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Before and After: A Dark House Becomes a Fresh and Vibrant Home

When we went to view our house, there were a few other people looking around, one of whom was a friend of mine. After the viewing, I asked her if she was interested, "nah, it was way too dark," she said. We bought the house anyway (it was the only house we could afford in the area) and the first thing we did was completely whitewash all the walls and lighten the floors - it made an immediate difference! 

This beautiful Hamburg home made me think of exactly that! Susan and her partner bought the property in 2019 and spent 8 months renovating it, transforming it from a dark property to a light, fresh and vibrant Scandinavian-inspired living space. Keep a look out for the soft blue shades, vibrant colours and Susan's own fine art!  Here are the before and after shots: 

Kitchen before 

Kitchen after

A new Reform CPH kitchen was put in and the tiles were exchanged for a wooden pine floor, giving the space a distantly Danish look and feel! 

Neon red is said to be one of the big colours of the year, and so easy to bring into the home, in the kitchen an Adhoc stool does the trick! 

One of Susan's own fine art prints 'Zone de Baignade' hangs on the wall. 

If you refer back to the top of the post, you'll see a glimpse of the light-filled dining space on the far side of the room. Three Flowerpot pendants hang over an antique table. 

The sitting room leads directly off the kitchen.

Sitting room during the building work

Sitting room after

A soft blue shade has been used on the wall, tying it in with other areas of the home and wall to wall shelving has been placed up and over the door - something you often see in danish homes (like this one). 

Hall and Stairs before 


Hall and stairs after


Despite ripping out the tiles, Susan has still used stone in her hallway in order to ensure a practical entrance. 

The runner was removed from the stairs to reveal wooden steps. The original banister has been painted black and white. 

Landing before 

Landing after 

The floor has been sanded for a lighter look and the walls and doors have been painted in fresh white and light blue. 

Susan's 'Neighbourhood' fine art print hangs over a simple IKEA stool at the top of the stairs. 

Upper staircase before


Upper staircase after

I couldn't resist sharing these snapshots of the upper staircase which leads to a third floor! I love the way Susan has captured the before and after - taking the look from dark and dingy to light and bright! 

Bathroom before

Bathroom after

The bathroom has also been gives a fresh, light overhaul and A DIY stool and striped bathmat add a touch of colour. 

A glimpse into the bedroom reveals a retro chest-of-draws against a soft blue backdrop. 

All in all, a really fabulous transformation! The level of work that has gone into this renovation is immense, but it's really paid off! 

The light wood floors make a huge difference to the overall look. If you have solid wood floors, it's surprisingly easy with a sanding machine and the right floor treatment (we did it in our house too). I love how Susan has applied touches of colour through paint and art too. You'd be forgiven for thinking this home is in Copenhagen, it has a very danish feel to it! 

Is there anything that stood out to you about Susan's home? 

See more snapshots from Susan's home and find out about the colors she has used in her home here. You might also like to discover her online shop for limited edition art

Click here for a load more before and after features. Some of them are simply amazing! 

I hope this before and after tour has filled you with inspiration for the week ahead! 

Kram! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of @hej.susan - shared with kind permission. 

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A beautifully simple home with green floors

I'm always showing homes with white floors, black floorswood floors and even concrete floors. But what about green floors?! This surprising twist to an otherwise (beautiful) simple, white Australian home looks utterly fab and tells us that perhaps we need to think outside the usual colour scope? To get the look it's important to balance it with other items in the same shade (note the green tap and accessories in the kitchen, vases on the dining room table and vintage scales by the fireplace). Love the mid-century furniture too...






Photography: Brooke Holm with kind permission. Stylist: Megan Morton for Inside Out via Coco Lapine with thanks

Could you go green? Or perhaps you've seen another colour somewhere you like?

I've got something exciting to share with you tomorrow so make sure you pop back.....oooo, what could it be?!

Have a lovely day

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Danish knock on wood

In Scandinavia wood floor is obviously a huge part of any interior space. So I am often being asked what type of wood floor to go for, usually a tricky question. But today I think I have the answer - Dinesen. This Danish wood floor company does everything right. The distinctive wide wood planks made from Douglas Fir are simply stunning. And it helps that the spaces are too!







Dinesen 

Modern floor, classic, simple, white interior with incredible architect, I'm in love!

This post about wood floors raises the big debate and one I am always battling with as a Brit in Sweden. Swedes are forever asking - why do you have carpets in England? What is your take on wall to wall carpet versus wall to wall wood floor?

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In Copenhagen, An Enchanting Home In Shades of Soft Sea-Green

Have you ever been to Copenhagen? There's something about the relaxed vibe and their love of all things hygge which makes me feel immediately at ease. It's been a while since I've been, so today I thought we'd take a peek behind a facade in the leafy area of Fredriksberg. Danish interior stylist, brand and visual storyteller, Sedsel Roug lives in a beautiful 145 m2 (1560,77 feet) ground-floor apartment with her Colombian husband Louis Carlos and three children Isabel (8), Luis (3) and Gabriel (3). The space has all the characteristics of a late 19th century apartment - including original wood floors, towering ceilings and large windows which let in soft pools of light. The harmonious feeling is accentuated by Sedsel's love for pale sea-green walls, fabulous vintage and antique finds and lots of art. I caught up with Sedsel to find out more. 

Your apartment has beautiful bones - can you tell us a little more about the history of it?
It's an old apartment dating back to 1860 with original wood floors and a ceiling height of 3.10 metres! 

How would you describe your style?
I like that my home is an experience and that one gets surprised from the blend of styles. I like to decorate with vintage pieces and art and mix all kinds of materials and shapes. I am particularly passionate about marble, brass and velour. 

"My favourite item of furniture is the Romeo Reha brass shelf from Italy, which I found at caution many years ago. It's timeless and like a work of art."

Would you say your home is typically Danish? 
My home is inspired by many different styles and countries. I have lived abroad (Brussels, Plymouth and New York for eight years) and love to travel to South Europe where I find inspiration for furniture and art. I also love to mix Danish design with wood details. 

What inspired your colour scheme? 
I'm very inspired by flowers and art. I mix all the wall colours until I feel inspired by the colour. I tend to go towards shades of green-grey / light sea green which has been made up using a blend of paint leftovers!

The tones are beautiful! Can you advise on similar colour codes?
Colour codes 3495, 4491 and 4502 from Flügger are similar to the walls in my home. 

Where do you source items for your home? 
I have bought many items at auction in Germany and Italy. Actually, most of my furniture and accessories are vintage. I also adore upcoming artists and collect ceramics and art prints. 

Any favourite artists? 


Finally, what do you love most about your home? 
I love how my home is constantly changing (I like to move furniture around!). I also love the light - there's not much natural light as it is a ground floor apartment - but the light that does come in is peaceful and enchanting. 

So lovely! There's something enchanting about Sedsel's apartment, don't you think? I particularly  love the sea green palette combined with wood furniture. 

Is there anything that stood out to you?

Wanna see a little more? Take a peek at @sedselroug

In case you're curious about where some of the items are from (I know I was), here's a round-up:

Get the look from Sedsel's home


1. Bycdesign Mid Collection 08*
2. Ikea STOCKHOLM 2017 Cabinet
3. Hein Studio Ostrea ROCK Glass Vase
4. Afteroom Plus dining chair City Velvet*
5. The E1027 Collection No 05
6. H&M Cotton Satin Duvet Cover*
7. Hein Studio The wise man 01*
8. Skagerak Georg dining table
9. Bolia Lady Armchair
10. New Works Kizu Table Lamp

What amazing pieces! Time to go vintage bargain hunting...

Meet you at the antique market?

Niki

Photography: Sedsel Roug, shared with kind permission. 

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Mindful Decorating: Tips and A Tour of a Cosy Swedish Home in Holland

This grey, rainy Tuesday in Malmö calls for a day indoors - preferably in 'mysbyxor' (comfy track pants) and some very chunky knit socks (although these days I swear by my Swedish Shephard slippers!). Slightly further South, founder of Hemma Interiors Matilda Kristoffersson, a Swede living in Amersfoort, The Netherlands is cosying up at home with her Dutch husband Thijs and their three children Luuk (2.5 years) and newborn twins Joep and Lill. Matilda is an interior stylist who prides herself on a 'feeling first' approach. The mindful home has become a hot topic in recent times, especially as we find ourselves spending a copious amount of time indoors. I caught up with Matilda to find out a more about what it means and garner a few tips. 

Can you tell us a little about your house? 
We live in a terraced house measuring 135 square meters, divided over three floors. On the ground floor, we have our kitchen, dining, and living room as one open space with warm oak floors throughout. On the first floor we have our bedroom, family bathroom and our children's bedrooms  (Joep and Lill share a room). On the third floor, we have an attic space with high ceilings which serves as my workspace as well as a guest room for when my family comes over from Sweden. Both the first and second floor has white stained pine wood floors. I am very traditional Swedish in that I love white walls and light wooden floors. The house is situated on a quiet street in a newly built area with a canal just in front which we can see from our large windows in the kitchen and our bedroom. It is a great place for children to grow up and our son often plays with his friends out on the street in front of our house. 

How has being Scandinavian influenced your style and work? 
Being Swedish I think home is something really important. It gets pretty dark and cold during a big part of the year, so we tend to spend a lot of time in our homes, and that of our friends. I am very passionate about helping and inspiring others to create a home that truly makes them feel good and “at home” via my company Hemma Interiors (hemma means "home" in Swedish). I do this via my Instagram, my Online Course in Mindful Interior, and a new Guided Room Meditation that I am about to release. 

That sound really exciting, I'll be keeping a look out for your course! How has your interest in mindfulness and your Swedish background contributed to your home decorating? 
I take a mindful and “feeling first”  approach to how I decorate our home. This means that I think about how I want to feel in a space, and then connect this to design and style choices. So there is quite a mix of styles in our home with a more rustic kitchen, minimalistic bedroom, eclectic and classic look in the living room. But our entire home is still very Scandinavian I would say. In order to have a peaceful flow in the house, each space still has a similar color palette and materials; I’m very traditional Swedish in that I love a white wall and natural wood. We buy most of our furniture second hand as I believe that it is the best for our environment and it gives a very personal feeling to a home. I also buy a lot from IKEA (also second hand often) which I hack and upgrade to make my own. This really gives an outlet for my creativity.


Mindful decorating has become a big topic lately, can you tell us more about it?
When people hear I combine mindfulness and interior, they assume that it must mean minimalism and light colors, kind of like walking into a yoga studio. But in reality, a mindful interior does not necessarily mean that it looks in a certain type of way, but rather it is about the power of really tuning into our own personal style and focusing on how you really want to feel in your home, rather than how it looks from an outside perspective. Something I call “Feeling First” interior.

I think how we feel in our homes have become even more important over the last few months as we spend so much time in them now. Our homes are, and can be, so much more than just a place where we eat, sleep and watch TV. It is truly a space that we can use to relax, spend loving time with family and friends, and fully be ourselves in. 
  

How does mindful decorating differ from the usual way you might approach decorating a home? 
Decorating your home in a mindful way, 'Feeling First' instead of 'Design First', flips around the traditional decorating and interior process. You start off by exploring how you want to feel in your home, and then think about what type of colors, materials, designs and styles fit with this feeling. It is about starting from who you are and realizing your own personal style in your home, rather than trying to recreate that of someone else. And by doing so, empowering yourself to be and show who you really are in your home. Because if we are not able to celebrate our true selves in our own homes, then where else?


Do you have any tips for anyone looking to try a mindful approach to decorating? 
To me, the core of mindfulness is to embrace what is and be grateful for what you have in the now - because at the end of the day that is all we ever have - this moment now. By embracing what our homes are right now we can decorate from a place of gratitude and start to truly connect to how we want to live in them. I believe that we all have something that I call “Interior Intuition”, a sort of powerful guiding gut feeling of how we want our homes to look and feel. The trick is just to learn how to connect to it, and trust it. 


Here are three tips to get your started: 

  1. Dare to listen to, and trust, your own interior intuition
  2. Start with gratitude. Embrace what is already there rather than get caught up in the things you don’t like 
  3. Think about how you want to feel in your space rather than how you want it to look

***

Thank you so much to Matilda for sharing her home tour and mindful interior tips. Oh - and a big congratulations are in order on little Joep and Lill! 

You can find out more about Matilda's online courses here.

I hope you found this topic as interesting as I did - do share your thoughts below, I'd love to hear them! 

Niki

Photography: Matilda Kristofferson 

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