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Susanna Hawkins’ Scandi-inspired family home

Susanna Hawkins, founder of byshnordic.com, has always had an eye for beautiful things. Six years ago, she and her husband bought a handsome, red-brick Victorian home in Buckinghamshire which they have decorated according to Scandi principles but with a maximalist twist. A muted palette, natural materials, clean lines and natural light characterise this tranquil, four-bedroom home. Now the couple share the space with their two small children (and pet cat) – so the interiors need to be both beautiful and practical. “I just want my home to be the way I like it. I don’t care about trends or being bold,” admits Susanna.

 

Invest in a sound structure

<p>“I think it’s a mistake to scrimp on the structure of the house. If you’re on a limited budget make sure you invest your money in good quality walls – you need a plasterer who knows what they are doing. And get the best flooring, windows and doors you can afford.”</p>

The new extension

<p>“We bought the house from a lovely couple who had lived here for 42 years. It wasn’t a wreck, but it needed some updating. We built an extension for the kitchen, which is now my favourite room in the house. It’s a beautiful space, but very practical as well. It’s where I spend most of my time. The lanterns were one of my biggest indulgences. We bought them two years before the extension was built!”</p>

Trends versus taste

<p>“I don’t follow trends, but I have seen more and more houseplants recently, which I like. And I think brass and gold details are going to be strong this year. I’ve also noticed a wave of darker interiors which I do really like. I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to do it myself though – apart from in the bedrooms …”</p>

A neutral colour palette

<p>“The colour palette is very light and muted downstairs and darker upstairs. Our kitchen is painted in Strong White, and the bedrooms in Railings (both by Farrow &amp; Ball). I do like occasional splashes of colour too, such as the coral Charleston bedspread.”</p>

Scandinavian principles

<p>“I don’t think my home style is strictly Scandinavian. I’m more maximalist than that, although I do try and maximise the light in our house. I like clean lines and lots of natural material, such as wood and textured throws.”</p>

Find the right furniture

<p>“I choose our furniture based on practicality, prettiness and price. I really like our new glass-fronted Rankin storage unit. It holds all of our glassware and crockery, and it’s really sturdy so I don’t need to worry about my kids around it.” </p>

Minimise your clutter

<p>“I have tried to maximise our storage space so I have quite a lot of furniture that is just for storage. I always try to recycle stuff that doesn’t get used regularly. I try not to hoard things that we don’t really need or want any more.”</p>

Hearth and home

<p>“I love living in an old house. Our house was built in 1901. All that history just creates an atmosphere that can’t be recreated in a new build.”</p>

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