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Before and After: Our Laundry Room Make-over


Paid partnership with Elfa, all words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. 

Do you have a neglected room in your home? Despite living in our house for almost fifteen years (wow, has it been that long?), we've never touched our laundry room (except of course, to do our laundry!). 

It's situated on the middle floor beside the bathroom and bedrooms and is a small, windowless room - even so it's an absolute godsend!

At the beginning of the year, I declared that this would be the year we'd finally organise our home, and so far, we've created a new wardrobe and sorted Allie's bedroom. And now it's time to give our laundry room some tender loving care, with a little help from Elfa, who make super smart storage solutions. 

Here's how we transformed the room from an unloved space to a fresh, beautifully smelling and practical laundry room. 

Before 

'Don't air your dirty laundry in public' - so the saying goes. Thankfully, everything in these pictures is clean. Even so, it doesn't make it any less embarrassing! 

A narrow space, our laundry room has bright blue tiles on the floor, a row of simple hooks along the wall, and a drying rack hanging from the ceiling. The latter was probably our biggest bug bear as it swings around when you try to hang clothes on it, and Per constantly bangs his head on it while ironing his shirts. 

Stowed against the wall, the ironing board (which is desperately in need of a new cover - cringe!) often slides down in the night making an alarming clang.

On the opposite side is the washer and dryer as well as shelves where we keep bedlinen and towels (and the odd rogue item such as er, sunhats!). There's also a handy sink and cupboards which we rarely use as they're quite hard to get to beside the hanging dryer. 

OK, embarrassing moment over. Time for the fun bit: the transformation!

The plan


Wall mounted storage
In a small space like this, wall mounted, flexible storage is key. Elfa helped to design this highly functional formation for us.  The beauty of this system is that it's centred around wall hung tracks to which you can click-in all kinds of units and accessories such as shelves, drawers, hooks etc. You can also add to the arrangement over time. 

The wide section on the left is for two wall mounted clothes dryers and on the right, we'll have space for wall mounted shelves and hooks. 

We actually opted for one central bar in the end - but if you're inspired to do something similar and would like to make your space even more practical, you could opt for two central brackets to make your drying shelves even more adaptable to the space. 

On door storage
I've had my eye on the on door storage ever since my first post about Elfa. Centred around a central bracket, the baskets can be moved up and down. You can also add hooks. It's perfect place for all our laundry soap as well as other accessories. 

Prepping the room



We wanted the space to be more in keeping with the rest of the home. It can be really costly to re-tile, so instead we bought a special V33 tile paint which is especially designed for bathrooms. Per and I applied several layers to the wall (white) and floor (light grey). I've actually never tried a tile paint before and I'm amazed at the results! 

The next step was to lighten the shelves and worktop. To do this, we sanded down the oak before applying a special white oil wood treatment and finish by Osmo

And finally, we painted the rest of the room white before the ELFA units were installed. 

After


Tadaaaa! Can you believe this is the same laundry room? 

To the right of the room is the Elfa storage. We added two drying shelves, a wire shelf, a wire shelf basket, a storage track, storage track hooks and a clothing accessories kit

Collapsible drying shelves


Above you can see how the drying shelves collapse against the wall to make room for other things like sorting clothes and ironing. We can also change the height or remove them entirely. 

Shelves and hooks


The high shelves are ideal for extra storage (the storage boxes are part of a set from the Marie Kondo collection from Studio Elfa in Malmö).  

One of my favourite things is that now we can hang the iron from hooks. Oh, and did you notice I changed that gross ironing board cover to a new gingham one (from IKEA)? 

I also swapped out the old laundry baskets for a pretty rattan one (there's another laundry basket in the cupboard opposite for 'overflow' - we're a family of five, after all!).

Meanwhile, on the other side of the room...


The lighter wood, white tiles and light grey floor have really helped to freshen up the space. 

I also changed the door handles (it's all in the details friends!) - these are called Knob Helix, you might recognise them, as I have the same ones in our cabin kitchen.  And I picked up the baskets in town to store our bed linen and towels - so much neater! 

Door storage


Last but not least, the wonderful door storage is made up of a series of wire baskets which click into place. It's made space for all our laundry soap (I love Humdakin), cloths and other items - leaving the area around the sink clear. 


And there you have it, our new laundry room! 

Who would have thought that a room like this could bring so much joy (never thought I'd say something like that)? 

I hope you like the transformation as much as we do! 

Next step... the attic (gaaaah!). 

In the meantime, if you're in need of more storage at home, have a play arounds with the Elfa online 3D planning tool, or seek help from Elfa professionals (available pretty much worldwide) - you'll have your home organised in no time! 

If anyone's looking for me this weekend... I won't be hanging out here in the laundry room, hopefully, but I am thrilled with it! 

Have a great couple of days and see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography: Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home
Styling: Helen Sturesson 

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Studio Update: Now We Have Shelving and a Coat Rack!



Sponsored by Maze Interior 

Last month I showed the picture above of my studio in Malmö. Since then, I've been doing a little reshuffling (never a dull moment around here, I tell you!). I'm not sure if I mentioned that I share the room with Helena who works for Maze Interior - a Swedish brand specialising in 'smart, playful and simplistic design that has the lowest possible impact on the environment'.  After the recent studio make-over we felt we were still missing storage, so we got to work (along with Helen Sturesson) with some items from the collection (easy when they have so many great things to choose from!). I thought I'd share the whole process with you, in case you're also looking to create wall-to-wall shelving in your home or office. Even if you're not - I hope you enjoy reading about the update all the same! 

Planning phase
For the shelves, we opted for the Pythagoras Collection - a shelving system which allows you to arrange brackets and shelves in numerous ways as well as choose between different colour and material combinations. 

For the design, we used the online Pythagoras Lab to plan the layout. 


We were keen to have both open and closed shelving and incorporated this into the plan using a series of shelves and drawers - all in white ( you know me!). 

Putting up the shelves
Once the shelving had arrived (it's made in Sweden so it was all pretty swift!), we marked out the wall using old school post-its and a ruler (yes, so old school, I know!). 

It's worth noting that the studio building is well over 100 years old so the concrete walls are pretty wonky, crumbly and all-round tricky! So, for the sake of creating a sleek look (and saving the walls from being at the mercy of my very basic DIY skills) - we roped in the help of a local carpenter. 

Contrary to the original design, we decided to place the triangular brackets in different ways, creating a subtle playful look. I'm so pleased with how that's turned out. 

Sidenote: I went out to buy a spot of lunch last week and came back with the print and frame from a second hand shop, such a find I think! 

The final look

I love it when a plan comes together! 

To finalise the look, the sofa was pulled out from the wall - ask a Dane about their favourite styling trick and many will tell you that you should never have your sofa flush against a wall (unless you live in a teeny space). Even moving it out 15 centimetres can make all the difference to a room! 

We decided to start the shelves quite high as we wanted to be able to store bigger items underneath - but if you don't have this as a requirement, you could also add one more shelf lower down. 

I particularly love the drawers - they're so handy.  

Another sidenote: The tile and wood floor samples are for my tiny cabin - I went for the stone on the left for the bathroom floor, I can't wait to see how it looks! Just above them you can see four figurines - all made by local artist Simon Vendin (the same guy who painted my new picture seen in the first and second to last pic of this post). Needless to say, I love this work! 


Magazine storage

We also felt it would be nice with some extra storage beside the desks (I don't know about you, but I always collect piles of paper, it seems to be my nemesis both at work and home!).  The wall-mounted Now S magazine rack is my new best friend! 

It's made from recycled wire and produced in Sweden and comes black, white or matt brass. If you have a ton of magazine and newspapers (or other paperwork) you might like the larger format, known simply as Now.  

Helena made the cup - she's so talented at pottery! 

Coat & Hat Hanger


We also added a much-needed place to hang our coats (rather than throwing them over the back of the sofa!). This is the Kite clothes hanger (which comes in white, black or grey). I love the barely there look, plus it offers just enough storage.  If you need something that holds more items, it's worth checking out the entire collection of hangers and hooks

The room is feeling so much more practical, neat and complete now. We hope you like the update as much as we do! 

If you have any questions about anything you see in the pictures, please do give me a shout and I'll do my best to supply info, links etc! 

Right, I'd better crack on with some work - I've got piles of paper to get through! 

Wishing you all a great start to the week!  

Niki

Photography: Niki Brantmark  Styling: Helen Sturesson

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The Witness in New York (it's fab!)

Hello there! I hope you're having a great start to the week? If not, I'm sure this space will brighten up your day no end, it certainly has mine! There's an exciting trend of fab boutique interior stores disguised as apartments right now. And today I'm so excited to introduce you to the The Witness, a 2000 square foot concept store in the heart of New York. The owners work in collaboration with furniture brands and emerging industrial designers and bring their vision to the space every three months with an aim to help solve interior conundrums. Let's take a peek inside apartment 8....








Witness Apartment. Photographer Fran Parente. Stylist Rebecca Bartoshesky. Found via Hege in France with thanks.

Well, that's my interior puzzle solved, how about yours?!

What impresses me the most is how the designers have turned an industrial loft with concrete floors and large windows into a completely cosy space? I attribute it to the soft textiles (linen bedding, sheer curtains, sheepskins), natural materials such as wood and an abundance of plants in baskets rather than pots as well as the warm touches of orange and yellow.  Either way, they'd never get rid of me!

Is this your kind of space?

Other incredible apartment concept stores include The Line (also in New York), The Apartment in Copenhagen and The loft in Holland.

Oh, on the subject of shopping -  Scandinavian homewares store Lo + Behold is offering 20% off everything in the shop to My Scandinavian Home readers with the code MSH20 until Sunday 10th May - including L:A Bruket - you know, the divine handwash, soaps and body lotions seen in bathrooms across Sweden?! I know! I've also got my eye on all items by House of Rym, this beautiful concrete ceiling light and as always, several cushions! 20% discount did they say? This could be dangerous!

Have a great day!

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