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A Playful And Relaxed Family Home That's Bound To Put a Smile On Your face!

Thursday totally calls for a little colour, don't you think? After all - we need to start gearing up for the weekend - only one day away friends, one day away! PHEW! I can't think of a better way to get into the spirit than by taking a peek inside the wonderful home of Ulrike Lea who goes by the hashtag #coloursaremytherapy. Ulrike, who describes herself as an 'interior design lover, cyclist, crafter, Mamma and nature addict' has decorated her lovely home in Aix La Chapelle, Germany using a mainly neutral backdrop and then add splashes of primary hues in the form of furniture, accessories, ceramics, art and flowers. The look is playful and relaxed - and offers great inspiration to anyone looking to add cheerful tones without going all out!

Tulip chairs* and table*, source a vintage filing cabinet here*.

Ceramics by Foekje Fleur and Can Family


One of the key kitchen trends this season is to do away with upper cabinets (not entirely practical if you have a small kitchen, I know! But Ulrike gets away with it beautifully in this space). 

Plates by Donna Wilson

This is a great source for boucheroute rugs*, pick up a vintage school chair here*, Love x Play poster from Odot studio. Source a vintage wooden racket here* (or just look in my Mum and dad's upstairs cupboard in London and you're bound to find a whole selection complete with towelling grips - John McEnroe style!!). 

A wall of art by Marta Abad Blay



My home suddenly feels so serious. I might just head on over to the websites of some of the artist's featured in Ulrike's home! So many fabulous ones here, and I've tried to name as many as I could!

Has this home inspired you too?

If you'd like to see more (and I can't blame you!) Ulrike shares daily snapshots of her home over on instagram: @donnerstagsonntag 

Happy Thursday guys!

Niki

PS I'm writing this post in the Malmö IKEA store restaurant having used my 'family card' to buy a great big semla (swedish easter bun-type thing) and a coffee (bargain!). It's surprisingly calm in here (I DEFINITELY wouldn't do the same at the IKEA on London's North circular!!).

Photography:  Ulrike Lea
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Embracing The Blues In The Fabulous Danish Home of Michael Schmidt

There's no mistaking Michael Schmidt's favourite colour. The thirty year old Danish creative consultant and business owner (with a background in fashion and interiors) acquired his 74 sqm  (796 sq ft) apartment six years ago as a student. "It had more space than I needed, but I fell completely in love with it's quirky layout and the great location - it's literally a few metres down the street from the Copenhagen lakes in the lively Nørrebro area." Michael has shared the apartment with various flatmates and partners, but today lives alone giving him a free hand on how he decorates the bedroom, dining room, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Not only is the home full of bold, yet harmonious contrast, it's also full of fascinating collector's items including art, design classics and sculptural pieces. I caught up with Michael to find out a little more about his wonderful, colourful Copenhagen home! 


Rhythm & Blues Dhurrie rug, teak credenza*, Knoll diamond chair*, vase by Helle Mardahl (seen in top picture)

How did the apartment look when you first bought it?
It actually had a lot of colour in each room - but a mix of purple, red, terracotta and beige - far from my liking! So I started from scratch by renovating it and painting everything white to create a blank canvas.

When did you start adding colour?
Over the years I have added more and more colour, as I feel it can be a great way to highlight different things. My apartment is very long, with an extended view through three rooms so I decided to highlight this by painting one wall in each room in three different colours, which elongates the layout even more. 

Art by Fabian Treiber, Karl Monies, Vintage poster from Vintage Cph

In what other ways has colours helped to create the atmosphere you were looking for?
I have a very small kitchen and it looked a bit dull in white, so I opted for a rich green to give the room a moody expression. People tend to be frightened of adding colour to small spaces but it can actually bring them to life in a totally new way.

How else have you added colour to your home?
Of course colour in the home is not only about walls, it's about furniture, accessories and art. Art especially can create a unique mix of colours in every room - I buy all my art from the heart, but I do think about how it would fit into my home, how it will work with the other colours, the light etc. 


Eiermann2 table, Montana shelves, VP Globe pendant* Photo by Martin Solyst

I notice you also have some fabulous, bold textiles!
I find another great way to add colour is with rich fabrics such as curtains or cushions. I have collected a number of cushions by designer Raf Simons for Kvadrat - his eye for colour and texture is amazing.

What are your go-to colours - I guess blue...?!
Blue is one of my favourite colours, as demonstrated. by my wardrobe and home! But I try to be careful not to overdo it with one colour, so I add a lot of green, grey and some red to my interior as well. I love to create a contrast between a green wall and a red shelf, or a blue wall and yellow vases. Maybe it sounds like a loud combination, but I spend a lot of time finding the exact shades to create contrast but maintain a calm atmosphere. Most of the colours I choose have a dusty tone. 

Poster from Louisiana museum, painting by Michael's great grandfather, Strøm Collection vase / jug

Where do you find inspiration for colour combinations?
One of my biggest inspirations is the Bauhaus movement. It is known for its functional design and use of primary colours like red and blue which help to highlight function and form. When I started painting the walls in my home, I made a collage of five Vilhelm Lundstrøm paintings, which gave me ideas on how to combine contrasting colours in a harmonious way. 


Recently we've been admiring the colourful Danish homes of Celine Hallas, Sofie Amalie and Trine Brunsvig. Do you think we'll see more and more colour in Danish homes? If so, what do you think is behind this movement?
I think Danish homes are much more colourful than they were ten years ago. The internet and social media provide amazing inspiration from all over the world. I also think Scandinavian countries have always created trend-forward homes, so why wouldn't they be adventurous with colour as too?  


Do you think the way Scandinavians use bolder colours differs from other parts of the world?
I think the shades of colours will be tailored to our climate, our light and our way of living - so even a colourful Danish home will probably appear different from a colour-filled Spanish or French home. We use muted colours to create our famous hygge, and add bolder colours to create contrasts and personal splashes of colour in our homes. 


Thank you so much for telling us more about your home Michael! It's totally inspired me to start playing around with colour contrasts, how about you? 

See more pics of Michael's interior and fab style on instagram: @danskmode

Meanwhile, I'm off to find out more about the Strøm Collection and pieces by Helle Mardahl - they look fabulous! 

Is there anything that stands out to you?

We're busy packing for a half-term ski trip today (I always forget how much stuff there is to do before you go away - help! We're bound to forget something important too (we've forgotten my elder daughters' ski jacket two years in a row now, not popular! Bah!). 

I'll be nipping in tomorrow as I've got some super exciting news to share with you!!! 

Have a lovely evening, see you tomorrow!

Niki


Photography by Martin Solyst & Michael Schmidt
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Lessons To Learn From A Colourful Yet Calm Norwegian Home


There's so much to love about the Norwegian home of interior stylist Rikke Bye-Andersen: from the colourful Scandinavian design furniture and pink accent walls to the contemporary art and tropical wallpaper. I caught up with Rikke to find out more.  Prepare to feel inspired to introduce more colour into your home, and still keep that beloved Scandi vibe alive!

Muuto Five Pouf*, Wing Back Chair*, Saucer pendant*


Have you always liked to have a lot of colour in your home?
I have always loved colour and am especially inspired by interiors from the UK and the US, I think they have that special touch of colour and a playful way of looking at interiors, rather than the minimalist white and grey associated with Norwegian style. I try to be a little different and am often complimented on the colours I choose for my furniture and walls.

I am not surprised, they are both cheerful and calming in equal measure! What is it about colour that you like? 
It's proven that colours make you happy and give you energy. For example, if you paint your kitchen yellow it will feel sunny everyday, and who doesn't want that feeling?!








As an interior stylist / designer, do you encourage your clients to use more colour?
In my work I like to inspire people to use more colour and go a little crazy. Not everything needs to match and be tone in tone - I think interiors should be more personal and fun. I also advise using colours that make you feel comfortable, but it's also good to think outside the box and not just follow what everyone else is doing in their homes.


Wishbone chairs*, Gubi pendant*

I spy a few Scandinavian beauties in your home - how does this fit with your scheme? 
I love to furnish my home with Scandinavian design pieces, but I tend to go for colourful fabrics so that they stand out a bit - like my Wing Chair by Hans. J. Wegner* in pink. I think I've only seen it in grey before! I'm not your typical Scandinavian minimalist.



Do you have colours you return to time and time again?
I am drawn to pastels and soft tones, these are hues I feel most comfortable with. I love green, so I have used a couple of different greens over the years. But pink is definitely my all time favourite, it's really warm, cosy and fun all at the same time - you can't go wrong with pink!

lamp gras 204 wall light in red has been mounted over a round mirror* above a freestanding bathroom sink from Duravit


Finally, do you have any tips for anyone looking to introduce more colour? 
Have fun playing with colours, it is so easy to paint a room! And it's just a colour... much better to try out different tones instead of playing it safe with white or grey.

The bedroom is painted in Peignoir from Farrow & Ball.

In the hall, Rikke has teamed Alexandrie wallpaper from Pierre Frey with Teresa's Green paint by Farrow & Ball. A fabulous plum coloured door completes the look! 




Wow! I absolutely love this home.

If I were to introduce more colour into my own home (which I plan to in 2019 - wait, did I say that last year too?!) I'd like to think this would be my approach!

That hallway!

We need to be braver (could well be speaking for myself here!).

Did you find Rikke's home inspiring too?

It's totally worth checking out her wonderful blog and instagram for a load more pictures!

Other fabulous Norwegian homes include the cosy and relaxed home of a blogger, a charming Norwegian home in green, grey and cognac and a beautiful Norwegian home in summer time.

Have a lovely day!

Niki

Photography: Filippa Tredal 

PS After the revelations in yesterday's post (including Valentina's comment!) I couldn't resist holding an instagram stories poll to see how many of us nip into open house / property viewings for fun (with no intention to buy). It seems like we're way nosier than the average Swede with 71% of us taking it as an opportunity to take a peek! Funny!

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Snapshots from a Colourful Copenhagen Home


As you know, I'm an extremely colour shy person - and the chances are if you're a regular reader, you are too! But that doesn't mean to say I don't appreciate bolder hues - and some of you have said you'd love to see more splashes of colour.

So, who's up for some *bright* inspiration today?! If so, the Copenhagen home of teacher Trine Brunsvig has it in bucket loads! A self-confessed lover of music, books, ceramic, history, coffee, and dresses, Trine's home is a riot of colour with vibrant pink furniture, sunny yellow accessories, aubergine, green and blue accent walls and some fab vintage furniture! Here are a few snapshots from her world in the Danish capital!


 Paintings by Mark Brunsvig

2018 is the year homes have become more playful, and it's such a welcomed touch! The photograph of the pink storage crate with an LP under the CD's in this corner of the dining room deceives the eye for a mere moment - quirky and fun - I love it! 

Just North of Copenhagen you'll find Louisiana Museum of Modern Art - an incredible place overlooking the Öresund sea. If you're in town it's well worth a visit - and whatever you do, don't miss the shop where some of Trine's posters are from! 

Got to love a museum shop!





Wow! 

Kind of fabulous! I love how personal and unique the space is. I'd really like to visit in person so I can get more of a hang of the layout, it's kind of tricky from these pictures.

I hope you felt inspired by all the colour all the same! 

If you'd like to see more of Trine's home and life around the Danish capital, check out her instagram feed here.

Got the colour bug now? Check out How to add colour, the Danish way and Karolina Modig's Creative Stockholm Home.

I can't believe it's P.O.E.T.S (Push Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday) day tomorrow - can you?! I'll be rounding off the week with a really lovely home tour - which I can't wait to share!

See you then!

Niki

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A Colourful Retro 'Funkis' Home in Norway

Green and pink accents are popping up everywhere this year - which makes me so happy, since it's one of my favourite combinations - are you a fan too?  We've seen everything from the darkest green and emerald to sage green and soft grey-green combined with subtle powder and dusty rose hues. But the 'deco pink' and pea green scheme in this house in Søgne, South Norway brings something new to the scene.



Bambi and Heels print by Julie Pike. 

The house was built in 2011-2012 and designed with large windows to capitalise on the stunning views over the Langeneskilen sea. Camilla, Henning and their son Storm moved in on Christmas Eve, 2012. "It really is wonderful to live so close to the sea," Camilla tells me, "sometimes, when we're having supper we can see fish jumping! Our son Storm is also very fond of the sea and loves to catch crabs and fish."

Camilla is a big fan of retro furniture (teak being a favourite!), contemporary art, and Scandinavian design classics - and of course, colour. "I need lots of colour in my home, I don't feel comfortable otherwise. My favourite hues are pink, turquoise and mint," Camilla explains.

Contemporary Art by Anetmai
Interior designers often suggest adding an element of surprise to a room to really bring it to life and make it truly unique. In this room a beaded, flamingo door hanging does the trick (and looks great next to the retro storage unit!). 

"The flamingo wall hanging I bought in Croatia. I love pieces like that, and when I saw it, I knew it was meant for me! The colours of the flamingos are beautiful, and I think it's a fun piece to have in our living room. It will certainly be moved around the house!

This is a perfect example of how you can transform a neutral space with a few accessories and a statement piece. In Camilla's bathroom a mint coloured retro chest-of-drawers, salmon pink towels and a rattan plant pot add a fresh and vibrant feel. I love the seascape too!

Is there anything that you love in particular from this home? I'm already wondering where to use that deco pink!

You can check out more snapshots from Camilla's home on her instagram @rainbowfunkis - and for other inspiring colourful Scandinavian homes I'm loving: bright colours in a Danish home 
(also featuring Deco pink!), a Danish home full of vintage treasures and 12 child-friendly ideas from a happy family home in Berlin. Oh hang on - why don't I just give you the link to the entire bright colour homes archive - far easier!

I hope you enjoyed the tours!

Vi ses imorgon!

Niki

Photography by Camilla / @Rainbowfunkis shared with kind permission

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Budget Make-Over: A Small, Dingy Hallway Becomes a Bright, Happy Space

Do you ever think you play it way to safe at home? I sometimes look around and wonder why I'm not going a little more wild! Perhaps not on the bigger investment pieces like sofas and kitchen cabinets but on the smaller items like paint and accessories (i.e. things that can be easily swapped out once you tire of them) - after all, pops of colour can put such a big smile on your face!

This hallway is a fine example. Natalie Jacob of Arsenic Lace, recently transformed her dingy, windowless hallway and stairwell into a bright and happy place as part of the Calling It Home One Room Challenge. Think rainbow pink stairs, vibrant botanical wallpaper and macrame plant holders - all on a shoe-string budget!

Natalie opted for Fern Leaves wallpaper from Boho Walls and placed an IKEA bench under a row of hooks for multipurpose storage.




The stairs have been painted in Soft Pink, Creamy Peach, Perky Peach, and Summer Sun Pink by Benjamin Moore and range from a lighter pink at the top of the stairs to a deep coral at the foot. 

Natalie made the plant hangers herself (DIY tutorial here) but there are many affordable options on Etsy, like this lovely one!

A painting by Natalie's partner Ethan has been designed to perfectly match the colours of the hallway - so clever (and pretty!).

You can read more about Natalie's hallway refresh here and see more inspiration from her lovely home (and a load of GREAT cocktail recipes) here (after all, you totally need a drink to match the stairs).

Another space guaranteed to put a big smile on your face is this vibrant home in Nashville - so fabulous!

Anyone else wondering of they should add more colour to their home? Not sure where to start? Kate Watson-Smyth suggests that if you're unsure what colours to go for - look at your wardrobe. if you're comfortable wearing it, you'll be comfortable having it in your home!

Have a lovely day!

Photography: Thaddeus Rombauer

PS If you'd like to read a little more about Scandi style, I shared my tips and where to shop for Scandi-pieces in the US in Domino magazine here

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