A Nordic bookworm

6 October 2017

At this time of year, as the evenings get longer and the central heating goes on, nothing beats a night curled up on the sofa with a good book. 

With having a two year old in the house this unfortunately doesn’t happen often enough, but when I do finally get to put my feet up, I usually pick up my latest Nordic themed read. 

Whether this is a lifestyle magazine, design or architecture journal or an informative bestseller there’s lots out there to ensure I have a constant source of inspiration.

I obviously have quite a few books on my current wish list, these include; ‘Font and Flavour’ by Milla Koivisto, ‘Lagom’ by Niki Brantmark and ‘The Red Thread’ by Oak Publishing; plus I’m continually referring to The Danish Way of Parenting’ by Jessica Joelle Alexander (see reference to toddler above).

But, if you’re looking to start your own Nordic themed book collection here are my top recommendations:

1. North by Bronte Aurell

If you read just one Scandinavian lifestyle book, this has to be it. The latest publication from Bronte, who owns the acclaimed ScandiKitchen café and shop in central London, is full of inspiration and ideas, how-tos and recipes; plus it’s really funny too.

As a sporadic reader (again due to said toddler) you can dip in and out really easily. I straight away ran through the Copenhagen apartment checklist to see if our home was up to standard and loved her reflections on a trip to Ikea too.

2. ‘New Nordic Design’ by Dorothea Gundtoft

I picked this little gem up at Chesters by the River a couple of years back and it has been great for finding out more about Nordic brands and designers practicing today. It’s also packed full of interviews and profiles as well as hundreds of great photos. You can’t help but be totally inspired.

3. The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

I was bought this fantastic book as a maternity leave present from work – what can I say, my wannabe Scandi credentials are well known. Not sure if it was the hormones or the sleep deprivation that followed, but I learned such a lot about the Danish way of life from Helen’s experiences. Plus it has served me well on numerous trips to Denmark since, I’m now not fazed by seeing a squid dissection at The Blue Planet that’s for sure.

I’ve also read, ‘How to be Danish’ by Patrick Kingsley and ‘The Almost Nearly Perfect People’ by Michael Booth too. These are also really fun and informative if you want to understand more about the politics, policies and peculiarities of all the Nordic countries.

4. ‘The Scandinavian Home’ by Niki Brantmark

If you love Niki’s blog then this book is a must have. I literally counted down to its release. The photography is beautiful and the homes are helpfully split into urban, country and rural so you can find those that reflect your own personal style really easily. For me this book was all about the smaller details (I got totally obsessed about the plant pots) and however small they may be they make such a huge impact on the overall look of your space.

Two other great interior design books I go back to again and again are, ‘Finn Juhl and His House’ by Per H Hansen and ‘Danish Modern’ by Andrew Hollingsworth, which has a really useful timeline in it so you can compare Danish developments alongside other design movements in history. 

5. ‘New Nordic Gardens’ by Annika Zetterman

This book has been a real game changer for me since its realise earlier this year. I had been searching for a Nordic style gardening book for a while as I wanted to extend the look and feel of our home out into the garden (I definitely need to share what we have achieved with you soon). 

Showcasing the best gardens to have been produced over the past ten years, and again organised by themes, each garden gives you more and more ideas from structure and hard landscaping, border and planting combinations through to pots and lighting.

If you have read any of these recently do let me know what you think. I’d also love to know what your favourites are too.

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