A Small-ish City Flat With a Lush Balcony & Clever Room-Divider

Hi campers! I hope you had a lovely, relaxing easter weekend? I'm feeling all revived and ready for some inspiring Scandi-style home inspiration, I hope you are too? I thought I'd kick off with this charming Berlin apartment. Bang in the centre of the city, it measures a mere 50 metres square (538 foot square), but owners Kateryna Gonchar and her partner have made sure it covers all bases. The light-filled kitchen leads out to a lush, green balcony oasis, while a second room has been divided into a bedroom, sitting room and dining area. Oh, and there's even a small workspace and of course, a bathroom! A perfect oasis for two in the heart of the German capital! 

An extendable balcony table ensures that the balcony can cater for a cosy evening for two - or a party for four or more. Smart!

Notice how the shelving also includes a mirror to reflect the light and visually enlarged the room - a clever small space decorating technique. 

Such a clever use of space - and above all, a lovely place to come home to after a day in the office. 

I can just seem myself on that balcony with a cool glass of rosé on a balmy summer evening, how about you? 

See more of Kateryna's home here.

Would you like to feel inspired by more clever small space design ideas today? Check out: 

Har det så fint! 


Photography: Kateryna Gonchar shared with kind permission

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Before and After: My Summer Balcony Make-Over

On our top floor (third floor) we have a balcony which I have to confess, we've never actually used. In fact, a good friend who has visited my home millions of times even commented that she never knew it existed! It's actually a lovely, peaceful spot which gets at least one more hour than sunshine than our little backyard. And in a time when our homes and outdoor spaces have become increasingly important, I finally decided it was time to do something about it! The balcony is 2.5 metres x 1.5 metres and there's a big door that opens outwards onto it, making it a fairly tricky space to furnish. Fortunately, the wood decking was already in place when we moved in so I didn't need to start completely from scratch - just furnish it! I noticed my lovely Danish client - Nordal had just the outdoor chairs I was looking for and it all went from there. Here's the lowdown:

This is the view from our bedroom. It may look like we only have sheer curtains but look closer and you'll spot a tightly rolled up black out blind over the door. 

I absolutely love plants and surrounding myself with greenery. I planted a wisteria in the ground when we moved in over 10 years ago and it has climbed the entire way up our house, and onto our third-floor balcony! If it could, it would take over the entire interior too (like something out of 'Little Shop of Horrors'!). It's my pride and joy - especially when it blooms - the scent is divine! 

I picked out a pair of rattan-inspired Vasai lounge chairs which have a rattan and wood look but designed for outdoor use.  

Look at any outdoor Scandinavian seated area and you'll no doubt find a blanket - a year-round staple! This one is the linen Saturn towel - which I think works equally well as a blanket, although I have no doubt the girls will enjoy taking it down to the water as soon as Toney catch wind of this new piece!

In my mind you can never have enough greenery so mI'm always looking for ways to add more. This Ajonu pot has a wonderful grainy effect - and is perfect for adding more plants to the balcony (sadly, not everything can grow three storeys high!). 

Since the balcony is on the top floor and therefore quite a long way from the kitchen, we figured a rattan tray would be ideal for carrying items up and down the stairs, but shied away from a table since there simply isn't really the space. Maybe I'll add one later should I feel I miss it!

Also seen here: a summery WEVA pitcher (I might have to exchange the water to PIMMS later!), Tonga notebook in suede and brass watering can. 

I also added a summery jute rug from Granit, so that it would feel softer underfoot. It looks pretty but it will need to bene taken in in wet weather. 

I hope you like my balcony update as much as I do. 

If anyone's looking for us this weekend, you'll find Per and I right here!

See also:

Wishing you all a great weekend!


*This post is sponsored by Nordal. 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.

Styling: Helen Sturesson

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Turn Your Outdoor Space Into a Cosy Haven This Autumn / Winter

Baby, it's cold outside. At least in Sweden! Usually, this would be a cue to move indoors, but there's nothing normal about 2020, right? This autumn it's all about catching up with close friends and family al fresco. Which means it's time to up the backyard / balcony ante! The good news is, the Scandinavians have been pros at this for years. Visit a café or restaurant in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, and you'll find every chair in the outdoor area has been prepped with a fleece blanket. And they don't stop there. Sheepskins, outdoors rugs, string lights, lanterns, candles and fire pits are all pre-requisites to a cosy evening al fresco - no matter the weather! I started to up my backyard game a few weeks back, but I've realised there's a whole lot more I can do. Are you also looking to turn your outdoor space into a cosy haven? Here's a little inspiration to get you started.

Early Autumn nights call for candles, lanterns, a beautiful set of string lights and maybe even the warmth of an open flame. All this, not only to illuminate your outdoor space but also to create a relaxing ambience and the kind of comfort we crave right now! 

Lastly, round up some extra chunky blankets and put them within easy reach for you and your guests to grab. You can never have too many! 

Just add woolly jumpers, a hat and a steaming mug of glögg and you're all good to go! 

What are your plans for staying connected this Autumn (or Spring if you're in the southern hemisphere)? 

I'm thinking lots of Zoom calls, but we also might just fire up the barbecue this weekend for halloween!


Thank you so much to Ana Degenaar for helping to collateral the lovely pictures for this blog post! 

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10 Ways To Maximise Your Tiny Balcony / Outdoor Space!

The days are getting longer, and the sun is starting to flood our homes once again! Yay! With so many of us spending more (if not all) of our time at home right now, it's become even more important to maximise the outdoor space we have. Thankfully there's so much you can do with even the teeny tiniest of balconies - from creating an urban jungle, to watching the world go by from a deck chair. Here are ten inspiring ways you can make the most of your balcony and tap into nature's stress busting qualities, top up on Vitamin D and feel the wonderful warmth of the sun on your face. 

1. (above): Create an urban jungle by lining your balcony with pots at different levels. Balcony fences also make great 'climber' rigging!  

2. Line your balcony with cushions and blankets so you can enjoy your afternoon tea alfresco - and watch the world go by! 

3. Go boho and take your rattan and jute furniture and mats as well as cushions outside - proof that you don't need a garden to get that garden feel! Oh, and you'll keep your furry friends happy too! 

4. Live in a warm country? Shield yourself from the sun with a natural canopy and create a romantic outdoor space with a small round table and vintage chair. Forest bathing in the heart of the city! 

5. Sadly, we can't all enjoy a view of the Eiffel Tower (isn't it magical?!) but we can pack our balcony with pretty flowers and taller plants to create privacy - and add a couple of deck chairs for a true summer oasis! 

6. Carry lightweight furniture such as benches, side tables and blankets outside as soon as the sun shows up (a blanket will keep you warm if the temperatures start to drop!). It's easy to chuck it all inside again once the clouds start to appear! 

FYI IKEA sells outdoor wood balcony tiles like these. 

7. Keep it simple and sophisticated like Nina of Stylizimo's black Norwegian balcony. Shades and sunhat optional! 

8. Go casual and low with a touch of the tropics like Victoria of SF Girl By Bay has done in her outdoor space (I know it's not a balcony, but it can totally be replicated in smaller spaces too). 

9. Use pillars and poles for climbers ( I love a wisteria and clematis) and make the most of your outdoor space to create a herb and vegetable patch. No access to a garden centre right now? Seeds, pips and stones from your kitchen can be super easy to harvest if you google how! 

And why not cosy up your hard outdoor furniture with fluffy sheepskins while you're at it! 

10. No balcony, no worries! Make the most of a wider windowsill to create a window seat - or rearrange furniture to place your comfiest chair by the window so you can enjoy sunny days to the full!  

I hope this round-up has given you a few ideas. Did you have a favourite? 

If you know of anyone that might benefit from these tips, please feel free to share! 

There's a load more beautiful outdoor space for every budget inspiration here: 

Bring on the spring sunshine! 


PS Feel free to add your own tips below!

Credits: 1. Gardenista / Home of script writer Diane Valsonne 2. Anon 3. 4. House & Garden 5. Clem Around The Corner 6. Anon 7. Nina Holst / Stylizimo 8. SF Girl By Bay 9. Anon 10. Alvhem

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7 Boho Ideas for Outdoor Spaces (Big and Small)!

Yesterday's Varlborg's celebrations here in Sweden marked the first official day of Spring (you'd never guess - BRRRR!). But there's no way I'm going to let a little rain get in the way of a beautifully relaxed outdoor space, how about you?! Here are my pick of 7 bohemian style outdoor spaces  - each offering some pretty ideas on how to create your own slice of paradise, no matter how small your space and what the weather gods decide to do!

Photography Molly Culver for Camille Styles (don't miss the full studio tour!)

This neutral covered terrace has been kept beautifully simple. To achieve a similar look, paint the wood decking white (using materials suitable for the outdoors) and keep to simple light wicker chairs (the hanging rattan bench* is divine!), lanterns and matting. Large tropical plants such as Bamboo, Bird of Paradise, Hardy Banana and Needle Palm will withstand colder climes and will bring a little touch of Paradise to your outdoor space (even on the gloomiest of days)!

 Lisa Smith
How's this for a reading corner?! All you need it a hammock, printed fabric a few Cactus and a good book!

Photo - Lucy in the sky / Domino   

Swap a hammock for a simple canvas daybed - add a few lanterns and candles and you might just want to stay out all night!

Photography by Anson Smart

Sofa's, linen cushions, a patchwork rug and dappled sunlight are enough to create a simple boho look with a hint of luxe.

Photography: Emily Katz / The Butcher's Daughter (love this entire Insta feed!)
Who needs balmy evenings when you can create your own? A roaring fire (love the tiles!) adds just the right amount of warmth to a small, narrow backyard. Don't forget to add a simple canopy for an extra cosy feel!

Photography: Lynden Foss, Styling by Tahnee Carroll for Spell & The Gypsy (fabulous shop!)

I'm imagining afternoon tea and a large fruit platter (OK who am I kidding... biscuits, cakes...!) under this awning. How idyllic?!

Photography by Sjoerd Eickmans
And finally, a dreamy outdoor dining space, sheltered from the mid-day sun. The look is au natural all the way and long benches mean there's always room for more!

Aaaa, I feel relaxed just looking at these spaces, how about you? Although they all look like they are in warmer climes (bah!), don't be put off! Just add wicker chairs and rugs specifically designed for the great outdoors (I have my eye on the Pottery Barn Solange rug below), candlelight and plenty of textiles. Oh and perhaps an awning to keep the rain at bay!

19 boho pieces for your outdoor space for under $100 / 100

1. Tassel Edged Cotton Throw
2. GODAFTON Candle Set
3. Seagrass Tea Light Holder
4. Hanging Hammock Chair
5. Ridged Cotton Cushions
6. Assorted Brown Glass Votives
7. Solange Synthetic Kilim Rug
8. Open Weave Wicker Patio Accent Chair
9. Avignon Hanging Fabric Planter
10. Candle in Glass Jar
11. Bamboo Pendant Light Large
12. Green Marble Tray
13. Acacia Wood Platter
14. Green Stoneware Round Flowerpot
15. Green Stoneware Flowerpot
16. Wicker Planter
17. Round Seat Cushion
18. Vintage Turkish Kilim Pillow Cover
19. Vintage Outdoor String Lights

Looking for more outdoor space inspiration? Check-out this 19th century Swedish house with an outdoor oasis, an idyllic Swedish cottage with an outdoor kitchen and shower, and 7 outdoor spaces.

Let's go outside (let's go outside), in the sunshine....

This post contains some affiliate links. 

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A soothing grey Swedish apartment with a lovely balcony

My childhood home in Southwest London had huge floor to ceiling windows which looked out over woodland. I have to admit I used to peg it through tow woods on my way back from friends houses in the dark! But by day I absolutely loved the green outlook,  and it has totally shaped the environment I feel most happy in today. Even in the heart of the city, I have always tried to live somewhere I can look out and see a touch of greenery (loving this apartment block). (Did your childhood environment have the same impact? My husband grew up by the sea in Helsingborg and can't stand feeling land locked). I think that's what struck me the most about this lovely Swedish apartment - the sitting room opens out onto a balcony with beautiful views over parkland. And even though the outdoor space is small, it would perfectly serve as an antidote to the stresses and strains of daily life (and most importantly a spot for that all important Friday night drink!). The rest of the apartment has been decorate in soothing shades of grey, made cosy by contrasting textures. Lovely!

This apartment was found via Planete Deco with thanks. Can anyone provide the credits so I can update the post?

Fancy joining me for a drink on that balcony?!

Get the look: sitting room - zig-zag cushion (I also love this and this one!), brass table lamp by House Doctor, linen table cloth. Balcony - sheepskin throw, Askholmen table by IKEA (perfect little table for small balconies).

Weekend link love:

These copper plant stands are such a great DIY idea! Love the pink sofa too.

Art in the bathroom - do or don't?

The world's most beautiful tile floors.

Ice sticks to go with the aforementioned Friday night drink!

That's Saturday's lunch sorted - Mmmm!

Have you seen the latest Lodestars Anthology (an independent magazine-meets-journal for curious travellers who long to be inspired, see the world and meet interesting characters along the road)? It's all about Sweden, which is so exciting!

I'm still dreaming of my summer holiday after yesterday's post (oh and for those asking, I finally found a pic of Ernesto! How cute?!).

Speaking of which, if you could choose, would you go for this type of holiday, or this?!

Have a wonderful weekend and see you Monday!

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