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In conversation with Niki of My Scandinavian Home

The London-transplant on her love of Scandinavian design, running her own business and favourite styling tips and tricks.

My Scandinavian Home is the ultimate destination for your daily dose of Nordic-inspired interior design. Niki Brantmark, founder, blogger, influencer and author extraordinaire has garnered a huge worldwide following in just a few years.

We teamed up with Niki to give her living room and IKEA Söderhamn sofa a luxe Bemz makeover. My Scandinavian Home’s signature style ethos is perfectly translated in this balanced, minimal, yet layered space. It’s safe to say, Niki sure knows how to blend high-and-low pieces that pack plenty of punch. Naturally we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to interview Niki on her love of all things design, running her own business and favourite styling tips and tricks.

Niki, tell us about yourself

MSH: Originally from London, I've been living in Malmö for thirteen years. I write the daily blog My Scandinavian Home and am the author of three books - Modern Pastoral, The Scandinavian Home and Lagom: The Swedish Art to Living a Balanced, Happy Life. I live with my Swedish husband Per and our three children in a townhouse by the sea.
 
B: When did you first discover your love of interiors and Scandinavian design in particular?

MSH: Even as a young child I loved looking around people's homes and made all kinds of excuses to have a good nose around! When I moved to Sweden I couldn't believe my luck - I marvelled at their innate sense of style and how much effort people put into making their homes beautiful.
 
B: What inspires you?

MSH: I always get my best ideas when I switch off from whatever I'm doing and go for a jog along the beach or a walk in the forest. I also love travelling to new places.
 
B: How did you first come up with the idea of My Scandinavian Home?

MSH: I used to write a personal blog and really enjoyed the process. After my second daughter was born I was looking for a new hobby and thought it could be really fun to focus on interiors and share all the beautiful Scandinavian homes I was discovering.
 
B: How has your design philosophy changed over the years?

MSH: It's certainly become more and more Scandinavian - and in recent years I have focused on more sustainable design - incorporating second hand finds and selecting items made from high quality materials that will stand the test of time.

B: Your favourite pro-styling tip?

MSH: It's an oldie but a goodie - grouping items in odd numbers - 3, 5, 7 really does work! Also it's important to think about using the full height of a space.
 
B: How did you transition the blog into a (more-than) full time job? Do you have advice on running your own business?

MSH: This has really happened by accident! I used to create posts after I got home from my office job - often sitting up until past midnight! When I was offered my first book deal (Modern Pastoral) I knew it was time to take a chance on it full time! It's true that it helps to feel passionate about something - having your own business is incredibly demanding and it's hard to switch off (even in the evenings, weekends or on holiday) so you really need to love what you're doing! It can also feel daunting - especially when you continuously find yourself out of your comfort zone I've found it helpful to find a mentor and ask lots of questions!
 
B: How do you identify with your role as 'influencer'?

MSH: I guess the tricky thing is that a blogger / social media specialist is hard to place - we don't really fit any traditional label (right now I'm probably juggling about three different 'jobs'). Regardless, it's an exciting time for us, businesses are really starting to take notice and find great, innovative and fun ways to collaborate and executed in the right way - it can benefit everyone - the reader, blogger and client.
 
B: You've also written three books which is very impressive. Can you tell us a bit about them?

MSH: Thank you! My first book Modern Pastoral came out in 2016. To create the book we visited some beautiful contemporary country homes (including barn conversions, lakeside cottages and mountain cabins) throughout Scandinavia and the USA. It was an amazing experience and I learned so much. My second book - The Scandinavian Home - launched in April this year - it's very much reflective of my blog and personal style. Every time we left one of the homes (photographed in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland) I thought 'now that's how I'd like to live...' my husband was going berserk! I'm thrilled with the outcome and still pick it up for inspiration here and there. And finally, my third book - Lagom: The Swedish Art to a Balanced, Happy life came out last week (exciting!). It was very inspiring to write and felt wonderful citing all the positive aspects of Swedish life - from de-cluttering your home, finding a work-life balance, hopping on your bike and making Elderflower cordial from scratch! Excitingly, it's currently being translated into 6 languages!
 
B: Your favourite collaboration to date?

MSH: I absolutely loved the recent collaboration I did with Bemz - not only was the post featuring the transformation of my sitting room very popular - my family and I get to enjoy the results everyday! I was also invited to Upstate New York recently by Samsung to make-over a greenhouse alongside Emily Henderson for the new The Frame TV. It was such an amazing experience!
 
B: What are the latest industry trends and what do you have in store for My Scandinavian Home in the future?
 
MSH: There are lots of exciting trends in the mix: the use of natural, sustainable materials, focusing on the 'imperfect', playfulness and earthy, sophisticated colour palettes.
 
I've got some exciting plans ahead for My Scandinavian Home. The team has recently grown to include an interior designer and admin/content specialist/graphic designer (all around fabulous person in other words!). We're looking at showing a bigger variety of posts - from home tours, DIY, latest trends, and make-overs. There are some other big projects in the pipeline too but sadly I can't talk about them yet! Watch this space....

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