the edges of the laminate started to furl. You can catch a glimpse in the picture above as well as the close-ups below! 


It had been bothering us for a while, since a tired looking floor can really bring the entire look of a room down. But the final straw came on New Year's Eve when we had a bit of a raucous party which resulted in a dance-off until 4am (remember those days before the - whisper it - 'C' word?). It was great fun, but our poor floor was not up to it - and great lengths of laminate became dislodged. It was definitely time to get a new wood floor! 

Where to start?!  
Living in Scandinavia, a wood flooring is the obvious choice - and thankfully we don't have a dog so   we're confident that the right wood floor would be a great, sustainable, long lasting option. The natural material helps to draw nature indoors and add warmth and depth top a room. There is an overwhelming array of options out there, but I already knew I wanted one of two looks: herringbone parquet or a wide plank. 

Herringbone Parquet

It's no secret that I've always loved a parquet floor (see my 'all hail the parquet floor' feature) - aren't they stunning?! The herringbone parquet floor in particular is hugely popular in Sweden and many turn-of-the-century homes are blessed with original versions, in all their creaky glory. This particular Boden oak with a matt finish in 'extra white' is absolutely stunning, the only thing is, our townhouse is modern (it was built in 2001 which incidentally makes it 20 years old this year - time for another party?!) so we felt we needed something a little more contemporary. 

Wide plank oak

I've been fan of wide plank floors for a long time. There's something really clean and contemporary about them and yet they still add a lot of warmth to a space (this one is the wide plank SVANSHALL in hardened oak - isn't it beautiful?).  Are you a fan too? Per and I agreed that this option would be the best one for our open-plan living space. 

The brand
Bjelin - one of Europe's largest floor manufacturers - was an obvious choice for us. Their wide plank wood floors are produced not far up the coast and since we're planning to lay the floor ourselves - we like that their planks click together without glue or nails. They also have a great sustainable approach: maximising the use of every log, reusing waste as filler or energy and sourcing raw materials from responsibly managed forests. And finally, they sell beautiful wide plank flooring made from cured the wood, which is super strong (roll on New Year's Eve!). Yay! 

Samples
It's one thing looking at the pictures on a website, it's another thing entirely testing out samples. We approached Bjelin and tested out as many samples as we could. We wanted to make sure that the wood had more of a grey tint (and not a yellow or beige note that might get more pronounced as time goes on). We also wanted to make sure that the wood wasn't too dark and fitted the design of the room (it's amazing how much a wood floor can change a space!). Here are a few of the wood floors we tested: 

Clockwise from left to right: Loarp, Lyby, Torekov, Arild, Hittarp

Do you have a favourite? 

I'd love to hear about your favourite wood floor style - and any tips and advice you might have from laying a wood floor in your home! Feeling a little nervous!

I promise to update you soon! 

Niki

PS Stop by tomorrow to take a peek around a breath-taking Danish summer cottage, it'll have you dreaming of a summer in Scandinavia all weekend! 

Photo 1: My Scandinavian Home. All other photos: Bjelin

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5 DIY Projects to Try During Quarantine

I wish I could say that I'm an absolute whiz at power tools or a sewing machine, but to be honest, I am a reluctant DIYer. A lot of the DIY or craft projects I find look a little too homespun for my liking, or the effort required to make it look like the real deal is overwhelmingly tedious or calls for carpentry skills I just don't have. But this quarantine has me wanting to spruce up my home in a more resourceful, hands-on way, so I've rounded up five DIY projects for you that are simple, can be mostly done indoors (with the exception of sanding!) and actually look more high-end than you'd expect.

1. Plant Propagation Wall
This delightful wall of plant cuttings DIY is brought to you by Christine Higgs of @forthehome. It's the perfect project for those who've had extra time to mist, primp, sing to and propagate all your plant babies during this quarantine. 

Christine Higgs / @forthehome


2. Textured art
Here's another DIY from the very resourceful and productive Christine, who created some beautiful, dimensional pieces for her home with acrylic paint and modeling paste. She's got a video tutorial on her IGTV if you'd like to check it out! It's the perfect addition to a bare wall or corner that just needs the subtlest touch of texture that won't compete with its surroundings. 


Christine Higgs / @forthehome

Christine Higgs / @forthehome


3. Wireless Pleated Lamp
This is more of a hack than a DIY, but it's still very satisfying to the lazy DIYer! I've been wanting the right ceramic base for a pleated lampshade I found online and for now, settled on a ceramic vase I already owned. But since the lamp shops are closed, and I don't feel like drilling into the bottom of my vase (risky!) and wiring it myself, I was inspired by Lisa Danielle Smith to simply plunk the shade on top of the vase and call it good. But if you'd actually like a functional lamp rather than a decorative statement, there are also plenty of wireless bulb options, such as LED lights controlled by remote control that you can jimmy rig into the vase. Thanks, Janae for that last tip!


Lisa Danielle Smith




4. Trash to Terracotta
When Geneva Vanderzeil found a can of liquid terracotta at her local hardware store, she tried to find as many applications for it as possible. One of her projects was taking a motley bunch of thrift store vases and turning them into some of the lovely terracotta pieces you see here. While this specific liquid terracotta product isn't available everywhere, she's created a DIY chalk paint recipe to give you a similar, textured ceramic look. You can also check out the hashtag #trashtoterracotta on Instagram to see all the people who've been following her lead! 

Before



After
Geneva Vavanderzeil / DIY tutorial


This handy little tool can work wonders on old wooden furniture and decor items with a less than desirable stain (or paint job). If you're looking for a light, neutral, raw-looking finish, you might be surprised at the wood that could be lurking under a shiny, orange-hued layer of lacquer or a dark, mahogany stain. And if you do uncover a beautifully rustic and antiqued wood underneath but still want a protective top coat, I recommend using a water-based, matte polyurethane as it'll still look more raw plus the water-based poly's are less prone to yellowing than oil-based! Cynthia Harper is someone who is constantly making use of her orbital sander and going to town on anything from coffee tables to cheap, wooden bowls from her local thrift store that end up looking like chic, weathered, farmhouse bowls rather than .99 cent castaways. 


Cynthia Harper / Orbital Sander



It's been so fun to share these ideas with you. I hope you've discovered a DIY project you'd like to replicate in your own home! Are there any that stand out in particular?

It's a public holiday in Sweden today and Niki will be back on Sunday. She sends a 'stor kram' (big hug!).

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Ezz

Ezz Wilson is an interior and photo stylist and holistic home consultant based in Portland Oregon. You can find her over on instagram here

First picture by Christina Higgs / @forthehome

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7 Beautifully Simple Easter DIY Craft Ideas From Scandinavia

Easter is a few days away (here in Scandinavia it's one day earlier since they celebrate on Påskafton (Easter Saturday). This year, we may not be able to enjoy large family gatherings, and some traditions may need to be put on hold for another year, but we sure can decorate our homes and bring a pretty touch that will put a smile on our faces! So, if you feel like a little Påskpyssla (Easter crafting), here are 7 of my favourite beautifully simple DIY ideas from Scandinavia, with love: 


1. Eggs with crowns: Boiled eggs with happy faces and pretty crowns like these ones by Norwegian Engla Monica Strand are sure to light up everyone's faces come Easter Day morning! 

2. Naturally dyed eggs: Get creative with the contents of your food cupboard and dye your eggs all kinds of natural colours for a pretty display like Swedish stylist and florist Malin Björkholm. Check out this guide on how to make natural dye

3. Hang paper eggs from branches: Follow this YouTube guide to make pretty 3D paper eggs and hang them from branches like Elin Wallin

 4. Wire feathers to branches: channel a popular Swedish tradition and wire colourful feathers to birch branches for a pretty display like Swedish set designer Marianne Wikner!


5. Make an Easter wreath: Decorate your door or brighten up a corner of your home with a beautiful Easter wreath like this pretty one by Kristin Østebø. This YouTube tutorial offers a great step by step guide. 


6. Get crafting with leftover wallpaper: It's amazing what you can create with leftover wallpaper. Malin Mörner shares a lovely DIY here (remember her Christmas wallpaper DIY?!) and Frida Andersson has created pretty birds for a flight of fancy display! The original DIY for these birds is in the book Hidden Places - but if you haven't got time to pick up a copy, I reckon you could wing it (see what I did there?!) by using a bird template for the body and the DIY from Christmas Snöblomma for the wings. 

7. Brighten up your home with paper daffodils! Take a leaf (sorry!) out of Helen Lyth's book and make these pretty paper daffodils. You can find a step by step guide here (it's in Swedish but there's always good old google translate!). 


I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for your home this Easter. 

Are there any that caught your eye? 

You can find more Easter crafting ideas here: 


Wishing you a lovely day friends!

Niki

First picture by Anne Lemonfox and last picture by Malin Mörner

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