Photo credit: with permission from Chloe of @houseinthemiddle
The Scandinavian trend seems to be less of a trend and more of a fixed interior design 'style', don't you think? And there are some good reasons for that. The beautiful design, restrained colour palettes and the emphasis on functionality combine to make it a style that works well to live with as much as look at. So, it's no surprise Chloe has fallen head over heels for Scandinavian interior design like so many of us.
Fusing Scandinavian style with her Victorian terrace and a preference for monochrome (with a little grey thrown in for good measure), Chloe's home caught my eye. Chloe and her fiance Stuart live in Hertfordshire. They moved in August 2016 and are about to celebrate a year of living in their home...and what a year it's been! They've been their home for just shy of twelve months, and have given it "lots of TLC and a much needed update ever since".
Chloe was kind enough to show me around her house, and I thought you might like to nosy around it too...
Hi, Chloe! First, can you give me a whistle-stop tour of your home?
Hi! Well, the kitchen and outdoor space are probably the two areas that have seen the biggest changes or had the most work done. My favourite spot is the garden - I love relaxing on a deckchair outside, and I don't really feel the need to go on holiday anymore!
The kitchen is definitely the project we're most proud of. We've managed to really modernise the existing kitchen, and it cost us about £800 to make the room look completely different. That figure included paint, tiling and new flooring, so I would definitely recommend looking at how you can refresh what you've got if you know really it's too good quality to rip it all out!
I am still decorating the bedrooms so haven't got complete photos of our bedrooms yet...
The bathroom is something we haven't touched at all, as want to completely re-do that once we have saved up in a few years. (I should think about a wedding at some point but find the house way more fun!)
And the dining room needs a bit more styling love, too. I'm planning new lighting, new dining chairs, and maybe a rug, but I'm looking at ways to do that on a budget and deciding on exactly the right pieces. Updates to follow on Instagram in due course, I'm sure!
Thanks! Ok, now onto the details...how would you define your interior style? Is there anywhere/anything in the world that influences how you've chosen to decorate you home?
I don't know how exactly to define my style...so this could be a long-winded answer. I am massively drawn to Scandinavian design: I absolutely love the clean lines of Scandi furniture, the neutral or monochrome colour palettes and the way they mix in natural textures like wood and wool throws, and sheepskins.
I've been lucky enough to travel to Stockholm and Copenhagen with work (I'm a knitwear buyer by day and supposed to go and look at jumpers! But it is so hard to stay focused on that with the incredible interiors shops they have there).
I know my house doesn't look purely Scandi, however. It's a Victorian property and I really love original features like the fireplaces, so I try and work around those features in some rooms.
Well it works - and who says you can't blend styles, right?! Where do you tend to shop for bits & bobs for your home? Is there anywhere you'd recommend?
I am an obsessive shopper...it's a bit of a problem! I pick up a few pieces as I travel, as I love having things from places I've been. For example, the black and white photos in the living room and bedroom are from holidays I've tried to frame in an interesting way.
But mostly I'm a big online interiors shopper...we bought a lot of from Made.com when we first started shopping for the house. Our bed, living room rug and the neutral armchair are from Made, and I think they have good lighting and accessories. I always find a gorgeous armchair that I want!
I tend to shop in other places for accessories and cushion, such as La Redoute and Maison du Monde. When I'm on a tighter budget, I absolutely love H&M home. And I've found a few gems in places like Dunelm and Matalan, and Aldi is doing some incredible little bits too - you can find it all online if don't have a store nearby. I always have a look on Amazon and eBay as well, and in fact, most the garden is accessorised via those two!
What do you love most about your home? (I love your garden!)
Yes, I absolutely love the garden. It's totally been my happy space this summer. We lived in a flat before this, and I lived in London for 5 years so haven't had a garden since I left home in Yorkshire about 15 years ago.
The other thing I really love is how much both our families have helped us since we moved, and there is literally something in every room that makes me think of someone.
My mother in law always buys me the loveliest gifts, and my mum and dad are so practical and hard-working...they tiled the whole kitchen for us in 2 days and it looks completely professional - they are incredible!
Both your parents sound lovely! And is there anything that frustrates you about your home?
The only thing that really frustrates me is how cold it got in winter...I didn't really think about that when moving into a Victorian house, so any advice on insulating old houses very welcome! I can't say it's not an excuse to build up a collection of gorgeous throws, however ;).
Where do you get your design/decorating inspiration from?
I get inspired by different places I travel to, and we still live near London so there are always gorgeous buildings, hotels and bars that have great interiors. Oh, and it is hard to peel my phone off me...I am always online on Pinterest and mainly Instagram. I love (more so these days) looking at real homes for inspiration, and there is such a lovely interiors community on Instagram. Everyone offers advice and gives lots of compliments and inspiration along the way.
What interior/DIY advice would you give yourself if you could time-travel back to when you first moved in?
I would say not to rush. Take the time to research and find the pieces you want. I am both impatient and a perfectionist, but I've learnt that it's better to wait and know it's right. Also, if you need work done by someone else, definitely wait and get a few quotes. We probably paid too much for damp work when we first moved as I wanted it done quickly so I could get decorating.
Finally, if money were no object, what would you buy/do to your home to transform it into the place of your dreams?
The only thing I would change if money were no object is extending the back of the house so that there were bi-folding doors into the garden. (Our kitchen door and window is on the side of the house looking onto the lovely wheelie bins!).
I didn't realise how much I would love my garden, so it would be nice to be able to see it all the time...I love houses on Instagram that that have an instant indoor-outdoor vibe. And I'd like to make the back bedroom a bit bigger so it was a proper double room. Thank you so much, Chloe, for letting me nose around your home and for answering all of my questions! Your love for your home really shines through and I'm excited to see how your bedrooms are getting along. Who else will be following Chloe on Instagram for home updates, then..?!