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INTERIOR

HOW I DECORATED MY SMALL NORDIC FLAT ABROAD FOR CHRISTMAS

It’s the last day of 2016 and a great day to share a couple of images of my Christmas decorations before it all gets taken down.. Anyone else sad that the festive season is almost over?

I have a confession to make, I am 31 and this year was the first time I had my own Christmas tree! Living abroad I always travel back to my family for Christmas, and because of that I never saw the point in decorating too much before leaving. But this year I decided it was about time to start a collection of decorations of my own. Growing up in Norway we always had a real tree, it was a lovely tradition I always looked forward to. Now when I am living in Italy there are less real tree’s available so people tend to go for plastic version’s. I was a bit sceptic, but decided to give it a go. We purchased our tree from IKEA, and I am very pleased with the result of my FEJKA tree. Not only does it look good, but it was also easy to put up and to store away again after as it comes with a bag. I also purchased the BULLIG bamboo box to put the tree inside, and added a lovely faux fur rug in it. The tree decorations was kept quite minimal and simple, with a colour scheme of copper, white and black which reflects the rest of the flat.

The light I originally bought to have on the tree thinking we would only get a tiny one, but since we ended up with a full size tree it would not fit. Instead I had it hanging on the wall which was very lovely. I might keep it up for a while as it’s not too Christmassy.. I also added tons of scented candles around the home like this one in ‘hot mulled cider’ to create that cozy winter feeling.

To keep with the theme I also got a couple of new pillow cases and a blanket. The pillows I already own have quite the summer vibe, so now I can change according to the season. I got one in white faux fur and a slight pink with copper details as well as this pretty blanket – the perfect spot for some hygge!

Last but not least I also created this super easy and cute DIY snow globe, all you need are some small trees, a jar of some sort and snow (I used rock salt).

That was it for this year, focusing on keeping it very minimal but cozy. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas time and let the countdown to 2017 begin!

// Photo credit; Ingrid Opstad

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SCANDINAVIAN HOME WITH NATURAL TONES

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This beautiful home in Sweden has a lovely and calm mood. The natural tones and soft colours, along with large windows and natural light creates a harmonious and relaxing feeling.

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My favourite feature is this large window with the cosiest sitting area! Wouldn’t mind sitting there with a good book and a coffee for some hygge time..

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// Photo credit: Petra Bindel

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HIDDEN BEDROOM IN A NORDIC HOME

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Have you ever seen a bedroom hidden in a closet before? This vintage closet gives off the perfect Narnia vibe, and is a great way to get more out off a small space. Imagine being able to just close the door during the day to hide away a messy bed, very creative & handy!

Would you sleep in a closet? I think it could be quite cozy.

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// Photo credit: Entrance Makleri

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MEET ISELIN LINDMARK DUBLAND // THE NORWEGIAN BEHIND BIRK COFFEE TABLE

You might have heard of her, well at least if you are interested in furniture design and follow the famous design blog Design Milk. Earlier this year they did a feature about one of her designs; the BIRK coffee table which she debuted at the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2016 ( >> read their post here)

Well, I thought it would be a great idea to learn more about her and to get her to give us a couple of interior tips seeing she is also a great stylist.

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BIO: Iselin Lindmark Dubland was born and raised in Sandnes, Norway and moved to Bergen in 2009 to study interior at the Norwegian Creative School. Alongside the studies she worked at an interior store called Bolia, a Scandinavian furniture & home accessories brand. While working there her passion for styling grew; after spending 3 years studying furniture design and interior architecture at the Bergen Academy of Art & Design she is just about to start her Master. She also works as an interior stylist for Heem – what a dream job!

Q1 // What inspires you in your design process?

I would say it’s a combination of different elements, as I often work on the basis of a given situation and / or users experience. I like to keep myself updated and get general inspiration using Pinterest and Instagram, and I regularly check Dezeen.com which writes about everything from architecture, interiors to design. One of my biggest inspirations is my mobile camera, which I use to capture moments and all kinds of situations. Otherwise, I gain a lot from working together with other designers, the ability to use each other as “sparring partners” is something I find incredibly important. Then you can build on each other’s ideas, as it is rare that you will sit there alone with every answer.

A big inspiration in my time as a student has been fields trips. With my school we have traveled to Ålesund to gain insight into the furniture industry in western Norway, visited Stockholm Furniture Fair and been in London during the London Design Week 2015. A project I was very intrigued by when I visited LDW was the project of the Swedish designer Kristina Schultz “100 days of need and greed”. She had emptied out her families home with a goal that they themselves should make the things they really wanted as and when they needed them, discovering along the way which objects they found essential in their life. This resulted in a very tactile, handmade and functional collection, including cutlery, dining tables, stools and toys for her daughter.

Q2 // In what way does your Scandinavian heritage affect your style?

I am quite influenced by the Scandinavian style, with its natural elements and clean lines. I think us Scandinavians have gained a lot of inspiration from the traditional cottage life, a somewhat simple style with natural materials and closeness to nature. I love the use of materials and design expression from the Scandinavian 60’s design, and admire classic designers from this period like Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Torbjørn Afdal and Alf Sture to name a few.

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Q3 // Is there any particular Scandinavian designers & brands you like?

The Scandinavian brands I’m very fond of are Muuto, Hay and Normann Copenhagen, I think they make good, accessible design at a reasonable price with “typical” Scandinavian style. When it comes to Norwegian designers my favourites are Andersen & Voll, Andreas Engesvik, Silje Nesdal, Daniel Rybakken and Vera & Kyte. Andersen & Voll are very versatile and work with both furniture design and interior, they have also developed fabrics for textile giant FEBRIKS. Daniel Rybakken stock incredibly exciting light sources, blurring out the lines between art and design in a nice way. While Vera & Kyte makes simple and playful objects that I fall for every time they launch a new product.

Q4 // You are currently working as an interior stylist, can you tell us more about what this means and how you started?

Interior styling was something I came across from a friend of mine who I worked with at Bolia. Her name is Cathrine Bækken, and she is the founder of the company Heem that I now work for. She is incredibly talented and I’m so glad that she wanted me to join her! We had previously done a lot of styling jobs together at Bolia, and therefore knew we would work well together. This summer I have been working with her styling a lot of beautiful properties around Bergen. We work exclusively for the Bergen section of EiE (which is a real estate agency), and closely with the photographers. This is great because we get to be a part of the whole process, making sure the houses look their best before the trading begins! Our photographers only uses daylight when they shoot to get a natural result, we are lucky to have the lovely Nordic daylight to work with!

It’s so exciting to work with so many different homes, some a bit soulless and “standard” and others older and venerable. The best senario is when we find lots of items owned by the customer that we can work with, it enables us to create more unique styles and get exciting results that showcases the property in the best possible way.

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One of my favorite projects was a detached house lying just below Fløyfjellet in Bergen, with three floors full of beautiful, old furnitures and art. Here it was a matter of simply “just” cleaning the rooms and moving items around, and we had a great time doing so. It was like being on a treasure hunt full of vintage finds.

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Q5 // What do you think is most important to think about when styling your own home? Any personal tips and smart solutions?

I think the key is to focus on personal style and not just do what everyone else is doing by using certain items and things that matter to you. For me this is my grandfather’s old sketches and a Kay Bojesen wooden monkey toy which I inherited from him. The monkey used to hang on the lamp in his living room when I was a little girl so it reminds me of him. He was a Danish artist and very fond of Nordic design, so I like to think that my creativity and love for Nordic design stems from him.

For me it is incredibly important with smart solutions and hidden storage, maybe because I live in a very small apartment but also because I’m not fond of clutter and “visual noise”. In my home all nooks are utilised in the best possible way, and the furnishings are as flexible as possible. I love functional things, and living on a smaller surface has made me very selective about what I really need and what is allowed to be a part of my living space.

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Q6 // Any new and exciting furniture & interior trends?

We are a little bit tired of the technological life, and the constant strive to be “online” all the time. Because of this we will continue to see handmade products, and very tactile products that are a great contrast to the smooth screens we constantly have in our hand. I also think people want to own unique products that are of higher quality, such as for example handmade ceramics. Just look at IKEA who now has begun to launch “limited edition” collections as a result of cooperations with renowned designers such as Ilse Crawford, HAY and Tom Dixon. I find it exciting when good design becomes accessible to everyone, not to mention that good design doesn’t always need not cost an arm and a leg.. Other than that I’m also loving the fact that people now seem to dare to use more colours, a trend I hope will last!

Q7 // You designed several great products while studying. Tell us more about the ideas behind BIRK and TRI.

TRI was a lamp I made my first year at the academy. I wanted to create a lamp that reflected light and could be used to create a certain mood. Two of the angled surfaces of the light are shorter than the back part, resulting in more light coming through. At the same time the light is reflected beautifully from the larger, white surface.

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When it comes to the coffee table BIRK that I designed for the furniture fair in Stockholm, I based this on how you use a coffee table. To do research I got friends and acquaintances to send me pictures of their coffee tables, doing this I found a big everyday problem that many may not think about; – Where do you put the remote? The iPad? Your favourite lipstick or magazines that you would like to have nearby? From there I worked on how to create a coffee table with hidden storage for everything you need to keep close to the couch. After numerous sketches and models where I worked with the form and function of the storage part, the result was BIRK.

Through the research phase, I found out that most objects we usually keep on a coffee table are low, and therefore it doesn’t need a particularly high storage space. Because of this discovery the storage room itself is only 8 cm high. It is an integral part of the coffee table, and has a plate that is pushed to reach into it. The plate can be separated from the coffee table so you can easily clean it, or you can use it as a serving tray or on the couch to put your PC or other things on. I wanted the table to have a simple expression, the legs are therefore made to look like the “body” is just sitting right down on it without any effort.

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Q8 // What is That Scandinavian Feeling to you?

That Scandinavian Feeling for me is when I’m at the cottage and live a “slow life”, in front of the fireplace and wrapped up in woollen clothes, with a good mug of tea and an interior magazine. When the rain is pouring down outside and you hear the wind beat the rain the against the window while there is a crackling sound from in the fireplace. THAT’S when I have That Scandinavian Feeling!

// Photo credit: Dag Sverre Randen & Sofie Brovold

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DIY // HOW I CUSTOMIZED MY IKEA KALLAX SHELVING UNIT WITH DOORS & KNOBS

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I’m all for affordable and fun solutions when it comes to my home, and that’s why I love a bit of DIY. We’ve had this white KALLAX shelving unit from IKEA for a while now, but I wanted to do something to it to add a bit more character.

Here is what you need;

💛 A WHITE KALLAX SHELF
💛 1 BIRCH COLOURED KALLAX INSERT WITH 2 DRAWERS
💛 1 BIRCH COLOURED KALLAX INSERT WITH DOOR
💛 3 DIFFERENT KNOBS OF YOUR CHOICE

The process is pretty simple, as these doors and drawers were made to fit the KALLAX units perfectly. All you have to do is drill them into place inside the shelf, and add your own handles for a more bespoke look. I Like the contrast between the white shelf itself and the birch doors, the doors do also come in white but I’m trying to add a bit more light wood elements into our flat to break off from all the white.

The three door knobs I used were all from Maisons Du Monde, but to find the best fit for your home I suggest browsing websites like Etsy & Not On The High Street as well as going to vintage markeds to find unique ones. I am really happy with how it turned out. All three handles have a touch of copper in them to fit in with the current theme in the room, and its good to know that these are quite easy to change if I want to.

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This shelf is mainly our music station, so I am keeping vinyl records in it which the shelf size is perfect for. On top I have our loving Crosley player – it has a great vintage look and can be closed off as a suitcase when not in use. I have also added a TJENA cardboard box from IKEA with a fun pattern on to keep other random items in such as headphones etc. Next up I might add some legs on it, so stay tuned for updates!

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// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

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10 WAYS TO CREATE A COZY BEDROOM

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1 // Add a lovely chunky knitted blanket for the ultimate hygge look like this one found on Decordots. A tray with coffee and a sweet treat will make it the perfect lazy morning spot!

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2 // Put a textured rug on the floor to soften up the room. This one seen on Avenue adds a lovely and personal touch. A cluster of framed artworks or photographs is also a cozy addition, especially if it includes things that makes you feel happy.

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3 // If you have a smaller and low bed, a large duvet touching the floor can give quite a cozy feeling. This image is from Urban Outfitters where the duvet cover is from.

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4 // Adding some stacks of books on the floor can add a cozy effect to your space, photo via Planete Deco. Keeping the bed a bit half-made will also add some cozyness.

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5 // Cute pillows like these “Big Spoon” & “Little Spoon” ones from Old English Company creates a nice atmosphere and encourages snuggling.

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6 // Green plants and personal touches like these hats on the wall are a lovely way to bring hygge to the bedroom area. Great idea to add the large hanging planter in a corner to utilise the space, like New Darlings has done here.

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7 // Mixing textures, fabrics and colours in the bedroom will help make the room ooze comfort, warmth and relaxation. A blanket casually draped on the end of the bed gives a nice and lovely feeling. This dreamy bedroom is from Norske Interiør Blogger.

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8 // Adding a large light fixture above the bed, like this one from IKEA, creates a lovely cozy scene. If you are lucky enough to have a wooden slanted ceiling like this one found via Vtwonen it makes it even more snug.

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9 // Accents of wood and nature is so welcoming and homely. I love the idea of putting up a wooden branch like this one found on the West Elm blog to hang items such as hats, scarfs or bags on. Keeping a couple of your favourite items on your nightstand like a book, a mug for hot drinks, flowers or plants and some decorative touches really helps to make it super cozy.

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10 // And last but not least, candles! Having a lovely scented candle on the nightstand, a shelf or on the window sill will give any room a cozy and warm tone. Or why not put them on a rustic bench at the end of the bed like in this image from Blog Milk? Just make sure you stay safe and blow them out before going off to dreamland… Zzz..

What do you do to make your bedroom cozy?

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