Posts in Interiors
4 Everyday Swedish Design Staples For Creating A Scandinavian Home

Do you want to see some everyday Swedish design that I use daily in my Stockholm apartment? I bet you could imagine that moving to the heart of Scandinavia for a few years, as I have, comes with its temptations.

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To be truthful, it is taking every inch of my self-control to not empty my bank account and fill my home with the beautiful things that I’m constantly faced with! That being said, I am slowly adding some key pieces designed in Sweden that I know will stay with me for years to come and remind me of this special time here. Would you like to have a little peek?

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1 // Bold Cushions

Scandinavians love bold, graphic prints on their cushions. I have loved Elizabeth Dunker of Fine Little Day’s designs, based in Gothenburg, from day one. I purchased this recently and I have to admit that I did my calculations wrong and bought an oversized one. I’m so glad that I made this mistake!

I absolutely love this statement cushion on the sofa and it is so comfortable to sit back on and relax. Just so you know, it does come in a regular size.

Actually, there are so many gorgeous things that I have been coveting in the Fine Little Day online shop and I can’t wait to one day visit it in person when I go to Gothenburg. You may have seen that and met with Elizabeth when she was in Sweden.

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2 // Candles, Always, in Stylish Holders

The by Design House Stockholm gets so much use in our home, especially at this time of year! You may have heard that daylight is minimal in this part of the world during the colder months. Very soon, at the winter solstice, the sun will set at 2:45pm in the afternoon and in the north of Sweden, the day will be in almost complete darkness!

It’s not all bad though because everything gets all lovely and hyggeligt.  You’ve no doubt heard of this Danish term, “Hygge”, well the concept is very much in use all around Scandinavia. One of the ways that they combat, or should I say, “embrace” this darkness, is by lighting candles around the home. As soon as I arrive home in the afternoon after collecting the children from school, I light this candleholder on the windowsill. I’m not alone. When I look out to the other apartments on the street, I see candles flickering through the windows. The Nordic Light Candleholder is a design classic, and it’s one that I’ve admired for years, before finally purchasing it here. I love how the arms can be moved around to form different shapes.

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Special mention on the windowsill: . This is a guide to living a balanced and happy life. “Lagom” means “just right” and is often used to describe the Swedish way. They truly put lifestyle and experiences as a high priority and I have to say, I have not yet met a stressed person here. Niki of captures the meaning perfectly in this little book and gives examples of how you can inject a little of this secret into your life.  

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3 //Vintage Swedish Design

Shown here is the Sirocco Safari chair by Arne Norell and the table by Bröderna Miller. I love to include some vintage design pieces in my home, and since moving here, we have discovered the art of online auctions! It’s a great way to grab a design piece at a fraction of the cost. Note that this doesn’t always happen, so you need to put all emotions aside and decide on a maximum price that you will pay. 

What we have are not in the perfect “as new” condition, and there are a few scratches and scuffs, but I like that lived in look; it gives a home a little more character. Here in Sweden, we’ve used two auction houses, , who I believe ships internationally and . If this service isn’t available to you, bargains can always be found around the world on .  Search under “mid-century Swedish or Scandinavian design” 

Special mention on the table: Let Them Eat Cake plate by . This is a lovely brand collaborating with Swedish Designers and Tunisian artisans. 

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4 // Clever, Good-Looking Storage

Swedes have interesting ways to store things, especially in the kitchen and office. Granit is my go-to-store here in Sweden for anything practical and stylish. This is perfect to stow away the latest magazines that I’m reading and great to create a mood board with inspirational images and objects, along with the more practical things. Adding something like this to the wall really pulls the look together. 

Special mention on the desk: . This is one of the pieces from the fantastic HAY + IKEA collaboration you may have seen here. If you’re after some very affordable, beautifully designed furniture and accessories, you need to check this out. In fact, just today I picked up a few more items from this collection. 

I hope you enjoyed a little look at some everyday Swedish design that I have introduced to my home. Did you spot anything here you’d like for yourself? Do you have any favorite Swedish brands?

(Article and Photography by: )

8 Stylish Ways To Decorate + Live With Plants

Hi hi hi! I'm back from Italy and thought today that I would give you some decorating inspiration by covering PLANTS because I saw lots of them in Bologna. I recently came across a copy of the lovely new book, by and , the founders of Australian plant-wares label, , with photography by and published by . I asked this creative duo if they'd be so kind as to give us 8 tips for decorating with plants since they are the plant and plant decor experts.

  Plant Style: How to greenify your space  by  Alana Langan  and  Jacqui Vidal

Plant Style: How to greenify your space by and

Personally, I can't deal with a lot of anything at home - toys everywhere, clutter, pets, little things laying around, flowers or plants. To walk into a room that is busy busy busy makes me crazy crazy crazy. For me, a room is like a photo. Balance, negative space, focal point, light, well edited -- then I can feel good. If you are the same, then you will like Plant Style because it's showing plants in a fresh way that doesn't fit the 70s but works with modern living and what usually comes with that - no time, traveling, busy!

When I cracked open my copy of Plant Style I felt like this book spoke to me, it's both beautiful and educational. It's also a small book, so it doesn't take up much space and you can bring it with you to the plant store to point out the plants you want to buy or custom order (I will do this!). It's a lovely book, I think you will really enjoy it too.

  Alana Langan (left) and Jacqui Vidal (right), IVY MUSE Co-Founders.

Alana Langan (left) and Jacqui Vidal (right), IVY MUSE Co-Founders.

Here are 8 tips from Alana and Jacqui for cattledogs readers on how to have a lovely home that you share with plants instead of a home that plants share with you! :)

  Page 39 of Plant Style

Page 39 of Plant Style

TIP 1:

The key to styling your living room with greenery is to get to grips with its special features, and then make the most use of them. Does it have period details like picture rails (perfect for hanging plants), a fireplace with a mantle (an ideal spot to create a green focal point) or does it have lots of open-plan space (endless options for plant styling)! Whatever your space may be, adding plants will increase the tranquility and feel of the room.

  Page 89 of Plant Style

Page 89 of Plant Style

TIP 2:

Bathrooms are generally the simplest room in a house, and to be honest, they can be a bit boring. Even the smallest of plants can help soften bathrooms, breathing life and texture into them. As bathrooms are often small, to really make the most of the space, take your greenery vertical; plant hangers, wall pots and even air plants attached to the wall are great options.

  Page 93 of Plant Style

Page 93 of Plant Style

TIP 3:

Most plants enjoy bright conditions that are out of direct sunlight, and kitchens usually have at least one of these areas. There’s often space for plants to spread out - shelves, windowsills, benches, cabinetry or, at the very least, the top of the fridge.

  Page 108 of Plant Style   

Page 108 of Plant Style
 

TIP 4:

The key to keeping your plants thriving is to check them regularly. With so much time spent in and out of the kitchen, this becomes second nature.

  Page 129 of Plant Style

Page 129 of Plant Style

TIP 5:

Sitting at eye level with plenty of room to play with, fireplace mantles are worth adding into your styling repertoire. Mix and match your plant choices to include different shapes, textures and tones. If your fireplace isn’t being used, try turning the hearth into an extra plant nook.

  Page 131 of Plant Style

Page 131 of Plant Style

TIP 6:

To add extra interest, pepper shelves with personal trinkets in a variety of shapes and shades. It pays to keep things balanced too - if all the plants are on one side, it will look disjointed. Use a mix of upright and trailing plants to give your ‘green shelfie’ variation and texture.

  Page 133 of Plant Style

Page 133 of Plant Style

TIP 7:

They may take a little practice to perfect, but ‘green shelfies’ are worth their weight in gold when you get them right. Focus on using spacing, texture and shape to best effect. Allow tendrils to float downwards to grab your attention, then create a visual journey with a variety of plants and pots.

  Page 152 of Plant Style

Page 152 of Plant Style

TIP 8:

Bench seats provide flat space while remaining completely functional. Side tables and stools of varying heights create a staggered effect that gives each plant its own visual space. Free up space for plants on your bedside by using pendant lighting.

Great tips! Thank you ladies for stopping by cattledogs today. :)

READERS: BUY A COPY (UK) OR (GERMANY). Book will release in the USA in May 2018.

Photography , Styling: .

 

9 Great Ideas To Make Your Home Cozy For Winter

Hello everyone, we made it through Monday so only four more days to go until the weekend! Ha ha! Seriously though, let's get a little inspiration going today, because the gray and cold weather has set in over here and it's getting dark at 4:30 pm, so I could really use some interior inspo! As I was flipping through the catalog today looking for gifts, I thought about how many cozy ideas I kept spotting through their product styling. How about we look at 9 examples together of cozy winter decorating ideas as I take you through some nice ideas? Ready?

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1 // If you have the space, place a cozy chair next to a window because trust me, you need all the natural light you can get when winter sets in. Push the curtains open (or skip curtains if you don't need them and opt for privacy shades for the evening), make some tea and read a good book near the winter. Add a sheepskin throw to warm up your feet. Doesn't this scene already make you feel the hygge charm?

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2 // You don't need to go overboard with decorating your home during the winter months. A simple plant in a pot in a warm tone can instantly make a space feel more cozy. Stacks of books are always nice too.

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3 // Throws and pillows. Always. And mix the materials - velvet, faux fur, wool, etc. If you live in Florida or Barcelona, it may be winter but certainly not as cold as it can be for those of us living up towards Scandinavia. This photo represents a nice way to have a cozy winter touch at home even if you're not expecting cold weather.

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4 // Warm yellows and golds, wood and natural materials. In spaces that are very white and bright, you can mix in warm tones to change the vibe from clinical to cozy with just a few elements. It's really so easy to add warmth - you don't need to paint the walls in dark tones or go crazy with typical winter tints and tones. Just mix in some warm tones and natural materials. Easy!

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5 // With the Urban Jungle Blogger movement in full swing, you can't help but see plants in every interiors shop. Luckily, plants are not only affordable, healthy, and beautiful interiors "accessories" but they can be housed in a myriad of gorgeous vessels to create an inspiring and cozy vignette. For a cozy winter-y look, go with terra cotta, pottery in festive or moody colors, or opt for brushed metals in copper or brass.

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6 // I love the boho vibe for home but am not a fan of tons of "stuff" so this is my version of a well-edited nook for eating and rela at home with just enough to feel cozy without looking like a tornado hit. I'm not a minimalist and certainly not a maximalist, I like a little bit of a balance between both. For a cozy winter home with a boho vibe, add a wall hanging (a rug in this case) or macrame, and something else handmade, like a chunky knit throw or in this case, a rug.

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7 // Candles and a mix of materials are always cozy together because they appear so random and casual. When things aren't fussy and match-y match-y, a home feels more cozy. I love the flicker of candles too - nothing feels more lovely in the winter months to me than candles glowing in the afternoon and evening at home.

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8 // I really like using windowsills to display things, particularly plants or pretty glassware with flowers. I like this assortment because the colors are a mix of cool and warm, so you can use your summer glassware with more winter toned vases and metals to give a winter wonderland vibe. I don't think you need to swap everything out to create a seasonally appealing home, it's all about combinations that work and getting the colors right.

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9 // I couldn't love this more! Sure, it's not so "winter-y" looking but you could mix in some pine and a small potted fir tree decorated with a few ceramic ornaments and you'd certainly have a pretty winter display! I like the various table heights and find this to be a more impressive display for plants - it feels cozy with the wall hangings too, don't you think?

What are some of your "cozy tips" for winter?

(photography and styling: )

The Perfect Gift For The Holidays To Share Your Cherished Photos

I recently gave my husband a special anniversary present that combined his photos with some of my own. Do you want to see what I gave him and how I did it? I worked with in England, where you can commission a custom piece using your own photography or child's artwork, to create a very special work of art for your home. Here are some of our photos for the piece.

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I'll talk more about the process in the moment, but I want to cut straight to when the piece arrived. I was so happy! I had tears of joy running down my face. It was so touching to see our family photos together in a grid of and so beautifully made. From the beautiful frame to the overall quality of the work, I was deeply touched and impressed.

My husband loved his gift and my little boy was happy too. From the birth of our son until this year (he's 3 1/2 now), we have made some of the most precious photos of him and included them in this piece. All who visit our home take time to look at each little square and comment on things they like -- a smile, a gesture, a memory, whatever it is that caught their eye. This is a great conversation piece. My little boy loves to look at it frequently too. We've installed the piece in our bedroom above my dresser, as you can see below.

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This artwork also gives my home a warmer, more cozy feeling because it is so personal. It shares the first three years of my son's life - his birth and toddler years, which I find absolutely the most precious, scary, exciting, nerve-wrecking, emotionally intense time of my entire life. Now that he's older, it's so much less intense (though we are currently potty training him - omg!) but I'll never forget bringing him home and how the things changed immediately upon his arrival. The feeling, the energy, all of it. It was magical and like walking slow motion through your own dream, yet you're awake.

I'll never forget the first three years with a new baby. It was surreal and wonderful and just every single emotion you could imagine having, all placed into a capsule of time that you can never relive, get back, change, or even fully remember in the years to come. Luckily, we can take photos and freeze memories and emotions. Yet, most of us have thousands of photos on our computers and phones just taking up space. Get those photos sorted and create a piece of art! Really! Do something with them to take them into your home and show them in a stylish, creative way.

For me, saving the first three years of his life in photos, was absolutely essential and why I choose this time period for the commission. Seeing the piece daily is a big reminder of phase in my life that I will always remember with the fondest memories. A child really changes everything and with that, comes great change in yourself and the dynamic of your family overall.

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I was thinking about something the other day, concerning photos and family. Do you remember when you used to visit your grandparent's house as a child, and you'd roam around looking at all of the framed family photos? They'd be all over the fireplace mantle, on a special "photo table", in a cabinet, and always in the hallway on the walls or along the stairs going up to the second floor. Then, the photo albums. So many! Grandma loved to drag them out and show every single photo. Mine did this so often, but I was the rare kid who happily flipped through those albums mesmerized by all of the people and places that I saw. I remember feeling so warm and connected to my family this way. I saw similarities in facial features, gestures, and even in personal style of some of my family members and me. It was so interesting. Plus, grandma always had good sweets to share as we flipped through her albums. She'd have the candles on, a tray of sweets, some tea out and the television on in the background - usually the evening news or some classic show like I Love Lucy, which back then, was a classic already.

You know what? When my grandparents died (a year apart), I went to their home and my mother told me to take what I wanted. I took the photos albums. That's all I took. And I'm so glad that I did because when I'm homesick for my life in America, or want to relive some of my family history, I take them out and spend time with these precious albums. They help connect me to simpler times with my grandmother sitting close by with her hand on mine.

 My little boy loves to look at his photos with mama and papa. :)

My little boy loves to look at his photos with mama and papa. :)

Nowadays, when I look through design books and magazines, I don't see anything really personal in most homes. I don't see family photos on the walls so much, I don't feel like I can get a real sense of the people living there because most homes appear to be overly styled, depersonalized, lack intimacy and warmth, and a bit like a boring catalog. I'm personally fighting against this now more than ever in my home. Since having a child, I've decided to bring back some of the earlier feelings I had when I was at the home of my grandparents as a kid.

I want Aidan to see his artwork on the fridge (and it always is!), his photos around our home, greeting cards from friends and postcards posted around the family calendar on the wall (yes, a real calendar, not on my computer!), and I want our home to feel like there are real people living here and creating memories. This commission was one part of my rebellion against overly-decorated fussy home decor that has plenty of style but no heart. Why can't you have BOTH?

YOU CAN.

worked closely with me to get the piece exactly as I wanted it. I thought to incorporate some seasonal nature photos so that not every photo was with a face. I liked mi it up and adding in nature shots since we spend so much time with our child outdoors. We had him in the forest on the 7th day of his life in the stroller, with his eyes to the sky looking through the leaves hovering over him. We are with our little boy in the forest nearly each day and on the weekends, in the countryside or mountains taking long walks and hikes.

I liked the care and attention of Natalie, the owner of , took in helping me to get the order of the photos right so that visually, the piece was rela, pretty and the colors were right. I went through and made sure all of the colors were correct before submitting them, but then she handled final tweaks and all of the cropping. I love her good eye and attention to detail.

I have to mention that I'm often a hard person to please when it comes to art and photography - and layout. I am so critical of the layout of most things - rooms, books, websites, art! Maybe you can relate. When Natalie sent me the first draft of the grid layout, I was shocked. There were so few edits on my part. This was a massive relief. I was worried that this piece would take weeks to get right because I'm a hard customer to please. It was refreshing to see that it took her very little time.

The piece came delivered to me in Germany from England and upon unbo, I stood in my dining room in awe. I'll never forget that feeling of being happy to the core over a material possession because in many ways, I've seen it all when it comes to decor - so I'm also not easily impressed. But this piece, it was absolutely touching and now that I've had time to live with it for 3 months, I can honestly say I like it more now than I did when it arrived. It really has a forever spot in our home.

Thank you Natalie and Little Squares Gallery for your lovely work on this photography commission!

NOTE: Holiday 2017 orders should be placed by 17th November. If you want to win a piece from The Little Square Gallery with , visit me on until November 15th to enter. You can enter showing the above art.


(This post was sponsored by Little Squares Gallery. All words are my own. I only share on cattledogs what I believe in and own myself when I decide to work with any brand or business. I am happy to suggest Little Squares Gallery to my readers.)