Snapshots From Ida's Charming, Vintage-Inspired Dalarna Home

Is it just me, or is it getting harder and harder to get up in the mornings? It doesn't help that it's pitch black and minus temperatures outside (and of course nothing to do with the glögg - honest!). But this gives us even more reason to make our homes as cosy as possible, right?! In my mind nothing adds cosiness like loppis (flea market) finds (candles aside obvs!) and Swedish photographer Ida Gustafsson has them in spades! Ida lives in her 1920's house in Ludvika, South Dalarna with her sambo (a great swedish word meaning 'live-in partner') Tom, and children Maja and Henry. The house has been decorated with patterned wallpapers, a wonderful eclectic mix of colour and the odd Swedish design classic (I see you Lilla Åland chairs!). Ready to take a peek inside?

The wall has been painted in Heart Wood by Nordsjö, Source a vintage architects chair here*
Pretty paper stars can be seen twinkling in the windows of homes across Scandinavia at this time of the year. Three alternatives I love include this flower*, a classic paper star* and this lovely snowflower lantern (seen in yesterday's home). 

I have a bit of a weakness for 'blossom' wallpaper by Mr Perswall - isn't it pretty?

In the guest room, Ida has applied traditional Tessin wallpaper
Baby, it's cold outside!
Oh so lovely! Such a personal, warm and inviting home, don't you think?
Check-out more pics from Ida's home here
And for more vintage inspired scandinavian homes: an idyllic summer cottage (and pink caravan!), a Danish home full of vintage treasures and an inviting Danish home with cosy touches
Have a cosy day! Stay warm!
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This is next on the wish-list for the house. Whilst I'm mindful of not buying things for the sake of it and I'm not sure where I'm going to put it I still absolutely want it. Period.
Image: Skagerak

Candles and Stars in A Cosy Swedish Home at Christmas

There are some homes which I find I come back to time and time again, simply because they are unique and utterly inspiring! This lovely one in Bagarmossen, Sweden is one of them! I have featured Janniche Kristoffersen's beautiful green and home before, but I couldn't resist sharing a few more with all the cosiness that December brings.  Janniche's 'barely-there' festive touches perfectly blend with the green, caramel, rust and off-white backdrop and there are plenty of non-christmassy ideas to steal too!

IVAR cupboards from IKEA. RAR rocker. Cushion in Water Lilies fabric by Fine Little Day.

"I actually don't decorate every room, but there are some things I always use. The paper stars are important, adding some light to the dark Nordic days, other than that I use a string of fairy lights to add some more light to shelves and around windows. I also love to decorate with flowers, mainly amaryllis but also branches with red berries etc. I also dry orange slices in the oven and make garlands. Nice and a very easy thing to do!" 
 - Janniche Kristoffersen. 

Woodburning stove from Morso, Snöblomma light from Watt & Veke.

Bedroom wall painted in Caramel by Alcro  Crinkle Throw* by Hay. Natural linen curtains*Bistro chair*, paper star and lights from Granit

5 Festive Traditions In Janniche's Home

Baking - We bake a lot of things: Lussebullar (Saint Lucia saffron buns), ginger bread, saffron biscotti and different types of fudge. The kids love it!

Adventsfika - Our weekends are fully booked up until Christmas eating our home-baked goodies with friends at home.

Decorating the Christmas tree - With the children

Visiting the Christmas market at Skansen - It's such a lovely place to get in the Christmas spirit. I just wish for some more snow to add a little more magic!

Celebrating Christmas Eve - We visit our family in Norway or Piteå, Sweden to celebrate Christmas Eve, so this is our main chance to enjoy a white Christmas :).

I love the sound of all of these traditions, it almost makes me want too go home and start baking!

If you'd like to see more of Janniche's home, check out her fantastic blog bloggaibagis and instagram @bloggaibagis.

What traditions do you enjoy?

Other Swedish homes to brighten up the start of the week: peach and rust tones in an elegant Norwegian home, a free-spirited Swedish family home on an island and a charming German home with three mischievous cats!

Great if you can help me out a little - is there anything you'd like to see more or less of in the run up to Christmas? Looking for any particular round-ups? If so, give me a shout below and I'll see what I can do!

Have a wonderful start to the week!


Photography: all pictures by Janniche Kristoffersen except number 8 by David Jerner and Emma Wallmén for Granit. 

Affiliate links marked with *

Holiday Gift Tip: 20% off at TRIWA!

Ever since my Nikki Watch give-away, people have been asking about a TRIWA discount code - well, your wish is my command friends! The Swedish timepiece brand contacted me from their (very cool) atelier in Stockholm to offer you all 20% off up until Christmas Day (type in the code NIKI20 at checkout)! I gift wrapped this Ivory Nikki watch this morning - it's a Christmas present for a friend (who shall remain anonymous as I don't want to give the game away - shhhhhh!). Luckily I have one myself too or I'd have found it impossible to give it away, isn't it pretty?! 

The Nikki collection consists of three watches with different designs: Ivory NikkiGleam Nikki and Smoky Nikki - do you have a favourite?!

I also love their watches with organic leather straps (crafted by the Swedish tannery in Tärnsjö). The Rose Svalan is my wardrobe staple - it goes with everything!

It looks like 2019 could be one very punctual (and stylish)year thanks to TRIWA! What do you reckon?
TRIWA ship worldwide. The 20% discount code NIKI20 is valid until 25th December, 2018. 

This post is brought to you in collaboration with TRIWA. All words are my own and I am an extremely proud ambassador for this wonderful Swedish brand! 

The Very Scandi Christmas Gift Guide

I've heard some people start buying their Christmas presents in January (Guh! It must be rare, surely?!). But for the rest of us mere mortals - Christmas shopping season is officially in full swing! If you know someone who loves Scandi style, I hope this guide might just help you find the perfect pressie. Here's a round-up of some of my favourite gifts this year...

1. Anthropologie Saddle Ring Desk Collection
2. Triwa Ivory Nikki Watch
3. Muuto Focus Table Lamp
4. Vifa Reykjavik Speakers
5. Mini Boule Polished Brass Vase
6. Pernille Bulow Boble table Lamp
7. Minna Formas II Pillow
8. Calligaris Lift Centerpiece
9. Muuto Control Table Lamp
10. Skultuna 1607 The Lily Candlestick Brass

1. Emma Coffee Vacuum Jug
2. Muuto Open Candle Holder
3. Lauren Wall Shelf
4. Hasami Porcelain Plate in Natural
5. Raawii Small Ceramic Vase in Blush
6. LouLou Avenue Melancholic Print
7. Stone Lava Speckled 12-Piece Dining Set
8. Ferm Living Fein Measurement Spoons
9. SKANDINAVISK Rosenhave Ceramic Candle

1. Sin Ceramics Wrapped Stoneware Taper Holder
2. HAY Medium Bast Basket
3.Ferm Living Ripple Carafe
4. Kähler White Pitcher
5. Design Ideas Savoy Letter Sorter
6. Skandavisk Mini Vinter Candle Set
7. SVENSKT Tenn Tea Blend
8. Lagom, The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life
9. H&M Metal Photo Frame in Gold
10. Cooee Collar Ceramic Vase

Notice how I couldn't resist dropping in my Lagom book - sorry! I know it's probably not really de rigour BUT I do feel it makes a lovely present (she says without any bias...). And it's available in 12 languages (my latest favourite is the Japanese version, it's so pretty!).

I hope this gift guide helps you to put a smile on someone's face!

Happy shopping!


Easy Christmas styling with paper decorations

Easy Christmas styling with paper decorations | These Four Walls blog

Today I want to share a simple but striking festive arrangement using a foraged branch and paper decorations – ideal if you need a bit of last-minute Christmas inspiration, or you don’t have much spare time to spend decking the halls.

It was inspired by arrangements created by fellow bloggers Elisabeth Heier and Carla Sofie Molge, and it was incredibly easy to do – I just chopped a nicely shaped section of branch off a tree in the garden, placed it in a glass vase and added some decorations in blush-pink and grey (always one of my favourite colour combinations). I also stood a trio of paper trees on the surface beneath, tucking the hanging strings inside the folds to hide them from view.

The decorations I used actually came from Rose & Grey’s 2017 Christmas collection (you can see how I styled them then here), but they have similar ones this year, too. You can also find a wide selection of paper decorations at Amara and Mon Pote.

Easy Christmas styling with paper decorations | These Four Walls blog

Easy Christmas styling with paper decorations | These Four Walls blog

Easy Christmas styling with paper decorations | These Four Walls blog

If you want to have a go at doing something similar, try to use a heavy-based vase so that it can support the branch; if you don’t have anything sturdy enough, you can always add some pebbles to weigh it down. And of course you don’t have to stick to paper decorations – just bear in mind that anything too heavy is likely to make everything topple over.

Easy Christmas styling with paper decorations | These Four Walls blog

Easy Christmas styling with paper decorations | These Four Walls blog

Easy Christmas styling with paper decorations | These Four Walls blog

I’ve placed my arrangement on the console table in our hallway, as I wanted to create a festive atmosphere to greet guests when they arrive, but it would look fantastic on a mantlepiece or hearth, too. You could even use it as a centrepiece in the middle of your dining table, or have a larger floor-standing version in place of a traditional Christmas tree.

All photography by Abi Dare

The post Easy Christmas styling with paper decorations appeared first on These Four Walls.

A Norwegian House By A Fjord

A friend of mine visited Zanzibar a few weeks ago and told me she's found her special place. "It was something to do with the light, I can't really explain it, but it gave me so much energy," she said. I understood immediately. I feel the same about Norway. If you haven't been, it's a MUST - the scenery is magical! One family who get to enjoy the power of the nature daily is Eldrid, Martin and their little son Aron. The family live in a house overlooking one of Norway's most stunning fjords in Stranda in the SunnmØre region of Western Norway.  These snapshots from the main living room beautifully capture a home where nature is the order of the day - inside and out! 

"Soon the snow will melt, the waterfalls will make music again and the green beauty of the fjord will spring forth." - Eldrid

Could you imagine looking out over this fjord? The weather changing every five minutes as it rolls in off the North Sea - so dramatic!

We're going skiing in Hemsedal in early January - I can't wait! If you have any tips I'd love to hear them!

You can see more pics for Eldrid's cabin here and read more about the region here (I see you can ski there in the winter!)

Naturally I can't wrap up the post without sharing a few more inspiring Norwegian cabins with you! Here are a few I love: a magical Norwegian mountain cabin, a rustic Norwegian cabin hide-away and a cosy Norwegian ski chalet.

Where's your special place?


Photography: House By The Fjord shared with kind permission


Such festive cuteness from House Doctor. I've been absent (super busy time - of course), but I'll be back with Monday links shortly *just two days late* :))))

Understated (Yet Super Pretty) Christmas Decorations In a Swedish Home

I'm a little distracted this morning. There's a loads of Russian sweets in our kitchen and I keep going back for more. I could just bring the whole box over to my desk but then I'll have lost (obviously each time I go in is the last). This is exactly why I don't have treats in my home (not even a packet of Hobnobs!). How are you with things like this?! Another home that's full of treats - is this one in Norrtälje just outside Stockholm. Built in 1890, the house belongs to the talented Emily Slotte, her husband Christian, children Vinnie (1), Blake (4), Engla (13) and dog Franka. I'm talking a feast for the eyes, rather than sweet treats (although I'm pretty sure there are some hiding in Blake and Engla's advent calendars!). Not only is Emily a dab hand at interiors - decorating her home with beautiful furniture and accessories in a soft, muted colour palette she's also an amazing lifestyle photographer. Little wonder her subtle pared-back Christmas touches caught my eye. It's time to get festive friends...

Two candlelit wreaths replace an electric light to bring warmth and cosiness to the setting. 

The family Christmas table is set with Ittala Essence Plus wine glasses, brass cutlery, a grey linen tablecloth* and dark grey napkins*. And of course schnapps glasses (altogether now: "helan går...!"). Simple branches of pine run along the centre and are dotted with white hyacinths.

I love the grey-blue of a eucalyptus leaf - it looks so pretty wrapped around a brass wreath, don't you think?

Sometimes simple brown wrapping paper and string is all you need for presents (see more rustic gift wrapping ideas here and here). It helps that Emily has an absolutely beautiful rustic table too!

Simple hyacinth vases like these (available here) are popular at Christmas time in Sweden - and look beautiful dotted around the house. I love how they fill a living space with a delicious scent too! 

In Blake's room, an In the woods Christmas advent calendar from Danish brand Fabelab hangs over the bed - ready to be opened each morning!

This pretty star advent calendar has been reinvented by Emily so that it hangs from a branch. 
What a lovely home- and such simple, yet pretty festive touches! I'm feeling inspired to get cracking on my own now, how about you?
See more of Emily's beautiful home on her instagram feed @emsloo and blog Emsloo
And for more Swedish Christmas inspiration, you might also like to step inside a mysigt Swedish family home at Christmas, subtle festive touches in a Swedish home and a cosy swedish home ready for Christmas
I'm curious to know, what are your Christmas decorating musts each year? 
Have a lovely, cosy day!
Photography: Emily Slotte, shared with kind permission. 

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My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | The reveal

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

We’ve lived in our house for just over four years now, but it’s still far from finished – not least because rather than move onto areas that we haven’t yet touched, I’ve spent the last few months redoing rooms that we’d already decorated! First up was the living room, and now I’m excited to be able to share the results of the next makeover on the list: the dining room.

This room is one of the most frequently used spaces in the house (we don’t have an open-plan kitchen so this is where we eat and where we gather with family and friends) but, as with the living room, I’d never been 100% happy with the way I’d decorated it first time round. You can get a glimpse of what it used to look like and read about my plans in this post, but essentially my aim was to replace the previous bluish-grey scheme with something a little warmer, while keeping the minimalist feel. A lot of the furniture was also beginning to look very scruffy thanks to cat claws and my own clumsiness, and I’d never been keen on the chunky dark-wood table that we bought in hurry when we first moved into the house. So, here’s what I did…

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

The colour scheme

As strange as it sounds, the monochrome colour palette was inspired by a cream and charcoal rug from Swedish company Nordic Knots, which now forms the basis of the entire room. The walls were already painted in a soft white, but the cool undertones of the previous scheme didn’t do it justice. It’s now paired with black and natural oak, which bring out its warmth and create a look that’s smart yet inviting. I’ve also incorporated a few grey and chrome accents to give a bit of continuity with the living room next door, and I’ve softened the room’s many angles with billowing semi-sheer curtains that pool on the floor.

The furniture

Like most rooms in our house, the furniture and accessories used here are a mix of investment pieces that we saved up for and cheaper items from the likes of IKEA. The biggest spend was the solid-oak table from Rose & Grey, but it was well worth the money. I’d had my eye on it for ages, so despite the cost it was the quickest decision of the whole project! I love the tapered legs and the way the wood is laid in a chevron pattern on top, adding a bit of detail to an otherwise minimalist piece.

Finding the right chairs was much trickier. I’ve owned the vintage Bertoia side chairs for years and wanted them to act as statement pieces at either end of the table, so the hunt was on for a complementary design that wouldn’t fight them for attention. After a lot of indecision and several inconclusive Instagram polls, I finally settled on black ‘J77’ chairs from HAY – an understated, timeless and very practical design first created back in the 1960s.

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

The lighting

Another key element of the room is the lighting – essential for setting a relaxed, cosy atmosphere for informal meals. A pendant lamp suspended low over the table was a must, as it creates an important focal point in the centre of the room. I opted for the ‘Fluid’ light from Muuto as it’s simple but striking; it also emits a soft, diffused glow and can be dimmed to alter the mood.

I’d also like to add a floor lamp in the corner of the room to give another source of ambient light, but that isn’t essential and will have to wait until budget allows.

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

The shelves

The built-in dresser was here when we bought the house and provides a wonderful place to display treasured objects. It had started to look a little cluttered, though, so I spent an afternoon faffing around with it and pared things right back. The result is a curated selection of a few favourite pieces, including ceramics that I’ve collected over the years, a ‘Kubus’ candleholder (the first piece of classic Scandinavian design that I ever treated myself to!) and a trailing string-of-hearts plant. As I’m partial to a G&T, I decided to incorporate a handy bar corner with glasses and measures, too.

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

The artwork

The art was also carefully chosen, and I love the fact that all of it was made by talented friends. The bespoke ceramic artwork above the fireplace was a kind gift from potter Tracy Dixon, whose journey I’ve been following for a while. As well as minimalist vases and tableware, she crafts stunning made-to-order wall hangings formed from organic stoneware shapes attached to wooden boards, and no two are the same. I asked her to paint this one the same shade as the wall, but she can use whatever colour you want. The clematis print in the far corner of the room was purchased from fellow blogger and photographer Emma Lavelle, whose work has a wonderfully ethereal, dream-like quality.

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

So, there you have it: my minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover! I’m so pleased to have it ready in time for Christmas feasts, and I’m looking forward to styling the table for the festive season – inspiration for that to follow next week…

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | These Four Walls blog

Here’s a full list of everything I used in this room (items marked * were kindly gifted by the brands concerned):

‘Bergen’ solid-oak dining table, £795, Rose & Grey
HAY ‘J77’ chairs, £139 each, Utility Design
Vintage Bertoia side chairs, already owned
Large ‘Fluid’ pendant lamp, Muuto*
Cream and charcoal ‘Solid’ flat-weave rug, £359, Nordic Knots*
White fruit bowl, Hübsch
Bespoke ceramic artwork, price on application, Tracy Dixon*
‘HK’ pitcher, £195, Georg Jensen*
Chrome ‘Balance’ candleholder, €35, Ferm Living*
Grey ‘Stammen’ speaker, £219.99, Urbanears*
Black ‘Kubus 4’ candleholder, €138, By Lassen
Large white ‘Kubus’ bowl, €245, By Lassen*
Grey ‘Circle’ tray, 525 SEK (around £46), Cooee Design*
‘Ultima Thule’ glasses, £82 for a set of four, Iittala*
Dark grey ‘Sculpt’ vase, €55, Ferm Living
Other ceramics, collected from markets over the years
‘Clematis 2’ print, £25, Emma Lavelle
Grey ‘HILJA’ curtains, £12, IKEA
Smoked-glass ‘Burr’ bud vase, £12 for a set of three,*
‘Theo’ coffee brewer, £59.95, Stelton
Madam Stoltz black stoneware cups, £10 each, Stil Homeware
Grey waffle cloth / tea towel, £8.50, White Black Grey
‘Soft’ wooden board, 445 DKK (about £53), Skagerak*

Nordic Knots, Tracy Dixon and Muuto kindly gifted products for the makeover, but as always all words and opinions are my own. Several other items featured were also originally gifted by the brands concerned, as noted above.

All photography by Abi Dare

The post My minimalist yet warm dining-room makeover | The reveal appeared first on These Four Walls.

A simple festive table

Often what holds us back from inviting friends over to share a meal is that we put to much pressure on what having a dinner should look like. I’ve noticed that people actually feel a lot more relaxed and comfortable when you ‘ dress down’ the occasion a bit.

There are ways to take down the expectations a notch without loosing any of the atmosphere or special occasion that Christmas is really about.

Here is my guide to a simple festive table setting that takes no time at all but yet looks beautiful and enhances the experience.

  • A nice tablecloth is key and is a simple way of making it feel like a special occasion. Choose something that you can reuse time and time again.
  • Use your everyday dinnerware and cutlery so the setting feels more relaxed.
  • Folding napkins is a considerate but yet easy way to show that you’ve made some effort but without it feeling too pretentious. My favourite way to do this is to do the ‘Pocket fold’ which is super easy.

How to fold the pocket napkin

1. Place the napkin front facing the table
2. Fold it halfway up and halfway down
3. Then turn the napkin around
4. Fold half way from the right and then repeat
5. Then turn the napkin around again
6. Tie a ‘natural’ string’ with some herbs for decoration
7. Place the cutlery inside the pocked you’ve just folded

Products I’ve used in this setting
o Off white stone ware plates from West Elm (not on sale anymore)
o White cotton napkins
o Natural twine
o Vintage cutlery
Duralex water glasses
o Wine glasses
Tablecloth from H&M home
o Wreaths I made myself
o Vintage candleholders
IKEA candles 
o Herbs for decoration

The post A simple festive table appeared first on Contemporary life.

A Charming French Family Home Full of Inspiring Details

Welcome to the world of Nathalie, her husband Damien and son Louis in Brest, France. The charming apartment is peppered with natural touches in the form of wicker, wood and linens and the walls are dotted with playful art against a backdrop of deep blues, soft chestnut and white. Ready to dive in and explore?

Friends who commented on the bed in yesterday's home tour (loved hearing your thoughts!) - look! A properly made bed! Yay! But I think what stands out to me most of all is the built-in headboard and shelf. This would be ideal in my stepson's bedroom where there's not really enough room for a bedside table. I love how Nathalie has painted it Hague blue too! 
These charming pictures are by Saar Manche (I once featured her home in The Hague here). 
Clever use of a half glass wall helps to light up the hallway and open the space up.
How cute is Louis' bedroom? I love the shade on the wall (it was already there when they moved in but it looks a little like the Blushing Peach I have in my bedroom!) and all the subtle, yet playful elements. The 'Lit Junior' bed is from French brand Mum & Dad factory and Nathalie sourced some of the wooden toys from Raduga Grez*.  

Camera grey lilacs, Wicker suitcase from Atelier Brocante (source a similar vintage one here*),  Wooden toys from Raduga Grez*.

The family dining room is simple yet interesting thanks to the mid-century side table, art from L'affiche moderne and Oak gallery and hanging plants.

The storage in the sitting room is made up of a series of String pocket shelves and cabinets from IKEA (I love this blend!). The 'Acorn' light is from Atle Tveit Design

What a charming home! I really appreciate how Nathalie's signature style runs throughout the home and pulls the entire look together.

I also love all the natural textures in the form of wicker baskets, wood toys etc and the playful art (so lovely for a family home, don't you think?).

Is there anything that stood out to you?

You can see more pictures of Nathalie's home over on her inspiring instagram feed @thalieandco and blog Thalie & Co.

Merci Nathalie for inviting us into your home today! I will be following your blog with eager eyes for news on the arrival off your little girl! Such special times ahead!

Take a peek inside more beautiful French homes, B&Bs and hotels here.


Photography: Nathalie /Thalie & Co, shared with kind permission. 
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