Karen's Lovely Summer House in the South of Sweden

I started blogging 12 years ago - and one of the things that has surprised me the most, is how many wonderful people I have met! Interior designers, photographers, homeowners, bloggers, brands and most importantly you guys via your comments and mails (even if you're a 'silent' participant, I see you!). It's meant that I have never felt alone - despite tapping away at my laptop solo! Thank you! 

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting photographer Karen Hilmersson who reached out via Instagram. Karen is French and lives in Belgium with her Swedish husband Pelle and their teenage children Lilly (15) and Eliott (soon 18).  The family frequently visit Malmö and recently bought a charming summer cottage in nearby Österlen. We discussed the project over a coffee recently and their holiday home is every bit as lovely as Karen described. Read on to discover more! 

Where is your summer cottage located? 
The house is situated near Sandhammaren in Österlen. We love the South and this part of Sweden as we always spend days here before going back to Brussels, and we have friends in Malmö and Lund which are very close. I also like the proximity to Copenhagen. I love Sweden and am so happy to finally have a place here we can call ours. 

Österlen is popular among Swedes especially in summer thanks to the beautiful nature, is this one of the reasons you picked this location? 
Absolutely. Our cottage is close to marshland... we have fields on the one side with the sunset in front of the terrace and woods on the other side. The beach is only a ten minute bike ride. 

I'm excited to see inside! First, let's take a look at the floorplan. 

Glossary: Vardagsrum (sitting room), Kök (kitchen), Sovrum (bedroom).

Can you describe the layout? 
It's a summer house that originally had three separate units from the 50s, and the previous owners turned into a whole house (keeping one unit separate - not featured here as we have yet to renovate it!). The former owners lived here year-round and the house was in good condition, which meant we could focus on more cosmetic updates. 

I love the kitchen! Did it look like this when you moved in?
We kept the kitchen that was already in place and painted the cabinets in French Gray from Farrow & Ball. The vintage dining table is from AB Småland in Malmö. 

What do your days look like when you are at your cottage? 
We enjoy this house in every season. In the summer, we love to make meals and invite friends over on one of our long tables inside or out and watch the sunset from the terrace. We also enjoy the fireplace and watching movies on the big sofa (from Meli Meli) in the autumn and winter. The surroundings are also very important to us, the beach at Sandhammaren and the hills of Kåseberga are amongst our favourite and Kivik is a short 40 minute drive. There are also some nice restaurants nearby and we love Orum117 bakery and pizzeria! 

Decorative bedspreads can really lift a room! I love the ones you have in your bedrooms, where are they from? 
We found them both in AB Småland in Malmö, I think they are from the Danish brand Masala

I like simplicity of this bedroom. Can you tell us about the details?
The overhead lamp is from Malmö Möbelfabrik and the Pool Lines art print is from Hotel Magique. The floor is from Norrlands Trä

The wall lamp is from French company Silly & Billy and the vintage chair is from AB Småland. The Mirror Mirror print* is by Sofia Lind. 

I understand the bathroom was one of the bigger renovation projects? 
Yes, it was a total renovation. The floor tiles are from Marrakesh Design and the subway oat milk wall tiles are from Dekora (although they looked verrrrrry different in the shop!). The sink is called SVEDBERGS MYRE from Bauhaus and the shower and taps are both from Tapwell

What a wonderful getaway you have created! Thank you so much for giving us a tour! 


You can see more snapshots from Karen's home as well as her beautiful portrait, lifestyle and travel photography at @karenhilmersson or on her website where she also sells a selection of her prints. 

I hope you enjoyed the tour of her home as much as I did! I am looking forward to meeting Karen next Friday along with the Australian lifestyle and travel photographer Lean Timms here in Malmö. So exciting! My job is to find the best coffee and cinnamon buns in town for our 'fika'! Tough but someone's got to do it! 

Would you like to see a few other beautiful Österlen homes today? Don't miss: 

Planning to visit Österlen? This house belonging to an architect is available to rent via Airbnb! 

Happy mid-week friends! 


Photography: Karen Hilmersson, shared with kind permission. 


  1. Beautiful! It’s so wonderful to see Karen’s home here! She’s such a beautiful photographer and such poetic taste! It makes my day to see her here in your lovely blog.

    1. I was so happy to discover Karen's photography, and loved my coffee with her a few weeks ago. A genuinely kind spirit with so much talent!

  2. Such a beautiful getaway! I have to ask about the large wood bowl on the kitchen table. Friends gave us one as a housewarming gift -- I had never seen one before (I live in the US). Is there a specific use for it? Thank you

    1. Thank you so much for asking about this. These are called 'dough bowls' and used to be a staple in the kitchen since they were used for making bread (the wood served as natural insulation, keeping the dough warm so that it would rise). I loved to see them repurposed today as fruit bowls or for other types of storage. last week, I saw one installed as a bathroom sink, it looked lovely! Enjoy your dough bowl!

    2. Thank you so much for your response! I may actually try to use it making bread!

  3. The feeling is mutual, we were not felt alone either, thank you for the many beautiful moments.

  4. What a lovely place to kick up your feet and relax!


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