Holiday Rental: An Architects' Villa in Österlen, Sweden

I'm often being asked to recommend holiday homes in South Sweden. There are plenty out there, but some have that extra magical design touch! Although I haven't experienced this Architect's villa in Grevlunda, Österlen in person, from the listing it looks like somewhere I'd love to stay! Nestled among a one hundred year old apple orchard, the wooden villa is near the picturesque village of Kivik  on the Baltic coast. Inside, it's pared back and full of fab vintage pieces - as well as small reminders of the surrounding nature. Outside it has a small guesthouse, a clay boule pitch and plenty of sociable areas. But I rather like the idea of pulling up a chair under an apple tree and reading a book! Here are some snapshots! 


Could you imagine hanging out here this summer? If so, you can find the full listing here for more info! 

Oh, and if you are in the area, don't forget to sample the apple juice - the area is famous for its juicy, sweet red apples! 

Looking for other places to stay in Sweden? Here's a list of holiday homes, Airbnbs and design hotels I compiled a while back (maybe it's time for an update soon, what do you think?). I've always wanted to stay at Stedsans in the Woods too! 

Have a great start to the week! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Stugknutan

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A White, Light & Airy Cabin on a Danish Island

One for the minimalists - or simply those of you dreaming of owning a Danish cabin! Kristina, an Interior design consultant, has put her white washed cabin on the Danish island of Fur in the Limfjord, just North of the Salling Peninsula, on Jutlund on the market! The Dane has a penchant for all things minimalist, carefully curating her living spaces with only what is needed and nothing more (I've tried to source as many as I can for you!). Tones are soft and muted, with the odd splash of black for contrast, and the architect of the building (think wood panelling sloped ceilings and beams) shines through to add interest. The look is serene and calm - perfect for an interior designed for relaxing and switching off from the hustle and bustle of everyday life! 











Lovely - like a breath of fresh air! - And just waiting for someone to come along and put their personal stamp on it! Sadly if I recall right, you are not allowed to buy a property in Denmark unless you are a Danish citizen. But a girl can dream, right

If you fit the criteria and interested - reach out to Kristina here. For all others, you might like to check out Kristina's inspiring feed which also includes pictures of her beautiful house in Randers, Denmark. 

Is there anything you love about Kristina's cabin in particular? Could you imagine spending your summers here? I've heard great things about the island of Fur. Sadly it's a little too far for us to sail to, but we're looking forward to discovering other Danish islands when we set sail this summer. Exciting! 

Would you like to see a few more Danish cabins today? 


Happy Lillördag (little Saturday)! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of @_rosemille - shared with kind permission.

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Tiny Homes: A Dream Holiday Cabin in Latvia becomes a Reality


Originally from Latvia, Ilze Upatniece and Gunars Upatnieks have lived in Berlin for ten years. They have long harboured a dream to own a house in Latvia as a place to return to for vacations with their children.  Three years ago, their dream became a reality when they found a plot of land near Saulkrasti on the east coast of the Gulf of Riga. Read on to find out more about the build and see pictures of the fabulous holiday cabin they've created! 

What was the plot of land like before you started?
It was a forest plot which meant we had to do everything from scratch. The electricity was already connected but we had to arrange water and sewage as well as countless other things! 

What was your vision? 
Originally, we wanted to build a larger house, but soon understood that with two full-time jobs on the side of Europe and two young children, a prefab tiny home was perhaps a better idea. For inspiration, I spent half my life on Pinterest, reading different interior blogs and following numerous cabin and tiny homeowners on instagram.

Who did you work with for the prefab cabin?
We chose a small, young, local company in Latvia to help us develop the idea of having three tiny houses connected to one another via terrace. 

(The cabin as built through My Cabin in Latvia - also available in the USA).

What is the idea for having three different houses connected? 
My husband is an orchestral musician, so it was important for us to have enough space for practising his double bass. So, we decided on a 'living house', a 'sleeping house' and a 'sauna house'. Despite working with a prefab, we made a lot of personal changes including adding a triangular window, installing a second toilet and upgrading to higher quality materials.

How long did it take to build? 
Altogether it took over a year. I think evert building project has critical moments. Ours was no different. But looking back, we can say that we learned a lot, met great people along the way and are really happy with the result! 

The result is beautiful, it would look equally in place in Scandinavia, would you say there are similarities between Scandinavian and Latvian design?
In my point of view, Latvian design has developed in a very exciting direction. It has many similarities with Scandinavian design, for example, minimalist and clean shapes, and also the choice of material such as wood, glass, linen etc. At the same time, Latvian history also brings in other tones - the close existence with various eastern nations during the Soviet period, or Latvian folklore and the tradition of pagan mythology, which is relatively actively lived here. 

How big is the cabin, and can you tell us about the layout? 
Our 'living house' is about 25 m2. It has a well-equipped kitchen with all modern convinces. In the bathroom we have walk-in shower, washing machine, washing machine and a water filtration system. Furthermore, we have a living room area with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the garden and forest. There's also a sleep loft one rate kitchen. 

Our 'sleeping house' is 15 m2 and has a bed, wardrobe and guest WC with washbasin as well as a second sleep loft. 

Our Finnish sauna with a woodburning stove is about 12 m2. 

Can you tell us about the interior design and the inspiration behind it? 
We wanted to keep the design simple and functional. Most of the furniture is custom made from solid wood and was made by regional carpenters. Since we sometimes spend as much as 6 weeks at a time at the cabin and like to cook together with family and friends, a well-equipped kitchen was important. 

We used a lot of natural materials, natural colours but since we rent the cabin on Airbnb we were also keen for the furnishings to be resilient and not too expensive, so we have also bought furniture from IKEA, Jysk and H&M Home

Can you tell us more about the garden?
Since our plot is 2300 m2 and we like to do outdoor sports together, my husband said 'let's build a beach volleyball court'! So we did! We also added a basketball court and hot tub. Then the small terrace grew to 170m2 and our garden was made! We planted hedges and foliage as well as many grasses that like to grow in forested coastal areas. We also plan to grow fruit and vegetables. 

What are you most happy with? 
Although building the cabin became a bit too challenging at times, w are super happy with how everything turned out, it's our little paradise! We love the secluded beach and watching deer roaming the garden. We also love our summer evenings on the terrace, playing games together and cooking. For us, it's the opportunity to slow down from our fast-paced life in the city and enjoy moments together as a family in a conscious way. We hope that through our vacations at Cabin Jūrada, our children will also call Latvia home.

What a lovely project - and such a beautiful result too! Id' happily wile away my summer here, how about you? 

In case you're tempted, you can rent Jūrada on Airbnb here - and see more pictures at @cabin_jurada.

I was fascinated to hear about the garden as I'm starting to plan our tiny cabin surroundings soon, no easy feat! I'm now thinking we need to add a few fun things - even if it's just an outdoor table tennis! 

Looking for more inspriation? See more cabins and tiny homes in the archive. 

Happy mid week friends - half way there! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Cabin Jūrada


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The Full Tour of Our Tiny Cabin in Sweden!

As the year is slowly coming to a close, I've been looking back at the last twelve months and some of my projects. The one I am most proud of and that gives my family and I an unbelievable amount of joy is our tiny cabin. I absolutely love it. It may only be 30m2 (322 f2), but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in soul! It's hard to imagine that this time last year it was a patch of grass! Here's the complete low down. 

Design

We had a clear vision of how we wanted the cabin to look both inside and out. We turned to talented local architect Anela Tahirovic to help us realise this. Anela was such a joy to work with and sketched a design which perfectly matched our minds eye! 

Inside, we wanted a space where we could be together as a family. We realised that having a separate master bedroom would eat into the main living space, so instead we decided to create an open-plan space with a lower bedroom and upper sleep loft. We also wanted a well-functioning kitchen and bathroom so that it would work as an independent living space. 


The tour!

The exterior of the cabin is clad in different widths of pine which have been treated with 'järnvitriol' (iron sulphate) to give the wood a long-lasting grey-brown weathered appearance. 

The glass doors and windows are from Danish brand Velfac. All the glass doors open up to create a seamlessness between the indoors and outdoors in summertime. In winter it's the perfect space for a little 'light therapy'! 

While we love having so much glass, the downside is that it can heat up incredibly quickly come on a hot summers day. To counter this we had to install a heater / air conditioner (from Electrolux). This wasn't in the original plan, but it's actually turned out to be great as we can maintain 10 degrees Celsius heat in winter to stop the pipes from freezing - and quickly cool the space down on very hot days (few and far between but necessary, especially in the upper sleep loft!). 

We also added bespoke blinds to reflect the sun and heat - and also of course, to block out the light at night. 

Meanwhile, in the kitchen... our Veddinge kitchen cabinets are from IKEA and we added bespoke wooden oak shelves, made from panels bought in a local hardware store. We had the cabinets spray painted in Blek Sand (NCS S2005-Y20R) by Swiss Metod prior to installation. The worktop is a simple laminate one from Hornbach. We installed Helix knobs in antique brass from Beslag Online and a tap from Cristina Rubinetterie.

The kitchen also contains a fridge, small freezer, sink, recycling unit and a portable plug-in stove (all from IKEA). See the complete design plans, more pictures and all the details here.  

The wooden slats and ladder were handmade by a local carpenter. The ladder is detachable and moveable so it can be used for accessing the sleep loft but also to reach items higher up in the kitchen. 

The wood floor and panelling are both from Norrlands Trä (read more about our selection here). 

The extendable table is by Skovby (see it extended here) and the chairs are from Carl Hansen & Søn (these were only on loan for a photoshoot sadly, aren't they lovely?!) but I can also recommend Skovby chairs and stackable Vega chairs for a table like this. 

One of the most essential features for us right form the start was a woodburning stove. We got ours from Swedish brand Contura (see more pictures and details here). There's nothing quite like waking up to a roaring fire on a cold winters day! It gives off an immense amount of heat so we haven't had to turn on the electric heating once this winter (bar the 10 degrees)! 

In the tiny sitting room area we have a Plico Chair (possibly my most treasured item of furniture, I love it!). 

We also went for a Folk sofa bed by Karup. It's ideal for extra guests, but also a cosy place to sleep by the fire come winter! 

We've had the rug for years, it's called 'Beni' from Barfuss Teppiche.

Our bed nook is just over 160 cm wide which provides a snug space for a double bed. We decided to have a built in bed with long drawers on wheels underneath for storage. Today we keep everything from our clothes and bed linen to towels, table cloths and games in the drawers. They are a godsend!  

The mistake we made was using a platform rather than slats. Mattresses need to be able to breathe, otherwise they can get damp and mouldy underneath. We try to air the mattress as much as possible to counter this, but at some point we'll need to drill holes in the platform. 

The sleep loft (which I've realised I've yet to photograph) has space for either three single mattresses or one double. The cabin is 4 metres high, which means there is still quite a lot of head room up there. The girls find it very cosy! 

The bathroom is kitted out with a sink, cabinet, mirror and loo from GSI ceramica and taps from Cristina Rubinetterie. The Tumbled Turtle floor tiles are from Stiltje (one of the areas we splurged). The walls were painted in Kalk by Jotun lady Aqua. 

We weren't sure whether to get a wall hung loo and taps or not as I was worried it would eat into the small space. But actually, wall hung was perfect as it create a natural shelf for all our bits and bobs! 


You can see the complete tour and get the full low down of our bathroom here

The hooks in the bathroom (from Norrgavel) serve as both bathroom storage and somewhere to hang our coats. The little stool is either used as a perch to take of your shoes on entering or drying off and moisturising after a shower (pick up a similar little wooden stool here*). 

Finally, the main entrance to the cabin is through the bathroom. We thought we had made a major mistake with this - and we certainly got some strange looks when we told other people about our plan. However, it turned out to be exactly the right decision. Not only do the hooks double up for towels and coats - but the tiled floor is ideal for wet / dirty shoes! Once inside, all the other doors open up so it can be exited and entered through those - it's just when you arrive! 

I hope you enjoyed the tour and seeing a little more of our cabin!

I think I've covered most things, but if you have any questions please do give me a shout below and I'll do my best to help! 

I'm so looking forward to spending a few days up at our little cabin this Christmas! 

Niki 

PS The next project is the garden (it was a complete mess after the build! Gaaaah!). Do you have any tips for me? It's a total blank canvas right now so a little overwhelming! Even so, it's fun to have something to focus on in 2023. 

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