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18 Ideas to Create a Swedish Summer Oasis - From Basic to Blowout!

The Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea is a true summer paradise. It's a place where wild flowers sway in the wind, and the pin sharp light catches the rocks on the rugged coastline and glistens on the blue of the Baltic Sea. 

Swedes flock there in July and August to relax and catch up with family and old friends while soaking up the long hours of daylight.  

There are many beautiful houses dotted around the island - some basic, some luxurious and everything in between! Today I stumbled across this contemporary oasis on the North east of the island which is currently for sale (I know!) - and I couldn't resist sharing it with you.

Why? Firstly, it had me dreaming of wiling a way a summer here with family and friends. Secondly, more importantly, because although we might not all have the space / budget for everything this wonderful house to offer - there are lots of ideas to steal - both big and small to channel that wonderful Swedish summer house vibe! 

Ready to take a look? 

1. A covered outdoor dining and barbecue area: Summer is all about spending as much time outside as possible and making the most of the abundance of daylight hours. An outdoor  dining / BBQ area is essential. The trouble is, the Swedish weather gods aren't always on our side so a pergola, with fabric to draw across on rainy days is ideal!

2. Solar powered lanterns: who needs to be faffing around with turning on and off outdoor lighting when the sun can do the job for you?  IKEA sells solar lamps like these. They look beautiful hung in the trees at dusk (as seen in yesterday's home tour). 

3. Outdoor kitchen: If you can't take the heat, create an outdoor kitchen (if you only have a small outdoor space or balcony, mini versions are possible with some creativity!). A perfect way to prolong your time outdoors and save from shuttling everything to and fro on trays! 

See more outdoor kitchen inspiration here and here

4. The double sun lounger: there's something luxurious about a double lounger, don't you think? Pick one that can lay flat or prop up so you can enjoy a book or a siesta at whim! 

Note, bamboo is not very weather resistance so best kept under a covered terrace. 

5. Permanent Cover: let's just say the weather in Northern Europe doesn't always do what we want it to do. A covered terrace is ideal for ensuring you can still enjoy the great outdoors on rainy days - and it's perfect for shade on warmer days. 

6. A sauna: On chillier summer days, a sauna is a perfect way to relax and feel some much needed warmth. But on winter days it' really comes into its own. And the health benefits are numerous!

7. An outdoor shower: why wash off in a steamy bathroom, when you can lather under an open sky? 

8. A swing: There's no better way to bring out the child in you like a swing. In my mind I'm already sitting on it overlooking the pool with a drink in hand, how about you? 

9. A comfy outdoor social area: a perfect spot for relaxing with friends and enjoying a fika (the swedish ritual of enjoying a coffee and cake) - or better still, a pre-dinner aperitif! 

10. Somewhere to take a dip: this house has a wonderful pool - and I can totally see myself drifting around on a lilo - I mean, how lovely! But if like me, you don't have the space / budget, how about a small plunge pool or wilderness bath / hot tub? Or a nice cool dip in a nearby sea / lake / stream is also a wonderful way to cool off! 

11. Sports: table tennis, badminton, darts, Kubb (a classic Swedish garden game), croquet... it doesn't really matter which you decide on, it's just fun to have some social activities to enjoy in the sunshine!

12. A relaxed indoor kitchen: At the Swedish summer house it's all about keeping life as simple as possible and the indoor kitchen should reflect this. Simple open shelves allow for a relaxed, 'grab and go' feel and natural materials like wood and stone help to bring the outdoors in. 

13. Let there be light! The Scandinavian winters are dark, so when the light returns it's important to embrace it. Glass doors help light to flow through to rooms further away from the window. A simple curtain can be pulled across for privacy. 

14. Hooks and more hooks: there's no simpler way to store your summer clothes than a rail of hooks. Besides, all you'll be needing (with any luck) is a robe, bikini, kimono and sunhat! Oh, alright then, maybe a cardi / jumper for the evenings. And a raincoat.... but let's not get bogged down in the details! 

15. A simple dressing room area: a mirror, hooks and chest-of-drawers = a basic walk-in-wardrobe, Swedish style! 

16. A space to work: A quiet place by the window will help you to feel connected with the great outdoors and keep that holiday feel alive while you work! 

17. A simple outhouse for guests: when it comes to the Swedish summerhouse, it's about accommodating as many people as possible - whether that's extended family or friends passing through for the night. I for one, would be perfectly happy to wake up in this little poolside cabana! But I've also seen garden sheds transformed into wonderful little guest houses (size permitting of course!). 

18. Bring your own bedding: In Sweden, it's customary for guests to bring their own sheets, duvet covers, and pillowcases and you provide the bed, pillow and duvet. Which means less work for everyone, and more time catching up! 

So many ideas - I for one would love a table tennis to have outside at our little cabin this summer - so fun! I might just have my eye on a double sun lounger too.

Is there anything that stood out to you?  

For more ideas on how to spice up your outdoor space, Scandi style, see: 


Kram! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Bertwig with thanks 




LATEST COMMENTS:

  1. So many ideas. Insects can be a problem where I live--mosquitoes, gnats, and flies--is this an issue for you as well, and if so,what do you do about it?

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    1. North of Stockholm the landscape is mainly made up of forest and lakes and mosquitos can be a huge problem. Many use screen doors and nets - even outdoors over parasols. Further south mosquitos aren't really a problem in Sweden (although we can get a few at sunset). What do you do in your home?

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    2. It's Niki by the way! Still having problems with my commenting!

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    3. We live near lakes and rivers and woods, so bugs are a challenge. We tend to avoid being outside at times of the day when they are at their worst, and we try to avoid providing breeding grounds for mosquitos (emptying water containers, etc.). If we are hiking, we wear insect repellant. Some people use citronella candles to deter the mosquitos. I've also heard that you can run a fan on your patio and the breeze will blow them away.

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