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A white and grey Malmö apartment

I hope you had a great weekend? It rained the entire two days here. Grrr! But we realised that the saying 'there's no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing' really rings true when you have frustrated pent-up kids at home. So we got our head to toe rain gear out and headed to the forest with a barbecue. Not only did we feel very virtuous but we had a lovely time too! Recently I've covered black, white, concrete, light wood and even green floors. So this week I thought I'd start with a Malmö apartment with grey floors. It's nicely balanced with the grey pendant light and bed linen and pastel shades seen in the rugs and cushions. What do you think, is a grey floor for you?








Bo-laget Via Do you Fancy This with thanks


I'm totally into linen bedding at the moment ....and it only gets softer and softer the more you wash it - perfect for a Monday morning lie in (dream on....!).

For more grey inspiration you could always take a scroll through my 'decorating with grey' label.

Since Christmas (wait...did someone just say the c word?!)  is only 6 weeks away (eeeek) it's time to start planning (mentally anyway). Which is why my new sponsor Self Packaging couldn't have arrived at a better time! The idea behind Self Packaging is to apply the DIY concept to the world of packaging, demonstrating that making your own gift boxes is not only easy and cheap but fun too!  I'm loving their Christmas collection including this very cool make your own advent calendar kit and little cardboard decorations.

Have a great start to the week!

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Mindful Decorating: Tips and A Tour of a Cosy Swedish Home in Holland

This grey, rainy Tuesday in Malmö calls for a day indoors - preferably in 'mysbyxor' (comfy track pants) and some very chunky knit socks (although these days I swear by my Swedish Shephard slippers!). Slightly further South, founder of Hemma Interiors Matilda Kristoffersson, a Swede living in Amersfoort, The Netherlands is cosying up at home with her Dutch husband Thijs and their three children Luuk (2.5 years) and newborn twins Joep and Lill. Matilda is an interior stylist who prides herself on a 'feeling first' approach. The mindful home has become a hot topic in recent times, especially as we find ourselves spending a copious amount of time indoors. I caught up with Matilda to find out a more about what it means and garner a few tips. 

Can you tell us a little about your house? 
We live in a terraced house measuring 135 square meters, divided over three floors. On the ground floor, we have our kitchen, dining, and living room as one open space with warm oak floors throughout. On the first floor we have our bedroom, family bathroom and our children's bedrooms  (Joep and Lill share a room). On the third floor, we have an attic space with high ceilings which serves as my workspace as well as a guest room for when my family comes over from Sweden. Both the first and second floor has white stained pine wood floors. I am very traditional Swedish in that I love white walls and light wooden floors. The house is situated on a quiet street in a newly built area with a canal just in front which we can see from our large windows in the kitchen and our bedroom. It is a great place for children to grow up and our son often plays with his friends out on the street in front of our house. 

How has being Scandinavian influenced your style and work? 
Being Swedish I think home is something really important. It gets pretty dark and cold during a big part of the year, so we tend to spend a lot of time in our homes, and that of our friends. I am very passionate about helping and inspiring others to create a home that truly makes them feel good and “at home” via my company Hemma Interiors (hemma means "home" in Swedish). I do this via my Instagram, my Online Course in Mindful Interior, and a new Guided Room Meditation that I am about to release. 

That sound really exciting, I'll be keeping a look out for your course! How has your interest in mindfulness and your Swedish background contributed to your home decorating? 
I take a mindful and “feeling first”  approach to how I decorate our home. This means that I think about how I want to feel in a space, and then connect this to design and style choices. So there is quite a mix of styles in our home with a more rustic kitchen, minimalistic bedroom, eclectic and classic look in the living room. But our entire home is still very Scandinavian I would say. In order to have a peaceful flow in the house, each space still has a similar color palette and materials; I’m very traditional Swedish in that I love a white wall and natural wood. We buy most of our furniture second hand as I believe that it is the best for our environment and it gives a very personal feeling to a home. I also buy a lot from IKEA (also second hand often) which I hack and upgrade to make my own. This really gives an outlet for my creativity.


Mindful decorating has become a big topic lately, can you tell us more about it?
When people hear I combine mindfulness and interior, they assume that it must mean minimalism and light colors, kind of like walking into a yoga studio. But in reality, a mindful interior does not necessarily mean that it looks in a certain type of way, but rather it is about the power of really tuning into our own personal style and focusing on how you really want to feel in your home, rather than how it looks from an outside perspective. Something I call “Feeling First” interior.

I think how we feel in our homes have become even more important over the last few months as we spend so much time in them now. Our homes are, and can be, so much more than just a place where we eat, sleep and watch TV. It is truly a space that we can use to relax, spend loving time with family and friends, and fully be ourselves in. 
  

How does mindful decorating differ from the usual way you might approach decorating a home? 
Decorating your home in a mindful way, 'Feeling First' instead of 'Design First', flips around the traditional decorating and interior process. You start off by exploring how you want to feel in your home, and then think about what type of colors, materials, designs and styles fit with this feeling. It is about starting from who you are and realizing your own personal style in your home, rather than trying to recreate that of someone else. And by doing so, empowering yourself to be and show who you really are in your home. Because if we are not able to celebrate our true selves in our own homes, then where else?


Do you have any tips for anyone looking to try a mindful approach to decorating? 
To me, the core of mindfulness is to embrace what is and be grateful for what you have in the now - because at the end of the day that is all we ever have - this moment now. By embracing what our homes are right now we can decorate from a place of gratitude and start to truly connect to how we want to live in them. I believe that we all have something that I call “Interior Intuition”, a sort of powerful guiding gut feeling of how we want our homes to look and feel. The trick is just to learn how to connect to it, and trust it. 


Here are three tips to get your started: 

  1. Dare to listen to, and trust, your own interior intuition
  2. Start with gratitude. Embrace what is already there rather than get caught up in the things you don’t like 
  3. Think about how you want to feel in your space rather than how you want it to look

***

Thank you so much to Matilda for sharing her home tour and mindful interior tips. Oh - and a big congratulations are in order on little Joep and Lill! 

You can find out more about Matilda's online courses here.

I hope you found this topic as interesting as I did - do share your thoughts below, I'd love to hear them! 

Niki

Photography: Matilda Kristofferson 

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An inviting Danish home with vintage touches

Hello there! I had a mail yesterday asking for advice on how to create a Scandinavian feel on a budget. Of course, there are many different looks (both dark and light) but I suggested starting with a light backdrop - white or light grey walls matched with a wood or white washed floor. From there you can make the space unique with a wonderful mix of vintage pieces (it's incredible what you can find at flea markets both at home and abroad, online auctions and one of my favourite sites - Etsy!) and combined with the odd highstreet ( IKEA find and fab new Nordic pieces. Keep textures natural using materials such as wood, leather and linen and add plenty of sheepskin and candlelight for that true hygge feel! What do you reckon? Is this your idea of a Scandinavian home? To my surprise, I found the most beautiful apartment today to illustrate my vision! Step inside the wonderful, warm and inviting home of Henrik Hemmingsen, director of Copenhagen boutique and online store Fil de Fer, captured by Martin Sølyst. I'd love to tuck into that breakfast in bed and stay all day, how about you?!










Credit: photography Martin Sølyst (shared with kind permission).

How toasty! And conceived from an entirely white backdrop too - it's amazing how vintage finds in wood and leather can add character and warmth to a space. Time to start looking for bargains? Or perhaps a visit to Fil de Fer is in order?!

A few ideas to steal from Henrik's lovely home: pick up a vintage punch bag here, cosy up with this grey sheepskin. Source a selection of vintage and antique brass candles here. The Norwegian cabin I stayed in last week had the same Tolix dining chairs (source vintage ones here and here - although you'll need to hurry, they only have a few left!) which they then softened with sheepskin seat covers. This dark grey linen bed cover and selection of cushions are beautiful.

A little note on floor paint. Rather than opting for white I went for a very pale grey (slightly confusingly named 'strong white' in my bedroom  - which I really love and can highly recommend.

A few more fab danish homes to drool over today: a lovely apartment with a relaxed vibe, the home of a Danish style icon and finally a danish home with dusty hues and a homespun feel.  Ahhh, so lovely, don't you think?!

Have a wonderful day!

PS I loved reading your 2017 home decorating goals in the houseology give-away, so inspiring! I'm excited to now have announced the winner here!

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A calming swedish home in shades of grey

It's friday - oh la la la, let's go dancing! But before that, I think we should all take a second to admire the beautiful shades of grey in this Swedish home. The nuances range from darkest charcoal, to the palest shade of grey, seen most of all in the kitchen. The scheme is also continued throughout the home using stonewashed grey linen,  sheepskin throws, rugs and other furniture and accessories. What a lovely space, and such a calming way to end the week, don't you think?!









55 Kvadrat/ Photography: Anders Bergstedt
....and relax!

Get the look: kitchen - Koushi pendant lamp, Smeg fridge, linen tablecloth and napkins, Äng vase. Hallway - gotland sheepskin throw. sitting room / office - coffee table,
Tivoli radio , LISABO desk.

Quick note on decorating with shades of grey - choose nuances along the same spectrum. For example skimming stone and elephants breath compliment each other really nicely and 2000N works beautifully for floors, especially against crisp white walls (using a gloss finish will help bounce light around). Likewise combining white linen with grey pillows (all available here) and a dark grey blanket and cushion (as seen in this bedroom) is super calming too.

A few other links I'm loving this weekend:

Inspiration for two tone walls (when one colour just isn't enough!).

Nina Hoist's terrace looking out over a Norwegian fjord.

22 of the prettiest outdoor showers (*sigh* - one day!). And this seaside photograph / print.

Pretty bamboo pendant lights.

From the archives - you might want to take a little summer loving inspiration from these 'summer cottages'. It's so warm and sunny here right now that I'd seriously recommend nipping on a flight to Sweden this weekend and join me for a cool dip in the sea.  See you here?!

Have a wonderful weekend! 

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A Beautiful Southern Sweden Home (With An Adorable Pooch!)

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Per is from Sweden's eighth largest city - Helsingborg. It's a fairly small town (says the Londoner!) but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in charm. The town is characterised by pretty squares lined with cafes and restaurants, cobbled streets and wonderful views over the Öresund strait to Kronborg castle in Denmark. It's not often I feature homes from the town, so I was very excited to stumble across Hannes Mauritzson's apartment earlier this week. Hannes lives with his partner Alexander and beloved dog Charlie in a building that dates back to the late 19th century. When Hannes isn't at his desk in a PR firm in Malmö, he's styling and capturing his home for his inspiring Instagram feed @hannesmauritzson. I caught up with my new Nordic friend to find out more about his adorable furry friend, interior design and life in Helsingborg. 

Charlie seems to have captured the hearts of many near and far, can you tell us a little more about him?
He always charms people. Whenever I ask people what they would like me to publish its always more pictures of him! 



I'm not surprised, he's the cutest! What breed is he?
Charlie came into my life about two years ago. he's an Irish soft-coated wheaten terrier with lots of energy, there's no denying that! But I think that's one of the things that makes home so loveable. He greets everyone we cross paths with and sees everyone (including other dogs) as a potential best friend! 

Charlie keeps guard over a rattan and wood bench from HM Home (I've got my eye on this along with the chair!). 

Your home is so beautiful, do you work in the field of interior design?
I work in PR and Digital Growth at a Malmö-based PR firm. When I'm not in the office, I use my time to be as creative as I can. I love interior design and have started appreciating photography more and more. I love spending hours figuring out what to photograph and how to stage a picture to post on Instagram

It's fun to peek inside a Helsingborg apartment - can you tell us a little more about it?
Our apartment dates back to the late 19th century and is in a lovely town called Helsinborg, Skåne (Scania), in the southernmost part of Sweden. The city is by the Öresund, the strait which forms the Denmark-Sweden border. Our apartment has four rooms. 


Did it need a lot of work when you moved in?
It was completely renovated when we moved in. But that didn't stop me from repainting it anyway! I bought about ten different colour samples for the bedroom, but ended up settling on something completely different without even getting a sample.

Ha! Been there done that many times! Which colour did you settle for in the end?
I love the texture and look of whitew3ash, so it as an easy decision to make. I decided on Washed Linen from Jotun, Lady Minerals. The colour turned out to be perfect! 

Cane headboard from Jotux, this brown linen bedding* is similar

What's your approach to decorating? 
When I decorate a room, I usually use colours that make me feel calm, like grey and beige. I try not to over furnish a space in order to create a room that is both visually appealing and healing. For example, I'd rather use one large vase than several smaller details. 



How would you describe your style?
My style follows the traditional Scandinavian household. Recently I've started to buy more antique and second hand items which is both kinder to the environment and my wallet! I feel the perfect mix of old and new contributes to a household that is filled with life. I love items that have a past. 


How do you make your home feel cosy? 
To compliment the neutral base, I decorate with vases, coffee cups, and dried flowers. Dried flowers hang all over my walls at home - it may look weird to some, but for me, it contributes to a home that feels comfortable to live in. 

Finally, can you share your three best tips for anyone visiting Helsingborg?
1. Enjoy a Swedish fika: If you ever decide to take a trip to the charming city of Helsingborg, I highly recommend treating yourself to a cup of coffee and a slice of cake at the lovely cafe Ebbas Fik. They serve a traditional Swedish fika, but with a unique, American-inspired 50s twist. 
2. Take a hike: After your fika, take a long but cosy walk along the strait until you reach Pålsjö forest. The view is spectacular! 
3. Go interior shopping: If you're more interested in interior design, which I totally understand, I suggest you visit Staken & Veken. They sell candles made from scratch in all different shapes, sizes and fragrances. They of course also have a wide variety of antique furniture that's impossible not to fall in love with. 

Thank you so much Hannes. I'm starting to feel like a trip to Helsingborg is in order! 

What a great way to finish off the week! I hope you felt as inspired by Hannes home as I am! 

In case you'd like just a little more inspiration over the weekend here are a few more southern Sweden homes from the archive: 


Right, I think that's it from me for the week! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Trevlig helg! 

Niki

Photography: Hannes Mauritzson
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Understated (Yet Super Pretty) Christmas Decorations In a Swedish Home





I'm a little distracted this morning. There's a loads of Russian sweets in our kitchen and I keep going back for more. I could just bring the whole box over to my desk but then I'll have lost (obviously each time I go in is the last). This is exactly why I don't have treats in my home (not even a packet of Hobnobs!). How are you with things like this?! Another home that's full of treats - is this one in Norrtälje just outside Stockholm. Built in 1890, the house belongs to the talented Emily Slotte, her husband Christian, children Vinnie (1), Blake (4), Engla (13) and dog Franka. I'm talking a feast for the eyes, rather than sweet treats (although I'm pretty sure there are some hiding in Blake and Engla's advent calendars!). Not only is Emily a dab hand at interiors - decorating her home with beautiful furniture and accessories in a soft, muted colour palette she's also an amazing lifestyle photographer. Little wonder her subtle pared-back Christmas touches caught my eye. It's time to get festive friends...



Two candlelit wreaths replace an electric light to bring warmth and cosiness to the setting. 

The family Christmas table is set with Ittala Essence Plus wine glasses, brass cutlery, a grey linen tablecloth* and dark grey napkins*. And of course schnapps glasses (altogether now: "helan går...!"). Simple branches of pine run along the centre and are dotted with white hyacinths.

I love the grey-blue of a eucalyptus leaf - it looks so pretty wrapped around a brass wreath, don't you think?

Sometimes simple brown wrapping paper and string is all you need for presents (see more rustic gift wrapping ideas here and here). It helps that Emily has an absolutely beautiful rustic table too!

Simple hyacinth vases like these (available here) are popular at Christmas time in Sweden - and look beautiful dotted around the house. I love how they fill a living space with a delicious scent too! 





In Blake's room, an In the woods Christmas advent calendar from Danish brand Fabelab hangs over the bed - ready to be opened each morning!


This pretty star advent calendar has been reinvented by Emily so that it hangs from a branch. 

What a lovely home- and such simple, yet pretty festive touches! I'm feeling inspired to get cracking on my own now, how about you?

See more of Emily's beautiful home on her instagram feed @emsloo and blog Emsloo

And for more Swedish Christmas inspiration, you might also like to step inside a mysigt Swedish family home at Christmas, subtle festive touches in a Swedish home and a cosy swedish home ready for Christmas

I'm curious to know, what are your Christmas decorating musts each year? 

Have a lovely, cosy day!

Niki

Photography: Emily Slotte, shared with kind permission. 

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