An Eclectic 19th Century Swedish House

Jennie Moraeus, Jon and their children Olle (5) and Esther (3) moved into their dream house in Örnskoldsvik (try pronouncing that!) on Sweden's North West Baltic coast six years ago. Over time, they've painstakingly renovated 'Elfvinggården' to transform it into the warm and inviting family home is is today. But acquiring the 1850 house wasn't without it's pitfalls. It was a chance meeting on a cross-country ski track that led them to obtaining the keys! I caught up with Jennie to hear more about the move, her love for DIY and how the family restored the space on a tight budget to become the beautiful home it is today. 

How did you find the house?
"Actually, the house was in an area we weren't very interested in, but we met the estate agent out on a cross-country ski track and she told us we must come and look at a house that was coming out on the market a few days later. When we were at the viewing I mostly went around swearing!! We put in a bid way under the asking price (but the maximum we could afford), never expecting to get it. So when the estate agent called to say it was ours, we simply couldn't believe it! The seller chose us over the higher bidder!

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Did you have a strong vision of how you wanted to decorate it?
After the bidding, we went on honeymoon and I lay on a sun lounger dreaming about the house. Built in the 1850, it was full of light and felt cosy and welcoming even though the rooms were large. When we arrived home we got the keys which was one of the happiest days of my life!

What kind of improvements have you made?
Over the last six years, we've made a series of small and bigger changes. We've mostly carried them out ourselves, with a little help from our parents - and always on a low budget. We didn't actually plan this in advance - it was more that we were careful to ensure each project cost as little as possible. Often you don't need to do re-do everything to make a big change, colour is a great way to transform a room!

How would you describe your style?
I have quite a varied style: a little vintage, a little bohemian, nordic, art deco - all in a crazy, eclectic mix! I still think that the aesthetic is fairly swedish: it's quite common to mix new and second hand pieces to create a cosy living space. 

The wallpaper in Jennie's bedroom was a flea-market find. Etsy is a great source for vintage wallpaper

I note from your Elfvinggården blog and instagram that you're a bit of a dab hand at DIY, have you always been creative?
I love DIY! We have loads of furniture such as armchairs and sofas which I've pimped up with the help of new legs. I'm always collecting old pieces even if they're in need of restoring. I feel it's in my blood as my grandmother was also a collector - I believe everything can be given a new lease of life!

What do you love the most about your home?
It's difficult to put my finger on it, I love so many things about it! That it's old, the handblown glass windows, the big light-filled stairway that allows space for my beloved carpenter's bench, the mature garden  - everything works together to give the house a wonderful feel!

What's next on your list of projects?
Right now we're building a chicken coop (we were hoping to have it ready in time for summer but never mind!). We're also dreaming about building a terrace and greenhouse!

And finally, do you have any favourite Swedish blogs you can recommend?
I wish I had more time to read blogs, but Krickelin, Elsa Billgren and Mokkasin are some of my favourites! 

Loving this hallway floor, it's so striking and relatively easy to create!

Thank you so much for inviting us into your lovely home Jennie!

For more pictures check-out Jennie's inspiring Elfvinggården blog and instagram where she documents her latest home improvements.

Is anyone else dreaming about a similar renovation project - or simple acquiring one of these incredible 19th century Swedish manor houses? Imagine!

Just in case - you might also like to take a peek at this 19th century house on Gotland, an old Swedish house with an outdoor oasis and a beautiful home in Malmö

Have a lovely day! 


PS We're still in holiday mode here in Sweden (currently on the stunning Danish island of Anholt in the middle of the Kattegatt sea) - I hope you don't mind that I will continue to blog every other day during the holidays in order to spend a little more time with the man and our crazies!I hope you're enjoying some down time too!


  1. I'm in love with this place :)))

  2. I love everything about this house: colours, art, mix of vintage furniture, DIY stuff,...everything. It is such a well loved and lived in home. That room with the kids on the couch is it for me. So well done. Just shows you that you don't need much to make an amazing home.

    1. I love your description "such a well loved and lived in home" - this describes Jennie's home perfectly! Happy you enjoyed the tour.

  3. Gorgeous! And very inspiring. Cheers, Amanda

    1. I'm happy you found this tour inspiring - I'm totally with you!


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