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My Scandinavian Home: Best of 2017





I can't believe the year has almost come to an end! Is it just me or did 2017 whizz by? It's been a strange twelve months, with many disturbing happenings throughout the world. I like to think of My Scandinavian Home as a little bubble in which to escape each day: somewhere you can pour yourself a cup of super strength coffee (got to get into the spirits of the Scandinavians after all!), put your feet up and transport yourself into a world of interiors - and hopefully walk away with a few new ideas too! I hope you experience this! Here's a round-up of the top 5 My Scandinavian Home blog, Instagram, and Pinterest posts of 2017 - as well as a few other highlights.....



1. A magnificent family home in Amsterdam



Photo - Niki Brantmark Styling Genevieve Jorn

3.  My dream holiday home (and garden room) - and yours too it seems!

Photo - Marnie Hawson


Holly Marder
Photo: Anders Bergstedt. Home-owner/ stying: Caroline UlknerEntrance.




I used to dabble in it a little, but if there's one thing that's truly taken me by surprise this year - it's just how much I've fallen in love with Instagram (do you have an ever so slight obsession too?!). I was thrilled to reach over 115,000 friends this year - thank you for making it such a fun place to be, and for all your interesting and passionate comments (and to Vogue UK for including my feed in the top 12 interior instagram feeds to follow (*strikes a very happy pose*). Here are the top 5 My Scandinavian Home instagram posts of 2017:

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1. Living room in a magical mountain cabin
I'm so happy to see a corner of the living room from Marianne Vigtel Holland's magical mountain cabin which James Gardiner and I had the pleasure of capturing for The Scandinavian Home book.  Marianne made so many items for her cabin it was crazy! In this picture alone she knitted the chair cover, sewed together the cushion covers, created the art on the wall and crafted the side table out of tree trunks - I'm not kidding! Check out the full tour of her beautiful cabin here.



2. Josi's hallway in Berlin
Aaaah, how I love this hallway (the bench is available here - just saying!). In fact, I love everything about Josi's entire Berlin home, it's so charming and relaxed - don't miss the full tour here.






3. Sitting room with a boho vibe
The modern bohemian vibe captured our hearts and minds in 2017 (once again)- and this Polish home designed by Magdalena Milejska was up there with the most inspiring! Take the full tour here. PS is this is totally you're kind of style don't miss the bohemian home archive (goooorgeous spaces).



4. Credenza and books
A wall bursting with books, a beautiful mid-century credenza, layered rugs. What's not to love about the relaxed, boho home of Madewell's lead designer - Joyce Lee! See the drool-worthy tour here.



5. Put a ring on it (see what I did there?)
A beautifully wrapped gift by Finnish blogger Local Artisan in all its crinkled paper and pine wreath glory has already racked up over 7000 likes in the last 24 hours! In fact, it's so pretty that I'd be happy to receive this without a gift inside, how about you? (Note to man - don't take this last sentence too literally). If you haven't wrapped your pressies yet - see our complete round-up of beautiful nature inspired gift wrapping ideas!







Aaaah, Pinterest you'll always be my go-to for moodboards and styling inspiration (if only I could actually tear myself away to do any work - do you find this too?!). Here are the top 5 My Scandinavian Home pins of 2017:

1. This cosy bedroom from a charming Swedish apartment decorated in white and wood
has totally captured pinners hearts having appeared on Pinterest over 590,290 times. How crazy is that? Then again there is so much to love about this little space, right?


Photo: Maria Sahlander Styling: Emma Fischer for Bjurfors.
Rember that green sofa we all fell in love with in a sitting room in Yeabridge House? Combine it with a fabulous mix of old and new and you get the top My Scandinavian Home *power pin* of 2017 (yes, this really is a thing - it's measured in terms of clicks and saves in case you're curious!). Whatever you do, don't miss the full tour here - it was one of my favourites!

Photo - Benjamin Edwards Home-owner - Mark Homewood
While green sofas are always fab, greige is a bit of a safer bet  - which is why this elegant Swedish sitting room created by H&M Home was hugely popular! Get the complete look and feel here


Stylist: Lotta Agaton
The relaxed dining space in the Norwegian home of Maja Hattvang appealed to many - which makes me so happy as I love her edgy and relaxed style! See the full tour here (if you don't already follow Maja on instagram, you must!).

Maja Hattvang

And finally, I was so happy to see the delightfully simple bedroom in the Copenhagen home of Karen Maj Kornum of Another Ballroom - captured by James Gardiner and myself for The Scandinavian Home book! You can see a full tour of her home in the book and here and here (that's how much i love Karen Maj's home!).   

Photo: James Gardiner.  Stylist: Niki Brantmark. Featured in The Scandinavian Home book published by CICO.




I am so grateful for the support of businessed big and small without whom My Scandinavian Home wouldn't be possible (you can see a list of many of my partners and the different types of collaborations we offer here).  It's been a year of fun and inspiring partnerships - but I have to say I do have a little penchant for make-overs! Here are the top 3 from 2017:
Greenhouse makeover with Samsung and The Frame


Oh how I loved working on this make-over in a little greenhouse in Upstate New York with Emily Henderson and the Barbarian creative team. A special thanks also to Brady Tolbert for your amazing organization skills and interior design eye and Agata Helena for hair and make-up. See more pictures (and films) of the make-over here and here.
My sitting room make-over with Bemz






Photo by me, styling by Genevieve Jorn. See more here!
My new window nook with Nordal  
Photo by me, styling by Genevieve Jorn. See the full tour here!




I've been writing a way in my little corner of the world and was so happy to launch not one but two new books this year (still not sure how I did it, but it was a wonderful feeling to get them in my hands!) - Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life launched in September and is available in English US, English UK, French and Portuguese with 4 more languages to follow in 2018 - weeeeee! And The Scandinavian Home launched back in the spring!

Photo: Niki Brantmark.
Photo by Karin Björklund




Aaaah. it's been so much fun looking back over this year. Do you have any favourites from everything I've shared? Or perhaps you have some personal highlights you'd like to share - if so, I'd love to hear from you in the comment section below!! And please do also take it as an opportunity to let us know if there's anything you'd like to see more of in 2018.

Before we head off to enjoy the holidays I just wanted to say a few words of thanks.

I am constantly amazed by the incredible pool of creative talent in the online communities - not only among the professional interior designers and photographers, but also writers, artists, designers etc, all of whom contribute in some way and are kind enough to allow me to share their work. These 'creators' dare to put themselves out there for the world to critique (a scary prospect, I can tell you!) - and I thank each and every one of you who inspires us every day!

I'd also like to say a HUGE thanks to the wonderful team behind My Scandinavian Home - including my right hand gal Ana Degeneer ( a whizz at graphic design, picture research, writing and everything in between - she can even code - isn't that b*d *ss?!!). If you're thinking of starting a blog in 2018 (go for it!), Ana sells the most stunning blog design templates through her shop alongside her book '30 days to minimal blogging'.

I've also been lucky enough to work with the talented interior designer Genevieve Jorn - (we always have such a laugh and no photo shoot is complete without a chicken pasta from my local deli!) as well as the fabulous Sarah Brooks-Wilson who moved to Malmö earlier this year and is the speediest interior stylist I know (and always arrives with a smile and wearing the most fabulous outfit)! So happy to have you guys on board!

And finally - to all of you, who come here each day and make My Scandinavian Home a happy place - none of this would happen without you. Thank you for all your amazing support this year and making this little space on the web such a pleasure each day. Here's to a fabulous 2018!

Niki

PS those of you who like to reminisce might enjoy looking back at the 2016 and 2015 round-ups (so interesting to see how interior style has evolved!!).

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7 Small Space Tricks To Learn From A Light-Filled Stockholm Family Home

Unless you're completely minted, you usually need to compromise somewhere on a property - whether that's location, size, outdoor space, aesthetics or layout. For this family in Stockholm, living in the hippest neighbourhood in town - South of Folkungagatan, Söderhamn (SoFo), an area buzzing with independent shops, quirky cafes and lively restaurants - meant compromising on living space. But despite measuring 44 m2 (473 f2)  - the occupants have made maximum use of every inch - carving out a kitchen, dining room, sitting room, master bedroom, children's room and even a library! So how do you create a charming family home in a small space? Here are 7 great tricks: 

1. Use the height: In small spaces it's important to think vertically and use every inch. In this home, bookshelves have been mounted above the dining area creating a family dining space and library in one! And it looks super cosy too, don't you think?


2. Leave a little breathing space! The blank space between the dining table and chairs and the bookshelves makes the space feel less cluttered even though there's a lot going on. 

3. Go wall to wall: built-in benches in dining rooms, kitchens and sitting rooms are perfect for small spaces since they help to maximise space, eke out a little extra seating and provide extra storage. 

4. Let the light flow: small spaces can be starved of light - widening doorways between rooms helps natural light to flow into even the darkest of corners! 


5. Use curtains for privacy: Sometimes there simply aren't enough bedrooms to accommodate every member of the family. In this lovely home, the living room doubles up as a master bedroom. A curtain helps to carve out a separate sleeping zone while still allowing the light to flow from the window. 


6. Internal windows: The little kitchen in this Stockholm home wouldn't have received any natural light had it not been for the glass room divider. At night, a curtain can help to shield the children's bedroom from lighting (we all know how important it is not to wake the crazies!). 



7. Create storage wherever you can: In this tiny bathroom, the tank top doubles up as storage and an extra freestanding unit has been installed for shampoo bottles, shower gel etc. 

I had another look through the pictures to see if I could establish where they keep clothes - and there are two storage cupboards in the hallway (not featured) - I wonder if they've stashed items in other unseen places too, like under the bed? 

Either way, there are so a many great ideas to steal from this home, don't you think?

Other small spaces providing great inspiration:


Is your home small? What do you find the hardest thing about living in a small space? Have you got any space-saving tips? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

I'm excited to be winding my way up to Stockholm by train today to visit the Stockholm Furniture Fair. This post has taken me way longer than usual to write as the snowy scenery flashing passed the train window is simply stunning! If you're curious to follow my journey / time in Stockholm I'll be sharing away on Instagram stories

Ha det fint! 

Niki

This home is for sale through Historiska Hem. Photography: Anna Malmberg

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Photo Competition: What Does #beingathome Mean To You?

Paid partnership with the Association of the German Furniture Industry:
What does #beingathome mean to you? This is the question the Association of German Furniture has asked manufacturers, experts and designers as part of the #zuhausesein (#beingathome) initiative. And now they would like to hear from you! You are invited to enter an exciting global photo competition to show what #beingathome means to you. 

Sound interesting? Wait 'til you hear what the winner of each category will win:
  • Integration of your picture in the photo exhibition at IMM Cologne 2020
  • Integration of your picture in the German Design Book 2020
  • Two tickets and one overnight stay to IMM Cologne 2020 (the VDM will provide a travel allowance of up to €500. The winner is responsible for making the booking which will be refunded by the VDM)
  • A fab piece of furniture from a German furniture manufacturer
And the competition is open globally! Yes, really!

You can enter a maximum of one image per category, with ten categories in total. Details on how to enter can be found at the bottom of the page. But first, here's a list of the categories:

Outdoor Living


SK 07 Ritual bowl: designed by Stefan Knopp for JANUA, the winner of the Outdoor Living category will receive this expressive bowl which traverses the border between furniture and objet d'art. Turned out of a piece of wood, the bowls are then char burned, resulting in a unique surface with cracks, holes and fractures. Perfectly imperfect, the bowl can be used in daily life or regarded as art (or both!).

2. Tiny Spaces


The winning entry in the Tiny Spaces category will win a Super Light. This small light has a BIG story and is lighter than you think. The reason? It has been expertly crafted using the same light construction process found in the aircraft industry. Made to last with powdered aluminium and 41 rivets set by hand, Bordbar designed this fab light so you can have a little piece of aircraft construction in your home!

3. The Hallway - the ticket to your home





LINE coat rack:  Hallways are all about making people feel welcome. And that is exactly what Schönbuch prides itself on in the production of creative, functional furnishings, fittings and concepts. The winner of the 'The Hallway' category will win a classic LINE coat rack which is available in countless colours and finishes and can be used solo or in a group - monochrome or multi-coloured. You decide!

4. Kitchen Lover





The winner of the Kitchen Lover category will take a home a beautiful Fabella light! Inspired by a Fontane poem, this pear-shaped porcelain light was designed by Laura Straßer for Caussa. Depending on the strength and colour of the light bulb and the colour of the glazing, the porcelain shade becomes translucent and emits a warm glow for a wonderful, hygge atmosphere. Choose between four colours and a white or black textile cable.

5. Relaxed Sleeping





Pfeife Night Stand: Designed by Vitamin Design, who pride themselves on ecological and timeless, modern solid wood furniture, the Pfeife night stand is the dream prize in the 'Relaxed Sleeping' category. Made from a single oak trunk and characterised by open knots and cracks, it will look beautiful by the bed!

6.  The Living Room - my private retreat



Rolf Benz 953 footstool: Since it's foundation in 1964, Germany's best-known sofa brand Rolf Benz, takes cultural changes into consideration in the design of every piece.  In recent years, living spaces have become more flexible - calling for creative pieces of furniture. The winner of 'The Living Room' category will receive a 953 footstool, which can be moved effortlessly so you can put your feet up anywhere in your home!

7. The Bathroom - the private wellness temple





L-Cube shelf element: Quiet, clarity, space for contemplation. This is how designer Christian Werner described his vision for the L-Cube - a range of bathroom furniture for Duravit AG, a leading international manufacturer of designer bathrooms. The less distracting the bathroom, the more likely the occupant will find peace and relaxation. And the lucky winner of 'The Bathroom' category will certainly find peace with an L-Cube shelf element! 

8. Living with Children


Birdy: Poufs can take up a lot of space, but not this one! The 'Living with Children' prize is the birdy stool from Hülsta - an ideal piece for putting your feet up or as extra seating. Available in ten different pure new wool colours, the designer stool works equally well in the living room or a children's room. Plus, it's super cute!

9. Work at Home




Cantilever chair: Dynamic and innovative, Tojo Möbel GmbH develops multi awards winning furniture at affordable prices. The highly functional, space-saving and comfy Cantilever Chair has an exchangeable seat shell and can be dismantled when not in use - and has been reserved for the lucky winner of the Work at Home category.

10. Other Forms of Living (e.g. caravans)



S18 side table: The clever design of the S18 side table by Uli Budde for Thonet reads like an ode to the first Thonet bentwood classics. Made from a powder-coated base frame and a lacquered surface in black, this circular side table is waiting to add an exciting new perspective to the home of the winner of the 'Other Forms of Living' category.

Feeling inspired to enter the photo competition? Here are the next steps:

How to enter
1. Take a picture that answers the question 'What does #beingathome mean to you'? (you can enter up to ten photos - one for each category).
2. Share your image/s on your preferred social media channel: Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtags #zuhausesein and #beingathome and tag VDM (Facebook: (@zuhauseseinVDM), Instagram: (@zuhausesein_VDM) or Twitter: (@zuhausesein)
3. Like VDM on your preferred social media channel (Facebook: (@zuhauseseinVDM), Instagram: (@zuhausesein_VDM) or Twitter: (@zuhausesein)
4. Send your entry (photos must be at least 300 dpi) to zuhausesein@real-communications.com along with the following details:
  • Name of the category you are entering
  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Country
  • Telephone and email
  • Name of your social media channel
The deadline for all submissions is 23.59 (GMT+1), 18th August, 2019. The winners will be announced here on 27th August, 2019.

Wishing you best of luck - I can't wait to see your entries!


Terms and conditions:
This competition is global; there are no country restrictions. Participants must be over 18 years of age. Only one entry can be submitted per category (maximum of ten submissions in total).

Data protection and legal Recourse:

Responsible: The Association of the German Furniture Industry e.V. (VDM is the organiser of this competition and is responsible for data protection. Real Communications will run the competition as an authorised service provider and handle the personal data entered or left behind by the participants in this campaign responsible. If you have any questions, you can contact the data protection officer of the association at info@moebelindustrie.de.

The essentials in brief; personal data requested from participants in order to participate in the VDM competition will be processed primarily for the purpose of running the competition. The processing of personal data takes place lawfully on the basis of the DSGVO, names - depending on the purpose - for the fulfilment of a contract or the execution of the competition. Only our service provider Real Communications has access to the data, which is only used for sending the prizes by post. We do not receive the data ourselves and do not pass it on to other third parties within the meaning of the DSGVO without our consent. We delete the data records as soon as the winners have been determined and notified, the prizes have been dispatched, no complaints or complaints regarding the competition are to be expected and, above all, insofar as there are no individual obligations under commercial or tax law to retain data. The latter may last up to 10 years.
A cash payment of the profit is not possible. The profit is transferable. legal recourse is excluded.

*The winner retains copyright of their own image but agrees to VDM using it on their social channels, website or publications for an unlimited period for the purpose of the #Zuhausesein campaign. All sources will be acknowledged. 

This post is sponsored by the Association of the German Furniture Industry - however, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too.



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