It’s no secret that I love Scandinavian design. Scandinavian design is «beauty for all» as stated in the book by Swedish philosopher Ellen Kay. Scandinavian design does not make noise: it has a muted elegance and creates a peaceful and welcoming ambiance.
Before starting the home tour, if you have a beautiful home you want to see featured here, drop me a line at email@example.com or tag me on Instagram so I can have a sneak peek into your place. You could be the next in line to be interviewed.
This home tour brings us to Monza (Northeast of Milan) homeplace of Ingrid, Norwegian journalist and blogger living in a home full of hygge. Her Scandi heritage shows in every inch of her home. I’m sure you’ll find something you love and can pull inspiration from for your own dwelling. Ready?
Dear Ingrid hello and welcome to my blog. Would you please introduce yourself?
Hei! My name is Ingrid Opstad and I am a writer with a big passion for Scandinavian design, interior, and lifestyle. I am originally from a little town in Norway, but after 6 years living in the UK, I am now based in Italy with my fiancé Claudio & our dog Bowie.
I run the award-winning blog «That Scandinavian Feeling» where I share all things interiors, design, travel, lifestyle, and hygge. I love giving my readers tips on how to get the Scandinavian feeling wherever they are in the world, with a big focus on slow living and being cozy. You can find me on Instagram as @thatscandinavianfeeling, and I recently launched my new YouTube channel where I share more hygge related content. I have a MA in graphic design, but in addition to running my blog, I’m also working as a journalist for Scan Magazine.
What is the story of your house?
After we moved from the UK to Italy we’ve been renting before deciding to buy our own place. We ended up in a town near Milan, Monza, which we love because it is cozy and green. When we were looking for our home, we quickly realized that finding an old apartment to renovate was the best option for us. Not only because of our limited budget as first-time homeowners but also because the style here in Italy is a bit different from what I was used to in Scandinavia.
When we found the apartment we purchased it: we were very happy as it was perfect for us in terms of size, location, and price. I knew it was a space I could easily give my own style and Nordic twist, making it my little piece of Scandinavia in Italy.
How would you describe your home style?
From what you have read so far you might have guessed that my home is all about recreating that Scandinavian feeling. It is heavily inspired by my Scandinavian heritage as well as by hygge. I would say my home is cozy, modern, minimal, bright, and calm.
I have chosen a soft color scheme which runs throughout the whole space, with lots of white surfaces and light wood accents. It is decorated with a selection of Scandinavian design pieces I collected over the years. They all remind me of pleasant times in my life and home country. We are homebodies and love staying in, so the design style of my home is a reflection of that.
What is the room you love the most and why?
My favorite room is the kitchen! We focused a lot on creating our dream kitchen and it has become just that, the heart of our place. The kitchen is minimal and classic with pale grey doors (which under some lights look blueish), a marble style top, and gold details such as the knobs and faucet. Since it is so big, we didn’t need overhead cabinets and instead, we put a long open shelf which ties the space all together nicely. We also have a little bar area in the kitchen.
Let’s talk about furniture and decor pieces. What is your favorite oldest piece and what is the most recent one?
My favorite oldest piece is my vintage PH 5 lamp by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen which is hanging in the kitchen over our dining table.
This exact lamp actually used to hang in my parents’ kitchen when I was growing up so having it here brings lots of fond memories. When we sit around the table and eat, it takes me back to hygge moments with my family.
It has been a while now since I have been able to buy anything, but I guess the latest big purchase was my String shelf desk which is in the living room. Since I work from home, having a designated desk area was important. And I love the fact that it blends in with the environment so nicely. The benefit of having it in the living room is that I (usually) keep it tidy since it is in my eyesight when we watch tv in the evenings.
Tell us one DIY project in your home
In our old apartment, we had a few DIY projects, but in this new one, we actually don’t have any (yet). But it is something I am planning to do. For instance, I would like to create my own wall art because I used to love painting and drawing.
What makes a house a home?
For me, a house becomes a home when you add your personal touches to it. This means sentimental pieces and details that bring you joy. I think it is so important not just to follow trends when you decorate your house. You should truly let your own style shine through and choose timeless, individual decor and furniture that you know you will love for years to come.
Which dream piece would you like to buy for your home?
The dream would be to have a cozy statement chair like &Tradition’s Little Petra lounge chair in sheepskin. To me, it oozes hygge! I would also love a new coffee table from one of the many Scandinavian design brands: there are so many I love that I can’t decide!
What are your favorite furniture brands?
There are so many brands I love and admire, it is hard to choose: Ferm Living, Muuto, Royal Copenhagen, HAY, Menu, Skagerak, Louis Poulsen, &Tradition, byLassen, Hem, Marimekko…. I could go on and on! I also like to discover small independent makers and brands, especially when it comes to ceramics and decor pieces.
If you had the chance to buy a second house or apartment, where would it be and what kind of style would it have?
Not a hard question at all, it would have to be somewhere in Scandinavia (probably Norway). I would love a little cozy Summer house in a remote location overlooking the fjord. A peaceful and charming place to relax and recharge. But I guess in these times it is easier to rent an Airbnb or a cottage, so I would be more than happy to be able to travel and visit different settings than to be tied down to one single place.
Tell us three favorite design/architecture books or magazines
I like to read CasaFacile (my Italian is not that great yet so it is a good way to learn). I also have to say Scan Magazine since I write for it: you can discover many new Scandi design brands from small to bigger ones. In terms of books, I really enjoyed «The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing» by Marie Kondo. To me having a tidy and calm home is the foundation for creating a happy home.
What are your favorite design shops?
When it comes to physical shops I like to visit Design Republic in Milan (they have a great selection of Scandinavian design) and for decor, I also like to have a look at La Rinascente. Other than that, you can usually find me once a week at Ikea buying candles and eating meatballs.
Tell us three favorite Instagram accounts
@housebythefjord – moments from a house located by one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway.
@bythun – a Swedish girl living in Ireland sharing from her soft, calm home.
@lepetitfika – Nordic minimalism by a French girl in London.
Thank you very much for virtually having us in your home, Ingrid. You have such a peaceful and welcoming place and it’s been lovely seeing how fond you are to your Scandinavian heritage. More home tours will come soon. Browse my Pinterest channel for more inspiration and read the previous home tours here.
Photo Credits: Ingrid Opstad