Lessons To Learn From A Colourful Yet Calm Norwegian Home

There's so much to love about the Norwegian home of interior stylist Rikke Bye-Andersen: from the colourful Scandinavian design furniture and pink accent walls to the contemporary art and tropical wallpaper. I caught up with Rikke to find out more.  Prepare to feel inspired to introduce more colour into your home, and still keep that beloved Scandi vibe alive!

Muuto Five Pouf*, Wing Back Chair*, Saucer pendant*

Have you always liked to have a lot of colour in your home?
I have always loved colour and am especially inspired by interiors from the UK and the US, I think they have that special touch of colour and a playful way of looking at interiors, rather than the minimalist white and grey associated with Norwegian style. I try to be a little different and am often complimented on the colours I choose for my furniture and walls.

I am not surprised, they are both cheerful and calming in equal measure! What is it about colour that you like? 
It's proven that colours make you happy and give you energy. For example, if you paint your kitchen yellow it will feel sunny everyday, and who doesn't want that feeling?!

As an interior stylist / designer, do you encourage your clients to use more colour?
In my work I like to inspire people to use more colour and go a little crazy. Not everything needs to match and be tone in tone - I think interiors should be more personal and fun. I also advise using colours that make you feel comfortable, but it's also good to think outside the box and not just follow what everyone else is doing in their homes.

Wishbone chairs*, Gubi pendant*

I spy a few Scandinavian beauties in your home - how does this fit with your scheme? 
I love to furnish my home with Scandinavian design pieces, but I tend to go for colourful fabrics so that they stand out a bit - like my Wing Chair by Hans. J. Wegner* in pink. I think I've only seen it in grey before! I'm not your typical Scandinavian minimalist.

Do you have colours you return to time and time again?
I am drawn to pastels and soft tones, these are hues I feel most comfortable with. I love green, so I have used a couple of different greens over the years. But pink is definitely my all time favourite, it's really warm, cosy and fun all at the same time - you can't go wrong with pink!

lamp gras 204 wall light in red has been mounted over a round mirror* above a freestanding bathroom sink from Duravit

Finally, do you have any tips for anyone looking to introduce more colour? 
Have fun playing with colours, it is so easy to paint a room! And it's just a colour... much better to try out different tones instead of playing it safe with white or grey.

The bedroom is painted in Peignoir from Farrow & Ball.

In the hall, Rikke has teamed Alexandrie wallpaper from Pierre Frey with Teresa's Green paint by Farrow & Ball. A fabulous plum coloured door completes the look! 

Wow! I absolutely love this home.

If I were to introduce more colour into my own home (which I plan to in 2019 - wait, did I say that last year too?!) I'd like to think this would be my approach!

That hallway!

We need to be braver (could well be speaking for myself here!).

Did you find Rikke's home inspiring too?

It's totally worth checking out her wonderful blog and instagram for a load more pictures!

Other fabulous Norwegian homes include the cosy and relaxed home of a blogger, a charming Norwegian home in green, grey and cognac and a beautiful Norwegian home in summer time.

Have a lovely day!


Photography: Filippa Tredal 

PS After the revelations in yesterday's post (including Valentina's comment!) I couldn't resist holding an instagram stories poll to see how many of us nip into open house / property viewings for fun (with no intention to buy). It seems like we're way nosier than the average Swede with 71% of us taking it as an opportunity to take a peek! Funny!

Affiliated links marked with *

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Converted Stables Become a Dramatic Home Full of Contrast in Norway

It's Friday friends - JAAAAA! To wrap up the week I'm leading us all over to the dark side (mwah ha ha) on a virtual journey to an incredible maisonette in Oslo. Formerly a stables, the two floor apartment is owned by Nina (blogger behind Note to Self), her boyfriend Jørgen, baby boy Gustav, and cutest pup Ipa. When Nina's not sewing or working as a graphic designer, the pair are transforming the space (often on a minimum budget) into a dramatic family home full of contrast and delicious, warm, dark grey, chocolate and beige accents. Enjoy the tour!

The maisonette has an upside down layout with the entry, bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor and an open-plan kitchen, sitting room and dining area on the upper level. I thought we'd start with the cosiest zone of all - the sitting room!

The sitting room wall has been painted in NCS S 7002B which makes a wonderful contrast to the oak floors, plastered brick walls and a fluffy 70's style shaggy rug (from Layered). And just how cosy does that velour Madison sofa look? The Blind No5 print is by Danish artist Kristina Krogh (available here).

It's incredible what a difference vintage wood adds to a monochrome space. Pick up similar  Thonet-style bistro chairs here (gah! So beautiful!). Nina never quite got on with the original brickwork and so they decided to plaster over it.

"The plastering gave just the right, tactile texture the apartment needed. And the colour was perfect too, so there was no need to paint it."

Where would a Scandinavian kitchen be without a natural linen tablecloth?! So pretty (and it looks better un-ironed too). It's nearing lunchtime here and I'm sort of drooling over the cheese too!

All hale the Bollo chair by Norwegian designer Andreas Engesvik (I've got my eye on the pink one). 

Since the pair are currently renovating a house elsewhere right now (their future home), they didn't want to invest too much money on the apartment. Even so, they still managed to transform the kitchen from this...

 To this...

...on a limited budget!

 To achieve the new look they plastered the walls and painted them in NCS S 7002B, spray painted the cabinets in NSC S 8002B, replaced the thick laminate counter top, kitchen taps, sink (all HTH), added Borghamn handles from IKEA and spray painted the switches, sockets and cables. 

Quite incredible, and so inspiring to know what you can do on a limited budget, don't you think?!

When the pair moved in the stairs were a varnished yellow colour...

They painstakingly sanded them down before washing them with white pigmentation, and then painted the walls and doors the same colour as the sitting room. They also added the same oak floor. 

What an incredible transformation, don't you think?! I've been wondering what to do with my stairs (which are also tinged with an old yellow varnish) and now I may have found the answer - I just need to brace myself for the work (and warn Per!)!

Nina saved a load on a designer clothes rail by creating one from a 12 mm copper pipe, which she bent into shape using a wrench, lightly sand papered and then sprayed matt black! So clever! More info on her blog here

The dark tones are also carried through to the bedroom which give the room a wonderful cocoon like feel - and no doubt feels blissfully dark at night, even under the Norwegian midnight sun!

Another Scandinavian must - natural stonewashed linen bedding (it's that ironing thing again! Source similar here) - the unbleached material looks particularly lovely against the dark grey walls!

And this little chap feels right at home!

Thank you so much for inviting us into your beautiful home Nina, Jørgen, Gustav and Ipa! I for one, might be tempted into over to the dark side in my own home after all. Anyone else feeling inspired too?!

See more of Nina's home renovations, creations and recipes over on her fabulous blog Note to Self as well as on her instagram feed.

I can't resist leaving you with a few other links to enjoy over the weekend too:

f you're looking for more home tours on the dark side try a cosy cocoon-like Swedish home (also featured here) and dramatic green and grey in a Swedish home - actually, do you know what? I'm just going to go ahead and give you the link to the entire 'dark colours' archive! Way easier!

And now for one of my favourites. Conversions. Don't you love it when a home has history (like the stables in today's post)?! See everything from converted garages, warehouses, schools, shops and even a bar here!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


PS This weekend I'm writing a guide to Malmö in which I'm hoping to cover off a load of the things I missed in my previous Malmö guide (and some of the new places that have popped up too) I'm so looking forward to my staycation! Look out for the guide soon.

All photography  © Nina / Note to Self

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15 Small Space Hacks To Learn From a Beautiful Danish Home

Hej, hvordan har du det? I have to admit it's really hard to concentrate today - it's such a beautiful day! And when the sun shines in Scandinavia it's not something to be taken for granted! I was thinking of taking the Stand Up Paddle out at lunchtime ('thinking' being the operative word since it's still a bone-chilling 12 degrees in the water - eeeek!). While I procrastinate - I have a space to share with you which totally makes staying indoors worthwhile! This is the home of Danish model Johanne Landbo and her boyfriend.  Located high up in the eaves in the city of Århus, Denmark, what the home lacks in size and ceiling height, it makes up for in clever small space solutions and beautiful design. Velkommen!

1. A clutter-free home creates the illusion of space. Johanne has used wall mounted floor to ceiling shoe cabinets to banish shoes from the floor. 

2. Simple hooks hung over a door are really handy for everyday items (I use them in the bathroom and bedrooms in my own home) - they also don't require any drilling, making them ideal for rental spaces!

Shoe cabinet, door hook and Sinnerlig stool all IKEA. This round basket bag is similar. 

3. Raising the ceiling to it's full height and adding skylights helps to generate a loftier feel. Plus if you're lucky - you might end up with beautiful beams like these (well worth their weight in hygge!).

Green Forest poster, this pendant light is similar. Source a runner like this here.

4. I love these old warehouse windows between the bedroom and hall. Replacing an internal wall with windows (new or vintage!) allows light to filter through to darker areas and widens the look of a narrow space. Drawing across a curtain is a great way to add a little privacy and darkness at night time.

5. Multi-purpose furniture helps each item to go that bit further, for example, this Gjöra bed doubles up as a place to hang plants (or clothes).

6. Installing minimalist, bespoke wall-to-wall wardrobes helps to make the most of every inch of a room and create a clean look and feel. 

7. Johanne's home has been painted in a fresh, matt white throughout which bounces the light around.

8. Flat wall-mounted book shelves provide a less intrusive place to store magazines in a dead space between the radiator and eaves. 

9. Stackable furniture is a small space's best friend! Here, the lower nest table can be tucked under the higher table when not in use.

10. If your sofa is in the middle of the room, break up the (often cumbersome) back of it with a bench that can also be used for coffee table books and other items.

11. Make full use of ceiling height. Lesser used items can be stored higher up. 

12. Wall mounted, flexible lighting (such as the Mantis) helps to clear floor space and reduce the number of directional lights, since they can be rotated to where ever you need the light. 

13. Stackable, modular shelving like Omar from IKEA help make the most of awkward corners.

14. Opting for less bulky / more streamlined furniture like the Adam stool by FRAMA CPH will achieve a clutter-free, airy look and feel. 

15. Keeping the view clear on the balcony gives a continuation of space (and means you can enjoy it even on a rainy day). 

Aaaa, I was so happy to discover so many great ideas to steal from Johannes home! Is there anything you found particularly helpful?

I also liked Charlie Cameron's tip on Thursday: to use negative space throughout your home (I've been thinking a lot about this). 

You can see more pictures of Johanne's beautiful home over on instagram - and for more small living space inspiration today I can totally recommend these home tours too: small space that's big on cosiness, a tiny one room flat in Finland and Clever small space style in Stockholm

Have a great start to the week!

All Photography: Johanne Landbo

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Make-over: A Magnificent Berlin Studio

I think it's time for a new mini make-over episode, how about you?! This time I thought we'd head to Berlin and the awe-inspiring studio of Our Food Stories and Design Tales (take a look at previous before + afters in the series here and here). The brainchild of creative duo Laura and Nora, Our Food Stories is a culinary feast for the eyes and has garnered a following of close to 1 million Instagram followers who stop by each day to get recipes (read more about the pair and their work and take a look inside their homes in this interview). Let's dive in and find out how they transformed the first floor of a derelict warehouse into a stunning studio for cooking, food styling, photography, workshops and events.

Oh and thank you so much to the series sponsor Builders Bay - an amazing online marketplace for builders, renovators and DIYers where you can buy and sell surplus materials, architectural salvage and ex display stock! Perfect!

Our Food Stories started out five years ago from a small studio in the countryside, one hour drive from Berlin. The tranquil setting was wonderful since it offset the stresses and strains of setting up a business, "It really rescued us, since the first years of building up our own company have been so stressful." However, the blog became increasingly popular and they eventually grew out of it. "It made sense to look for somewhere closer to home, so in the summer of 2015 we started to look for a Studio in Berlin."

Since natural light is a key element in their photography, it was important to find a space with at least one North facing window. Known as 'reflected light', north light is popular among artists since it bathes the subject in the same cool ambience throughout the day - giving artists and photographers greater control over their work (this has got me thinking about using the North facing windows in my home more!). The space would also need a high ceiling to fit their enormous tripod!

The pair went to view another property which wasn't quite right. However, from the window they spotted a building 500 metres away and immediately fell in love with the windows and the building which combined "nice and neat with old school charm". They passed by on spec and found that the first floor was still empty and had the perfect light (two north-facing windows) and height. Result!

 "When we saw the space for the first time we just could not believe it was still available to rent! The first thing we did was check the point of the compass and the second time we visited we brought some flowers and did a little test photo shooting."

Despite the incredible shell, the space was in desperate need of renovation. The walls were yellow, and some walls didn't even exist. It also had no bathroom.

Thankfully they would need to do little in the way of renovating themselves.

"If you rent a studio or flat in Germany the landlord has to give it to you in a good (renovated) condition. As a renter you don't normally have a big influence on the renovation, but luckily we could decide on a lot of the details, which we are very thankful for. "

The landlord prepped and painted the walls (white) and, at the request of Laura and Nora, installed an incredible concrete floor.

The original eight metre high ceiling was something of a photographers dream but they were warned by the landlord that their heating bill would be astronomical if they kept it and a result it was lowered by several metres. 

"We would never have lowered it, but the landlord told us that it would have been impossible to keep the space warm in the winter because the roof has no insulation."  

Overall though, the duo are delighted with the results of the renovation.

The pair used furniture and lighting to divide the vast room into a series of zones: "we created different corners, which allow us to create different set ups." But they were also keen to keep the space pared-back and clutter-free. "It’s very important to have a space that is not too packed, so when it gets messy during photo shootings, you still have enough space."

Being food stylists and photographers, the kitchen was a major focus. The pair spent a lot of time thinking about which kitchen to install, in the end settling on a kitchen from Frama. "It perfectly fits the industrial surroundings, we are so in love with it!"

Despite the white finish, Laura and Nora are pleased that they can see the outline of the original brick wall. The lines / texture also help to break up the empty expanse.

The pair had free reign to paint some of the walls and used paint from KABE Copenhagen to add nuance and texture. "We just chose by intuition which wall should get which colour."

 This mammoth tripod is one of the reasons they needed a studio with such a high ceiling!

"The way we choose the style of the interior comes naturally and is also kind of indirectly dominated (in a good way) by the space itself, its aura and its architectural character."

 "We love the mix of old and new! Our home in Berlin is more modern, with new danish design interiors, our home in the countryside more rustic, but also with a modern influence and our studio is kind of a mix of both with industrial elements."

"Some of the vintage furniture is from Ebay and a lot of the old tables and lamps were bought from J&V and Urban Industrial."

"We are so grateful and happy to work in this wonderful space."

Just WOW!! This is my absolute dream (I wonder if they need a kitchen hand - or even someone to do the washing up?!). Could you imagine settling in here each day?

In case you're looking to create something similar at work (or home), here's the low down on some of the items:

1. Studio Kitchen - Frama
2. Semi Professional Coffee Machine
3. Gubi table
4. Marble Speakers
5. Midgard Workshop Lamp
6. Linen Kitchen Towels
7. Vienna Chairs
8. Adam Barstol
9. Enamel Factory Light
10. Chopping Board

The pair love to collaborate with other local talents. This incredible pampas cloud installation created by Mary Lennox spread across Pinterest like wildfire back in the autumn (it's easy to understand why!). 

But the key focus remains on the pairs passion for food so I was dying to know if the girls had a favourite recipe! I was told this was an extremely tricky question, since they love them all, but at a push Laura would go for the gluten free quince cheesecake with meringue and Nora the gluten free poppy seed cake.

Sound good to me!

For more mouth-watering recipes you must follow these ladies over on their blog and instagram: @ourfoodstories, and @designtales for interior inspiration! They also have a beautiful book available here.

Which leaves me with one question. Hands up who'd love to work from a studio like this and eat lots of cake?!

Thank you so much to Laura and Nora for showing us their studio! 

Have a wonderful weekend!

 All Photography: Courtesy of Our Food Stories / Design Tales.

* All words are my own, and I only ever work with brands and services I feel are of interest to my readers. This post also includes affiliated links which means that I make a very tiny amount of money (perhaps enough for a coffee and a choccy biccy from each post!) if you click or buy items. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible.

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