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10 Clever Small Space Tricks To Learn From a Lovely Swedish Apartment

This Stockholm apartment is the type of charming and relaxed home which makes me want to pull up a chair and stay for a while. Books, plants, mix and match vintage furniture, an abundance of natural light - the CUTEST dog - what's not to love? It's only after taking a long hard look at the space that you realise each room is actually pretty small and narrow. So, how does it appear so light and airy? I spotted ten very clever small space tricks which have done wonders to create a cosy, comfortable and practical living space - I hope you might find them helpful for your own crib! 

1. Make use of every inch of floor space: This is particularly important if you live in a rental and can't drill holes into the wall. What could have been dead space under the windowsill makes a handy spot for books. If you're not too keen on piling books on the floor (remember the discussion in the comments section of this Norwegian home?!) - a low shelving unit would work equally well. 

2. Bring nature indoors: Small spaces can feel a little closed in and claustrophobic and plants can do wonders to draw the great outdoors in and bring harmony to the living space. 

3. Source easy to move furniture: in a tight space your furniture needs to work harder. In this instance, a Karin chair can be wheeled into the corner to create a reading corner for one or easily be pushed back into the centre of the room for socialising. 

3. Add an internal window: An internal window helps a narrow room to feel wider and also increases the natural light that enters the space. One very worthwhile investment! 

5. Create multipurpose zones: a built-in storage bench in the dining area can be used as a private place to sit and gaze out of the window with a morning coffee - or as extra seating at the dining table. Plus, it's handy for storing items like napkins, tablecloths, candles etc. 

6. Let the light flow: Wider entrances encourage natural light to flow through a space and make the room feel more light and airy. A sliding door or curtain are ideal for creating privacy when a standard door doesn't make the cut! 

7. Reflect the light: an obvious one - but mirrors can work wonders to bounce the light around and make a room feel larger. One of the My Scandinavian Home Studio interior designers recently included a series of mirrors made to look like a window in a narrow Brooklyn dining space and it did absolute wonders for the room! 

8. Wall to wall open and closed storage: it's easy to think that the entire wall should be covered in closed storage for a clean, practical look - but in this case the storage not only provides a place for clothes, the display surfaces add character and a personal touch to the room: two birds, one stone! 

9. Dual purpose furniture: A stool in the bathroom provides a handy spot for shampoo and conditioner - and can also be used for extra seating whenever and wherever needed! 

10. Wrap-around storage: We're well versed on book shelves that go up and around doors - but this is one of the first times I've seen shelving around a loo. Such a clever way to add extra storage in a tight spot.  

I hope you found this helpful! Even if you don't live in a small space, we all have a small room somewhere in our homes where these tricks can come in handy! 

And how cute us that doggy? He totally OWNS the space! 

If you have any more small space hacks to add, I'd love to hear about them in the comment section below. 

In the meantime, here's a little more small space inspiration for the weekend:


And of course, there's always the small space archive

I hope you've had a brilliant week! It's been a crazy one for me with a trip to Copenhagen and Hamburg thrown in. I've got a feeling I'm gonna sleep well tonight! 

Trevlig helg! 

Niki

This home is for sale through Historiska Hem - found via Coco Lapine with thanks. 

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A Small, Yet Soothing Swedish Apartment In Grey-Beige Shades

It's Friday, friends! Yay! It's positively baking here in Sweden - is it sizzling where you are too?! I think this calls for a lovely cool, calm home tour, don't you?  Somewhere we can imagine kicking back with a magazine and an ice-cold drink, while a lovely breeze washed over us from the windows (OK, getting slightly carried away). The apartment in question may not be big, but what it lacks in size, Refine Design Studio has more than made up for in style. The Stockholm based interior design firm were tasked with fitting 21 apartments in a wooden house in Linköping, built by Wilzéns. Led by Natalie Strömberg, they selected a palette of soothing grey-beige and nutty brown with touches of black and white to highlight the incredible design elements. Let's dive in!

On the colour:
"Warm colour range of grey-beige shades together with accents in black and white to create a Scandinavian base with industrial elements."

On the kitchen:
"The kitchen has been given a nutty beige-brown tone with matt lacquered doors and the work surfaces are lined with a white terrazzo HT-Calacatta and chrome details."

On Terrazzo: 
"Terrazzo is an artificial stone made of crushed marble or even of hard rocks and cement. It is an old method which has recently made a comeback in Scandinavia with its vibrant expression and changeability with compound mixed rocks giving the kitchen character and playfulness."

I'm feeling revived just looking at this space. Plus, the neutral scheme would make it easy to make it your own too - perfect!

Is there anything you love about this home?

There's a load more beautiful Swedish homes to be found in this archive! If this pops up first, just scroll on passed. 

Right, that's it from me. I've got two little girls waiting to go for a dip in the sea! And then we're hoping to head up to the summer cottage (can't wait to potter around that kitchen!). 

I hope you have some fun plans for the weekend too - stay cool! 

Niki

Credits: Refine Design Studio / @refinedesignstudio

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A Mini Yet Mighty One Room Swedish Attic Apartment

One of the things that first drew me to Scandinavian design all those years ago is just how clever they are at transforming cramped living spaces into practical, beautiful homes. Of course it helps that Scandinavian style is often characterised by light colours and clean lines which lends itself nicely to a small space. But there's also something else at play: their ability to whittle furniture down to the bare necessities and strike that perfect balance between form and function. And this lovely one room studio high up in the roof tops of Gothenburg, Sweden is a fine example. Enjoy the tour!

Check out how shelving has been tucked under the sloped ceiling to create space for little treasures! 


Try The Poster Club* for similar prints, white linen bed set*

Loose fit linen sofa cover and cushions from Bemz*, Knot cushion*, Formakami table lamp*


Anyone else considering down-sizing after seeing this?! Or perhaps you have a large attic space that needs converting? Either way, I find this space so inspiring and would quite happily turn in each night in that little bed nook, how about you?! 

Check out more small space living ideas here! And for small backyards - hop over to yesterday's round-up (in case you missed it!). 

It's a public holiday in Sweden today and we're gearing up for the arrival of guests from the UK. of course, me being me I can't stop at making beds, I have to dive into town to pick up flowers, some curtains as the bedroom is way too light in the mornings and some other KEY bits and pieces (cue: major eye-rolling from Per!!)  Anyway - we can't wait! 

I hope you've got some fun plans for the next couple of days too. I'll be stopping by tomorrow with a final post for the week, and I think it's a goodie too - see you then!

Niki

Photography: Maria Sahlander
Styling: Nouvel Interior

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16 Inspiring Outdoor Terraces for Every Size, Style and Budget

Outdoor spaces are fascinating - there are just so many alternatives and done right, they can become a wonderful extension of your living space. Whether you're influenced by the 'English garden' (my Mother's London borders are packed with blooms and you can't see the patio for pots!), the 'Scandinavian outdoor space' (more often than not: an understated, practical and comfortable affair) or the walled Mediterranean courtyard, where balmy evenings are enjoyed alfresco with a chilled glass of rosé - I hope you'll find inspiration in my round-up of 16 outdoor spaces for every size, style, budget and climate!

1. The romantic urban oasis (above)
I had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Henriette in Paris for the launch of the French version of my Lagom book and it was even more magical in real life! Do as this wonderful boutique hotel and make a feature of a back wall using climbers, a mirror and twinkling fairy lights. Add vintage outdoor furniture for a romantic oasis right there in the city!

2. The urban side alley
Make the most of narrow spaces with slim borders a simple table and string lights!

3. The built in bench
When space is of a premium opt for a built-in bench that lines the wall or fence (it can also be used for storage!). Wisteria, seen in the far right corner, is a great plant for vertical greenery, and it's hardy too. We all know the real hero of this space though: the fireplace! How very hygge!  You can see the complete tour of this little garden here






4. The wood burning stove
An old wood burner has been given a whole new lease of life in this lovely Swedish backyard. Loving the bamboo furniture too.


5. The big illusion!
Mirrors can make a small outdoor space feel way bigger. I particularly love old repurposed varieties. This one is available at Aldgate Homes.


6. The window to the world
In an urban environment it can be tricky to carve out a private space. In this pretty Parisian courtyard which once featured on the front of Marie Claire Maison, glass windows ensure a light and airy feel while wisteria and potted Japanese Maples screen the patio from view. That bar table is great too, don't you think?






7. The natural canopy! 
This easy-to-care for space is a natural extension of the house. Vines have been trained along a trellis for natural coverage. Painting outdoor walls is also a great option if you like a little colour!







8. The all-weather 'garden'
This stunning space in Holland gives the illusion that you're outside while actually being housed in a greenhouse! Check out the tiles!


9. The boho-romantic patio!
Can you also feel the warmth and gentle breeze oozing from this sun-dappled terrace? Rattan furniture and bright coloured cushions add to the vibrant and relaxed feel. Word of warning - if you live in cooler climes, make sure you opt for rattan furniture designed to withstand all weathers.


10. The comfy diner! 
It's not always possible to squeeze in a dining area and comfy L-shaped sofa - so why not combine the two. This sofa has been made from concrete and then lined with pretty cushions. I also like that this Moroccan-inspired outdoor patio belonging to actress Shay Mitchell, has been made up of mix and match furniture and lots of vertical greenery for a wonderful, relaxed vibe! See the full tour over on My Domaine.






11. The treat your feet!
In the summer it's not unusual to wonder outside bare foot - so why not treat them to something soft? Rugs are a perfect way to make an outdoor space feel cosy. If you live in a rainy place (story of my life!) select rugs specifically designed for outdoor areas. 



12. Warm Minimalist
Who said minimalist spaces need feel cold? This beautiful, covered dining area has been created using palm woven chairs and a simple wooden table for lovely, long lunches alfresco. The towels on the wall give the impression that there might just be a pool lurking around the corner... nice! 

13. The Balcony jungle
Bring 'forest bathing' to your balcony with a load of beautiful plants (look closely and you'll see they are all low maintenance perennials - hurrah!). I also love how they've painted the wall dark grey to make the space feel more intimate. A set of string lights add a magical touch after sunset. 

14 . The DIY roof terrace
Unless it's your sole outdoor space, let's face it, roof terraces are often neglected! But there's a simple way to transform them into a comfortable oasis on a budget. This wonderful corner sofa has been cobbled together using a series of shipping palettes. Just add cushions and a pretty climber and you'll have a little oasis in no time. 

15. The hammock
Hands up who else would happily swap places with the person in this picture? We might not be lucky enough to have a pool like this (isn't it lovely?!) but there's usually a place for a hammock (I like this one*) - even on a balcony. Just add a great book! 



16. The pool garden
This would never fly in our garden in Sweden - but a girl can dream, right?! Plus, there might be some of you out there with a space and climate begging for a pool like this. If so, can I come over?! Oh, and it's made from a shipping container - can you believe that?!

Roll on summer and long lunches alfresco! 

For more outdoor inspiration today, take a peek at:

My small backyard gets a cosy make-over
7 boho ideas for outdoor spaces (big and small)
A charming Swedish garden
Alfresco showers!

I'd love to hear more about your ultimate backyard -  and what you loved most from these pictures. Weigh in below if you have the time!

Niki

Photo credits in order of appearance: 1. Herve Goluza / 2. Nanette Wong / 3 & 4. De Zanderik / 5 & 6 Peter Carlsson / 7. Aldgate Home / 8. Marie Claire Maison / 9. Unknown - can you help?! 10. Yvonne Kusters Interior / 11. Gypsy Purple / Katherine Ireland / 12. Shay Mitchell / My Domaine / 13. Unknown - please help me to match this picture with the owner! / 14. Tine K Home / 15. Unknown - can you help pair this picture with its owner? 16 Unknown - great if you can help! / 17. Haciendas Tentadoras - photo by Nils Preston Schlesbusch / 18. Tanqua pools (I am not sure if this is the original credit, if not, please give me a shout below!) 

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Small Spaces: A Beautiful Swedish Home That Makes The Most of a 'Sceiling'

Sloped ceilings (or 'Sceilings' as they're known in the trade) have their down sides (literally!) - and can be tricky to work with (trust me, we have one on the top floor of our house!). But with a little work they can make beautiful, light and airy living spaces. This small, two room studio is nestled on the top floor of an apartment block in Gothenburg, Sweden. The designer has thought carefully about how to work with the different heights - resulting in a practical, space efficient home - which is comfortable and easy on the eye to boot! 

Bespoke shelving in the kitchen makes the most of every inch of wall space to create as much storage as possible (IKEA shelving can easily be cut to size to create this look). The stove and fridge-freezer have been prioritised as areas that need extra head room while the dishwasher can be opened from the side. 

While looking back at these pictures again I also noticed how they've snuck in a fan amongst the shelving - smart! 

Redundant work space (the ceiling is simply too low on the far left to use) has been decorated with fresh branches of lilac - which could easily be exchanged for fresh herbs! 

The sofa has been placed on the lower side of the room (a little out from the wall) - creating a comfy, spot. I also love how the beams have been painted black for contrast. 

A table for two has been tucked away at the far end. It looks a little tight on the right, but it looks as though there's enough space to shift everything to the left for more head room! 

Does anyone know who the wall lamp is by? Rita?! 

A ladder is stored out of the way but within reach for higher stuff - I see there is an alcove to the left - any guesses what could be hidden up there?! I've always wanted one of these ladders - but haven't found use for one yet! Actually, maybe the shelves in my bedroom? Would Per's handmade shelves withstand the weight though?!  

Artwork: Portrait M* by Gurilla,  Figure 02* by Bycdesign studio

A bench has been placed at the far side of the bed which can be used for lighting, books etc, while the higher side of the room is reserved for storage. Love the light green-grey wall too, how about you?!

Artwork: Shapescape 08* by Jan Skacelik, 
Lighting: Mass light by &tradition. 
On the bed: white linen duvet cover*, beige pillow case*, cream knit blanket, and grey linen throw* are similar.

Loved this! Such great inspiration for spaces with sloped ceilings too. 

I hope you've found this home inspiring too!

Other beautiful small spaces to feel inspired by today:

15 small space hacks to learn from a Danish home
10 ways to turn a pokey top floor flat into a swoon worthy living space
A Small Swedish space that will make you want to downsize

Have a wonderful start to the week - I hope the sun is shining where you are too!

Niki

Photography: Alan Cordic for Bjurfors - found via Nordic Design with thanks
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