Portrait – Netherlands

After spending my Sunday afternoon on The Design Chaser once again I came across this absolutely beautiful space! I’ve been to the Netherlands a few times now and really wish I knew about this last time I visited, as I can safely say it’s now on my must see list!

This is Portrait, and Sonja Velda Photography has captured the space perfectly. I’m so taken by the raw beauty, exposed brick, and minimalist feel.

Interior Inspiration - Portrait by Blackthumb North America Interior Inspiration - Portrait by Blackthumb North America

Portrait was created by Karen, Daisy, and Rogier and was set up a place for brainstorming, working, shopping and of course to have good coffee. The brilliant idea around Portrait was to create a space for self-employed individuals to work and network, which sounds fantastic!

Interior Inspiration - Portrait by Blackthumb North America Interior Inspiration - Portrait by Blackthumb North America Interior Inspiration - Portrait by Blackthumb North America

This space used to be a stable but I love how the owners have left much of the building in an ‘as is’ state. It can even be hired out for private functions after hours. I think it would be a wonderful spot for a party with all its rustic and raw charm!

If you’re heading to the Netherlands soon and wish to check it out, you can find all the details at http://portrait-haarlem.nl/. Enjoy!
Images via: http://www.thedesignchaser.com/

5 Inspiring Design Blogs

Whether you just love good design, are looking for inspiration for a decorating project, or ideas for a renovation or new built I’ve compiled a list of five inspiring design blogs (in no particular order) that never disappoint!

1. (my) unfinished home is a fabulous Canadian blog that displays a real Scandinavian style of simplicity and minimalism. This blog always has something interesting to offer, from the latest in DIY that editor Bianca is working on, to good interior design from around the world.

5 Inspiring Design Blogs by Blackthumb North America

2. My Scandinavian Home, by the inspiring Niki Brantmark never disappoints in her display of Scandinavian style home tours. Updated daily this blog will always have something new and exciting for you to see, and is just full of so many different designs it’s sure to have something that will fit your taste. I love the variety it brings.

5 Inspiring Design Blogs by Blackthumb North America

3. Diane at 204 Park have a lovely blog jam packed with information from style, beauty, décor, recipes, DIY and more, so basically something that is sure to excite you! I’ve found so many good recipes on there; it’s my go to spot for find something fresh and healthy! And of course she’s always sharing inspiration in the design department from home tours, to tips on throwing beautifully designed garden parties and more.

5 Inspiring Design Blogs by Blackthumb North America

4. Heading south to New Zealand, The Designer Chaser blog has so much style I can never get enough. This lady, Michelle, is such a talented stylist, something I look to aspire to. She’s always posting pictures of her work and sharing really beautiful interiors, it’s a fabulous spot.

5 Inspiring Design Blogs by Blackthumb North America

5. Back on Canadian soil another great one is Nordic Design, this has so much information on it, it truly has something for everyone. I always enjoy reading the really interesting interviews Catherine does on her blog!

5 Inspiring Design Blogs by Blackthumb North America

When I started blogging I was blown away by just how big the ‘blogosphere’ is, and how many fantastic design blogs there are. It’s an amazing way to share and connect with others all around the world. I hope you enjoy the ones listed above!

Interview with My Scandinavian Home

We had the pleasure of interviewing Niki Brantmark from the award winning blog, My Scandinavian Home and are so excited to share it with you all. Niki posts daily on her blog, sharing homes from around the world that of course, have a Scandinavian feel. If you’re ever in need of inspiration for your next renovation, design product or just love checking out beautiful homes you’re sure to find something you love here. It’s no surprise as to why this blog won Domino Best Design Blog in 2014! I read this blog daily and I’m always blown away by the unique designs that Niki finds! We also talked to Niki about blogging full time and life in Sweden as an expat. Heading to Sweden anytime soon? See what she recommends on your visit.

Q. What made you want to start blogging about Scandinavian design?

A. I moved to Sweden 10 years ago and was bowled over by how much effort people put into their homes and what a great sense of style everyone has. The blog was a way of creating a mood-board of the homes I found online but also sharing with like-minded people.

Interview with My Scandinavian Home Blog through Blackthumb decor

Q. What do you find most challenging and conversely most rewarding about blogging?

A. I didn’t realize just how rewarding blogging could be, it opens up a whole new universe and I have met so many wonderful, supportive people. Since blogging full time i guess the challenge is that I have to post everyday without fail, so even when I’m on holiday. This is a small price to pay though as I wouldn’t swap my job for anything!

Interview with My Scandinavian Home Blog through Blackthumb decor

Q. What’s your favorite house tour you’ve done on the blog?

A. Wow, that’s a difficult one!! I would have to say all of the Scandinavian summer cottages – they’re so beautiful in a laid back, simple way.
(Check out this post on Niki’s blog here for some beautiful Scandinavian summer cottages, I wish I could spend my summer in one of these places!)

Interview with My Scandinavian Home Blog through Blackthumb decor

Q. Do you have any design advice for people currently renovating their home on how to make it truly reflect the individual?

A. I believe in taking your time and doing it bit by bit. Start with a blank canvas, look at how the light falls in each room. Then layer the spaces with practical things and items you love. Personal objects that tell a story about who you are; photos, art, items collected on travels, inherited furniture etc. You can also adapt high-street finds to make them your own.

Interview with My Scandinavian Home Blog through Blackthumb decor

Q. How do you find being an ex-pat in Sweden, and what are some of your favorite things about the Swedish culture?

A. I feel a very much a part of the culture these days since my husband is Swedish and I have two little girls who go to the local swedish school. I love the importance of work-life balance and the way swedes place emphasis on family time. The four weeks summer in July isn’t bad either!!

Interview with My Scandinavian Home Blog through Blackthumb decor 

Q. For anyone travelling to Sweden, what do you suggest they do if they only have 48 hours?

A. Oooo, tricky one. Sweden is a huge country! You could either go North to the arctic circle and stay at the fantastic ice hotel and go dog sledding and snowmobiling. You could do the whole Stockholm thing – visit design shops, explore the old town and take a boat out to the archipelagos. Come south where I am and explore both Sweden and Denmark in the same 48 hours (Malmö is just over the bridge from Copenhagen) – both have some great design shops, museums, outdoor bars, restaurants and beaches.My family and I are keen sailors so ultimately, if you’re like us I would recommend exploring the hundreds of islands of the Swedish coastline by boat.  You’d need several months to discover Sweden in all it’s glory! But hey, who says you come back again after your 48 hours!

Interview with My Scandinavian Home Blog through Blackthumb decor

 Thank you Niki for taking the time to speak with us. Head on over to say Hi and check her blog out here http://myscandinavianhome.blogspot.hk/

If you liked this you may also like the interview with product design Simon Legald from Normann Copenhagen.

5 Ways to Organize Your Kids Room

Though I haven’t fully experienced the joy of having lots of little ones running around all over the place and creating a trail of toys, crayons and whatever else they leave behind them, I can only image that as a parent the need for some good organization in a kids room would be very helpful! So that’s why I’ve turned to some fabulous bloggers and parents that do have children to see what they loved using to keep their kids rooms organized.

1. The top of the list is the Sne Lagre Felt Basket. According to Home Editor Emma Reddington of The Marion House Book and Chatelaine Magazine, ‘The felt storage basket by Sne is such a smart and stylish addition to my home. We use it in my son’s room as a laundry basket. It’s the kind of storage bin you don’t mind leaving out because it is so smartly tailored with a row of brass buttons and soft leather handles. In fact it’s the leather handles I love the most. They make it super-easy to tote both clean and dirty laundry back and forth from the laundry room. I imagine it would also work equally well as a toy storage bin or in an entryway for gloves, umbrellas and dog leashes.’

2. Pocket Organizers by Normann Copenhagen, I’m sure you’ve heard me rave about these enough but they are just so useful for so many things. I love how they’ve been styled in the image below via The Design Chaser.

3. Dropit Hooks by Normann Copenhagen, these are such a cute addition to any kids room or nursery. Perfect for hanging coats, backpacks, and more. You can also great really creative with and create a rain cloud like they done on Mitt Lille Hjerte blog.

4. Wire basket by Ferm Living, looks fabulous and great for storing pillows, extra blankets, stuffed animals, you name it, it will look adorable in one of these baskets.

5. Half Moon Basket by Ferm Living, I think the picture speaks for itself, these baskets are fabulous quality. I love how the design of these baskets can work beautifully in both a boy or girls room.

Pictures via: http://www.thedesignchaser.com/ and http://www.mittlillehjerte.com/

Top 5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

It’s not long now until Father’s Day, so to make life a little easier for you we thought we’d compile our Top 5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas for you!

1. New York Underground print, these gorgeous prints are brand new to North America (how cool will it be to tell your Dad he has one of the first ones!) and each one has the landmarks of New York on the print. I always thought this would be a great gift for anyone who visited this amazing city and loved it! 

2. Nur Tray, perfect for storing clone, watches, rings, books, you name it, I’m sure your Papa could find a fabulous use for it!

3. Pizza Wheel by the wonderful Normann Copenhagen. The thing I love about this is its like a 2 for 1, it’s not only a pizza wheel but has a beer opener on the other end. What’s not to love!

4. Coffee products, making life a little easier for those early mornings. These handcrafted pieces make sure everything is close at hand and always in the same spot. 

5. Whiskey Glasses, these come in a pack of two,  you can celebrate Father’s Day having a Scotch  with your Dad this year and say cheer’s!

Save 10% on your Father’s Day gift from us, by using the code: Cheersdad
We hope you have a fantastic Father’s Day!

Watermelon Mint Freshie

It’s finally summertime and if you’re looking for the perfect summertime drink, the girls over at 204 Park have figure it out, as well as loads of other fab recipes! This drink is a healthy alternative to other summer drinks and is so easy to make, you can always add a splash of vodka to make it a fun summer cocktail!

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Top 4 Scandinavian Summer Destinations

In Northern Scandinavia, you won’t see a sunset from May 18th to July 27th, literally six weeks of daylight to enjoy everything this beautiful region has to offer! Here are just 4 of the many things to try this summer on your trip into the Nordic countries!

1. Whale Watching
The northern coast of Norway offers many opportunities to see the most amazing animals on earth in their natural habitat. Arctic Whale Tours based out of Sto, Norway offers tours to see Orcas, Grey Whales and Humpbacks among others. They also offer a Whale Guarantee so you will be seeing this incredible animals no matter what!


2. Gorge yourself on Fjords
Horrific pun I know but don’t let that put you off visiting the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Carved out by glaciers, these narrow valleys are a sight photographs really can’t give justice.


3. Go to the beach!
While not world famous for beaches, Scandinavia offers some incredible beaches that offer fantastic swimming and people watching! Skagen is the most northerly point of Denmark that offers a fantastic point to spend the day on. For surf, the Norwegian west coast offers some incredible points for those willing to explore and brave the cold water. To get even further out there, the Faroe Islands offer untouched surf opportunities as shown on the incredible Arctic Surf Blog.

Skagen_aka_the_skaw_northmost_point_resize Skåne_resize

4. Hike the Kungsleden!
This Kungsleden (The King’s Trail) in northern Sweden is a 440km epic that weaves through a wild mountain landscape that passes through birch forests, alpine meadows and over the 7,000’ peak of Mt Nebne, the highest point in Sweden. Not for the faint of heart, the entire length of the trail will take you about a month to complete so you better get moving!