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The Cosy Rural Home of a Swede Living by a Scottish Loch

As a Brit living in Sweden for the past 18 years, I'm often asked which culture has influenced my home decor style more. I'd definitely say the latter, but I'm sure there's a deeply ingrained British touch there too (there's always a pack of Earl Grey tea in our kitchen cupboard for starters!). I love to see how other homes of those living abroad look. And today, the beautiful home of Patricia Amalia Rodi - a ''Swedish Frenchy in Scotland'' - popped up on my instagram feed. I caught up with Patricia to find out more about her home, how she renovated it on a tight budget and how her past has helped shape her present.

Can you tell us a little about your background? 
My dad is French and I spent lots of my time in France as a child (I even lived in Nice and Paris in my twenties), but I was born in Sweden and grew up there until I moved to Scotland - which is where I've been for the past eight years. I work as an interior stylist, blogger and content creator. 


Your house is lovely, where is it and who do you live with? 
I live in the Scottish countryside, more specifically in a Victorian house built in 1860, overlooking a loch in the Argyll and Bute area of Scotland. I live with my husband Patrick and dog Alva. 


How long have you lived there and did the house require any work? 
We bought the house two years ago and it was a total renovation project. We have restored the whole house ourselves, bringing it back to its former glorying using reclaimed materials. It's been a massive undertaking, but we have learnt so much in the process, from restoring windows, laying floors, plastering - you name it! 

That is an amazing feat! What did it look like when you first found it? 
The house hadn't been touched for over twenty years and was covered in awful carpets and plastic floors. However, some of the historical and traditional features were still intact - and this connection with the past was something we wanted to treasure. The renovation has taken us nearly a year. Since we didn't have the money for a grand reshuffle, or to pay builders (except for our amazing joiner Gareth), we kept most of the layout as it was and worked to preserve the period features. This meant removing the dusty old carpets, sanding floors, laying reclaimed floors, plastering and painting inside and out. It was really hard work but nonetheless incredibly rewarding when you stand back and realise that you have done it all by yourself. 

What have you learnt most from the process?
It has taught me not to rush through the process of putting together a home. Indeed, it can be hard to live somewhere unfinished, mundane, and chaotic. But I've learnt that I need to allow the home to slowly unfold over time so that it rhymes and changes with the patterns of our life. 

How has your background inspired your decor? 
I have always been deeply passionate about interior, food and nature - spending my childhood scurrying between my Father's restaurants in Gothenburg, Sweden where I grew up; the countryside of Southern France where I spent every summer with French aunts; and the seaside of San Remo, Italy, where I just ate too much gnocchi and burrata! My interior style is inspired precisely by my multicultural background and childhood memories of Italian tiles, French antiques and Scandinavian modernism. 

And finally, what do you miss most about Sweden?
Oooh the dreaded question! I love the Nordic farmhouse, vardagslyx (everyday luxury), and the mysig or hygge (cosy) approach to life. I miss these cultural components that are so entrenched in the Swedish lifestyle. I know that I used to take them for granted sometimes, but they really do have a calming impact on everyday life. 

As a Swede, I love to make our home cosy. I think that's why our home is always filled with people. There's always cake (or food) in the house, the candles are lit, the coffee is brewing and there's always a record playing in the background. I really like that Swedes know how to bring a special feel to mundane weekday life. 

Thank you so much to Patricia for inviting us into your cosy Scottish home.

I love the idea of living in a Victorian house beside a loch - it sounds so romantic, don't you think? 

See more pictures of Patricia's home over at @patriciarodi and discover more about her work here. Her blog over at Lovely Life is simply beautiful too!

I loved hearing about how Patricia's past has shaped the decor and feeling in her home. How do you think your past has shaped your home? I'd love to hear in the comments below! 

Would you like to see a few other homes belonging to Scandinavians living abroad? Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cuppa and feel inspired by these: 


Happy Lillördag friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Patricia Amalia Rodi

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Beautiful Small Space Living in a 19th Century Swedish Apartment

Every now and then a real gem comes on the market - like this apartment in a 19th century farm building right in the heart of Gothenburg! Measuring a mere 38 m2 (402 foot square), the living space might be considered relatively small - but it's an absolute dream for a single occupancy or a couple. Think lovely high ceilings, large arched windows and doors and beautiful old beams. In summertime the apartment spills out onto an inner courtyard, extending the living space. All in all, it's a wonderful lesson in organising and decorating a small space - and of course a dream for anyone that snaps it up. Enjoy!  









I'd be so happy to call this space my home, how about you? 

Sadly, but not surprisingly, it's already sold. 

Other Scandinavian small space inspiration: 

7 small space tricks to learn from a Stockholm home

Clever small space ideas in a Swedish studio

A cosy small Swedish pad with warm tones

Wishing you all a lovely day!

Niki

Photography: Jonas Berg, styling Grey Deco for Stadshem

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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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