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Before and After: A Dreamy Beach House On Australia's Gold Coast

The vision some people have is simply incredible. When Sarah and Aaron Waters came across this (rather blurry!) 1960s red brick house on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia, they immediately saw its potential. The family have been renovating it since 2008, transforming the property from a dated living space into a breath-taking, white clad, light and airy beach house for the entire family. It's easy to see why Bilinga Beach Abode has appeared in glossy mags such as Adore magazine and often hired as a backdrop for photoshoots. Ready to feel inspired?! 
Facade before (see above too!)

Facade after

The facade has been completely updated with fresh white wood cladding for a true beach vibe. Bi-folding doors also ensure a seamlessness between inside and out.  

Gaaaah! Will you look at this oasis?! 

I love the clear glass fence around the pool. Surprisingly I still come across pools in private homes today without a safety fence. Here's proof that you can have a pool that's safe for children and yet still looks lovely! 

Sitting room before

Sitting room after

Not kidding. Is it even the same house? The amount of work that has gone into the transformation is quite incredible. It's not for everyone. But this snapshot shows that if you do have the budget, time and patience it's quite incredible what you can achieve! 

Couldn't resists including this lovely pic of one of the children on the skateboard ramp - such a cute idea! 


Before Bathroom

I guess this picture was taken when the old bathroom had been ripped out - but it's still fun to see the bare bones before Sarah and Aaron transformed the space into this....

After bathroom

Loving the pink tiles! 

Their other bathroom has had a multi-page spread in Adore magazine, and when you see the pictures, it's easy to see why - it's beautiful! 


Tiles from Tile Trends Tweed, cabinets from Hello Trader

Sadly, I don't have any before pics of the bedroom, but here are the results. Think golden tones and layers of cosy textiles....


I'm seriously blown away by this transformation. It will definitely make me see houses that come on the market here in Malmö from a new perspective! 

Would you consider a renovation project? Or perhaps you've already done one (or are knee deep - or neck high in one right now!) - if so, I'd love to hear about it! 

One question, living by the sea in Malmö, do you think I could go all out Australia Gold Coast with my decor? I'm tempted but then again, I'm not sure we have quite the same winters! Bah! Perhaps subtle 'coastal' nods would work better here! 

You can see more of Sarah and Aaron's beautiful home over at @bilinga_beach_abode,  


Oh and, whatever you do today - take a quick browse through the 'before and after' archive - it's one of my favourites! 

Have a lovely day! 

Niki

Photos courtesy of Bilinga Beach Abode
Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 19, 11, 12, 17, 18  Bilinga Beach Abode 5, 15, 16 Villa Styling / Adore magazine 8. Elouise van Riet-Gray for Lana Caves

Thanks so much to my fab friend Sarah Brooks-Wilson for the tip! 

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A Cosy Toronto Home With a Scandi Eclectic Vibe

We've been loitering around Scandinavia a lot here lately, but I love to see the Scandi style reach far and wide in the world. This beauty of a home in Toronto, Canada is a great example! Owner Elena, a self-confessed 'cat lady' and 'plant Mom' as well as a digital content creator over at This house 5000 / @thishouse5000, describes her style as a 'Scandi eclectic mix'. Her home, which she shares with her husband, has been styled using neutrals, interspersed with earthy tones, a wealth of texture and lots and lots of plants! Welcome to Elena's world!

Art by LRNCE (check out all the art from this Marrakesh based lifestyle brand - it's wonderful!), rug from Loloi rugs, Bertoia chair*, DIY light fixture made with pendant from IKEA. 



The large sculptural ceramic vase is everywhere right now and believe it or not, it's from HM Home! Sadly, it's sold out (of course!) - but maybe they'll renew the stock soon. 



I first came across Elena's account because of this shower curtain (which I pinned a while back) - isn't it lovely? I love that her bathroom is relatively simple, yet there's still a lot going on thanks to the dark grouting, tiled floor and plants. 


I think this might be the third time I've shown a loo on My Scandinavian Home ever. No idea why, but I've built up my 'loo confidence' (LOL) now since the one in Courtney Adamo's beautiful Byron Bay home became an instagram hit as my most liked photo ever. It really made me smile! I love that Elena has used the cistern in her bathroom as storage but also candles for long, relaxing showers! 

Such a lovely home - striking that perfect balance of pared-back and cosy.

Is there anything that stood out to you?

You can see more pictures of Elena's home here: This house 5000 / @thishouse5000.

I'd love to visit Canada one day. I often imagine the country to be a kindred spirit with Scandinavia with its vast nature (for those of you who live there / been there - is this true?). My great grandmother was French Canadian too, which has always made me super curious. One day, huh?

Wishing you a lovely day friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Elena / This House 5000 - shared with kind permission. 

PS as mentioned in all my past few posts - thanks for reading my reflection and for all your great comments, I've read them all and carry with them me in this community. 

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A Serene Swedish Home In A Berlin Rental

I seem to have fallen into a phase of featuring homes of expat Scandinavians right now - and based on the messages in my inbox, I'm not the only one feeling inspired by them. So, today I thought I'd share the home of a Swede living in Berlin! Ellinor Belvén was born and raised on the island of Kungsholmen in the centre of Stockholm. Ellinor moved to Berlin around 8 years ago and founded SALTY Interiors with her friend Annetta in 2016. I caught up with her to find out more about her home, her journey to becoming an interior designer and how living abroad has influenced her style. Welcome to Ellinor's world! 

Have you always wanted to be an interior designer?
Ever since I was a child, I was exposed to art and music. I started singing in a choir at the age of 6 and continued my journey in music schools all the way up to high school. In addition to the music, I had lots of interaction with architecture and interior styling, as family members were working in the field. Leaving the music path however, I started a new journey into the business administration field with my University degree (Master's in Business Administration & Economics). I worked a few years with numbers, but soon felt a great need of surrounding myself in a creative atmosphere again. And so, after moving to Berlin, I was able to combine my financial skills with the creative, and I worked as a buyer in the e-commerce interior market. This opened up new possibilities, and in 2016 I quit my day job and created SALTY Interiors with my friend Annetta. We have been running our SALTY business for 4 years now and are really happy to see the success we’ve achieved. All those long hard hours are so worth it!

Can you tell us a little more about SALTY Interiors?
SALTY Interiors is a creative agency specialised in interior architecture and visual content creation. We work closely with private clients, interior brands as well as real estate agencies to provide expertise in every work field. We are passionate about creating comfortable and beautiful spaces, working with natural and sustainable materials, as well as keeping the aesthetics light with a minimalistic warm touch. Annetta & Ellinor; both coming from Nordic countries (Iceland & Sweden), we were raised surrounded by design and a general understanding about form and interior style. With a background in interior sourcing & buying we started our business in 2016 and since then we have combined our strength in buying and our desire to create. We look at each project like an empty canvas and an opportunity to create something unique.  

Your home is beautiful, when was it built?
I moved into this beautiful “Altbau-wohnung” (the name in German), which is a house built sometime before the 1930’s. It has the typical “Altbau-features” like high ceiling (approx 3.30m), stucco and ornamented double doors between the two big connected rooms. It’s a 2 room + kitchen apartment, which measures around 75 sqm.
  

How did you approach the interior? 
Since it’s a rental flat, I didn't want to put in too much money into renovation, so I simply did what I could with a small budget. That meant a lot of time spent painting walls! In the two big rooms (living room and bedroom) I have painted the walls in 4 colours, all very different, but still coherent with one another. In the living room I have warm grey on three walls and deep forest green on one wall, and in the bedroom three walls of beige, and one wall of dusty pink. Since the rooms are connected with the double doors, it was important that the colours fit together, in any way you turn your head.









Would you say your style is still very much Scandinavian or have you been influenced by German / Berlin style? 
I would say my style is very Scandinavian. The one element that I love about the German/Berliner mindset however, is that people would prefer to give away old furniture than throw it away, which means that there is furniture on the street (“Zu Verschenken” - to give away) everywhere. I have several pieces of furniture in my flat that I found this way, my kitchen table and bed headboard for example.

Table from Nor11, sculpture by Kristiina, Cooee 'pastille' vase

Despite being fairly minimalist, your home still looks lovely and cosy, how did you achieve this? 
It’s very important to me that my home feels cosy and inviting. I want to be able to relax and feel at ease, and safe in my space. I work a lot with coherent colourways (as already mentioned) and a lot of textiles make any room feel more comfortable. I also love plants and have lots of them on every windowsill and on every table. 


Where do you shop for pieces for your home?
I use a lot of different sources for my interior pieces, either it’s brands that I work with, old furniture that I brought from Sweden when I moved, or I find furniture on the streets of Berlin. But of course, I have my fair share of IKEA furniture too. The trick is to mix old and new and make it your own style. 

And finally, can you share your favourite interior instagrams with us? 

What a lovely, calm home! 

I love the idea of finding items out on the street - they leave pieces out like that in Copenhagen too, but sadly not in Malmö. Do they do this in your city? It must save so much hassle - and also reinforces the idea that one man's trash is another man's treasure! 

Got a mo? See more pictures of Ellinor's home on the SALTY Interiors instagram feed and the latest swoon-worthy projects by SALTY Interiors here

Other beautiful Berlin homes:


Have a great day - halfway there folks! Wooop! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of SALTY Interiors

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Scandi Meets Mallorcan Style In a Wonderful Boho Villa!

I'm always intrigued to see how Scandinavian expats decorate their homes. There's something about the merging of cultures and styles which makes the decor extra special and intriguing. Photographer Jonas Ingerstedt recently went to Spanish Balearic Islands to capture the bohemian home of Edin and Lina Kjellvertz. Founders of furniture store Dusty Deco, the Swedish pair swapped their stressful Stockholm life for the picturesque village of Gènova, near Palma, Mallorca.  

The island holds a special place in my heart since my older sister and nieces live there (we're devastated that we won't be able to visit them this summer) - so I have become well accustomed to seeing the interiors of apartments, townhouses and fincas on the island. I was excited to see that Edin and Lina have kept many of the island's trademark features - including brown window and door frames and dark wood furniture. At the same time, they've added some fab touches including contemporary art photography, Danish and Swedish design pieces and vintage finds - making it a wonderful, truly personal family home. Välkommen in!  

In the kitchen a little bamboo drinks trolley sits beside an open fireplace (source a similar one here*). A photo of Lara Stone by Tyrone Lebon and a drawing by Bengt Orup can be seen on the wall. The double doors open up onto a wonderful terrace.

The sitting room features an eclectic mix of furniture - including a wonderful Børge Mogensen armchair and a sofa and coffee table found at a local flea market. The porcelain and pendant lamps were also sourced locally. 

The corner unit was found at auction and the painting was picked up at a local market. To me, the real showstopper is the salmon pink wall - which fits perfectly with Mallorca style (along with the lace) but also has a contemporary feel. Love it! 

A lithograph by Wilhelm Wik brings a graphical, modern touch to the bedroom. 

Imagine morning coffees on the balcony? *Sighs*. 

While I shiver in the May breeze here in Sweden, I can't help feeling a little envious of Edin, Lina and their children Lola and Max in their summer attire! 

For now, I'll be enjoying the warmth oozing from these pictures, how about you?


What a lovely home! I'd be perfectly happy hanging out here year-round, how about you?

If you love the furniture in their home, you'll really like the Kjellvertz's shop Dusty Deco

And in case I've got you in the mood, here are a few other lovely Balearic Islands homes to enjoy today: 


soooo hope everything blows over soon - I've got a sister to visit, summer dresses to roll out and an island to explore! 

have you been to Mallorca? If not, I can highly recommend it once we're free to travel again!

Have a lovely day friends! 

Photographer: Jonas Ingerstedt - shared with kind permission
*affiliate link

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