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Ask a designer: creating a bold, black and white home on a budget

“What are some ways that I can improve my home without spending a lot of money?” When interior designer Mia Gustafsson created this bold family apartment, sticking to a tight budget was her top priority. From furnishing with simple basics to accessorising with light, she shares some of the money-saving ideas that brought this home to life.

A white-tiled kitchen opening onto a living room with a dark-grey SÖDERHAMN sofa and black and white LACK nesting tables.
A white-tiled kitchen opening onto a living room with a dark-grey SÖDERHAMN sofa and black and white LACK nesting tables.

Black and white staples as the starting point

With this home, Mia decided to go all in and embrace black and white in every room across the home, from the furniture to the floors and even the walls. And while trends may come and go, this bold, classic colour combination will hold its own for seasons and seasons to come.

A decked-out black-and-white dining area with brown-black STEFAN chairs and MARIUS stools around two white MELLTORP tables.
A kitchen with an artfully patterned wall opens onto a broad-striped, black-and-white hallway with two black PINNIG benches.
Interior designer Mia Gustafsson sitting at a dining area formed by two MELLTORP tables and STEFAN chairs.
A light-grey SLATTUM bed made with SPIKVALLMO bed linen and lit by double, dark-grey HEKTAR spotlights.
Various decorative items – a white OFTAST plate, metal measuring cups, a blooming twig – scattered on a dark wood floor.

    A frugally-furnished apartment that feels warm and full of life. Interior designer Mia Gustafsson explains how you can create the same effect in your home.

    The power of textiles

    To soften up the straight lines and square shapes of the furniture, and add in some texture, Mia worked in layers of different textiles with the lowest possible price tags. In the living room for instance, there’s a playful mix and match of cushions on the sofa, and a collage of recycled-cotton TIPHEDE rugs covering the floor.

    See all cushions & cushion covers
    A section of a living room with a dark-grey SÖDERHAMN sofa, wall art, musical instruments and a black SKURUP reading lamp.
    A beige SANDARED pouffe between coffee tables and a chair, resting on a partly sunlit rug on a dark wood floor.
    See all cushions & cushion covers

    No one quite like you, no home quite like yours

    One of the most beautiful and original things you can add to your home is your own personal story – which you can show for next to nothing. Throughout the home, particularly on storage solutions, Mia displayed different collections of things that the people living here care about. Family photos, flea-market finds, travel souvenirs and hand-me-down treasures: they really give this home a loved and lived-in feeling.

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    A dining area with side-by-side, black BRIMNES glass-door cabinets with decorative displays in, on and above them.
    A corner of a white-tiled kitchen with side-by-side, wall-mounted, dark-grey EKET four-compartment cabinets.
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    Last, but not least: lighting

    The same law applies for both selfies and home furnishing... good lighting is everything! Mia really believes it’s one of the most underrated and wallet-friendly ways to give your home an instant makeover. The trick is to combine several light sources for different purposes in each room: like a pendant lamp that illuminates the whole room, or a floor lamp to brighten up the seat of your favourite chair.

    See more about furnishing with light
    A hallway with broad-striped, black-and-white walls, hanging lamps, black PINNIG benches with shoe storage and UGILT rugs.
    A corner of a bedroom with a black-brown RAKKESTAD wardrobe and a light-grey LINNEBÄCK easy chair standing next to it.
    See more about furnishing with light