My very first expert interview in my Homebody series is with Niki Brantmark, a London girl living in Sweden (lucky thing) and founder of My Scandinavian Home. Niki is a Scandinavian interiors enthusiast so as HUGE fan of everything Sweden I am very excited to share some of her wisdom with you.
Hi, Niki! Can you tell us a little bit about My Scandinavian Home and what you love about Scandinavian design?
Hi Megan, thank you for inviting me to be on your website, I'm such a big fan of your designs! I moved to Sweden 11 years ago and was blown away by the simple, functional Scandinavian design. I decided to document the inspiration on a daily blog - My Scandinavian Home which features daily home tours, design tips and the odd fun give-away!
You moved from London to Sweden- I am so jealous. I spent a week in Stockholm last year during the summer and couldn’t wipe the grin off my face the whole time! I’m curious to know what it is like living in Sweden?
I live by the sea in Sweden's southernmost county of Scania. It was a big shock moving from London in my twenties as the pace is much slower but I've come to absolutely love the work-life balance and the closeness to nature. At the weekends you'll find my family and I out on our sailboat or in the nearby forests.
Having lived in Sweden for a long time I have come to realise that a careful edit and decorating with purpose is important.
Many personality types invest in decorating the spaces in which they live. For those who enjoy (and prefer) spending a lot of time at home, what do you think are the most important considerations?
I'm a very slow decorator - I like the idea of living in a space for a while and checking how the light falls, which corners feel good, how you use the space etc before setting about decorating it. And even then I take it step by step - laying the foundations with preferred paint colours before layering it step by step with furniture and accessories. Having lived in Sweden for a long time I have come to realise that a careful edit and decorating with purpose is important. It's also good to be realistic - I love open clothes rails and shelves but our family are so messy it doesn't really work for us!
What homes have you visited that had the biggest impact on you?
I love a home that is truly personal and unique. A home where the owners have thrown together pieces which you would never think work and somehow they just do. Often they are full of eclectic and interesting treasures that tell a story.
What do you think are some of the benefits of being a homebody might be?
Personally I get restless pretty quickly and am always off out doing things. I think this is why I appreciate and admire a homebody. We went to visit a family friend who lives miles from anywhere in the forests of Dalarna, north of Stockholm and she was so content being at home - baking fresh bread and cinnamon buns, making rag rugs on her loom, knitting beautiful jumpers and cardigans etc. I really admired her creativity and peaceful and calm way of being.
"...It's also good to be realistic - I love open clothes rails and shelves but our family are so messy it doesn't really work for us!"
"...she was so content being at home - baking fresh bread and cinnamon buns, making rag rugs on her loom, knitting beautiful jumpers and cardigans etc. I really admired her creativity and peaceful and calm way of being."
How readers can connect with you?
The majority of my readers are from outside of Scandinavia and so we are all connected in that we have an outsiders admiration of Scandinavian interior design. I'm lucky to have a really wonderful, positive group of readers who like to share thoughts and views, and also offer never-ending support and encouragement. Many of them are creatives, and have their own blog or run small businesses - in which case I love to visit their sites too. My readers make my blog worth writing everyday.
Thank you to Niki for having a chat with us and sharing her Swedish story, what a treat! If you would like to learn more about Niki and her blog, check out these links: