Choosing a Wood Floor For our Tiny Cabin, From Light to Dark

Disclosure: Norrlands Trä have kindly agreed to collaborate with us on this project

Hejsan! A cabin update is long overdue! We're still nutting out the interior details and lately we've been focused on the floor. Living in Scandinavia, it was a no brainer to go for a wood floor - I love the warmth, the softness underfoot and how it ages over time. We were specifically looking for a wood floor with a simple and traditional look and that comes from a sustainable source. We headed to Norrlands Trä - the Swedish company from whom we got our wall panelling (and only use FSC certifiable wood from the forests of North Sweden) to pick up some samples from dark to light. Here are some of the variations we considered - and the wood floor we eventually chose.

Blond tones
Nothing says Scandinavian like 'blond' wood, don't you think? The light touch is great for brightening up a space, while still adding warmth. But there can be massive variations in light wood - from almost white to dark blond (it's starting to sound like a trip to the hairdressers!), and don't get me started on the subtle nuances: from cold to warm tones, and how the colour changes over time. It's a minefield! 

Lightest shade
Save from painting the floor white, the brushed pine (Borstat Furugolv) in 'ultra protect white' is the lightest in the Norrlands Trä range. It's close to white and has a wonderful, ridged patina with the grain showing through. Pine can be incredibly soft, and so I like that the surface has been gently teased away with a brush, making it a more durable choice. 

Light pine
We were also drawn to the pine floor (Putsat furugolv) in ultra protect white which has been primed and then sandpapered giving a soft, smooth result (a treat for the feet!). We love that it has a traditional and rustic feel which is so synonymous with the Swedish summer cottage. One thing to be mindful of - the softer finish does require some extra work over the years to maintain it. However, it is made from solid wood so you can sand it down as often as you like - or leave it as it is and appreciate the patina as it ages.  I'm guessing we'd do the latter!

Darker wood floor tones
You might have noticed that darker wood floors have been making a comeback lately. The deep hue is great for adding contrast, grounding a space and creating a cosy ambience. 

Grey finish
This brushed pine floor (Borstat Furugolv) has a lovely rustic feel - and we liked the stone grey finish. Given all the windows in our cabin we could definitely get away with a darker floor like this one too. 

Dark finish
And finally, we looked at going completely over to the dark side with a brushed pine floor ((Borstat Furugolv) in ultra protect brown. The rich tone gives a wonderful atmospheric feel and adds a whole level of cosiness. It's perfect for creating that dark cabin feel. 


A note on wood ageing over time
Wood is a natural substance that darkens over time - especially when exposed to lots of light. Some wood gets more of a grey tint, whereas others can appear more yellow. Check with your wood floor supplier before purchasing to find out about each individual wood floor. Also, be mindful that rugs block the sunlight which can leave permanent marks on your wood floor. If the room gets a lot of light, think about removing them periodically.  

Our choice of floor
Edited: originally I wrote that we went for the primed pine floor in ultra protect white but this was an error - we actually chose the primed parquet pine floor in ultra protect white. This has an extremely similar look and feel, but the parquet is a more practical choice for us since it simply clicks into place making it easier to install, where as the solid wood needs to be nailed into place. Also, it's thinner which works better with the lower ceiling height in the loft. Overall, it has a lovely summery feel and during the winter it will help to brighten up the darkness! 


We tested the sample up at the cabin. 

Welcome inside my humble home! 

The panelling on the walls and ceiling is now in place and looks so beautiful! And the wood floor is a perfect fit! 

Below is the simple material and colour mood board we have decided to work with. The stone and white tile will be installed in the bathroom and the dark sand is for the kitchen cabinets. It feels like it reflects the surrounding coast and forest in a beautiful way - what do you think?  


It feels like things are really starting to happen now and it's the cabin is moving from an empty shell into a home! Exciting! 

What type of floor do you have in your home? Do you have a favourite out of these different looks? or perhaps you have gone for tiles, like my sister who has a dog. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Niki

Credits: 1. Lifestyle photo courtesy of Norrlands Trä, styled by Lotta Agaton. 2 - 6 Lifestyle photos courtesy of Norrlands Trä. 7+ photos snapped with my iPhone by Per and myself this weekend! 

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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 Ways To Rock The Shag Rug

I'm not sure if you've noticed - but there's a new micro trend rolling into town. The deep pile shag rug. Now I know some of you are thinking 'What the fluff?' I mean, could you get anymore 70s? But our fluffed-up friend (or foe?) has been given a very modern update - and it's doing wonders to soften today's boxy architecture. Not convinced? Take a look at these 5 spaces and decide for yourself! 

1. Classic style: Go down the traditional route with a white shag pile rug like Norwegian Sonja Olsen - it'll go with everything. Add lots of contrast for a bang up to date look. 

2. Fluff up the beni! The beni ourain has been around for a while - and it's not going anywhere anytime soon - in fact, the fluffier the moroccan rug the better! Source a similar one here*

3. Tone on tone: Norwegian interior designer Tone Krok knows her stuff - and she's all in with the fluff (like what I did there?!). In this tone on tone beige room, the rug adds a load of texture and interest without adding another colour dimension - it must feel amazing under foot too!

4. Go all out: Why go plain when you can go pink - as seen in the Swedish home of Emma Johansson! Bring in a couple of other accessories in the same shade to balance the look and you'll totally carry it off!  

5. Pile on the pattern: love neutrals but want that little extra touch? Try a patterned rug like this one from Design Within Reach (sadly no longer in stock). I mean, who needs a sofa, when you have a rug like this to lie on?! 

So, what's your verdict? Are you a fan of the fluff? Or will you be keeping your rugs more slimmed-down this season? 

Still not convinced? Perhaps the fluffy chair is more your thing (love this simple IKEA DIY hack)? 

Have a cosy day friends!

Niki

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Cosying Up My Sitting Room With A Fluffy New Rug!

Partnership with Natur Pur, all words are my own!: 
Tjena! I hope you had a great weekend! I thought I'd kick off the week with a little news from my own home. As with the majority of Scandinavian homes, we have a wood floor - and I have to say I'm the biggest fan. But it does mean we need to throw in a load of rugs to make our home feel cosy. Do you find this too?! On a visit to Domotex flooring fair back in January I discovered Austrian rug brand Natur Pur, a small, family run business based at the foot of the Alps. Their rugs ticked every box: they were super soft and fluffy, handmade to order, incredibly high quality and made from ecological, untreated, undyed sheep wool. Needless to say, we became instant friends! Our Beni Spezial 3230 rug in white and chocolate arrived a few weeks back and is now installed in our sitting room - just in time for Autumn! I have to say; she instantly became a part of the family. We love her! 

Fluffiness aside, one of the things I love the most about our new rug is its depth and weight. Our previous rug was really thin and kept creasing - even with an underlay and I am really pleased to have got my hands (or feet?!) on a rug that just sits in place - no monkeying about!



If anyone's looking for me this week, I'll be sitting right here, feeling super cosy!

In case you're on the look out for a new rug, you can see the complete Natur Pur rug collection here and find your nearest shop here

Roll on Autumn, we're ready for you! 

Niki

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Natur Pur, however all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the small businesses which make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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A Rare Peek Behind The 'Handwoven' Scenes of Tisca Rugs in Transylvania

There's something extremely special about rugs, especially in Scandinavia where hard wood floors are the norm. Not only do rugs help to add cosiness and warmth, when chosen well, they can also bring a room to life. There's something particularly special about handwoven rugs: they possess a unique quality that tell a story. This is one of the reasons I'm a big a fan of Austrian brand Tisca. Tisca has been making handwoven rugs from high quality wool for nearly 50 years. Every rug is unique - and if you take care of it, it can be passed from one generation to the next. It helps of course, that they are beautiful too! A few weeks ago fellow bloggers Decor8, Happy Interior Blog, Vosgesparis, Monster CircusPassion Shake and I were given the rare opportunity to visit Transylvania to discover more about the craftsmanship that goes into every rug, discover the historic centre steeped in the tradition of weaving - and of course go in search of Count Dracula!  

We stayed at Casa Belvedere in the small village of Cisnadioara which is idyllically situated at the foot of the medieval Kirchenburg. It was the perfect base from which to explore the untouched beauty of the Transylvanian countryside, Romanian culture, history, food and crafts. 


Tisca rugs are made in the lush, hilly district of Cisnădie - a historic centre for the manufacturing of textiles not far from our guesthouse. Although much of the industry has disappeared, local people remain steeped in the tradition of weaving and are highly skilled in crafting beautiful rugs by hand. I was fascinated to discover how Tisca combines cutting-edge knowledge with centuries old tradition to create a variety of unique rugs. 

The Beauty of Wool
Wool has been the preferred raw material used to make rugs thanks to its strength, beauty and that it's easy to clean. When Tisca rugs are woven with a plain weave, wool rugs can be used on both sides - perfect when you have little kids running around - or friends who are occasionally a little unsteady with a red wine! 

Weaving techniques
Tisca use two different weaving techniques - either woven or braided. With the handwoven rugs in Transylvania, the classic plain weave approach is used - which allowed for two-sided use with both flat-woven and pile rugs. 

96 colours!
If the pictures above are anything to go by it would appear you can have any rug you like as long as it's white, blue or grey - but that's far from reality! In fact, with Tisca you can design your own rug - choosing from 96 colours, a variety of yarn thickness and 26 possible textures - yielding never-ending possibilities! And then of course there's the size and configuration (the colours and the weaving techniques can be freely chosen!) with a width up to 6 metres and any length. So handy! 

Social projects
I loved that Tisca textile maintains two small workshops near the factory in Cisnadie. In Bogatu Roman, around 12 women make high quality rugs from waste yarn (from the main plant). The women take pride in running the site themselves, managing their work and holiday schedules. The rugs are incredibly popular thanks to the excellent quality and reasonable prices. In 2014 Tisca opened another small workshop in Tichindeal, a small Roma village as part of the 'Elijah' social project in collaboration with Father Sporschill, where high quality woollen yarns are woven into standard-sized rugs. 

Weaving our own rugs!
Towards the end of our factory visit we got the opportunity to weave our own rug. It was such a satisfying, mindful process. It also gave me a glimpse into what's required to weave a rug - and a new-found respect for the skill of the craftspeople working for Tisca. Weaving a rug requires attention to detail, skill and concentration that I found I didn't quite possess! And the craftspeople I met were always cheerful and passionate about their work. It was wonderful to see! 

Visiting Sibiu
Our trip wouldn't have been complete without visiting the beautiful city of Sibiu. It's not somewhere I would have thought about going, and I was mesmerised by the beauty of it, don't you love it when that happens? It's known for it's Germanic architecture - the legacy of 12th century Saxon settlers. We strolled passed the remains of medieval walls and towers and took in the atmosphere while sipping coffee at one of the many cafés. 


Bran castle
What would a visit to Transylvania be without a visit to Dracula's 'Bran castle'? Despite the journey, it was well a visit (just make sure you're loaded with garlic first - Mwah ha ha haaaa!). But if your schedule is tight, I also recommend Brukenthal Palace which is nearer to Sibiu (and has a great hotel and restaurant attached to it!).  


Thank you so much to Tisca for an amazing trip. I hope to return one day to see more of Romania with my family. What a beautiful country! 

You can read more about Tisca rugs and commission your own one here. I'm sure you will enjoy it for decades to come!

Niki

This is a paid partnership with Tisca, however all words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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Tile Edit: 25 Decorative Floor and Wall Tiles To Love Right Now!


There are so many fabulous floor and wall tiles out there right now. From curvy scallops and flowers to bold geometric shapes, could 2019 be the year to re-do your hallway, bathroom or kitchen?! Here's my edit of 25 fabulous tiles to love from Mosaic Factory - that are bound to put a smile on your face!


1. Terrazzo Wild 2. Terrazzo marble large 3. Terrazzo Cristal 4.Terrazzo Pattern 5. Marble 5 collection 6. Marble 5 7. Terrazzo Pattern

I've started to see Terrazzo tiles pop up everywhere and predict big things for this pretty tile in 2019. Think pastels, aqua and inky black with jewel-like inlays. And the best thing? You can customise the tiles to create the look you're after. The Marble 10 range for example, allows you to choose from 9 marble options which can be combined with a variety of cement colours. If you feel like really jazzing things up, you can also go for crystals and tempered glass!


1. Stamped ref. 10320 2. Modern ref. 10162 3. Modern ref 10847 4. Hexa Long ref. HL122 5. Diamond ref. L118 6. Classics ref. 10270 7. Zellige Fish Small 8. Classics ref 10520 9. Hexa ref. H170 10. Hexa ref. H128 11. Stamped ref. 10768 12. Classics ref. 10670 13. Stamped ref. 10320 14. Modern ref. 10194 15. Modern ref. 10808 16. Diamond ref. L106 17. Classics ref. 10200 18. Designers ref. FM100


Do you have a favourite?

I love the scalloped cement ones (7 and 18)!

For more information about the tiles, or to find the exact look you're after, hop over to Mosaic Factory where you can choose from 1000 patterns in different shapes and sizes and visualise the result in 3D before ordering online. Founded in Tangier in 2002, they also have showrooms throughout Europe.

Definitely time to get that tile style going on!

Hope your weekend sparkles - we've woken up to a load of snow and my girls have rushed out sledging with their friends here in Malmö!

Niki

// Credits: Lifestyle image 1: Cecile Fossey. Lifestyle Image 2: @modernluxeblog / photo: Cathy Pile

// This post is brought to you I collaboration with Mosaic Factory. I only work with brands I love and think you will too! Thank you for supporting the wonderful businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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