MY STILL SPACE Thoughts on creating a spot to retreat to when you need to unwind.
We chat to Niki Brantmark, author and blogger at My Scandinavian Home, about the spot she retreats to in her home
when she needs to unwind.
Looking out over the rooftops, you can glimpse the grey-blue of the Öresund sea. It’s very peaceful,” says Niki Brantmark as she describes her favourite space at home – the top- oor bedroom she shares with her husband. Originally from the UK, Niki has lived in Malmö for over 10 years, and has embraced the Swedish way of life, dedicating her blog, My Scandinavian Home (www.myscandinavianhome.com), to the interiors of this stylish country.
Niki works from home and says her days are varied, keeping busy with anything from a photoshoot to working on a book project. She has published two interiors books – Modern Pastoral and The Scandinavian Home (both from Cico Books, priced £19.99) – and is currently working on her third title, which is about the Swedish philosophy of Lagom.
Niki works hard to t everything in before her children return from school, and says she’s always striving for a healthy work-life balance – something she’s learnt from the Swedes! Getting away from work, even for an hour, helps Niki to clear her head. “In the winter I’ll go to the gym, and when the warmer weather arrives I’ll go for a walk, jog along the beach or meet a friend for a natter,” she explains.
As a mother to three children, Niki’s family home can often be hectic, not to mention noisy! So it’s in her bedroom where she nds a little peace and quiet. With oor to ceiling
windows, the spacious room is light- lled during the day, although blackout blinds ensure a restful night’s sleep. Niki has intentionally kept it clean and clutter-free and this, along with the pale grey oor and white walls, helps to bring a higher level of serenity. Rustic wood, sheepskins and linen add texture and comfort. “I love to spend time here reading or chatting with friends in England over the phone – and, of course, sleeping,” says Niki.
Despite having a beautiful, wicker peacock chair by the window, Niki says it’s on her bed where she tends to curl up for reading and chatting. A cosy mountain of pillows atop soft, grey linen sheets is where she’s most comfortable, although on warmer days she often uses the balcony to relax and enjoy some fresh air.
Plants and greenery add a touch of colour to the neutral décor. “I feel plants add calm to a space since they connect a person to nature,” says Niki.
“Studies have also found that plants are great for cleaning the air too.”
Nature has also been introduced in a more abstract way, with an art print called ‘Leaf me’ by Danish artist Silke Bonde, whose work is heavily inspired by the outdoors. Niki’s lighting choices also reflect her quest for a restful space. The large bamboo and linen pendant emits a soft, ltered light, and its dimmer switch allows Niki to mirror her mood. Her bedside lamp adds an industrial touch, and provides the perfect ambience for a few quiet moments of reading.
Interiors are hugely important to Niki, both in her work and family life, and she agrees that the aesthetic of her surroundings reflects her mood. “I am very a ected by my environment and like to keep things fuss-free and calm. It makes a big di erence when you start and end your day in a peaceful space.”
“It makes a big difference when you start and end your day
in a peaceful space.”
KEEP IT LOW TECH A tangle of wires is not a tranquil sight. Consolidate and conceal power cords by tucking them behind furniture or using a multi-plug strip.
PICK YOUR PALETTE Neutral hues, natural materials and soft textures combined with natural light create a serene space in which to relax and recharge.
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From left: Niki’s industrial-style lamp; her print by artist Silke Bonde, whose SKNG NA A?PO DAN @EO?KRANEAO EJ J=PQNA LEHAO KB OKBP ?QODEKJO ?NA=PA = ?KOU BAAH