A Rundown Schoolhouse Becomes a Swedish Family Home

I absolutely love it when someone takes the time and energy to painstakingly restore a historical house! Even better when they share the step-by-step process online, right? Photographer Lovisa 'Furubo' Andersson and her partner Daniel bought a former schoolhouse in Ölvingstorp, near Kalmar in South East Sweden a few years ago and have been renovating it by hand ever since. Today, the former classroom serves as a spacious and light-filled kitchen and other rooms (such as the gym hall!) have become beautiful living spaces. Here is a selection of truly inspiring before and after pictures of the exterior and kitchen as well as snapshots from some of the other rooms! 

Exterior Before 

Exterior after

The main school house and outhouse had been painted in linseed oil paint 100 years ago, and Lovisa and Daniel felt it deserved the same treatment today! Naturally, there was a lot of other work included in the exterior renovation too. The result is so fresh, yet still in keeping with the original look and feel of the property. 

Kitchen before 

Kitchen after 

Often it's only when you see the before pictures that you can fully understand the sheer amount of work that has gone into a project! Beautiful wood panelling has been installed throughout the house to bring back a romantic old school feel (see my guide to choosing wood panelling here). 

Kitchen units before 

Kitchen units after
Lovisa and Daniel upcycled old materials wherever possible. In the kitchen old wardrobe doors were installed and then painted with linseed oil paint. 

The oven is from Bertazzoni and most of the furniture is secondhand. 

Lovisa made the coffee table by hand. The Viscontea lamp is by Flos. 

I absolutely love this wall lamp - Lovisa bought it from Strömshaga. The rug is from Mio.

A Kyoto lamp from Mio hangs from the ceiling in the bedroom. 

Wood panelling has also been installed in all the bedrooms and hallway, giving the entire home a cohesive look. 

So inspiring!

If you've ever thought about buying a former schoolhouse, perhaps this is just the nudge you needed! 

You can also take a peek at other converted schoolhouses: 

Lovisa and Daniel continue to renovate their house room by room - follow the progress and feel inspired over at @lovisafurubo

By the way, thank you for your patience last week - my family and I had a really lovely time in Åre, Sweden. It was very snowy - a little on the cold side (my toes are still defrosting!), and so relaxing! back in the less snowy south now and all ready to go! Thank you so much for stopping by!


Photography @lovisafurubo, share with kind permission.


  1. Absolutely fabulous!

    1. Happy you loved this too! / Niki

  2. Wow! It's hard to pick a favorite part of this--the exterior, the kitchen/dining area, that fun ladder in the child's room, it's all wonderful!

    1. I only spotted the ladder in the children's room last minute - it's lovely, it must be an old now from a gym! / Niki

  3. The star with the 'tail' in the kiddie bedroom is priceless. I am loving it.
    P.S. You were dearly missed, Niki!

    1. Thank you for pointing that out, I'd completely missed it! PS lovely you :) / Niki

  4. It's a fabulous renovation. There is something about clothes hanging on a line that brings back memories of washing and hanging out loads of white nappies (diapers) - I LOVE seeing washing flapping in the sun and it smells pretty good as well! I'm embarrassed to say that I also missed you last week (it's a real treat to come to this page and pour over the photos). Thanks for doing what you do.

    1. I know exactly what you mean! Clothes on a line make me so nostalgic, and also long for spring and summer! PS you are so kind, thank you xxx / Niki


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