We visit Emma Johansson, the writer, photographer and influencer behind Instagram account @whatdecoratesmyday. Emma is a master at mixing prints and colors in bold ways, and her home is a constant inspiration. While learning more about her morning and night routines, we find out she’s not that into beauty, but very much into personal development. Oh, and we find a bunch of zombie rabbits with a message in there as well.
Tuesday evening ends: Around 10 pm is standard
Before turning off the lights: I always have a look at my phone. I’m a hopeless Hemnet junkie (a Swedish house listing site) and always browse through old, derelict houses for sale. Not really for us to buy, more for inspiration and daydreaming. I don’t lack imagination, so I always dream of rebuilding, decorating, and renovating various objects.
I sleep in: Panties only. And preferably an open window. I’m so hopelessly hot.
I share the bed with: I wish I could say my partner, but the truth is that we have slept in different rooms ever since our youngest was born four years ago now. He had incredible difficulty sleeping for the first three years, and we were totally exhausted and took turns with him every other night. And that has continued. We are both totally incapable of functioning normally if we get too little sleep. But our goal is to start sharing a bed again soon, haha.
On my nightstand: A book, hand cream for our oldest son, an old coffee cup, and my phone.
My best tip for a good night’s sleep: To get into bed, after a workout and a shower, in new fresh sheets. A thick duvet and open window. There is not much that beats it.
Keeps me awake: Non-sleeping children and watching scary TV shows just before going to sleep.
My version of counting sheep: I usually fall asleep very quickly. But the times I have a hard time falling asleep, I plan my imaginary novel. I have dreamed of writing fiction all my life but always fall asleep after the first chapter.
My best midnight snack: Crispbread with butter and a glass of milk.
I last dreamt about: A recurring dream that I have had all my adult life is that the bunnies I had as a child are still alive and that I find them in the garden as little zombie rabbits. But actually that dream disappeared when we got bunnies for the children a while ago. My analysis is that the dream comes from me having a lousy conscience the last few years the old rabbits were alive, they were my whole life when I was little, but in high school they were less exciting for me.
My evening beauty routine: Honestly I barely wash my face. Seldom use moisturizer. I rarely put on makeup because I find it terribly boring to wash the makeup off in the evening. What I do is brush my teeth and take out my contacts. Exciting beauty routine, right?
Favorite bedroom feature: That it’s dark and that it’s the coolest room in the house. In addition, the last rays of the sun come in there so beautifully. The room has the most beautiful light in the house. The funny thing is that that particular room was our mess room the first years we lived here. We called it “the in-between room.” It was here all things had to come as the last stop, before death, haha. All the rubbish and stuff we got tired of that were to be sold or thrown away ended up here. Then we realized how nice the light was in here, and since I work as a photographer, I had to pull myself together. It was the absolute best decision to turn it into a bedroom!
Wednesday morning starts: 6.30.
My alarm sounds like: No idea, I hate it, haha. Just some standard signal on my phone.
The first thing I see: Nothing, I’m so ridiculously short-sighted, so the first thing I do is put in my contact lenses.
My morning mood: Classic toddler chaos with stressed parents who barely have time to eat breakfast. If I’ve had the ambition for all of us to eat breakfast together like a perfect family? Absolutely. Many times.
Everyday breakfast: A few cups of coffee. The very best is when my partner gives me a cup of coffee in bed. Drinking coffee is always the very first thing I do, on an empty stomach, so I get a real push into the day. When the children are gone, I have some yogurt or cottage cheese, and crispbread. Very frugal.
Birthday breakfast: It’s my best morning of the year! Classic Swedish prinsesstårta and coffee are a must. And my partner usually serves a glass of champagne. Birthdays are sacred in our family!
A dreamy weekend morning: Coffee in bed, listening to a humor podcast, and writing in Livsjournalen. Reflecting on the week that has passed and planning for the coming. After that, the whole family eats pancakes together.
Morning beauty routine: The same as the evening routine, i.e., nothing at all. Brush my teeth and put in contact lenses. Mascara and blush if I’m going to meet people. That’s it. I barely look in the mirror. Always tousled hair that I pull up in a knot and preferably also a scarf to hide my unwashed hair.
My do’s and don’ts when making the bed: There is nothing I hate more than crumbs in the bed, so I always shake the bed out and change the sheets often. Once I make a bed, I always use a bedspread. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.
Tell us about your book Livsjournalen and how you got the idea? My friend Maria Wiig came up with the idea the very first time we met seven years ago. We met through Instagram and became very close friends. We meet almost every week. She convinced me that personal development is essential – I was pretty anti before I met her. It was actually thanks to an online course she arranged a few years ago that I dared take the step and become a freelancer, and I love it! I am so grateful for that and for the fact that it goes so well! We usually describe Livsjournalen as “a beautiful little world and toolbox where you can dream as big and lavish as your inner self allows and get help planning your life for a year in an empowering way, with structure and exercises to plan the weeks thoughtful and balanced for a sustainable mind. A self-coaching book for your desk, bedside, and coffee table. We created the book that we had needed ourselves. I use mine every day, and it really helps me stay focused in everyday life and in the long run.
Also, please tell us why we should get a bunny? It is the best animal if you have children. We have four. They don’t require that much work and are always cuddly. Male rabbits, in particular, are like big teddy bears. I think it is important that children learn to take responsibility early, and we expect the boys to spend some time with the rabbits every day, giving them food and water and cuddling them.
Text by Louisa Hammarbäck
Photo by Emelie Sundberg