Anna and Martin's Tiny Handbuilt Cottage Floating on a Swedish Lake

"I've never tried that before, so I'm sure I'll manage it" - so said Pippi Longstocking, and these are the words Swedish florist Anna Starrén and her husband Martin live by. Martin had always dreamed of building a floating cottage from which to explore the lake beside their country home. And when his friend passed away, he put all his effort into turning his dream into a reality. Read on to discover more! 

The starting point was to build a floating pontoon (measuring 5 x 10 metres), upon which the little red and white cottage (measuring 4 x 3.5 metres) was built.  The pontoon is attached to the mainland using a series of mooring lines. 

The house has everything you might need for a relaxing day by the lake including a sleep loft, sauna, isolated floor, wifi, fridge, gas stove, shower, water converter, shower, dry loo, binoculars, bird book, ceramics for 10!, a coffee maker and an anchor! 

Oil lamps are dotted around the little cottage, providing light and heat. The cottage is also powered by 2 x 160 solar panels and a 3x 90 amp battery. 

The kitchen, sofa and ladder have all been hand built to fit the space. 

Anna says: "building this house is one of the best things we've ever done, it's become our year-round refuge."

Come winter, the lake freezes over and the little cottage becomes a perfect spot for ice bathing. 

A whole is cut into the ice so that they can still take a dip after a sauna. 


Could you imagine winter bathing like this? 

If you're ever in Sweden during winter, you must try it - it's such a crazy yet wonderful experience (especially afterwards once you're all wrapped up warm again and nursing a mug off glögg!). Studies have shown it has numerous health benefits! 

See Anna's inspiring instagram feed @starrensannan for more pictures of the floating cottage, as well as their main house. You might also like to stop by Anna's homepage for more information about her work as a florist and upcoming workshops (how I'd love to do one of those - I wonder if she holds any at the floating cottage?). 

Would you like to see a few other unusual properties today? 

Happy lillördag! 


Photography courtesy of Anna Starrén with thanks 


  1. This is great! I love that one of their priorities for this tiny cottage was a sauna. Something I cannot relate to but it does make sense if you expected to use it year round. Very Swedish I guess.

    1. Yes, I know! So fun! In fact, I haven't really seen a hybrid like this before that doubles up both as a sauna and living space while also able to float around. So wonderful - and clever! /Niki

    2. Agree, very clever. My initial reaction to the post was "but why?!" but as I read more I couldn't help but think it's wonderful and that I want it :-). good for them.

  2. I know it's very healthy to have a quick swim/dip in a freezing water but just the idea of having to put my bathing suit on makes me shiver. It would have to be a VERY generous offering of glögg to change my mind. Brrr is right.

    1. Totally agree - a glögg would definitely need to be waiting on the stove! Plus it helps to dive back into the sauna (or under the covers!). /Niki

  3. This is amazing! No ice bathing for me, but everything else about this little cabin is super appealing.

    1. Maybe you'd get into the spirit once there Kris? or maybe not LOL! But I agree, it's such an appealing little space. So pretty and cosy! /Niki


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