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Before and After: Old Stables Become a Beautiful Country Home


Come on, own up! Who frequently fantasises about buying a run-down property / wreck and doing it up? I totally confess to dreaming about this on a monthly basis. Especially when I see some of the incredible transformations out there. And today, I think you're going to feel hugely inspired by the home of Anna-Lena in Lower Saxony, Germany. I think we can all agree that there is such an incredible amount of work that goes on behind-the-scenes of any property renovation. Which is why 'before', 'during' and 'after' pictures are a great reality check, but also inspire. It's quite incredible what vision, hard work and of course, a solid budget can do! Ready to feel inspired? Here are some pictures of Anna-Lena's home - which has slowly been transformed from dilapidated stables into a beautiful, rustic, modern country home! 

Exterior before 

A lot of the exterior was covered in plaster when they first purchased the property. This was carefully removed to reveal the original brickwork.  The entrance has also been modernised and new windows have been installed. 


Main living room - before


Wow! In the above picture you can really get a sense of how the stables looked before the renovation. It was a completely open shell and the stalls are clearly visible. 

The main living space was transformed into a well-insulated living space with a reinforced ceiling to allow for a second floor. 

Main living space - after


The wonderful Clou-Xtra wood-burning stove creates a focal point, while the concrete floor and beautiful wood ceiling add character to the space. 


The darker, clean and contemporary kitchen creates contrast and a sense of drama to the room, while the wood farmhouse table adds warmth and a rustic touch - pertaining to the past. 


Stairs were installed in the back corner of the stables for access to the second floor. 

Master Bedroom with En suite - During! 

Insulation work was carried out on the roof and two VELUX skylights were added to slip in light over the bath. The entire floor was re-constructed and a new wood floor laid. 


Master Bedroom and En suite - After

The beams were preserved to add character to the space and a new wood floor adds a light, modern touch to the space. Natural textures seen in the plant pot and bedding (you can find similar off-white bedlinen here*) help to add depth and warmth to the overall look. The storage is a mix of modern (IVAR from IKEA) and a large vintage wardrobe. 



Bathroom - Before


The room that the second bathroom occupies was non-existent and needed to be created from scratch, which shows the extent of the work put into transforming the building into a liveable space! 


Bathroom - after

The bathroom design is relatively simple yet texture from the wood, the subtle plaster finish behind the washbasin and the beautiful vintage unit help to add interest and warmth to the space.


Hallway / Entrance  - After
A barn door offers a wonderful nod to the history of the building, while the simple, rustic aesthetic is keeping with the rest of the property.

From what I understand from Anna-Lena's instagram, there's a lot more renovation work to be done. And I for one, will be following their journey! 

If you're keen to see what they do next, keep an eye out for updates here: @house.no1

Looking for more 'before and after' / renovation inspiration today? Check out these incredible transformations: 


Could you imagine taking on a project like this? Even if you're not quite ready to take the plunge (or perhaps it's simply to your thing, which is entirely understandable!), I hope seeing these before and after pictures have left you feeling inspired all the same! 

Vi ses imorgon! 

Niki

Photography: Anna-Lena / @houseno.1 shared with kind permission
*This post contains affiliate links

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Before & After: Liv's Tween Bedroom Becomes a Teen Bedroom!

In Collaboraton with Nordal
My eldest daughter Liv is turning thirteen this summer. THIRTEEN! Where on earth has the time gone? I've noticed her bedroom has become more and more important to her - it's a place to hang out with friends (both in person and online), do homework, chill, spread clothes out ALL over the floor.... you name it! 

The upshot? It's time to transform her room from tween to teen. And the pink's gonna have to go! 

For this, I needed a partner. And who better than Danish brand Nordal - a family driven interior design business selling exciting furniture and accessories for the home and garden - and valued long-term partner of My Scandinavian home. 

Here's what we did:

Before

I didn't think of taking real 'before' pictures, these were snapped with my phone a little into the make-over process (hence the blank wall and tape!), but hopefully it'll give you a hint of what it looked like before. The pink has served Liv well over the years, but everything was starting to feel 'too young'. Plus, at 177 cm (the same height as me!) - and all her sleepovers, it was time to get a bigger bed!


The brief


Liv is a real water babe. She has ALWAYS loved the water. I'll never forget her first bath - it was as if she was suddenly in complete harmony and at one with her surroundings. Over time, she became really fond of swimming in the sea and going to the local pool. These days, she swims four times a week with a local club. Blue was therefore a natural choice for the walls - and natural materials such as rattan, linen and jute would help to bring the feel of the Swedish coastline she so loves, into her room. 

I headed to the store for some samples. Let me tell you now, pale blue isn't the easiest of shades to get right. Firstly, there are about a thousand to choose from (which was a little overwhelming!), and secondly, they never look the same once on the wall. have you found that too? Gaaah!

In the end we settled on Moln by Alcro. Meaning 'cloud', Moln was the palest of pale blue shades - yet on the wall it felt calm and created just the hint of pale blue Liv was after. 

In my world, there's nothing like the last minute (I'm known for it - just ask Per!). All the beautiful items arrived from Nordal the day before the shoot (amazing turn around by the Danish team - thank you guys!), and it was all hands on deck - with help from Per as well as the My Scandinavian Home stylist extraordinaire Helen Sturesson, and even Liv and Allie! A fun day, I have to say! 

After

Tadaaaa! From teen to tween in a matter of days! Let me talk you through the transformation:


There's nothing like rattan to bring a relaxed beach vibe to a space and this beautiful 180 cm headboard was just the ticket! It's a perfect piece as it's stand-alone, meaning it simply slots behind the bed with absolutely no installation required! Hooray! 


I love the imperfection, plus Liv tells me it's surprisingly soft to lean against as it's very smooth. I can already imagine her and her friends leaning against it, chatting into the night! 


A reading light is an absolute essential for any bedroom. Since the room is fairly small - and children tend to have a LOT of things - I thought it was important to go for something wall mounted to keep it out of the way. I love the brass touch of the Athene golden wall lamp - it fitted well with the rattan and can also be tilted and swivelled in order to provide light for both the bed and desk area. 

In the height of the summer, it really only gets dark for a few hours a day, so black-out blinds / curtains are essential. Liv has always been a bit of a poor sleeper too (although a little better these days thanks to all that swimming!) so I placed a lot of importance on getting the window dressing right! These black-out curtains are from HM Home (I got them adjusted to the right length at a local dry cleaners). If you look closely, you can also see blinds!  Yep, not taking any chances! 

The desk has been updated to a lighter look from IKEA (the old one is now in Allie's room!) - and she also has a new ergonomic desk chair (in the hope that she'll sit there for longer doing her homework, worth a shot!). 


Since her bed is also her hangout zone, we ramped up the cosiness with Nordal cushions - including the dark blue Capella, knitted off-white Lyra and beige Capella.

We also added a grey-brown linen bed cover and dark blue cotton yoga blanket for contrast and cold nights! helping to keep warm on cooler nights. 


Another bedroom essential: the side table (this one is the Victoria pillar side table in light blue) for her books, glasses of water, no doubt her phone, earrings and other bits and bobs! 

The wall basket was designed by my friend Maria Gustavsson from Swedish Ninja and made locally here in Southern Sweden. 

Oh yes, and I haven't mentioned the amazing lamp yet! How could I forget that? The oversized SIF lampshade is a real statement piece and instantly brought a relaxed, rustic beach vibe to the room! I can imagine it looking FAB over a dining table too (if you have high ceilings).  

And finally, the rug! This Ava hemp carpet in size 160 cm x 240 cm is so soft and completed the look beautifully. Love the fringe! 

Needless to say, Liv's thrilled with her new room! 

But it's not quite finished. 

On the opposite side of the room, some new shelves are needed (update to follow!). And most importantly of all, this is a mere 'backdrop' for whatever she'd like to do with the space - including layering the wall with posters and photographs and surrounding herself with all her favourite things. 

In other words, it's time for me to step back and let Liv take over!



I hope you enjoyed the make-over!

If you're curious about any of the items, please do ask away in the comment section below. I'd be happy to help! 

You can find Nordal items in these webshops

Right, I'm off downstairs to see what Liv's done to her room (I can hear her pottering about!). I'm sure some posters and prints have already gone up! 

See also Albin's teenage bedroom make-over and Allie's before and after bedroom make-over (they certainly don't look as tidy as that today!). 

What did your childhood bedroom look like? Mine was covered in Laura Ashley wallpaper and my clothes were stored in an antique chest-of-drawers (I remember having to pry the drawers open!). 

Naturally, I ruined the entire look my Mother had created with posters of Bros, Aha and the Pet Shop Boys (totally showing my age here!!). Later, I remember adding framed black and white Robert Doisneau photographs. 

Those were the days! 

Niki

Photography by me, shoot styling by Helen Sturesson

This was a paid partnership with Nordal - however, all words and products choices were mine and Liv's (with a little guidance from Helen!). Thank you for supporting the wonderful businesses that help make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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Before and After: A Portland Home Gets a Beautiful Makeover!

On the fourth consecutive day of rain in southern Sweden, there's only one thing for it: comfort food. And this is what led me to Eva Kosmas Flores. Eva shares mouth-watering daily recipes on her instagram feed @evakosmasflores - all of which have a wonderful seasonal flair (trust me, you'll be drooling!). I couldn't resist having a delve behind the scenes to find out more about the person behind the camera. 

It turns out, Eva is a Portland-based photographer (I've got my eye on her workshops!), keen gardener and a dab hand at interiors. Eva and her husband Jeremy recently transformed their old Portland home from a dated property into a beautiful home - and I simply had to share the before and after shots with you today!  So, get cosy guys, this one truly inspiring revamp! 

Kitchen before 

Eva described the original kitchen as the 'eye-sore of the house'. It featured mint green, almond cabinets with a golden oak trim and lots and lots of formica and linoleum. For someone who cooks and bakes as part of their work, the 70s appliances were also problematic. Needless to say, the pair were keen to renovate it as a matter of priority! 

Kitchen after


Eva and Jeremy hired in a contractor to help with the huge renovation - which included blocking off a doorway, removing the arch and ripping out the entire kitchen and starting over. The results are beautiful - but the project wasn't without its problems. Eva has shared a really honest account of the issues they experienced along the way here


Sitting room / dining room before:

Sitting room / dining room after:


Eva and Jeremy decided to tackle the dining area and sitting room alone - taking 10 months alongside their own work to transform it into a living space with beautiful dark wood floors, re-plastered wall and vintage pieces. A real labour of love! You can read about the details and trials and tribulations here




Bedroom and bathroom before

The second floor of the house felt uninviting, uncomfortable and totally impractical when they first moved in. The pair set about remodelling the space in order to create a dreamy, light-filled and functional master bedroom and bathroom.  

Bedroom and bathroom after

Eva and Jeremy hired a contractor to help with all the structural work such as tearing down walls, opening up ceilings, drywalling, plumbing, electricals etc. They then worked on the details to create a dreamy space with their own signature touch. Read more about the work and finishing touches here



Wow! Such a beautiful transformation! 

I could live on that top floor alone - just add a small kitchenette and I'd flit about as happy as Larry (I wonder if they say 'Lars' in Sweden? I'll have to check that with Per later). 

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

Follow Eva's blog / website and instagram for cooking inspiration, workshops and her latest renovation projects. 

And see more inspiring before and after tours here - honestly, the vision of some people simply astounds me! 

Have a lovely day! 

Niki

Photography: Eva Kosmas Flores

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