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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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A Quick Cosy Autumn Update in My Sitting Room!

Paid partnership with Bemz (contains affiliate links). All words and photos are my own and I only ever work with the brands I love. 

Sweden is a country with very pronounced seasons. From the abundance of light and beautiful warm days in summertime, to the icy cold, dark yet cosy winter - it's a constantly changing landscape. I have long admired the way Swedes adapt to and embrace each season - after all, each one offers something magical. 

Autumn is a time for 'mys' (the Swedish version of 'hygge') - and when leaves swirl in the cold wind and the sun lowers in the sky, there's no place like home. My family tends to gather in the sitting room where we relax, watch TV (it's hidden behind the curtain to the right!), play games and read (oh, and eat too - no one is meant too, but I see the crumbs kids, I see them!). With the clocks going backwards in a few week's time, I felt it was time to do like the Swedes and add some cosy touches. 


This season I really wanted to up the mys factor, so I've doubled up on candles, blankets, a fluffy rug, books and little foraged touches. But most importantly, I also updated our IKEA Söderhamn sofa with a new Classic Tweed cover in mole brown

I've been a fan of tweed ever since my University of Edinburgh days, so you can imagine my excitement when Bemz (who make designer slip covers for IKEA sofas) included a Tweed option as part of their new Grounded Heritage collection. To me, tweed conjures up images of walks through the Scottish Highlands followed by a steaming broth and a hearty red wine.  The darker shade (there are three to choose between) helped strike just the right mood! 

I also went a little wild with the cushions and selected Striped Twill in soft oak (above), Tartan Wool (below), and Melton Wool in stone and birch - all warm, earthy tones and tactile to touch. Lovely! 

You'll no doubt recognise my coffee table, I've had my vintage wooden bench for years and it's still going strong. I love that about natural materials, don't you? They just get better with age! 


My wall is a forever rotating gallery of prints, paintings and illustrations by the likes of Peytil (black tights), Hilde Mork (who's Norwegian home I featured here) and local artist Pearl Wallin which we've collected over the years. As with all things autumn and winter, good lighting is essential - and we have reading lamps at each end of the sofa for good measure! 


And finally, I invested in a new fluffy rug - to keep any drafts at bay! 

Right, time to enjoy this corner before everyone gets back from school. Sadly, it won't stay this tidy for long, but at least it'll always feel cosy! 

I hope you like this autumn update as much as we do! 

If you're looking for a cosy new cover for your IKEA sofa this autumn, I can totally recommend checking out the lovely new Bemz Grounded Heritage Collection. You can order 5 free fabric samples to test out the colour and texture before you decide which one to go for - perfect!

See previous changes I've made to our sitting room and bedroom with Bemz here

If you're wondering about anything else you see in my sitting room give me a shout below and I'll be happy to help! 

Have a toasty weekend friends!

Niki

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Our Little Cabin Bathroom Reveal + Get The Look


GSI Ceramica and CRISTINA Rubinetterie kindly partnered on our project. 

Hej kompisar! We've been spending some days up out our little cabin and I finally had a chance to snap some pictures of the bathroom! You might remember, back in December I shared the plans. With a room measuring 3.66 m2 / 38 f2, we didn't have a lot to play with. Even so, I was keen to create a beautiful and serene, spa-like space that also worked well with the main cabin living space. It was exciting to see it all come together little by little. And today, I'm excited to share the final result with you! But first let me provide a quick recap of the floorplan and design. 

Floorplan


The bathroom is located in the corner of the cabin underneath the sleep loft. It has a door out to the garden and one into the main living area. 
 
Design



GSI Ceramica helped draw up this plan / design which felt perfect for the space! 


Entrance
When we first announced that the main cabin entrance is through the bathroom everyone looked at us like we were completely nuts - and even we had a few doubts! However, it's actually worked out brilliantly for three reasons: the bathroom has tiled floors, making it a perfect entrance in all weather, the hooks can double up for towels and coats, and finally, the shower is ideal for washing off sandy feet! 

Once in the cabin you can then open up all the other doors and windows and use those to enter and exit.

The reveal! 


I was eager to create a timeless bathroom with high quality fittings. I have to say, the calm tones, matt surfaces and stone floor create such a wonderful sense of serenity and it feels way more airy than the 3.66 m2! 

Here's the low down on all the details in case you're interested: 


Sink and cabinet



The floating Kube X Washbasin (60 x 47) and Prisma Unit cabinet are both from GSI Ceramica (available through Cosani in Scandinavia) who offer really high quality, well thought out units. I love that the sink has plenty of space at the back for soap / toothbrushes etc and the cabinet is really spacious (perfect when you have teenagers at home!). 

Loo



The wall-hung loo (WC Kube) is also from GSI Ceramica. At first, we were concerned about eating into the wall space - you need to move the wall out by around 20 cm to create space for a cistern (in this case we went with Geberit). But actually, it created a wonderful shelf which has proven to be invaluable! 

The best thing about the loo is the soft closing lid and Swirlflush technology - known for being the quietest flushing system in the world - which is absolutely ideal when you live in close quarters! I love the matt finish on the ceramic (inside the bowl it's glossy to guarantee maximum hygiene). 

Taps

As you know from the various kitchens I've designed (including our cabin kitchen and cottage kitchen), I am a firm believer that a high quality tap can add SO MUCH to the overall experience. We chose a wall mounted tap (CRIT257) and shower (CRIT486) from the Tricolore Verde collection by CRISTINA Rubinetterie - in brushed old brass which has a raw look and lovely rich patina and feel beautiful to use! 


I especially like the addition of the hand shower, it's so well, handy! 

Shower door

 Thank you to everyone who offered tips and advice on the shower door, it was so helpful. Based on your input, I went with one glass shower wall which is 800 mm (the shower measures 800 mm deep and 700 mm wide) with bronze fittings and no door (it works great without a door). It's very sleek and barely noticeable. I'll need to add a cross bar across the top to secure it (it came with one so it's just to put it up). 

The mirror


For years at the cottage we've been using a mirror that's so mottled you can barely see your face. This time, we went for a modern Four Season Mirror with LED (60 cm) which is really practical!  

The walls 

The walls have been painted in Kalk from the Jotun Lady Aqua range which is certified specifically for use in bathrooms. 

The matt white tiles are from Stone Factory and have a beautiful hand cut feel. We used white grouting for a more minimalist feel. 

We really splashed (sorry!) out on the Tumbled Turtle tiles from Stiltje. I fell in love with the matt natural stone with its rich patina - it brings a sense of the rugged coastline into the bathroom. We used leftover floor tiles for the shelf above the sink and a corner shelf in the shower.

The hooks


I bought the simple wooden peg rail from Norrgavel. I might add another row at some point but for now, this will do nicely! 


Blinds



And finally, another great discussion was what to do about the glass door since there's no way you'd feel comfortable showering and worst still, sitting on the loo if people can see in! Thank you so much for all your input, in the end we chose this special Plissé blind that fixes to the door and moves with it when you open and close it. It can be pulled up from the bottom of the window and also pulled down from the top so you can basically move the blind to wherever you need it and still see the lovely nature outside!  

I hope you like tour bathroom as much as we do! I have to say, it's an absolute joy to use and well worth all the extra effort! 

I hope it may have given you some ideas if you're also planning a small bathroom renovation. If you have any questions, please do give me a shout below! 

Would you like to see more of our little cabin? Check out the kitchen, dining area and bedroom

Have a wonderful weekend friends. See you Monday! 

Niki

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Allie's Bedroom Makeover - From Tween to Teen!


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

The thing about children is that one minute they're tiny babies, the next they're whizzing off on adventures with friends! Take my daughter, Allie. She's turning twelve this October! Where has the time gone? Always a ray of sunshine, she can't go two steps without a cartwheel and loves to ski, play football (that's soccer to all my American friends!) and lately, has become passionate about fashion and interiors (hmmm, I wonder who she gets that from?). 

Needless to say, she grew out of her bedroom a long time ago - and a makeover was well overdue. Since I promised 2022 would be the years we'd organise our home (with my new wardrobe checked off the list last month), one of the key factors would be to ensure it had plenty of storage! It would also need to cater for Allie's needs - and of course, reflect her personal style and wish list. 

Before

I told you our house is messy / disorganised! I'm surprised there wasn't a pair of pants (UK version) on the floor! Chaos aside, this side of the room was dominated by low storage which was crammed with books, toys, cuddly bears and a load of other bits and bobs. 

I've noticed that the toys have slowly started to collect dust and her room has become a place to hang out with friends, do homework and experiment with fashion, hair and make-up - in between making TikToks and doing backflips on her bed - not always in that order!

I asked Allie what she felt was missing and we narrowed it down to:

- A desk area with drawers 
- A pinboard for small pictures, notes and general inspiration 
- Book shelves - with book ends! 
- A dressing table 
- Good lighting 

Oh, and the look and feel should have a hint of boho with lots of greenery, natural material and plants! 

Planning 



Above is the original design, which was created using the Elfa drag and drop online planning tool. Once the items arrived, we rejigged them a little to make use of the natural light (that's one of the beauties of Elfa - it's a flexible system so you can constantly adapt it according to your needs as well as add items over time). 

After 


Just like the wardrobe system in my bedroom, this shelving system is centred around a series of vertical rods, to which you can click-in a whole tray of items such as shelves, drawers, clipboards, mirrors, hooks and more. For a children's bedroom it's an absolute dream! Here's a breakdown of the items we added: 

The desk area


Above the desk we added a Storing Board with attachable hooks and boxes for small items like pens, paperclips and scissors (Per always marvels at how many 'tiny' items the girls amass, all of which are apparently crucial!). 

I particularly love that the desk height can be raised as she grows!


mesh basket under the desk is used to store cables (her room is officially neater than my office!). 

And we also added a series of deep wire drawers with Décor fronts for all her notepads, paint etc. 

The shelves 


To create the shelving, we used a series of melamine shelves mounted on click-in brackets. Lesser used items are / old photos etc which Allie would like to save for the future have been stored away on higher shelves (we might buy a small footstool which could double-up as the dressing table stool) and the things she uses daily are within reach on the lower shelves. 

One of the niftiest items we discovered is the reversible shelf / tray which can be used as a shelf for plants etc or a tray for paper, prints etc with a ridge so they don't slide off.  


We also used a series of book supports and wallbands to stop tomes and other items from falling off the shelves (you haven't seen the chaos when Allie does gymnastics!). 

Sidenote: have you read 'The Boy, the mole, the fox and the horse'? It's the sweetest book and a Brantmark family favourite! 

The pinboard 


I made the pinboard using a cork board covered with stretched linen.  


Slim hooks that click into place created a place for hairbands, necklaces, sunglasses... you name it! 

The dressing table 


A dressing table was highest on Allie's wish list! She's actually not allowed to wear make-up outside of the house yet, but she loves to experiment and have fun with it at home!

To create the dressing table area, we added a Decor Mirror - which is the same as the one I have in my new wardrobe. We also put a reversible shelf underneath it for nail varnish, brushes etc and a series of clear boxes (from the Elfa Studio in town) for make-up, jewellery etc. A simple lamp above lights up the area after dark. 

The drawer underneath has been fitted with a Decor accessory tray so that Allie has a place for her bits and bobs like earrings, hairbands, purses etc. 


And finally, we hung a Bracket hook rack on the side for her bags. 

Oh, how I'd have loved to have had this setup when I was a kid! 

The best thing of all, is that it's created so much space in the rest of her room, perfect for phase two of the make-over - rumour has it, Allie's planned a gallery wall with Per's old LPs, a garland of trailing ivy and there was a mention of a lava lamp! I'm looking forward to seeing the boho look unfold!

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the keyboard, there's space for it on the long desk but she might also use a stand instead. 

I hope you like the results as much as Allie does! Please do give me a shout if you have any questions - or if you have a children's room to plan, you can find out more about this system over at Elfa

I hope you have a relaxing, fun weekend planned. I'm heading off to Stavanger, Norway this evening to write a city guide for an English magazine - very exciting, Norway is my favourite country in the world! I hope I can squeeze in a trip to the fjords and a hike on the Saturday. If you'd like to follow along, I'll be sharing my trip on Instagram stories. 

Trevlig helg! Have a great weekend! 

Niki

Photography Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home

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