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A Magical Rural Escape by a Norwegian Fjord

I am constantly astounded by just how magical some Scandinavian summer residences are. Not because they are luxurious - far from it. You see, Scandinavian summer houses tend to be pretty pared back affairs. The focus is on kicking back and allowing the nature to help you unwind. Slipping away for the weekend or for an entire summer, there are no flights to catch and no schedule to keep. It's a simple life which dances lazily to the tune of eat, sleep, swim repeat. This enchanting summer house on the banks of a fjord in Northwest Norway belonging to Monica (AKA @tante__monica) is a fine example of how the Scandinavians have got it exactly right! 

"The summerhouse has no electricity or water and no road. Usually we arrive by boat," Monica tells me about her family summer house. "But at this time of year we have to walk through the forest since the boat is on land due to winter storms."

So where do they get their water? 

"We retrieve water for washing from a well, and we either get our drinking water from a nearby waterfall or we bring it with us on the boat." 

And the electricity? 

""For cooking we use propane, for light we use old oil lamps and candles and for heating we use the wood burning stoves," Monica explains. "We listen to music on our phones. We love to be there and not have to think about what's on TV. Instead we sit on the veranda and watch the sun go down as the birds fly or swim by and the fish jump from the fjord."


"It's quite romantic, but of course a lot of work," Monica says. "We have no animals, so we have to cut the grass ourselves. We do this once a year in order to allow for the wild flowers and plants to grow and attract a variety of insects. Every year we look forward to seeing if any new species appear." 

"Norwegian flower meadows are now in huge decline and our goal is to make our meadows rich in species again." 

The house is beautiful with a fascinating, if not tragic history. 

"My father grew up in the house. It was built during the war in 1942-43. Sadly the older house which stood there before burnt down. It was a huge tragedy for the family. My father was only nine and had to jump out of the kitchen window and my great grandmother was helped out through the window of her bedroom."

Today, the property, which was built after the fire, has been decorated in a serene, understated way. Vintage and antique pieces pop against a white and grey backdrop, and touches of blue and green mirror the surroundings. 

"I like to use items that have always been here. If we are in need of something new, we tend to buy old furniture and accessories. They are more charming and go a lot better with the house," Monica explains. 

Plates and other items were stored in a wall mounted cabinet with a subtle blue / brown theme and a simple rag rug can be seen on the floor. 

This lovely picture - captured for a feature in Lev Landligs - a Norwegian country life magazine - shows a pair of vintage beds, which had already been painted green when Monica found them. 


What a truly magical place to spend your summers. 

I can almost feel the warmth on my skin and I'd never ever tire of the view, how about you? 

See more of Monica's beautiful summer residence over at @Tante_Monica. Monica is also a keen knitter and sells handmade Christmas stockings through her shop Tante Monica (@christmasknitting) and Norwegian jumpers together with her friend Katrine via @mokkastrikk

Keen to take a peek inside a few other Norwegian summer residences today? I love: 


Niki

Photography: Monica Almskår Heggset & Lev Landig 

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Dream weekend getaway: Le Viti Barn

The title of this post might be slightly misleading. This is only really a weekend getaway for those living in the vicinity of Byron's hinterland in Australia. For the rest of us, we'd need to book it for a month at least to make the long trip worthwhile. Count me in! Le Viti Barn is nestled among lush surroundings on a two-acre hilltop estate (the views, people, the views!), and combines rustic elements with a luxurious touch. Step through the large timber front door and you'll discover herringbone tiled floors, whitewashed walls, soaring ceilings and a bathroom worthy of a soak with a very high stack of books. And then there's the lovely outdoor setting from where you can watch the sunset over the rolling hills. What a perfect escape for two - or a small family. Scroll on to see more! 

What a dream! I could certainly escape the cold (we woke up to a dusting of snow today) for the Australian summer right now, how about you?

More info over at Byron Beach Abodes. Definitely one to add to the future travel list!

See more dreamy holiday rentals I love here

Well guys, that's it from me this week! Thanks so much for stopping by, I've loved reading all your comments and mails! 

Have a great weekend! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Byron Beach Abodes

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Before & After: An Outdated Property Becomes a Vintage-inspired Family Home

Men Tjeeena! Hur är läget? Today I'm taking you on a virtual trip to Trier in Southwest Germany and Esther Soellner's wonderful home. When Esther and her family first discovered the1903 listed building it had a distinct look of the 1970s - all the rooms had panelled wood and suspended ceilings. Sadly, the stucco and original floor had been destroyed and it lacked many of the other original features. Esther, an interior architect, was keen to restore the house and bring it back to its former glory. her and her husband set about opening up the rooms and reinstalling original features such as doors and windows. The living space was then furnished furniture from antique markets across Europe including France, Belgium, Netherlands and Italy - as well as handmade pieces. The result is a calm home with a vintage industrial vibe and a hint of poetry.  Here are some before and after snapshots: 

Kitchen /dining area before

The extent of the renovation was absolutely enormous and included completely gutting the space, tearing down a wall and putting in new windows. 

On the opposite side of the kitchen / dining area, the suspended wood ceiling was removed and new windows and doors were put in. 

Dining area after: 

The cabinet is a fine example of one of Esther's many antique finds. So beautiful! 

Upstairs landing before

You can really see just how dilapidated the house was when the family first found it. Simply everything needed revamping. 

Upstairs landing after

The original wood floor was sanded down and given a new lease of life with white paint, while a mid-grey emphasises the architraves, turning it into a feature. 

The children's bedroom has been kitted out entirely with vintage and antique pieces.

Master bedroom before


Master bedroom after
Esther made use of existing plumbing to add a luxurious feel to the bedroom with a bath (I'm just imagining a candlelit bubble bath and a great book before bedtime!). She also made a feature of existing beams and pillars - stripping back the plaster to reveal the original brickwork. 

A vintage industrial JIELD lamp (I've got one of these in the corner of our sitting room too - always been a fan!)

A black and white theme in the bathroom (love the traditional style loo!) is softened with vintage touches included a wall cabinet and hooks. 


How beautiful! 

I love all the historical doors and internal windows - as well as the general simplicity of the space. It really allows the architecture to shine. 

Keep an eye on Esther's instagram feed @esma.auguste for more snapshots from her lovely home. 

I love a before and after - do you? Here are a few others to enjoy this Lillöradag (little Saturday): 


Har det bra! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of @esma.auguste

A Serene White Swedish Home with Warm Touches of Wood

Come here for a breather today? You're in the right place! Decorated by Grey Deco in nuances of white and furnished with pieces in an array of natural material like wood, cane and linen, the living space is a total breath of fresh air and a wonderful oasis in the heart of Gothenburg. Although styled for sale, I can totally imagine stepping inside and filling it with my own personal touches, how about you? 

Note how the washing machine is in the bathroom. In Sweden this is very common in apartments. It's either that or a communal 'tvättstuga' (laundry room), where you book a time slot (the subject of numerous exasperated conversations - everyone has a 'tvättstuga' story - usually a note that has been left by another irate user! 

In the UK, washing machines tend to be in the kitchen (if you don't have a separate laundry room or mudroom). 

Where does the laundry tend to happen in your country? 

On a separate note, the subtle nuances in this apartment are so lovely. My guess is that they've used something like 'Classic white' on the ceiling (NCS S0500-N) and then Jotun Tidlös on the sitting room and bedroom wall.

Wishing you all a serene day!

Niki

PS I am so excited about the before and after home tour I have lined up for tomorrow - it's full of vintage finds! See you then! 

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