Peek Inside Curate - A Beautiful New Coffee Table Book

In the past I've shared many boutique hotels styled by Lynda Gardener - including The White Room, The Apartment St Kilda and The Estate Trentham - and it's safe to say, I'm a huge fan of the Australian interior designer's work. As soon as I caught wind of a book, I knew it was going to be a good one! The beautiful new tome Curate is the result of a lockdown collaborative project between Lynda and photographer extraordinaire Marnie Hawson in Australia as well as talented stylist and writer Ali Heath in the UK. Read on to find out more and take a peek inside! 

Ali and Lynda share a mutual love of monochrome interiors and take great joy from natural imperfections and treasured finds - concepts that pour from every page. 

The opening chapter starts you off on an inspiring journey to curate a meaningful home, covering eight core elements: palette, nature, textiles, lighting, the blend of old and new, storage, collections and art.

You're then gently led through through a series of drool-worthy interiors which include a converted warehouse, bijoux apartment, historic cottage, country estate, a new-build barn, period townhouse and rural retreat. 

Each interior is peppered with breakout ideas, encouraging you to ignore trends and start to curate a timeless home full of pieces you love. 

All in all, a wonderful Autumn read, and a great pressie for friends who share a passion for timeless interiors! 

Curate is available online and local book stores (even if your local book store doesn't stock it, they're usually happy to order a copy - the same goes for local libraries!). 

Congratulations to Lynda, Ali and Marnie on a beautiful book. 

If anyone's looking for me today, I'll be on the sofa, leafing through the pages!


Pictures 2, 3, 4, 5:
Concept, text, creative direction, image layout: Ali Heath
Styling and creative direction: Lynda Gardener
Photography: Marnie Hawson
First published by Octopus Books, June 2021

Pictures 1 & 6:
My Scandinavian Home

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Ida's Beautiful, Considered Southern Sweden Home (And 7 Tips On How to Create an Environmentally Friendly Space)

Remember Ida Magntorn? I first met the Lund-based photographer at an event a couple of years ago and I've been following her work ever since. Ida has always been passionate about creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly interior - which she demonstrates beautifully in her own Southern Sweden home. And now she has written a book dedicated to the topic: Ett Hem Med Omtanke - Hållbar och Miljömedveten Inredning (which loosely translates to 'The Considered Home - Sustainable and Environmentally Conscious Interiors'). The tome is dedicated to everything Ida lives by and covers  everything from buying second hand, managing your appliances, plants and flowers and growing your own fruit and veg as well as a room by room guide - arranged around series of dreamy Swedish interiors. Here are some recent snapshots of her lovely living space - and most importantly:

Ida's 7 tips on How To Create a Considered Home: 

1. Use what you have: it doesn't matter how environmentally friendly your new kitchen is if you rip out something that was already working. 

2. If you're tired of something in your home - think of ways to change it, upcycle it, paint it or even use it for something completely different!

3. Look for items that can be recycled - such as solid wood instead of veneer. The easier it is for you to care for, the longer it will last. 

4. Buy second hand - if you need anything new for your home. 

5. If you can't find something secondhand - invest in a design classic since they are often better quality and have a good second hand value. Of course, these can usually be found second hand on auction sites too! 

6. If you choose to buy something new - make sure it bears an environmentally friendly symbol - and check what components of the item are included in this. 

7. Take care of what you have - by looking after your furniture and other belongings, you will prolong their life and save energy and materials.  

I'm so excited to dip into Ida's book and discover her room by room guide!

Ett Hem Med Omtanke - Hållbar och Miljömedveten Inredning is currently available in Swedish. However, an English version will be available soon. Keep an eye on Ida's website and instagram for updates! 

Is there anything that stood out to you? I love the tip about looking after what you have. Sharing my studio with upholsterer Carina Grefmar has taught me a while deal about restoring furniture to make it look as good as new!

Also - isn't Ida's home beautiful? You'll likely recognise it from this feature, but I couldn't resist sharing a few more snaps! 

Looking for some more inspiration today? Check out these vintage-inspired Scandinavian homes: 

On a separate note - my youngest daughter has just started piano lessons. I have to confess that I was particularly excited about this idea as it meant we'd have an excuse to buy a secondhand piano (such lovely pieces!). Of course, I love the sound too, though being tone deaf I think the family is relieved it's not me learning. The only place for a piano in our home is on the third floor - and I've heard these things weigh a ton. Pianist friends - do you think this will be possible? Please say yes! 

Happy mid-week friends!


Photography: Ida Magntorn - shared with kind permission

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A Magical Farmhouse on a Hill In Vermont

One magical, sunny day in 2014, photographer James Gardiner and I made our way up a long, winding track in Vermont, USA. Eventually we came to a clearing, and there at the top of the hill amidst 100 acres of luscious New England pasture stood Nadine Dole's farmhouse. We spent the day shooting the house known as 'The Hill' for my book Modern Pastoral (now re-named to Relaxed Rustic). It would be a day I'll never forget. 

The remote farmhouse is simply furnished with a mixture of antiques, handmade items, vintage finds and wonderful pieces of art. Natural materials and a neutral colour scheme unify the eclectic pieces and work in harmony with the surroundings. The windows open inward and upward, filling the living space with a wonderful cool breeze - and providing uninterrupted views over open fields towards distant mountain ranges. 

Meals and afternoon tea are enjoyed at a 19th century pine harvest dining table. The natural woven seating of the dining chairs is slowly coming unraveled, enhancing the relaxed nature of the home. 

The kitchen is simple yet purposeful and made entirely from salvaged items. 

A row of linen aprons (this lovely linen apron* is similar) in muted makes a delightful display on the back wall. Vintage rolling pins are stored in the pockets. 

A Kasanof's & Paramount Bakeries tin bought in an antique store sits above the green armoire. The impressive 'Blueberry' painting is by John Young. 

Nadia collects art from all over the world. The nude portrait was found in a brocante (a secondhand market) in Maussane, France. Dried honeycombs found in the garden in winter rest on a table found at auction. 

An old schoolhouse light hangs above an ornate mirror and porcelain sink and a simple lion claw tub provides a perfect place for a soak while looking out over the pastures, where black bears, coyotes, wild deer and chickens wander freely. 

You can see more pictures of Nadia's magical home in my book Relaxed Rustic (formerly known as Modern Pastoral). 

I also love following Nadia's latest projects on her instagram

If you're as taken with her style as much as I am, you might also like to keep an eye out for one of her workshops - and if you're lucky enough to be in the area a little birdie tells me she might be opening a small shop, cafe or bakery (or perhaps all three?) soon! 

Discover other incredible country homes in the archive! 

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week!


PS There's currently a give-away over on instagram to win Relaxed Rustic along with five other interior books. 

PPS If you are one of the first to pick up a copy of Relaxed Rustic online and enjoy it, I'd be so happy if you could leave a review - thank you so much :)

Credit: Relaxed Rustic by Niki Brantmark, published by CICO Books (19.99 GBP). Photography by James Gardiner - copyright CICO Books. 

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Book Update News: Meet Relaxed Rustic

I've got some exciting news to share with you today! My first book Modern Pastoral has had a make-over! My publisher in London (CICO Books) decided to give it a new name - changing it to 'Relaxed Rustic' and they've also changed the cover to this shot from a stunning Skånegård near our cottage (the full tour is in the book) - the content inside remains the same. 

I wrote this book in 2014 and it was released in 2015 (remember the sneak peek? I was crazily excited!). Having opened it for the first time in ages this morning, I was happy to find that the nature-inspired interiors are still just as relevant today - they have a beautiful, timeless appeal. 

If you didn't pick up a copy of Modern Pastoral - perhaps you might like to treat yourself to a copy of Relaxed Rustic this summer? It's available on all the usual sites such as Amazon, but you can also go closer to home and ask your local book shop or library to order a copy. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it / styling the pictures! 


PS My publisher is giving away a copy of Relaxed Rustic along with a selection of other interior books on instagram this weekend - keep an eye on @myscandinavianhome to enter! 

PPS I'm looking forward to sharing one of my favourite home tours from the book on Monday! 

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Plant Tribe: An Inspiring New Coffee Table Book

It's Friday! Woohoo! Not that I have any wild plans ahead - but it will still be nice to put my feet up this weekend, how about you?! One thing I'll definitely be doing is reading my friend Igor Josifovic's new book - PLANT TRIBE. Launched a few weeks ago, Igor co-wrote the book with Judith de Graaff. It's their second book after the best-selling debut Urban Jungle and the pair also run the popular community Urban Jungle Bloggers). If you love plants, you'll love PLANT TRIBE. Igor and Judith delve into the many ways that nurturing plants help nurture the soul and offer inspiring advice for using plants to increase energy, creativity and well-being - and even attract love and prosperity. Say, what?! I'd better pay close attention! The book is also beautifully illustrated with photography by Jules Villbrandt. Here's a sneak peek at Tim Labenda's Berlin home which features in the book - and a few words from Igor! 

What was the idea behind PLANT TRIBE?
We wanted to write a book that changes our perspective on plants from merely decorating our homes and caring for them. We wanted to highlight how plants actually take care of us - making us happier, more creative, more balanced and more at peace with ourselves. All by making our homes more natural and beautiful. 

It takes a huge amount of work to create a book, but the process can be really rewarding. Is there anything that stood out to you?
We travelled throughout the USA, Brazil and Europe to make this book and we visited some amazing creative people in their plant-filled homes. We wanted to hear their personal stories, their bonds to plants, and why plants improved their lives on so many levels. 

We heard stories that made us laugh out loud and moved us to tears. These personal plant stories make the heart and soul of PLANT TRIBE. We hope this will inspire people to look at houseplants in a new and different way. 

Holding your book in your hands for the first time is such a special moment.  What are you most proud of? 
For the book, we worked with our friend and photographer Jules Villbrandt from Berlin. She managed to capture the magic moments, the personal bonds and emotions through her photography. To me, this book is a compound of good energy and positive vibes - just what we need right now more than ever before. 

Igor Josifovic

If you'd like to treat yourself to a copy of PLANT TRIBE, it's available through Amazon, Book Depositary as well as many other online retailers. You can also ask your local bookstore to order a copy or send a request to your library to stock it! 

Having seen a peek inside Tom's Berlin home in the book, I have a really strong urge to fill my home with plants now - how about you?! In case you'd like a little more inspirationt: 

Oh, and how did I not talk about that sculptural light in the first picture? - It's incredible, don't you think?! 

Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend friends - see you Monday! 


Photography credits: Jules Villbrandt for Urban Jungle Bloggers except for the final two which were by Igor Josifovic

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New Interior Design Book: Modern Macramé

A new interior design book arrived on my desk this week and it's an absolute beauty! If you love the fine art of knotting and swoon-worthy boho interiors, you'll love Modern Macramé: 33 stylish projects for your handmade home* by Emily Katz. Not only does the tome include page after page of inspiring living spaces, it also offers a contemporary guide to the traditional art and craft of macramé. From wall hangings and plant hangers to lampshades, swings and even a tent (who knew?!), the book includes 33 achievable projects as well as ideas on how to incorporate the custom hand knotted pieces into your home. Time to get knotting!

//affiliated links marked with *//

Just looking at these pictures alone, which include a wall hanging, plant hangers, a day bed and bath mat makes me feel there's no end to what you can achieve with a little rope!

Feeling inspired?! Pick up a copy of the book here*!

In case you're on the look out for more interior design books for your wall of books or coffee table, there are a ton more to choose from in this archive.

If you have any great book recommendations (interior design or simply great summer reads) I'd love to hear about them in the comment section below!

Have a lovely day!

PS Did you recognise the home of Malia Grace Mau in the third picture down? I featured their beautiful Topanga Canyon home a few months back.

Featured with kind permission from Modern Macramé: 33 stylish projects for your handmade home* by Emily Katz, copyright © 2018. Published by ten speed press, a division of penguin random house, inc. text and tutorial photographs © 2018 by Emily Katz; interior design photographs © 2018 by Nicole Franzen.

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'The Scandinavian Home' Book now in German and Italian / A Relaxed Artist's Home in Oslo

Since I'm at the Salones Del Mobile in Milan right now (picking up the latest design / trend news to share with you!) I thought it would be perfect timing to announce some news for my Italian and German friends: my book The Scandinavian Home is now available in Italian and German (yay! I definitely did a little dance when I received them in the post!). To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to share some snapshots from one of the lovely spaces in the book: the relaxed home of artist Maria Øverbye in Oslo. Located in a former school house, the building is blessed with high ceilings (11 foot / 3.5 metres high to be exact) and large spacious rooms and furnished almost entirely with second hand finds. The result is a unique home which is as quirky as it is charming. I'll never forget the day I spent at here chatting with Maria over a fika and sharing lots of laughs (as well as a busy day of shooting). I hope you enjoy the tour!

 Maria has shunned standard kitchen units, preferring to use individual items found over the years. A modern range oven sits next to a little wooden table picked up at a flea market over 20 years ago. 

"If you have one awkward piece it won't work, but lots of awkward pieces together create coherence."

 Maria and her friends like to swap artwork. In the sitting room, a vintage industrial lamp bought on eBay is used to light up a photo by Benedikte Ugland of an old lady from Gudbrandsdalen.

" Like many Norwegians, I want my home to have a clean, minimalist look. Having many textures in the same room makes it welcoming and interesting."

 "My children were able to play without worrying about damaging anything - and each nick and scratch bring back a memory."

"I like my home to feel unfinished. I love the patina of dry, soft grey plaster. it makes it a little rougher, which I think is beautiful."

Maria's bedroom is a personal haven and somewhere she can go to "be alone from the world." A dramatic photograph by Anja Niemi hangs over the bed. If she's feeling a little more sociable, there's a daybed linked to the kitchen too (seen below).

 Thank you for a wonderful day at your home Maria! 

If you'd like to see more, The Scandinavian Home is available in English, Italian and German  - and you can also order it through your local book shop and library.

Thank you all for your wonderful feedback so far - and also to Vogue for including it in their recent round-up of design books - it means so much!  

Ciao for now!

The Scandinavian Home by Niki Brantmark, published by CICO Books. Photography by James Gardiner © CICO Books.

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