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Home visit: a relaxed Scandinavian family home

A mix of classic Scandinavian design with beautiful and long-lasting modern furniture has created a low-maintenance home that leaves the family free to spend their time at home having fun together…

An open-plan white kitchen and dining area.
An open-plan white kitchen and dining area.

‘We’re not the kind of people who want to spend our time with the kids, cleaning – that’s not our priority,’ says Anne, who lives here with partner Jonas and their five shared children. In a house of seven, it’s useful if everyone can help themselves. The kitchen is planned around accessible, closed storage to create a calm look without constantly having to tidy up what’s inside. A long run of base units has drawers, rather than cupboards, so it’s easier to reach what’s stored at the back.

There are energy-savers built in to Anne and Jonas’ home, making it easier for the whole family to do everyday tasks without having to think too hard about making green choices. In the kitchen, a simple decision, like picking a water-smart tap for the sink, cuts water usage by up to 30 percent.

‘I’m not a minimalist!’ says Anne. ‘But nothing we have out is just for show. The idea of a show home, where everything looks so nice but you feel afraid to touch it, makes me uncomfortable. Everything you see here gets used.’

When it came to adding a home office, Anne and Jonas got space-smart. They turned the far end of the kitchen into an office area by ending the run of units with an L-shape. This zones the workspace as a separate ‘room’. ‘I work from home,’ says Anne, ‘so it’s good to have a desk to go to when the working day has started.’

Big renovations haven’t been part of this home’s evolution, but the family have made changes to make better use of the rooms. ‘We took down the wall separating our dining room from the kitchen – it felt cut-off and dark, so no one used it. Now the space is open and light, we use it a lot.’

‘It never looks perfect, but we all feel we can live in here. The kids can jump on the sofa, the dog can use the rug as a bed. A home shouldn’t just look good, it should make you feel good too.’

The living room has become central to this family’s home life since they changed the layout. ‘I always wanted a sofa where all of us could be together.’ says Anne. ‘The sofa is modular. We started with a three-seater then added sections, so when all seven of us are here, we all fit.’

‘Life in this room was dominated by the TV,’ says Anne. ‘Once we took the TV down and flipped the sofa 180 degrees, to look out at the garden instead of the wall, something changed. Now we come in here to be together rather than just watch TV.’

The master bedroom leads off the living room. ‘The red wall brightens the space and works with the living-room colours,’ says Anne. ‘It’s nice to have that connection between rooms. And since we always go to bed after the kids, we never have to worry about privacy.’

How do you decorate rooms for five children? ‘Each child was involved in designing their room. They told me what they liked and needed, then I pulled it together,’ says Anne. ‘Our eldest, who is 13, decided to get rid of a lot of her things. Now her room is minimal. There’s no need to make it childish – she brings life to it.’

‘Being together as a family is important, but it’s also important that each child has a place where they can be away from everything. When the kids come home from school, often they’ll go to their rooms for half an hour. It’s time for them to just be themselves. When they’re ready, they come down.’

Our aesthetic is to add a touch of retro to everything and to be playful and daring. The more we dare, the more things work!

Anne, Denmark

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by

Interior stylist: Åsa Dyberg
Photographer: Nato Walton