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A White Summer Cottage in Finland that Oozes the Simple Life

This morning I'm prepping for my panel discussion about 'maximalism' at Formland design fair in Denmark tomorrow. So, I thought - why not go all out with a minimalist tour on the blog today (I can't help it, it's the rebellious streak in me!). Tarja, her husband and two boys spend their summers at this lovely summer cottage in Finland - and everything about it oozes the simple life. The wood panel walls, ceilings, beams and floor are a sea of white while furniture has been kept to a fairly spartan selection of vintage pieces - all of which emit warmth and nostalgia, giving it the space a cosy touch. 

I can just imagine the family leaving the hectic city behind and heading here to switch off for the weekend / holidays. No distractions, no schedule to keep, no mess - just an easy life flitting between the calm interior and the great outdoors! 

See more of Tarja's city house and country home over at @villavalkea

What type of vibe did you get from this cottage? I'm curious to hear! 

It's been while since I featured a Finnish home, why not stay a while and take a look at a few more: 


Stor kram! 

Niki

PS I'll share a post on the 2022 trend: 'Newstalgia' or new maximalism soon! It's an exciting development I the world of interiors, with something for everyone. 

Photography: @villavalkea

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Your Very Own Dreamy Beach Front Hideaway

I've only been home in Malmö for five minutes and I'm already thinking about travelling to faraway places. Don't get me wrong, I love this city, I've even penned several travel guides about it. But when you see the views from this 1960s beachfront property, you'll understand why! This quirky cottage, known as Arku House, is nestled on the shores of Sisters Beach, Tasmania and completely engulfed by nature. Airbnb guests are invited to relax with a book surrounded by a simple, soothing mediterranean inspired interior. In the winter, a wood burning stove helps to warm the cockles after a blustery walk along the beach. Ready to dream about falling asleep to the sound of the waves and waking up to magical sunrises over the ocean? Enjoy the tour! 

See what I mean?

I think one of my favourite touches is the little makeshift bar by the beach - it epitomises the simplicity and reflects the raw nature of the beautiful surroundings. You don't need much more than that! 

Although the space is very simple, it still feels cosy, in a beachy kinda way, thanks to all the texture which includes woven materials, rough stone, rustic wood and linen. 

It actually looks like a perfect writer's cabin.... and a great excuse for a fourth book. I could definitely imagine hiding away here over the Swedish winter! Could you imagine hanging out here too? That bar seat has your name on it! 

Here's the link to Arku House on Airbnb. Just saying!

There are many more beautiful properties in 'Tas' in my archives. Take a look and dream away here

Have a great start to the week friends! 

Niki

Interior designer / owner: Emma / @arkuhouse. Photography: Lean Timms

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A White Swedish Home with an Angled Kitchen

Such is my work as a writer, that I'm sitting at my desk on a warm, summer's day - without a cloud in the sky - in Malmö writing an article about Christmas for a UK magazine. Needless to say, I don't think I've quite got into the festive spirit yet! Lost for yuletide words, I thought I'd take a break and share this bright and airy apartment in Södermalm, Stockholm with you instead. It's just the breather I needed! The 51 m2 / 548 f2 space is perfect inspiration for anyone dealing with awkward angles, an IKEA kitchen that needs a design facelift or a cramped bathroom. Read on to discover why! 

In the kitchen, an Ikea kitchen carcass hugs the angled wall, while Superfront cabinet doors add a design touch. 

Some of the lost upper cabinet space is replaced by metal shelving beneath the window (also from Ikea). 

Right now, it's all about combining different style and eras. I love how contemporary kitchen cabinets stand beside an early 20th century cabinet - part of the original kitchen. 

A second room doubles up as an open-plan dining room and sitting room, with an eclectic blend of furniture. 

Glass doors ensure a flow of light between the rooms - a vital factor come winter! 

A slim vintage filing cabinet doubles up as a cute bedside table in the bedroom. 

Some old Stockholm apartments were built without private bathrooms - with residents sharing communal ones instead. These days, residents have carved out whatever space they can to create a bathroom, often using a wardrobe. I am not sure if that is the case with this small, L-shaped room. Even so, a narrow basin and loo in the shower area have solved the issue here. The white tiles and patterned tiles ensure it feels light and airy and also stylish! 

I thought it might also be useful to share the floorplan: 

Sovrum - bedroom, Vardagsrum - sitting room, Kök - kitchen

Such a lovely apartment with some great solutions (it's available to buy here).  

I particularly like the kitchen and dining area! And of course, the floor! Is there anything that caught your eye?

I am expecting a flurry of thoughts about the loo / shower combination! For example - won't the loo roll get wet? It reminds me very much of our boat loo / shower (we need to remove pretty much everything in the bathroom before we use the shower!). I think I'd try to fit a circular shower curtain or fold in semi-circular shower wall here (if there's room for it!). Do you have any ideas on how to solve this? 

Discover more beautiful Stockholm home tours here

Trevlig helg!  Have a great weekend! See you Monday! 

Niki

Photography Elin Sylwan, Styling: Petra Yngfalk for Historiska Hem

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An Idyllic Swedish Country Home in a Former Mission House

We arrived back in the Malmö metropolis last night, but my soul is still in the Swedish countryside where wildflowers grow along the roadside and the meadows and woodland are a vibrant green. That's what drew me to Maja Olausson's beautiful house deep in the heart of the countryside of North Skåne, a mere hour or two from here. 

A former mission house, the property was built in 1922 - and is steeped in history. When Maja took over the reins in 2019 along with her husband Johan, two daughters Majken and Juni, three cats and a rabbit, she was careful to respect the heritage of the house while adding modern comforts as well as kitting it out with beautiful vintage finds, some fabulous New Nordic lighting and plenty of patterned wallpaper against an earthy backdrop. The garden has also sprung to life in her care - with each season erupting into a colourful display of blooms including roses, dahlia and other delights. Välkommen in! 


The large hallway is all original except for the floor - giving a wonderful glimpse into its former life as a former mission house. 



Last summer, Jonas Lundberg and Anna Truelsen stopped by to capture the house for magazine Lantliv - the shoot included this glimpse into the kitchen dining area where Lilla Dockekulla wallpaper from Duro Sweden draws nature indoors. 

The above picture is another one for the series captured by Jonas and Anna. It was following a budget-friendly 'mini' renovation which included repainting the kitchen cabinets (NCS S2005-Y10R) and swapping out the floor, giving the kitchen a much-needed refresh. 

The eclectic array of pieces such as a Smeg fridge / freezer and Tropez light (one of my favourites!) are typical of the type of different styles and eras you will find throughout the house. 


You might recognise the large dining room as I featured a wonderful picture of it at Christmas time on my instagram last winter. It's fun to see the same space in summertime!

The large sitting room is dominated by brown suede sofas and a chaise longue from Sweef furniture, as well as a shaggy rug (which are having a moment!) and two poufs which Maja designed as part of a collaboration with online Swedish store Ellos.


A platform at the back of the sitting room serves as a reminder of the past. 


Juni's room is like a fairytale - as well as super cosy! I think one of the take-homes from this lovely scene is the red toadstool lamp - I love how it pops against everything else in the room adding a visual element of surprise. Something to think about when decorating / furnishing a room.  

The feather lamp is available here

Outside, Maja has created a wonderful oasis with several seating areas where you can eat, socialise, relax or simply reflect, surrounded by flowers and homegrown herbs and vegetables. 






How utterly charming! 

I particularly love how Maja and Jonas have transformed this space into a home, while still respecting the historical heritage. So inspirational! 

All in all, it's a magical indoors and out. 

Is there anything that stood out to you? I love your observations as they really add so much to each post, thank you! 

See more of Maja's house over at @majasmissionshus

Would you like to take a tour of a few other Swedish country homes today? Here are three you'll love: 


Have a lovely day friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of @majasmissionshus 

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