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My Scandinavian Home - Best of 2016

Well friends, this has been one crazy year. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed blogging in 2016 - it's been a little oasis of calm each day (I hope you've felt the same).  I've absolutely loved reading all your thoughts and ideas on here, Facebook and Instagram (if I've missed your page please leave your link in the comment section below, I'd love to check it out!). It's been a wonderful year of home tours, styling updates and give-aways. Here's a round-up of the...

Top six My Scandinavian Home blog posts of 2016:



 1. Serene, small space living in Gothenburg. Photo Alan Cordic, styling Emma Fischer for Bjurfors.



2. My home at Christmas - photo - me with help from my little six year old), styling Genevieve Jorn.



 3. Six beautifully simple DIY Christmas decorations - credit: Marij Hessel for VT Wonen



 4. My bedroom tour - photo by me, styling Genevieve Jorn.



 5. Decorating my home with posters - photos / styling  by me



6. A romantic Swedish home with vintage touches - home-owner - Cattis sold through Entrance.

I've also developed a slight Instagram obsession (haven't we all?!) and am so happy to have amassed over 50,000 friends! It's a perfect place to share little snippets of Scandinavian life  - including rustic cabins and wonderful corners of Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Looking at the top five most popular instagram posts of the year it seems you share this passion too...yay! Here's a round-up of my...

Top 5 Instagram posts of 2016



 1. A canoe trip in Finland - Photography - Henrik Koskelo / @hentus (featuring Konsta Punkka)


2.  Christmas in a cosy Swedish home - photo Carina Olander stylist Anna Truelsen.



 3. A snapshot of Nyhavn, Copenhagen I captured on a visit to Denmark's capital city.



 4. Pink chair by a desk - Photograph - Anders Bergstedt for Kverteret Mäleri.



5. A charming Little red cabin - this little pic has been separated from it's owner- can anyone help?


And last, but not least - Pinterest!! Where mood boards come together and ideas come to life (if you can tear yourself away from the screen!). Here's a round-up of the My Scandinavian Home...

Top 5 Pins of 2016




1. This little pic I took of a corner of my home has had over 1.5 million impressions in the last month alone! It must be that little guy at the top?



 2.  Quite a few (million) of you like the idea of a bench at the end of the bed like in this Swedish home captured by one of my favourite duos photographer Carina Olander and stylist Anna Truelsen.



 3. Stonewashed linens have been everywhere this year - and these lovely ones in the home of Vintage Piken are possibly yours and my favourite!  Photo by Line Kay.



 4. On Pinterest it's all in the pink it seems, as the fourth most popular pin was this lovely picture of an Amsterdam bedroom captured by my talented friend Holly Marder.



 5. And finally, we do love a gallery wall - and Maaike Koster of My Deer certainly knows how to create one! See the rest of her wonderful home here.

I have to say, these are also my favourite posts and pins from 2016 too! But do you have an absolute favourite?

On a different note, back in the spring I was excited to launch my first interiors book - Modern Pastoral (exploring my passion for rural retreats, and sharing beautiful homes like Milkweed Barn in the Catskill Mountains below!) it was such an amazing feeling to finally get it in my hands and I'm so happy to see others around the world enjoying it too! Thank you!


Photography: James Gardiner from Modern Pastoral by Niki Brantmark, published by CICO Books.

This summer we photographed 10 more fabulous homes across Scandinavia for my second book The Scandinavian Home - which will be out in the shops next March - I am so incredibly excited as I know it will be right up your street! Creating the book was the most amazing experience, even when lost on a Norwegian mountain in the dark. I tell you, the site of that magical rustic ski cabin full of layers of sheepskin at the end of the dirt track at 1 am is one I'll never forget! But more on this in the new year....

Before I head off I'd also like to say a huge thank you to all the amazing photographers, interior designers and stylists out there who have filled us with inspiration this year - and also to my wonderful sponsors who make My Scandinavian Home possible. Many of them are small online shaops, and when you buy something an actual person does a little dance!

And finally - thank you to you all for all your wonderful support and words of encouragement this year, you're wonderful!

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a *fabulous* new year!

PS If you feel like being horizontal this holiday (isn't that what they're for?!) but would still like to feel inspired, you can always explore my archives (full list to the left) - days of inspiration, I promise! And don't forget to enter the HUGE Houseology give-away to win an amazing gift voucher to spend on your home in 2017 (think all those Scandinavian design items you've always wanted!).

PPS see you on January 9th!
 

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Irina's White, Light-Filled Family Home

I love to share all kinds of homes on My Scandinavian Home - from the more relaxed, bohemian style to the clean and minimalist look. And today is a fine example of the latter. Irina's home in Munich caught my eye for several reasons: it's light and airy (which feels important right now), it's void of clutter (which is extremely intriguing since she and her husband have a little four year old son at home, so I wanted to hear more about how she achieves this, and hopefully pick up some ideas for my own home - yep, forever hopeful!). And finally, there's one piece of furniture that I've never seen before - but absolutely love. Read on to find out more and feel inspired!  

What is your home decorating philosophy? 
I really do believe that less is more. I feel better when I'm surrounded with less things and only items which I like and find useful. My favourite quote is "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

How do you keep your home so neat and tidy with a small child around?
Of course, it requires a bit more effort to keep the home looking like this, when you have children. I need to clean up a little bit more often, but it's my choice. And I have a rule to never get mad at my husband and son if they leave things / toys in the wrong place."

I love your wooden screen! 
The oak screen is from Hubsch and I use it all over our home - sometimes to soften light, sometimes as a room divider. 








Your home stood out to me in the 30 Day Home Love Challenge because of the way you play with shadow and light in your photography - is this conscious? 
Photos with beautiful light / shadow patterns are my favourites. Luckily, we have huge panoramic windows at home, so usually there is enough light to play with, but I sometimes think about adding some curtains to make the light softer. 

Do you have curtains in your bedroom?
We don't have curtains in our bedroom - but we do have electric blinds. If there's anything that wakes me up in the morning - it's my son! 

Children tend to have a lot of toys and other things, how do you keep your sons' room so neat?
I like to go by a less is more approach - buy less toys, but really good ones. We prefer classic toys and almost never buy on impulse. 

I see you focus on child-friendly home decor in your shop mysoulmateplace, how did this come about?
I started my shop in 2017 in Russia, while on maternity leave. I actually have a higher education in finance and worked as a marketing manager / specialist in various companies from the Forbes500 list, but always dreamed of working in the interior and product design sphere. When I first opened my studio, I was selling only my own designs and the shop quickly grew. After we relocated to Germany, I had to start all over. Now I focus on children-friendly home decor / decor you can play with. My goal is to help families keep their homes beautiful without worrying about decor pieces and child safety. All the pieces are very smooth, lightweight and made from natural wood. 

With everything going on right now, has your perception of 'being at home' changed?
It's a strange time now. Maybe it's time to slow down, rethink and be closer to family. Usually my husband has a lot of business trips and my son is at kindergarten, so I'm home alone (I work from home). And now, we are all together at home 24/7. It's a unique opportunity for us and we try to enjoy every minute, despite all our worries and concerns.  

Thank you so much for transporting us to your lovely, light filled home today Irina! 

If you'd like to see more snapshots of her lovely Munich living space, take a peek at her beautiful Instagram feed @mysoulmateplace. And don't forget to browse her online shop mysoulmatespace - so many beautiful things! 

Is there anything that stood out to you in particular about Irina's home? Do you also live by a 'less is more' philosophy? I'd love to hear your thoughts below! 

Niki

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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:

***

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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