Rest, Work and Play

Private home south of Sweden featured in Residence Magazine Photography by Pia Ulin Styling by Lotta Agaton Image 1

Private home south of Sweden featured in Residence Magazine Photography by Pia Ulin Styling by Lotta Agaton Image 2

Winter’s arrived here in Perth and I’m keen to make my home cosier by swapping and restyling some rooms. Looking for inspiration, I started flicking through an issue of Residence magazine from 2013, and came across this story …

This is an inspiring home with so many DIY ideas, including the oversized pots in the outdoor area, as well as the sheepskin for added softness. Although my outdoor area has a coastal feel, a concrete pot with lavender would fit in nicely and also provide a lovely scent in the afternoon sun. As I am a big fan of sheepskin there are already plenty around the house – I might put a couple to good use on the weatherboard decking, so my eight-month-old son Julius has somewhere to play.

The dining area with the subway tiles is so on trend at the moment. The subway theme is being used not just in porcelain tiles, but also in wallpaper and murals, and I love it. I was also inspired by the antique sofa with grey sheepskin, the mix-and-match Hans Wegner chairs and the use of greenery. At the moment my dining area features a birch kitchen sofa (every Swedish kitchen has a sofa!), white Eames chairs and chrome pendants, although I am seriously considering calling my electrician to change my pendants to one of these striking wall-mounted lights instead. I’ve had my eye on them for a while …

Private home south of Sweden featured in Residence Magazine Photography by Pia Ulin Styling by Lotta Agaton Image 4

Private home south of Sweden featured in Residence Magazine Photography by Pia Ulin Styling by Lotta Agaton Image 5

Private home south of Sweden featured in Residence Magazine Photography by Pia Ulin Styling by Lotta Agaton Image 3

I love how this home has been designed for play and relaxation. See how the teepee and the hammock are integrated to create a relaxed and comfortable space with a modern feel? This makes me think I should swap my bedroom, which is near the living room, with my two-year-old daughter Imogen’s, so she can play freely between our living room and her room.

Speaking of my living room, that’s also in need of a restyle. I’m inspired by the studio light and the black-and-white photos; I’m thinking I might frame some cool but more child-friendly art to make the room more graphic and edgy – at the moment it’s very white and soft grey. And don’t tell my assistant, Gemma, but I’m tempted to ‘borrow’ the work studio’s black sheepskin to replace the grey one on my sofa at home …

Private home south of Sweden featured in Residence Magazine Photography by Pia Ulin Styling by Lotta Agaton Image 7

Final design inspiration comes from the home office. I really love the ‘grid’ – I think I’ll get one to replace the mood boards that are currently in my office. Here I can peg some of my favourite shots of my children with other inspiring images. My study is very white-on-white at the moment – broken up only by my grandpa’s wooden writing desk – so a black grid and a few black and white photos would make it less stark and more inviting. I’ll keep you updated on my progress!

Styling Lotta Agaton and photographer Pia Uhlin

Food for Nordic Thought

Private Dining Room Basement of Höst Image from Norm Architects - Image 1

Höst Worlds Best Design Restuarant Image from Norm Architects - Image 2

If you love Scandinavian design, chances are you’ll have already heard of the Danish company Norm Architects. They are a source of great inspiration to me in my work and in my personal life. For the past five years or so, these guys have been involved in residential architecture, commercial interiors, industrial design, photography, graphics and art direction – all in the spirit of traditional Scandinavian simplicity, of course.

Solitude at Hölst Image from Norm Architects - Image 3

New Norm Dinnerware for sale at Höst  Image from Norm Architects - Image 4

I’m completely infatuated with most of Norm Architects’ designs. Recently I was introduced to – and fell in love with – their dinnerware collection, designed for Danish design company Menu. It’s got a truly Nordic feel to it. And it seems I’m not the only one – the collection was so popular that the two companies teamed up with renowned Copenhagen restaurateurs Cofoco to create this amazing restaurant called Höst (Autumn).

Höst Dining Room Image from Norm  Architects - Image 5

Höst Restaurant  Image from Norm Architects

Höst Restaurant  Image from Norm Architects Image 2

Norm Architects have used recycled wood, industrial pendant lights and woollen blankets to create rustic Scandinavian dining rooms. These elements, in combination with minimalistic and sleek dining chairs and the specially designed, basic white tableware alongside blue and grey pieces and slabs of granite, capture the heart of Nordic design: it’s romantic yet modern, urban yet rural and rustic yet simplistic.

Pantry In The Cellar at Höst Restaurant Image from Norm Architects - Image 10

The food emphasises organic, locally produced Nordic cuisine, and the restaurant even has a jam and preserves cellar in place of the traditional wine cellar! In September 2013 Höst won The World’s Best Design Restaurant award at the annual Bar & Restaurant Design Awards in London. I’m not surprised! I am definitely paying a visit to this restaurant on my next trip to Scandinavia. I can’t wait.

Photographer Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen

A Life Less Cluttered

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Think of Scandinavian design, and what springs to mind is sleek, white minimalism. Which makes sense, as ‘minimalism’ as a design movement began in the Scandinavian countries in the 1950s.

Characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality, Scandinavian design is sometimes considered dull and lacking in personality – although I disagree, of course. Personally – and professionally – I naturally follow the ‘less is more’ motto in my styling and interior design.

When this design style is used in the correct way, the result is both striking and harmonious, creating a feeling of calmness and tranquillity. Although I must admit that I do sometimes tend to over-clutter with raw materials and textures as I am drawn to eclecticism as well as minimalism. More about eclecticism another time!

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What inspires me about minimalistic interiors is their understatement. A simple colour palette of black, white and/or grey, combined with raw, natural materials such as wood, concrete and wool, may look basic, but in fact has been created by someone incredibly skilled and talented.

One of my favourite stylists and bloggers, Pella Hedeby, has skilfully mastered this paired-back, Scandinavian style of minimalism. In her blog, Stil Inspiration, Pella shares all that inspires her in the way of interior design and architecture, including examples of her own work. Another blog, Hitta Hem, is where she and fellow interior designer Marie Ramse share more of their amazing projects.

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This apartment, styled by Pella and photographed by Kristofer Johansson, is an excellent example of a minimalistic space, full of personality. Warmth has been added by mixing different kinds of materials and using textured layers. Carefully chosen, contemporary pieces of furniture complement shaggy sheepskins. I also love the mood boards, black and white photographs, and statement lighting, which often feature in Pella’s work.

The result? A harmonious and well-balanced oasis, where light and dark hues illuminate the natural spectrum.

Northern Highlights


So here it is! After seven years of running Scandinavian Wallpaper & Décor, and a lifetime of being inspired by beautiful interiors and creative people, it’s time for me to finally share my design inspirations and personal style with the world … when I’m not busy running my business or looking after my two young children, that is.


Naturally I am inspired by Scandinavian and Nordic designs, as that’s where my roots are. Scandinavia is well known as a hub of creative interior design talent. Perhaps it’s something to do with the lack of light and the cold temperatures, forcing people to stay indoors and transform their homes into something personal, functional and wonderful.


This living room from the super-talented (and Swedish, of course!) Lotta Agaton’s home captures what I think Scandinavian and Nordic Design is all about: light, bright and white, with clean lines and striking symmetry. Look at the  balance between the graphic white and black softened by natural leather and greeneries. The approach is formal but the end result is casually comfortable.


Photography by Pia Uhlin.
Stylist Lotta Agaton