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One Swedish Sitting Room, Two Cosy Winter ways!


My Scandinavian home partnership* 
Last week I ventured across town on my bike to visit my friend Helen Sturesson, a talented interior designer who lives in Davidshallstorg, a charming square in the centre of Malmö. Helen has one of those apartments in which you feel instantly at home. Dating back to the 1930s, the rental has staggeringly high ceilings, large spacious rooms and a wonderful relaxed style - with a perfect mix of vintage, new Nordic design and locally made items. And there's always a pot of fresh coffee simmering on the stove. The reason for my visit? With the harsh Southern Sweden winter looming, her Stockholm 3.5 seater sofa had seen better days - just when the family need it most! So I arrived armed with samples from Bemz!

You might be familiar with the Swedish company as I'm a huge fan. Bemz sells custom covers for IKEA sofas and armchairs as well as accessories such as legs, cushions and curtains to match. With over 100 fabrics to choose from, you can always find the exact colour and material you're looking for! It's a genius concept, allowing you to give your IKEA furniture a whole new lease of life (look out for the 20% discount code at the end). 

Helen worked with the fabrics to create two new, beautiful looks - a cosy winter white and a darker Christmas vibe with a touch of cool corduroy! I returned with my camera to capture them both (over a cup of coffee or two!): 

Look One: Cosy Winter Whites



For the lighter look, Helen worked with linens - centred around a cover in Chalk Simply Linen for the IKEA Stockholm 3.5 Seater Sofa and cushions in lovely warm tones including Acorn Simply Linen, Taupe Conscious Pinstripe, and Natural and Cocoa Brera Lino

The striped Conscious Pinstripe in Taupe is part of the new Bemz Conscious Collection. If you have a moment, you must check out the range! It's made up of pinstripe and herringbone patterns created from 100% recycled material and inspired by the sharp tailoring of menswear. The sofa covers are awesome!


The lighter cover totally brightened Helen's sitting room - especially in these darker days! The traditional style also worked beautifully beside her vintage cabinet (how cool is that cabinet? Helen bought it at auction from Bukowskis a while back). 

If you look closely, you'll see a variety of textures - including soft linen, knotted wool and stoneware - which, when combined with the plants, breathe life into the space (especially when the trees lie dormant outside). 


Green marble windowsills are a classic 1930s feature in Swedish homes and make a perfect spot for Helen's collection of ceramics, plants and other treasured items.


I love the way the brushed, peach-skin of the linen and cotton blend catches the light - it makes it look so inviting! Anyone else feel like they could pour a coffee, curl up in this corner and stay a while? 


Helen completed the look with a Bemz cover also in Chalk Simply Linen for her IKEA Karlstad Armchair  - to match the sofa. 


Love this light winter look? Here's a little about Helen's haul:

Get the look



Look two: Cosy Winter Moss



For the second look, Helen was keen to add a touch of Jul (Christmas) inspired by the nearby Beech forest in wintertime. 

To create the look, Helen chose the fabulous Corduroy cover in Winter Moss for her IKEA Stockholm 3.5 seater sofa. You probably won't have seen this before since it's part of the new Bemz Corduroy Collection, designed in collaboration with Maxwell Ryan of Apartment Therapy. If you love a little corduroy, check out the entire collection in all its super soft, wide 'wales' (ribbed) glory here


Helen combined the Winter Moss cover with cushions in Rose Simply Linen and Natural Brera Lino - and some very lovely Swedish Christmas touches! 


How cosy is this look? There's something about the deep green corduroy fabric that amps up the hygge. Add a little candlelight, a book and a steaming mug of glögg (spiced mulled wine) and you're good to go for the entire winter! 

I particularly love how the corduroy catches the light - and the contrast between the velvet and linen. Beautiful!



Pale pink with moss green has to be one of my favourite colour combinations for years, are you a fan too? The touch of pink maybe subtle, but it makes all the difference to the look - something to think about if you're selecting cushions for your sofa. 

True to Swedish style, Helen's Christmas decorations are super simple yet so pretty. A star here, and a bauble there. The candleholders are handmade by local designer Karolina Brobeck. 


If anyone's looking for me, I'll be curled up right here - chatting to Helen until the kids come home! 


If you love the 'Winter Moss' corduroy look as much as I do, here's the low down: 

Get the look

Get The Look

What did you think? Do you have a favourite?

I hope I can show more of Helen's home moving forwards, it's so inspiring! 

Oh, and the important bit. As a special, early Christmas present, the amazing team at Bemz are offering My Scandinavian Home readers a 20% off the entire range with promo code MSHwinter - valid until November 24th, 2020. 

If you have an old IKEA sofa or armchair knocking about and would like to freshen it up in time for the new season - now's your chance! Don't have an IKEA sofa but in need of a new place to curl up this winter? You can find a load of secondhand IKEA sofas online - throw on a Bemz cover, and it will look as good as new! Oh, and they ship pretty much worldwide. 

Get ready to order your free samples

Thank you Bemz for collaborating with Helen and I on this - and thank you so much to Helen for inviting me over! I really enjoyed capturing these two looks in the fading winter light!

Niki

Photos by me / styling by Helen Sturesson

This post is brought to you in paid collaboration with Bemz and contains affiliate links. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I absolutely love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the businesses that help bring fresh content to your mailbox.

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Looking forward to Cosying Up Here!

A little note to wish you a lovely long weekend - and a spooky halloween! If you're hoping to hook up with friends or family, check out yesterdays post for inspiration on how to create an extra cosy outdoor space so you can catch-up safely, in style (and a little warmth!). Let's just hop the rain holds off. 

I'm leaving my parents' home today after a fortnight, safe in the knowledge that Dad's heading home from hospital tomorrow and the colour is back in his cheeks :) (FYI not COVID related!). I'm so looking forward to some down time with Per and the girls on this sofa before they head back to school on Monday. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend! See you Monday!

Niki

PS more details about my sofa found here. The prints are all from The Poster Club*, the Shady wall lamp is by Zuiver and you can find more info about my rug here. 50 Arches sell similar handmade benches

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My New Wall Sconce From Hudson Valley Lighting Group!

Paid partnership, all words are my own:
It's only since living through fifteen dark Scandinavian winters that I've realised the importance of lighting. On a practical level you need a lot more lights than you think. And the more variety the better. Not only do you need overhead and task lighting, you also need lower level lighting to help create the right ambience. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that lighting can totally make or break a room. I'm therefore always on the lookout for new lamps and was excited to discover Hudson Valley Lighting Group. The US based company (with an international site) stocks literally hundreds of lights in a diverse range of styles from chandeliers and pendants to flush mounts and wall sconces. Needless to say, there's something for everyone - whether you prefer historical pieces or something that's bang on trend (or a combination of the two!). There's one lamp in particular that caught my eye.

Meet my new Chloe wall sconce from Mitzi! Made from high quality marble and aged brass it was one of those pieces that instantly appealed. And when I brought it home it seemed to slot into my sitting room as if it had always been there. Don't you love it when that happens? 


The lamp is also available in polished nickel but I felt the brass was a better match with the earthy brown and golden touches I already have in my sitting room. 

I positioned it so that in the evenings it would add a soft glow to one of the darker corners of my home and light up a few treasured pieces such as a sculpture by a Swedish artist and dried flowers from last summer. 


Isn't it pretty?

One of the big interior trends of 2020 is to invest in high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time. This lamp perfectly fits the bill since it's beautifully made and would look great in many different corners of my home over time (I'm already considering having it next my bed!).

Are you looking for new lighting for your home? If so, here are a few others that caught my eye: 

10 Lamps I Love 


Get The Look
1. Troy Lighting Ace Lamp
2. Mitzi by Hudson Valley Lighting Stella Light
3. Corbett Lighting Socialite Light
4. Mitzi by Hudson Valley Lighting H120704-AGB-CE
5. Mitzi by Hudson Valley Lighting Angela Lamp
6. Hudson Valley Lighting Chandler Polished Nickle
7. Hudson Valley Lighting Chandler Brass
8. Mitzi by Hudson Valley Lighting Estee Lamp
9. Troy Lighting District Lamp
10. Troy Lighting Quantum Light

Did any stand out to you in particular?

If you're feeling curious, hop on over to Hudson Valley Lighting Group to check out the entire range.

Oh, and they ship worldwide too! Result! 

Niki

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Hudson Valley Lighting Group, 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. 

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My Sitting Room Three Different ways

Partnership. The most popular room in our home at this time of the year has to be our sitting room. It's where we chill out, watch TV (yes, there is one hiding in this room somewhere, can you guess where?!), play games and chat into the early hours all winter long.  

In my childhood home, my Mother insisted on two antique chesterfields which looked stunning - but didn't move an inch when you sat down - do you know the type?! God forbid if you were to sit on one of the arms (there'd be an almighty cracking sound!)! In our sitting room we might not benefit from the history that comes with antique sofas - but boy is our IKEA Söderhamn 3-seater, armchair and chaise longues comfy! 

We can also update the furniture whenever it starts to look tired thanks to Bemz (who create custom covers and legs for IKEA furniture in hundreds of high end fabrics that are made to order in Europe (LOVE THAT!). I tried out a few different looks in my sitting room to suss out which cover (and layout) works best for the chilly winter months ahead.  

I'd love to know which of the three you like the most!

Look One: Lovely Linen


The Design 
For the first look I wanted to create something that felt soft, floaty and snug. The Brera Lino linen in Dusk is a soft, middle blue with a very slight green tint to it (Per insists it is green... but then again, he also thinks pink is red sooo....). I liked the idea of combining it with Brera Lino Pebble and brown accents.


The Look




I've been a fan of the Bemz Loose Fit style cover ever since re-arranging my living room in 2017 (remember that look? I've since been through a few more styles including this one last autumn!) - you know me! I love the floaty, relaxed look and the contemporary seams, is this your kind of style too? This time I opted for a Bemz Loose Fit sofa cover in Dusk Brera Lino linen for the IKEA Söderhamn sofa. It was one of those instant matches with with my coffee table (an old workman's bench which I've had for years).  I love it when a plan comes together!


I've always loved the way linen catches the light - and also how it looks equally fine creased as it does flat ironed - perfect for a messy (or maybe I should say, very relaxed?) family like mine! 

I picked up the camel coloured wool and mohair blanket from online Swedish shop Granit.

The sitting room doubles up as a thoroughfare to our back garden which makes it kind of tricky to furnish! It was the first time I've tried a chaise longues in this position (it was Genevieve Jorn's idea) and it just seem to slot into place. Per might wonder where his bar cart has gone, along with the Hendricks - but the girls and I love it in this position! What do you think?

The Ikea Söderhamn chaise longues has been kitted out with a cover in Bemz Loose Fit cover in Pebble Brera Lino

When it comes to rugs, I say the fluffier the better at this time of the year, don't you? This Beni Spezial is from from the family-run company Natur Pur in Austria. 

There are so many details in my living room - some of which are fairly new, and others I've had for years. Here's a quick low down:


Get The Look
1. Z1 Cotton Lamp
2. Paris Print by Anna Johansson
3. Bemz Single Curtain panel in Belgian Linen Blend, Unbleached
4. Söderhamn 3 seater in Loose Fit Dusk
5. Colour Print by Maria Leinonen
6. Granit Wool & Mohair Blanket
7. Antique Chinese Bench
8. Söderhamn chaise longue in Pebble
9. Blue Print by Berit Mogensen Lopez
10. Bemz Cushion Cover in Belgian Linen Blend, Unbleached


Look two: Luxurious Velvet

The Design
While the Dusk look is ever so slightly darker than my previous cover, I felt I wanted to go even darker and create a seating area with a really luxurious feel. 

My Mother's infamous (and very lovely, I must say) antique sofas have always been upholstered in dark blue velvet - a look that never fails to make me feel nostalgic. In my own sitting room I wanted to incorporate this and explore a blend of Indigo, camel and soft grey. 

The Look

For this look I covered my Ikea Söderhamn sofa and armchair with a Bemz Regular Fit cover in Indigo Simply Velvet. The fabric has a wonderful soft feel and a sheen that changes with the light - so beautiful! 

I used to have sheer white linen curtains in the sitting room (you can catch a glimpse of them here) - for these two looks I swapped the white linen out for Curtain Panels in Unbleached Belgian Linen. It's a slightly thicker fabric and immediately made the room feel more cosy - it's funny how that can happen, don't you think?


I have to say, this look was so popular with my family (mainly because the sofa is so soft!). I also sent over a few pictures to my Mum and she absolutely loved it too!

Here's a quick round-up of some of the pieces: 

Get The Look
1. Zuiver Shady Iron Wall Lamp
6. Stockholm 2017 Rattan Chair
10. House Doctor Shelf

Did I miss something? If so, please give me a shout in the comment section below and I'll do my best to help!

Look Three - The Reading Corner

For the final layout we moved the Ikea Söderhamn chaise longue with a Bemz Loose Fit cover in Pebble to the corner to create a reading nook. It's been topped with matching pillows and a cushion cover in Belgian Linen Blend, Unbleached and Spice Linara by Romo. 

If you're looking for me this weekend you might just find me here. 

Or should I keep the velvet look. Or maybe the dusk linen? Hmmm. What to do?! Do you have a favourite? 

If you've got any questions about anything, please do ask away in the comment section below!

In the meantime, I might just go and snuggle up in my new sitting room! 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Niki

Photography: Niki Brantmark - My Scandinavian Home
Styling: Genevieve Jorn 

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Bemz and contains affiliate links. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I absolutely love and think you will too (#Ilovemyjob!). Thank you for supporting the businesses that help bring fresh content to your mail box and make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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12 Budget Friendly Ways To Transform Your Living Room Into a Cosy Winter Haven!

Are you starting to feel the winter chill? Here in Malmö, the temperatures are hovering around a very chilly zero degrees Celsius. BRRRRR! I heard somewhere that like flowers, people bloom at different times. My friend from Greenland comes into her own at this time of the year, while I've always been a summer person. When do you bloom?  Winter not your season either? Don't worry, there's so much we can do to brighten up the season and make our homes as toasty as possible. And it's all in the detail! Jeska Hearne of Lobster & Swan is one step ahead. The Sussex based photographer, stylist and online store owner has transformed her living room into a cosy winter haven. I spotted 11 very cosy, yet very simple and budget friendly ideas to steal. It's time to batten does the hatches and snuggle up, friends. 

1. Blankets in a basket: if there's one thing I've learned from living in Sweden, it's to always have blankets on standby! Walk around town and you'll spot fleece blankets draped over the backs of bistro chairs and just like in Jeska's home - a wicker basket full of blanket in the sitting room! 

2. Bring out the sheepskins: drape them over chairs or benches or use them on the floor as extra rugs! Haven't got one? Pick up a bundle of fluffiness here*.  

3. Throw in some extra cushions (preferably in warm autumn colours): Just so that you can really hunker down! 

4. Layer it up! One of your sofa's not so pretty? Or perhaps it's just not soft enough? Pick up some super soft fabric (you can buy linen by the metre here*) and chuck it over your least favourite sofa or chair and it might just become your favourite! 

5. Put logs on the fire! Nothing says hygge like a crackling log fire. But hang on, what happens if your fireplace isn't in working order? Simply fill it with pillar candles in all different sizes. No fireplace at all? Join the club - bah! - and light candles on every surface instead. So cosy, so very Scandi hygge! 

6. Double up on lamps! Hey, it's a dark time of year, there's nothing more frustrating than not being able to see passed your hand! Rather than going for high voltage over head lighting, do as our Nordic friends (and Jeska!) and dot extra lower level, indirect lighting around for a soft, warm glow. 

7. Bring the outside in: think about activities you love to do in the wild - like shell-seeking on windswept beaches or hiking through silent forests and bring home relics which instantly take you back. Just looking at them will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside! 

8. Light 'feel good' incense': tap into all your senses - including smell! Have you noticed just how far home fragrances have come? The Autumn / winter ones are some of my favourites (I'm looking at you HYGGE candle and Eir natural incense). 

9. Lanterns that glow: this year I've been loving my oil lamps (there's one in Jeska's living room lurking just behind the arm of the sofa!), they last way longer than candles (you just need some lighter fuel handy) - plus you can change the amount of glow according to your mood! Pick up a vintage one here*, or invest in a Klong - it'll last you a lifetime! 

10. Bring in a touch of the forest: wood immediately adds warmth - even more so if the surface is rich with patina. A low table made from a tree stump like the one in Jeska's home is like warmth on a stick (or three sticks in this case!). 

11. Hot drinks all round: tea, coffee, hot chocolate, Irish whisky - a cup of something warm and delicious at your fingertips is never wrong I winter! 


12. A touch from the garden: the last leaves maybe about to fall, but there's beauty in decay too! Bring in some branches from your backyard or the ground of your local park and place them in a vase or hang them from the ceiling for instant cosiness!

Don't even get me started on the floor! But I did say 'instant' cosiness so let's just sit back and admire it for a few moments and move on! 

What do you reckon? Did you get any new ideas for your own sitting room? Perhaps you've got some tips of your own to add in the comment section below? (FYI I've been experiencing a few problems with comments disappearing over the last few days and working hard to fix this asap. Sorry for any inconvenience!).  

Or perhaps you just want to pop round to Jeska's and curl up on her sofa for a while (you might just find me there too!). 

As with all spaces in Jeska's home (check out her bathroom - such an incredible before and after transformation! - handmade kitchen and bedroom in autumn colours), there are so many other beautiful details to feel inspired by. I particularly like her sofa (from sofa.com), lamp from Olive and the Fox, Flower print by Lucy Auge Art and Invest print by Jai Bess. 

Here are a few other cosy ideas you might like: 


Perhaps we'll all become winter fiends after all! 

Niki

Photography: Dean & Jeska Hearne / Lobster & Swan shared with kind permission
* Affiliate links

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