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Playful Touches in Erik's Calm Swedish Home

Good morning friends! I'm kicking off the week with a tour of Erik Josefsson's 60 m2 / 645 f2 apartment in Gothenburg. An interior designer, Erik is always keeping his finger on the pulse and updating his lovely turn-of-the-century home. I love how his style has evolved since I featured his previous abode in 2019. Keep a look out for touches of colour, pattern and playful pieces against a calm yet interesting backdrop. Ready to take a look? 

So many fabulous touches, and some very interesting colour choices too! 

Erik has been great at tagging the furniture and accessories in his instagram feed, so if you're curious to find out where he bought the items take a look there. You're also welcome to ask away in the comment section below, and I'll do my best to help! 

Have a great start to the week friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Erik Josefsson. 

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12 Playful Design Trends in Sussie's fabulous Danish Home

Every time I head over the bridge to Denmark I come back feeling really inspired. I simply love the way people dress, the lifestyle they lead and of course, the interiors in Copenhagen. Last week I felt no different when I returned from Formland - a fantastic Nordic design fair. Researching for my panel discussion about minimalism or maximalism', I learned so much about the latest trends that are rocking the design world and would love to share a few of these with you today! 

I couldn't think of a better way to do it, than through the lens of Sussie Frank, an interior designer, photographer and stylist as well as co-founder of paint brand Colour Stories who lives in a beautiful house in Aarhus on the Danish mainland. Sussie's house was built in 1917 and measures a tremendous 382 m2 / 4111 f2 laid out over four floors. Sussie renovated the house for 6 months, while being careful to honour the time and age of the house before moving in in January 2021. Today the family of four enjoy an incredible home that's full of surprises - and a perfect example of what's happening in the Danish design world. 

Here are 12 trends I spotted:  

1. Anything goes 

I bet you weren't expecting the pink stairs. I certainly wasn't! 

But why not? I mean we only live once, right?

In fact, this reflects the sentiment of the fashion and design world right now - go your own way, work hard on making your home as personal as possible. Mix and match colours, patterns, shapes and texture to create your own world. 

Looking to add joy? Bring in playful touches. Looking for calm? Think about adding soothing tones and furniture with soft round edges.  

But above all else decorate for your, and don't worry what others think!

As I write this it feels ridiculously obvious, but I think it's been easy to forget this over the years with so many supposed design 'rules'. It was only during the pandemic where many of us started to think 'hang on, is the decor I want? Are these the colours that make me feel at my best'? Have I surrounded myself with meaningful items? Or can I do more to my home to make it feel personal? 

The time is right, right?

2. Eclectic dreams 
Every piece in Sussie's home is unique - and this is very much the direction of homes today, as people strive to create a home which is unique and packed with personality. 

3. Art is everywhere
Art is everywhere - it's in the furniture which has taken on all kinds of fabulous forms (like the Puffy Chair designed by Faye Toogood), it's in the rugs, lamps and even the staircases, doors and architraves.

4. Folk art
We're bringing more folk art into our homes. Patchwork (like this quilt by Instabydomi) is becoming more popular and a great way too upcycle scraps of fabric. I love the work by Danish brand Jou Quilts

We're also seeing more embroidery which has a wonderful sense of nostalgia. But forget 'fuddy duddy' - it's all about 'newstalgia' and bringing a modern touch to old pieces. 

5. Mix and match pattern
Oh, and pattern. Lots of pattern. Mix and match dots, checks, stripes... anything goes! 

6. Upcycling
In the past, some might have seen painting an antique or vintage piece as sacrilegious. But as we move more and more into creating a more sustainable home, up cycling is a great way to breathe new life into an  old piece. Keep a look out for the less attractive items at the secondhand store (usually in the back corner / bargain basement) - with a little vision and an artistic touch, they can quickly become a unique treasure! 

7. A load of texture
The home has become more and more textured and yep, you've guessed it, any type of surface goes. Think everything from mirror, chrome and brass to leather, 'fluff', boucle, marble, glass, paper, and wood. 

8. Playful accessories
Small items are a great way to add a play touch to the home. Decorative  lamps, crazy mirrors, and colourful and crazy shaped vases are all great ways to play around with your home and add a personal touch. 

9. Newstalgia
Spot the chair above? The red legs give it more of a playful touch from what we're used to seeing. It's 'newstalgia' at play - taking something old and giving it a modern lease of life. Expect to see more of this in the design world moving forwards. Although don't worry, if you're like me, there'll always be the iconic, tone on tone, natural classics too! 

Another nod to embroidery that's slowly creeping into homes in both modern and traditional ways. 

10. Patch and repair
This also transcends into 'fixing' things - like socks, cushions, bedspreads etc it's time for a 'repair and re-wear' mindset, and best of all, your sewing doesn't need to be perfect. Phew! 

11. The unexpected
Small elements of surprise go a long way towards creating a personal space. I love this view of Sussie's bathroom with luxury marble walls, gold trims and a playful vintage pendant. 

Take a closer look at this collection of items - including a jute holdall, contemporary sculptural stool and a traditional Nordic basket - it demonstrates the mix and match ethos. 

12. Go wild with paint
Do you remember when painting one accent wall in a room felt like the wild thing to do? Well, today, absolutely anything goes. Bannisters, architraves, radiators, windowsills, ceilings. And don't worry about 'just' going for pastels or tone on tone. Playing around with contrast is the way to go! It's such an exciting development and has me looking around my own home thinking what to paint next, how about you? 


What an absolutely incredible house! I love how Sussie has added so many interesting pieces. And the paintwork is fab too! 

See more of her wonderful home over at @sussiefrank

I'd love to hear your thoughts about these latest developments that are rocking the danish design world. I think they are so fun and playful. Who doesn't want to walk into a room and feel joy? They also make me want to go a bit more wild in my own home - while maintaining the calming sanctuary I've created - of course! 

Wishing you a fabulous start to the week! See you Wednesday! 

Niki

PS The mail subscription is up and running so do sign-up below if you'd like to receive my blog posts directly to your inbox! 

Photography: staircase - Anitta Behrendt. All others: Sussie Frank

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12 Simple Ways To Add Colour To Your Home This Spring, Danish Style

Good morning, friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend. I'm feeling completely revived after a visit from my sister - and a trip to the forest and a sauna / dip in the sea (all in all, a very Swedish weekend!). I thought I'd kick off the week with some Danish style colour inspiration. I'm not talking all out riot, more subtle, yet vibrant touches that will lift the home and put a smile on your face in an instant!

Maria Harmuth, who lives with her husband Morten and son Billie, has been renovating her beautiful, old apartment in Copenhagen. She started out by creating a timeless backdrop in warm, neutral shades before furnishing it with some wonderful Scandinavian classics. But what really stood out to me is how Maria has then added a layer of colourful accessories in shades of baby blue, lavender and sherbet as well as bright pops of tomato red and deep Klein blue to bring the look bang up to date. 

Here are 12 simple ways for even the most colour shy among us, to add colour to your home this spring:

1. Colourful kitchen glassware, utensils and dishes: it's hugely expensive to renovate a kitchen (I know just from working with our small summer cottage kitchen!). So, selecting timeless units and cabinets that will stand the test of time is wise. However, this doesn't mean you can't add a colourful touch. Simple items like colourful jugs and glasses, fruit bowls, chopping boards (this one is from Fabrek) and plant pots will help to give the space a lift.

2. Throw in a curveball: add a funky touch with an item that breaks off from all the other pieces. Here, an ornate candle holder fitted with candles in a lavender shade gives the kitchen a unique touch. 

3. Tomato red chair or stool: a classic Scandinavian trick - and one of the Danish colours of the year, this vibrant shade screams 'look at me' and adds heat and energy to the open-plan living space while also working well with pastel shades. The trick is not to overdo it - a single fiery red chair, stool or a pendant lamp is all that's needed. 

4. Candles: colourful candles have been everywhere these past 12 months. Mix and match and place in a brass candleholder like this STOFF Nagel* one to brighten up your dining table this spring. 

5. Ceramics: colourful ceramic mugs are having a moment and designed to be on display like art (as well as used, of course!). Go for mix and match colours and styles for a playful touch. 

6. Rugs: the rules are: there ain't no rules! Especially when it comes to the rug in this picture. The bright green and white cheques totally break off from the rest of the room and the size defies everything the rule books say about size. So, get experimenting and don't be afraid to do something different. It'll add a cool funky off-beat touch to the look!  

7. Cushions and blankets: Klein blue is so popular in Copenhagen right now (both in the fashion world  and home). This Klein blue cushion, baby blue striped blanket (stripes are BIG right now) and brown suede combination livens up the corner and looks divine! 

8. Storage: Everyone needs somewhere to put their keys, letters and other small items, so why not make a statement with a bright coloured unit like this one from Montana!  

9. Art / prints: go bold with art to add a splash to the walls. Online stores like The Poster Club* have a big array of colourful art to choose from. 

10. Bedding: refresh your bedroom with mix and match linen bedding in shades of lavender, pastel yellow, baby blue and peach! True Things Linen* sells linen in every shade under the sun!  

11. Flowers and vases: probably the simplest way to revive any space and brighten up your day - whether you go for a single bloom or a large bouquet in a riot of colours. Throw in a coloured vase for good measure! 

12. Small storage: it's common (and wise) to stick to neutral, timeless looks in the bathroom, but that doesn't mean you can't funk it up a little with some colourful accessories. Storage trays, toothbrush holders and towels offer a great opportunity to add a vibrant touch. 

How fabulous! And so achievable too! 

I hope you found these touches of colour inspiring. 

Curious about the neutral shades? In the kitchen and sitting room Maria has applied Smooth White from Jotun. 

See more of Maria's home over at @mariaharmuth

Would you like to see a few other homes with pops of colour? I love: 


By the way, 'funk / funky' is a very usual description in British English to describe something cool in an off-beat way, but while writing it I couldn't help feel a little nervous that it might mean something completely different in the US or other English speaking countries (gaaaah!). Can you help me out here? 

Wishing you all a wonderful start to the week! 

Niki

Photography: Maria Harmuth, shared with kind permission

*affiliate link

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Maria's Colourful Apartment Will Brighten Up Your Day!

It's very grey here in Malmö today which made it almost impossible to get out of bed this morning (not helped by my new bedroom make-over!). To pep things up a little, I thought I'd go for some colour, what do you think? Maria-Silva Villbrandt's home in Wedding (love the name!), Berlin is just the ticket! Maria is a content creator and manager for the popular lifestyle blog Herz und Blut, founded by her sister Jules. Her creativity transcends through to her apartment, which is made up of a spacious kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom. Maria has created a wonderful, unique living space which is a sea of vibrant colours and full of interesting art, eclectic furniture and interesting details. Ready to feel inspired? 

Maria's pink kitchen is from Burger Küchenmöbel. The TR Bulb, Suspension Frame light from Menu hangs over the countertop. 

A Flowerpot portable table lamp* sits atop a vintage table for two in the kitchen. But the showstopper is the striped curtains - very funky and different! Try Etsy* for similar. 

'Illegal Party' lithograph by Stefan Marx (I see there are only a few left on his site). Colourful art by Janes Haid-Schmallenburg. Ambit Lamp* by Muuto. 

Art by Fabienne, Jules Villbrandt, and GABE. The cabinet is by Swedish brand String

Colourful parasols are the way forward right now. This fine specimen is from Business & Pleasure Co. I also love the ones by Sunday Supply (here's Ali and I enjoying our yellow and white striped one on the beach a few weeks ago! - yes, I'm on TikTok - just trying to find my feet, with a lot of help from my girls! Are you on there too?).    

Speaking of sunny yellow, Maria's sofa is from the young furniture brand Noah Living


One of the big Danish colour trends this Autumn (discovered at Formland) is a yellow accent combined with lavender and coral, as seen above! 

Colourful Montana shelving (on the far side of the sofa) is used to display a variety of eclectic pieces including on-trend colourful twisted candles*, a flowerpot lamp* as well as books. 


Such an inspiring home! I loved all the colour, it's really brightened up my day - and given me a load of ideas. 

Has Maria's home put a spring in your step and inspired you, too? 

See more of her home over at @ponysailor - and feel inspired by her wonderful travel, food and beauty stories over at Herz und Blut

Looking for more colour today? I love: 


Wishing you all a bright, sunshin-ey day (who knows, the sun might even make an appearance here at some point!). 

Niki

Photography: Jules Villbrandt 

*this post contains affiliate links

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