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!

Niki


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?

Niki

Photography: House By The Fjord shared with kind permission


HOUSE DOCTOR

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!
Niki
Photography: Emily Slotte, shared with kind permission. 

Affiliate links marked with *

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, MADE.com*
‘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.

Niki

Photography: Nathalie /Thalie & Co, shared with kind permission. 
Affiliate links marked with *


Small Space Inspiration: A Lovely One Room Gothenburg Flat

I promised to stop by again today to share some more Scandinavian home inspiration - and here it is! A mini (37 meter square / 398 feet square) yet mighty space thanks to the beautiful neutral shades, sheer swathes of fabric and lovely natural light (notice the furniture with reflective surfaces and the mirrors which help to bounce the sunlight around). Nestled on the top floor of five, in my eyes the apartment is a perfect one room oasis high above the streets of Gothenburg. Oh and the floor is beautiful too! Enjoy!

What great inspiration for anyone looking to decorate an open-plan living room and bedroom - no easy task but I think these guys have nailed it. What do you think?

Storage is often a tricky one, and I went back through all the pictures to see what was included - aside  from the kitchen, it appears the wardrobe in the corner of the living room serves as somewhere for clothes etc. I'd need to add a LOAD more closed storage though, how about you?!

More small space inspiration here!

Trevlig kväll! 

Niki

Photos courtesy of Alvhem with thanks


Loving these new Danish prints!

Something beautiful happens when danish businesses come together (how can it not?!). This is why I was super excited when The Poster Club* announced an exclusive collaboration with former fashion designer Malene Birger (check out her home here). Birger's art is expressed in strong, abstract and graphical forms, mostly developed in monochrome colours. As part of the collab, the six new prints have been styled by Dane - Pernille Vest and captured by Emil Monty Freddie in the beautiful Skagerak showroom (yep, it's a complete Danish family affair!). Here's a sneak peek!


What do you reckon? Could you imagine having these in your home? I love them - especially with the oak frame.

Want to pick one up? The prints are available here*.  

By the way, I owe everyone who popped in on Friday an apology! For the first time ever, I failed to turn up and post (eeeek)! I was in Moscow to hold a a talk about Pure Scandinavian Design (such an honour!) and time just ran away with me. I have to say I was completely mesmerised by the city! What a beautiful, fascinating place! One of the highlights was the Christmas market on the red square - the bright colours, the music, the backdrop! And exploring the subway which is full of beautiful sculptures and art. A big thank you to all my new Russian friends who made me feel so welcome and anyone who took the time to send me tips!

I thought I'd make up for my lack of Friday post by posting twice today - look out for a little more inspiration later!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend too!

Niki

Design: Malene Birger. Photography: Emil Monty Freddie, Styling: Pernille Vest, Sold through: The Poster Club.

Affiliate links marked with *


Winter wish list | an edit with nest.co.uk


*ad | in partnership with nest.co.uk Winter is here and all I can think about is getting cosy at home. During these cold dark months I like to add a few cosy items while refraining from filling my house with themed decor. I prefer to take deep consideration in what I want to add and debate (to myself) whether I need it. After a pre-Christmas declutter (usually October or November) I create a wish list, helping me edit my home for the season to come. This year I’ve collaborated with Nest.co.uk in selecting my winter wish list (a dreamy one but a wish list still). Nest.co.uk sell all of my favourite brands so the edit took deep consideration. Specifically chosen for this season, I’ve focussed on minimalist lighting, tactile layers and iconic designs. Pendant lighting is something I find particularly hard to choose from. I see lighting as the jewellery for the home. As I don’t own much jewellery it may demonstrate my selectiveness when it comes to these things. For me lighting should be minimal, not fussy, not showy, just simple. The String cone light designed by Michael Anastassiades for Flos is just what I need. It’s technical too with touch lighting […]

The post Winter wish list | an edit with nest.co.uk appeared first on Hannah In The House.


12 of the best minimalist metal wreaths

12 of the best minimalist metal wreaths | These Four Walls blog

It’s the first day of December, so I reckon it’s Officially OK to start putting up the Christmas decorations. As you’ll probably know from previous posts, I like to keep things minimalist but festive, and wreaths are some of my favourite things to create. I normally have a large one on the front door that’s bursting with wild-looking foliage, plus a few simpler ones dangling from windows, doorways and walls inside.

There’s a vast array of minimalist metal wreaths on the market at the moment – some round, others shaped like stars, and some which incorporate candle or tealight holders. They’re incredibly easy to decorate with sprigs of festive foliage, berries and more, and they provide endless opportunities for getting creative. What’s more, they can be reused again and again, and even adorned with seasonal flowers and leaves at other times of the year (wreaths aren’t just for Christmas, you know!). Here are 12 of my favourites…

12 of the best minimalist metal wreaths | These Four Walls blog

  1. Stainless-steel wreath, 795 SEK (around £68) for 40cm or 445 SEK (around £38) for 20cm, Cooee Design. Also available in brass
  2. Hanging metal star, £16.75 for a set of three, Mon Pote
  3. ‘Benni’ wreath, £26 for one large raw-iron or blackened one (58cm) or a set of two smaller brass ones (37cm), Rowen & Wren
  4. Hanging wire ring, £10.50 for 40cm, £7.50 for 30cm or £5.50 for 20cm, Rose & Grey
  5. Black ring with leather strap, 199 DKK (around £24) for 33cm or 149 DKK (around £18) for 16cm, Strups. Also available in brass, white and silver
  6. Brass and steel advent wreath (43cm), €221, Kristina Dam
  7. Star-shaped hanging brass candle holder (40cm), £8.50, Rose & Grey
  8. ‘Talini’ geometric brass wreath, £49.95 for 70cm or £29.95 for 41cm, Nkuku
  9. Hanging brass candle holder, £10.50 for 40cm or £8.50 for 30cm, Rose & Grey
  10. Menu ‘POV’ tealight and candle holders, available in various shapes, colours and sizes, £34.95-89.95, Connox
  11. Hanging ‘Deco’ frames, €45 for a set of three, Ferm Living; matching circular and oval hanging tealight holders also available in brass and black
  12. Brass and steel decoration circle (25cm), €120, Kristina Dam

12 of the best minimalist wreaths | These Four Walls blog

If you want a bit of guidance on how to decorate your chosen wreath, take a look at this tutorial which I put together last year. And if you’re using one with a candle, please make sure you don’t hang it too close to anything flammable or leave it unattended when lit!

Most photography via the respective brands named above; final image by Abi Dare

The post 12 of the best minimalist metal wreaths appeared first on These Four Walls.