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Leanne Ford's Beautiful White Guest House Cottage


Trends come and go - and to be honest it can be hard to keep up. The good news is that the talk in the industry right now is very much about filling your home with things you love and that make you happy, no matter how eclectic. 

Personally, I find it hard to settle on just one looks - and I'm often pulled in different directions based on what I've seen and feel inspired by. As a result, I always admire people who have a distinct signature style. American interior designer and TV personality extraordinaire Leanne Ford has a penchant for milky tones - and even when the interior fashion pack are starting to sprinkle their home with colour, Leanne has stuck hard and fast to the look she loves. And she does it so well!  

Read on to take a tour of Leanne's guest house cottage in Pittsburgh (captured by Erin Kelly, styled by Hilary Robertson) and discover how she makes a white-base home sing! 

Patina: Leanne is passionate about vintage and antique pieces which show the markings of a past life. The rich patina is perfect for bringing texture and interest to a space. 

Imperfection: White can quickly become sterile if it is too rigid. Leanne's cottage is filled with second hand items, touches of nature and handmade pieces. Look closely and you'll notice the finish on the walls, beams etc are fairly rough too. The imperfection helps to add a relaxed, warm and inviting feel. 

Collections: while the overall look of the cottage is fairly pared back, you'll find collages of items that have been grouped together in a wonderful way. 

Tone on tone: the overall look might be 'white' but it's actually an array of tones ranging from white and cream to dark brown and even a hint of black. The subtle contrast helps to add interest and harmony to the space. 

Unusual pieces: take a close look at the dining area and sitting room and you'll find fascinating furniture with entirely unique forms. It takes time to find pieces like this - often requiring hours of scouring flea markets and second hand stores, but when you find those treasures, you're truly rewarded! 

Drawing nature indoors: Leanne's cottage is filled with natural materials including wood, paper and jute adding to the calm feel. It can be tricky to have real plants in a guest house since they require too much maintenance. Leanne has got round this with plenty of dried plants and flowers. 

Oversize: while the colour scheme might be neutral, the size scheme is not! A series of oversize linen pendant lamps (from Imprint House), combined with miniature pieces (like those chairs we saw hanging from a hook) help to add impact to a space. 

Play with texture and light: the light naturally accentuates the texture on the rough stone walls, 3D art and wood beams on the ceiling to add interest to every room in a subtle way. 

ooooh, so beautiful! 

This makes me want to go out and scour flea markets all weekend - how about you? 

If you're curious about the project and many of the fittings and items you see, there's a full write up about it in Domino magazine here

While Leanne was the mastermind of the look for this guest cottage, for the shoot, Erin Kelly worked with stylist Hilary Robertson who's books I absolutely love! Check them out here

If you've got time to pour another coffee and sit a while longer today, head on over to Leanne's website to see more of her projects. And don't miss: 


Ha det fint! 

Niki

Photography: Erin Kelly
Styling: Hilary Robertson 
Shared with kind permission

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Dunmore Farm - a Peaceful Getaway Where Old Meets New

Journalists are often reaching out and asking for tips from Scandinavians on how to not only survive in winter but thrive. Indeed, I even included some tips in my Njuta book*. But there gets to a stage when you notice a small crack in the veneer of even the most hardy Vikings. And with several months of winter left to go, that's around now! So, forgive me while I dream of far away places in sunnier climes today! 

I'm taking us on a journey to Dunmore Farm - a charming rustic retreat on a 150-acre working farm nestled away in the heart of North east Victoria, Australia. Dunmore cottage was built in 1860 using red gum sourced on site - making it one of the oldest houses in the district! Owners Angus and Bec Macdougall, saw it's potential as a peaceful getaway and carried out a considered year-long restoration to seamlessly blend old world charm with modern amenities. 

I could quite happily spend a week or two here luxuriating in a hot bath, cosying up by the fire or simply relaxing and looking out over the fields (word has it that there is some fresh seasonal produce to be sourced from growers all around the region if you love cooking!). Ready to dream? 







Sign me up! 

Could you imagine relaxing here for a few days too? 

You can find more information over on the Dunmore Farm website

I love the room with the bunkbed - it wouldn't look out of place in Sweden! I wonder if it is Scandi inspired? Is there anything that stood out to you? 

I have shared SO many wonderful stays and home tours in Australia over the years. You can check them all out here. one day, I might even make it there in person. Here's hoping! 

And in case you missed them, don't forget to look back on some of the posts from the past few weeks - including 3 airbnbs in Sweden that immerse you in nature (the floating house!), Imke's warm and inviting rental in Geneva, a fabulous airbnb in Copenhagen (now updated with colour references), and the inspiring Stockholm home of Saša Antic (the colours again!). 

This afternoon we're off to Odense, Denmark to do some research for a city guide I'm writing for a magazine - I've never been before so very excited! If you'd like to follow along virtually, I'll be sharing snippets on my instagram stories

Thank you for stopping by (I've so enjoyed reading your comments and mails!), have a fabulous weekend! 

Niki

Photography Nick Skinner, shared with kind permission from Dunmore Farm. 

*Ad for my own work

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Imke's Warm and inviting Rental Apartment in Geneva, Switzerland

Hej there! I hope you had a lovely weekend! It's the school half-term this week here, and although my family and I have stayed put in a very grey and dreary Malmö, my Facebook feed is flooded with scenes from the Alps as southern swedes share their holiday snaps (not jealous at all.... ahem)! It therefore made sense for me to pay a virtual visit today with this sunny apartment in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Owner Imke and her partner have worked hard to ensure their 72 m2 (785 ft2) rental apartment in a building dating back to 1909 is as cosy and unique as can be. While they have kept to a muted and earthy colour scheme, the furniture is an eclectic blend of styles which include French bistro style chairs, a Scandinavian design table, vintage treasures as well as the occasional high street find (you might be surprised to learn the  overhead lamp in the sitting room is from H&M Home - what a find!). 

I hope you enjoy the tour of Imke's warm and inviting Geneva home and it gives you plenty of ideas for your own home today. 






Such a charming space, don't you think? 

How I'd love to sit on that window seat and look out at the greenery. Has spring arrived where you are? Or perhaps Autumn for those of you in the southern hemisphere? No sign of it yet here. 

Imke has been great at tagging items in her instagram, so if you're curious to find out more about the items you see in these pictures, head on over to @sonnenetage to discover more. 

And as always, pleased do let us all know if anything stood out to you in particular, I love to hear your thoughts and observations. 

By the way, did you know there's an entire archive dedicated to homes outside of Scandinavia? You can find it here, and it includes beautiful homes such as: 

And many more! 

I'll be back on Wednesday with a very small, yet beautiful space belonging to a single mother and her son. It's really inspiring, so make sure you pop back to take a look! 

Have a great start to the week! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of @sonnenetage, shared with kind permission. 

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A Scandi-inspired Lakeside Cabin in Norfolk, UK


I quite often read about 'Scandinavian inspired' homes overseas, but never have I seen one as Scandinavian as this! The contemporary wood clad cabin designed by Koto wouldn't look out of place in any Nordic country, couple this with the woodland and lakeside location and you are immediately transported to the beautiful nature I so love about the region. 

A British start-up, Koto prides itself on designing prefabricated cabins 'that exude a sense of calm where users can relax and be inspired, whilst feeling connected to the great outdoors'. Described as a 'Scandinavian sanctuary', this cabin is set in Norfolk woodland on Fritton Lake and invites the new owner to getaway from it all and at the weekends or holidays, take wintery walks, 'njuta' from log fires and relax in the lakeside sauna before taking a dip in the lake. The only thing that's missing are the moose! 

Now all that's left to do is fill it with your most loved get-away essentials. For me - that would be board games, books, blankets, sheepskins, candles, slippers, some delicious cheeses and a bottle of red wine. Oh, and my favourite people! 

What would you add to this cabin to make it your very own sanctuary? 

Would you like dream about other escapes this Monday morning? Of course you do! Check out the cabin archive or dive-in to these rural retreats: 

On 1st February I'll be starting a #30daysofNjuta challenge on my instagram. The challenge is centred around the Swedish word 'Njuta' which means to 'savour' - the subject of my new book (*ad for my own work). In my mind, February is one of the toughest months of the year so why not join in and find small pockets of happiness in the everyday, Swedish style? Absolutely no purchase of my book necessary (it's available in most libraries now, if it's not in yours yet, please do put in a request if you fancy a read although not required for the challenge!). I hope you'll join in, the more the merrier! 

Have a happy Monday!

Niki

Photography courtesy of The Modern House, with thanks. 

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Stephanie's Charming and Relaxed Family Home

It's Friday people! Woohooo! I'm feeling lighter already - but I am also aware that Per and I have a big DIY project going on at the cottage which needs to be tended too over the weekend (I'm so looking forward to sharing the results with you once finished). No rest for the wicked, as they say!! I hope you have slightly more relaxing plans. 

Speaking of relaxed...

I stumbled across Stephanie Friedrich's wonderful family home on instagram yesterday and knew I had to share it with you! Stephanie lives with her husband and two boys by lake Constance in Germany and have created a beautiful, relaxed base in which to relax. 

Light and airy, the walls are mainly white, with a touch of floral wallpaper here and a lick of paint there. But the charm lies in the unique blend of furniture and personal items spread around the rooms. if you're working with sloped ceilings and awkward angles in your home, you'll likely love the master bedroom and bathrooms which maximise the space while working around the walls. All in all, a perfect home tour with which to end the week! 

Step this way. 

What a lovely, relaxed home! Every time I look through the pictures I spot something new - how about you? 

One of the key things I noticed about Stephanie's home is how art is displayed. None of it is 'too perfect' and it's a wonderful mix of 2D and 3D! For example, in the kitchen, unframed art has been spontaneously propped up on top of a framed art. And in the sitting room, small objects have been placed on top of frames or simply lent against the wall. 

Is there anything specific that stands out to you? 

I wouldn't blame you for wanting to see more of Stephanie's home. If that's the case, pop along to her instagram feed @fraeuleinotten for more corners and snapshots from everyday family life in Germany!

Would you like to feel inspired by other relaxed family homes this weekend? Pull up a seat and dive into:  


Folks, that's it from me this week! Thank you for stopping by, I hope you've enjoyed the tours! I've loved reading your comments and mails :)

See you Monday! 

Niki

Photography: @fraeuleinotten, shared with kind permission. 

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