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IKEA Ideas - Modern minimalism in a family home

“Colour makes me happy. When people say they can’t pick a colour because they may not like it in a year, I think, ‘but you really don’t know who you’ll be in a year’s time!’ You don’t know what you’ll like, so don’t worry about it.”

Pretty pink

“There are a lot of white kitchens in the world,” says Nina. “Maybe colour scares people. When we moved here last February, I chose pink. Today I might choose a different colour because nothing stands still and I’m still figuring out my thing. I see hashtags like ‘Nordic boho’ on posts and think, ‘­I wish I could be one hashtag’. I’m really not there yet. But I do know I like pretty things!”

Open to change

“The house is a new build. The plans worked on paper but in reality we had a few too many walls. It gave us another room but closed the space so we lost the room to create a more open living space. I’m a fan of change. I move the chairs in the living room constantly. Now it’s like a cosy nook for us all although we’re rarely in here together. But that’s the joy of open-plan, we’re always close.”

The joy of hacking

“I love my IKEA pieces, I also love hacking them so they’re uniquely mine. Spray paint, adding handles and swapping the legs are my three top tips. I picked the handles for my STOCKHOLM cabinet because I like round shapes. These make the cabinet more feminine. There are lots of small, easy, inexpensive ways to personalise your home. I painted the arch pattern, it isn’t perfect, but it works!”

No room for excess baggage

“I don’t want a home full of stuff. I like it calm and minimal. I left home when I was 16 and for years I didn’t have a closet, I just had my things in blue IKEA bags because I moved so often. Now I consider everything I buy. For me, decluttering is part of life. I do it regularly and room by room. I look at every piece and think, do I love it, do I need it? If I can’t honestly say yes, it goes.”

Style upgrade

“Sometimes with my hacks, I look for pieces not everyone would buy and give them a new purpose. Other times, I get favourites and think how to make it special for our home. I found different legs to add to the cabinets in our bedroom, and painted the wood with a chalk paint that gives them a different expression.”

Bedtime comfort

When you move into a newly built home, where every room is a blank space, how do you make yourself feel at home? “The beds. The beds need to feel perfect, and feel good and cosy,” says Nina. “For me, nice sheets make a bed feel perfect. Once you have the beds sorted, everything else can wait.”

Room to play

“Nahla’s room changes as she grows. Right now she’s into dressing up and role-play so I’ve made her a dressing table. I rotate the kids’ toys to give them space to play. The ones they don’t play with anymore go in the attic. It means they’re not completely gone so if they ask for them again, I can bring them back down.”

Creative updates

“Nahla’s HEMNES furniture came with us from our old apartment. I painted the wardrobe and chest of drawers, they also got new handles. The flying birds ‘wallpaper’ is also paint. I printed out shapes of birds, cut them out in card, drew round them on the wall then painted them. I did it soon after we moved in, I had energy. I just did foxes on the boys’ wall. I made a stencil – it’s quicker!”

Study hall

Nina made the space at the top of the stairs into the kids’ school room. “I’m a designer, I’m balancing work with home-schooling the kids. It’s a lot but I wouldn’t trade this valuable time. This space is all theirs. The BESTA unit is the perfect depth and keeps their things together and easy for them to find. They love art so we made a craft space and a rug where they love to sit and read.”

“When spring comes I change colours. I have a strong urge to make everything light, bright and empty. Make a quick change with textiles – a duvet in a crisp new colour, metre fabric stretched over the headboard, throws in a mix of shades kept close for chilly nights.”

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