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A Swedish city pad in monochrome and copper

On Friday I was dreaming about spending the weekend in this rustic Norwegian cabin, weren't you?! And now, it's back to the city just in time for the start of a new week. This one bedroom monochrome and copper themed space in Gothenburg is a feast for the eyes, there's just so much to look at! I love the variety of light fixtures, the kakelugn (tiled oven) and touch of spring in the hallway.  Thank you 55 Kvadrat, you've brightened up the start of my week.

55 Kvadrat
55 Kvadrat
55 Kvadrat
55 Kvadrat
55 Kvadrat
55 Kvadrat
55 Kvadrat
55 Kvadrat
55 Kvadrat

Is there anything you love in particular about this Swedish space?

I love the white floor. I must have shown over 200 homes on here with white floors and never had one of my own. So I thought it was about time! I'm in the process of painting my top floor (and bedroom) white (you can see the work in progress here). I promise to create a post once it's finished. I must say, it's been such a tiring couple of the days - who needs the gym when you have a floor to sand, wash and paint?! Have you got a white floor in your home?

See more pictures and a plan of this lovely black and white apartment over at Kvadrat55.

More wonderful black and white homes here, here and here.

Have a great day!


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A light and airy white and grey Swedish apartment

Hello Monday! How was your weekend? I thought I'd kick off the week with something light, bright and airy. A classic white and grey Swedish apartment with light wood floors and white walls owned and styled by Hanna Malmberg. I could kick around here this lovely sunny Monday morning, how about you?






Styled by Hanna MalmbergStadshem via Coco Lapine Design

So beautifully styled by Stadshem for the sale don't you think?

I am seeing the Muuto Dots Hanger everywhere right now. Here, they've used the small and medium natural oak version to add interest to a wall in the bedroom.

I love the white floor in the kitchen (practical though?). I was in my neighbour's home over the weekend (it's like something out of Birds of a Feather in my neighbourhood!) and noticed she'd painted her wood floor white over Easter. The floor was a tightly joined smooth oak finish before so I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out - but it looks incredible! I'm wondering if I should paint my bedroom floor white now, what do you think?

Other beautiful white and grey spaces include the home of By Nord owners, the fantastic home of a creative Finnish duo and a wonderful Danish home.

Have a lovely day!

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Per's Best Tips On Laying Hardwood Flooring Yourself







A few weeks ago I mentioned we needed a new wood floor in our open-plan living, kitchen and dining room. Thank you so much to everyone who shared their thoughts on which floor to go for - we loved reading all your comments, they were so helpful! After much deliberation, we decided to go for the Cured Oak LYBY wide plank (28 cm), with a rustic, white matte lacquer finish from Swedish brand Bjelin. We felt the wide plank fitted well with our modern townhouse and loved the light tone with a subtle yet lively, natural rustic touch (being a naturally dark room we were keen to brighten it up as much as possible). The cured wood is also known for being incredibly strong and hard wearing - perfect with the crazies around! Here's a close-up:


Rather than get someone in to install the floor professionally, we (or perhaps I should say Per!) decided it would be more fun to do it ourselves. With the work well underway, I thought it could be interesting to ask Per a little more about the workings of a wood floor, how difficult they are to lay and whether he'd recommend it!

Have you ever laid a wood floor before?
Yes, which actually made me hesitate to do it again as it was pretty difficult to get it right (*laughs*)

Why's that?
I started at one end but left a small gap, which made it tricky to lay the next row and so on. A small error at the beginning meant it took me way longer than it should have done. But the end result was good, which gave me the confidence to give it another go! 

Why would you prefer to lay a wood floor yourself than get someone in professionally? 
I think it's a nice feeling to know you've done it yourself: there's a certain pride in it. Of course, you save money in the process too, which is also a bonus!



Could anyone lay a wood floor?
I would say that anyone could lay a wood floor like this one. This time it was much easier because Bjelin floors have a special locking system which means the planks click into place without the need to use glue or nails. The only time it can get a little fiddly is around places like the radiators - but there's always a solution!

Are there any useful sources if you get stuck? 
Our wood floor came with a step-by-step installation instruction sheet. I also find YouTube tutorials helpful - especially when dealing with trickier areas.

What tools do you need to lay a wood floor?
The only power tool I used was a jigsaw but it would also have been good to have used a circular saw to cut the planks to the right size. You should also wear an eye mask and preferably a work bench and clamp to cut the wood planks too!

Side note: as with any work environment, you should also wear good, protective clothing - such as proper shoes (something I will think about for next time!). Thank you for the 'unknown' for pointing this out in the comment section, very good point and very important! 



How do you prep a room before laying the floor?  
1. Remove the furniture from the room (since ours is quite a large area, we shifted the furniture over to one side and then shifted it back once we had finished the section)
2. Remove the skirting boards and mark the back of them with a pencil so you know exactly where they were (it can be tricky to remember otherwise which can be time consuming later on).
3. Remove old flooring
4. If you're lucky there'll be an underlay already in place, if not you'll need to lay one.
5. Give the surface a clean.

Do you have any advice for anyone laying a wood floor for the first time?
Choose a good quality floor, preferably with a locking system like Bjelin's and dare to throw yourself at the task. Planning things in advance like which side of the room to start and plotting any tricky areas will save time later. If in doubt, get advice from your dealer. Also, measure up to five times before you cut any wood- a stitch in time saves nine! 



Did you make any errors this time? 
Not really. A professional floor layer would probably have made a cleaner job around the radiators, but I found that a special filler matching the tone of the wood did wonders to cover up any imperfections!

How long did it take for you to lay the floor?
Around 3-4 days in total. And no doubt 3-4 years to finish the details (like repainting the skirting boards etc!).

Did you learn anything for next time?
Next time? Are you plotting something Niki?

Might be...!
After removing the skirting boards and old floor, I'd give the walls and ceilings a fresh lick of paint before I lay the new floor.

Any final words to anyone considering laying a wood floor? 
Laying a wood floor yourself may sound daunting, but if you have the time and energy, it's a surprisingly easy task and you'll feel really proud knowing you did yourself!

***

What do you reckon, do you recognise this from laying your own wood floor? If so, perhaps you have some more tips to share with us. If you're about to get a new wood floor and considering laying it yourself, I hope this has given you the confidence to dive in!

I can't wait to show you the final results next Sunday!

Niki

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Time for A New Wood Floor - Which Sample Is Your Favourite?

Houston, we have a problem. We need a new wood floor. It's not a decision to take lightly - but sadly, ours has bitten the dust! When we moved in over 12 years ago, our open-plan living room featured a dark oak floor throughout. It's a really dark room, so we decided to lighten it up by sanding down the floor and then applying a whitewash. It was only then that we realised that the owners before us had laid a laminate oak wood floor -  and the actual oak element was only a couple of millimetres thick. It looked beautiful to begin with, but over time, cracks started to appear, and the edges of the laminate started to furl. You can catch a glimpse in the picture above as well as the close-ups below! 


It had been bothering us for a while, since a tired looking floor can really bring the entire look of a room down. But the final straw came on New Year's Eve when we had a bit of a raucous party which resulted in a dance-off until 4am (remember those days before the - whisper it - 'C' word?). It was great fun, but our poor floor was not up to it - and great lengths of laminate became dislodged. It was definitely time to get a new wood floor! 

Where to start?!  
Living in Scandinavia, a wood flooring is the obvious choice - and thankfully we don't have a dog so   we're confident that the right wood floor would be a great, sustainable, long lasting option. The natural material helps to draw nature indoors and add warmth and depth top a room. There is an overwhelming array of options out there, but I already knew I wanted one of two looks: herringbone parquet or a wide plank. 

Herringbone Parquet

It's no secret that I've always loved a parquet floor (see my 'all hail the parquet floor' feature) - aren't they stunning?! The herringbone parquet floor in particular is hugely popular in Sweden and many turn-of-the-century homes are blessed with original versions, in all their creaky glory. This particular Boden oak with a matt finish in 'extra white' is absolutely stunning, the only thing is, our townhouse is modern (it was built in 2001 which incidentally makes it 20 years old this year - time for another party?!) so we felt we needed something a little more contemporary. 

Wide plank oak

I've been fan of wide plank floors for a long time. There's something really clean and contemporary about them and yet they still add a lot of warmth to a space (this one is the wide plank SVANSHALL in hardened oak - isn't it beautiful?).  Are you a fan too? Per and I agreed that this option would be the best one for our open-plan living space. 

The brand
Bjelin - one of Europe's largest floor manufacturers - was an obvious choice for us. Their wide plank wood floors are produced not far up the coast and since we're planning to lay the floor ourselves - we like that their planks click together without glue or nails. They also have a great sustainable approach: maximising the use of every log, reusing waste as filler or energy and sourcing raw materials from responsibly managed forests. And finally, they sell beautiful wide plank flooring made from cured the wood, which is super strong (roll on New Year's Eve!). Yay! 

Samples
It's one thing looking at the pictures on a website, it's another thing entirely testing out samples. We approached Bjelin and tested out as many samples as we could. We wanted to make sure that the wood had more of a grey tint (and not a yellow or beige note that might get more pronounced as time goes on). We also wanted to make sure that the wood wasn't too dark and fitted the design of the room (it's amazing how much a wood floor can change a space!). Here are a few of the wood floors we tested: 

Clockwise from left to right: Loarp, Lyby, Torekov, Arild, Hittarp

Do you have a favourite? 

I'd love to hear about your favourite wood floor style - and any tips and advice you might have from laying a wood floor in your home! Feeling a little nervous!

I promise to update you soon! 

Niki

PS Stop by tomorrow to take a peek around a breath-taking Danish summer cottage, it'll have you dreaming of a summer in Scandinavia all weekend! 

Photo 1: My Scandinavian Home. All other photos: Bjelin

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A Delightful Light-Filled Home In The Rooftops of Munich



It's been raining all day here in Sweden - so I'm checking out! Fancy joining me on a trip to Munich? Judging by the beautiful light in the home of Friederike Gorytzka, it looks way sunnier down there! Friederike's lovely light-filled home is nestled on the top floor of an apartment building in the centre of town. Mid-century pieces and design classics have been arranged against a backdrop of white (the ceilings measure a staggering 3.6 metres in places!) and in the summer the balcony doors are thrown open to welcome in the sunshine. I caught up with Friederike to find out more about her lovely home.

//affiliated links marked with *//
Have you always been passionate about interior design? 
Just like other interior addicts, I started moving furniture around and rearranging things in my room as a teenager. When I moved into my own place (my first being university accommodation measuring a mere 17m2 “big”!) I loved to plan ways to make the most of the space and play around with furniture to see how it would look in different positions.

Gold mobile* (also seen in this home and my reading nook!)


How would you describe your style?
Hmmm, difficult! Maybe scandi and mid-century goes glam and non-puristic? Also, even if I really like the puristic Scandinavian style, I would never be able to reduce my living space to monochrome  / neutrals only. I love brass, marble, mustard yellow and anything from the brand Gubi. Gubi matches my style 100 %!

Gubi G10 floor lamp 



What is your approach to colour?
I noticed that more colour has entered my interior with age. I started with white and oak wood, then black accessories creeped in and lately I discovered my love for nude and mustard yellow. The pink lounge chair for example was a total impulse buy. I was never a 'pink-loving' girl, but combined with mustard yellow, pink loses it's sweet girly touch. But I do try to limit the variety of colours, white, black, wood, dusty pink and mustard yellow is enough!

Mantis floor lamp*, BoConcept sofa, photography - Lumas gallery

I spy so many fabulous design pieces in your home, do you have a favourite? 
Thank you! I have an absolute weakness for lamps and my first design piece was the white AJ floor lamp - which is still one of my favourites. I will always remember the proud feeling as a hard-up student when I opened the package with the certificate of authenticity. I must add - even when I was young and didn't have much money, I would never have bought a fake design classic. Another of my favourites pieces is the Schottlander lamp (I have two pendants and one floor lamp*!). I love the mid-century shape.

As an author, I am happy to see so many books. What do you like to read? 
Unfortunately, since I became addicted to Instagram and the internet, I don’t read as many books as I used to do.... but who could throw away books? I certainly couldn’t!  My library includes books I read as a teenager and philosophical tomes from university time. I also love German postwar literature and American contemporary literature (T.C. Boyle). And Scandinavian crime thrillers, of course! 

RoTM Lounge Chair*Nordstjerne vase, Billy bookshelves


What do you love most about your home?
The wonderful light thanks to the huge windows and skylights, the view from the top floor and the feeling of sitting in a birds nest. Ah, and the high ceilings!




Thank you so much for inviting us into your home and telling us more about it Friederike!

I've got my eye on that pink chair - isn't it fabulous?!

Is there anything that caught your imagination?

If you loved this home as much as I did, I can highly recommend following Friederike on instagram for daily snapshots. 

Oh and check out more German homes here, here and here (all wonderful in their own, unique way!).

Have a great day!

Niki

Photography: Friederike Gorytzka shared with kind permission

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Tile style: Three Living Rooms, Three Different Vibes

Considering floor tiles for your living space? My sister's Goldendoodle (google 'Goldendoodle puppies' and your heart will positively melt) put paid to their wooden floor. So, in their recent renovation they opted for tiles instead. Growing up in a home with wooden floors and wall-to-wall carpets, tiles are a bit of a new area for me. So, for fun, I decided to experiment with three tiles from the Gemini Tiles floor tile collection available through CTD Tiles to create three different living room vibes. The brand offers an extensive collection of handpicked wall and floor tiles which take inspiration from both traditional and contemporary styles so there were a whole load to choose from! In the end I opted for the Cuban Black Block tile, Buxy Gris floor Tile and Cuban Silver Sky tile. I can't wait to hear which one you like the most!




Be still my beating heart! How fabulous is this Cuban Black Block Tile? Inspired by traditional hot wax paintings, the tile comes in size 223 x 223 mm and is made from glazed porcelain with a matt finish. The intricate geometric look instantly took me back to an elegant, eclectic contemporary Parisian hotel I stayed at last November. Think gold, luxurious velvet in deep earthy blues and emerald greens and the infinite depth and nobility of black marble.  I might just be willing to forgo my pattern shyness and go all out in my own home with this one - how about you?

Get the look:

1. Vitra Suita Sofa Designers Choice
2. Twice Ceiling Light
3. The Lily Candleholder
4. Ferm Living Marble Table Black
5. Gubi Bat Lounge Chair High Back
6. Embroidered Velvet Star Cushion
7. Boule Vase
8. North Shelf
9. & Tradition FLY Chair SC1 Smoked Oak
10. Gubi BestLite BL1 Table Lamp Brass
11. Fishbowl Vase





If the industrial look is more your thing - I picked the Buxy Gris floor tile for its cool, contemporary urban style. Think New York loft living meets Scandi minimalism! The grey porcelain floor tile comes in 600 x 600 mm and a 600 x 300 mm size and looks pretty fabulous with a cognac, grey, white and black palette. Throw in furniture made from cool metals, wood, leather and wool to bring natural warmth to the space. I love the fresh, earthy look of this style, and it's timeless too! Could you imagine incorporating this look into your home?

Get the look:

1. Tribeca Series Franklin Chandelier
2. Anderssen & Voll strip back the sofa
3. The Art of Fabric Print 3 
4. Vitra Eames Hang It All - Walnut & Chocolate
5. Lína Swivel Chair
6. Metal Candlestick
7. The MANTIS - DCW BS5 SW Wall Lamp
8. Carl Hansen CH28 Chair
9. Magis Lem Round Table



And last, but by no means less - if you love to rock a boho look, you might be drawn to this fresh yet cosy contemporary Mallorcan finca vibe. Inspired by traditional encaustic tiles, I feel the subtle colour palette and intricate pattern of the glazed porcelain Cuban Silver Sky tile in size 223 x 223 mm gives a space a lovely, cool look and feel. I love the idea of pairing it with beautiful natural wood finishes, rattan furniture, glass, brass and linen to add character while keeping the look calm, and cosy yet bang up to date. If you don't want to go all out, this is the type of tile which would also look pretty in the hallway or bathroom, don't you think?!


Get the look:

1. Gervasoni Ghost Sofa
2. Dutchbone Brute Side Table Aluminium
3. Binga basket
4. NORR11 Nomad Lounge Chair Bamboo Cognac Leather
7. Colton Coffee Table
8. Large Glass Vase
9. Genuine Moroccan Ottoman
10. Silk Cashmere White Cover Lamp
11. Round Metal Tray

Did you have a favourite style?

I could quite easily envisage all three in my home but if I had to pick just one I'd go for the third.  Perhaps that's just because the sun is slowly fading in Sweden and I'm pining after the med! Plus I've always loved pretty patterned tiles!

Niki

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Gemini Tiles, all words and styling are my own. Thank you for supporting the wonderful, hand-picked brands that make My Scandinavian Home possible! 

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Before and After - My Swedish Home Makeover!

Last night I was clearing out a cupboard and came across the estate agent pamphlet for our house from when we bought it. I knew we'd made some changes over the 12 years but looking back at the pictures made me realise just how far we'd come! At the time, we were living in a small apartment just down the road and when the house came on the market, we knew it would be perfect for us, but it was over budget. And then we had a stroke of luck. No one wanted it!! Being a consistently 'hot' house market, this was incredibly unusual in Malmö, particularly in a popular area by the sea - where homes tend to sell within weeks, if not days. The estate agent explained that potential buyers had turned their noses up at it, saying it 'didn't have the right feeling'. 

When Per and I went to view the property, we understood what they meant. No one lived there (it was used as an occasional city bolthole by a businessman who had a permanent abode in the countryside) and the living space lacked soul. In addition, it featured some pretty questionable decor choices.... and the dark wood wall and floors made the entire space really dark. It felt gloomy and somewhat depressing - hardly a home to aspire to! The price dropped dramatically and became within reach (although still a stretch!). Despite the appearance, we could see its potential, and would be mainly cosmetic. Plus, it meant acquiring a house in the area we so loved! We jumped at it! 

I'll never forget finally getting the keys in our hands and our first night in the house. I simply couldn't believe it was ours! Twelve years, two children and multiple interior changes later, we're still just as happy in our home today.  

Here's how it has changed over time:

Kitchen / Dining  Before 

Kitchen / Dining After

The very first thing we did was give the entire house a lick of fresh white matt paint (with the help of parents Father and Stepmother!). It would serve as a blank canvas until we decided which way to go in terms of colour. Many of the walls remain white today, although we've added some deeper, earthy shades in some parts of the house. 

We also got someone in to sand down and whitewash the oak floors which immediately lightened up the entire living space. 

We loved the existing Marbodal kitchen units and backsplash - they've served us well over time. We kept them and instead focused our attention on installing better appliances such as an induction hob and new fridge and freezer. 


The kitchen lacked work surfaces, so we added a new kitchen island (there was one when we arrived but it was tiny - you can see a glimpse of it here). The unit is just from IKEA but one of those pieces that fell into place and felt like it had always been there!). It's become a popular gathering place (not only for people - but also the daily post, keys and even sports equipment as the kids fly in through the door - yes, it drives me insane!). But it DOES look lovely on the occasional times it's clear (or better still, has a G+T on it!).


Per has owned the wooden dining table for years. it's made of solid wood so can be sanded down and restored whenever the need arises. It's a really timeless piece and something I can imagine always having in our home. There's no marking on it sadly, so we're not sure of the brand. 

We transformed the corner into a reading nook, which has become one of the most popular places in the home - and means we can all relax in the same room, while doing our own thing! At Christmas the daybed is placed in the attic and replaced with a tree! Years back, we even had a bubble chair hanging in that corner

All the storage was in place when we moved in, and as a family of hoarders, we're still grateful for it. We're unsure what they had planned for the recess - maybe a TV? But it serves as a great, cosy dining seat nook today! 

Sitting Room Before





Sitting Room After


I'm not opposed to dark wood walls - they can look fab in a 50's style residence. But since the house is overshadowed by an apartment block, it can get really dark in the afternoons. Painting the wood white immediately lifted the entire living room area. 

For the first few years it looked like this - and then later we changed the sofa (the cover of which is constantly updated thanks to Bemz - you can check out the many transformations here and here) and added a gallery wall. 



 Open plan space on middle floor (before)

Open plan space on middle floor (after)

Confused?! As much as we'd loved to have had a second sitting room, we needed the extra bedroom. So, Per and a friend built a wall (on the opposite side of the wall from the pillow end of the bed are the stairs) - creating an extra bedroom for my teenage stepson. We removed the shelves to make room for the bed and painted the wall a cosy dark blue! See the complete make-over here

Second bedroom before

Second Bedroom After



Allie's bedroom has changed many times over the year - and will no doubt change countless times more as she grows! The original blue shade felt really cold in a North facing room. The first change we made was to paint them a fresh white (as seen here when the girls shared the room when they were small). We later painted the walls a more earthy, warm shade to add a cosy feel when Liv moved into her own room. I shared the DIY make-over here

Top floor sitting room before

That sofa! 

After

The top floor was originally a sitting room - and we kept it as such for the first few years. But slowly we realised no one was using it - which was a real waste as it's one of the most beautiful, light-filled rooms in the house. So, we transformed it into our master bedroom and home office. And never looked back! 

When we first moved up there the walls were white - as seen here

It's been various shades over the years. For now, we've settled on 'blushing peach' by Jotun Lady, which has a wonderful, calm and cosy feel.


We painted the wood floor 'strong white' by Farrow & Ball (which is actually more of a pale grey). Per designed and built the shelves using planks, wire and nuts and bolts from a local hardware store. 

I sometimes use the corner of the bedroom as my home office when I'm not at the studio (seen below). Today the wall is dark brown ('Norwegian Wood' by Jotun Lady) but it has also been white (you might recognise it from the front cover of interior book 'Everything In Its Place'!). 

We also transformed the nook (above) into a home office for Per during the pandemic - here's a glimpse

The entire room has become a real haven - and like a mini apartment within a house. We love it! 

I have to say, it's been so much fun to take this trip down memory lane, thank you for humouring me! 

When I have days when I wonder why the progress in our house is so slow (there's a reason I've never shown our bathrooms! - potential project for Autumn, perhaps? Don't tell Per just yet...!), I'll look back at these and see how far we've actually come! 

Our house buying decision also taught me an important lesson. At a viewing, take into account the basic bones of the property (the shape, the era etc.). Don't let the 'feeling' or 'soul' put you off. That's something you can add once you move in!   

If in doubt, check out the before and after archive, it's quite incredible how much you can change a property with a little vision, time, effort and money. And some homes, like mine - might just need a lick of paint! 

Don't believe me? Here are some of my favourite 'before and afters' of all time:


I'd love to hear the story about your home - how you found it, how it felt to finally get the keys in your hand (whether as a renter or homeowner), and any changes you've made! 

Niki

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