We’ve been renting for a couple of years but the ultimate goal is to get on the property ladder and have a place of our own. In our first rented flat in Oxford, there was a whole list of “You cannot do this and that” which is understandable. So that was basically a little shelter over our heads but nothing close to what I imagined a home would be. In Germany, tenants have more freedom to decorate the property as long as it’s within reason. In fact we’re responsible for painting the place and are even allowed to drill nails into the walls to hang pictures etc. We were quite excited at the sound of this since we were dying to hang that £150 frame which I got for Daniel for our first anniversary.
As we moved to a new country not knowing how long we would be here and whether we’ll even like it, we walked into Ikea and got all the necessary furniture for our unfurnished apartment for just under 2000 Euros. Not bad, isn’t it? I love our apartment even though it’s nothing fancy. It is cosy enough and most importantly, we’re in a good location and surrounded by really nice neighbours. My landlady has been a star and ever so encouraging (and patient with our inadequate German skills). Having said that, I won’t buy this apartment. It has two equally large rooms which makes it really awkward and the corners of the rooms are quite peculiar too.
Being the dreamers we are, we’ve been thinking of how we would design our first home. Ok, when I say “we” what I really mean is “I”. I love checking out properties online. It gives me an idea of what the market is like, what sort of places are available, in which areas etc. The most exciting aspect of looking at properties for me is seeing myself in a house decorated the way I want. And by the way (if you haven’t realised from the post’s title), I’m officially a BIG FAN of Scandinavian interior design (geez… there’s much more than Ikea!).
A quick google search will tell you that Scandinavian design is characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality. What other design suits me better than this? I hate clutter (hence minimalism), I’m a by-product of a pragmatic country (functionality) and I don’t see the necessity of complexity (hence simplicity is more than welcome). See the shelves in the picture below? That’s such a brilliant idea because I don’t have to drill many holes in the walls and it gives me the ease to swap frames too. After painting our living room white, I went to Ikea to get those wall shelves. First step to getting THE look!
Source: My Scandinavian Home
The freedom to paint our current apartment has made me realised that I love white walls more than anything else. It brightens up the room thus creating a very airy feel to it. The previous tenant had a dark greenish-grey feature wall in the living room. We thought it was lovely and cosy but when autumn came, it was dreadful. Although we get natural sunlight coming in from the balcony, the living room was kind of dark. And since winter was extra long, it was gloomy and affected our moods. Hence, off to OBI I went and painted the room all by myself!
Apparently you’ll often find Scandinavian homes painted in white with white floor boards to brighten the rooms since they (unfortunately, I think) have long winters and short daylight hours. White walls and floors may remind many of a clinical setting, but that’s where the fun begins! I’ll be able to spice up the place with little details! It could be as simple as having pots of plants/ flowers by the windows or on the tables/shelves, or funky seat cushions to add a splash of colour to the room.
Source: Hot Style Designs
If you’ve read my post on Cafe Brücke, you would know that I have a soft spot for rustic/vintage looking places. This doesn’t mean I like broken, dirty pieces in my home. I do dream of a place that has personality and character. Afterall, the home should be THE place you’ll want to return to and chill out. It should be the place that best reflects your personality.
Source: My Scandinavian Home
Another feature that our future property must have is “larger than normal” windows. That would allow lots of natural sunlight in to cheer us up. Lights are a vital element! We’re solar powered. When we were apartment hunting, I lost interest in whatever properties that had tiny windows. It would be ideal if every corner of the house gets all the natural light during daylight hours. I wouldn’t worry about privacy because all I have to get are curtains.
Source: Ideas Home Design
Although winters in Germany probably aren’t as severe as the Nordic states (very reluctant to experience it first hand), I really want to create a bright, airy and homey place for us. There’ll be so much to be done when we ultimately get there but it will be fun (try not to think of the stress and cost because I’m still dreaming!).