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Time for A New Wood Floor - Which Sample Is Your Favourite?

Houston, we have a problem. We need a new wood floor. It's not a decision to take lightly - but sadly, ours has bitten the dust! When we moved in over 12 years ago, our open-plan living room featured a dark oak floor throughout. It's a really dark room, so we decided to lighten it up by sanding down the floor and then applying a whitewash. It was only then that we realised that the owners before us had laid a laminate oak wood floor -  and the actual oak element was only a couple of millimetres thick. It looked beautiful to begin with, but over time, cracks started to appear, and the edges of the laminate started to furl. You can catch a glimpse in the picture above as well as the close-ups below! 


It had been bothering us for a while, since a tired looking floor can really bring the entire look of a room down. But the final straw came on New Year's Eve when we had a bit of a raucous party which resulted in a dance-off until 4am (remember those days before the - whisper it - 'C' word?). It was great fun, but our poor floor was not up to it - and great lengths of laminate became dislodged. It was definitely time to get a new wood floor! 

Where to start?!  
Living in Scandinavia, a wood flooring is the obvious choice - and thankfully we don't have a dog so   we're confident that the right wood floor would be a great, sustainable, long lasting option. The natural material helps to draw nature indoors and add warmth and depth top a room. There is an overwhelming array of options out there, but I already knew I wanted one of two looks: herringbone parquet or a wide plank. 

Herringbone Parquet

It's no secret that I've always loved a parquet floor (see my 'all hail the parquet floor' feature) - aren't they stunning?! The herringbone parquet floor in particular is hugely popular in Sweden and many turn-of-the-century homes are blessed with original versions, in all their creaky glory. This particular Boden oak with a matt finish in 'extra white' is absolutely stunning, the only thing is, our townhouse is modern (it was built in 2001 which incidentally makes it 20 years old this year - time for another party?!) so we felt we needed something a little more contemporary. 

Wide plank oak

I've been fan of wide plank floors for a long time. There's something really clean and contemporary about them and yet they still add a lot of warmth to a space (this one is the wide plank SVANSHALL in hardened oak - isn't it beautiful?).  Are you a fan too? Per and I agreed that this option would be the best one for our open-plan living space. 

The brand
Bjelin - one of Europe's largest floor manufacturers - was an obvious choice for us. Their wide plank wood floors are produced not far up the coast and since we're planning to lay the floor ourselves - we like that their planks click together without glue or nails. They also have a great sustainable approach: maximising the use of every log, reusing waste as filler or energy and sourcing raw materials from responsibly managed forests. And finally, they sell beautiful wide plank flooring made from cured the wood, which is super strong (roll on New Year's Eve!). Yay! 

Samples
It's one thing looking at the pictures on a website, it's another thing entirely testing out samples. We approached Bjelin and tested out as many samples as we could. We wanted to make sure that the wood had more of a grey tint (and not a yellow or beige note that might get more pronounced as time goes on). We also wanted to make sure that the wood wasn't too dark and fitted the design of the room (it's amazing how much a wood floor can change a space!). Here are a few of the wood floors we tested: 

Clockwise from left to right: Loarp, Lyby, Torekov, Arild, Hittarp

Do you have a favourite? 

I'd love to hear about your favourite wood floor style - and any tips and advice you might have from laying a wood floor in your home! Feeling a little nervous!

I promise to update you soon! 

Niki

PS Stop by tomorrow to take a peek around a breath-taking Danish summer cottage, it'll have you dreaming of a summer in Scandinavia all weekend! 

Photo 1: My Scandinavian Home. All other photos: Bjelin

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Per's New Home Office (With Beautiful Pieces From Skovby)

Brand story*:
I love discovering new Scandinavian brands, don't you? One of my latest favourites is Skovby. The Danish family business was founded in 1933 by cabinet maker Thorvald Rasmussen. His son Villy Rasmussen and grandsons Preben and Jørgen Rasmussen have continued his legacy - expanding the collection to include highly functional dining tables, chairs, storage, cabinets and other pieces.  with a strong focus on craftsmanship, natural materials and sustainability.

One of the biggest draws, is Skovby's strong focus on craftsmanship, natural materials and sustainability and how the furniture combines a strong design aesthetic with innovative functionality - Scandinavian design heritage it's finest!

I've been really keen to experience the furniture firsthand ever since. And this week, I found just the project!

Due to the circumstances we are all facing, right now Per and I are both working from home. As you can imagine this comes with its fair share of, shall we say, challenges! Perhaps, most alarming of all is that I'm having to endure entire maths and physics lessons (Per's a sixth form teacher) - subjects I thought I'd safely left long behind me in my school days!

From Per's side, the main issue has been trying to hold classes via video link from the kitchen table - not easy when you have kids rocking about making themselves sandwiches in the background. So, I thought it was high time to design a temporary home office that he can call his own!



A window nook in the corner of our bedroom presented a perfect spot since the (DIY) shelves were already in place and it's an area that's flooded with light - perfect for online conferences! 

I added a new Skovby #131 Home Desk in solid oak white oil with a top in white laminate (it's also available in oak lacquer, oak solid oil, oak solid white oil, oak white oil with top in black nano laminate, walnut oil and walnut oil with top in white laminate finishes). 

To match, I chose a classic and contemporary SKOVBY #52 dining chair in oak white oil with a hard wearing Brahms 21 seat fabric (check out all the other options here!). 

The devil is in the details - and I love that the desk has a built-in drawer (with soft-closing) for storing paper, calculators, and other bits and bobs. Check out the brown lining too! 


I also love the USB plug-in for charging your phone. In my mind, any form of cable-management is always a welcomed touch - I'm not good with cables! 

In the pics above and below picture you can also catch a glimpse of some of the other pieces I added including a Tip table lamp, two felt baskets for paperwork, Edge vases - and the all important Edge mug (is it just me, or does anyone else remember just how much coffee teachers drink?!). 



This close up also demonstrates the beautiful oak. When carefully maintained (Skovby offer a an entire care collection which helps you ensure your furniture stays in tip top condition) - the furniture can last a lifetime and be passed onto the next generation, a true investment piece, and part of Scandinavia's ingrained sustainability ethos. 




I think Per's one very lucky guy, don't you?! I'm not sure he's ever worked in a spot like this before (trust me, I've seen his staff room!).

Maybe I'll even pick-up on some new math skills along the way (I can actually see Per spitting out his coffee at this!!) - let's just say, we're both grateful my maths lessons are a distant memory!). How were you at physics and maths?! Kudos to anyone who could have worked out the equation below! 

In all seriousness, it feels great to have been able to create an extra home office so we could each have somewhere comfortable to sit during the day. These creature comforts are so important right now, don't you think?

And, I hope this post goes to show that all you need is a good desk and chair (and a few smaller bits and bobs)! I can highly recommend these fine 100% Danish pieces! 

Check out the full Skovby range here and find your nearest stockist

Have a great weekend, stay well! 

Niki

A big thank you to Helen Sturesson for working with me on the interior design and styling for the shoot. 

*This post is a paid partnership with Skovby, however all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and can highly recommend. Thank you for supporting the brands who help me to create fresh content! 

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Beautiful Danish Lamps In My Study - In Shades of Toffee and Smoke

Brand news: 
A few weeks ago, I showed a beautiful photographer's home from the Danish island of Bornholm - and it was a perfect reminder of the sheer creativity on the island. As you're aware, one of my favourite 'makers' is located right there in the Baltic Sea: Pernille Bülow. I absolutely can't get enough of her mouth blown SKY lamps, and Per is mesmerised too (always helpful when the man is on board too, don't you think?!). A few weeks ago Pernille Bülow launched three new beautiful shades: Smoke, Toffee and Green. As a fan of all things earthy, I immediately reached out about the toffee and smoke variant to hang in my home office along with hate clear version I already have. It was like everything just fell into place. Don't you love it when a plan comes together?! 

The mouth blown glass pendants all have unique organic shapes and feel so beautifully smooth. I love the small imperfections too as they show that they are individually made in the atelier. 

For this cluster I have used: Smoke large, Toffee medium, Clear gold medium.  


You can choose between brass / gold or chrome / grey fittings (I love the former for my home) and if tones of brown aren't your thing there are 11 different colours to choose from (they also look great hung individually). 


I love it when a plan comes together! 

Could you imagine having the these beautiful lamps somewhere in your home? 

If you're curious about where else you might be able to hang them, check out how they look in other areas of my home (and in various shades):


FYI they ship worldwide

I love my little home office even more now. In other news: Per is teaching from home right now and there's always a little tussle over who sits here. So, this week I'm turning the window nook in our bedroom into a home office / study just for him. Keep an eye on the blog for the results (and hopefully, one very happy man). 

Niki

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Pernille Bülow, however all words and pictures are my own. Thank you for supporting the wonderful businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible! 

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Three Simple And Refreshing Frozen Recipe Ideas For Balmy Summer days!

Kindly sponsored by Samsung:
The warm weather has finally arrived in Sweden (last week I actually wore short-sleeves for the first time outdoors - result!) and we dared to start dreaming about balmy, summer days after what's felt like a very long winter! Time to stock the freezer with some tantalisingly refreshing treats! Read on for three icy delights my family and I love - and they're super easy to make too.

Samsung Freezer RZ32M71357F / Samsung Refrigerator RR39M73657F/EE
Pear and cinnamon ice cream
What would a summer be without 'glass' (ice cream)? And this homemade pear and cinnamon ice cream is divine, plus it's super easy to make without an ice cream machine. Perfect! 

Ingredients
5 dl (500ml) cream
1 can (397g) of condensed milk
2 small ripe pears, peeled and cut into quarters
Generous pinch of cinnamon

Method
Place pears and cinnamon in a blender and puree until you have a smoothie consistency.
Whisk the cream and condensed milk until its thick and fluffy.
Pour in the pureed pear and use a spatula to mix well.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased loaf tin.
Smooth out the top and freeze for at least 2 hours.
Take the ice cream out of the freezer 30 minutes before serving.

Top tip
You can make this with berries instead. Just swap out the pears for 1 cup of strawberries,
raspberries or blueberries.

Ice cream popsicles
Once you've made the ice cream above, these popsicles are quick and easy to make, look super impressive, and best of all, taste delicious! 

Ingredients
Ice cream mixture (as above)
Your choice of toppings - desiccated coconut, nuts, melted chocolate, sprinkles.

Method
Make the ice cream recipe as above and divide the mixture between popsicle moulds or
large square ice cube moulds. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 2 hours or until
solid. Remove popsicles form the moulds and dip into your chosen topping. Place on a plate with
baking paper and back into the freezer until serving.

Top tip
The best way to remove the ice cream from the moulds is to place the moulds under warm
(not hot) running water for a few seconds. Allow them to stand for another 30 seconds and
they should release easily.

Flower ice cubes
One of my favourite midsummer tricks - ice cubes embedded with edible flowers look so pretty and look like you've gone that extra mile, even if they only take seconds extra to prepare!  

Ingredients
Edible flowers (I've used pansies which are perfect as they come in a variety of colours. If you are in doubt whether a flower is edible, always check prior to consuming)*
Herbs (I've used dill, rosemary and mint)

Method
Separate the flower heads from the stem and cut small sprigs from your favourite herbs. Dot them around an ice cube mould (I used the mould in my Slim Ice Maker - a really nifty feature that hardly takes up any space!). Add water until each compartment is full. Once set, drop the cubes in your drink for a pretty, refreshing summer drink!  

Berry and herb ice cubes
I love to spice up summer cocktails (and even ice cool glasses of water) with berry and herb ice cubes. They look really pretty in the glass, add a hint of flavour and smell lovely!  

Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, mint, rosemary and dill all make great ingredients and I also like to freeze lemon and lime slices separately. You can make a huge batch and use them to pep up drinks all summer long!



I hope you're feeling inspired by these simple ideas! Please feel free to add your own favourite freezer recipes below, I'd love to hear them! 

Roll on balmy summer days!

Niki

A big thank you to Sarah Brooks-Wilson for working with me on this shoot - such a fun day, plus we got to eat LOADS of ice cream! 

This is Kindly sponsored by Samsung. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands and products I love and can truly recommend. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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My New Home Office Gallery Wall (From Desenio!)

Kindly sponsored
Since I've been working from home a lot more than usual, I felt I needed to do a little extra with my home office. It's in the corner of my bedroom, so I am always keen to ensure it's pretty to look at too! The answer? Lots of art! I created this gallery wall using prints from Desenio - who sell a huge collection of affordable artwork and ship to over 30 countries worldwide - such a great online resource! As you'll know from other parts of my home - I love a great gallery wall, it's a perfect way to breathe life into a space. My new one has been made up of some beautiful pieces from the collection as well as a blend of different frames and other wall hanging solutions. Read on to find out more! I hope you like it as much I do! 

The art I chose is all fairly earthy for a calm look - and yet the style varies from portraits and landscapes to more abstract art. 

Do any stand out to you? In case you're curious, the prints include (from left to right): Weimar Shapes No1 (21 x 30) - hung with polka dot washi tapeGobi Desert (30 x 40) in a light wood framePainted Shapes No2 (30 x 40) in a magnetic wood poster hangerOpus No5 (30 x 40) in a black picture frameBerlin Arches No2 (50 x 70) in a white picture frameTove Frank Hush (50 x 70) in a light wood frame and Stairs of Art No1 (30 x 40) in a white picture frame

I think it's always nice to add another element to a gallery wall - like a row of hooks or shelf, it brings the whole look to life and means you can swap in and out elements according to your mood (and without creating a load more holes in the wall! - Been there, done that!).

I particularly love the light wood picture frame. It's the lightest one I've seen, and it has a real warmth to it but it's also very subtle. I think the Stairs of Art No1 is my favourite out of all the artwork (tucked away int he corner) - I've always had a bit of a penchant for photographic architect photography! 

I think I'm going to be much happier in this little corner now. It's amazing what a difference artwork can make!

Did you like any of these prints in particular? perhaps something caught your eye for your own home? 

If so, I can highly recommend Desenio prints and frames, they're really affordable, yet very good quality and there's a massive selection to choose from. Hop on over to the online store to take a peek! 

Stor kram from Sweden! 

Niki

Thank you so much to interior designer / stylist Helen Sturresson for working with me on this shoot. 

This post was sponsored by Desenio, however all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love. Thank you for supporting the wonderful businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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8 Cleaning Hacks for a Gleaming Refrigerator!




Sponsored post:
Since acquiring our new Samsung fridge and freezer I've been determined to keep them looking shiny and new - and most importantly, keep the funk out!! Know the feeling?! I chatted to friends across all generations here in Sweden to suss out great Scandi hacks which help to keep kitchen appliances clean. Several months down the line and I think I might just have nailed it! The front of our fridge is shiny and fingerprint free, and the inside sparkles like new. And best of all it smells super fresh too. I feel it would only be fair to share the 8 hacks I've learnt with you. Not only do most of them require tools and ingredients you most likely already have at home, they're organic and budget-friendly too!


1. Clean your fridge regularly: not so much a hack, as something to be mindful of. I've found that going over my fridge at least once a week helps to catch food before it goes off - and generally ensures the appliances stay clean. Every three months it's important to remove EVERYTHING and give the fridge a deep clean to keep it tip top inside (and prevent kids friends' from holding their nose every time they open the fridge door - trust me, it's happened in the past!). 

2. Clean refrigerator shelves with soap and water: remove the shelves and wait for them to reach room temperature before washing them with soap and warm water in the sink. A Swedish friend tipped me off about organic soap flakes which you buy in bulk, last forever and are completely chemical free. She even washes her clothes with them - and they're perfect for cleaning the fridge! 

3. Clean the inside of your fridge with baking soda and water: combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 10 dl of water and spray the inside of your fridge. Wipe down with a damp cloth and then dry thoroughly. This concoction will leave your fridge sparkling without your food smelling of detergent. Love that! 

4. Use a toothbrush for tiny edges: an old toothbrush will help you access the tiny areas in your fridge that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to reach. 

5. Freshen up the inside of your fridge with lemon: Soak cotton wool in lemon juice and then use it to wipe the inside of your fridge. You might even like to place a few slices on a plate and leave them inside. They'll help soak up unpleasant odours and leave your fridge smelling lovely and citrusy! 

6. Organise food in containers: containers are ideal for keeping food fresh and minimising odours! I was inspired by the 'Take-out' tray that came with my fridge, and have since added a few more containers. But I have a feeling this is only the start!

PS. No my fridge isn't always as neat and tidy as this, far from it! 

7. Set the right humidity level: if your vegetable / crisper drawers come with a Humidity Control Setting like mine does (FYI I opted for the RR39M73657F/EE model - partly because of this setting!), make sure you set it to the right level so that your fruit and veg stay fresher for longer. As a general rule, you'll want to use a high setting for leafy-green vegetables or anything that might wilt (like lettuce, cucumber, carrots and broccoli) and a low setting for fruits or anything that could rot (like kiwis, bananas and apples). 

8. Leave your stainlesssteel doors gleaming: Dab a non-abrasive rag in white vinegar and then apply it to the fridge following the grain. And then dab the cloth with a couple of drops of olive oil before polishing the stainless-steel following the grain - you'll leave your fridge and freezer gleaming! 

What do you reckon? Did you know about any of these cleaning hacks before? Perhaps you have some of your own - I'd love to hear about them below! 

Feeling pretty excited about these hacks - might just start exploring ideas for the rest of the kitchen now! Here's to a gleaming kitchen! 

Curious about other posts in this series? 

My favourite healthy Swedish Easter recipe - perfect for this weekend! 

Wishing you a lovely day friends! 

Niki

This is a paid collaboration with Samsung. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands and products I love and can truly recommend. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

A big thank you to Sarah Brooks-Wilson for working with me on this shoot. 

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