Oh Sweden, what you do to me! Doesn’t it seem to be one of the most stylish countries on the planet? I’ve only been to Stockholm so I’m not sure about the rest of the country but I was so impressed by the design there that I’m thinking it’s hardwired into their DNA to have exceptional taste. Like when you are born in Sweden you automatically will love the color gray, desire a base of white with pops of color in your home, and be slim, gorgeous and friendly. You’ll also know how to perfectly cozy-up a space in a way that seems almost effortless. See?
This home, a seven room house just north of Stockholm, belongs to a graphic designer and busy mom that I interviewed for Cookie magazine online (posted here). Helena Schaeder Söderberg and her family (husband, two toddlers and two cats) have a home that is absolutely charm-filled – she’s a total domestic goddess. I love all of the wallpaper accents and the JOY that I feel when I look at these images, don’t you? It’s so welcoming and positive. View more photos here.
I interviewed Helena so I hope you’ll take the time to read it because her answers are great — especially her decorating tips. I also found out how she made those charming birds shown above in her daughter’s bedroom – she used a free pattern from the Spool sewing blog called “bird pattern” (see left column of this blog under Free Patterns). You can view more of her softies here but warning, you may feel a wee bit intimidated by her sewing awesomeness…
(images:Helena Schaeder Söderberg)
I was talking to Nicola (Nico) recently from Nicoletter, a German graphic designer who has a shop on Etsy, DaWanda and who you can find blogging here (bilingual for both German and English speaking readers) and thought I’d share a glimpse of her apartment and products.
Items from the Nicoletter shop.
Pretty things from a recent trip to Denmark.
Nico lives in the Frankfurt Rhine Main region in Germany, which is a lovely scenic part of the country that attracts many tourists. Her apartment is fresh and lovely, I especially like her attention to details and how she is able to make her place feel cozy without being cluttered. Her styling is also gorgeous, she really knows how to pull together a tabletop display! I love peeking in on all of the little nooks, don’t you?
Bonus! If you love retro items for the home, Nico has a German eBay shop that is amazing (she only ships within Germany though). I’m running over to check it out right now. It’s called Bazaarella and the ceramics, like this vintage floral container, are darling!
The lovely designer Frances Herrera Viola who runs the New York-based design firm Interiors by Francesca, sent in a few before and afters of her space and I thought it was so nicely done that you may find it inspirational. Francesca offers decorating services to those living in New York City and Long Island, in case you are local and have an interest in hiring out for design help whether that be a one day project, home staging, or a complete redesign of your space she just may be the lady for you to call! The first few photos below are of her recently designed bedroom (before & after) and the others are glimpses of her living space.
Seeing a makeover like this is helpful for those not living in magazine-like homes (most of us!) or around fancy architectural details — in other words people who basically have four blank walls and a floor — normal ceiling height, average windows, mediocre views, and annoying things to deal with like built-in air conditioners. A space like Francesca’s is a terrific example of how you can cozy up an “average” home using furniture, drapes, and throw rugs because not everyone has soaring ceilings, perfect floors, ocean views, and gorgeous fireplaces to fall back on! In fact, it’s much more of a challenge to design a home like this in my opinion. If you have a gorgeous flat overlooking the beach with massive windows, a massive fireplace and ceilings that go on forever well I see this as not much of a design challenge. You can put a sofa and a few chairs in a room like that and editors would be begging you to photograph your space for their magazine. It’s not so easy when you don’t occupy what I call, a home with supermodel good looks. This space is the perfect example of that — even a somewhat boxy room can have style – this ‘before’ bedroom photo below looks like a lot of plain Jane rental properties I’ve toured in my life. Plain Jane was transformed into Chic Chantal. It helps to see spaces like this to be able to train your eye to look for the potential.
I really admire the editing in this space, Francesca clearly knows when to quit. Though I must confess that if I lived here, I’d have a lot more color and art work, that’s for sure! Of course though, my personal taste is not the point — it’s more about foundation pieces. I could really build on a foundation like this. I love the trimmed drapes in the bedroom, and appreciate how the built-in a/c unit was replaced with a newer model in white — way better on the eyes! The pendant over the dining room table looks very chic, and the round table allows for good movement in a small space and enables flexibility with seating, you can add more chairs if needed for a larger gathering. Really nice work, Francesca!
(images francesca herrera viola)
Today in Home Much For This Room? we’re heading up to Fayetteville, New York to hang out with Tara Hogan of INK + WIT to see her brand new kitchen and the adjacent dining area. Tara is a successful freelance graphic designer who has impeccable taste and her well edited, beautiful space really highlights this fact. Tara also authors a new blog where she muses about her inspirations and where she keeps her loyal customers updated as to what she’s doing currently at INK + WIT. Tara and her husband just moved into their home a little over two years ago, it’s 102-years-old and has some great features, including a wood burning stove in their dining area that has been there for around 70 years! Let’s take a look around…
About this space Tara says, “We have been fixing this place up non stop. There was awful laminate in the kitchen and no style. The walls in the kitchen are still not done, hence a yellow glow you see which still needs new white paint but I feel the images show off the good additions we have made so far like the quartz countertop, fridge and restoration of things like molding, lights, and white paint.”
Kitchen renovation breakdown: 1. Countertop: LG Via Tera, quartz, color: Geneva, from LOWES, $60 sq ft. 2. Stools: Giulietta Counter Stool, DWR, $155 each. 3. Mixer: KitchenAid, Artisan Stand Mixer, red, Williams Sonoma, $300. 4. Fridge: GE Stainless Steel, Best Buy, $1,215. 5. Ceramic wall tiles: Counterparts 3″ x 6″ Bright White Flat Ceramic Tile, LOWES, $0.22 cents per tile.
Kitchen Reno Total: $4,130.00
Dining room breakdown: dining area: 1. Pendant light: George Nelson saucer bubble lamp, HIVE, $269. 2. Table: EDEFORS Dining table, IKEA, $439. 3. Chairs: unknown and free from my aunt.
4. Large serving dish: HULTET, IKEA, $7. 5. White ceramic bowl: TJMaxx, $5. 6. Poster: the Shins In Manchester, silkscreened, 18×24 (frame with mat : commercial art supply, $35), The Poster Caberet, designer: The Small Stakes. 7. Poster: Flock, Wayne Pate, Good Shape Design, $35. 8. Planters: BLADET, IKEA, small – $5, large – $8.
9. Vase: FÄRM, IKEA, $2. 10. Print: Camilla Engman, $40 (set of 5 misc prints). 11. Largest planter, MYNTA, IKEA, $29. 12. Framed print: Julia Rothman, $35. 13. White filing cabinet: HELMER, IKEA, $40. 14. White bin: KNODD, IKEA, $15.
Dining Room Total: $965.00
Thank you so much for sharing your newly renovated kitchen and dining room space today, Tara! Beautiful work. If you would like to see more of Tara’s home and learn about her work and inspirations, you can read this chat that I had with her last August. Enjoy!
(images: tara hogan)