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14 Ways To Add a Touch of Scandi Luxury To Your Bedroom This Winter


// Paid partnership with Carpe Diem Beds, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too*

The North of Sweden experienced its first dusting of snow this week - a sign that winter is on its way! Eeek! Here in the south, the mornings have become progressively darker and as the cold wind blows, we're starting to migrate indoors. And there's nowhere I'd rather be than in bed!  

I guess there's nothing too unusual about that. They say the average person spends 26 years of their life sleeping (seriously?) add to that reading, and luxurious lie-ins and we're talking a serious amount of time in bed!

With this revelation in mind, winter looming, and a wonderful trip to visit the birthplace of Carpe Diem Beds on Sweden's West coast still fresh in my mind, I felt inspired to give my bedroom a complete Scandinavian luxury makeover just in time for winter. Here are 14 tips in case you'd also like to add a little luxury to your boudoir this winter! 

1. Invest in a bed that's just right for you! No amount of luxurious bedlinen can compensate for a mattress that's not suited to your needs! If you haven't already, speak to a bed expert to find out what type of mattress you need. Per and I tested a load of different beds before choosing our Sandö bed from Carpe Diem Beds a few years back. Each side has a different firmness, and it's transformed the way we sleep and how we feel when we wake up. I'm not going to lie, Per still snores though! 

2.  Invest in a good mattress topper: I promise, this will make all the difference to your comfort! Since the climate is really variable with cold winters and warmish summers in Sweden, we chose a mattress topper with a cotton-lined side for summer and a wool-lined side for winter (I just flipped it this week in fact!). There are lots of varieties on the market to suit all budgets so do take a look!

3. Use a mattress protector: not only will this protect your mattress - it will also make your bed feel even more cosy when you slip under the covers. 

4. Use the right duvet for the season: Depending on the climate you live in and how well the temperature in your room is regulated (according to research, the ultimate bedroom temperature is a relatively cool 18.3 degrees celsius / 65 degrees Fahrenheit) - you ned to make sure you have the right duvet to suit your needs according to the season. My daughter recently described our duvets as 'fluffy cloud' - high praise indeed! 

5. Use two single duvets rather than a double: Yes, REALLY! This might not come as a surprise to you if you live in Scandinavian or some parts of Europe. But it's really the only way to get the absolute BEST night sleep possible simply because you can choose your own duvet thickness, stick limbs out at will, and won't fight over the covers! 

6. Use a pillow (or two) that's just right for your needs: An essential element - as the firmness / style will  totally affect the way you sleep. My Mum also taught me to always use a pillow protector (this could be as simple as covering your pillow with an old, worn-out pillowcase which will then go under your a actual pillowcase). I've also added larger cushions which match the bed upholstery (Zaragoza Eggshell by Designers Guild) to have something to cosy up against while reading.  

7. Make your bed with beautiful linen! Let me in on you a secret, Per never texts me. If he does, it will be two letters, like 'OK'! But the other day after I'd prepped our bedroom for winter, he sent me a text that read: 'this bedding is incredible'. 

An unprecedented four words without prompt! 

The secret: it's all in the thread count - the higher the thread count the more luxurious it feels and our new Havbris bedlinen has an immensely high thread count of 500. Also, dare I say it - a simple iron makes a big difference too - boring! 


8. Keep a spare blanket to hand: just in case of drafts, extra cold feet etc! 

9. Add soft, warm lighting and a beautiful scent: Tap into all the senses by adding a lovely warm glow and a beautiful scent to the room. This hand poured Gryning candle smells divine! 

Word of caution, be vigilant- never leave a naked flame unattended and always ensure it's well away from anything flammable. 

10. Coffee and a good read: what would a luxurious lie-in be without either of these? 

11. Add somewhere to sit: hopping around the room on one foot while getting dressed / undressed doesn't spell luxurious - so make sure you include a place to sit- weather a bench, ottoman or footstool (the latter adds an instant 'dressing room' feel. 

12. Treat yourself to some heavenly nightwear: whatever your preferred style, make sure it feels wonderful against your skin and you can move freely (like this silk robe!). 

13. Keep moisturisers to hand: skin dries out so much more in the winter!


14. Turn off your phone and relax!

All this writing about winter luxury bedrooms makes me want to go straight back to bed, and the clocks haven't even gone forward yet. 

I hope this has given you a few ideas for your own bedroom. Please do feel free to add your own tips in the comment section below! 

Sov Gott! / Sweet dreams! 

Niki

*This post is brought to you in paid collaboration with Carpe Diem Beds and includes gifted items. All words are my own and I only ever recommend brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the Scandinavian businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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A Heavenly Stay On Sweden’s West Coast

// Paid partnership with Carpe Diem Beds, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love

Have you been able to travel recently? This time last week I made my way up to Fiskebäckskil on the West coast of Sweden - and although it wasn't far away, boy did it feel like luxury! I consider the Gothenburg archipelagos one of Sweden's best key secrets. Characterised by a rugged coastline dotted with hundreds of islands and skerries (see my island hopping guide!), the natural beauty of this part of the world has inspired many a poet, artist and design idea. And it's the latter which brought me here this Autumn. 

Around 120 kilometres from Gothenburg (and a short rib boat ride from where I was staying) you'll find the tiny, picturesque island of Stora Kornö. Accessible by boat, the harbour was once a thriving fishing port, with fishermen and other locals residing in one of the 52 houses. Today, no one lives here year-round. Instead, it's a popular summer destination for those who own cottages, sailors (like Per and I) and day trippers. Locals also flock to the island in the Autumn to celebrate the start of lobster season, and as we pulled up in the rib, many had gathered in the harbour ready to lay their pots. 

But we were here for a different reason: to walk in the footsteps of the brilliant Carpe Diem Beds founder, chiropractor Börje Thuleskär!

Story has it that Börje was relaxing on a bed of heather on the cliffs on the Southwestern shore, feeling happy and relaxed - and most importantly, supremely comfortable. He'd been disappointed by his inability to find a comfortable bed and marvelled at how the heather moulded to his body and gave him an incredible feeling of weightlessness. He immediately struck upon the idea of building his own bed - and the idea for Carpe Diem Beds was born. 


Today, the Swedish brand offers a range of luxury made-to-order, supremely comfortable beds (I'm not just saying that, I've had one for years and slept like a baby ever since!). Hand-built in nearby Lysekil, each bed is named after a local island and individually signed by the crafstperson - high quality Swedish design at it's finest! 

Back on the island of Skaftö and relaxing in my room at Gullmarsstrand Hotel, I marvelled at how a local business, has grown into a globally recognised brand, and sold in over 20 countries. You'll likely know someone who owns one of their beds - or might have been lucky enough to sleep in one at a design hotel as far and wide as Mauritious and the USA - or even the magnificent Ice Hotel (a dream of mine - have you ever been?). 

But this time, I didn't need to travel far. 

My room was heavenly! Sheer curtains bellowed in the fresh Autumn breeze and I could make out the church spire of Lysekil across the sound. Centre stage was the magnificent Vindö (AKA 'The Flying Bed') - the Carpe Diem Bed pièce de résistance, featuring several vibration massage programs, an automatic neck and lumbar support as well as adjustable head and foot rests! 

And best of all, I had it completely to myself. It was the perfect place to unwind, catch up on some much needed sleep surrounded by luxurious comfort and stay in bed on a Tuesday, with a coffee and a good book! How heavenly! 


All in all, a blissful few days and so hard to tear myself away from the wonderful rawness of the nature at this time of the year - and the cosiness and comfort of my room! Thank you Carpe Diem Beds and Gullmarsstrand Hotel

I only wish I could have stayed for lobster season. 

Next year!

If you're planning on visiting Sweden at some point, make sure you come to this part of the country - it's staggeringly beautiful! In the meantime, keep a look out for my post in the coming weeks about how to turn your own bedroom into a lap of luxury for the winter. I mean, if we're going to hibernate, we might as well do it in style, right?

Niki

This post is brought to you in paid collaboration with Carpe Diem Beds. All words are my own and I only ever recommend brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the Scandinavian businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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A Malmö Home Full of Design Classics And Art

It's Friday friends - woohoo! I don't know about you, but I feel it's come around so quickly this week. I'm hoping to nip around the town on my lunch break today and visit some of my favourite design stores to celebrate (in a social distanced / safe kind of way, of course). My usual circuit always includes the Malmö store Olsson & Gerthel - which sells the most incredible iconic design furniture, mixed in with some beautiful pieces by local artists. It's a total feast for the eyes, and food for the design soul! One of the co-owners - Nina Gerthel, lives a stone's throw from the store, in her childhood home in the picturesque old area of Gamla Väster. Nina, an interior designer, is a firm believer in filling your home with pieces you love and that make you feel good and her recently renovated home is a fine example of this - and a wonderful extension of the design ethos and offering of the store itself. Ready to take a peek inside? 


Oh to have beams like these! I am always eyeing up houses in Gamla Väster when they come on the market,  but homes like this rarely come up (Nina took over this one from her parents).  

The other thing that struck me was the art - I love sculptures and Nina has really given them space to breathe so they catch the light and stand out. 

I was reading an interesting article the other day about how, when faced with a design conundrum and looking to improve a look, people naturally add things, when actually, the solution is often to take something away. 'Less is more'  is an artform and one at which the Scandinavians excel! Something to think about over the weekend when organising / arranging your home!

Is there anything that stood out to you about Nina's lovely home? 

Shall we finish off the week with a few other Malmö home tours? Here are a few favourites: 

Sofie's home (owner of my favourite go-to florist): The cosy, vintage inspired home of a Malmö florist 
A local home in St Knut's: A 'mysigt' apartment in soft, earthy tones
The home and studio of the wonderful girl I share my studio with: Carina Grefmar

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by this week :)

Niki

Photography by Robert Våhlström for Olsson & Gerthel

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Our Tiny Swedish Holiday Cabin: Exterior Inspiration


Those of you who have been following My Scandinavian Home for a while (thank you!), will know that Per's family have a little summer cottage on the coast of North West Skåne. It was built by Per's grandparents in the 1930s and today, it's enjoyed by Per's Mother - who heads there for much of the summer. We also love to stay there whenever possible - at the weekends, over Easter and for several weeks in the summer. It's our very own little paradise, understated, raw, rugged and windswept. Days are spent sipping coffee, wondering through the pine forest or village in our dressing gowns to the water's edge, playing games while the rain comes down or chugging out to the island of Hallands Väderö (second picture down) by boat. Here are a few shots I've snapped with my phone over the years. I hope it'll give you an idea of the surrounding nature, and the simple life we lead at the cottage!




Tiny Cabin Location and Inspiration 



Per's Grandfather fell in love with the area just like we have many years later and built the little cottage (above) up on a hill near the church. Per's Mother, an avid reader of my blog (hej hej!), recalls playing in the meadows in front of the cottage as a child, and taking a 'morgondopp' (morning dip) in the sea. These days, the 'meadows' are occupied by summer houses, but Liv and Allie still love to run carefree down to the water for a swim, no matter the weather. 

The cottage itself is tiny, and if we're all in place - the sofa becomes a sofa bed and the children and their friends sleep on a bunkbed and a blow-up mattress. It works for now, but we'd love to spend more time there - and as the children grow-up, we'd love for their children to enjoy it as we do today! 

In Sweden, it's common to build tiny cabins in the grounds of a summer cottage to make space. Known as an 'Attefallshus', you are permitted to build a 25 square metre (269 square feet) cabin and, recently, also a 30m2 cabin (322 square feet) - known as a 'Komplimentbostadshus' (try pronouncing that!) in the grounds of your property (see restrictions here - in Swedish). It's the latter we're interested in since it will give us enough space for a family of four. This winter, we marked out a section of the lawn and the planning has finally begun! So exciting! 


We have earmarked this section of the garden beside an old oak tree running parallel along the fence to the neighbours' garden (with their kind permission) - which affords both properties some privacy.  

Cabin Exterior Inspiration

When Per and I brainstormed the look and feel of the cabin we decided against replicating the main house and instead were keen for the exterior to blend into the surroundings - and incorporate the rugged nature of the forest and coastline. Wood therefore felt like an obvious material for the exterior - and we love that it ages gracefully over time. The exact wood and tone is to be determined (watch this space) but we particularly love the look and feel of the cladding above and below. 

Since life at the cabin is about spending time outdoors and soaking up the surroundings, we're keen for the cabin to have large windows which draw the outdoors in and allow a seamlessness between the garden and the interior. Lately I've been partial to grid windows, seen below. 

This is obviously WAY bigger than 30m2, but more to demonstrate the windows I was talking about! 

Off-plan or Our Own Design? 

There are a fair few 'off-plan' cabin solutions available in Sweden, some of which create the entire cabin in their yard before dropping into place with a truck and crane. This sounds like a brilliant hassle-free option on paper, but  in practise, we have a really clear picture of what we were looking for - and none of them quite fit the bill. So began the search for an architect. More of which I'll share with you in my next 'Tiny Cabin' update along with the plans. 

In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you like the wood exterior? Are you also a fan of these types of windows? Perhaps you have some experience of building a tiny cabin or house yourself and like to share some insight (as rookies, we'd be eternally grateful!). 

Here is a little more great 'tiny cabin' inspiration:


Oh, and the last cabin is actually a holiday home on the Isle of Skye - available to rent! I know! Scotland anyone?   

Wishing you all a lovely 'lillördag'! 

Niki

Photography credits: 1 - 9 Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian home, 10. Krista Keltanen for the book Happy Homes, 11. Barn House Cabin 12. Light and Dwell 13. Wild croft on the Isle of Skye

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Emelie's Serene Swedish Home With Notes of Green

It's one of those days when I'm miles behind and I just don't know where the time is going. Elsewhere in Sweden in the mesmerisingly beautiful home of Emelie Sundberg - it's as if time has stood still. Her living space oozes calm and serenity! So, what's the trick? The stylist, photographer and founder of Inredningspodden - a popular Swedish podcast about interior design - has applied lovely muted tones of green throughout her home, which, when combined with wood and other natural materials, draw the inside in. Her choice of vintage and antique furniture as well as an abundance of plants and flowers also add to the wonderfully relaxed look. Welcome to Emelie's world! 







Simply stunning, don't you think?

It's easy to look at pictures like these and think how effortless everything looks, but trust me, Emelie and her husband have put in a huge amount of work into transforming the house into a beautiful family living space. Below is an example of one of the projects they have carried out. 

Emelie's Clever Hallway Hack: 

Emelie and her husband have completely transformed their hallway to make space for the family shoes and other outdoor wear. To create the look, they added wainscoting, built-in seating and a the Rakkestad wardrobe from IKEA. And then painted  everything including the window frame in Green Tea 846 from Beckers. What a fantastic transformation! 

This home will leave me dreaming all day, how about you? 

If you'd like to see more of Emelie's living space and see her latest projects, check out her instagram and blog

You might also like to tune in to her fantastic Inredningspodden podcasts (in Swedish) - there are 67 episodes to date. 

Fancy exploring other Swedish homes in serene tones of green today?

The earthy green home of Sofie Izard Høyer was the most popular home tour of 2020 - and I can totally see why, how about you? 

This beautiful Swedish home has become instantly recognisable for it's wonderful features and incredible decor (including notes of green!). 

I also think this Stockholm apartment in shades of blue and green is truly inspiring! 

Would you consider green in your home?

Niki

Photography courtesy of Emelie Sundberg

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A Beautiful Swedish Home with Staggeringly High Ceilings

We woke up to a magical mist here in Malmö - and I thought, today is a day for dreaming. And I was right. I have been dreaming about this beautiful Swedish apartment with staggeringly high ceilings, large spacious rooms and charming period features all morning! There's also something about the earthy green, grey and blue tones and the natural wood 'spegeldörr' doors which I love. The turn-of-the-century building is in the wonderful Haga district of Gothenburg - which means that whoever is lucky enough to snap it up (yep, it's for sale... *more dreaming*), will have little boutique shops and cafes right on their doorstep (one of which is famous for selling plate sized cinnamon buns - I kid you not!). If only the owners could leave the furniture behind. Ready for the tour? Step this way! 









What a beautiful apartment! I particularly like the living room and children's room. 

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

Take a peek at other incredible Swedish homes in this archive (if this pops up first, just scroll past!). 

Wishing you a lovely day friends! 

Niki

Photography: Alen Cordic / Styling: Grey Deco Interiors for Bjurfors

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