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Sunny July has landed, and brought with it the official holiday month of Scandinavia. Out of offices are on, the shoes are off - and our Nordic friends are preparing to relax and soak up the sunshine! This charming and laid back Danish 'Kolonihave' (allotment cottage) gives a wonderful glimpse into the chilled vibe of the Scandi summer. 

If you've been following My Scandinavian Home for a while and / or read The Scandinavian Home, you'll have noticed a distinct difference between the way Scandinavians decorate their city spaces and summer cottages. The former tend to be a more contemporary affair with clean lines and a blend of new Nordic pieces and vintage / finds. The latter on the other hand are distinctly more relaxed and lower key. 

Why is that? Summer cottage life is all about flitting between the indoors and outdoors - from the sandy shores of the sea or lake to the dewy grass in the garden and into the kitchen for a refreshing glass of elderflower squash. You might decide to plonk yourself on the sofa and curl up with a book or laze in a hammock. There might be a knock at the door and an army of children from the neighbourhood charge in. Or friends might drop by for a fika. It's simply about relaxing your way. 

And if you're worried about your interior, the hygge vibe will quickly evaporate along with the squash! This is why cottages tend to be kitted out with simple yet lovely, relaxed pieces that only get better with age! 

When Susanne Storm first bought the allotment garden house in Rødovre, Denmark fourteen years ago it was in a terrible condition - so much so that she was actually 50th on the waiting list but still got the offer to buy it! Most would have torn it down and started again, but Susanne saw its potential and after several years of renovating using second hand materials, the family love to spend their weekends and holidays in the 60 m2 (645 f2) cottage. 

The house dictated the decor, and many of the items you see are either from Susann'es grandmother's house or found at flea markets - set against a calm white backdrop. 

An outdoor shower and toilet was one of the things that Susanne added to make the cottage more comfortable to live in. 


A perfect oasis from where Susanne and her family can relax all summer long! 

Glimpse inside other Danish 'kolonihave' including: 


Have a lovely, relaxing start to the week! See you Wednesday! 

Niki

Photography: Lasse Wind, shared with kind permission. 

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Come and Discover the Nordic Market at Formland this August!


Paid collaboration with Formland. All words are my own and I only ever work with brands, services and events that I love and think you will too! 

Hello Scandi design-lovers, today I'm reaching out to all design and interior industry professionals (I know there's a big community here!) with some exciting news!

Between August 18 - 21 2022, Formland - the Nordic design fair in Herning, Denmark - will be opening its doors to showcase the latest news, trends and tendencies within Scandinavian design. Needless to say, it's a perfect opportunity to collect inspiration, do business and network with exhibitors, designers and leading experts!

Interested? Here's the exciting part: international visitors who attend Formland and book three 15 to 30 minute one-to-one meetings with exhibitors will receive a goodie bag, free lunch vouchers as well as a €300 reimbursement per person attending the fair (max. 2 people per company). Read more about the exciting benefits and terms and conditions for international visitors and plan your visit here

If you attend, make sure you stop by the 'Speak Up Scene' between 13.00 - 13.30 on Thursday 18th August, when I'll be attending a panel discussion about 'More or less? Maximalism or minimalism? What is the direction on the trend compass?' alongside trend experts Stefan Nilsson and Mads Arlien-Søborg

There'll be many other interesting talks and debates throughout the four days - and with eight halls filled with exhibitors (from small start-ups to large well established Nordic businesses) to be discovered, you'll certainly have your days full! 

Find more information about Formland and plan your trip

Hopefully see you there! 

Niki

PS I'll be back tomorrow with my usual Scandi interior inspiration - I've got a beautiful apartment to share with you!  

Photography: Tony Broechner / MCH (except top picture - Niki Brantmark). 

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Jessica's Beautiful Swedish Country Home and Garden

The towns and cities in Sweden have become distinctly quieter as more and more head out to the countryside to enjoy the nice weather (hey, we've waited a long time for this sunshine, we're not going to miss it!). For Swede Jessica Hedin, life continues at her quintessential country home from where she drives her business as a mindfulness therapist and coach - in between renovating a beautiful old house and toiling the soil to produce an abundance of home-grown vegetables and flowers. 

Step inside, and the house has been renovated with a deep respect for its past. Wood beams, panelling, exposed brickwork and original doors and windows provide a backdrop for an interior that's been painted in a soothing light green and white as well as with touches of traditional wallpaper. The living space has been furnished with a blend of antique furniture and light fittings which add to the wonderful, relaxed countryside vibe. Ready to take a peek? 

Beautiful! 

I particularly love the downstairs loo! And I find the garden so inspiring too. The grass was pretty much ruined at our cabin during the build and so I feel like we're starting from scratch. I don't think our garden will ever look quite like Jessica's, but I do love the idea of growing sweet peas, roses and dahlia as well as having a vegetable patch - something we've never been able to do in our tiny city garden! 

Is there anything that you felt particularly inspired by?

See more pictures from Jessica's house and garden at @angadalen and find out more about Jessica's work as a health worker and therapist - including courses and workshops here

Would you like to see a few other Swedish country homes today? I love: 


In case you missed it: I have now moved into my summer holiday posting schedule (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Have a relaxing few days and see you Friday! 

Niki

Photography: Jessica Hedin shared with kind permission

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A Light and Airy Danish Summer Cottage Oasis

Swedes are still recovering from a magical Midsummer weekend of sunshine, floral crowns and revelry! I had an apartment lined up to show you today, but since the mercury is set to hit 30 c (86 f) in Scandinavia today, I thought a summer cottage by the sea might be more apt! This classic black and white cabin in Tisvilde on Denmark's North Zealand coast, is owned by interior stylist and furniture manufacturer Ophilia Thalund. Ophilia has created an airy, light filled interior in soft shades of white, blue, grey and brown. The sparsely decorated space features items collected over time including flea market finds as well as pieces collected on travels - resulting in a personal oasis in which to relax on balmy summer days!

A classic 'trasmatta' rag rug* - a mat made from scraps of clothing and other leftover textiles - helps to protect the floor in the kitchen. 

In Scandinavian cabins, natural materials and simplicity rules the day! 

A simple white butterfly chair can be easily transported outside when the sun shines! 

A wood bench doubles up as a side table for coffee table books and an antique bottle has been repurposed into a cool lamp! 

Ophilia often sits at this antique desk when she's working up at the cabin. 

This rustic wood stool* is similar. 

Wood panel walls and soft grey-blue shades help to connect the cabin to its coastal location. 

Lovely! I can imagine on a day like today all the windows and doors are thrown open and everyone is flitting between the sea and the garden - occasionally popping inside to collect a drink or slice of watermelon. Just like us! 

Take a look at more dreamy Scandinavian summer cottages today. 

Speaking of summer - the school holidays are in full swing and I will be dialling down to my summer blogging schedule (posting on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays) in order to spend time with my girls - and try to keep the chaos at home at bay (cue: a trail of destruction including coils of wet towels, a rapidly diminishing pantry and a crazy number of glasses in use at any one moment - does anyone else recognise this?). Even so,  it's my absolute favourite time of the year! I hope you are able to take a little downtime and relax too. 

If you're thinking about visiting Stockholm this summer - why not stay in the beautiful archipelagos so you can combine the sea and calm surroundings with the city? Here's a 20% code off for you if you stay at hotel Vår Gårds Saltsjöbaden for three nights or more between 1st - 31st July 2022: NIKISUMMER. I loved it so much last winter I'm taking my whole family there this July! 

See you Wednesday! 

Niki

Photography: Birgitta Wolfgang Bjørnvad / The Sisters Agency shared with kind permission. 

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A Beautiful Midsummer's Eve Table

On Friday it's time for one of the biggest celebrations in Sweden - Midsummer's Eve. It's an event so entrenched in the Swedish culture that it's considered as important as Christmas. It's become my favourite celebration of the year. Put simply, it's magical. Think crowns weaved from wildflowers, dancing around a maypole and playing silly games. Tables are laden with a spread of pickled herrings, new potatoes, quiches, boiled eggs, sour cream, dill, salmon, strawberries, and crisp bread, washed down with beer and schnapps. It's a day spent outdoors no matter the weather (thankfully it looks like the sun will be shining on Friday!) and a time for friends and families to come together and chat and sing and dance under the midnight sun. 

Why not join the celebrations from afar? Here's a beautiful Midsummer tablescape by Linnea on the Swedish island of Gotland (who's beautiful home I featured recently) to inspire you! 

So pretty! 

Looking to join in the celebrations? Here are 5 simple steps for hosting a Swedish midsummer

Single? Swedish tradition says if you pluck 7 different wild flowers and lay them under your pillow on Midsummers Eve, you'll dream of your true love! 

Glad midsommar! 

Niki

PS since I will be busy doing preparations for the big day on Friday, there'll be no post tomorrow. I look forward to blogging again on Monday. Vi ses!

Photography: @leintosinspiration - shared with kind permission.

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