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Rustic Simplicity in Beautiful Neutral Tones

Are you a fan of rustic? If so, you might just love the rustic simplicity of this living space. It's been beautifully styled for a Zara home photo shoot, and the images were just too beautiful not to share! Think subtle nuances of cream, beige and light brown with texture oozing from the surfaces of stone, rattan, linen and wood. Perfect inspiration for anyone looking to add softness to their home, without a load of 'stuff'! 

This reminds me a little of my own sitting room - I love the brown tones and tactile linen fabrics. 

A friend gave me a wooden bowl like this for my birthday a few years ago and it's been a favourite ever since. They're soooo versatile. I use mine for serving food (salads etc) but also for decorative purposes - they look pretty filled with fir cones, shells and other items!

Love the two-toned hem on these curtains - there's something really cool about them in the light. 

So serene! Just what I needed for a little mid-week calm, how about you? 

How I'd love to swipe my hand across the bedding in the final picture... I bet it's so soft! I have to say, my desire to touch things is what get's me in trouble in museums! Tell me you also get an uncontrollable desire to touch and feel things from time to time. I think that's why I also prefer to shop in store than online (I'm so old school!).  

There's a load more rustic inspiration here: 

A magical farmhouse on a hill (captured for my second book - I'll never ever forget the day I spent there!).

And in the rustic archive

Wishing you a great Wednesday! 


Photos courtesy of Zara Home

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An Idyllic Rustic Retreat In Rural Andalucia

I have loved traditional  'fincas' since my sister moved to Mallorca over fifteen years ago. Often beautifully preserved, the delightful, rural stone farmhouses are designed to shield you from the midday sun - while providing sweeping views across the rural surroundings. It seems I am not the only one to have been impacted. Although situated in Andalucia in Southern spain rather than the Balearic Islands, a childhood visit to Ibiza inspired the design of this rustic cortijo deep in the countryside around 45 minutes from Granada. Ann acquired the property eight years ago and she and her husband set about building two additional bedrooms and bathrooms - as well as transforming the interior into a cool, yet rustic living space. Sadly they have now had to put the Cortija up for sale - could you be the next owner? Come and dream with me...

"I visited Ibiza for the first time when I was 18 years old and we spent our holiday in an old, rustic finca owned by a hippie. All the furniture was built in and rounded in a wonderful, imperfect way. This was one of the key influences behind the design of our Andalusia home." 

"Andalucia used to be very poor, and people became creative -  building with their hands. The imperfect nature of the structure is what makes these farmhouses authentic and unique."

"The construction was done by local craftsmen and my husband made a lot of the built-in furniture - a skill he learnt from them."

"I'll miss everything here, the great views, the silence, the nature, the pool and especially the lovely, rustic finca." 

Isn't it dreamy? 

Find more about the property here

All I ask is that you invite me over. 

Race you to the pool!

Other rustic homes in the sun to drool over this bright and sunny Monday:

Have a dreamy start to the week friends! 


Photography courtesy of

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A Magical Farmhouse on a Hill In Vermont

One magical, sunny day in 2014, photographer James Gardiner and I made our way up a long, winding track in Vermont, USA. Eventually we came to a clearing, and there at the top of the hill amidst 100 acres of luscious New England pasture stood Nadine Dole's farmhouse. We spent the day shooting the house known as 'The Hill' for my book Modern Pastoral (now re-named to Relaxed Rustic). It would be a day I'll never forget. 

The remote farmhouse is simply furnished with a mixture of antiques, handmade items, vintage finds and wonderful pieces of art. Natural materials and a neutral colour scheme unify the eclectic pieces and work in harmony with the surroundings. The windows open inward and upward, filling the living space with a wonderful cool breeze - and providing uninterrupted views over open fields towards distant mountain ranges. 

Meals and afternoon tea are enjoyed at a 19th century pine harvest dining table. The natural woven seating of the dining chairs is slowly coming unraveled, enhancing the relaxed nature of the home. 

The kitchen is simple yet purposeful and made entirely from salvaged items. 

A row of linen aprons (this lovely linen apron* is similar) in muted makes a delightful display on the back wall. Vintage rolling pins are stored in the pockets. 

A Kasanof's & Paramount Bakeries tin bought in an antique store sits above the green armoire. The impressive 'Blueberry' painting is by John Young. 

Nadia collects art from all over the world. The nude portrait was found in a brocante (a secondhand market) in Maussane, France. Dried honeycombs found in the garden in winter rest on a table found at auction. 

An old schoolhouse light hangs above an ornate mirror and porcelain sink and a simple lion claw tub provides a perfect place for a soak while looking out over the pastures, where black bears, coyotes, wild deer and chickens wander freely. 

You can see more pictures of Nadia's magical home in my book Relaxed Rustic (formerly known as Modern Pastoral). 

I also love following Nadia's latest projects on her instagram

If you're as taken with her style as much as I am, you might also like to keep an eye out for one of her workshops - and if you're lucky enough to be in the area a little birdie tells me she might be opening a small shop, cafe or bakery (or perhaps all three?) soon! 

Discover other incredible country homes in the archive! 

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week!


PS There's currently a give-away over on instagram to win Relaxed Rustic along with five other interior books. 

PPS If you are one of the first to pick up a copy of Relaxed Rustic online and enjoy it, I'd be so happy if you could leave a review - thank you so much :)

Credit: Relaxed Rustic by Niki Brantmark, published by CICO Books (19.99 GBP). Photography by James Gardiner - copyright CICO Books. 

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From light to dark in a Swedish sitting room

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful weekend? My family and I took to the slopes at a small tree-lined ski resort here in Southern Sweden called Isaberg Mountain Resort. It's amazing what a weekend get-away can do to revive the senses?! Anyway, on with the Monday morning home tour. Today I thought we'd peak into the lovely home of Anna-Malin who captures corners for her fab blog Helt-Enkelt. With the dark expression slowly sneaking into homes I think it's so interesting to see what a difference a dark sofa cover can make to a white room. Here's the before and after....

Anna-Malin / Helt Enkelt. With kind permission.

Such a nice home - and admittedly hard to look passed the amazing coffee table. But, which look did you prefer, the dark or the light? Tough one.

Get the look: Sofa cover, candle-holders from IKEA. Source a similar rustic / vintage coffee table on wheels here (this beautiful one is very similar). Flos 265 light. I love the idea of a rustic bench behind the sofa - not only does it break up the back of the piece but it also serves as a great place for magazines. Look out for similar rustic benches here. Super soft and fluffy Sheepskin throw.

I once showed Anna-Malin's lovely sitting room decorated for Christmas - so cosy?!

More spaces with a vintage / rustic touch include Line's Norwegian home and an industrial-style atelier (there's that coffee table again).

Before I head off....

The pink wall and fabrics in this by Mölle shoot are spot on. And just how fab is this chair to match?!

This is exactly my kind of kitchen...modern with a relaxed, rustic touch.

Thank you so much for all your lovely entries to win a signed copy of my book. I'm looking forward to reading through them all this afternoon and will pop back later to announce the this space!

Until then, have a great start to the week! 

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Beautiful rustic interior inspiration from Claudio

Hello Monday! Sorry for my radio silence since Wednesday. I'm back on wifi, yay! I thought I'd start the week by sharing some oh so stunning interior inspiration from the portfolio of photographer Claudio Tajoli. Based in Milan, Italy Claudio has not only seen some stunning spaces, but captures them with unique angles and beautiful light, preferring to keep his work as natural as possible. As a result he really captures the feeling of a space. Here are a few of my favourite images.

Claudio Tajoli with kind permission. Inspired by Eclectic Trends

Just so beautiful, don't you think? 

You can see more of Claudio Tajoli's interior portfolio here

For more rustic inspiration you might want to check out this beautiful rustic home in Skåne (one of my all time favourite home tours!). 

I think I'm feeling particularly inspired by rustic charm just now as my family and I are in the Dordogne in France for our summer holiday and my sister's wedding and we've been staying in the most beautiful rustic chateau. 

Now it's time to start the long drive home to Sweden -sniff sniff! 

Have a wonderful couple of days and see you Wednesday 

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Rustic Scandinavian Christmas inspiration

This year I love the rustic, pared-back holiday feel. It's all about Christmas trees in glass vases, pared-back branches, pine cones and sheepskin throws. Add to that the rich aroma of piping hot buttered fig and rosemary cider, fresh pine, and cinnamon and I'm well on my way to a cosy rustic Scandinavian Christmas. Here's my inspiration, I hope it inspires you too. 

1 & 2. Hysj-Lundemork. 3 rustic table - unidentified.  4. Mini wreath - Helt Enkelt. see the DIY instructions here. 5. Hot buttered fig & rosemary cider 6. Vanilla Bean BlogSpice cake with cardamom coffee frosting.  7. Ditte Isager.

I have a similar rustic workman's stool which I bought here.

For inspiring Christmas home tours I love this Swedish country home, a lovely sitting room here in Skåne, and a modern Dutch home.

And here's my round up of beautiful yet simple Christmas DIY ideas:

Brown paper gift wrapping inspiration.

Swedish hot chocolate with cinnamon - mmmmm!

DIY holiday decor for the walls.

Tiny Christmas garlands.

Beautiful DIY triangular Christnas wreaths.

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we've no place to go...Let it snow! let it snow! Let is snow! Have a lovely day!

PS back tomorrow with my usual home tour, see you then!

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Rustic Meets Refined In An Inspiring Californian Ranch

Boy oh boy, have I got a beautiful home tour to share with you today. I couldn't resist throwing in a couple of 'before' shots too - just so that we can all fully appreciate the amount of work that has gone into it! Located just 40 minutes north of Los Angeles, this 1959 post and beam Californian ranch house reflects owner Jennifer Maxcy's appreciation for timeless yet unique style. The rustic yet refined open-plan living space combines reclaimed, well-crafted and vintage pieces with new selections and clean contemporary lines for a relaxed yet lovely, fresh feel. Little wonder that the ranch serves as a family home (could you imagine?!) but also as a gallery space for Jennifer's marketplace collection of thoughtfully curated goods and a film and photo shoot location. Ready to take a peek?! 

Do you want to see a sneak peek of how the kitchen looked before the renovation?! It's kind of crazy, and so inspiring to see how a space can be transformed. Here goes...

Quite the transformation!

I can't resist sharing one more 'before' with you. We all know how difficult it is to find beautiful pieces like the table seen in the centre of the room (you can see the other side of it with drawers further up the blog. I've been looking for something similar for years and when I do come across something similar they're often eye-wateringly expensive! But Jennifer had the vision to upcycle the piece below and transform it into what she describes today as 'the workhorse' off the house.

They took off the backboard and then added it as overhang for proper seating. The top has four side boards which were sanded back to the natural wood and sealed with a matte polyurethane. 

The house is also leased for film and photoshoots (kind of makes sense - it's a perfect set-up and full of natural light). The picture above is an example of client styling in the ranch.

Contemporary touches like the Eames dowel-leg chairs* and Gubi semi-pendant have been combined with a vintage table and rustic bowls - a signature combination seen throughout the living space! The window nook looks so cosy - don't you think?! 

In a ranch where items are constantly moved around, you're bound to see different set-ups. In the above picture, the Eames chairs have been replaced by an antique / vintage stool and knitted pouf. 

I wish I knew the artist behind this painting. I've put the question to Jennifer (who's on L.A time and no doubt still asleep !) - I'll hopefully be able to pop back and update the post once I know more! 

In the bathroom a cabinet made by a carpenter from old scraps and a backsplash fashioned out of reclaimed planks adds a distinct rustic touch! There's a load of beautiful woven wall baskets like the one seen above available here*.  Just saying! 

Oj oj oj (as they say in Sweden!) - just how inspiring is this home? I love the vintage and handmade touches.

Is there anything that caught your eye?

See more pictures and find out more about Jennifer's interior design services, shop and the lease of her home for a film or photo shoot over at The Ranch Uncommon - and feel inspired by more snapshots of the interior on instagram.

It's raining so hard in southern sweden today, mind if we stay in sunny California for more inspiration?! I'm dreaming of rocking about in this serene home in Napa valley, kicking-back in this Spanish style house and hanging out on the terrace of this eclectic home.  Fancy joining me?!

There's also a load of homes with rustic touches in this archive!

Vi ses imorgon! 


PS It's the man's birthday today and I've made a cardinal error - I've got three hours to panic buy him a present. Eeeeek! Wish me luck!

Photography: Jennifer Maxcy / The Ranch Uncommon shared with kind permission.

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