Back Again! (Plus Our Summer Cottage kitchen Renovation)

Why hello there! I hope you've had a wonderful couple of weeks. Per, the girls and I have just arrived back home to Malmö with a bump after a couple of weeks up at the cottage. How I miss that place, we had such a magical time. I might just have to go back up with the specific aim to write a guide - I have so many tips to share with you in case you're ever on the beautiful 'Bjärehalvön' in Northwest Skåne! It's an area not to be missed if you're visiting Sweden! It would also give me the perfect excuse to return! I also spent a little time thinking about the tiny cabin we're building this autumn in the cottage garden and so looking forward to sharing more of our plans with you later this week (thank you for so much for sharing your thoughts on the windows and windows and doors, I can't tell you how helpful it was!).

In the meantime, here's a throwback to the time Per and I renovated and installed the cottage kitchen by hand. It was a true labour of love - and I appreciate it all the more as a result! Thank you so much to Christina AKA 'Farmor' for entrusting us with your kitchen! 

We stripped out the 1970s kitchen - which included a plastic Lino floor, before sanding, plastering and painting the space. Best find: a perfect size mouse hole under the kitchen counters. We'd been wondering how they were getting in! 

Per was in charge (he's a bit of a dab hand when it comes to DIY), and I was his 'sous chef'. It was really hard work, but surprisingly therapeutic! And for once, I was actually quite good at taking instructions from him! 

One of my jobs was to put together all the IKEA kitchen cabinets. If there's one thing I've learnt, it's to follow the instructions by the letter and never miss a step! By the end, I never wanted to see a flat pack ever again! 

Installing the cabinets was the trickiest part of all - and required help from YouTube and multiple calls to the IKEA help line (it was surprisingly easy to get hold of someone!). The main issue was that they have to be exactly in line - no easy feat when you're working with crooked walls from 1936! But we got there in the end! 

You can read about all the details in my final reveal post here. 

Other than the tiny cabin, I'd really love to renovate the girl's bedroom up there. Although now that I know how much work even the smallest room can entail, I'm dragging my feet a little. 

Have you carried out any renovations recently? Or perhaps you're about to embark on one? I'd love to hear more about it below! 

Now that I'm back, I'm so looking forward to posting regularly again. As always, I'll be posting every other day until the girls go back to school - and then daily from 1st September.  Thank you for stopping by! 

Niki

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10 Dreamy Scandinavian Summer Cottages


As my family and I pack up our things in preparation for a few weeks at the cottage (hurrah!), I thought it would be apt to spread a little Scandinavian summer cottage love with you, what do you say? Over the years, I've shared hundreds of idyllic summer hideaways - each of them unique, all of them inspiring in some way. Here are ten I love to revisit (only virtually sadly!) time and time again. I hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane too - click on each link for the tour! 

1. A magical Norwegian cottage with a wabi sabi vibe



2. A charming Swedish photographer's cabin in the woods












Gorgeous! 

As a bonus - you can find the first picture (a Norwegian fjord side cabin) here.  

All of these retreats immediately transport me to a back-to-basic lifestyle where eating, sleeping, swimming and hanging out with friends and family is the order of the day. I hope you feel the same! 

I can't wait to get to the cottage now and spend some downtime with my family. Roll on long summer days (please weather gods, be kind to us!). 

I'll be back on My Scandinavian Home on Monday 26th July. In the meantime, I'll likely be swinging by instagram from time to time and there's always the archives with over 2500 Scandinavian inspired home posts (I counted the other day since MSH will be turning 10 this autumn!). These are particularly popular.


Wishing you all a wonderful couple of weeks! 

Niki

Credits: 1. Slettvoll 2. Hilde Mork 3. Lina and Karl Anderson 4. Jonas Ingerstedt 5.@nordiskrum 6 & 7. Emma Sundh 8 & 9. @anordicmoment 10 & 11. Carina Olander 12 & 13. Johanna Lehtinen 14. Per Erik Jæger / Siv Brenne for Jotun

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3 New lamps At Home from Hudson Valley Lighting

MSH partnership, all words are my own: 
Everyone has a 'thing' when it comes to the home, don't you think? For some it's chairs, for others it might be rugs, or smaller items such as books, art and plants. What's yours? I love all these pieces, but for me, it has to be lighting! I love the way it can be used to create an atmosphere. I appreciate how it's vital for practical tasks such as cooking or reading. And I'm inspired by the way it can be used to highlight the things you love - and hide the things you don't! You also can never really have enough lighting in a home (especially in wintertime), so I'm always on the lookout for something new. 

Recently, I added three shiny new lamps to our living space - courtesy of Hudson Valley Lighting Group. You might recognise the name from the wall sconce in my sitting room. The international brand sells hundreds of lamps, offering everything from pendants to outdoor wall sconces, all with exceptional quality. I'm excited to share the ones I've chosen this time, they've certainly brightened up some dark corners of our house and cottage! I hope you'll feel inspired / get some ideas for your own home too! 

New lighting at the Cottage


Last time we were up at the cottage we installed the Barron lamp in aged brass over the sink. I felt immediately drawn to it since it's inspired by the work of mid-century Danish architects who reduced the glare from electric lighting by applying layers and curved shades. The result is a soft, diffused glow, that immediately feels warm and cosy - or as the Danes would say hyggelig

In Scandinavia, people love to place lighting in the window since it gives off a warm and inviting feel - which is why I chose this position over the sink. But I could also see it hanging in the corner of a room, or next to a sofa (I have a feeling this one might get moved around quite a lot!). But for now, there'll be a lovely light shining from our cottage kitchen window! 

New Lighting in our Home Hallway




A few months ago I shared my latest hallway update, but we were still missing lighting (cue: guests fumbling around in the dark for their jackets and kids emptying the entire content of the wardrobe to find a tennis racket... that sort of thing!). Needless to say, good lighting in the hallway is key, especially on darker days and nights. We were lucky enough to have the power source already, so all that was needed was the actual fixture! 


I decided on the Estee semi-flush by Mitzi. It's actually available in two colours: polished nickel or aged brass - but you know me, I love a brass look! Usually Per helps me out when it comes to DIY, but actually I did most of the installation myself, it was surprisingly simple (the round glass pendants just screw into place). Admittedly I was wise enough not to attempt the wiring though - being a Physics teacher, that's definitely Per's area! 


I can't tell you what a huge difference this lighting makes to our hallway - it looks way smarter than before, and the Estee emits a great light - which can also be dimmed down with the right switch if you want to make your hall / sitting room / dining area more cosy. Love that! 

If you're curious about this piece, you might be interested to know that there's also a 6-arm version, which would be perfect for bigger spaces. 


I recently installed a mirror and hooks in the narrow section of our hallway (more details here) - which have been great for bouncing around light and also providing space for a (daily) overflow of coats, bags, hats etc. But I really wanted to add some interesting lighting to the area - and the Angela in aged brass by Mitzi fit the bill perfectly. 


I was pleasantly surprised by the weight (it's quite substantial which makes it feel really high quality!). I also love the cable - which is why I decided to hang it this way using a hook - some cables are designed to shine! 

It has a really cosy feel to it when switched on (especially if you use a dimmer switch like I have). Placed next to a mirror, the reflection immediately doubles the light source too, which brightens up this little corner of our home after dark! 

Next step... the hallway tiles - but that's a subject for another day! 

For now, we'll be enjoying the fact that we can actually see something when we arrive home or about to leave! 

Did you have a favourite lamp among these? Or perhaps you're after something different? If so, you can discover the full range of Hudson Valley Lighting Group lighting here

Niki

Photography: Niki Brantmark (and my kids - where I feature!)
Cottage kitchen Styling: Niki Brantmark
Hallway styling: Helen Sturesson

*This is a paid post in collaboration with Hudson Valley Lighting Group, however, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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Marilou's Wonderful Canadian Home - And Feline Friend, Denise!


As pretty as Marilou's Canadian family home is, I have a feeling a certain somebody might just steal the show. You'll see what I mean when you reach the end of the tour. But first, more on Marilou. An entrepreneur (edit: and well-known pop-singer), French-Canadian Marilou Bourdon is the author of four cookbooks, and runs the wonderful online store Trois Fois Par Jour. Despite a full family life with children and pet cat Denise, Marilou also finds the time to share delicious, healthy weekly recipes. But today, it's all about her home in Quebec. Whitewashed inside and out, the house is a perfect blend of vintage, mid-century and modern pieces. Outside, you'll discover vegetable patches, cosy spots to relax and a dining area designed to celebrate birthdays.... welcome to Marilou's world! 

What a lovely home! I particularly like the piano, children's bedroom and the bathroom! 

And of course, DENISE!! 

Is there anything that stood out to you?  

There are so many other lovely Canadian homes in the archive too. Here are a few of my favourites: 


Wishing you all a great mid-week! 

Niki

Edit note: this post was updated on 8th July to include that Marilou is a pop-singer. Also the facade of the house shown was not Marilou's, rather an inspiration image she had used (eeeek) so it has now been deleted. Sorry about that! 

Photography: @mariloubiz, shared with kind permission. 

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A Beautiful, Elegant Copenhagen Home Revisited!

A beautiful day in the Öresund region calls for a beautiful home tour. And what better than the Copenhagen home of Simone Polk Dahl. I've been following Simone on instagram (@polkenstudio) ever since I featured her home in 2019, and I am always excited to see her latest home updates. While you'll recognise the statement bookshelves and the fabulous daybed, the Danish artist and interior stylist has added some fabulous touches to her apartment including a Ligne Roset Togo chair and Hay Mags sofa  - as well as made some calming colour updates in the bedroom. I love her ever-changing display of art too (keep an eye out for latest editions to her gallery on IG). Enjoy the tour! 

Second-hand table, rug from Jotex, Gubi 9602 lamp. The art is Simone's own work. 

The bookshelves are from Trævarefabrikernes. In front, a daybed has been covered in simple linen fabric from HM Home

Classic vintage tables and chairs, Ferm Living Arum floor lamp* and bespoke shelving from Borg & Berg

A lounge chair from Sofa Company rests on an old rug from Ellos. A Hay pendant hangs overhead. The wardrobe was handmade by a local carpenter. 

So beautiful! 

If you love Simone's home as much as I do, you might also like to check out her dreamy Danish summer cottage. I love how it has a slightly different feel. 

You can also get your fill of beautiful Danish design in this danish home tour archive (if this pops up first, just hop on over). 

Before I head off to enjoy the sunshine with my girls (who are standing beside me in their swimming costumes!)... I have a couple of things to say: 

Firstly, thank you SO much for all your helpful comments on which doors to get for our summer cabin. Not only was it SUPER helpful, but it also filled me with joy to see so many people joining the discussion! 

And secondly, as per every summer, I'm winding down to blogging three days week to spend time a little time with swimming costume-clad family. After all, on a slight a twist in the words of Ferris Bueller: The Swedish summer moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it! 

Have a great start to the week friends! 

Niki

Photography: Simone Polk Dahl, shared with kind permission.

*this post contains affiliate links. 

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