For my final home tour of the year I knew it had to be special. The home of someone who not only inspires me, but thousands of other Nordic design lovers every single day.
Author, blogger and expat, Niki Brantmark has lived in Sweden with her husband, two daughters and stepson for the last 17 years. During this time, she has shared her journey and daily inspirations on her blog, ‘My Scandinavian Home’ as well as written three best-selling books.
I first chatted with Niki back in 2018 but this time, I wanted to learn more about how she perfectly blends British and Swedish traditions to celebrate Christmas in her own home by the sea in pretty Skåne, a place I hope to return to soon.
Here’s what Niki had to tell me:
“For us, like everyone in Sweden, Christmas preparations always start with Advent. This is when you will notice simple decorations popping up in people’s windows. The Swedes prefer to go for a natural and pared back look, rather than glittery and garish – although this is starting to creep into the home of trendy Danes!
My family and I also like to keep it very simple. We bring branches in from the outside, hang pretty wreaths as well as grow hyacinths and amaryllis, there are also a lot of candles, paper stars and white twinkly lights. The focus is on making our home feel warm and cosy, adding lots of candles to brighten up the darkness, while drawing on nature.
The really big pre-Christmas event though is choosing our tree. We all head out to a special sustainable tree farm and ceremoniously chop down a tree while sipping steaming glogg. It takes quite a lot of time to choose one, it’s amazing how opinionated people can get about a tree!
It always smells so wonderful and fresh when we finally arrive back home, and we then spend the afternoon together decorating it while listening to festive music.
Every year we have a traditional English Christmas lunch with all the trimmings, crackers and games. Luckily the Swedes celebrate on ‘Julafton’, that’s Christmas Eve, with a traditional ‘Julbord’ or Christmas smorgasbord made up of different types of meat, fish and vegetable dishes, so we are able to enjoy both occasions.
To me, especially this year, Christmas is about being together as a family albeit with a social-distancing twist! My family and I are quite spread out, but we always take the time to share what’s really important and I love it.”
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
10 quick fire questions, to find out more about Niki and her Christmas celebrations:
- Father Christmas or Tomten?
Father Christmas, Tomten doesn’t fill your stocking!
- English mulled wine or Swedish glögg?
- Roast turkey with all the trimmings or traditional julbord?
Oh no! Can I take the seafood section of the ‘julbord’ as a starter and the roast turkey as a main?
- Christmas cake or cheese board?
- Mince pie or gingerbread?
- Fairy lights or candles?
- Dressing up or keeping it comfy?
- Christmas carols or festive pop songs?
Festive pop songs!
- Party games or family film?
- Giving presents or receiving presents?
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with us Niki, I wish you and all your family, a very Merry Christmas.
All photos courtesy of Niki Brantmark, image 5 by Frida Ramstedt.
Like this post? Then why not take a tour of the tour of the colourful Copenhagen home of Ann Poulsen, known to her Instagram followers as ‘Kodeordeter’.