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A cool, calm and collected Danish home

I hope you had a great weekend? It was a bank holiday here in Southern Sweden so we escaped to the cottage on the west coast. My Mum and I even took a seaweed bath at Torekovs Warmbadhus - where you're actually scrubbed with local seaweed (have to say I was always a bit scared of seaweed as a child so it was quite a feat to get me in the bath in the first place, but my skin felt like silk afterwards!). Anyway. Today's home tour - this morning I'm loving this simple yet striking  pared-back monochrome home in Denmark. Calm, cool and collected, it's the beautiful home of danish architect Jonas Bjerre Poulsen.





Monochrome Home by Hilary Robertson, photography by Pia Ulin, published by Ryland Peters & Small.

What do you think - your kind of palette? Too pared-back or just right?

Personally I love the polished concrete floor and the dark earthy colours. And what about the rounded storage in the bedroom?!

These pictures are from the magnificent book Monochrome Home by Hilary Robertson, photography by Pia Ulin, published by Ryland Peters & Small.

Other homes designed by Norm Architects can be found here. If you'd like to see more monochrome spaces today there's an entire archive here. Time to make a pot of coffee?!

I'm off to shoot a home in the Danish countryside today with a colour palette not far off this one - so excited!

Have a wonderful start to the week.  

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Win a fab &tradition milk table lamp

Thank you to everyone who entered this give-away. I am delighted to announce Andreaa Gabriela as the winner of this fab lamp. Andreaa, please send me a mail so Occa-Home can send it out to you. 

To light up (eh hem!) St Valentine's Day, I've teamed up with fab online interior design store Occa-Home to offer you the chance to win a Milk Table Lamp. Designed by NORM architects for Danish brand &Tradition, this lamp is a particular favourite of mine as it's created using ancient Nordic traditional materials: wood and glass. Not only that but it can be placed anywhere in the home (here's an example of it in action) and said to 'light up both body and soul' (oh, yes!).  It's one of many utterly fab Scandinavian pieces sold by Occa-Home and I'm so excited to offer you the chance to win it this weekend! Find out how to win below. 







How to enter:

1. Visit the Occa-Home online interior design store and take a look around. 
2. Comment below which product you like the most and why (see my personal product pick here).

And that's it! The competition is open to everyone until Sunday, 15th February 2015, Midnight GMT. The winner will be announced on the evening of Monday 16th February 2015 so make sure you pop by to see if it's you!

Terms & Conditions
You must be age of majority in your country of residence. We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur. Only 1 entry per person. 

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Occa-Home.  

Happy St Valentine's Day! 

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A tour of my kitchen!

Why, hello there! I hope you've had a great weekend? I've been thinking back to May when a team from GRUNDIG K!TCHN Mag paid me a visit here in Malmö, Southern Sweden. We spent the day taking snapshots of my kitchen and dining area and chatting about how I designed the space. I'm super excited to see the film live on Kitchen Stories (alongside Norm Architects no less - eeeeee!).  Before you watch the film - I have a couple of things to confess. Firstly, I actually had a cast on my leg at the time (it was filmed a couple of weeks after I'd ruptured my achilles heel!) so it's carefully stationed behind the kitchen island. This is also why they filmed me walking in slow motion (it was more of a hobble in real life!).... oh the things that can be done with a little clever film work! Secondly, my kitchen did not look like this when I left this morning! For now, though, I'll be dreaming that it's this spotless ..... (maybe it'll inspire me to give it a once over when I get home!). I hope you enjoy these snapshots and the film of the 'engine room' of our house!





Photography credits: © Agentur Loop. Styling: Niki Brantmark - My Scandinavian Home.

A quick note on where everything's from (if I've missed anything just give me a shout in the comment section below):

Dining area: the bench is from Lovely & Co, source a Gotland sheepskin here, the chairs were a flea market find and painted white, the large cushion and oil lamp are both Nordal.
Window nook: Söderhamn daybed. The lamp and patterned cushion are from Nordal, these linen cushions are similar. My book The Scandinavian Home: Interiors inspired by light.
Drinks trolley: barcart, vases and candlestick holder all Nordal.  Muuto E27 light, The Kate Moss Book.
Kitchen: cabinets from Marbodal, oak surface, chopping boards from Nordal and Granit, L:A Bruket hand & body soap. Kitchen island from IKEA, stools, hooks and feather duster from Geijersgatan 53, ceramic hanging planters by Anne Black. Rug from IKEA.

I'm so curious to hear what you think?!

Is there anything you love about your kitchen and recommend we do in our own? (Go on, inspire us - it's Monday, we need it!).

Have a great start to the week!

PS click the following to see more of my kitchen, dining area and window nook, if you're curious! Or maybe you'd like to check-out other kitchens (if mine pops up first just scroll passed!)?

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A Charming Copenhagen Apartment Full Of Vintage Finds

Hej vänner! I hope you had a fantastiska weekend? Not sure where this Swenglish is coming from but I promise to stop right now. Besides, I'm whisking you off on a virtual visit to Copenhagen today and the wonderful home of Kate Imogen Wood - so it's the wrong language anyway! Originally from the Lake District, England, Kate is a stylist and creative consultant living with her husband Ben and son Damon (very cute baby alert!).  Think Danish boho meets Berlin cool in a two bedroom apartment full of unique vintage finds, beautiful Nordic pieces and personal touches. Laura and Nora of Design Tales snapped these lovely pictures the last time they were in the city. Enjoy the tour!

I love how part of the paint has been peeled away in the kitchen to reveal layers of colour from yesteryear! Vintage filing cabinets (source beautiful ones here) instead of traditional kitchen storage also adds character.



This fine specimen of a Menu Marble Wall Clock is by Norm Architects. Protea (the flower seen to the right) is an interior-lovers best friend since it looks beautiful fresh and just as pretty dried! I still have one kicking about from a photo shoot a year ago and still love it today!

The family have carved out a dining space for three in the smallest of spaces with the help of a cosy window nook, Copenhague table and zingy yellow Eames chair.

Layering rugs is a popular replacement for wall-to-wall carpets in Scandinavia - especially when you little ones like the adorable Damon crawling around / playing on the floor. These vintage Moroccan ones are particularly beautiful (source similar here). And just how fabulous is that sofa? Anyone know anything about it? If so, please put us out of our misery in the comment section below!


How charming is this vintage shelving? And such a perfect spot for books, vinyls, photos and other knick knacks. The Frama shelf library is similar (just in case you can't find a vintage one like this!).


In interviews for my lagom book, I'm often being asked about how to create a balanced, sleep-inducing bedroom and many of the factors in Kate and Ben's room are spot on. It's simple and calm with lots of natural textures (this white linen bedding and pale blue pillow case is similar) and there's a black out blind waiting to be unleashed!


Damon's room is adorable. What it lacks in square feet, it makes up for in total charm!



All photography © Design Tales.

What a wonderful home, and just how adorable is Damon?!

Is there anything that stood out to you about this home?

Thank you so much to Laura and Nora (see their home and studio) for the kind permission to share these lovely images. You can read the full interview and see more snaps here - and follow Kate's latest projects and snapshots from family life in Copenhagen here.

Have a great start to the week!

Niki

PS  More delightful Danish homes here, here and here!

PPS The Russian version of my lagom book launched this weekend and is now available here - so exciting! Who would have thought?! You can see a list of all available languages here.

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A Rare Peek Behind The 'Handwoven' Scenes of Tisca Rugs in Transylvania

There's something extremely special about rugs, especially in Scandinavia where hard wood floors are the norm. Not only do rugs help to add cosiness and warmth, when chosen well, they can also bring a room to life. There's something particularly special about handwoven rugs: they possess a unique quality that tell a story. This is one of the reasons I'm a big a fan of Austrian brand Tisca. Tisca has been making handwoven rugs from high quality wool for nearly 50 years. Every rug is unique - and if you take care of it, it can be passed from one generation to the next. It helps of course, that they are beautiful too! A few weeks ago fellow bloggers Decor8, Happy Interior Blog, Vosgesparis, Monster CircusPassion Shake and I were given the rare opportunity to visit Transylvania to discover more about the craftsmanship that goes into every rug, discover the historic centre steeped in the tradition of weaving - and of course go in search of Count Dracula!  

We stayed at Casa Belvedere in the small village of Cisnadioara which is idyllically situated at the foot of the medieval Kirchenburg. It was the perfect base from which to explore the untouched beauty of the Transylvanian countryside, Romanian culture, history, food and crafts. 


Tisca rugs are made in the lush, hilly district of Cisnădie - a historic centre for the manufacturing of textiles not far from our guesthouse. Although much of the industry has disappeared, local people remain steeped in the tradition of weaving and are highly skilled in crafting beautiful rugs by hand. I was fascinated to discover how Tisca combines cutting-edge knowledge with centuries old tradition to create a variety of unique rugs. 

The Beauty of Wool
Wool has been the preferred raw material used to make rugs thanks to its strength, beauty and that it's easy to clean. When Tisca rugs are woven with a plain weave, wool rugs can be used on both sides - perfect when you have little kids running around - or friends who are occasionally a little unsteady with a red wine! 

Weaving techniques
Tisca use two different weaving techniques - either woven or braided. With the handwoven rugs in Transylvania, the classic plain weave approach is used - which allowed for two-sided use with both flat-woven and pile rugs. 

96 colours!
If the pictures above are anything to go by it would appear you can have any rug you like as long as it's white, blue or grey - but that's far from reality! In fact, with Tisca you can design your own rug - choosing from 96 colours, a variety of yarn thickness and 26 possible textures - yielding never-ending possibilities! And then of course there's the size and configuration (the colours and the weaving techniques can be freely chosen!) with a width up to 6 metres and any length. So handy! 

Social projects
I loved that Tisca textile maintains two small workshops near the factory in Cisnadie. In Bogatu Roman, around 12 women make high quality rugs from waste yarn (from the main plant). The women take pride in running the site themselves, managing their work and holiday schedules. The rugs are incredibly popular thanks to the excellent quality and reasonable prices. In 2014 Tisca opened another small workshop in Tichindeal, a small Roma village as part of the 'Elijah' social project in collaboration with Father Sporschill, where high quality woollen yarns are woven into standard-sized rugs. 

Weaving our own rugs!
Towards the end of our factory visit we got the opportunity to weave our own rug. It was such a satisfying, mindful process. It also gave me a glimpse into what's required to weave a rug - and a new-found respect for the skill of the craftspeople working for Tisca. Weaving a rug requires attention to detail, skill and concentration that I found I didn't quite possess! And the craftspeople I met were always cheerful and passionate about their work. It was wonderful to see! 

Visiting Sibiu
Our trip wouldn't have been complete without visiting the beautiful city of Sibiu. It's not somewhere I would have thought about going, and I was mesmerised by the beauty of it, don't you love it when that happens? It's known for it's Germanic architecture - the legacy of 12th century Saxon settlers. We strolled passed the remains of medieval walls and towers and took in the atmosphere while sipping coffee at one of the many cafés. 


Bran castle
What would a visit to Transylvania be without a visit to Dracula's 'Bran castle'? Despite the journey, it was well a visit (just make sure you're loaded with garlic first - Mwah ha ha haaaa!). But if your schedule is tight, I also recommend Brukenthal Palace which is nearer to Sibiu (and has a great hotel and restaurant attached to it!).  


Thank you so much to Tisca for an amazing trip. I hope to return one day to see more of Romania with my family. What a beautiful country! 

You can read more about Tisca rugs and commission your own one here. I'm sure you will enjoy it for decades to come!

Niki

This is a paid partnership with Tisca, however all words and pictures 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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