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My Sitting Room Three Different ways

Partnership. The most popular room in our home at this time of the year has to be our sitting room. It's where we chill out, watch TV (yes, there is one hiding in this room somewhere, can you guess where?!), play games and chat into the early hours all winter long.  

In my childhood home, my Mother insisted on two antique chesterfields which looked stunning - but didn't move an inch when you sat down - do you know the type?! God forbid if you were to sit on one of the arms (there'd be an almighty cracking sound!)! In our sitting room we might not benefit from the history that comes with antique sofas - but boy is our IKEA Söderhamn 3-seater, armchair and chaise longues comfy! 

We can also update the furniture whenever it starts to look tired thanks to Bemz (who create custom covers and legs for IKEA furniture in hundreds of high end fabrics that are made to order in Europe (LOVE THAT!). I tried out a few different looks in my sitting room to suss out which cover (and layout) works best for the chilly winter months ahead.  

I'd love to know which of the three you like the most!

Look One: Lovely Linen


The Design 
For the first look I wanted to create something that felt soft, floaty and snug. The Brera Lino linen in Dusk is a soft, middle blue with a very slight green tint to it (Per insists it is green... but then again, he also thinks pink is red sooo....). I liked the idea of combining it with Brera Lino Pebble and brown accents.


The Look




I've been a fan of the Bemz Loose Fit style cover ever since re-arranging my living room in 2017 (remember that look? I've since been through a few more styles including this one last autumn!) - you know me! I love the floaty, relaxed look and the contemporary seams, is this your kind of style too? This time I opted for a Bemz Loose Fit sofa cover in Dusk Brera Lino linen for the IKEA Söderhamn sofa. It was one of those instant matches with with my coffee table (an old workman's bench which I've had for years).  I love it when a plan comes together!


I've always loved the way linen catches the light - and also how it looks equally fine creased as it does flat ironed - perfect for a messy (or maybe I should say, very relaxed?) family like mine! 

I picked up the camel coloured wool and mohair blanket from online Swedish shop Granit.

The sitting room doubles up as a thoroughfare to our back garden which makes it kind of tricky to furnish! It was the first time I've tried a chaise longues in this position (it was Genevieve Jorn's idea) and it just seem to slot into place. Per might wonder where his bar cart has gone, along with the Hendricks - but the girls and I love it in this position! What do you think?

The Ikea Söderhamn chaise longues has been kitted out with a cover in Bemz Loose Fit cover in Pebble Brera Lino

When it comes to rugs, I say the fluffier the better at this time of the year, don't you? This Beni Spezial is from from the family-run company Natur Pur in Austria. 

There are so many details in my living room - some of which are fairly new, and others I've had for years. Here's a quick low down:


Get The Look
1. Z1 Cotton Lamp
2. Paris Print by Anna Johansson
3. Bemz Single Curtain panel in Belgian Linen Blend, Unbleached
4. Söderhamn 3 seater in Loose Fit Dusk
5. Colour Print by Maria Leinonen
6. Granit Wool & Mohair Blanket
7. Antique Chinese Bench
8. Söderhamn chaise longue in Pebble
9. Blue Print by Berit Mogensen Lopez
10. Bemz Cushion Cover in Belgian Linen Blend, Unbleached


Look two: Luxurious Velvet

The Design
While the Dusk look is ever so slightly darker than my previous cover, I felt I wanted to go even darker and create a seating area with a really luxurious feel. 

My Mother's infamous (and very lovely, I must say) antique sofas have always been upholstered in dark blue velvet - a look that never fails to make me feel nostalgic. In my own sitting room I wanted to incorporate this and explore a blend of Indigo, camel and soft grey. 

The Look

For this look I covered my Ikea Söderhamn sofa and armchair with a Bemz Regular Fit cover in Indigo Simply Velvet. The fabric has a wonderful soft feel and a sheen that changes with the light - so beautiful! 

I used to have sheer white linen curtains in the sitting room (you can catch a glimpse of them here) - for these two looks I swapped the white linen out for Curtain Panels in Unbleached Belgian Linen. It's a slightly thicker fabric and immediately made the room feel more cosy - it's funny how that can happen, don't you think?


I have to say, this look was so popular with my family (mainly because the sofa is so soft!). I also sent over a few pictures to my Mum and she absolutely loved it too!

Here's a quick round-up of some of the pieces: 

Get The Look
1. Zuiver Shady Iron Wall Lamp
6. Stockholm 2017 Rattan Chair
10. House Doctor Shelf

Did I miss something? If so, please give me a shout in the comment section below and I'll do my best to help!

Look Three - The Reading Corner

For the final layout we moved the Ikea Söderhamn chaise longue with a Bemz Loose Fit cover in Pebble to the corner to create a reading nook. It's been topped with matching pillows and a cushion cover in Belgian Linen Blend, Unbleached and Spice Linara by Romo. 

If you're looking for me this weekend you might just find me here. 

Or should I keep the velvet look. Or maybe the dusk linen? Hmmm. What to do?! Do you have a favourite? 

If you've got any questions about anything, please do ask away in the comment section below!

In the meantime, I might just go and snuggle up in my new sitting room! 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Niki

Photography: Niki Brantmark - My Scandinavian Home
Styling: Genevieve Jorn 

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Bemz and contains affiliate links. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I absolutely love and think you will too (#Ilovemyjob!). Thank you for supporting the businesses that help bring fresh content to your mail box and make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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Gen's Cosy Sitting Room Make-Over with Bemz!

Sponsored: 
Often, when you take a step in a new direction in one room, it has a knock-on effect on the next room - and before you know it you're re-doing the entire place! Have you noticed that too?! When my friend (and interior designer) Genevieve Jorn, renovated her bedroom here in Malmö a few months back, she was thrilled with the results and wanted to continue the look through to her sitting room. Her and husband Kasper, didn't want to invest a huge amount since it's fairly newly renovated, but still wanted to find a simple way to inject similar colours (sand, grey etc) and natural materials such as linen to give their living space a cohesive look. Since they already had a Karlstad sofa and were very happy with it, Bemz* - who make beautiful design covers for IKEA furniture - was the ideal solution to bring more linen into the space. Here's the low down...

 Before

The Design

Sample selection  

You might already be familiar with Bemz* (I've been a partner of theirs for a while and am a huge fan having used their design covers in my sitting room and bedroom). But, just in case you're not - the Swedish brand makes the most beautiful design covers for IKEA sofas and armchairs as well as cushions, curtains and bedroom fabrics (and have over 150 fabrics to choose from - I'm not kidding!).  Such an awesome way to make the most of what you already have and give it a whole new lease of life! 

Gen chose a cover in Simply Linen Graphite Grey which has a craaaazily soft 'peach-skin' finish.  It's also really durable and machine washable making it ideal for saucepan lids (for the non-British out there, that's cockney rhyming slang for ''kids'!).  Side-note: Gen's little girl Olivia is as cute as a button, but even the most angelic of children can leave a fingerprint or too (check-out Olivia's own bedroom here)!

Room design

Gen was keen for the area to feel cosy, personal and warm. She opted for a sandy wall colour (chosen to match her bedroom) as well as warm natural materials in the form of light wood, soft linen and rattan, with the slightest hint of black and grey (get the complete run down on the furniture, wall colours and light fittings here!). 



 After

...be still my beating heart!

The combination of natural textures (which include soft linens, cotton, wood, rattan and paper) and muted, earthy tones have such a calming, cosy effect - which was especially important since it's quite a large open plan room (the dining area is on the other side of the room).  



The majority of the sofa cushions* are also by Bemz. Combining different colours and textures is a perfect way to add warmth and somewhere you want to sink into and chill all day!


Isn't it beautiful?! I seriously could have stayed all evening, perhaps the week (like a true surf coucher!). However, we weren't quite finished with the shoot...

How about Ivy?

As I mentioned, one of the beauties of Bemz is that you can easily update your furniture. I have a spare linen cover for my sitting room sofa so that if something gets spilled (a regular occurrence in our house - bah!), we can whisk off the covers and throw them in the machine.

As a reserve (and an update as the mood takes her!), Gen went for the Loose Fit Urban Brero Lino Ivy. Here it is: same room, same setting:


Isn't it smart?! I love the loose fit urban style and beautiful Ivy hue. It's amazing how each of the colours pick out details in the room, making them more pronounced.

The cushions (covered in the same Pure Linen Brero Lino - Ivy*fabric are pretty too as you can really see the texture and piping.






Aaaaaa, such a lovely space. She's managed to achieve that illusive super calm, yet super cosy balance!

Which look do you prefer?

Could you imagine hanging out here watching one too many Netflix series too?

If you'd like to achieve a similar look (even if you don't have an old IKEA sofa or armchair knocking about, you can always pick one up second hand online!) you can find more details here.  Oh and Bemz are offering free shipping exclusively to My Scandinavian Home readers until the end of July with code freeshipmsh (right in time for the mid-season sale too - yay!).

Have a lovely day!

Niki

Photography Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home. Interior Design Genevieve Jorn

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Bemz, however all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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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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