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5 Swedish Christmas Craft Ideas to Make Alone or With The Kids!


There's nothing like Christmas decorations to lighten up the darkness and spread a little cheer, don't you think? One of the positives about lock-down (or simply spending more time at home this year) is that we might just have time for some good old fashioned julpyssla (Christmas crafting)! In our house decorating is a family affair and Per, the girls and I love to go all out - including a trip to the forest to collect fir cones, fir tree saplings as well as some simple crafting accompanied by glögg and julsånger (Christmas songs)  - see more here! Now, I'm not going to lie, when it comes to crafting, my family and I are not what I would call gifted - in fact most of our decorations end up looking very homemade. But what we lack in skill we more than make up for in enthusiasm. In case you're also in the mood for a little julpyssla this year, here are 5 beautifully simple DIY Swedish Christmas craft ideas we'll be making this year -and they barely cost a penny! 

1. Window painting


This year our windows have become more important than ever. In some homes they've been the only connection people have had with to the outside world, in others they've been used to communicate important messages (like the heart-warming NHS rainbows in the UK), and in others again, they might have been the only way one has been able to connect with at-risk loved ones. So why not brighten up everyone's day - and do some winter window painting like Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner. All you need is a glass pen and a little imagination (there are also some cute stencils available here* and here*) - and you'll create a little cheer inside and out! 

2. Christmas decorations from scraps of wallpaper



Got any scraps of wallpaper lying around at home? Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner shows you how to make baubles, paper chains and bunting from wallpaper  - and the outcome is so pretty! 

3. Snöblomma (snow flower) / Paper stars


These wonderful DIY paper stars (made above by Byn Collective and below by Anna-Maria Blomqvist) started to make waves last Christmas (see my feature!) and mark a welcomed return to Swedish Christmas crafting traditions. What I love most about these snöblomma / paper stars is that they are SO easy to make and look pretty anywhere in the house. Get the know-how here


4. Blood orange garlands



We've all seen orange garlands - but how about making a 'blood' orange garland for a darker twist on the classic? Drying out your own orange slices couldn't be easier too. Simply set the oven to 70 degrees celsius, spread the orange slices out on baking paper and place the pan in the oven until they have completely dried out and turn a nice golden colour (around 2.5 / 3 hours). Make sure you turn regularly for an even effect. Once dried, there's no end to the possibilities (see more inspiration here!). 

5. Bake Lussebulle / Lussekatt 

Does baking count as crafting? You're using your hands after all! There's no denying that a little baking in the run up to Christmas not only feels therapeutic, it fills the house with festive aromas and you can enjoy the results for days! This year, why not fill your home (and hearts) with the wonderful scent of Swedish saffron buns (as captured by Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner above and below) - and enjoy them on 'Lucia' (St Lucy's Day) on 13th December. There's a great recipe here


I can smell the Lussebulle from here, how about you?

Is there anything that stood out to you among these DIY ideas?


Here's to a very crafty run-up to Christmas! 

Niki

PS Wishing all American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

Picture credits; 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8: Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner. 4. Byn Collective 5. Anna-Maria Blomqvist

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Ilkka's Charming Rural Retreat In Finland

Hei! How are you today? Feel like getting away from it all? Today, I'm whisking you off to rural Finland and the charming bolthole of interior architect Ilkka Mälkiäinen. Acquired 12 years ago as a weekend escape from Helsinki, Ilkka and Janne have carefully renovated the country home to bring it back to its former glory. Think high ceilings, beautiful wood floors and rooms painted in deep charcoal and steel grey. Today, the home is a goldmine of Finnish antiques and vintage finds and packed with charm. Welcome to Ilkka and Janne's age-old country retreat! 









How beautiful! I love the relaxed, eclectic feel of the home. 

Did you have a favourite room? I've always had a real weakness for romantic style bathrooms. Imagine locking up your city apartment, coming out here to the quiet of the countryside and running a candlelit bath. Heaven! 

This takes me back to the day I captured a home for The Scandinavian Home deep in the heart of the Finnish countryside. And there was a moose grazing in the meadows beside the house. 

I've been wanting to return ever since - something for next summer perhaps? Have you ever been to Finland?

If you're after a little more Finnish dreaming today, here are a few other homes to love: 

Have a cosy day! 

Credits: Krista Keltanen / Jonna Kivilahti - shared with kind permission

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This Year's Cosy Christmas Touch: A 'Glögg' Bar!

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The First Sunday of Advent is a big day in Scandinavia. It can get very dark in winter time and the eagerly awaited day provides a perfect opportunity to brighten up the darkness with candles, star lanterns and other julpynta (Christmas decorations). I have to confess though; I started a little earlier this year with the glögg (spiced mulled wine). My excuse? The chilly weather combined with a photoshoot for Danish brand Skovby and their beautiful handcrafted #135 Serving Trolley

Allow me to introduce my 'glögg bar'! 

For those of you not familiar with the word, Glögg is a Scandinavian spiced mulled wine, usually served with a spoonful of almonds and raisins as well as pepparkaka (gingerbread biscuits). Its best kept piping hot on the stove, in a thermos or in a pan over a candle. I love to serve it with blue cheese as the combination with pepparkaka is simply divine! 

My parents-in-law always have a glögg bar ready and waiting when we arrive at their cottage on Christmas Eve. It's a perfect way to thaw the hands after bracing the freezing temperatures outside! 

I decided to have my own this year, and this fine specimen of a trolley could not have made a finer glögg bar! The Skovby #135 Serving Trolley comes in a variety of finishes (check them out here) and I chose the black oak with a top in black nano laminate (specifically designed to cater for spillages - love that!). 


The trolley also has other awesome features such as hidden wheels, a wine rack and a compartment containing a small tray and chopping board (made from excess wood from the Skovby factories). Talk about a well-equipped bar! 

I also threw in some books and a cosy blanket for a little extra hygge! It is Danish, after all! 

Having sat at a Skovby desk in our home office for the best part of six months, the quality, design and functionality of the trolley is exactly what I've come to expect from the Danish furniture brand - which prides itself on sustainable and functional furniture. 


All there's left to do is get cosy and tuck in!

Once Jul is over the trolley would make a pretty cool display piece too, don't you think? Danish design at its finest! 

Curious to find out more? See #135 Serving Trolley for more details and find your nearest stockist here. 

I'm not sure if you've seen my previous posts about Skovby? If not, you might also like to see Per's home office (he's back at school now so I swiftly took over!) and the glass display cabinet in the corner of my open-plan dining room / sitting room area.  

Have you started decorating for the holidays yet? Despite the cheeky start, I'm waiting until this weekend and the First Sunday of Advent for the rest of my decorations (except for the tree, which we'll chop down sometime in mid December). 

A little cosiness and Christmas cheer is just what we all need this year, don't you agree?

Skål!

Niki

Photography Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian home

*This post is brought to you in paid partnership with Skovby. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too! Thank you for supporting the wonderful businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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The Stockholm Archipelago Home of a Swedish Stylist Could Be Yours!

Lately, I've become more and more intrigued about the large islands that surround Stockholm such as Ekerön and Färingsö but even slightly smaller ones such as Dalarö, in the Stockholm archipelago. The reason? You can enjoy all the peace and tranquillity of island life, yet you're still a short hop away from the capital. My interest was piqued years ago when I featured the dreamy home of Swedish stylist Mari Stengheilm. Old (it dates back to the 1800s), impeccably styled (of course!)and with a view over the islands  - it has just about everything a girl (or guy!) could wish for. The living space has changed a lot since then - moving with the times from a whiter, lighter touch to a muted, earthy palette - but the incredible bones remain the same! And guess what? It's for sale. Be still my beating heart! The catch? It's a little, OK, waaaay over my budget. But hey, a girl can dream - and I thought perhaps one of you might be interested...

Check out this floor! I love the addition of the hand painted flowers.  

The traditional kitchen has been given a lick of earthy green paint. A series of flat dishes / rattan baskets have been displayed on the wall giving the space a relaxed, homely vibe. 



Although muted, the sitting room is alive with textures such as leather, velvet, linen and wood. Mari has used mineral paint, which gives the walls a rich patina. 



Mari's home is full of vintage treasures and small treasures gathered from around the world. It's worth mentioning that when a home in Sweden is styled for sale, the owners are generally asked to clear away personal items including photos etc, so that the viewer is more easily able to imagine themselves in the living space. This is why it looks a little sparse. 

A clearing at the top of the stairs provides a perfect spot for a home office! The office chair is actually an  IKEA piece (I thought I'd share this since nice looking, ergonomic office chairs are hard to find!). 

The view! 


Naturally, I've shared the pictures of this house with Per  - even if it's 500 kilometres away and out of reach! You never know, right? 

Well. Actually I do know. It's not going to happen, but it's certainly given my Monday a lift . I hope it has yours too! 

Is there anything that stands out to you? 

You might be interested in taking a peek at Mari's home back in 2015 here (also captured by Lina Ostling).  

And dream away the morning with tours of other inspiring houses and cabins in the Stockholm archipelago: 


Gah! Whisk me away there now! 

Have a great start to the week! 

Niki

Photography by Lina Ostling courtesy of Alexander White.

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A Wonderful Copenhagen Home Full of Soul

What a week! I feel like we've seen so many different styles - from a rustic Georgian townhouse in London to a magnificent Swedish pool villa and a cosy candlelit cabin deep in the heart of the snowy Norwegian fjords! And not to forget, my bike trip across town to capture Helen Struresson's sitting room, styled two different ways (don't miss the code for the 20% off at Bemz!). It was hard to find something to top such an inspiring week - but I might just have the ticket! Today friends, we're off to Denmark, and the home of interior designer Susanne Rutzou

It was love at first sight when Susanne first discovered her 1930s apartment in Østerbro. The apartment felt like a woodland clearing in the heart of Copenhagen thanks to the light pouring through the French teak-framed doors and the large windows which overlook a park - so nature is never far away. Designed by architect Vilhelm Lauritzen,  the villa was previously owned by Søren Garde, founder of Garde Hvalsøe - a Danish company making bespoke, handcrafted cabinetry - and the handcrafted elm wood kitchen, bathroom, and walk-in wardrobe remain today. Susanne has layered the home with family heirlooms, items picked up on travels, books and art - as well as some of her own designs - to give the house a warm and relaxed soul.  

I was actually meant to visit this home last year as part of an organised tour by Garde Halvsøe but unfortunately couldn't make it - I'm still gutted! Fortunately, the lovely Freya August of Scandinavian Standard, who was also part of the tour, snapped these pictures and gave me kind permission to share them today. Ready to take a peek inside? 






Simply beautiful, don't you think?

The entire home has so much soul. 

I have to say, the kitchen is incredible - I love the elm-wood finish. You can see more pictures of it here if you're curious! 

Is there anything that stands out to you?

Fancy a peek at other Copenhagen homes over the weekend? Here are a few gorgeous ones: 


I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Niki

Photography: Freya AugustScandinavian Standard - shared with kind permission. 

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