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15 Small Festive Touches To Cosy Up Your Home, Swedish Style


This weekend we had our first flurry of snow, and it's brightened up our world! Even so, the chill has meant we've really had to baton down the hatches and ramp up the hygge in our homes! And with the First Sunday of Advent just around the corner (traditionally the day Scandinavians start to decorate their homes for Christmas), I've been busy finding pretty yuletide inspiration. It's too early for a tree, at least in my mind, but there's no harm in starting to think about adding small cosy touches, right? Here are a few simple ideas I love from Sweden: 

1. Overhead wreath: don't reserve wreaths just for the door, string them up over the table for a pretty display. Add battery run fairy lights or candles to bring a warm glow to mealtimes. 

2. Oil lamps: brighten up your home and enjoy evenings under the soft glow of an oil lamp - they can burn for ours at a time! 

3. Swap your usual pendant light for a star! Swedes go to great lengths to transform their homes each season. I love this star lamp from Watt & Weke, it adds a lovely festive touch to the room at Christmas!

4. Lay foraged branches on the table: Find whatever you can in your garden, the nearby park or woods and lay it along the centre of your dining table for a pretty yet simple in-season touch. 

5. Mini, undecorated trees: I know I said this wouldn't include Christmas trees, but who can resist a mini tree in a vase? Left undecorated, it doesn't become overly festive which means you can get away with it as early as you like. It's a great way to bring nature indoors. 

6. Ramp up the candleholders: Group together candleholders in all shapes and sizes to bring light and warmth to the table. 

7. Light up your windows: This Sunday, every window in Sweden will be lit by an adventsljusstaker (advent candle - this one is called Tilpi and available here*) like the one seen above or a star lantern. It really helps to brighten ups the darkness, and feels so welcoming to arrive home to! 

8. Bouquets of Christmas flowers: In-season blooms are a great way to add a touch of colour. Swedes love amaryllis and hyacinths in particular! 

9. Garlands of dried oranges: Dry orange slices and thread them into a garland to make a pretty display in the window. 

10. Window wreath: wreaths don't need to be ostentatious affairs, especially early on in the festive period. A dainty green wreath adds a cosy touch to a window.

11. Gingersnap garland: Thread together pepparkaka for a garland that's good enough to eat! It will fill your home with the sweet smell of cinnamon too! 

12. Paper stars and snowflowers: Swedes love to hang paper stars in the windows, cabinet doors or just about anywhere else in their homes. Add light so they glow up at night!  

13. Wall or window hung candles*: So much prettier than a sconce - a wall hung candle will brighten up the darkest corner of your home. 

14. Don't forget the bathroom: Swedes love to place candles* just about anywhere in the home - including the bathroom! And when it's cold outside, a candlelit bath or shower does wonders for the soul! 

15. Add subtle touches to your entranceway or deck: put a smile on others faces - and your own when you arrive home by placing simple festive touches outside your door. It's amazing what a simple lantern, wreath or bare tree can do to brighten up cold winters days! 

I hope this has put you in the mood for adding a few, subtle yet cosy winter touches to your home! 

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, when do you usually start decorating? And when does your tree go up? 

Would you like to see some more Christmas decorating ideas? Here are a few posts I hope you'll find inspiring: 


Have a great start to the week friends, stay warm! 

Niki


*Exercise extreme caution when using candles - always keep them away from flammable items, never leave naked flames unattended and enquire a fire extinguisher is nearby. 

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15 of my Favourite Local Malmö Hangouts


Paid partnership with Malmö Town, all words and pictures are my own

When you visit a new city for a couple of days it's very exciting, but it can also be a little overwhelming, especially when you don't know anyone who lives there and you're relying on tourist guides. The good news is, in Malmö you know me! And I'd REALLY like to make sure that if you ever visit, you have the best time! In the past I've posted winter and summer guides, but today I'd like to share 15 of my favourite local hangouts. 

The cafes, bars, restaurant and even a small theatre in this list, are places I regularly go to and more often than not, know the owners on a first name basis. They are just a small selection of the independent, small businesses that make Sweden's third largest city such a special, unique and relaxed place - a city I am proud to call home! I hope you'll visit some of these on your next trip to Malmö, I promise it'll make your time here even more enjoyable! 

Let's start with some of my favourite morning hangouts. 

1. Leve bakery



We often stop by at this wonderful plant-based bakery for Leve's version of  Swedish sweet treats such as 'dammsugare', cinnamon buns and chocolate balls - and on this occasion 'pepparkaka' (gingerbread biscuits). Ask for the day's speciality (they are always experimenting with exciting new recipes). And don't miss Fredagsmunk (the Friday doughnuts), they are an institution in Malmö! 


2. Patisseriedavid


Nestled in the corner of Malmö's historical St Gertrud quarter in the heart of Malmö, you'll find Patisseriedavid, a French patisserie run by well-known pastry chef David Fernandes. If you're feeling a bit 'cinnamon bunned' out, head here for absolutely delicious French pastries that look almost too good to eat!


3. Solde

This discreet cafe is easy to miss unless you know about it! Selling arguably the best coffee in town, enjoy your cup at the Solde bar and chat to the friendly barista or take a seat on the bench beside other Malmoeites. Oh, and don't leave without buying a bag of coffee beans from the Solde in-house roastery!

4. Noir Vin & Kaffekultur

Located just off picturesque Lilla Torg, 'Noir Wine and Cafe Culture' is a great meeting place. I love to go in the morning on my way to work (nothing beats a simple coffee and croissant on the street side terrace, watching the people of Malmö go past) - or at the weekends with my girls. It's also a great place for a glass of ecological wine at the end of a long day! 

5. Miloii


Just up the street, you'll find Miloii, one of my favourite clothing and interior boutiques. Although busy, Lena is always friendly and helpful - and when time and the weather permits, we'll grab a quick coffee on the bench outside. 

6. Ruths

Formerly named Bastard, Ruths serves one of the best brunches in town. It's also great for a fika (coffee and cake), lunch and supper. There's always the option of picking up some great locally produced supplies in the deli section on your way out too! 

7. Bise

Relatively new on the block, Bise prides itself on being 'intimate, familiar and international'. It's packed with locals at lunchtime who come here to tuck into the day's special - and transforms into a popular wine and cocktail bar by night.  

8. Nostra 

Opposite Triangeln shopping centre you'll find Nostra, owned by mother and daughter team  Gaalas and Soma. The interior has a relaxed, minimalist, Scandinavian vibe. Enjoy great sandwiches and a soup of the week or visit at the weekend for the all-day brunch. Order a cappuccino made from their own exclusively roasted beans, it's delicious! 

9. Marvin

A new kid on the block, Marvin on Davidshallstorg is where I go for my English pie fix - with other British friends (after all, you can take a girl out of England, but you can't take England out of the girl!). Experienced British chef Matthew Young creates the most delicious and beautifully presented pies (think chicken and leek, steak and ale  mushroom and Parmesan etc) and other English classics such as scotch eggs in a small, cosy and minimalistic setting. Needless to say, it quickly fills up at lunchtime so get there early.  

10. AB Småland

I simply wouldn't allow anyone to visit Malmö without a wander in the green lifestyle store AB Småland. It has everything: beautiful second hand and vintage interior items, a cafe and restaurant and lots of events (hence why it's made my hangout list!). 


11. Pivo


Nestled on a corner near Stor Torget, Pivo serves Czech food (tuck into their gulasch soup!) and beer in a cosy bar, which overflows onto the street in warmer weather. 

12. Victoria Teatern


Victoria Theater is a favourite among locals and touring bands - and not a month or two go by without Per and I booking a ticket for a gig.  Keep an eye on the events calendar to see which bands will be in town and make sure you book a small table so you can bring your own picnic. The atmosphere is cosy, understated and relaxed. 

13. Julie

If I'm meeting a friend, I'll often head to the relaxed, yet award winning Julie -a small wine bar in the old town for a catch up over a glass or three of wine and their delicious oven baked mont d'or cheese - made for dipping! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! 


14. Aster 

Tucked away in an industrial area not far from the central station, Aster is one of my go-to restaurants for a celebration or bigger gatherings. The in-season dishes are delicious, the service is great and there's always a lively crowd. Book in advance, and don't miss their cocktails!  

15. L'énoteca


And finally, Per and my favourite wine bar - L'énoteca. The friendly cosy, candlelit bar, just off pretty Lilla Torg offers an assortment of over 300 different types of wine which have been carefully selected from small, independent winemakers who work sustainably, ecologically and with great care for the environment. Tell the friendly staff the type of aroma and taste you like, and they will guide you through a mini tasting until you find just the wine for you! 


Bonus hangout: something you shouldn't miss if you are in Malmö: a falafel! Everyone has their go-to place and mine is 'Super Falafel' (I always opt for 'everything' with mixed sauce, sometimes a little feta cheese too!). You'll find places serving falafel all over town, it's a great and inexpensive way to refuel! 

I hope this list of my favourite local hangouts proves useful on your next visit to Malmö! I always think it's nice to have some insider tips so you can find the places you might not discover otherwise. 

You might also like to see some of my other Malmö guides including: 


Would you like to peek inside a few Malmö homes too? Here are some I've featured recently: 

Malin's atmospheric family home (we're actually meeting for lunch today - her home is even more beautiful in real life!)

Right friends, that's it from me this week. I think I might just head to one of the above places tonight. I hope you've got some fun plans too!

See you Monday!

Niki

A big thank you to my partner in crime Sarah Wilson. daughter Allie and Per for helping me capture my favourite local haunts! 

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Sidsel's Elegant Copenhagen Home with a Snoozing Dog!


Many moons ago (I think we're talking four years) I featured Sidsel Garsdal's lovely Copenhagen apartment on My Scandinavian Home.  I've been following her on instagram ever since, and felt it was definitely time to see what the Dane has been up to! Sidsel her family and their dog Pablo divide their time between a flat in the heart of the Danish capital, where Sidsel works as a psychotherapist and their charming cabin on the island of Fejø

In their apartment, Sidsel has struck that wonderful balance between clean and clutter free and homely. The trick: a mix of materials and textures, beautiful wood floors, rugs and art - and a gently snoozing dog! Let's take a look around!


The chairs around the table are a mix of classic wishbone and old Danish school chairs. The incredible table was a secondhand find. 

My eyes are on the armchair - I bet it's so cosy to sit in! The armchair and sofa are danish design pieces by Formal A. The mirror coffee tables by Kristina Dam Studio are also very cool and a great way to lighten up a space. The La Cava rug is from Jotex. 

Light therapy spot, right there! So important in the Nordics! 


I love the vintage table - and also can't help but notice Sidsel's cowboy boots, one of this season's hottest trends. Will you be rocking a pair? 


The PAX closet is from IKEA which Sidsel has painted in 3372 from Flügger



It's not uncommon for beautiful old apartments in Scandinavia to have a decorative communal stairwell. Some have wonderful old lifts too. I love the blue shade and stain glass window in this one! 

I hope you enjoyed revisiting Sidsel's apartment as much as I did today!

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

Take a peek inside more danish homes: 


I'm on my way to the cabin today for a few photoshoots. It's so tricky with the limited light, but I'm looking forward to sitting by the fire with a glass of wine tonight!

I hope you have a great Lillördag too!

Niki

Photography: Sidsel Garsdal, shared with kind permission

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A Design-Filled Hamburg Apartment, with Fabulous Sky High Ceilings

Sometimes the world is smaller than we think. And since moving to Sweden, I am still amazed at just how near other European countries are. Hamburg in Germany, for example is a short 4 hour hop on the train. But there's no train ride needed today as we can look inside an interior from the city through the lens of freelance photographer Oezlem Oezsoy (working name Mia Takahara). 

Oezlem has a beautiful apartment that's full of fabulous designer pieces and funky touches. A neutral background ensures the magic of these items remain star of the show, although it's also hard to ignore the beautiful architecture and period features (some of which are painted gold!) which do wonders to take the apartment to a next level of fabulousness! Welcome to Oezlem's inspiring world! 

Stunning! 

I love the furniture and smaller accessories (every time I look through the pictures, I spot something new!). You can find the source of each item over at Oezlem's instagram - or please do ask below in the comments section and I'll do my best to help you. 

I also really like the tones and textures she has used on the walls and the tiling in the kitchen - very cool! 

Is there anything that stands out to you? 

Would you like to peek inside a few other Hamburg apartments today? Here are a few tours I've shown in the past: 


Have a great start to the week friends! 

Niki

PS After a weekend of not one but two big competitions for my girls (swimming for Liv and gymnastics for Allie) from 15.00 on Friday finishing 21.00 last night on opposite sides of Skåne - I am wiped. I wouldn't change it for the world, I'm so happy they have found their passion, but I think I age at least two years every competition from the nerves! To the unsung sports parents out there, ALL parents out there, I commend you! 

Photography: Oezlem Oezsoy / Mia Takahara

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