A Charming, Traditional Red and White Swedish Summer Cottage

If you ever visit the Swedish countryside in summertime, the chances are, you'll stay in a red and white cottage just like this, tucked away in the forest by a lake or the sea. 

In fact, from the outside, it looks very much like the summer cottage I stayed in on my first ever visit to Sweden at the tender age of seven - and the memories of those magical few weeks came flooding back to me when I took this tour! 

What lies behind the facade of these cottages varies greatly. Some have given their cottages a modern update with a fresh lick of white paint and no doubt plenty of patterned wallpaper, others - like the owners of this one have chosen to leave it just as how it has always been over the years.  But there is one thing that all Swedes agree on: the essence of a summer cottage is to lead a relaxed, back to basics life, with work and other stresses and strains left at the door. 

Ready to step back in time and appreciate a cosy retreat where the beauty lies in the imperfection? 

Walking through the door is like stepping back in time. You'd be hard pressed to find anything new in this lovely little cottage - except for maybe the appliances. 

Vintage and antique trays, tins and cooking accessories have been passed down through the generations or collected at 'loppis' (flea markets).  

You'll find wonderful old wood fired ovens like this one in quite a few cottages. Although many choose to install a new oven, they can still be used for boiling water for tea etc.

Old tin mugs, bowls and plates make up the majority of dinnerware. It's ideal as it can be used at the cottage, but also outdoors too - especially if you go for a hike or picnic. Falconware do similar! 

Most of the rooms in the cottage have an old, tiled oven to keep the space warm. They are very effective and can keep a space heated for hours on end. 

Traditional rag rugs, made on a loom using, you've guessed it: old disused cloth are incredibly popular in Swedish country homes. 

So cosy and pretty, but above all else, authentic, personal and relaxed.

Could you imagine owning a little cottage like this? 

I understand that these back to basic cottages are not for everyone. One of my British friends is married to a swede who has a very simple cottage in her family. You have to take your own boat out to the island, along with all your own water and the cottage has no running water and has an outdoor loo. He is less than keen to go and it makes me laugh so much when he recounts his weekends there. 

So, friends there you have it. I hope this week has been a suitably mixed variation of properties for you to feel inspired by - including a Stockholm apartment with a small space hack, Mary's cosy family home in Germany and now this historical home in the Swedish forest! 

Have a magical weekend, see you Monday! 


Photography: Historiska Hem


  1. Utterly charming. I love staying in rentals--it's such an adventure to slip into a different lifestyle for a few days. It's no surprise that this one, with all of its vintage glory, really appeals to me. The older I get, the more I prefer indoor bathrooms, but we are planning a tent camping vacation this summer so I'll be getting plenty of experience with rustic toilets. :)

  2. Such a fun space! I work at a local flea market and it's so great when people choose to kit out their home(s) with vintage and antique finds. Or items that have been passed down and value the hands who touched them that came before.
    I'm with Kris in preference to indoor plumbing, but sometimes we must eschew luxuries to take in the whole experience. Have a awesome time camping, Kris!
    And love that your friend, Niki, isn't so modest and tells his stories regarding the loo to make you laugh. That's a true friend, indeed!
    A wonderful weekend to all,
    Laura K


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