A Scandi-inspired renovation for two

When Anikó and Robert bought their first apartment, it was old-fashioned and gloomy. ‘It was a disaster,’ they say. ‘Not “us” at all.’ Together they worked on their vision.

‘We both love Scandinavian simplicity, so we made the most of the open-plan layout and painted everything white, from the wooden floors up. Then we added a mix of IKEA and vintage, which we both love. Now we have a home that reflects our tastes and personalities. It feels great!’

Make a small space look bigger with white walls and floors.

Anikó and Robert’s home truths

We live in… a 70m2 apartment in a historic quarter of Budapest. As well as being our home, it’s Anikó’s studio and playground, where she’s constantly trying out ideas for the interiors blog she runs with her friend.

An all-white home… is the perfect blank canvas. You can instantly change the mood simply by swapping or moving accessories, pictures and furniture.

Scandinavian style… is unusual here, but we love it! After growing up in communist-era homes, the cleanness and simplicity of it are like a breath of fresh air.

New kitchen, new heart of our home

‘One of the best changes we made was replacing the old kitchen with a new one from IKEA,’ says Robert. ‘We planned the layout to be sociable and simple, with storage and counter space along just one wall and closed cabinets rather than open.’

‘It’s where I spend most of my time, either cooking or taking pictures for the blog,’ adds Anikó. ‘I customised the dining table with IKEA legs and added a mix of chairs in different colours and shapes because we like the bohemian, eclectic look.’

Create displays, even over the sink!

‘Pictures are important to me,’ says Anikó. ‘The easiest way to change the mood in a space is to change the artwork and display. I like mixing pictures and text, and using hangers as well as frames – they make it so easy to swap in something new.’

Mix old finds with new

‘I like to use IKEA designs as my foundation and then I build from there,’ says Anikó. ‘I really like the fact that I can build my own style from IKEA and it goes well with the vintage designs I hunt for in markets and thrift stores. I like the warmth of vintage wood against a modern white base, though I’m not afraid to update old designs if I want a change, either painting them or sanding them down like I did with the desk.’

Our cosy loft bedroom

‘Our mezzanine sleeping space is small and purely functional, without space to put things on either side of the bed,’ says Anikó. ‘But we like the simplicity of it. We both love sleeping. Our idea of a perfect weekend starts with me waking up late after a long lie-in, then taking pictures in the flat while Robert’s still sleeping, then watching TV together, visiting a flea market or taking a walk in our fantastic historic quarter.’

Our open-plan urban nest

‘We browsed thousands of flats before we found this one,’ says Robert. ‘The layout of a typical Hungarian apartment will have lots of rooms for extended family to live together. But we knew we didn’t want that; it was a space just for us. We like keeping the doors by the desk open so we have a view from the kitchen to the other end of the apartment. It makes us feel connected, even when we’re in different rooms.’

Made by

Photography: Dan Duchars
Styling: Sam Grigg