A Cheerful Swedish Home With a 'Tropical Scandinavia' Theme!

A few weeks back someone put in a request for something colourful on My Scandinavian Home - gaaaaah *laughs*. With spring firmly in the air and summer just around the corner I agreed that this was a great idea. The trouble was finding something! And then I came across Tropical Scandinavia. The cheerful Swedish brand designs fab rugs, cushion covers, blankets, jewellery and more bursting with bold colours and pattern! You can imagine my excitement when I also learned founders Emil and Johanna live just across town from me, near the hip neighbourhood of St Knut in Malmö. And they have a fabulous home. Just like their brand, the creative duo has decorated the living space with bold prints, topical patterns and colours that sing against a white-washed background. I reached out to find out more. 

Where are you from? 
Emil is originally from Helsingborg and Johanna is from a small village called Vomb (but spent part of her childhood living abroad in USA and Italy). We have lived in Malmö for many years now. Every year we try to escape the winter for a couple of months and go somewhere tropical to rest, gather energy and come up with new ideas. 

Who lives in your home? 
Emil (41), Johanna (31) and Viggo (4 months). Every now and again you'll find a dog here that we're babysitting. We love dogs! 

What is your background?
Johanna has a background in graphic design and illustration (she studied in Copenhagen at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts) and Emil runs a movie production company but is also a painter (since forever!). We founded lifestyle / interior concept Tropical Scandinavia together a year ago.  

Tell us more about your apartment
It was originally two apartments, now merged into one. We took down a wall when we bought it to turn it into a big open living space, we usually like to be all in the same room! 

What inspired your tropical theme? 
Every year, as summer gets closer, a tropical trend kicks in. But we love the tropics and lots of colour all year round! So, we thought it was a shame that it usually only lasts one season. That's where the idea of Tropical Scandinavia came from. It's also inspired by our travels of course! Most countries aren't nearly as afraid of using colour as Swedes! But to balance it out we do have a lot of white as well, which feels much needed during darker times.


Have you always been into bright colours?
Yes! But I think it really boomed when we started creating our home together and realised we really share a passion for bright colours and quirky things!


What is it about bright pops of colour and tropical motifs that you love? 
Life constantly offers us so many choices, and we truly believe that it is possible to choose to live with an open heart, bright spirit and to make fun things! In some way, I think colour and a happy tropical theme symbolises that for us. It might sound a bit out there, but I really think it's true! Everything kind of blends together for us - life, work, interior, spiritual beliefs and love.



Have you got any tips for anyone who loves Scandinavian style but also wants to add colour?
Start with some details! Maybe you don't have to paint a whole room, start out with some colourful prints or a blanket. And don't think too much about everything matching, sometimes the odd things turn out to be the best! 

Thank you so much Emil and Johanna!

***

This home put a great big smile on my face and a real spring in my step today. It's amazing what bright colours can do, don't you think? 

My daughter Liv already has the Tropical Scandinavia two birds one cat print in her bedroom, and now we've got our eye on a blanket and a rug  - aren't they fabulous?! 

I hope Emil and Johanna's home has inspired you as much as it has inspired me. 

If you'd like to see a little more, check out their instagram feed @tropicalscandinavia or better still,  take a scroll through their wonderful online store - and turn your home into a Tropical Scandinavian haven! 

Other colourful homes to feel inspired by:


Have a fabulous day friends!

Niki

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My Home: Meet the CH24 Wishbone Chair - Birthday Edition!

We use our home so much more these days, so it's only fair to treat ourselves, don't you think? This beautiful lady arrived from Carl Hansen & Søn a few days ago, and she's already a treasured part of the family! You'll no doubt recognise it as the iconic CH24 Hans J. Wegner (also known as the legendary 'Wishbone') chair. The Danish classic is instantly recognisable by its Y-shaped back, hand-crafted woven seat and sculptural curved back.  To celebrate the designers 105th birthday, Carl Hansen has launched this CH24 Hans J. Wegner birthday edition in a luxurious, glossy navy-blue, re-imagined by London-based designer Ilse Crawford and her multidisciplinary team at Studioilse. And she's an absolute beauty! 

Designer Ilse Crawford

Carl Hansen & Søn has a long tradition of manufacturing furniture with a great love for design and the history of the crafting process - using quality wood from sustainable forests. The Wishbone Chair has been in continuous production at Carl Hansen & Søn since 1950 (isn't that incredible?). This latest limited-edition piece plays testimony to the proud tradition of distinctive and beautiful craftsmanship where nothing has been left to chance. 

Most commonly seen in a classic wood finish, I love how the glossy navy blue contrasts with the earthy, hand-crafted woven seat! It's both bold and welcoming - and above all else, timeless! 

Oh, and the commemorative chair comes with a smart engraved brass plate featuring Hans J. Wegner's signature and date of birth - making it a true collector's item.  

I get a feeling we'll merely be looking after this chair for the next generation, don't you? And that's exactly what beautifully crafted Scandinavian design is all about! 

Read more about the CH24 Hans J. Wegner birthday edition - and pick up your own piece when it launches on 2nd April. You'll need to be quick, it's only on sale until April 30th, 2020. 

If anyone's looking for me this weekend, I'll be sitting right here. Unless the kids nab this spot first of course.... *rolls eyes*. 

Have a great weekend friends! Stay well! 

Niki

This post is sponsored by Carl Hansen & Søn, 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 businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

A Copenhagen Family Home Full of Books and Scandi Design Treasures

What would a home be without books?! For Miriam McKenna, an Australian gal living in Denmark, it's a case of "so many books, such little time!" Just the way it should be, don't you think?! When Miriam's not working as a postdoctoral researcher specialising on the theory and history of international law at a Swedish university, she's relaxing in her beautiful, light-filled home near Copenhagen airport with her Danish husband and their two young children. The brick villa is full of interesting details - including Scandinavian vintage (and contemporary) design pieces, art, subtle shades of blue, patterned wallpaper and of course, lots and lots of books! Ready to kick off the week, in style? Let's take a tour!

Oval Room Blue paint by Farrow & Ball, Stelton jug (I have loved this iconic Danish design piece even more since interviewing the designer's son earlier this year).  

The white shelves were homemade to fit the space. I really like how they extend over the doorway to make use of every inch of the wall!


Vintage daybed with Josef Frank fabric from Svenskt TennPull floor lamp*, Le Klint pendant* 



Paradiset Wallpaper by Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn, Bed from Oliver Furniture, Alvar Aalto chair



Aranami wallpaper from Farrow & Ball

This house has me wanting to paint my home in shades of pale blue! That, and spend the whole week there reading!

Is there anything that stands out to you about Miriam's Copenhagen home?

If you're curious to read more, there's a really funny interview with Miriam and a few more pics over on A Cup of Jo. I'm always interested to read about families with dual nationalities, I think that's why it resonated with me so much. 

It'd be rude not to share a few more Copenhagen home tours today, or what do you reckon? So... pull up a comfy chair, pour yourself an extra strong coffee, light a candle (you know, hygge n'all!) and take a scroll through these inspiring Danish homes: 


Have a great start to the week!

Niki

Photography: Freya McOmish, Design: Miriam McKenna, first featured on A Cup of Jo.
*affiliated links

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Get The Look From A Serene Family Home in Berlin

Why, hello there! How was your weekend? I'm feeling way to relaxed for a Monday morning. My family and I spent the weekend at a friend's cabin in the woods (can't wait to share a few pictures!) and my hair still smells of bonfire - don't you love that?! The Southern Sweden sun even shone for us - wonder of wonders! I hope you had a great weekend and the sun shone for you too! I always think it's a good idea to start the week as you mean to go on - calm! And boy, do I have a serene home to share with you guys! Fashion, hair and make-up artist Viktoria (AKA @tthese_beautiful_thingss) has decorated her beautiful, old Berlin apartment using soothing, earthy tones and beautiful design pieces to create a haven in which she, her partner and three children can truly switch off and relax. I really wouldn't mind spending the week here - once you've seen the tour, perhaps you'll want to join me! 








Pretty serene, right?! It's the kind of home you could never imagine getting in a mess (bet Viktoria is having a good laugh at this comment - we all know what living with kids is REALLY like!!). Even so, I bet it always feel calm. 

Here's a quick round-up of some of the beautiful items in Viktoria's home:



Get The Look
1. Mantis BS2 Wall Lamp
2. Söderhamn 3 Seater Sofa Cover
3. Knitted Cushion Beige
4. Large Knitted Pouffe
5. Vitra Nuage Vase
6. Aura Table Mirror
7. SERVEit tray table with tray
8. Cooee Design Ollie Sand
9. Table S + L rectangular
10. Gejst NEBL Mega Grey
11. 50X70 Miss Annie Poster
12. KK 4 Fold Soft Rose
13. Rafa Kids TROLLSTIGEN Wallbars
14. EOS Micro Light Brown
15. Georg Jensen Ilse Vase
16. House Doctor Wall Lamp
17. Rafa Kids F&A120 Bed
18. Rosendahl Clock
19. Kizu Table Lamp

I've featured so many Berlin homes in the past - all of which have very different looks! Here are a few of my faves:

The Berlin flat and country home of Our Food Stories
Bohemian touch in a magnificent Berlin apartment
Grey and greige in a wonderful Berlin home

Have a fabulous start to the week friends. Stay calm!

Niki

Photography: Viktoria /@tthese_beautiful_thingss

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Skandinavisk: Telling the story of Scandinavia, One Fragrance at A Time



If you wander through the pretty back streets of central Copenhagen, you might just come across a secret courtyard nestled between the centuries old golden yellow buildings where bikes lie propped up against the wall and an outdoor table awaits the spring sunshine. This is where I found myself last Thursday, visiting Skandinavisk, with whom I've struck up a wonderful partnership with this year! Inside minimalist furnishings, white washed walls, a light wood pine floor and fresh coffee awaited. It felt a million miles form the hustle and bustle of Copenhagen's main shopping fair, a few hundred metres away. But this is something at which Skandinavisk is immensely skilled: transporting you to another world. Fill your senses with a Skandinavisk home or body fragrance and you'll find yourself drifting off to a fjord in Norway, the shores of the Baltic or a cosy Danish cottage with the nostalgic aroma of bread rising in the oven. I caught up with co-founder and fellow Brit Shaun Russell to learn about storytelling, fragrance, the Scandinavian passion for nature and candlelight, and life in Denmark's capital city.





I'm pretty envious of your studio, how did you find it?!
We moved in last May - it's really starting to feel like home now. It's owned by Rolf - a film photographer who has had the building for over 40 years. When we walked in, it immediately felt right. It was all white washed with a beautiful light wood floor. Having sat at my kitchen table and desk hopped for five years,  I couldn't imagine a better place to work!

If you move out, let me know and I'll move in!

Marketing & PR assistant Cecile Lind Christiansen in the Skandinavisk studio in Copenhagen

You and I share the same passion for Scandinavia - what do you feel sets this region apart?
As a Brit who's lived in Scandinavia since 2001, including six years in Sweden and more than twelve years in Denmark and working in various Nordic roles, I had unconsciously been gaining a broad depth of knowledge about this region. Then, after about ten years I had a eureka moment where I felt like I finally felt like I fully understood what made Scandinavia so different, so special and a role model for the rest of the world. There are of course differences between the Scandinavian countries, but what I find interesting are the similarities: their deep respect towards nature, finding happiness in the everyday as well as strong values of trust and equality. Scandinavians are good at making life better for everyone. It's no coincidence that the Scandinavian countries consistently come top of the world in happiness surveys: and I believe a more Scandinavian approach to life, makes life better for all. There is something deep, substantial and beneficial we can learn from them. I wanted to find a way to tell the story in a simple way.


How did you find a way to tell your story?
I was searching for a symbol or canvas, a representative element for Scandinavia and it dawned on me that I had been sitting in front of it for the past ten years: the candle. It's the candles on almost every table, the candle that my Danish wife lights at breakfast time, it's the flickering flame in every restaurant or gathering, and it's enjoyed all year round.

My daughter even enjoyed a candlelight breakfast at her nursery, it always looked so calm! 



Why do you think candles are so important to Scandinavians?
Candles are the first catalyst for hygge or mys (essentially cosiness) - they create the atmosphere. Of course, the people make the atmosphere, but candlelight softens the moment, brings people together and, I think, plays a part in their desire to seek comfort and happiness in the everyday. I think it stems back to geography: the lack of sunlight and the need for warmth in the winter months. Gathering together around a fire is something people have done for centuries - but in Scandinavia it has never gone away. The Scandinavians burn more wax than any other nations on earth, it's a very important part of everyday life! 


Complete collection

What are the key elements you use to tell your story? 
Through Skandinavisk we tell stories from Scandinavia using fragrance, design, and language.


What role does fragrance play? 
If you put fragrance into a flame, you can tell richer stories, different stories. You can transport people to a Swedish boreal forest, an island in the Baltic or a Copenhagen rose garden. Norwegian fjord land, for example, is the most fertile soil in Norway. It's full of orchards and where apples, pears, plums, cherries and all kinds of berries are harvested. By creating a fragrance that reflects this, you can take people on a journey to different places across Scandinavia.


The Escapes Collection

How would you describe the Scandinavian relationship to nature?
Scandinavia is a story of contrasts. You get vast, sparsely populated landscapes and extreme weather: short dramatic springs, endless sunlight in the summer, and almost zero sunlight with temperatures well below zero in winter. As a result, exposure to nature for Scandinavians is so significant and I think they are humbled by its dominance. I think in many other parts of the world people tend to lose the relationship with nature over time, certainly in more developed, industrial regions. Scandinavia is a large land mass extending way North well into the Arctic circle. A lot of the time it's just you and the elements in all their primitive glory, surrounded by forests, lakes, streams or the sea. I believe this has shaped the mindset of Scandinavians. They embrace nature, and they adapt to nature rather than forcing nature to adapt to them. It's something the world really needs to learn from.



How do you develop an atmospheric scent that's not related to nature?
Hygge is a good example - it's a Danish word that means a lot of different things to different people; no one really knows what it smells like it but they all know what it feels like. What's important is that we add notes that are reflective of simple, everyday pleasures - a cup of tea with a friend, baking bread, strawberries, rose petals, picking wild mint, minor everyday things that you associate with feeling good. This is how we deconstruct a fragrance.





Hygge (cosiness) scented candle

I'm a big fan of your packaging /design language - it's very distinctive. What was the thought process behind it?
I wanted to do a few things that I felt weren't currently in the scandinavian design gene. Historically Scandinavian design is pared back, monochromatic and understated and I wanted to add more colour. Colour plays an important role in the storytelling. We look for hues that are true to the region - sometimes found in nature, sometimes connected to a feeling. We don't always get it right, but I think our colour palette is quite distinctive because it reflects the chapter that it represents e.g. the dark blue sea of (HAV), the soft pink-red of the berry harvest (BÆR), the soft pastel, tranquility of RO - meaning peacefulness.


What role does the name of each product play?
Scandinavian brands usually use English to reach out to the rest of the world. We wanted to celebrate the local languages and find words that represented the stories we wanted to tell. If it's a story about the forest - and Sweden is 70% forested while Denmark is only 12% forested. - we'll use the Swedish word. If it's a story about cosiness, hygge directs itself towards the Danes and the Norwegian fjords are the ones that everyone admires and draws breath from. So sometimes the words are local - sometimes they span all languages. It's part of how we want to be authentic in everything we do. 



SKOG reflects the morning mist rising from spruce and pine needles, of woodland lily of the valley musk and aged leather - scents associated with the Swedish boreal forest.  

I also like the distinctive pattern - how does this contribute to the story?
The pattern is made up of a collection of symbols, each symbol represents a chapter. The symbols are part of the story and for each chapter, one symbol will be elevated - evergreen forests, maritime history, snowflake, happiness or love, flags, unusual symbols in the alphabet. The pattern is a graphic way of telling the story of Scandinavia.



LYKKE (Danish word for 'happiness) scented candle

How do you decide which elements from Scandinavia to elevate? 
We start by identifying an aspect of the region which we consider precious to the inhabitants and unique and exotic to the outside world, based on our experience of living here.



HAV (distant shores), launching in Feb / March

Do you have a favourite fragrance?
I have a couple of favourites - ØY (solitary island) which we're burning in the office today and is one of our best sellers. We've also just refreshed the HAV (distant shores) fragrance which is launching this spring. And ROSENHAVE a special one which was a reflection of my wife's rose garden, where she collects and grows more than 120 varieties.


Hand cream from the best selling ØY (Island Solitude) collection

Last year saw the launch of your luxurious hand and body care products, what's next for Skandinavisk?
We have a new edition of HAV (meaning 'sea') coming out in February / March in all variants: candle, diffuser, hand cream, washes and lotion, a luxuriant new body cream, and a flaxseed body scrub from Finland. It's the first time we have reinvented an existing theme while also launching it in more than ten product categories. It's a complete fragrance collection, and we're very excited about it!


Where can we get our hands on items from Skandinavisk?
The complete range is available from our online shop and is the first place for news (we ship to most European countries within one to three days). We can also be found in some of the world's leading retailers including Illums Bolighus, Selfridges, Liberty, KaDeWe, Isetan. A selection of our largest retailers can be found here.



In short:
Secret Copenhagen tip: The Carlsberg pub
Favourite neighbourhood: Frederiksberg and Vesterbro
Favourite restaurant: Granola (popular for brunch but I think it's better for supper!)
Escape: The pure tranquility of a Swedish forest (and hop into a lake to appreciate the amazing silkiness of the water!)
Key to a successful business: Persistence

Thank you so much to the Skandianvisk team for inviting me to their studio for the day!

Incidentally, I've been burning ØYwhile writing this piece, as you know, I love the idea of island solitary, and it truly smells divine!

Is there a fragrance you've got your eye on?!

Niki


// Photography: 1-3 and the final shot Niki Brantmark  / 4+ courtesy of Skandinavisk

//This post is brought to you in collaboration with Skandinaviask, for whom I am a very lucky and proud ambassador! All questions are my own and I only ever work with brands I absolutely love and think you will too! Thank you for supporting businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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