Real home: Designer's tastefully styled house is perfect for a Nordic Noel

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

 Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home
(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Christmas is a family affair in the Seidler household. With the big day spent with loved ones, the lead-up is full of cosy nights in for Katie and her husband, Russell, with a glass of red wine and a mince pie or two in front of the woodburner. However, Katie, whose Victorian house is in the busy market town of St Albans, will admit that she likes to keep the decorations simple and minimal, with lots of natural elements that fit in with their home’s pared-back Scandi style.

Having bought the three-bedroom property back in 2017, after many years of renting, the couple were keen to make their mark on the place and fill it with their love of Scandinavian design.

Want to makeover your home so it reflects your personal style, just like Katie has? We have lots of ideas and advice on what to do and where to start in our feature on house renovation. For more real home transformations, head to our hub page.

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

The living room is part of the open-plan space, with a door to the kitchen on the left, and the dining room to the right. ‘Whoever is in the living room is near enough to the kitchen that we can still chat to each other,’ says Katie. The pine cupboard has been painted black and is used to house blankets and wine. The window used to look out over the garden before an extension was added for the kitchen prior to the Seidlers moving in. Armchair and log holder, both Ikea. Lamp base, H&M Home. Lamp shade, Ferm Living. Sofa, Made. Rug, Nordic Knots. Artworks, Studio Paradisi. Coffee table, Bloomingville

(Image credit: Colin Poole)
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The owners Katie Seidler, an interior designer at @hello_haus, her husband, Russell, a marketing director, and their French bulldog, Henry
The property A three-bedroom Victorian detached house in St Albans
Project cost £17,800

 ‘Although the house didn’t need any structural work, the interior was very plain and hadn’t been used to its full potential at all,’ says Katie. ‘I could instantly see how we could transform it to make it work for us. Not only was it in the ideal location for us, being close to all our friends and family, but the large kitchen and original sash windows really sold it to me – along with the internal window from the living room to the kitchen and all the bolt-ons, like the loft extension. 

'We call this house the Tardis as you really can’t tell how big it is from the outside! I loved the size of all of the rooms and could see that, with some clever space planning and the right furniture, it could become our perfect home.’ 

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

The exterior of the house reflects the neutral colours within


(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

Hooks in the hallway give the couple a place to hang coats and bags. An oversized door wreath adds Christmas cheer. Dot hooks, Muuto at Magasin. Door wreath, Homesense 

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

With no major works to be done, painting was carried out and a new wood floor installed. Katie wanted to ensure the house was cohesive, light and serene, and describes her vision as a mix of ‘Japanese style and Scandi design’. Her love of Danish furniture, clean lines and lots of texture were the focus when designing each room, with her eye for detail ensuring every corner and nook has been well planned.

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

The slimline tree from Balsam Hill is perfect for popping behind the dining table, out of the way but still in view from the living room. ‘The previous owner had the living and dining room as one large living room, but I sectioned it off and centred the sofas around the log burner,’ says Katie. ‘I think we’ve achieved a light, open, uncluttered feel that’s still warm and homely. It’s a real mix of Nordic hygge mixed with Japanese wabi-sabi.’ Chino pendant lights, Amazon. Rug, West Elm. Table, Made by Wood. Chairs, TAKT. Art, The Poster Club. Cushions, Sunday/Monday. Paper Christmas tree decorations, Broste Copenhagen. Umbra wall mirror, Hurn & Hurn. Garland, West Elm. 6” pre-lit Norway Spruce, Balsam Hill

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

The Seidlers’ living and dining space was previously used as one large living area, but Katie quickly turned it into a more functional room where they could entertain as well as relax. ‘Zoning is key,’ she says, ‘I look at a space and work out how to make the best of the light and furniture placement. I’ve used rugs to turn the two areas into distinct spaces. Everyone needs their home to work for them and I think we need to ensure it’s how we want to live right now and not necessarily worry about future owners.’

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

In the kitchen, Katie changed a few elements, such as the worktops, handles and appliances, but has plans to switch it up for a softer, more natural look in the future. Instead of a narrow tiled splashback, the white tiles (with black grout) have been taken up from the top of the cabinetry all the way to the ceiling, creating a neat and ordered appearance. Counter unit, Ikea. Tiles, Tile Mountain. Hanging wall planter, Homesense. Bracket, B&Q

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

The biggest job the couple had to contend with was the kitchen, where they ripped out the old grey granite worktops and took off redundant wall cabinets to open up the space. The worktops were replaced, the walls were tiled and a new sink, hob, extractor and wall shelves added.

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

Part of the kitchen has been painted beige to bring warmth to the space, while a small wood table provides an additional dining spot. Overhead, the pendant light is made of 80 per cent recycled PET fibres and is said to enhance the room’s acoustics. Walls painted in Packed Sand, Valspar. Dining table and chairs, TAKT. Plant pot, Made. Under the Bell pendant light, Muuto

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Originally, Katie went for a much starker monochrome scheme, but she soon realised it wasn’t for her. ‘The dark walls felt oppressive in my home and wasn’t the vibe I wanted,’ she says. ‘Beige and natural is “me” and that’s how I love to live. I changed the dark walls for more muted tones and a neutral palette, including lots of natural materials. We also ran the same flooring throughout, top to bottom, to bring the rooms together.’

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

Creating the panelled-effect wall was an easy DIY project that has made a big impact. ‘I love the natural feel in the office, which was created simply by gluing wooden batons onto the wall,’ says Katie. ‘It gives the room warmth and a statement wall that’s calm and subtle.’ Office chair and cupboards, Ikea. Walls painted in Overtly Olive emulsion, Dulux

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Nowhere does Katie’s love of natural materials and wood come into play more than in the home office, where Russell has recently installed wooden batons onto the wall for a slatted effect. It adds a warmth to the room that’s calm and subtle, while adding impact, albeit in a more natural form.

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

‘The loft room was where we tried to fit three goals into one room,’ says Katie. ‘It needed to be a spare bedroom, have storage space and include a home office for me. It’s probably one of the most practical rooms in the house.’ Parchment emulsion, Craig & Rose. Malm bed, Ikea. Bedside table, Wayfair. Bedside light, Clas Ohlson

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

The desk in the second bedroom fits Katie’s brief for furniture that is simple in design. ‘I use a muted, minimal colour palette and combine Japanese and Scandinavian style,’ she says. ‘Both cultures believe in longevity in design and the use of natural materials. I ensure I have lots of layered texture, natural oak and organic shapes throughout my home which delivers on the “Japandi” aesthetic.’ Desk, Tiptoe. Chair, Ikea. Lamp, Homesense

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Keeping to the same colours in each room also means they flow from one to the other seamlessly and enables Katie to move furniture and accessories around easily, as they work in every space. ‘Danish brands are my go-to when it comes to furniture and accessories; Ferm Living, Hay, Normann and Takt, for example,’ she says. ‘I love buying from independents that I find on Instagram, too, especially when it comes to ceramics and prints. My favourites are Map Stores, Nest, Earl of East and Studio Paradisi.’

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

The muted palette continues upstairs, with a beige wall framing the bed and two shelves for bedside tables to keep the spacious feel. Katie advises using a mix of light sources, from wall lights to table lamps, floor and ceiling lights, to create ambience. Wall painted in Packed Sand, Valspar. Penn bed, Made. Pendant light, Crea-Re Studio. Bedspread, Ferm Living. Artworks, The Poster Club

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

Katie’s inspiration for styling comes from many different sources – cafes, clothing stores and, of course, Pinterest and Instagram. ‘I’m also old school,’ she says, ‘and nothing beats a great interiors magazine to flick through with a coffee!’ In the master bedroom, her dressing area has been kept simple, with Katie using levels to add interest. ‘By using a small wooden platform and wall shelves I am able to use plants and vases to add in texture.’ Dressing table, Homesense. Stool, Skagerak. Shelf (on dressing table), LSA. Mirror, Broste Copenhagen

(Image credit: Colin Poole)
Contacts

Tree Balsam Hill
Furniture Tiptoe Design
Christmas wrapping and lights Nordic House 

With the interior complete, the Seidlers were able to turn their attention to the exterior, where they gave their compact garden a neat refresh. They employed the help of a local company, who landscaped it and built planters around the edge, which took around a month. ‘I’d love a bigger garden so I could build my dream garden office, but we’ve made the best use of the small space,’ she says.

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

The calming, neutral tones continue upstairs, where the banister offers another place to arrange some festive decorations. Shelf unit, Wayfair. Print, Made

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

Asked about her finishing touches, Katie confirms that she still has a huge list to go. She’s constantly tweaking the small things and helping the house evolve. ‘I’m not the most patient person and there’s been so much I’ve wanted to change in the house, but it takes time,’ she says. ‘It can’t all be done at once – creating a home you love can be a slow process. I’m so pleased with what we’ve achieved, though, and I’m looking forward to showing off our hard work at Christmas.’

Decorating with Danish-designed pieces, natural materials and lots of tactile textures has put heart and soul into Katie and Russell’s stylish home

Pale colours have been used in the bathroom as a backdrop for artworks, plants and accessories. ‘By using paint effectively and changing up the small accessories and little details, you can totally transform a space,’ says Katie. Shower curtain, Ferm Living. Mirror, shelf and hooks, Gejst Design

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

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