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Choosing a Wood Floor For our Tiny Cabin, From Light to Dark

Disclosure: Norrlands Trä have kindly agreed to collaborate with us on this project

Hejsan! A cabin update is long overdue! We're still nutting out the interior details and lately we've been focused on the floor. Living in Scandinavia, it was a no brainer to go for a wood floor - I love the warmth, the softness underfoot and how it ages over time. We were specifically looking for a wood floor with a simple and traditional look and that comes from a sustainable source. We headed to Norrlands Trä - the Swedish company from whom we got our wall panelling (and only use FSC certifiable wood from the forests of North Sweden) to pick up some samples from dark to light. Here are some of the variations we considered - and the wood floor we eventually chose.

Blond tones
Nothing says Scandinavian like 'blond' wood, don't you think? The light touch is great for brightening up a space, while still adding warmth. But there can be massive variations in light wood - from almost white to dark blond (it's starting to sound like a trip to the hairdressers!), and don't get me started on the subtle nuances: from cold to warm tones, and how the colour changes over time. It's a minefield! 

Lightest shade
Save from painting the floor white, the brushed pine (Borstat Furugolv) in 'ultra protect white' is the lightest in the Norrlands Trä range. It's close to white and has a wonderful, ridged patina with the grain showing through. Pine can be incredibly soft, and so I like that the surface has been gently teased away with a brush, making it a more durable choice. 

Light pine
We were also drawn to the pine floor (Putsat furugolv) in ultra protect white which has been primed and then sandpapered giving a soft, smooth result (a treat for the feet!). We love that it has a traditional and rustic feel which is so synonymous with the Swedish summer cottage. One thing to be mindful of - the softer finish does require some extra work over the years to maintain it. However, it is made from solid wood so you can sand it down as often as you like - or leave it as it is and appreciate the patina as it ages.  I'm guessing we'd do the latter!

Darker wood floor tones
You might have noticed that darker wood floors have been making a comeback lately. The deep hue is great for adding contrast, grounding a space and creating a cosy ambience. 

Grey finish
This brushed pine floor (Borstat Furugolv) has a lovely rustic feel - and we liked the stone grey finish. Given all the windows in our cabin we could definitely get away with a darker floor like this one too. 

Dark finish
And finally, we looked at going completely over to the dark side with a brushed pine floor ((Borstat Furugolv) in ultra protect brown. The rich tone gives a wonderful atmospheric feel and adds a whole level of cosiness. It's perfect for creating that dark cabin feel. 


A note on wood ageing over time
Wood is a natural substance that darkens over time - especially when exposed to lots of light. Some wood gets more of a grey tint, whereas others can appear more yellow. Check with your wood floor supplier before purchasing to find out about each individual wood floor. Also, be mindful that rugs block the sunlight which can leave permanent marks on your wood floor. If the room gets a lot of light, think about removing them periodically.  

Our choice of floor
Edited: originally I wrote that we went for the primed pine floor in ultra protect white but this was an error - we actually chose the primed parquet pine floor in ultra protect white. This has an extremely similar look and feel, but the parquet is a more practical choice for us since it simply clicks into place making it easier to install, where as the solid wood needs to be nailed into place. Also, it's thinner which works better with the lower ceiling height in the loft. Overall, it has a lovely summery feel and during the winter it will help to brighten up the darkness! 


We tested the sample up at the cabin. 

Welcome inside my humble home! 

The panelling on the walls and ceiling is now in place and looks so beautiful! And the wood floor is a perfect fit! 

Below is the simple material and colour mood board we have decided to work with. The stone and white tile will be installed in the bathroom and the dark sand is for the kitchen cabinets. It feels like it reflects the surrounding coast and forest in a beautiful way - what do you think?  


It feels like things are really starting to happen now and it's the cabin is moving from an empty shell into a home! Exciting! 

What type of floor do you have in your home? Do you have a favourite out of these different looks? or perhaps you have gone for tiles, like my sister who has a dog. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Niki

Credits: 1. Lifestyle photo courtesy of Norrlands Trä, styled by Lotta Agaton. 2 - 6 Lifestyle photos courtesy of Norrlands Trä. 7+ photos snapped with my iPhone by Per and myself this weekend! 

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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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