The Handmade Home of a Danish Architect and Carpenter

Yesterday I was wondering around a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) store in search of a tool and I found myself mulling over how good Scandinavians tend to be at fixing things around the home - and how this has inspired me over the years. The truth is, a lot of things that require attention are relatively simple to fix - and it can feel really empowering to get out a tool box - saving yourself time and money in the process. 

But architect Mette Kirk (@kirkarkitektur)and her husband Henrik Balle - a carpenter at Silkeborg Byg go design, have taken DIY to a whole new level. The talented pair have renovated their 1935 house in Aarhus entirely by themselves - even creating the kitchen cabinets, bathroom storage and other units from scratch. Ready to feel inspired? 

The entirely unique kitchen cabinets in white and wood were designed by Mette to capitalise on space.

Wall units like this wooden one designed by Mette and built by Henrik have become increasingly popular in Denmark lately. My Copenhagen-based friend Caroline Bahrenscheer recently launched a beautiful version for cups, available here

The dining space is filled with fab Danish design pieces including wishbone chairs, BT001 pendant lamp, and a Formikami table lamp.

A beautiful parquet floor from Hørning Parket has been laid throughout the house. 

This style of built-in cabinetry (made by Henrik) is ideal for small bedrooms as it makes use of every inch.

I love the built-in bedside table nook - such a clever addition! The lamp is the Louis Poulsen Ring Crown.

Henrik also built the wooden bathroom cabinets (look at the detail!) - which add a wonderful warmth to the space as well as gallons of open and closed storage space! The loo is from Ifö and the floor was found at Flisegalleriet

What an inspiring home. 

It would be so useful to be able to whip up incredible cabinets and storage units at whim, don't you think? And of course, Mette's eye for design is simply wonderful too! 

Do you have enough storage in your home, or has Mette and Henrik's house inspired you to add more? 

Perhaps more importantly, how much do DIY do you do? Are you the type to get out a toolbox if something needs fixing or do you prefer to call a handyman? I've learnt to dabble (although Per does the majority!) - but we're on nowhere near the level of building incredible units like the ones in this home!

Would you like to feel inspired by other architect's homes today? Here are some lovely ones: 


Have a great start to the week friends!

Niki

Photography: Mette Kirk, shared with kind permission

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Tiny Home Inspiration: A Beautiful Swedish Studio With A Great Storage Solution

A tiny, one room studio apartment with lots of storage and a beautiful aesthetic? Yes, it IS possible! if you're dealing with 28 square metres / 300 square feet or less and struggling to find a place for all your things, I have a feeling you'll find this beautiful Gothenburg apartment truly inspiring - and I couldn't resist adding a few more ideas to the mix too. Oh, and I added the floor plan at the end a first from my side, but I felt it could be useful (courtesy of Entrance). Don't live in a confined space? Lots of homes have compact spaces such as a box room - so I have a feeling this tour will come in handy for most of us! 

Unless you're a true minimalist, there's no going for the trendy 'no upper cabinets' look that's so hot right now. Instead, it's all about maximising height and wall space - and in my humble opinion, upper cabinets can look just as good! If you have a lot of kitchen utensils, opt for closed cabinets for a less cluttered look.  

This kitchen could have looked a little cold had it not been for the beautiful warm natural textures seen in the stone worktop and wood dining chairs. 


The stylist behind this apartment hasn't utilised under-the-sofa storage here, but if you need the space, opt for sofas and coffee tables with built-in storage. 


Again, not seen here, but if you are a book lover or would love to display personal items, the enclave in the picture above to the right of the wardrobe (where there painting is) would be a perfect spot for narrow vertical shelling that extends the full height. See this beautiful Stockholm family home for some great 'small space' bookshelf inspiration! 

No matter your ceiling height, the vertical space in a small apartment is one of your greatest assets - use to  the full by ensuring wardrobes extend all the way to the ceiling. You can always hang a ladder on the wall to the side for access. 

The space under the bed is another great place for extra storage. For a neater look, add a bed skirt - it will add a soft touch to the bedroom area and cover up whatever is underneath. 

Wall-mounted furniture and accessories: if your walls allow it, hang lights and other furniture on the wall to clear floor space. 


And in case you're curious - here's the 27 square metre floor plan: 

I hope this has been helpful. A special thanks to all of those who have e-mailed me /  requested inspiration for living spaces smaller than 30 square metres! Please do feel free to email me anytime with ideas and requests, it's really helpful! 

Oh, and for another serene smallish space - did you see Sarah's Copenhagen home yesterday? So serene! And of course, there's always the archive too! 

Wishing you all a great day!

Niki

Photography courtesy of Entrance 

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7 Simple Steps To A Tidy Home!

For some right now, it's simply about muddling through the day in the best way possible, and that's perfectly fine *breathes a sigh of relief*. For others, the chaos that comes with working from home, home-schooling, working out in the sitting room, plus everyday activities such as cooking, crafting etc can feel a little overwhelming. And to be honest, my home is a bit of a mess at the best of times, right now, it's an all time high (I know it can be hard to see that from my pictures, but ask any friend and I'm sure they'll concur!). Can anyone else relate? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it when my home is tidy, I'm just not always sure how to get there quickly!

For those of you who already have a wonderfully tidy home - or simply have come here today for a little eye candy - relax, sit back and enjoy the pictures (Esra's home is lovely!). 

But for those of you, who like me, could use a little guidance on keeping the mess at bay - and would love a calmer, more organised home - these 7 tips from Esra from @i.like.it.tidy - might just come in handy! 

Hi! My name is Esra and I live in Berlin, where I was also born and raised in Berlin. My partner and I have two children Max (7) and Mika (3) and a dog Bex. Our apartment is 160 square metre. It's an old house and very typical for Berlin - with its large rooms leading into one another and high ceilings. 

Our place is known for being super tidy, which is of course not true all the time. But I do like my home to be clean and tidy. I would therefore love to share my tips with you on how to keep your home tidy. 

7 Simple Ways to Keep Your Home Tidy

1. Declutter: I know this is so Marie Kondo, but it's the ultimate way to enjoy a tidy home. We tend to hoard things like candles, vases, and bedding, so start by going through your things and ask yourself: how often do I use this, and do I have too many of them? Start with the small things as these are the easiest to declutter. 


2. A place for everything: Everything you own needs to have a home - somewhere you can put it back after you have used it. If an item doesn't have a 'home', it will be in your way all the time and you will constantly move it around. Trust me, a home always feels calmer if nothing is in your way!

There's a useful article here about how to create a home for the tiny bits and pieces in your home. 

Wall mounted storage units are great for storing items you don't want to be on display. I particularly like IVAR units from IKEA since they can be painted the same colour as the wall - and you can combine them for extra storage.  

3. Avoid impulse buying: only buying the things you need is better for the environment and better for you. It's better to save money and invest in something valuable - and that you know you'll use for years to come, like a sofa or armchair. 


4. Children's rooms need lots of storage: always use big boxes or baskets so that kids can put things away easily. It's especially important that the storage containers are in easy reach - low shelves, drawers, containers etc. Let them literally throw things back - don't make it complicated for them. 

Above left and below: IKEA toy storage is ideal for little ones - it's low and the buckets make it easy for even the youngest of children to tidy their toys away. If your child has a small bedroom use storage that doubles up as furniture like low drawers that can also be used as seating, or drawers that tuck neatly under the bed. For tiny items like beads, nail polish etc (of which my girls have many) - the Moppe mini chest of drawers is a winner! 

5. Edit toys regularly: if you overload a kid's room with toys they don't use, they will quickly feel overwhelmed. If they'd like something new, try to sell or give something away that they no longer need at the same time, this will help keep toys at a manageable level. 

Above: is it just me, or do children tend to want you to read the same books over and over again? Usually the longest ones - to draw out bedtime! Why not keep a little book stand (the Douve book box* is similar) by the end of the bed - it will help keep their favourite books off the floor and in easy reach. Note the desk has built-in storage underneath so craft items can be quickly stowed away after use (this one is from IKEA). Woven seagrass baskets* are also super handy for storage - plus they can be flattened when not in use! 

6. Tidy-up straight away: Whether cooking or crafting with your children or carrying out your own tasks - always tidy up immediately after you have finished. Don't let the mess fester and take control. It's so much easier to tidy up in the moment than to be confronted with a huge mess at the end of a long day! 

Note Esra has combined two IVAR cabinets in the picture above  - one on top of the other. Store items that kids don't use daily higher up (or the pieces that require adult assistance like felt tips, paints etc!). 


 7. Make it routine: last but by no means least, try to do all the steps above as a routine to keep on top of your home, it's an ongoing process. Enjoy it. It will make you happier! 

Thank you so much for sharing these tips Esra. 

Perhaps you are already a neatnik and have your home perfectly well organised - if so, wonderful! 

If not, and you feel you have the time and energy (seriously, no pressure guys - I know times are tricky right now), shall we agree to make a start? Here are three things I'm going to do: 

1. Clear out our bed linen and towel cupboard - there are WAY too many things in there and I have a feeling that's why there are always about twenty towels on the go (it drives me insane!). 
2. Invest in more storage so that I have somewhere to put post and bills, as well as other small items like candles etc. I've realised not everything has a home! 
3. Encourage the entire family to deal with their clothes at the end of the day immediately (way too many 'chairobes' in this house!) - and while we're at it - our wardrobes could use an edit too! 

There you have it, in black and white! 

Is there anything you're thinking of doing at home after reading this? Or perhaps you have some great tips on how to keep a home tidy not covered here - if so, please do comment below! 

Niki

Photography: Esra / @i.like.it.tidy
*This post contains some affiliate links

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My home: Say hello To My New Skovby Glass Cabinet!

Partnership*:
Are you a fan of the glass cabinet? I've always loved them; they're the one storage piece that will allow you to store and display your favourite things while keeping them dust free (anything that saves a little cleaning and I'm in, how about you?). I've had my eye on the Skovby  #452 display cabinet for a while. It's part of their #400 sideboard line which also includes 3 sideboards: #402#404, and #405. As you know, I've been a fan of the Danish furniture brand ever since I acquired a desk and chair for Per's home office (he's back at school now so I've crept in and taken over the space!). And now, I'm excited to have picked up a #452 glass cabinet for our open-plan living space!  

In 1933, cabinet maker Thorvald Rasmussen founded Skovby with a vision to create sustainable and functional furniture that would stand the test of time. And I have to say, this fine specimen truly encompasses this vision! Here it is filled with some of my most treasured pieces (as well as some practical bits and bobs for our dining room / creative corner!)...

The cabinet is available in several wood sorts and finishes. I chose the Black wengé lacquer version, as I felt it would make a nice contrast with my delicate glassware, ceramics, books, linen and other pieces I intended to store within it. 



We all know that when it comes to furniture, it's not all about appearance - although, naturally this is top of my list! Per in particular, was so happy with how practical the cabinet is. It's made according to the 'Golden Proportion' and has two soft closing glass doors, four glass shelves and two LED lights! The latter is going to come in handy when the light starts to fade and dare I say it - the clocks go forward (baaah!). Soooo not ready for that, are you?


Another nice detail: you can choose to stand it on a plinth or legs depending on the look you're after. I love the airy feel of the legs! 

I hope you like the latest addition to our home as much as we do! 

You can find out more information (including measurements, available finishes etc.) on the Skovby #452 display cabinet home page. The 100% Danish made cabinet is available in 19 countries worldwide (search for your nearest stockist here). 

Danish design at its finest! 

See you tomorrow for a very exciting home tour which might just include some armchair travel!

In the meantime, if anyone's looking for me, I'll be dipping into one of my books right here and preparing for my visit to Copenhagen tomorrow for 3 Days of Design. I haven't been to the Danish capital since February - so excited!

Niki

Photography Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian home

*This post is brought to you in paid partnership with Skovby. 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 wonderful businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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Divide And Conquer: 6 Great Ways To Make More Out of Your Home!


Hello wonderful friends, how are you all doing? Over the weekend, I reflected on how staying at home more right now means our living space is having to work a whole lot harder - do you find the same? If you think about it, our homes have changed from a place where we cook, eat, sleep, relax, and do homework to somewhere that needs to cater for all kinds of extra activities like working from home (for those who can), exercising, home schooling, and much, much more! And don't even get me started on trying to carve out that all important 'me time'! Gah! 

In case you're feeling the heat, or simply want to make your living space go further  -  here are 6 simple ways to carve out zones for that online meeting, studying a new language, the kids' Joe Wicks PE class' (or more importantly, your morning yoga session!) or simply enjoying a heavenly siesta in peace! 

1. Shelf life: Shelves are a great way to divide a room in two but still allow the light to flow. Think about moving your freestanding shelves perpendicular to the wall or get crafty and build your own!

2. Vertical garden: not everyone can stroll to the park right now, but you can bring a little park life indoors. I love the idea of using shelves bursting with plants as a room divider. Plus, they'll help clear the air too! 

3. Temporary floating wall: for a more erm, solid approach - why not build a floating wall and split a room in two. I love this idea below! 

3. Screen from view: for a more temporary idea, wood, rattan or bamboo screens with fabric are great for shielding a space from view, and can be moved around the home (I think I might just carry mine around with me for permanent 'me time' - te he he!). You can also use them as a makeshift place to hang clothes, towels etc. 

4. The light screen: see-through screens are perfect for carving out a separate one without blocking the light (and plunging others into semi-darkness!). This lovely one says, "do not disturb morning yoga session in action". Who knows, later it might say "do not disturb: tick tock choreography in session" (likely in my home!). 

6. The peg board: ideal for kitchens and home offices, peg boards are really versatile. They make great room dividers too! 

7. Curtains: Easily forgotten but oh so useful - curtains are easy to install, perfect for privacy, act as sound dampeners and don't take up any space. I love how curtains have been used to turn a nook into a private bedroom below. Who needs a silk eye mask when you can nap here?! 

I hope you've found this round-up helpful. Are there any ideas you might steal for your own home?

I'm also really curious to hear how your home is having to work harder right now? 

In Sweden our children are still at school (for now) but Per is teaching his six-form-college lectures online - so I need to be careful not to whisk pass in my robe!! 

Looking for beautiful home tours to brighten up the start of your week? Here are a few of my favourites:


Speaking of home tours - I've got a really cheerful, colourful home lined up to share with you tomorrow so make sure you stop by. It's bound to put a spring in your step! 

Niki

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