Bringing the Hygge: A New Danish Armchair in Our Little Cabin

Kindly sponsored by Carl Hansen & Søn, all words and pictures are my own.

When you only have a small living space, like our 30 m2 / 322 f2 cabin, every single item needs to be carefully selected. If it takes up too much space or proves to be impractical you've just lost an entire section of your home! It was in this vein I set out to find the perfect armchair!


The answer came in the form of the foldable FK10 Plico ChairA little background: designed by Jørgen Kastholm in 1963 and relaunched in 2021 by Carl Hansen & Sønthe Plico chair takes up as little space as possible when not in use, while offering supreme comfort thanks to the ergonomic shape, soft upholstery and adjustable neck rest! 

It's one of those items that fell immediately into place and felt like it was meant to be! Not only is it undeniably beautiful, it's also incredibly sturdy and comfortable too! In fact, when Per sat down for the first time he exclaimed: ''Finally, a comfortable armchair in the house!'' And of course, being slim and foldable it's really practical for a small space too. 

It takes its name from the Latin word 'to fold', and true to all good Danish design, it has been carefully crafted with honest materials that will only get better with age, including a certified solid oak frame, leather armrests, brass fittings and a stitched linen canvas seat. 

Needless to say, we absolutely love it -  it's our new favourite piece of furniture. Although, I also am aware that we are not so much as 'owning' it, we are merely taking care of for the next generation!  






While you're here, I am also keen to share a couple of snaps of another lovely Carl Hansen & Søn piece: the RF200 Table Lamp

Also known as the petal lamp, it's designed by Rikke Frost and combines warm wood with metal and emits a lovely, mood enhancing ambience. I felt this combination worked best for our cabin, but it's also available in eight other versions! 

All that's missing now is a lit candle and a glass of wine and we're ready for a 'hyggelig' weekend! 

Are you also a fan of iconic Danish design?

***

I have been receiving so many messages about issues with the My Scandinavian Home email subscription. Thank you so much for alerting me to this, I apologise for the issue. Blogger has stopped offering the service (very annoying!) so I am now looking into replacing it with something else and hope to launch a new newsletter as early as Monday. I'll come back to you as soon as it is set up so that you can subscribe and receive email post notifications once again. Thank you so much for your support and stopping by to read my posts, I appreciate it so much!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Niki

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I Found The Perfect Table and Chairs For Our Tiny cabin!


Paid partnership with  Skovby, all words and photos are my own and I only ever work with brands I love

Tjena! I hope you had a great weekend! We spent some time up at our little cabin and I'm really excited to share some snapshots of our new dining area with you. I can't begin to describe the feeling when we all sat down for our first family meal there (take-away pizza, so glam!).  

When it comes to furnishing a small space (30 m2 / 322 ft sq.) I've quickly learned that choosing less and choosing right is key, otherwise the space can quickly become cluttered.

These were the criteria I had in mind for our dining area:
1. The table needed to be small but still easily seat four
2. The table should be round to save space and avoid knocking into the corners
3. The table needed to be extendable for extra guests 
4. There should be extra seating which could be stacked to one side 


Danish brand Skovby has been a My Scandinavian Home partner for many years now - and I've always appreciated the high quality craftsmanship of their Denmark-made furniture (you might recall the glass cabinet, Per's deskthe coffee tables as well as countless other pieces). This little gem of a #120 dining table with white oil oak legs and a black laminate surface was the first to spring to mind for our cabin! 


The round table is a compact 102 cm in diameter and extendable with up to two leaves (available to buy separately), which means you can comfortably seat 6 or 8 people depending on how many leaves you add. Perfect! 

Chair wise, I chose the #807 dining chair in oak white oil. You know me, I love wood, it has such a warm feel, and the shell shape has some flex which makes it comfy. But if you want to go all out on the comfort, this model is available with upholstery for a soft touch, and the #802 version also comes with armrests.

I also picked up some #840 stools (in oak white oil) which can be stacked to the side when not in use (we've also already used them as a bedside table, sofa side table and a footrest!).  

I love that its sustainably made from leftover production wood (I first spotted it during my visit to the Danish Skovby carpenter workshop earlier this spring and picked one up there and then!). 


I hope you like the table and chairs as much as we do! In case you're interested in any of these pieces for your own small space, Skovby is available almost worldwide (find your nearest stockist here).

Incidentally, the table is available in 9 different finishes including oak white oil and white laminate tops - you can see all the variations here

In case you're wondering about the ladder, it can be removed and placed elsewhere when needed - but I guess someone could perch there too!

Give me a shout if you have any questions about anything in these pictures -I'd be happy to help! If you'd like to add any small space tips and tricks of your own, I'm all ears as the cabin is far from finished! 

I hope to be able to share a post about our kitchen - including all the details - soon (look closely and you'll see the knobs are missing). Watch this space! 

Wishing you all a great start to the week! 

Niki 

Photography: Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home

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At Home With The Beautiful OW58 T-Chair From Carl Hansen & Søn

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

Trust the Danes to design a chair that's practical, comfortable, unique and above all else beautiful! This fine OW58 T-Chair was originally designed by highly esteemed Ole Wanscher in 1958 and Carl Hansen & Søn has recently relaunched it, while maintaining a deep respect for materials, craftsmanship and function. Last week I received a pair to test out in oiled oak and upholstered in Balboa by Sahco for Kvadrat and I have to say, it's even more exquisite in real life! Read on to take a closer look. 


So, who was Ole Wanscher? Having studied under Kaare Klint, Wanscher was integral to the aesthetic and functionality of modern Danish design. In 1958 the Danish newspaper Politiken wrote:

"Owning a Wanscher chair is an adventure every day, and will be so even several hundred years from now, for this is how long it lasts". 

Wanscher had a passion for sleek, refined shapes and the sculptured T-Chair is instantly recognisable by it's T-Shaped backrest and exquisite carpentry. 



A loyal tribute to the original design, Carl Hansen & Søn have maintained the distinctive expression and beautiful craftsmanship while adjusting the height to provide optimum ergonomics for today's world (we're a lot taller today than we were in the 1950s!). 

One of the distinct features of the chair is the T-shaped backrest which smoothly merges with the back legs, giving it a cool three-legged appearance. 

Over the past week, I've discovered the chair works equally well as an individual piece as it does an entire set, hence why I hogged one all to myself and placed it by my side of the bed! 


Incidentally, if you're incredibly eagle-eyed, you might recognise the spotted top - I wore it the day I visited the CEO and Founder of Carl Hansen & Søn, Knud Erik Hansen at his home: Hellerup Manor in Denmark! Knud Erik made me feel instantly at home and I was always ready with a fascinating and at times humorous story from his extensive experience in the design world. We filmed this tour of Hellerup Manor during my stay.  

Anyway I digress! One of the things I love most about the T-Chair is how it embodies both classic and modern lines. Take a closer look (under my spotty top!!) and you'll notice the smooth joints - the result of careful processing and many, many carpentry hours. 


Isn't it fantastic? I can totally see how this chair could live on for hundreds of years - both in terms of quality and its timeless design. 

The OW58 T-Chair is available in oak or walnut with leather or fabric upholstery. 

Could you imagine having a set of these in your home?  

I'm already dreading the day they're being collected. Maybe I should invest in my own set! 

Right folks, that's it from me this week. I'm all wrapped up in knits at my desk today while the snow falls silently outside. It's pretty - but cold here in Sweden! BRRRR!

Stay warm and have a fabulous, festive weekend! 

Niki

A big thank you to Helen Sturesson for working with me remotely on this shoot. 

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A Heavenly Stay On Sweden’s West Coast

// Paid partnership with Carpe Diem Beds, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love

Have you been able to travel recently? This time last week I made my way up to Fiskebäckskil on the West coast of Sweden - and although it wasn't far away, boy did it feel like luxury! I consider the Gothenburg archipelagos one of Sweden's best key secrets. Characterised by a rugged coastline dotted with hundreds of islands and skerries (see my island hopping guide!), the natural beauty of this part of the world has inspired many a poet, artist and design idea. And it's the latter which brought me here this Autumn. 

Around 120 kilometres from Gothenburg (and a short rib boat ride from where I was staying) you'll find the tiny, picturesque island of Stora Kornö. Accessible by boat, the harbour was once a thriving fishing port, with fishermen and other locals residing in one of the 52 houses. Today, no one lives here year-round. Instead, it's a popular summer destination for those who own cottages, sailors (like Per and I) and day trippers. Locals also flock to the island in the Autumn to celebrate the start of lobster season, and as we pulled up in the rib, many had gathered in the harbour ready to lay their pots. 

But we were here for a different reason: to walk in the footsteps of the brilliant Carpe Diem Beds founder, chiropractor Börje Thuleskär!

Story has it that Börje was relaxing on a bed of heather on the cliffs on the Southwestern shore, feeling happy and relaxed - and most importantly, supremely comfortable. He'd been disappointed by his inability to find a comfortable bed and marvelled at how the heather moulded to his body and gave him an incredible feeling of weightlessness. He immediately struck upon the idea of building his own bed - and the idea for Carpe Diem Beds was born. 


Today, the Swedish brand offers a range of luxury made-to-order, supremely comfortable beds (I'm not just saying that, I've had one for years and slept like a baby ever since!). Hand-built in nearby Lysekil, each bed is named after a local island and individually signed by the crafstperson - high quality Swedish design at it's finest! 

Back on the island of Skaftö and relaxing in my room at Gullmarsstrand Hotel, I marvelled at how a local business, has grown into a globally recognised brand, and sold in over 20 countries. You'll likely know someone who owns one of their beds - or might have been lucky enough to sleep in one at a design hotel as far and wide as Mauritious and the USA - or even the magnificent Ice Hotel (a dream of mine - have you ever been?). 

But this time, I didn't need to travel far. 

My room was heavenly! Sheer curtains bellowed in the fresh Autumn breeze and I could make out the church spire of Lysekil across the sound. Centre stage was the magnificent Vindö (AKA 'The Flying Bed') - the Carpe Diem Bed pièce de résistance, featuring several vibration massage programs, an automatic neck and lumbar support as well as adjustable head and foot rests! 

And best of all, I had it completely to myself. It was the perfect place to unwind, catch up on some much needed sleep surrounded by luxurious comfort and stay in bed on a Tuesday, with a coffee and a good book! How heavenly! 


All in all, a blissful few days and so hard to tear myself away from the wonderful rawness of the nature at this time of the year - and the cosiness and comfort of my room! Thank you Carpe Diem Beds and Gullmarsstrand Hotel

I only wish I could have stayed for lobster season. 

Next year!

If you're planning on visiting Sweden at some point, make sure you come to this part of the country - it's staggeringly beautiful! In the meantime, keep a look out for my post in the coming weeks about how to turn your own bedroom into a lap of luxury for the winter. I mean, if we're going to hibernate, we might as well do it in style, right?

Niki

This post is brought to you in paid collaboration with Carpe Diem Beds. All words are my own and I only ever recommend brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the Scandinavian businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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Our kitchen - And the Perfect Danish Counter Stool!

MSH partnership*
Do you have a kitchen island? We added one when we first moved in over ten years ago. Little did we know it would become the hub of the home. It's used as a breakfast bar, a place to catch up after school / work, and a relaxed gathering place for friends (although there hasn't been so much of the latter lately, unfortunately!).  One of the trickiest things about a kitchen island though, is getting the stools right. What height? Should they have a back? Well friends, after a lengthy search, the B's might just have found 'the one' - thanks to Danish brand Skovby

Say 'hej' (pronounced 'hi') to the Skovby Counter Stool #808

Nerd alert: I'm about to share a little info about the height - which is helpful if you're sourcing a counter / bar stool but maybe not if you've just come here to enjoy a little inspiration today!

The height
It turns out, I wasn't looking for a bar stool (my initial search words!) - but a 'Counter Stool' - which tend to be 12 cm - 15 cm (5 to 6 inches) lower (although Skovby does do a nice Bar Stool too). It's also important to feel comfy - which means you want a clearance of around 22 cm - 30 cm (9 to 12 inches) between the seat and underside of the countertop. The seat on this stool is 65 cm high - allowing for just over a 22 cm gap, I'd see that is the absolute minimum requirement, but it totally works for our family. 

Comfort and design
Having lived in Scandinavia for more than 17 years (where did the time go?) - I'd never compromise on form over function. I'm also keenly aware that people tend to linger on stools longer than you think (just ask my younger daughter Allie!). With this in mind, I do love a backrest! The shell seat and back on this counter stool is crafted from the same piece of white oil oak veneer. And although it looks beautifully slim, it's also incredibly strong (it's internationally certified for use in cafes, restaurants, office buildings etc). The chrome footrest is also super practical. Trust the Danes to get it just right! 

Sidenote: in a couple of these pictures, I've shown a counter stool at the end of the island - in practise we never actually place one there as the island is only designed for two stools on the longer side. I was just exercising a little artistic license so you could see the stool from the back! 

Allie's favourite spot - she sits here for breakfast, a cup of tea (she is half English after all!) - and to chat to us about her day and what she's done at her gymnastics! 


I hope you enjoyed these snapshots from our kitchen - and the Skovby Counter Stool #808

I feel so honoured to call Skovby a long-term partner - in case you're curious about other beautifully crafted items I've put to the test, check out the following: 


Here's to Danish craftsmanship and beautiful design! 

In case you're interested in one or more of these fine specimens for your own home, you can find your nearest Skovby retailer here

Curious about other items seen in these pics of my kitchen? Give me a shout below and I'd be happy to help!

Wishing you a lovely day friends! 

Niki

*This post is brought to you in paid partnership with Skovby. 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. 

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A Glimpse Inside My Sitting Room

Sharing another angle of my home today - perhaps one you haven't seen for a while: our sitting room. This week we had the pleasure of inviting this Danish beauty into our home: The classic MG501 Cuba Chair designed by Morten Gøttler. It was originally on loan from Carl Hansen & Søn for a photoshoot, but I completely fell in love with this new variant - with its paper cord seat and back and beautiful wooden legs. Since it's foldable, I thought it would be perfect for our tiny cabin in the future too! Here are a few pics from my shoot - and other details from the room. Roll on the weekend, I want to creep into that corner and  hide from the cold!  

I'm still on the neutrals in my sitting room - I probably should add a little more colour, but, well, you know me! After many sofa cover changes, I often to go back to this linen version* from Bemz! The table is vintage (you can source a similar bench on Etsy here*) and the rug is by the small family run Austrian business Barfuss (more info and pics here!)

Funnily enough, when we first moved in I thought about painting the stairs white. They were really shiny and orange at the time (see the before pictures of my home) - but now the wood has settled and I'm so happy with them just the way they are. 

I have to admit, the area under the stairs is a bit of a dumping ground - we've only just moved the garden cushions into storage - but they were there for 4 months, collecting dust! I had to double check for and clear away other miscallaneas items before the shoot (fidget toys, rogue socks, homework.... there's no need to what you might find under there!). 


In the picture above and below you can see more of a close-up of the beautiful handwoven paper cord back and seat of the Cuba Chair. I love that age old craftsmanship techniques continue to thrive in the Danish furniture industry, it makes the pieces feel that more special!

My beloved mug is by British ceramicist Josie Swift who runs CLÆ ceramics studio. I'm pretty sure coffee doesn't taste quite the same in any other mug! Do you have a favourite cup too?

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of our sitting room right - and like the new addition as much as I do! 

If anyone's looking for me, I'll be right here with my feet up, reading a book (although if Per asks, I've been grafting away ALL day, obvs!).

I'll be back tomorrow with the final post of the week - and I have to say, the home tour I have for you is SO inspiring! Perfect for the weekend :)

Wishing you a lovely day friends, see you tomorrow!

Niki

This blog post isn't sponsored - the pictures were taken in collaboration with Carl Hansen & Søn for a social media partnership. The chair is a gifted press product (yes, I feel very lucky indeed!). 

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The Home And Studio Of Swedish Furniture Upholsterer Carina Grefmar

I moved into my studio in the centre of Malmö exactly one year ago. It was such a relief to leave my home office behind me, I was honestly climbing the walls (for those of you who may have experienced it for the first time this year, I'm sure you can relate!). But the absolute best thing of all was acquiring two new 'colleagues' one off whom, came in the shape of furniture upholsterer and craftsperson extraordinaire Carina Grefmar

I'd met Carina several times before at events around Malmö (loves a party this one!) but it was only chatting and seeing her work on a daily basis that I got to understand her sheer talent for craftsmanship: if you're looking to restore a piece of furniture, Carina's Sweden's finest. 

I decided it was time to put on (another) pot of coffee and quiz Carina about her passion for good design and craftsmanship, her lovely home and vast shoe collection! 

You must have the shortest commute of anyone I know!
I've had my studio for around sixteen years, I love it, it's my safe place - no matter how rocky life gets, it's my one stability. I always dreamt of being my own neighbour, so when the apartment next door came up around five years ago, I jumped at it. 

A vintage Eames armchair rocker, Alf Svensson side cabinet, and the Guariche lamp (one of Carina's favourites) take centre-stage in Carina's bedroom. 

What drew you to the studio and apartment? 
The building dates back to 1895 and has a ceiling height of 3,60 which is really high - I love that! You can put anything in this space and it will look good. 

The Stålhane vase was one of the very first ceramic pieces carina bought. 

Did you make any changes to your rented apartment?
The previous owner had a huge flat TV in the middle of the room, and everything was white. I don't like white, it's not a colour, so that had to change!  

Carina made her patchwork bed spread using scraps from her upholstery work over the years. 

You don't like white? How very un-Scandinavian!
Yes, but like many Scandinavians, I also don't go for bright colours, I appreciate subtle, calm shades like a hint of earthy green.  Some of my pieces of furniture and accessories are colourful but the background is always calm.

An Ax chair by Hvidt & Mølgaard, which Carina has upholstered in non-tanned vegetable leather, sits beside a side-table - a prototype designed by Louise Hederström - which Carina also updated with leather.

Your home is full of vintage design treasures and fun, quirky touches. When did your passion for design begin? 
I've loved well-crafted shoes since I was seven. And then I lived abroad in my late teens and experienced some fantastic, well-made lamps and furniture which I'd never seen before - that's when my passion for collecting design classics began.  

These days, I collect pieces from all over the world. I'm particularly drawn to Scandinavian furniture since I like the clean lines and light wood. I also love classic Italian and French lighting. My home is full of small knick-knacks collected over time, such Swedish ceramics (some of which are made by designer friends) and other pieces I really like and feel a connection to. 

How does your passion for the environment and sustainability translate into the world of design and home decor? 
Today there are so many badly made products on the market. The price-tag may make them seem cheap, but don't be fooled, they're actually very expensive. If you have to buy a new sofa every five years, it makes it expensive. When my grandparents got married, they invested in expensive furniture for their home and they enjoyed them until the day they died. 

Well executed design lasts longer. It makes sense to invest in pieces made from solid, honest materials that can be fixed when they break. Vintage items from the fifties and sixties are particularly well-made!

A pendant lamp by Max Sauze hangs over a Finn Juhl coffee table and a 50s floor lamp by Stilnovo. The bench is by Carina's friend, Malmö designer Louise Hederström.

What are your go-to resources for second-hand / Scandinavian design originals? 
I source items from all over the world both for myself and clients - mainly using online auctions, but also some dealers and contacts I've made in the business over the years. 

Do you have a favourite piece?
I don't have one favourite item - although, I do love my rare porcelain Swedish baby dragons! My lamps and shoes are probably my most treasured pieces. 

Table lamp by Cosack Leuchten 

You have more shoes than anyone else I know! How many pairs do you have?
More than 100! I love how I feel in really well-made shoes. 

Have you ever thought about making shoes? 
Yes, I have! Maybe in the future, who knows?

How did you get into upholstery? 
I had a serious motorbike accident and realised I was living someone else's life. I quit my job in search of something that would ensure I was self-sufficient at the same time as being interesting and fun. I made a list of things I enjoyed and that I was good at - and came to the conclusion that upholstery would be a good idea. I was accepted into upholstery school and have been working as an upholsterer for 22 years. I love it! 

What do you love most about your work?
It's very diverse and involves many different techniques and materials. I am constantly evolving and growing with every piece I rebuild. It's a constant challenge, which I really enjoy.  

What is the hardest thing about your job?
Upholstery is incredibly physical and really takes its toll on your body. It also requires a wide skillset. You need to be a problem-solver, have an eye for what a furniture should look like compared to its current state and also be knowledgeable about furniture design, colour and fabrics. It requires a serious amount of dedication! 

I love seeing the incredible pieces that come into the studio. What is the most memorable item you've refurbished? 
I once refurbished a magnificent AP45 Wegner Wing chair from the 1960s that wasn't in production at that time. I worked from pictures to restore it to its former glory and remodelled it in leather. I was so pleased with the results and was a little sad to say goodbye to it by the end! Recently, I refurbished a set of limited-edition Arne Jacobsen Giraffe chairs, working again from pictures. It was a real challenge, but the client was thrilled with the results! 

You also work with new designs, what's the background to this?  
A few years ago, I was paired up with Swedish designer Louise Hederström to create the Ticka shelves. She knew I was good at strange shapes - and she certainly challenged me! It was a strong partnership from start to finish. I could tell from Louise's sketches what would work and what wouldn't, and she adapted the design accordingly. I then made them by hand here in the studio. Today, the Ticka shelves can be found in the Hostler Burrows galleries in LA and New York - and one even made its way into the home of Robert Downey Junior! Louise and I continue to work together on new products using untreated Swedish vegetable leather under the brand G+H (Grefmar Hederström).

How do you feel your work will pave the way for future upholsterers and craftspeople?  
We often hear the name of the designer behind a piece of furniture, but it's rare to know the craftsperson. I've always felt inspired by Ivan Schlecter whose name was etched on the furniture he made in partnership with big-name Danish designers such as Klint and Kjærholm. In fact, his stamp made the furniture more valuable. And now, after a lot of dedication, my name is starting to appear on the furniture I make. I hope this will inspire other craftspeople, and help them to be recognised for their work. It's important for people to understand the hard work that goes into making furniture - so they appreciate it even more. 

The Spoar bench is a Grefmar + Hederström design. 

I did say Carina's one impressive lady, didn't I?

This has given me so much food for thought, how about you? I particularly appreciate the point about investing in well-made pieces. 

I hope you feel as inspired by this interview, as I feel inspired by Carina on a daily basis! 

Do follow @carinagrefmar on Instagram to see her latest projects and shenanigans! 

Wishing y'all a fabulous Tuesday! 

Niki

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