Aligning your values and business to find the ideal client

Running a business is great but sometimes you find yourself wondering where to take it next. You are doing what you have always been doing, which may work fine. If that is still giving you joy and it pays the bills, then keep going! Or maybe you have drifted away from your original concept over the months or even years. Maybe you wanted to try out different things, offer more services or just changed things to earn more money. And then you suddenly ask yourself:”Hold on, what is it that I am actually offering and to whom?” You may even find yourself feeling a little bit lost. How do you get your business back on track, or even on a different, much better track? It is all about aligning your own core values with those of your business and finding your ideal client.

Find the ideal client for your business

Separate identities

For years I felt I had two separate work identities. Sometimes they overlapped, but mostly they existed parallel. On one hand I worked as a marketing and communications manager for arts organisations, writing, editing and creating all their promotional material. On the other, I started my blog and business Nina’s Apartment, first as a hobby, then also as a shop. This work was all about vintage furniture and interior design. Sure, I used my arts and marketing knowledge to promote Nina’s Apartment. But they were two totally different jobs.

Adapting and changing

Right now, after a period of moves and changes, growing a little older and developing different interests, my blog is changing. I no longer want to only write about vintage, I want to write about life and the things that matter to me. That still includes vintage and design (because I love it), but it also includes everything else that adds to a ‘soulful life’: being mindful, being creative, eating healthily, conscious buying, caring for the planet and each other.

Selling to the wrong client

At the same time I have started a new life abroad as a freelance copy and content writer, mainly with online clients. I needed the work, so I first just accepted every job I was offered and found myself writing web pages for commercial outfits selling things I was not even interested in. I got myself onto freelancer platform Fiverr, but I constantly got haggled down or sent enquiries and then nothing. Clients were not valuing my expertise and clearly just needed “to get a job done” by any copywriter who could do it for the lowest price and as quickly as possible. It felt like you got handed a wet napkin after all the time and effort you put into the work. Do you know that feeling?

Bridging the gap between your values and your work

Then recently, I was speaking to an online business coach who held up a mirror. “Your whole face lights up when you talk about a certain client”, she said. “It looks like that is the sort of person you want to work for”. She was right. I enjoy writing for passionate people who have heart centered businesses, such as creative practitioners, life coaches, mindfulness and yoga teachers, eco friendly businesses and others who just love making the world more beautiful and help others.

I realised that I needed to bridge the gap between my two business identities. The gap also between my personal values and the work I do. Become one. Align everything. My soulful living blog can become my soulful writing business. No more identity crisis.

finding the ideal client and aligning your values

So how do you make everything flow better?

Define your values

Once everything is aligned, a business can flow much more easily, attracting better clients. But in order to get there, you need to define your values first. Secondly you need to decide who your ‘ideal client’ is, so you can create a niche, fine tune your message and attract this person.

Values can be anything from ‘friendly’, ‘hard working’, ‘efficient’, to ‘high quality’, ‘exclusive’ and ‘approachable’. Whatever defines you as a person and your business. Values are the things that we find important and are a basis for our behaviour, our principals and influence of character. It is best to choose a maximum of six values to focus on in your business.

The ideal client

Once you know what your values are, it’s time to have a good think about who your ideal client is. If you could choose the perfect client, who would you want to work for? What does he or she look like? If you say, I work for “small businesses”, or “anyone interested in art”, you are keeping it way too general. You make it much harder for yourself to attract customers this way. After all, you’ll have a lot of competition if you don’t make yourself stand out a bit more. It is scary to let go and make yourself only focus on one or two types of client, but it will pay off.

What is your message and who are you speaking to? Come up with one or two imaginary clients who you ideally want to work for and write down everything about them you can possibly think of. What they look like, where they live, what work they do, their family situation, their lifestyle, where they hang out online. If you have a clear picture in your mind of your ideal client, it is so much easier to promote yourself effectively to them with the right message – in the right location.

finding the ideal client by creating a niche

Creating a niche: what problem are you solving?

Your ideal client has a problem (a need) and you can solve it for them. This is your niche. Don’t solve a hundred different problems for a hundred different clients. Zoom in on one or two things you do really well, which your ideal client will be looking for. What is it that your ideal client needs and how do you solve this problem? This will be your key message in all of your marketing.


Example 1: health coach

If you are a health coach who offers coaching help with diet and lifestyle, your ideal client may be someone dealing with weight issues or health problems. Your values could be ‘health’, ‘motivation’, ‘achievement’, ‘commitment’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘life changing’. You will be helping them solve their problem by offering expert advice on diet and lifestyle, so their health – and life – improves, long term.

Example 2: A designer

Another example can be a designer creating unique, personalised wedding invitations. Your values could be ‘unique’, ‘creative’, ‘high quality’, ‘fast working’, ‘beautiful’ or ‘good communication’. The ideal client will be young couples who are engaged and value a creative take on traditional invites. And they need them on time to be able to invite their guests. The ‘problem’ you are solving for your ideal client is to offer beautiful personalised wedding invitations that arrive on time.

It may feel a little scary to let go of certain clients and not aim at a broad audience anymore. I feel it too! But the more you fine-tune your values, your niche, your services and your ideal client…the easier everything gets. Your marketing message writes itself, as you will know exactly what you do and for who. You will be able to write your web copy much more easily, because you have already defined so well what you’re about. And as you now know who your ideal client is, it will be much easier to find them – and sell to them.

Need help with your web copy?

Get the juices flowing: Five easy ways to boost your creativity

Are you an artist, musician, designer or otherwise creative person? Then you probably know that feeling, that no matter what stage in life you are at, whatever job you have chosen or lifestyle you are leading, if you have a creative streak in you, it just has to come out or you feel itchy. Still, sometimes you feel the burning desire to create…. but you can’t focus on anything or don’t know where to start. Perhaps you wanted to write that book, become better at playing the piano or continue to paint after you finished a great art course last year. But you didn’t. Another problem many creatives have – and I see you nodding – we all have too many things on the go but none of them are finished. And then there is procrastination. Here are five easy tips to boost your creativity and help you get motivated again!

Five easy ways to boost your creativity


1. Create a Pinterest Board with 12 projects for a year

Oh, I see you thinking, oh dear Pinterest, the ultimate station of procrastination! Yes, I know, we all spend too much time on it, drooling over interiors, recipes and pretty stuff. But there are some useful pins on there, really and they can boost your creativity. Try creating a brand new board and only pin creative ideas or projects on there that you know you are able to manage and finish. Perhaps a super easy sewing project, a simple printmaking technique you always wanted to try or an idea to upcycle a piece of furniture.

Choose 12 pins and give them a name: ‘Project January’, etc. That way you can focus on one easy creative task each month and you know there is a new one coming the next, which will hopefully give you enough of a drive to complete them. You know that each finished project will give you a great sense of accomplishment, so don’t be over ambitious and pin wisely.


Five tips to become more creative


2. Start a creative journal

Draw, stick, paint, collage, collect and write. Journals are wonderful little books to help you to boost your creativity, try out different art techniques and visualise ideas. The nice thing about journals is, is that each page offers a new opportunity, a fresh blank page. There is no right or wrong, it is your personal journal, do what you like. Nothing in your journal has to be of great quality, it is a place to dump your thoughts, your scribbles, stories, mind maps, save cut out images and other items that catch your eye, and it will be a lovely thing to keep. You can refer back to it in the future if you need some inspiration or a reminder of creative ideas or genius brain waves.

I did a wonderful workshop called ‘Creative Sketchbooks’ last year with artist Fenneke Wolters-Sinke at Fenfolio in Scotland, who showed me that you can be truly free in your journals. She taught me how using old illustrated books offer a great basis for multimedia techniques using stamps, paint, scrap paper, fabric and collage techniques among others, with the existing text and pictures making an interesting base layer. Do you have an old illustrated book lying around you no longer use? Give it a go! What is the worst that can happen?


Creative journal example with scrap paper, cut outs, layering and drawings
This is one of my own creative journals, using an old children’s storybook instead of a blank sketchbook. These are pages I did together with my 6-year old son, who also enjoyed the activity!

 

Creative journal example with scrap paper, cut outs, layering and drawings


3. Start an Instagram account

Just like a paper journal, Instagram can be your own personal dumping ground for things that catch your eye, by taking snap shots of them and posting them on your Instagram page. You can make it public or keep it private, that is up to you. Perhaps you have a love for textures, or a certain colour. Or maybe you have always wanted to do a photographic series of vintage cars? Of people? Of plants? I recently started another account myself, taking pictures of colourful street art and other things that catch my eye in Valencia (@coloursofvalencia).

Instagram shows all your images in a grid and it can give you a real boost seeing your ideas and images all together, forming an overview of your creative journey. You may find a certain theme emerging. It also encourages you to go out and take plenty of photos. If your account is public you may even get fellow creatives commenting and you could discover some other interesting accounts giving you more ideas in the process.

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4. Set up a Mastermind meet-up with other creatives

This is a slightly different idea, which you may or may not like, but could be interesting to try! I have seen it work very well for women in business, who come together once or twice a month for coffee and discuss their challenges, certain topics and things that are perhaps keeping them from moving forward. Many times they end up collaborating, giving each other fresh ideas or pointing each other to contacts in their networks. I don’t see how this could not also work well for people feeling a bit stuck in their creative lives.

You could pick a topic each time or even plan a visit to local galleries to get fresh ideas and boost that creativity. Hook up with two or three creative friends or contacts you know that could benefit from a Mastermind meet-up and get the ball rolling. If anything, you’ll expand or revive your social circle, which can only be a positive thing.

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5. boost your creativity by Switching off the internet and mobile phone

Hold on, not just yet! But you get it, right? And yes, I did just encourage you to start a Pinterest board and and Instagram account. Guilty! But we can all admit that we are probably spending way too much time online, wasting an enormous amount of hours scrolling through pointless posts and photos of people we hardly know on our Facebook timeline, chatting on WhatsApp, and doing really not much at all that stimulates our brain, let alone our creativity. It is a worldwide addiction that prevents us from picking up that brush, the neglected guitar or switch on the sewing machine. Even reading a real book.

Let’s all try and break that habit, myself included! Be more mindful, go for a walk to let new ideas flow into your mind. Once the wifi is off, what else is there to do that makes us happy? Yes, plenty! You can start small, by choosing one day or night a week and dedicate this to creating. I promise you, you will be proud of yourself.

Do you have any other tips to boost creativity? Please share them below or on the facebook page. Happy creating!


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Because life is more than just Decor. Soulful living.

So you probably noticed I have mixed things up a bit on the blog, writing about more serious things in life as well as interior design. Soulful living, right? Life has changed for me in the past two years and although I am still madly passionate about eclectic decor, vintage furniture, art and design (oh yes!), I would like to build my blog into something more wholesome than just pretty pictures of beautiful homes and gardens.

Some have suggested I might have entered a midlife crisis (I am hitting the big 4-0 next year! Eeek!), looking for the meaning of life, but I wouldn’t call it a crisis. On the contrary, I’d like to call it a wonderfully delicious midlife adventure! Are you coming?

Nina's Apartment. Blog about Lifestyle, Interiors and Soulful living.


From upcycling to mindfulness: it is all soulful living

Whether you love upcycling and buying vintage or meditate each morning and grow your own veg, whether you bring up your kids in a mindful way or support local artists and designers… to me it is all soulful living: giving meaning to your life and that of the people around you, trying to be a good human and not wreck the planet.

Vintage chair in Valencia. Soulful living.
Image: a vintage shop in Valencia @colourofvalencia

Buying consciously, thinking critically, keeping an open mind. The world is not always what we like it to be but we can at least try and make our own little bit of difference while we are here. With my blog ‘new style’ I want to still offer my creative view on things, share inspirational ideas and decor projects but also write about life in general (because I love writing!), personal stories and stuff that has come on my path as an expat – from Holland via Scotland to Spain. Life as a mother, an adventurer, a creative soul, an eternal optimist. Check out the Life & Soul section of the website for the latest stories.

Some of you readers may say goodbye because of my ‘more real life – less decor’ blogging approach, but I hope most of you will stick around! And perhaps I will attract more like-minded souls on the way. As always, THANK YOU for being by my side.

Nina x

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Social media anxiety and how Instagram will not make you rich overnight (don’t give up that day job yet)

Have you noticed the increasing amount of ads on your timeline about online business coaches and bloggers trying to convince you how to make a lot of money quickly?

I recently came across this blog post by Australian copywriter Jay Crisp Crow, about the fairytale of female bloggers apparently getting rich overnight, and I wanted to share some of my own thoughts with you today.

There is a growing number of bloggers on social media that basically make you believe that if you follow their tactics (and buy their e Book or sign up to their course), you too will make a six-figure salary. So you think, hey, I have a blog and a pretty decent Instagram feed, so hell yes, gimme a slice of that! I am going to become a full-time blogger and they are going to teach me how! You join promising FB groups full of fellow eager femmepreneurs, sign up to slick email newsletters and try to keep up with all the tips and tricks they throw at you. 

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You end up getting obsessed with writing and scheduling blog articles and Facebook posts. You keep checking them for comments and likes (dopamine high!). Then you get social media anxiety because of your failing Instagram feeds (“oh sh*t, I’ve lost 10 followers, I need to post more, what the hell am I going to post next?). Ultimately you feel like a complete failure because the blog post you thought was your best one yet, only gets two reads. Then of course there is the pressure of having to jump on the Facebook Live and Youtube Channel bandwagon.

Let’s just pause and remind ourselves why we started to blog in the first place.

I started blogging about ten yeas ago because I like writing, I like creating content and love pretty things for my home. I wanted to have an online space to share my ramblings, ideas, pictures, projects and basically just create a nice looking magazine style blog that I hoped people might like to read. I don’t like waste, so I wanted to inspire others to ‘upcycle’ and buy vintage furniture. I hoped to inspire others, but I put no pressure on myself whatsoever, I just enjoyed doing it.

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Then blogging became the next big thing. Millenials (which I am obviously not – too old to be one, born in 1979, so vintage compared to any of them) apparently all want a blog now. It’s in fact a career option, can you believe it. Just blogging and writing for the sake of it is apparently a waste of time. We all need to try and monetise the damn thing. How about that for giving you some social media anxiety?

If you are one of those confident ‘Boss Babes‘ – you call yourself an Online Business Coach or Blogging Coach and try to create this big following of aspiring entrepreneurs in a Facebook group who you sell your fairytale story to and make them believe they too can be a millionaire overnight. Tempting….but…seriously?

social media anxiety

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of good, helpful stuff out there.  And you can make a lot of money from online businesses. Just not without determination and commitment. You’ll be in for the long haul.

I have been trying to up my blogging game too in the past year. I am hoping to make decent money from it one day. I have also joined Facebook Groups for Interior Designers, which have shown to be very helpful supportive forums. There are great experts out there! I have read many social media and online marketing blog posts, downloaded some of useful e books and learnt a few techniques along the way. I have even signed up as a brand affiliate. This means that ads and links give you a commission on any clicks and sales – very slow! You need tons of traffic!. I am looking into how to get sponsored posts (not that easy!) and use keywords for SEO. It certainly means a lot of hard work and dedication.

Vloggers sharing their life on youtube

Reading and learning however is never a waste of time. Some of these social media coaches are very knowledgeable and worth following. Some vloggers do make a living from sharing their life on youtube. Good for them. But the thousands of others claiming they are raking it in at the tender age of nineteen? Nah. Not buying it.

Here’s what Jay Crisp Crow says about it in her blog post:

“I’m calling BS on a lot of those “I quit my job and within 6 months I’m making 7 figures a fortnight” stories.

Who ARE those women? Some kind of entrepreneurial bandits? And what kind of message are they perpetuating?

That if we only TRIED harder, worked smarter, (invested in their program, perhaps), changed our mindset, BELIEVED in ourselves more, we could have that too?

Enough.

We’re women. We’re glorious and clever and capable and full of brilliance. But we’re not bloody circus performers.” 


I am someone who is down to earth, not easily stressed out and thankfully has never had a panic attack. I don’t suffer from depression and I am generally very happy and satisfied with life. I love life. I realised that these Facebook groups and Blogging gurus made me start to feel stressed and anxious. I needed to take stock and calm the heck down. What are these messages doing to my sanity?

No such thing as a quick buck

More importantly, what are they doing to people who do suffer from social media anxiety? Or all those hard workers who are trying to build their business but feel so disheartened by those seemingly successful online competitors? Those teenage and twenty-something bloggers fresh out of college are still figuring out life. Making them think that they all can make a 6-figure salary out of blogging or showing the latest fashion on an Instagram feed is unfair. Seriously. Building a business takes time. There is no such thing as a quick buck.

social media anxiety and bloggers


I would like to tell every femmepreneur or aspiring Boss Babe out there right now to show yourself some love. Yes, I am talking to myself too! Stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t try and copy them. And please remind yourself daily that social media photos and videos only show a person’s best side. It is their own illusion of their perfect life. We all know the pang of envy when flicking through your friend’s Facebook album of their holiday in Mauritius – and their happy family. It’s just a a photo. You don’t get to see the meltdowns.

And when it comes to Blogging Coaches…you never know what hides behind that glamorous front.I bet there are more bloggers and Instagammers than you think struggling with social media anxiety, depression and low self esteem. Anyone?

Just do what you love doing, blog yourself silly, take those gorgeous photos. Take your time and ENJOY the ride. Be true to yourself and proud of yourself. Try and be original, have fun. And more important than anything else: don’t take it all so seriously! It’s a blog.

Also, don’t give up that day job yet, no matter how boring. While you are writing, learning, blogging and building that fabulous Instagram feed…it is nice to have a pay check at the end of the month. To pay the bills and feed the kids. To feel OK.


“I’d like us to all embrace the idea that we are NOT failing at business if we take a moment, build a bridge between employment and small business ownership, and run a “side hustle” for a while.

Although the fierce female Facebook forums would have you believe otherwise. *

I’d like to encourage you to QUIT MAKING IT SO TOUGH FOR YOURSELF. 

You might (…) find that sweet spot between part-time work and side hustle that is the exact right fit for you.”

www.crispcrow.com.au

Blogging tips: five beginners mistakes to avoid

Do you have a blog or thinking about starting one? Need some great blogging tips? Here is a beginners guide to blogging on how to get started and what to keep in mind.

From hobby blog to professional blogger

I have been blogging on and off for almost 10 years (10 years?!), firstly just to have a place to write about my own creative thoughts and projects and to share interior design inspiration while doing up my house and looking for ideas. I wasn’t too bothered about anyone else wishing to read it, I was just enjoying the creative process. Nothing too ambitious. Then I had my vintage furniture shop for four years, using my blog mainly to promote the items I had for sale or events I took part in locally. Not really using it as a blog anymore but rather as my business website.

how to blog


Have a passion for writing

I really love writing and creating interesting content, so I decided to go back to ‘real’ blogging: publishing articles about interior design, featuring inspiring images and styling tips. In the beginning my readership wasn’t great, so I wanted to ‘up my blogging game’, driving more traffic to the site and growing the number of readers, as well as followers on social media. Right now I have a healthy number of social media followers that is still growing every day and much better stats on the blog. My hard work is beginning to pay off as more people now visit my site and brands are starting to look to collaborate with me as a result.

If you like the idea of having a blog yourself, it can feel like a minefield and pretty daunting. Where to start? What to write? I am sharing a few beginners mistakes to avoid.


Blogging mistake 1: Low quality content

First things first: other than the essential question of what is it about and who is it for, a blog needs content. Good, interesting, creative content. Teach people something new!

A good post has least 700 words, ideally more than 900. And while I am still learning every day myself, I know from the stats (I love my stats!) that certain content does better than others. Firstly, you need a love for writing and in case of interiors, fashion or lifestyle blogs, also an eye for visuals and aesthetics. Stuff needs to look good! Think about what you would find interesting to read and see if you visited a blog. People online have the attention span of a goldfish these days, so grab ‘em with something hot!

blogging tips


Teach them something new

Most readers enjoy learning something new (try a tutorial), are looking for inspiration (provide good quality images, ideally your own), and love a freebie or a giveaway (what can you offer?). In my experience, my most popular blog posts are the ones that are providing unique content, reveal something personal – like a house tour, an interview with someone or a personal story about yourself, as people love a look behind the scenes, they’re nosey ;-).

Also always try and include original content and your own images. People often follow you not just because of the topic of your blog but because of you and your personality. It is worth showing a bit about yourself and your views, even if it makes you feel a bit awkward and shy at first (I mean, who wants to read about you, right? Believe me, we all want to read about you!). It makes the site ‘human’, people feel a connection and you are able to build a relationship with the reader.


Blogging tip 2:  Ignoring copyright and image sources


Sites like Pinterest are a great resource for finding images and ideas for content. It is usually OK to repost them (if in doubt, ask the person whose image it is) onto your own blog, but please make sure to always put in links to the web source of images you choose to use. You wouldn’t like to find one of your own beautiful images around the web without any mention of your name or blog, would you? Apart from that it is bad manners, it also doesn’t make your blog look credible if you steal pictures and make it look as if they are yours. Before you ask, all images in this post are from Pixabay, a great resource for copyright free images – free to use.

how to start a blog


Blogging mistake 3: No commitment

Having a blog is a big commitment, especially if you want to start doing it professionally in the long run. You’ll want not only readers but also brands wishing to collaborate with you. If you want an interesting, high quality and popular blog, you will need to post at least once a week, ideally more. I know, it’s not easy and takes a lot of time! (*psst, if you need help, you can hire me as a ghost writer!)

Not all posts have to be of literary quality and of great length, some can be short and sweet; I tend a post a more substantial article (min 500 words) once a week and often mix it up with a shorter additional post, sharing what inspired me that week.

Make yourself a schedule and plan your posts ahead. This helps to keep the creative flow going and you know what to work on next. If you schedule it in advance, you can time your posts according to when your readers are most likely to click and read (check those stats!).

how to start a blog


Blogging mistake 4: Not telling anyone about your blog


If you have spent hours on putting an article together, then you’d better tell the world! Chances that someone stumbles across your site by accident are slim. Make sure you have a Facebook page, twitter, instagram and pinterest, and share your blog post with your followers. Mailchimp is also good if you have an email list and make sure to grow that list! (but that is a whole other post which I shall talk about another time).


Blogging mistake 5: Ignoring keywords and SEO


If you want to be found by search engines, make sure your titles include words that people likely type into google. Try and place yourself in someone’s shoes. What would they type in if they were looking for content such as on your blog? Location, brand names, ‘how-to’, ‘top five’ are all examples of words and combinations you could try. Look at popular blogs too to see how they do it and learn from them. Make sure you use keywords in your title, headers, sub headers and main article. And don’t forget the images, as they are important to in searches. Give them titles that contain your keywords.


What have you tried that worked well for you? What are you struggling with? Please share in the comments below. 

Book tips: the most inspiring interiors

Are you always looking for inspiring interiors? Do you love flicking through a beautiful book full of pretty homes? So do I. There is just something nice and wholesome about an actual printed book on your coffee table, rather than scrolling through millions of images on a screen. I love buying books by interior stylists or about certain topics like midcentury design, to brush up on my knowledge. The nice thing about these books is that they also make rather pretty and thoughtful gifts for fellow design enthusiasts amongst your friends (Christmas anyone?).


inspiring interiors: from boho to Scandinavian minimalism

This month I am recommending a few books by stylists who I have been following on social media for quite a while now and whose style I really like, plus a book on beautiful styling with plants. Enjoy reading!



1. Styled. Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves,
Emily Henderson

Emily Henderson is a rather charming home and lifestyle blogger based in California (www.stylebyemilyhenderson.com). She seems down to earth, friendly & fun and honest and has a great flair for styling and decorating. I get very inspired by her eclectic but beautiful mixing of vintage and new. ”Perfection is boring. Let’s get weird” she says in her tagline, and I can very much sympathise with that!

Buy the book

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Her best-seller book Styled is the ultimate guide to thinking like a stylist. It contains 1,000 design ideas for creating the most beautiful, personal, and liveable rooms. How is that for finding ideas for inspiring interiors? She also uses a lot of vintage in her styling, which of course makes it all the better. The book shows you ten easy steps to styling any space. It also teaches you how to edit out what you don’t love to repurposing what you can’t live without and how to arrange the most eye-catching displays on any surface.

”Even a few little tweaks can transform the way your room feels”… now that is some helpful, practical advice right there.


2. Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with Plants, Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff

House plants have really made a comeback in recent years and they sure make a room look good. I love them, even though it is an upward struggle to keep them alive sometimes. This beautiful thick book from the founders of the Urban Jungle Bloggers community is a fantastic. resource full of stunning inspirational photos. The book shows endless styling ideas, making you want to rush straight out and buy some greenery. It guides the reader through different ‘green’ homes in five European countries and shows how beautiful, unique, creative and even artistic living with plants can be. The book also offers easy help for taking care of the plants, which is a bonus.

Buy the book

urban-jungle-bloggers-book-living-and-styling-with-plants-the-future-kept-3_grandeUrban Jungle book


3. The Scandinavian Home: Interiors inspired by light, Niki Brantmark

Oh, you can’t beat Scandinavian styling, now can you? Although I find some of the interiors in this book a bit too monochrome (I like colour!), they are absolutely beautiful. Plenty of inspiring interiors here. White or white washed flooring, white walls, blond wood furniture, vintage finds, black and grey accents, contemporary art, you get the idea. And light, plenty of light, which is the main focus in this book by Niki Brantmark. And I guess that’s what the Scandinavians have in common with Scotland, where I currently live: there is not a lot of it half of the year, so we better make the the daylight we do get.

Buy the book

Niki BrantmarkNiki Brantmark

Nature and the weather are major influences in Scandinavia: homes are made warm and cosy for the freezing winter months – not just literally with log burners, but also through incorporating wood and natural materials. In her book, Niki Brantmark, owner of the interior design blog My Scandinavian Home, presents a wide-ranging collection of these beautiful homes and explores how the Scandinavian lifestyle is reflected in them all.