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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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Our Dining Area With New 'Soft Blue' Wishbone Chairs!

It's been a while since I shared a snapshot of my own home - in fact I think this is the first time this year! So, I thought I'd complete the blog week by sharing some pictures of my dining area that I took in collaboration with Carl Hansen & Søn along with interior designer Helen Sturesson

I'm sure you instantly recognise these chairs as the CH24 Wishbone Chair- a true Scandinavian design classic. Except with a twist; Carl Hansen & Søn recently launched this 'Soft Blue' version, which is simply divine!

It was so lovely to see the table all dressed up and circled with these iconic beauties. Our dining area has been the hub of the home over the past year and a place for crazy family dinners, homework, my office - and even maths lessons (Per set-up a white board against the back wall and taught his sixth form college students crazy formulas I'd never have the hope of solving!). Never a dull moment in the Brantmark family! 

I was so happy to see that it can still scrub up well when required! 

At 3 days Of Design I visited the Carl Hansen & Søn showroom in Copenhagen (a must if you're ever in town) and watched a craftsman weave the seat of a wishbone chair (it takes around one hour, using 120 metres of cord!). It was so cool to see the guy in action, and a great reminder that these chairs are mostly handcrafted. 

I hope you enjoyed this little peek inside my home - and my shots of Carl Hansen & Søn's latest offering (more info here). 

I wish I could have kept the entire set, but alas, I reluctantly (and diligently) sent them back over the bridge - baaaah! At least I've got these pics to prove that these beauties were in my possession! 

This evening our dining room is back to its normal self - and ready for a Friday take-away! So rock 'n' roll these days, right? What's your Friday tradition (right now)? 

I'm hoping we can get out on the snow and ice this weekend. 

I hope you have some fun outdoor plans for the weekend too!

Wishing you all a wonderful couple of days - see you Monday!  

Niki

PS Carl Hansen & Søn didn't sponsor this blog post (it was a social media collaboration only) - I just thought it would be fun to share the shots with you! 

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Have You Got The Right Amount of Lighting in Your Home?

When it comes to home decor, what comes easy to you? I am a firm believer that everyone has their thing. And while I struggle with rugs (seriously, I can never get a handle on those things!), I've found lighting to be my superpower!  I think it's because I love lamps as decor and appreciate the way they can completely transform a room! Since moving to Sweden (coming up to 17 years ago now - gaaaah, where did the time go?) I've also realised how important it is to light up your home properly in the long, dark winter, just for your own sanity! To sum up: 

Here are 7 reasons why I love lighting:

1. It helps you to carry out daily tasks such as cooking and reading, as well as to find what you're looking for (saving you from walking out of the door wearing your child's bobble hat / your jumper inside out / terrifying make-up). 

2. Dimly lit, and soothing warm lighting helps you to relax

3. It makes your home feel more inviting / welcoming and comfortable (one off the reasons Scandinavians love to place lamps in the window)

4. It helps to highlight features in your home you love - and hide those you don't!

6. It helps to divide a room into different zones

7. The light itself can be a work of art

So, how does one create the perfect lighting in your home? I'm a firm believer in the 5-7 rule outlined in Frida Ramstedt's Interior Design Handbook. It stipulates that every room should have at least between five to seven lighting points - with some people even recommending up to nine! 

To really use lighting to its full advantage, it's great to cover: General lighting: a ceiling lamp that spreads ambient light across the room, Task lighting: a reading lamp, desk lamp or strong light over kitchen work surfaces. Spot lighting: lighting that directs itself to highlight a picture, bookcase or help create shadow on the wall. Atmospheric / decorative lighting: mood lighting, dimmable small lamps, candles etc.  

It's also important to use the right bulb - check out this guide for more. So much to think about! 

Time to take stock of my own lighting: 

I've had my Z1 overhead pendant lamp hanging in my sitting room for years. It's such a perfect light - when dialled up, it spreads light throughout the room without glare, and when dimmed, it sets the tone for a relaxed evening (while looking a little like a Thai sky lantern!). 

This pretty brass and marble lady is the Chloe lamp from Hudson Valley Lighting - used purely for mood lighting and brightening up a dark-is corner (although I could dial her up for semi-OK task lighting too).

I can't tell you how many questions I get about this Zuiver Shady two arm lamp. It's the perfect reading lamp and a family favourite. 

One of my treasured vintage pieces, I found the Jielde lamp* on Etsy a while back. Vintage lighting can be really tricky and often needs re-wiring - but your efforts will be rewarded. It's used to shed light on the table in this picture, but I also love to use it to highlight the bookcase or pictures (depending on how this corner has been arranged!). 

In the bedroom, my beloved Ferial lamp from Paris Au Mois D'aout. I am not sure if they are still making it, but they do produce similar ones. I love how it spreads light throughout the room and casts shadows on the wall. 

This elegant lady was handmade in the UK by a local craftsman over 20 years ago. She's followed me to Sweden and has stayed faithfully by myself ever since. I have to be honest, she's a fair-ish reading light but I'm not sure a serious lighting expert would approve! 

The Tip Table Lamp on my desk is a little saviour when the sun dips beneath the horizon - or I'm burning the midnight oil while Per sleeps! 


Look closely, and you'll spot the Vuelta table lamp* from Ferm Living on the shelves behind my desk - it has a built-in dimmer switch and looks lovely lit up in the evening.   

One that I haven't had the chance to photograph yet, but really love, is my glass table lamp from Hübsch. If you're looking for a lamp with a perfect, warm glow - this is your lady! 

It was so fun to take stock of what I have. Even so, I realise there's definitely room for more (perfect excuse for a little light shopping this weekend!). 

What's the lighting situation in your home? Do you need more? Any lighting fails? Or great tips and tricks you'd love to share? 

If you're also planning on taking stock of what you have this weekend, you might also like to consider the following: 

- Dimmer switches are your best friend
- Angle or adjust the height of your lamps to ensure you don't get any glare
- Vary the height of the lights in each room to add feeling and depth: e.g. place on the floor, on surfaces such as low tables, shelves, windowsills, wall mounted or hung from the ceiling. 

Right folks. I do believe it's the weekend - wooohoooo! I can't say I'm doing anything too exciting! But it'll be nice to have a lie-in, pick out some paint colours with Liv for her bedroom and perhaps go for a walk along the beach. And enjoy a couple glasses of wine no doubt. 

Skål to the weekend! 

Niki

*some of the links contain affiliate partnerships which means I might make a teeny tiny amount if you click and buy something - at no extra cost to you. Also, a few of the lamps featured are press gifts. 

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Introducing 3 New Columns on MSH In 2021!


The year is finally coming to a close. I'd love to say that it has flown by - but er, nope, it hasn't! 

For my last post of the year, I thought I'd share some of my plans for My Scandinavian Home in 2021 and hear more about what you'd like me to cover in the coming year. 

As well as the usual posts (home tours, latest Scandinavian design, make-overs etc), I'm excited to introduce three shiny new monthly columns: 

1. Readers homes: I hear so much about your lovely homes in the comment section and my inbox, but I never get to see them. It's definitely time to change that, don't you think? In 2021 I'll be starting a new monthly column dedicated to the homes of My Scandinavian Home readers. 

2. How to: It's all very well showing beautiful Scandi-inspired home tours - but transforming what we see into our own home is the tricky part. I am no expert, in fact I learn something new every day,  but I have picked up a few tips and tricks over the years which I'd love to share with you. From perfect rug sizes to how to design a practical bedroom. I hope this monthly column will come in handy. Oh, and let me know if there is anything in particular you'd like to see! 

3. Our Tiny House: Per and I have been thinking of building a tiny house in the garden of his family's summer cottage for years. And the time has FINALLY come! JAAAA! We're so excited, and a little nervous too! In the coming months I'll be documenting our journey - from the architectural plans of our 30m2 cabin, to the trials and tribulations of decorating a teeny-weeny living space! I hope the column might help you solve some conundrums in your own home, or at the very least entertain you (I'm sure we'll make plenty of errors along the way!). 

I hope you like the sound of these! 

Is there anything you think is missing or you'd like to see more of on My Scandinavian Home? If so, please leave a comment below or send me a mail - I'm all ears! 

So, friends, it's time to head off and spend a little downtime with my family. 

Thank you SO much to everyone who has stopped by each day and made this little corner of the web such a positive place to be. 

I'm looking forward to kicking off the year here on My Scandinavian Home on 11th January. In the meantime, you'll find me over on Instagram at @myscandinavianhome. And you're always welcome to explore the My Scandinavian archives for inspiration! 

Here's to a bright 2021! Gott Nytt År (Happy new Year!).

Niki

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Our Home - All Ready for Christmas!


Hej hej! I hope you had a lovely weekend! In our house, it's been a hive of activity - decorating, watching family films,  and even a little baking (yes, us - baking!). And of course, a healthy dose of the normal (albeit infuriating) - kids fighting, the tree nearly toppling over (gaaah!) and general Christmas chaos.... Even so, when you stop and look around once in a while, everything feels so cosy - and sometimes, especially now, you get the feeling that being safe and sound in our homes really is not a bad place to be, even if we all do desperately miss friends and family from afar. So, in celebration of the winter solstice today - and the home in general, I thought I'd share a few snapshots from our little place in Malmö, all decorated for Christmas! 

We love to use as natural decorations as possible - including paper flowers, dried oranges, alder cones and sprigs of pine, they add such a cosy touch and smell wonderful!


No Christmas in Sweden would be complete without the sweet smell of Pepparkaka. And they are so simple to make. I mean, even I manage occasionally - and we all know how bad I am at baking! There's a good recipe here

And my little elves love to decorate them too! 

And then we sprinkle them with fairy dust (icing sugar), just to make sure they're sweet enough (!!). 

We love our Snöblomma ('Snow Flower' lantern) in the kitchen window - it glows from morning to night and helps us to pretend the sun is shining outside. 


What are they plotting I wonder? I've been the subject to at least three pranks already this week already. FYI I receive the faux fur blanket (pic doesn't do the colour justice) that they're cosying under as a present from Apparis - along with two sparkly face masks (fab!) - it's the softest, most cosy blanket I've EVER touched, and I'm honestly not just saying that. Needless to say, I've barely had a look in since it arrived.  

And even Per got to relax a little - and in the top spot too! 

Roll on Christmas, the Brantmarks are ready for you (and those Zoom calls!). 

***

I hope you are having a cosy time at home too. 

With only a few days to go until the holidays I've planned a 'My Scandinavian Home Best of 2020' post for tomorrow. I always think it's so exciting to see which posts have resonated the most with everyone - and this year has an extra special mix - as you can imagine. Make sure you stop by to take a peek! 

Niki 

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This Year's Cosy Christmas Touch: A 'Glögg' Bar!

Partnership*
The First Sunday of Advent is a big day in Scandinavia. It can get very dark in winter time and the eagerly awaited day provides a perfect opportunity to brighten up the darkness with candles, star lanterns and other julpynta (Christmas decorations). I have to confess though; I started a little earlier this year with the glögg (spiced mulled wine). My excuse? The chilly weather combined with a photoshoot for Danish brand Skovby and their beautiful handcrafted #135 Serving Trolley

Allow me to introduce my 'glögg bar'! 

For those of you not familiar with the word, Glögg is a Scandinavian spiced mulled wine, usually served with a spoonful of almonds and raisins as well as pepparkaka (gingerbread biscuits). Its best kept piping hot on the stove, in a thermos or in a pan over a candle. I love to serve it with blue cheese as the combination with pepparkaka is simply divine! 

My parents-in-law always have a glögg bar ready and waiting when we arrive at their cottage on Christmas Eve. It's a perfect way to thaw the hands after bracing the freezing temperatures outside! 

I decided to have my own this year, and this fine specimen of a trolley could not have made a finer glögg bar! The Skovby #135 Serving Trolley comes in a variety of finishes (check them out here) and I chose the black oak with a top in black nano laminate (specifically designed to cater for spillages - love that!). 


The trolley also has other awesome features such as hidden wheels, a wine rack and a compartment containing a small tray and chopping board (made from excess wood from the Skovby factories). Talk about a well-equipped bar! 

I also threw in some books and a cosy blanket for a little extra hygge! It is Danish, after all! 

Having sat at a Skovby desk in our home office for the best part of six months, the quality, design and functionality of the trolley is exactly what I've come to expect from the Danish furniture brand - which prides itself on sustainable and functional furniture. 


All there's left to do is get cosy and tuck in!

Once Jul is over the trolley would make a pretty cool display piece too, don't you think? Danish design at its finest! 

Curious to find out more? See #135 Serving Trolley for more details and find your nearest stockist here. 

I'm not sure if you've seen my previous posts about Skovby? If not, you might also like to see Per's home office (he's back at school now so I swiftly took over!) and the glass display cabinet in the corner of my open-plan dining room / sitting room area.  

Have you started decorating for the holidays yet? Despite the cheeky start, I'm waiting until this weekend and the First Sunday of Advent for the rest of my decorations (except for the tree, which we'll chop down sometime in mid December). 

A little cosiness and Christmas cheer is just what we all need this year, don't you agree?

Skål!

Niki

Photography Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian home

*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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Looking forward to Cosying Up Here!

A little note to wish you a lovely long weekend - and a spooky halloween! If you're hoping to hook up with friends or family, check out yesterdays post for inspiration on how to create an extra cosy outdoor space so you can catch-up safely, in style (and a little warmth!). Let's just hop the rain holds off. 

I'm leaving my parents' home today after a fortnight, safe in the knowledge that Dad's heading home from hospital tomorrow and the colour is back in his cheeks :) (FYI not COVID related!). I'm so looking forward to some down time with Per and the girls on this sofa before they head back to school on Monday. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend! See you Monday!

Niki

PS more details about my sofa found here. The prints are all from The Poster Club*, the Shady wall lamp is by Zuiver and you can find more info about my rug here. 50 Arches sell similar handmade benches

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At Home With The Terra Collection From Georg Jensen

Paid partnership*:
In preparation for the long winter ahead, I've decided to go all out with the greenery and up my plant game at home. This has coincided nicely with the latest launch from Danish brand Georg Jensen. Created by the internationally renowned Norwegian design agency Snøhetta, The Terra Collection is Georg Jensen's first foray into indoor and outdoor home gardening. Inspired by the undulating waves and reflective flow of water and the contemplative organic forms found in nature, the nine-piece collection includes plant pots and watering utensils that combine earthy terracotta and cool stainless-steel. Needless to say, the accessories look equally beautiful on a terrace, balcony or in this case - my bedroom! Just what we need to bring out the gardener inside us this Autumn! 

 
The collection includes four stainless steel planters: the Terra Reversible Planter in small, Reversible Planter in medium (seen on my windowsill), and a Reversible Planter in large as well as a TERRA Pot & Saucer.

 
I love how the green leaves of the plants reflect in the metal, doubling their impact (you can never have too much greenery at home, right?!). The planters are also reversible, so you can combine them in different ways to create an interesting sculptural display.


 
I'm also a big fan of the TERRA Pot & Saucer (this is the large one and there's also a medium sized one or the option of the TERRA Tray & Set Of Three Pots). Suitable for outdoor and indoor use, the pot is made from terracotta with a touch of stainless steel and is gently tapered, giving the roots more space to grow. Clever! 

 
The collection also includes a sleek and elegant TERRA Watering Can made from mirror polished stainless steel which was inspired by the flow of water itself. True to its Scandinavian heritage, the watering can is a dream to use and would be sacrilege to hide away. A perfect reminder to water the plants! Look out for the TERRA Watering Globe too (sadly not pictured here... although it is my birthday coming up...). 

 
Norwegian design for a Danish brand in a Swedish bedroom. You can't get more Scandinavian than this, right?!

I think this collection might just be what we all need to help us let a little nature into our home and hearts this Autumn, what do you think?

Do any of the pieces stand out to you in particular?

Read more about The Terra Collection here.

Niki

Photography: My Scandinavian Home Styling: Helen Sturesson

*This is a paid partnership with Georg Jensen. All words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too.

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My home: Say hello To My New Skovby Glass Cabinet!

Partnership*:
Are you a fan of the glass cabinet? I've always loved them; they're the one storage piece that will allow you to store and display your favourite things while keeping them dust free (anything that saves a little cleaning and I'm in, how about you?). I've had my eye on the Skovby  #452 display cabinet for a while. It's part of their #400 sideboard line which also includes 3 sideboards: #402#404, and #405. As you know, I've been a fan of the Danish furniture brand ever since I acquired a desk and chair for Per's home office (he's back at school now so I've crept in and taken over the space!). And now, I'm excited to have picked up a #452 glass cabinet for our open-plan living space!  

In 1933, cabinet maker Thorvald Rasmussen founded Skovby with a vision to create sustainable and functional furniture that would stand the test of time. And I have to say, this fine specimen truly encompasses this vision! Here it is filled with some of my most treasured pieces (as well as some practical bits and bobs for our dining room / creative corner!)...

The cabinet is available in several wood sorts and finishes. I chose the Black wengé lacquer version, as I felt it would make a nice contrast with my delicate glassware, ceramics, books, linen and other pieces I intended to store within it. 



We all know that when it comes to furniture, it's not all about appearance - although, naturally this is top of my list! Per in particular, was so happy with how practical the cabinet is. It's made according to the 'Golden Proportion' and has two soft closing glass doors, four glass shelves and two LED lights! The latter is going to come in handy when the light starts to fade and dare I say it - the clocks go forward (baaah!). Soooo not ready for that, are you?


Another nice detail: you can choose to stand it on a plinth or legs depending on the look you're after. I love the airy feel of the legs! 

I hope you like the latest addition to our home as much as we do! 

You can find out more information (including measurements, available finishes etc.) on the Skovby #452 display cabinet home page. The 100% Danish made cabinet is available in 19 countries worldwide (search for your nearest stockist here). 

Danish design at its finest! 

See you tomorrow for a very exciting home tour which might just include some armchair travel!

In the meantime, if anyone's looking for me, I'll be dipping into one of my books right here and preparing for my visit to Copenhagen tomorrow for 3 Days of Design. I haven't been to the Danish capital since February - so excited!

Niki

Photography Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian home

*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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