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Eleni's Cosy Swedish Apartment with Subtle Christmas Touches

With the First Sunday of Advent yesterday, Christmas in Sweden is in full swing and it's not even December yet! I love it, as the pretty lights and candles really help to brighten up the darkness. Here in the south, the sunset is at 3.45pm today (not that I'm watching it like a hawk!) but further North, in the city of Sundsvall, which is where Eleni Apostolakis and her family live - the sun will go down at 2.30pm! 

Little wonder Eleni has dotted her apartment with candles and adorned walls with cosy festive touches. Think stars, wreaths and angel carousels against an earthy backdrop and layers of textiles - all helping to add warmth and a hygglig touch during these cold winter days! 

At this time of year, comfort food is a necessity! The girls and I made pepperkaka last night. Maybe a cake like this one should be next on the menu, what do you think?

I love how the children have already hung their stockings beneath a pretty orange garland too. 

Why just hang one paper star, when you can have a galaxy! 

A single pretty wreath adds a cosy touch to the sitting room. 

I'm such a big fan of angel carousels, they are so pretty, don't you think? 

Plant pots with moss make a great impromptu candleholder at Christmas time. 

It's so cosy to have Christmas touches in the bedroom! A simple wreath and candles look so pretty after dark. 

Very cosy! 

It makes me realise I have lots of decorating to do at home in the coming weeks. Small, simple touches that add a festive touch and make everything feel cosy. 

See more of Eleni's home here

I've just arrived up at our little cabin for a photoshoot. I had to get up at the crack of dawn, but now that I'm here sipping coffee and listening to the church bells outside, I'm so happy to be here. Let's hope I can actually get some work done too (it's so relaxing!). 

Have a great start to the week! 

Niki

Photography: Eleni Apostolakis - shared with kind permission

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Coffee Tables and Festive Touches in Our Little Cabin!


Paid partnership with Skovby, all words and pictures are my own

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.... at least indoors! In preparation for the First Sunday of Advent this weekend, I've added a few festive touches to the cabin (so much fun, it'll be our first holiday season here!). Not only that, but thanks to Skovby, we also have somewhere to place our coffee and glögg (spiced mulled wine) and other Jul (yuletide) treats!

As with all small spaces (our cabin is only 30 m2 / 322 f2 in total) we are constantly looking for furniture which is compact and can easily be moved around. And these two Danish coffee tables fit the bill! 


They are part of a mix and match coffee table series, which allows you to choose between wood or steel legs and a variety of surfaces. I was keen to test out Coffee table #241 in solid oak white oil and square Coffee table #240 in oak white oil with white HPL laminate. 

Not only are they different heights, so one can tuck under the other to give a larger surface area, but they can also be separated and used as side tables. So handy in a small space. The round shape also means they save-space and you won't hurt yourself if you knock into them (you know the feeling!) - another plus!

This little stool in the corner is made from leftover wood in the Skovby workshop in Jutland (I use it for everything - side table, extra seating, footstool....). 



I love how the grain of the wood can be seen through the white oil, adding a cosy, warm feel - especially in winter. 

Now all that's left to do, is swap the coffee for some glögg and kick back and relax. And maybe get a tree, but there's plenty of time for that later. 

Skål! 

I think these tables are keeper, do you? If you're also on the lookout for a coffee table, find out more about the Skovby mix and match series here (they have stockists pretty much worldwide). 

And please do ask away in the comment section if you have questions about anything else in our little sitting room! 

You can see more beautiful pieces from Skovby in my home here, here and here

Looking for a little more Christmas inspiration this weekend? Check out: 


Have a cosy weekend friends, see you Monday! 

Niki

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Pretty DIY Christmas Decorating Ideas In A Swedish Country Home

The chilly weather continues across Scandinavia today, and our world its blanketed in snow. It's put us all in the mood for decorating our homes in a cosy way for Christmas! In the far North, Ida Dahlgren has been busy decorating her charming country home, which she shares with her partner, their three children Vilhelm, Nils and Lovisa as well as hens, ducks, cats and passing wildlife! It's full of lovely, simple, DIY ideas, all of which add a cosy, festive vibe. Ready to feel inspired? 

Home is where the heart is - or in this case, hearts plural. A pretty pepparkaka (ginger biscuit) garland hangs in the window, filling the kitchen with the scent of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. 

Look closely and in the corner you can catch a glimpse of an old wooden dough bowl* which has been filled with moss and four candles - for a makeshift advent candle display. 

A pretty adventsljusstake (advent candelabra) lights up the window. Source a similar one here

A simple pine garland hangs under a shelf in the kitchen. 

In Sweden some parents love to put a smile on their children's faces pretending that 'nisse' (an elf) has moved in via an elf door. At the start of December a little elf arrives through a door, and throughout December he leaves small traces of his presence including mischievous happenings around the house (such as a loo seat wrapped in Christmas paper). In ida's home, the elf has made a wonderful cake! I hope an elf like this will move into our house come December! 

Do you have a similar tradition in your country?

There's nothing like the scent of hyacinths at Christmas. Swedes love to wrap the bulb in moss and place them in glasses around the house. 


I love this take on the classic gingerbread house: gingerbread candle holders. 

Ida has decorated her tiled masonry oven with a wreath and garlands. A chest is used for logs. 


The  family's four legged friend looks decidedly cosy beside the tree! 

Spare surfaces are used to bring a little festive cheer all around the house. Here a vase with a mini Christmas tree and a candle brighten up the landing. 

Oh, how I'd love a roaring fire in the bedroom - how about you? A pretty 'snöblomma' hangs in the window (paper stars* are also popular).

Extra blankets add a really cosy touch to the bedroom in winter time. 

When I was little, my sister and I loved to hang paper chains in our bedroom. We never thought of adding a mini tree like this one though. Lovely idea! 

A garland of pine has been draped over the entrance and two mini wreaths hang on the door. A snow covered tree grows beside the porch. 

Ida loves to make islykta (ice lanterns) from balloons. See a tutorial here

Painting your window is a great way to add a Christmassy touch - and children love it! This pretty design in Ida's window mirrors the surrounding forest. 

So beautiful and full of great ideas which are simple to replicate! 

Is there anything in particular that stood out to you? 

See more of Ida's home and get plenty of DIY and up cycling ideas over at @sodra.byvag.

How wonderful is the herd of reindeer? I saw reindeer in the wild while I was skiing in Åre last January. I've since written a guide about my experience in the Winter issue of Simply Scandi magazine

Would you like to see more cosy festive homes today? 


See the entire Scandinavian Christmas and Christmas decorating archives for more inspiration. 

Kram! 

Niki

Photography: Ida Dahlgren, shared with kind permission

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15 Small Festive Touches To Cosy Up Your Home, Swedish Style


This weekend we had our first flurry of snow, and it's brightened up our world! Even so, the chill has meant we've really had to baton down the hatches and ramp up the hygge in our homes! And with the First Sunday of Advent just around the corner (traditionally the day Scandinavians start to decorate their homes for Christmas), I've been busy finding pretty yuletide inspiration. It's too early for a tree, at least in my mind, but there's no harm in starting to think about adding small cosy touches, right? Here are a few simple ideas I love from Sweden: 

1. Overhead wreath: don't reserve wreaths just for the door, string them up over the table for a pretty display. Add battery run fairy lights or candles to bring a warm glow to mealtimes. 

2. Oil lamps: brighten up your home and enjoy evenings under the soft glow of an oil lamp - they can burn for ours at a time! 

3. Swap your usual pendant light for a star! Swedes go to great lengths to transform their homes each season. I love this star lamp from Watt & Weke, it adds a lovely festive touch to the room at Christmas!

4. Lay foraged branches on the table: Find whatever you can in your garden, the nearby park or woods and lay it along the centre of your dining table for a pretty yet simple in-season touch. 

5. Mini, undecorated trees: I know I said this wouldn't include Christmas trees, but who can resist a mini tree in a vase? Left undecorated, it doesn't become overly festive which means you can get away with it as early as you like. It's a great way to bring nature indoors. 

6. Ramp up the candleholders: Group together candleholders in all shapes and sizes to bring light and warmth to the table. 

7. Light up your windows: This Sunday, every window in Sweden will be lit by an adventsljusstaker (advent candle - this one is called Tilpi and available here*) like the one seen above or a star lantern. It really helps to brighten ups the darkness, and feels so welcoming to arrive home to! 

8. Bouquets of Christmas flowers: In-season blooms are a great way to add a touch of colour. Swedes love amaryllis and hyacinths in particular! 

9. Garlands of dried oranges: Dry orange slices and thread them into a garland to make a pretty display in the window. 

10. Window wreath: wreaths don't need to be ostentatious affairs, especially early on in the festive period. A dainty green wreath adds a cosy touch to a window.

11. Gingersnap garland: Thread together pepparkaka for a garland that's good enough to eat! It will fill your home with the sweet smell of cinnamon too! 

12. Paper stars and snowflowers: Swedes love to hang paper stars in the windows, cabinet doors or just about anywhere else in their homes. Add light so they glow up at night!  

13. Wall or window hung candles*: So much prettier than a sconce - a wall hung candle will brighten up the darkest corner of your home. 

14. Don't forget the bathroom: Swedes love to place candles* just about anywhere in the home - including the bathroom! And when it's cold outside, a candlelit bath or shower does wonders for the soul! 

15. Add subtle touches to your entranceway or deck: put a smile on others faces - and your own when you arrive home by placing simple festive touches outside your door. It's amazing what a simple lantern, wreath or bare tree can do to brighten up cold winters days! 

I hope this has put you in the mood for adding a few, subtle yet cosy winter touches to your home! 

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, when do you usually start decorating? And when does your tree go up? 

Would you like to see some more Christmas decorating ideas? Here are a few posts I hope you'll find inspiring: 


Have a great start to the week friends, stay warm! 

Niki


*Exercise extreme caution when using candles - always keep them away from flammable items, never leave naked flames unattended and enquire a fire extinguisher is nearby. 

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