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A Cosy Norwegian Country Cottage At Christmas


Ready for something very cosy and a little Christmassy today? You might remember photographer Hilde Mork's beautiful rural Norwegian home from a feature I wrote about it just before midsummer. I've been dreaming about her lovely cottage ever since. Today, I thought it would be nice to revisit Hilde's home to celebrate the start of my favourite month of the year - December (birthday month!) and see how it looks in Winter time. As you can imagine, her little cottage in the small hamlet of Nesodden, near Oslo (which she shares with her two children) is as hyggeligt as can be! Surrounded by snow, the cottage is lit with the warm glow of a wood burning stove and advent candles flickering in the window. A fir tree has been chopped down in the forest and awaits outside the door and scattered stars hint that 'Jul' is near. Welcome to Hilde's cosy, sheepskin-lined home! 








How beautiful.

I can so imagine hunkering down there today by the fire, how about you?

There's evidence of what Hilde does in her spare time throughout the cottage - from the woodshed (imagine the amount of effort it took to chop up all that wood?) and dragging a Christmas tree home, to the homemade paper stars on the windowsill (see the DUY tutorial here) and knitting by the fire. Lovely hobbies - and perfect for when the snow falls gently outside! 

You can see more pictures of Hilde's lovely home here - and take a peek at how it looks in the summer here (equally beautiful, just very different!). Hilde also has an online shop where she sells her prints and other items -  and her work is also available at The Poster Club* (ships worldwide), something for Christmas perhaps?

Shall we entertain ourselves with a few more cosy homes this cold and frosty 1st December morning?

Here are some of my favourites: 

And one for those of you in the southern hemisphere: the cosy Whale Song Shack

Happy 1st December! 

Niki

Photography Hilde Mork - shared with kind permission

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A Charming Swedish Country Home with Festive Touches


I can't help getting a little excited about adding a few festive touches to our home this weekend. Nothing major - just a hint - and enough to make our home feel cosy and Christmassy. Will you be putting up any decorations over the next couple of days (for those who celebrate)? As I'm sure you well know, Swedes are masters at 'subtle festive touches'. A hint of a wreath here, a hyacinth there. With a strong focus on nature, wonderful aromas, vintage pieces and handmade items (see 5 simple budget-friendly craft ideas). In her country home in southern Sweden, Johanna has started to decorate her 'little green' house (as she calls it on instagram) with pretty, subtle 'Jul' touches. Think paper stars, oil lamps, garlands of sliced oranges, candles and wreaths. Oh, and the Christmas tree is ready and waiting just outside the door too!










I love how uncomplicated these touches are - and yet they create such a cosy feel, don't you think?

Is there anything that stood out to you about Johanna's lovely rural home? You might like to see more pictures on instagram over at @vartlillagrona.

Looking for more inspiration? Take a peek at the Christmas archive - it's packed with Scandinavian ideas for every taste and budget.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Niki

Photos: @vartlillagrona shared with kind permission

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5 Swedish Christmas Craft Ideas to Make Alone or With The Kids!


There's nothing like Christmas decorations to lighten up the darkness and spread a little cheer, don't you think? One of the positives about lock-down (or simply spending more time at home this year) is that we might just have time for some good old fashioned julpyssla (Christmas crafting)! In our house decorating is a family affair and Per, the girls and I love to go all out - including a trip to the forest to collect fir cones, fir tree saplings as well as some simple crafting accompanied by glögg and julsånger (Christmas songs)  - see more here! Now, I'm not going to lie, when it comes to crafting, my family and I are not what I would call gifted - in fact most of our decorations end up looking very homemade. But what we lack in skill we more than make up for in enthusiasm. In case you're also in the mood for a little julpyssla this year, here are 5 beautifully simple DIY Swedish Christmas craft ideas we'll be making this year -and they barely cost a penny! 

1. Window painting


This year our windows have become more important than ever. In some homes they've been the only connection people have had with to the outside world, in others they've been used to communicate important messages (like the heart-warming NHS rainbows in the UK), and in others again, they might have been the only way one has been able to connect with at-risk loved ones. So why not brighten up everyone's day - and do some winter window painting like Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner. All you need is a glass pen and a little imagination (there are also some cute stencils available here* and here*) - and you'll create a little cheer inside and out! 

2. Christmas decorations from scraps of wallpaper



Got any scraps of wallpaper lying around at home? Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner shows you how to make baubles, paper chains and bunting from wallpaper  - and the outcome is so pretty! 

3. Snöblomma (snow flower) / Paper stars


These wonderful DIY paper stars (made above by Byn Collective and below by Anna-Maria Blomqvist) started to make waves last Christmas (see my feature!) and mark a welcomed return to Swedish Christmas crafting traditions. What I love most about these snöblomma / paper stars is that they are SO easy to make and look pretty anywhere in the house. Get the know-how here


4. Blood orange garlands



We've all seen orange garlands - but how about making a 'blood' orange garland for a darker twist on the classic? Drying out your own orange slices couldn't be easier too. Simply set the oven to 70 degrees celsius, spread the orange slices out on baking paper and place the pan in the oven until they have completely dried out and turn a nice golden colour (around 2.5 / 3 hours). Make sure you turn regularly for an even effect. Once dried, there's no end to the possibilities (see more inspiration here!). 

5. Bake Lussebulle / Lussekatt 

Does baking count as crafting? You're using your hands after all! There's no denying that a little baking in the run up to Christmas not only feels therapeutic, it fills the house with festive aromas and you can enjoy the results for days! This year, why not fill your home (and hearts) with the wonderful scent of Swedish saffron buns (as captured by Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner above and below) - and enjoy them on 'Lucia' (St Lucy's Day) on 13th December. There's a great recipe here


I can smell the Lussebulle from here, how about you?

Is there anything that stood out to you among these DIY ideas?


Here's to a very crafty run-up to Christmas! 

Niki

PS Wishing all American friends a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

Picture credits; 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8: Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner. 4. Byn Collective 5. Anna-Maria Blomqvist

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This Year's Cosy Christmas Touch: A 'Glögg' Bar!

Partnership*
The First Sunday of Advent is a big day in Scandinavia. It can get very dark in winter time and the eagerly awaited day provides a perfect opportunity to brighten up the darkness with candles, star lanterns and other julpynta (Christmas decorations). I have to confess though; I started a little earlier this year with the glögg (spiced mulled wine). My excuse? The chilly weather combined with a photoshoot for Danish brand Skovby and their beautiful handcrafted #135 Serving Trolley

Allow me to introduce my 'glögg bar'! 

For those of you not familiar with the word, Glögg is a Scandinavian spiced mulled wine, usually served with a spoonful of almonds and raisins as well as pepparkaka (gingerbread biscuits). Its best kept piping hot on the stove, in a thermos or in a pan over a candle. I love to serve it with blue cheese as the combination with pepparkaka is simply divine! 

My parents-in-law always have a glögg bar ready and waiting when we arrive at their cottage on Christmas Eve. It's a perfect way to thaw the hands after bracing the freezing temperatures outside! 

I decided to have my own this year, and this fine specimen of a trolley could not have made a finer glögg bar! The Skovby #135 Serving Trolley comes in a variety of finishes (check them out here) and I chose the black oak with a top in black nano laminate (specifically designed to cater for spillages - love that!). 


The trolley also has other awesome features such as hidden wheels, a wine rack and a compartment containing a small tray and chopping board (made from excess wood from the Skovby factories). Talk about a well-equipped bar! 

I also threw in some books and a cosy blanket for a little extra hygge! It is Danish, after all! 

Having sat at a Skovby desk in our home office for the best part of six months, the quality, design and functionality of the trolley is exactly what I've come to expect from the Danish furniture brand - which prides itself on sustainable and functional furniture. 


All there's left to do is get cosy and tuck in!

Once Jul is over the trolley would make a pretty cool display piece too, don't you think? Danish design at its finest! 

Curious to find out more? See #135 Serving Trolley for more details and find your nearest stockist here. 

I'm not sure if you've seen my previous posts about Skovby? If not, you might also like to see Per's home office (he's back at school now so I swiftly took over!) and the glass display cabinet in the corner of my open-plan dining room / sitting room area.  

Have you started decorating for the holidays yet? Despite the cheeky start, I'm waiting until this weekend and the First Sunday of Advent for the rest of my decorations (except for the tree, which we'll chop down sometime in mid December). 

A little cosiness and Christmas cheer is just what we all need this year, don't you agree?

Skål!

Niki

Photography Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian home

*This post is brought to you in paid partnership with Skovby. 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 wonderful businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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One Swedish Sitting Room, Two Cosy Winter ways!


My Scandinavian home partnership* 
Last week I ventured across town on my bike to visit my friend Helen Sturesson, a talented interior designer who lives in Davidshallstorg, a charming square in the centre of Malmö. Helen has one of those apartments in which you feel instantly at home. Dating back to the 1930s, the rental has staggeringly high ceilings, large spacious rooms and a wonderful relaxed style - with a perfect mix of vintage, new Nordic design and locally made items. And there's always a pot of fresh coffee simmering on the stove. The reason for my visit? With the harsh Southern Sweden winter looming, her Stockholm 3.5 seater sofa had seen better days - just when the family need it most! So I arrived armed with samples from Bemz!

You might be familiar with the Swedish company as I'm a huge fan. Bemz sells custom covers for IKEA sofas and armchairs as well as accessories such as legs, cushions and curtains to match. With over 100 fabrics to choose from, you can always find the exact colour and material you're looking for! It's a genius concept, allowing you to give your IKEA furniture a whole new lease of life (look out for the 20% discount code at the end). 

Helen worked with the fabrics to create two new, beautiful looks - a cosy winter white and a darker Christmas vibe with a touch of cool corduroy! I returned with my camera to capture them both (over a cup of coffee or two!): 

Look One: Cosy Winter Whites



For the lighter look, Helen worked with linens - centred around a cover in Chalk Simply Linen for the IKEA Stockholm 3.5 Seater Sofa and cushions in lovely warm tones including Acorn Simply Linen, Taupe Conscious Pinstripe, and Natural and Cocoa Brera Lino

The striped Conscious Pinstripe in Taupe is part of the new Bemz Conscious Collection. If you have a moment, you must check out the range! It's made up of pinstripe and herringbone patterns created from 100% recycled material and inspired by the sharp tailoring of menswear. The sofa covers are awesome!


The lighter cover totally brightened Helen's sitting room - especially in these darker days! The traditional style also worked beautifully beside her vintage cabinet (how cool is that cabinet? Helen bought it at auction from Bukowskis a while back). 

If you look closely, you'll see a variety of textures - including soft linen, knotted wool and stoneware - which, when combined with the plants, breathe life into the space (especially when the trees lie dormant outside). 


Green marble windowsills are a classic 1930s feature in Swedish homes and make a perfect spot for Helen's collection of ceramics, plants and other treasured items.


I love the way the brushed, peach-skin of the linen and cotton blend catches the light - it makes it look so inviting! Anyone else feel like they could pour a coffee, curl up in this corner and stay a while? 


Helen completed the look with a Bemz cover also in Chalk Simply Linen for her IKEA Karlstad Armchair  - to match the sofa. 


Love this light winter look? Here's a little about Helen's haul:

Get the look



Look two: Cosy Winter Moss



For the second look, Helen was keen to add a touch of Jul (Christmas) inspired by the nearby Beech forest in wintertime. 

To create the look, Helen chose the fabulous Corduroy cover in Winter Moss for her IKEA Stockholm 3.5 seater sofa. You probably won't have seen this before since it's part of the new Bemz Corduroy Collection, designed in collaboration with Maxwell Ryan of Apartment Therapy. If you love a little corduroy, check out the entire collection in all its super soft, wide 'wales' (ribbed) glory here


Helen combined the Winter Moss cover with cushions in Rose Simply Linen and Natural Brera Lino - and some very lovely Swedish Christmas touches! 


How cosy is this look? There's something about the deep green corduroy fabric that amps up the hygge. Add a little candlelight, a book and a steaming mug of glögg (spiced mulled wine) and you're good to go for the entire winter! 

I particularly love how the corduroy catches the light - and the contrast between the velvet and linen. Beautiful!



Pale pink with moss green has to be one of my favourite colour combinations for years, are you a fan too? The touch of pink maybe subtle, but it makes all the difference to the look - something to think about if you're selecting cushions for your sofa. 

True to Swedish style, Helen's Christmas decorations are super simple yet so pretty. A star here, and a bauble there. The candleholders are handmade by local designer Karolina Brobeck. 


If anyone's looking for me, I'll be curled up right here - chatting to Helen until the kids come home! 


If you love the 'Winter Moss' corduroy look as much as I do, here's the low down: 

Get the look

Get The Look

What did you think? Do you have a favourite?

I hope I can show more of Helen's home moving forwards, it's so inspiring! 

Oh, and the important bit. As a special, early Christmas present, the amazing team at Bemz are offering My Scandinavian Home readers a 20% off the entire range with promo code MSHwinter - valid until November 24th, 2020. 

If you have an old IKEA sofa or armchair knocking about and would like to freshen it up in time for the new season - now's your chance! Don't have an IKEA sofa but in need of a new place to curl up this winter? You can find a load of secondhand IKEA sofas online - throw on a Bemz cover, and it will look as good as new! Oh, and they ship pretty much worldwide. 

Get ready to order your free samples

Thank you Bemz for collaborating with Helen and I on this - and thank you so much to Helen for inviting me over! I really enjoyed capturing these two looks in the fading winter light!

Niki

Photos by me / styling by Helen Sturesson

This post is brought to you in paid collaboration with Bemz and contains affiliate links. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I absolutely love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the businesses that help bring fresh content to your mailbox.

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