Creating My Dream Wardrobe From Start to Finish!

Creating My Dream Wardrobe From Start to Finish!


Paid partnership with Elfa, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love. 

Remember I said this was going to the year I finally organise my home? I've moved one step closer - my new wardrobe is finished! 

Allow me to paint the scene. My previous wardrobe was sandwiched between the girls' bedrooms on the floor below, it was really small and cramped and I had to tip-toe through their rooms at night. I could never find anything; it simply wasn't practical in any shape or form and honestly, a total mess!

The far side of our bedroom on the top floor seemed like the obvious choice for a new one. In the past, this corner a reading corner, yoga studio and even once graced the cover of a book as my home office! But I've never really felt it's been put to great use - until now! 

The problem was, it's a slightly awkward spot: sandwiched between the stairs and a large radiator - plus it has a sloped ceiling. 

Here's how I transformed it with the help of international Swedish brand Elfa

The brief

I had an entire jumble of items that needed a home - from maxi dresses, jumpsuits, sweaters, jeans and gym kit, to hats, tights, jewellery and lingerie! Since we share a bathroom between five of us (two of which are teenagers) I was also keen to incorporate a little spot to do my hair and make-up. A girl can dream!

The obstacles


Radiator

This mighty radiator was in the way. To be honest, we hadn't used it all winter since I like to keep the area cool for my beloved lemon tree (AKA my fourth child!) while it winters indoors. Removing it was a no-brainer, so we called the plumber in. It left a gaping hole which we plugged and painted over.  

Bannisters

The bannisters to the left of the space were also an obstacle. In the end we decided to build a short floor-to-ceiling wall to frame the side of the wardrobe. 

Angled ceiling

Probably one of the most common problems when building a wardrobe is an awkward sloped ceiling. We hired a builder to insert a made-to-measure triangular shaped wood piece above the open-topped wardrobe. It was painted the same colour for a seamless look. The best thing about this is that we can use the full height of the room for storage. 

The design
The beauty of Elfa is that the system is fully flexible and can be adapted to fit your space and your needs. Plus, they offer a great online planning tool which enables you to easily design and plan your wardrobe to the exact measurements of your room - love that!  

The system is centred around a series of vertical rods from which you 'click-in' your choice of shelves, sliding shoe racks, trouser rails, tie racks, rods, drawers, mirrors, hooks etc. 

Since it's in our bedroom, I wanted to go for a slightly smarter option, choosing a few items from the Décor assortment which combines function and flexibility with the style and luxury of wood. I combined open and closed solutions together with extra features such as a gliding shoe and trouser rack and somewhere to hang shorter and longer clothes. 

Door selection

I chose Forma doors in melamine satin white - a three door sliding solution. There are countless others to choose from (for those of you who live in Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Finland) - or you could go wild and opt for an open solution (I'm WAY too messy for that!).

The results

Once the vertical rods had been installed, everything else could just be clicked into place. Most of my wardrobe is made up of wire shelves with Décor fascia for a sleek, smart finish. 

I don't know how good you are at folding, but I think Marie Kondo would describe mine as distinctly sub-par! If you're the same, let me tell you, these click-in wire shelf dividers are a game changer. Not only do they condense the width of your folded sweaters making them appear more neat - they also allow you to double up on each shelf so you have room for more clothes. 

A long closet rod means I have place for longer and shorter clothes. And I placed some of my smarter sweaters in boxes from the Elfa studio - love that they can be dust free but still visible. 


Over to the opposite side of my wardrobe and guess what? 

Tadaaa! I have a special place to do my hair and make-up!

So much more relaxing to get ready without someone else on the loo behind me (not kidding!). 


I added a soft drawer accessories tray to the upper drawers and then simple mesh metal dividers to the lower drawers - all of which help to keep the drawers neat and organised! 

Don't mind me while I hang out around my new dream wardrobe picking out jungle-style clothes and generally admiring ow neat it is! I've got no excuses now not to use a wardrobe instead of a chair at night (gaaah!) and up my style game. Oh, the pressure! 

I hope you found this wardrobe build interesting / inspiring - especially if you are looking to organise a room in your home. If so, check out Elfa and find your nearest store here - they ship pretty much worldwide. 

Next step: Allie's bedroom. Back to the planning tool! 

I look forward to sharing the results with you in early June!

Niki

Photography: Niki Brantmark


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A Dated Property is Restored to a Dream Swedish Country House

A Dated Property is Restored to a Dream Swedish Country House


From a summer cottage on an island in southern Jutland, Denmark yesterday - to the fields of Skåne, South Sweden today: welcome to Marie and Eric's beautiful country home. The pair have been painstakingly restoring their dream home for over four years - transforming both the interior and exterior.  To say they had vision would be an understatement. In fact, the facade alone will inspire any house hunter out there to see beyond less attractive exteriors! Step inside, and you're transported into a cosy world of exposed wood beams, arched windows, DIY cabinets and antique furniture. Ready to feel inspired? Let's take the tour. 

Exterior before


A red brick house has been given a complete make-over with the help of a new facade, windows and doors.

Exterior after


Entrance before


Entrance after


Main kitchen after the renovation


The beautiful black glass cabinet was made using a built-in structure fitted with antique pains. It reminds me of the DIY cabinet in the Montana home of Jana Roach

Main living area before 

Previously a warren of small, modern rooms, Eric and Marie completely gutted the space, knocking down walls, ripping out the floor and stripping back the ceiling to reveal the original wood beams and original architecture. 


Main living area after

The cosy open-plan living room and dining area is bathed in light from arched windows, while wood beam ceilings add warmth and an intimate feel to the spacious room. 




Mezzanine floor after


Bathroom before

The bathroom is pretty much unrecognisable, with the ceiling completely knocked through and smaller windows exchanged for arched glass doors in keeping with traditional Skåne architecture. 

Bathroom after


Quite the transformation!

I love it when a house is restored to its former glory like this, it requires so much dedication, but the results are so worth it! 

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

You can see more of Marie and Eric's wonderful home and their ongoing renovation over at @oliverogård
There are a ton more 'before and after' tours in this archive if you feel like hanging around for a while (if this pops up first, just scroll past!). 

I'm very excited about sharing my new dream wardrobe with you tomorrow including the before pictures, the design and results. I hope you're going to like it as much as I do - hopefully it might inspire anyone out there looking to create some more storage! 

Vi ses imorgon!

Niki 

Photography courtesy of @oliverogård, shared with kind permission. 


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est Living Luxury Linen Bespoke Bedlinen 17

Bespoke Luxury Bedding Isn’t Just A Dream | Abode


How do you find Abode’s bespoke/made-to-order service?

Swee Lim: The pandemic has resulted in extensive lead times for production. With Abode manufacturing locally, I can receive a custom order with an in-stock fabric in approximately five to ten days. An extraordinarily quick turnaround!

Would you take advantage of the option to source your own fabric from Abode’s Italian suppliers to create a custom order? How would this help your work?

Swee Lim: Absolutely. Clients are very particular about their beds in terms of quality and comfort. Like their furniture, they want something unique that is specifically tailored to their tastes. Also, Abode doesn’t have restrictions with their off-the-shelf products, which are usually very limited in colour options.

What is your favourite product within the Abode collection?

Swee Lim: An absolute favourite is their Nova sateen range. My bedroom is my haven for relaxation, and I use this range myself. It is the ultimate in luxury and softness – made from the finest Italian fabric with a 375 thread count. What I love are the 70 colour options I can choose from. If I style a bed for example, in the soft greys and blues from the charcoal range, I have eight different colours to choose from, delivering the exact outcome I’m seeking. In addition, I can layer bedlinen in different tones to get a rich, layered look while using contrasting colours as accents. This really opens up options to create a sophisticated and refined look.

What impresses you most about Abode?

Swee Lim: I would have to say their commitment to Australian design and production. They are a family business with long term, dedicated staff. Their use of the finest quality fabrics from Italy and the level of detail (right down to the hemstitch detail) mean they’re a company I will enjoy working with for many years to come.



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The Dream Swedish Country House of 'Our Food Stories' is For Sale!

The Dream Swedish Country House of ‘Our Food Stories’ is For Sale!


If ever there was an opportunity to snap up a beautiful country home in Österlen, South Sweden this would be it. In fact, when Laura and Nora (of Our Food Stories / Design Tales) reached out to me this morning to tell me the news they were selling I nearly cried on their behalf. But all good things must come to an end, and it's time for this incredibly talented couple to focus on projects in their home country of Germany. Which means that this beautiful house from the 1800s in the tiny village of Södra Mellby is waiting for a new owner!
Since buying it in 2019, Laura and Nora have carried out extensive renovations all the while being careful to maintain the original charm. You might recognise the incredible oak DeVOL kitchen (I once featured it here) - but this is the first time I've shown the rest of the house. And true to their signature style, I was thrilled to see the entire space has been furnished with a wonderful blend of vintage and antique pieces as well as Scandinavian design items, against a calming earthy backdrop. Ready to take a tour? 

Needless to say, the creative duo has amassed over 1 million followers on instagram. Check out Our Food Stories and Design Tales for more inspiration. 

Kram! 

Niki

Photography: Our Food Stories / Design Tales, shared with kind permission



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my scandinavian home: Dream weekend getaway: Le Viti Barn

my scandinavian home: Dream weekend getaway: Le Viti Barn


Disclaimer

Scandinavian Home has paid advertising banners and product affiliate links, which means I earn a very small amount of money if you click through and buy an item. Any products or services provided free of charge to My Scandinavian Home are only mentioned / shown in a post if they are a natural fit with my content and style and are clearly marked. Sponsored give-aways and posts are clearly stated in the post. All images posted on this blog are copyrighted to their respective owners (as credited).The information provided by My Scandinavian Home (“we,” “us” or “our”) on https://www.myscandinavianhome.com (the “Site”) is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however, we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site. Under no circumstance shall we have any liability to you for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of the site or reliance on any information provided on the site. Your use of the site and reliance on any information on the site is solely at your own risk.



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Your dream kitchen renovation checklist PLUS free printable download

Your dream kitchen renovation checklist PLUS free printable download


When it comes to planning a kitchen remodel there are so many considerations, where do you even start? Is it with the cabinetry finish, the appliances, the layout, tiles….? In this post I’ll share the chronological design and build process for anyone thinking about embarking on a kitchen renovation. Whether it be a part of a whole home reno or an isolated spruce up, follow this kitchen renovation checklist to create your dream kitchen.

Related article: The kitchen design measurements you need to know — from an Interior Designer!
Related article: Interior inspo: Pocket doors

Words by Jen Jones

Plan, plan, plan

Like any other part of a home renovation, the most important step is to PLAN.

Don’t launch straight into demolition without knowing exactly what it is you’re going to do next — particularly if your kitchen is currently closed off from the rest of your home and you’re looking for a more open-plan solution.

Why?

Well often the wall between a kitchen and adjacent dining room serves more than just the role of a room divider. In fact, it might be partially responsible for holding your roof up!

So before ripping it out, I recommend asking a local tradesperson to come and take a look as part of your due diligence process. If it’s what we call ‘load-bearing’ (i.e. it is carrying part of the structural load of your home) then you might need to hire a structural engineer.

A structural engineer will complete some fancy calculations before specifying the exact size and material for the structural beam and possible posts that are going to replace that wall.

More on this later!

Planning a renovation
Planning in progress for a home renovation

Conceptualising the kitchen design

If you’re working with a kitchen consultant or interior designer, then the first thing you are likely to receive is a concept layout plan. Popular layouts include: galley style kitchen, an L or U shape kitchen, and with or without a kitchen island or return. Read more about different kitchen configurations here. The best layout will depend on your brief and the space available.

If you’re lucky, you might get some concept images as well. These are renders of the design, or more likely at this early stage — photos of kitchens that have been drawn on for design inspiration.

You don’t necessarily need to work with a kitchen consultant or interior designer to create your dream kitchen. With the fabulous range of do-it-yourself solutions on the market now, you can achieve a designer look for less. But don’t skip this step of conceptualizing your kitchen design! It’s easy to create your own mood board using images from Pinterest and material swatches you’re planning on using. And if you feel like flexing your inner designer, there are free tools like SketchUp where you can create 3D models of your design.

If you’re already feeling overwhelmed then don’t worry, there are likely some limitations to your space that will narrow down the range of options you can choose from (trust me, this makes it easier!), but no matter the layout, the next stage of the kitchen design process is to figure out the combination of kitchen cabinets. Be it cupboards, drawers, larders or shelves; and where your cooktop and sink might go!

Laying out your kitchen

Have you heard of the ‘golden triangle’? It’s a decades old theory that the kitchen’s three main work areas should form a triangle if an invisible line was drawn between them. The idea is that if you’re cooking you need quick access to ingredients from the fridge / pantry and quick access to the sink to place used pots. So these three ‘work areas’ become the three points of the triangle.

There are always exceptions to the rules (i.e. single wall kitchens), but it’s a great starting point and a no-fail way to think about your kitchen layout. Gina shares more on this under the ‘function first’ section of her blog post 10 tips for successful kitchen planning.

Hiding appliances in an on-bench cabinet
Melissa Lunardon shares all her insights on the kitchen measurements you need to know

Depths, heights and distances

Much like the golden triangle, there are also guidelines you can follow for the overall size and position of your kitchen cabinets. Consider this the ultimate kitchen design cheat sheet!

Interior Designer Melissa Lunardon shared her top tips on all the kitchen measurements you need to know here. It’s a fabulous guide to follow to ensure you get a designer look kitchen — and more importantly, one that functions well.

Cupboards, drawers, shelves and larders

When it comes to figuring out what combination of kitchen cabinets to put where, I suggest you start by auditing your existing kitchen. What is and isn’t working? Do you have too many cupboards with frustratingly hard to reach pots and pans in them? A bunch of drawers that are too deep for cutlery but too shallow for anything else? Believe it or not, there is a bit of a fine art to getting the combo right!

The best way to start, is to plan out where everything will go with a quick bubble diagram. It’s a simple way of mapping out where different purpose areas will go. Every kitchen will have at least the following three purpose areas, as they form the points of your golden triangle.

Food storage

The fridge / freezer and pantry should be positioned next to each other if possible, so all food is in one location, regardless of how they’re stored. Ideally there will be a stretch of clear bench space between the pantry and sink for food preparation and so you can easily drop dishes into the ‘clean-up’ area before starting cooking.

Orton Haus kitchen island
Food storage seamlessly integrated at Orton House, take the tour

Clean-up

The sink, dishwasher and draining board plus adequate storage (usually an under-sink cupboard) for cleaning supplies is all you need in the clean-up zone. Ideally positioned between the cooking area and food storage area as explained above.

Cooking

An oven positioned either under-bench with an on-bench hob and adjacent work area, or on the wall with an adjacent cooktop and bench space is all you need here functionally speaking. The surrounding kitchen cabinets should be used to store pots, pans, casserole dishes, baking trays and utensils. Sometimes herbs and spices are located in the cooking zone as well. These are generally used to season food as it’s cook so it often makes more sense to store these in the cooking area rather than food storage area.

If you’re lucky enough to have a roomy kitchen or an adjacent walk-in pantry or scullery, then you might also find the following purpose areas as well.

Baking

A mixer, dry ingredients, utensils, baking trays etc in one dedicated location, usually in a scullery if applicable.

Small appliances

Also often in a scullery or walk-in pantry, or sometimes an on-bench concealed cupboard — the toaster, kettle, coffee machine, blender etc.

Entertainment

A mini bar or drinks station, possibly positioned near the breakfast bench if there is one (not to say drinks are had for breakfast though!).

Timber cabinetry with hidden storage
Beautiful example of creating kitchen zones in this kitchen by Zephyr + Stone

Household

A location for letters, bills, a phone (where landlines still exist!), pens and paper, recipe books etc.

Now that your purpose areas are sorted, you can shortlist what will be stored where and what combination of cupboards, shelves, drawers and larders you might need in each area. It’s important to get the function of your kitchen design right before getting into the fun part: choosing your cabinet finishes, tapware, hardware and adjacent wall and floor finishes.

What is your new kitchen going to cost?

There’s no ignoring the reality of budget and needing to create your dream kitchen within certain budget constraints.

The cost of benchtops, cabinetry finishes and hardware can vary significantly. Laminate cupboards vs painted, natural stone or terrazzo benchtops vs engineered or laminate, and standard tapware vs specialty finishes… the list goes on.

So before you get too excited by beautiful finishes, you’ll want to get some preliminary pricing for your kitchen. This includes any builder’s work or services (such as plumbing and electrical) and finishes (like splashback, paint and flooring).

If you’re working with a kitchen specialist or interior designer, then it’s possible they will have connections to other trades and can offer a complete design and build service. If they can’t however, you’ll need to find a builder who can. Ideally one contractor who can coordinate all of the other subbies (plumber, sparky, tiler, painter) for you, including their preferred cabinetmaker.

Inside a kitchen pantry
The finishes you select can affect your budget drastically… although, details this gorgeous are worth splurging on! See more of this kitchen by designer Alison Lewis

When the first quote comes in, make sure you check it over thoroughly and ensure it covers the entire scope — is the splashback missing? Is the kitchen tap and sink included? How about the door hardware? Anything that is missing now is only going to surprise you later, and no one likes the kinds of surprises that come with an extra cost!

If the quote is more than what you’ve budgeted for, and there’s no room to move, then you might need to revisit the design. Consider these cost-saving tips:

  • drawers cost more than cupboards
  • open-shelves above-bench are more affordable than cupboards
  • profiled cabinetry (shaker, v-groove, finger pull) is more expensive than flush cabinetry
  • integrated appliances add a lot of cost — both for the appliance itself and the additional joinery
  • add-ons like soft-close, pull-out larders and carousels for your corner cupboards are practical but costly.

As well as the above items, your selected finishes will also have an impact on the cost – but as the aesthetic component of the kitchen, perhaps you’re less willing to compromise on that than the functional components within?

This is also a good time to think about appliances. You will need the specs of each to finalise your design for production so don’t delay this decision. There are two schools of thought when it comes to appliances — some believe they are the workhorse of the kitchen and should be one of your biggest splurge items, and others will hold onto existing appliances where possible to help with a kitchen reno cashflow. Whatever you decide, it’s important to have the long-term goal in mind. If you decide to keep your existing fridge for now, make sure the cavity is large enough to fit your dream model down the track when you can afford to upgrade.

Renovation ebook
Jen’s free e-book is filled with practical tips to keep your project budget on track

Bringing your design to life

If you’re renovating or remodelling an existing kitchen and it’s destined to remain in the same location, then the first thing your builder (or an enthusiastic DIYer) will do it demolish the existing kitchen. Before you start swinging your sledgehammer though, bear in mind that all of the services will need to be safely disconnected — that might mean getting a plumber and electrician to site.

Once everything old is out, you or your builder can start making way for the new. This might mean removing a wall to open a space up (be mindful of whether it’s load-bearing and a Building Permit trigger) or framing up a new wall for the elusive walk-in pantry or scullery you’re finally going to get.

If you are removing a load-bearing wall, then the structural design will have specified something like a laminated timber beam that gets installed in the ceiling to bridge the space that was once a wall. This may or may not be connected to some steel or timber posts either end (concealed in the walls). In either case, the existing structure will need to be temporarily propped before the wall framing is removed and the new beam is installed. Depending on your local Council rules, this work might need to be undertaken by a suitable licensed builder.

Before the walls are lined with plasterboard, all of your services will need to be run inside the walls to their new locations — think kitchen sink, oven, rangehood, fridge / freezer, various small appliances — anywhere you will need a tap (or waste) and anywhere you’d find a double power outlet handy. If your renovation requires a Building Permit, then the local inspector might want to inspect everything at this point too. But rest assured a qualified and licensed builder will sort that out for you.

This is also a great time to install some extra framing in the walls to fix your overhead cabinets or open shelves into!

When the services are in place the walls can be lined, stopped, sanded and sealed ready for paint, tiles and kitchen cabinetry. If you’re doing something with your flooring, you might opt to sort this before your new kitchen cabinets go in as well, just in case anything changes in the layout in the future.

After the walls are lined, and while you’re sorting out your painting and flooring, the cabinetmaker will likely come to site and complete a measure ready for producing Shop Drawings. This is an important part of the kitchen manufacture process that ensures the original design will fit in the space, or if not, what changes might be required. Sometimes this might be as simple as adding a filler panel or extending the width of your fridge alcove by 20mm to fill the space.

Before you engage any contractors, make sure they are suitably qualified and have the necessary insurances in place, and don’t forget to check that your own house and contents insurance covers the renovation as well!

More kitchen inspiration

About the author

Jen Jones

Jen Jones is an Auckland-based project manager with over 10 years’ experience in the commercial construction sector. She set up her business Nine Yards Consulting with the goal of bringing this expertise to homeowners and rookie renovators who need help achieving their dream home goals without all of the unnecessary stress, timeline overruns and budget blowouts they normally come with. Jen has a range of free ebooks and renovation resources available on her website, including a home renovation ecourse that gives you all the tools you need to kickstart and complete your home renovation with ease.



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