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A Lovely, Inviting Berlin Flat Decorated on a Small Budget

Tjena, hur är läget? Or perhaps I should say 'hallo, wie gehts?!' Since today I'm taking you on an apartment tour in one of my favourite cities: Berlin! Oh, how I love that German city - it's buzzing with creativity and has a really special vibe. This lovely apartment in the Prenzlauer Berg district belongs to 34-year-old fashion stylist Juliane who was born and raised in Berlin. Her flat occupies a building dating back to 1900 and is blessed with 3.5 metre ceilings and beautiful stucco. Juliane has been incredibly smart with her budget, sourcing many items on eBay or the high-street and loves to make regular updates. Here's a little more about Juliane's home, in her own words: 

Maison du Monde mirror, sofa from IKEA

What's your background?
I left home after I graduated in fashion design back in 2009. I lived in Rome, Italy between 2009-2010. After I came back, I worked as a fashion editor and then decided to work as a fashion stylist, and this is what I do today. 

Your fireplace is a real focal point - can you tell us more about it?
I always wanted a big fake fireplace and was looking for one on Amazon etc. But due to my small budget, especially at the beginning when I had just moved in, I bought a lot on eBay and a woman was giving away this fireplace for free! It's super big (130 cm x 130 cm) and wasn't painted. I used simple paint lacquer from hardware store Orb. Most people who visit my place think it's always been there. One of my friends wasn't convinced at the beginning and asked why I wanted something so big in my living room! But as soon as I added the colour and decorated it, she got the idea. It has also been green before, so who knows how long the blue will stay!

Fireplace before:
Fireplace in green:






"The green was also a simple mix from the hardware store. I love all the colour cards and it's actually quite cheap. Sure, I love Farrow & Ball but sometimes, cheap doesn't mean bad quality. And the good thing is you can match the lacquer with the exact same colour."

Fireplace today:


The wall has been painted in 'Hochzeitsblau' from the new heritage series by Schöner Wohnen 

Who do you live with?
I have no pets or anyone else living in my apartment. So, it's just me and exactly 19 plants. I'm always counting them when I water so I don't forget any of them!

A group of vases from H&M Home and Søstrene Grene make a lively display on the mantel piece. 

When did you move in?
I've lived in this flat since Summer 2018, it used to be my boss's apartment in fact. 



Are you inspired by a particular interior style?
It's hard to say what interior style I like the most, because for me, it's like fashion. I never wear the same outfit twice in a row. With my apartment it's the same. I love making changes: some new curtains here, and new pillows there. 


IKEA kitchen cabinets have been painted in Graphite chalk paint from Rustoleum

Where do you shop for items for your home?
I love going to fabric stores or markets. I also like to use things I bought for a different purpose. Last time I ended up using a curtain for a DIY project and gave my headboard a completely new look!

I'm not sure I've ever seen such a narrow bathroom! Did it present any decorating challenges? 
Hahaha, yes! It's actually quite typical for these old Berlin buildings. My parents tell me that back in the day, people didn't even have a shower - just a toilet and the shower was added later. In my old flat, the bathroom was bigger, but it had super ugly tiles in aubergine. So, I was glad at least, that this one is in simple white and beige. Where the shower is today used to be a little storage room with a connecting door to the kitchen.

When I first came to look at the bathroom, I knew it would be a real challenge and that I would have to act really smart. No super big wall cupboards etc. Pinterest helped me a lot. I decided to go for a simple mirror with a wooden shelf beneath which my dad built for me. When my four-year-old nephew first came to visit my flat one Christmas, he couldn't believe how narrow my bathroom is and whispered: "Your bathroom is super skinny! Santa won't fit in here."

Curtains from Zara Home, Storage from IKEA, side table found on Ebay. 

How is life in Berlin right now? 
Quarantine is a big word here at the moment. Today, some shops reopened but everyone has to wear a mask when we go to the supermarket etc. I do take some long walks outside or ride my bike, but I am very lucky to have a balcony with sun 24/7. 


Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us more about your home Juliane! Stay safe and well :)

****

I'm feeling really inspired by the fireplace idea. It just goes to show you don't need to spend an arm and a leg to create a fabulous focal point!

Is there anything that stood out to you?

If you're curious to see more pictures of Juliane's home, hop on over to her Instagram here: @ps_ihomeyou.

And how about peeking inside a few more Berlin homes today? Here are some of my all-time favourites:

The beautiful Berlin home and country retreat of Our Food Stories
Get the look from a serene family home in Berlin
A lovely understated, warm and inviting Berlin home

I can't wait to take my girls to this city, I've been planning it in my mind for years! Until then, I'll be taking inspiration from these lovely apartments and dreaming.

Have you ever visited Berlin?

Have a great start to the week friends!

Niki

Photography courtesy of Juliane / ps_ihomeyou

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Feeling the Hygge: A Toasty Guide To Wood Burning Stoves

 This is a sponsored post in partnership with Arada stoves. All opinions and words are my own. 


Who doesn't love the crackle of a log fire and that toasty feeling you get from being tucked up indoors as the rain lashes at the windows? Although summer is still in the air, Autumn is just around the corner (dare I say it!) - so if you're looking to get that hygge vibe down before the big chill arrives, now is the time to install a wood burning stove. But where to start? Here's my guide to get you started.


Let's get down to the nitty gritty.

Why a wood burning stove?
Those who own one will tell you they're so much more than a black steel box. As Arada puts it, a word burning stove is"a living breathing thing, sparking passion in those who own it. The rituals of feeding and caring for it become part of your day. The scent and sound of it become part of your home. The glow becomes your companion."

Oh, and they're also heat efficient, cosy and make a pretty cool focal point when not in action too!


What do I need to do to install one? 
If your house isn't listed and you have a working chimney or flue your gaff is all prepped for the installation of a wood burner. If not, you'll need planning permission for an external chimney (bit of a faff but sooo worth it!). Verified wood burning stove companies such as Arada will do the rest.   

But there are so many to choose from?!
Since the stove will become the heart of your home, it's important to pick a style to suit your lifestyle and setting.

Will I feel the heat?!
The whole point of the burner is obvs the heat. So, before we get carried away with the design (who, me?!), it's important to think about how much heat you're looking to get out of your stove. The insulation in our house is so good that a fireplace emitting too much heat would have us 'glowing' akin to a session at the local sauna. We'd therefore totally need something with a lower heat output. The London house I grew up in as a child, on the other hand, was so cold I used to sleep with a hat on (I kid you not!) and we could totally have done with a wood burner designed to heat an entire room (and more!). Read more about finding the right output for your space here.

OK, now for the fun part
The design. When it comes to stoves I love a bit of authenticity. Choose between freestanding classic, contemporary and hardworking heating stoves and designs that are ideal for an inglenook fireplace or for an empty hearth, inset stoves designed to slot into a traditional British fireplace and cassette stoves which can be recessed into the wall for a sleeker finish.


Does it have to be black?! 
It is possible to go for something a little bolder should your heart desire it (hey, you may have noticed I've been going down the root of colour lately, so who knows what might happen next! OK. Yes. I'd probably go for black!).  But for those of you a little less colour shy, Arada offers a choice of seven colours:

Gas or wood / solid fuel?
Tricky one. The beauty of gas is that it's hassle free, there's less cleaning involved, and your fire can reach the desired heat quickly - and be more easily regulated. Plus gas fires have come such a long way, they often look like the real deal too. Having said that, boy/girl scout types might be disappointed about the lack of required probing, the crackling sound and scent of burning wood. The decision is yours!


Keeping it clean! 
Fuel has come a long way since the days of coal (cue black smoke belching out of chimneys across London!), but there's still a lot we can do to keep our fireside read a little more eco-friendly. A new clean burning stove from Arada will produce 90% fewer emissions than an open fire and 84% less than that of a stove produced 10 years ago). And once our stove is installed we can also take other actions too. There's a great guide here

What do you reckon? Could this be the year you install a wood burning stove? I'm incredibly tempted...

Find out more about Arada stoves here and check out their FAQ's for any burning (sorry!) questions.

Here's to chilly summer evenings and a toasty Autumn!

Warm wishes,

Niki

Pictures 1 & 2  feature the i600 Slimline Freestanding stove
Pictures 3 feature the Ecoburn Plus 5 Widescreen
Pictures 4, 5, 6 feature the Farringdon Catalyst Eco Wood Burner

This post is is sponsored by Arada stoves. All words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the brands that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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Swedish fireplace inspiration

So many of the Swedish homes you see feature a fab Kakelugn (tiled stove) in the corner of the room. These date back to the 1880's neo-renaissance era (today's history lesson!). Many of them are not used for heating today but can still look pretty with lit candles. This home for sale through Alvhem is lucky enough to have one in the sitting room AND in the kitchen.





Alvhem
There is something very cool and cosy about having a fireplace in the kitchen don't you think?! In fact I'll add 'kitchen fireplace' to my dream home 'must have' check list right now!

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Cosy rustic fireplace

I had an exciting post lined up for today and am just waiting for permission from the photographer (15 mins!). So in the meantime, pull up a seat by this lovely rustic fireplace and relax :)

via Wish you were here
My husband and I are seriously considering a wood burning stove for our sitting room, they're just so cosy and cool. Style Files put together this wonderful post on wood burning stoves, which even includes a photograph taken by yours truly! I took the image at a friend's home which is a renovated fisherman's cottage here in Skåne, see the full home tour here.

Do you have a fireplace at home?

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A Dreamy Escape To Rent in Kefalonia, Greece

A quick show of hands from everyone who'd rather be somewhere else today? As I sit at my desk all weary eyed (I haven't had my morning coffee yet!) I'm dreaming about an escape to this incredible Péra Perou villas Kefelonia, Greece. I mean, who wouldn't rather wake up here? The good news is there's space for all! The property is divided into three villas each decorated with a minimalist yet earthy vibe, and designed to enjoy the incredible vista over wild, rugged mountains and sparkling emerald waters. The question is, how quickly can we get there? 

I love the seamlessness between the indoor and outdoor space. Notice how the outdoor seating area is sunken so it doesn't obscure the view from indoors. 

How's this for a suite? It offers a natural progression from sleeping, to sitting and then heading outdoors. And even has a romantic fireplace for winter visits. I've always dreamed about having a fireplace in the bedroom! 

Walls that are rich in patina are having a moment right now. But this feels like it's true natural habitat! I'm a huge fan of kalklitir lime paint for most areas of the home. Tadelakt is your best bet since it will give you the same affect while remaining waterproof. 

The decor is so well thought out (both indoors and out) - and is beautifully simple. I love the way it mirrors the surroundings - and allows the vista to shine. 

Gaaaah, take me there now! I want to be the girl in the pool! 

Are you tempted? 

If you're up for a little more dreaming today, pull up a seat and scroll through the holiday home archive, there are SO many dreamy places in there. 

Have a great start to the week! 

Niki

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A Swedish Home With a Magnificent Fireplace!

I have one word for this charming Swedish home: fireplace. It's so incredible, it's hard to see anything else. And for many of the people viewing this former brewery this weekend, I'm sure it will seal the deal. I mean, who wouldn't like to spend a cold, grey January day huddled around it with a great book? Styled by the talented Studio In team, the one-bedroom property just outside Gothenburg dates back to 1850 and is one of a pretty cluster of buildings not unlike an Astrid Lindgren tale! Välkommen in






If you close your eyes you can see the tree bursting with leaves and lunch laid out in the dappled sunlight. And I'm sure it would look equally pretty in the snow! 

Could you imagine living here?

I'm thinking this calls for a trip down memory lane to all the other 'conversions' I've shown on My Scandinavian Home. Get cosy, and tap into the archive - or take a peek inside some of my favourites below: 

My friend Louise's former home in a converted school (check out the snapshot I took of her cat in the last pic - I'd forgotten all about that!!).



And the one I'll never tire of....


And with that, the sun has just come out here in Southern Sweden. It's a sign! And a crew to get out there and soak up some much-needed Vitamin D! 

Vi ses imorgon! 

Niki

Photography: Janne Olander, Stylist Therese at Studio In for Stadshem

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Oak and a Cosy Roaring Fire In A Swedish Cottage Kitchen


Warning: this kitchen might make you want to move to the Swedish countryside. Especially if you love 19th century architecture, wood beams, and a roaring fireplace! Laura and Nora of the incredible Our Food Stories (whose Berlin studio and German country home I've also featured), bought a cottage in Österlen, Southern Sweden a few years back. I've been following the renovation ever since and have loved the way they've been adding their own signature touch while being careful to maintain the property's natural charm. This week Laura and Nora revealed their recently completed kitchen - which combines a stunning oak Devol Haberdasher kitchen with Bertazzoni and Smeg appliances and vintage lighting. Oh, and a wonderful fireplace of course! 

I'd be perfectly happy to keep Per company from the Little Petra armchair while he ambles about in the kitchen. His cakes might not be a patch on Our Food Stories.... but he does makes a MEAN spag bol!

This jute rug* is similar (and biodegradable). 

The Haberdasher kitchen is a handmade modular system, which features unpainted oak cupboards inspired by mid-century English interiors and a traditional gentleman's haberdashery - which makes it extraordinarily charming!


What oven do the girls with a foodie themed instagram feed that has amassed over 1 million followers use? A professional Bertazzoni range cooker, that's what! Now we know the secret to culinary success! 


The worktops are a mix of marble and handmade aged copper. The sink is also made of marble. 



The walls have been painted with chalk paint from Icelandic brand Kalklitir in 'calce' (I also used Kalklitir in my kitchen and I'm so happy with the nuanced finish!). 


Love that the unit in the above picture is also used for wood storage - it really adds to the cosiness of the space, din't you think? But above all else - look at that farmhouse table! *Sheds actual tears*! I've been looking for one like that for ages. I wonder if it was sourced in Sweden. I'm off to investigate! 

Before I head off - have you noticed kitchen cabinets made from natural wood have really come into their own in 2020? See also a calm, warm kitchen designed by Holly Marder and the awe-inspiring private kitchen of Noma head chef René Redzepi - beautiful! 

Could you imagine opting for wood in your kitchen? Or perhaps you're too busy imagining yourself in that fuzzy armchair by the fire to care! In which case, I wouldn't blame you! 

Wishing you a wonderful, cosy day friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Our Food Stories with thanks

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