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A Charming Shaker-style Swedish Country Kitchen

I'm a little tired of our kitchen. It's so.... WHITE! And I'm not so sure we need ALL the storage, I mean it's handy, but we really do fill the cupboards with a lot of rubbish, especially in the dining area (thoughts?). So, I've been looking around for kitchen inspiration. And that's when I stumbled across the incredible summer home of Ellen Dixdotter - CEO of Malene Birger and Jacob Holst - an interior architect. Granted their kitchen is in a beautiful old home in the heart of Skåne countryside and a lot bigger than ours (and don't even get me started on the period features!) - I still feel there's plenty of inspiration to be taken away from it - and if nothing else, we get to pull up a chair and dream for a while, which is always welcome in these times, right? Ready to take a peek?  

When the family first moved in, the house was kitted out with a small, tired looking IKEA kitchen with a low ceiling and laminate flooring. 

For a family who love to cook while enjoying a glass of wine - the kitchen is considered the heart of the home - and Ellen and Jacob were keen to create a spacious and sociable space.  They removed the ceiling and knocked through a wall two the sitting room before designing the 'shaker' kitchen together with Nordiska Kök - who specialise in dreamy, custom-built kitchens. 

They also added SMEG appliances as well as a sink, tap and knobs from Swedish company Sekelskifte

Look closely and you'll also spot vintage chopping boards (source similar antique chopping boards here*) and beautiful stoneware - adding to the relaxed, earthy vibe of the space. 

The kitchen island was a 'loppis' (flea market find) - and one of the details I'd love to incorporate into my own kitchen / dining area (I can't wait for the flea markets to open and get scouring, isn't it beautiful?). 

I also love the glass cabinet! Although newly built on site, Nordisk Kök recommended using antique glass in order for the piece to work seamlessly with the traditional country house. 

I have been dreaming about a similar piece ever since I featured Malin Persson's Malmö home (which I have since visited on a few occasions - and it's even more beautiful in real life!). I think they're a great addition to any home. Are you a fan too? 


What a beautiful kitchen - I think they've achieved everything they set out to do and more! 

Could you imagine cooking away here in the evenings over a glass of wine? 

In case you're also looking for kitchen inspiration, here are a few others I love: 


Got a narrow / galley-style kitchen? Per and I renovated our summer cottage kitchen a couple of years back and it's become my favourite room in the cottage! You can find all the details here

Plus, these posts might be helpful too: 

Oh, and one more thing. Ellen and Jacob are co-owners of an online store Cappelendimyr specialising in contemporary artisanal rugs made from natural wool. I've only just discovered this today and am so excited, they are incredible! 

Wishing you a lovely, sunny day friends!

Niki

Photography: Andrea Papini, shared with kind permission
*contains affiliate links

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Before & After: A Derelict Classroom Becomes An Incredible Kitchen!

Hello friends! Boy, have I got something inspiring to share with you today! I admire many people in the design world. But there are two people in particular, I am constantly in awe of: Laura Muthesius and Nora Eisermann of Our Food Stories. Everything this lovely couple touch turns to gold - from a Berlin warehouse and German countryside apartment to a beautiful cottage kitchen in Sweden. And now, they've turned their hands to a former schoolhouse in rural Germany. When they got the keys to the property a few months ago, it had been empty for decades and the interior was, shall we say 'rustic' to say the least! So much so, many would have run a mile, myself included. But fortune favours the brave and these two had a vision - which, with a lot of hard work, would become a dream reality! 

The exterior and interior was in dire need of some TLC, with many of the original features stripped away - including the windows, which had been replaced with cheap reproductions. 

Working as a food stylist and photographer (with over one million followers on instagram, no less!), Laura and Nora were keen to create a large kitchen from which to work, film and live. The pair set about tearing out a small bathroom to recreate the original classroom area. 

They were hoping to find a wood floor lurking beneath the layer of concrete but sadly, when they peeled it back, it had been destroyed so they laid a new oak wood parquet floor. They also swapped out the modern windows and replaced them with replicates of the original windows from Sorpetaler Fensterbau.

Fortunately, they were able to bring their Devol kitchen from their previous country apartment, which they supplemented with extra units to capitalise on space. 


One of the features I love the most is the vintage arched door, which Nora sourced online - WHAT A FIND!!!!


The kitchen units and worktops were planned around the natural light which pours in through the large windows. 

They installed a Bertazzoni cooker (which will no doubt play a major part in their delicous cake creation moving forward!). 

An incredible DeVol marble sink matches the countertop which was custom-made by MCR

Matt limewash paint from Bauwer Color was applied to the walls (Ibiza) and ceiling (Smokebush).  

And finally, the pair installed a mantel piece and a DeVol freestanding pantry cupboard on the opposite side of the kitchen. 

I love glass cabinets - they're a perfect way to display pretty kitchen items while keeping them dust free (a big problem with the open shelves under my kitchen island!). 

All-in-all one, a really incredible kitchen, don't you think? Trust this pair to create such a unique and original, timeless kitchen!

You can keep to date with their latest recipes on @_foodstories and interior projects over at @_designtales_. They've also shared more info about this kitchen reno here - and if you're curious, you can take a peek at their cosy Swedish cottage kitchen here

And if you're looking for more kitchen inspiration today - check out: 


Have a wonderful start to the week friends! 

Niki

Photography: Nora Eisermann & Laura Muthesius / Our Food Stories - shared with kind permission. 

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Our kitchen - And the Perfect Danish Counter Stool!

MSH partnership*
Do you have a kitchen island? We added one when we first moved in over ten years ago. Little did we know it would become the hub of the home. It's used as a breakfast bar, a place to catch up after school / work, and a relaxed gathering place for friends (although there hasn't been so much of the latter lately, unfortunately!).  One of the trickiest things about a kitchen island though, is getting the stools right. What height? Should they have a back? Well friends, after a lengthy search, the B's might just have found 'the one' - thanks to Danish brand Skovby

Say 'hej' (pronounced 'hi') to the Skovby Counter Stool #808

Nerd alert: I'm about to share a little info about the height - which is helpful if you're sourcing a counter / bar stool but maybe not if you've just come here to enjoy a little inspiration today!

The height
It turns out, I wasn't looking for a bar stool (my initial search words!) - but a 'Counter Stool' - which tend to be 12 cm - 15 cm (5 to 6 inches) lower (although Skovby does do a nice Bar Stool too). It's also important to feel comfy - which means you want a clearance of around 22 cm - 30 cm (9 to 12 inches) between the seat and underside of the countertop. The seat on this stool is 65 cm high - allowing for just over a 22 cm gap, I'd see that is the absolute minimum requirement, but it totally works for our family. 

Comfort and design
Having lived in Scandinavia for more than 17 years (where did the time go?) - I'd never compromise on form over function. I'm also keenly aware that people tend to linger on stools longer than you think (just ask my younger daughter Allie!). With this in mind, I do love a backrest! The shell seat and back on this counter stool is crafted from the same piece of white oil oak veneer. And although it looks beautifully slim, it's also incredibly strong (it's internationally certified for use in cafes, restaurants, office buildings etc). The chrome footrest is also super practical. Trust the Danes to get it just right! 

Sidenote: in a couple of these pictures, I've shown a counter stool at the end of the island - in practise we never actually place one there as the island is only designed for two stools on the longer side. I was just exercising a little artistic license so you could see the stool from the back! 

Allie's favourite spot - she sits here for breakfast, a cup of tea (she is half English after all!) - and to chat to us about her day and what she's done at her gymnastics! 


I hope you enjoyed these snapshots from our kitchen - and the Skovby Counter Stool #808

I feel so honoured to call Skovby a long-term partner - in case you're curious about other beautifully crafted items I've put to the test, check out the following: 


Here's to Danish craftsmanship and beautiful design! 

In case you're interested in one or more of these fine specimens for your own home, you can find your nearest Skovby retailer here

Curious about other items seen in these pics of my kitchen? Give me a shout below and I'd be happy to help!

Wishing you a lovely day friends! 

Niki

*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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Oak and a Cosy Roaring Fire In A Swedish Cottage Kitchen


Warning: this kitchen might make you want to move to the Swedish countryside. Especially if you love 19th century architecture, wood beams, and a roaring fireplace! Laura and Nora of the incredible Our Food Stories (whose Berlin studio and German country home I've also featured), bought a cottage in Österlen, Southern Sweden a few years back. I've been following the renovation ever since and have loved the way they've been adding their own signature touch while being careful to maintain the property's natural charm. This week Laura and Nora revealed their recently completed kitchen - which combines a stunning oak Devol Haberdasher kitchen with Bertazzoni and Smeg appliances and vintage lighting. Oh, and a wonderful fireplace of course! 

I'd be perfectly happy to keep Per company from the Little Petra armchair while he ambles about in the kitchen. His cakes might not be a patch on Our Food Stories.... but he does makes a MEAN spag bol!

This jute rug* is similar (and biodegradable). 

The Haberdasher kitchen is a handmade modular system, which features unpainted oak cupboards inspired by mid-century English interiors and a traditional gentleman's haberdashery - which makes it extraordinarily charming!


What oven do the girls with a foodie themed instagram feed that has amassed over 1 million followers use? A professional Bertazzoni range cooker, that's what! Now we know the secret to culinary success! 


The worktops are a mix of marble and handmade aged copper. The sink is also made of marble. 



The walls have been painted with chalk paint from Icelandic brand Kalklitir in 'calce' (I also used Kalklitir in my kitchen and I'm so happy with the nuanced finish!). 


Love that the unit in the above picture is also used for wood storage - it really adds to the cosiness of the space, din't you think? But above all else - look at that farmhouse table! *Sheds actual tears*! I've been looking for one like that for ages. I wonder if it was sourced in Sweden. I'm off to investigate! 

Before I head off - have you noticed kitchen cabinets made from natural wood have really come into their own in 2020? See also a calm, warm kitchen designed by Holly Marder and the awe-inspiring private kitchen of Noma head chef René Redzepi - beautiful! 

Could you imagine opting for wood in your kitchen? Or perhaps you're too busy imagining yourself in that fuzzy armchair by the fire to care! In which case, I wouldn't blame you! 

Wishing you a wonderful, cosy day friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Our Food Stories with thanks

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Three Simple And Refreshing Frozen Recipe Ideas For Balmy Summer days!

Kindly sponsored by Samsung:
The warm weather has finally arrived in Sweden (last week I actually wore short-sleeves for the first time outdoors - result!) and we dared to start dreaming about balmy, summer days after what's felt like a very long winter! Time to stock the freezer with some tantalisingly refreshing treats! Read on for three icy delights my family and I love - and they're super easy to make too.

Samsung Freezer RZ32M71357F / Samsung Refrigerator RR39M73657F/EE
Pear and cinnamon ice cream
What would a summer be without 'glass' (ice cream)? And this homemade pear and cinnamon ice cream is divine, plus it's super easy to make without an ice cream machine. Perfect! 

Ingredients
5 dl (500ml) cream
1 can (397g) of condensed milk
2 small ripe pears, peeled and cut into quarters
Generous pinch of cinnamon

Method
Place pears and cinnamon in a blender and puree until you have a smoothie consistency.
Whisk the cream and condensed milk until its thick and fluffy.
Pour in the pureed pear and use a spatula to mix well.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased loaf tin.
Smooth out the top and freeze for at least 2 hours.
Take the ice cream out of the freezer 30 minutes before serving.

Top tip
You can make this with berries instead. Just swap out the pears for 1 cup of strawberries,
raspberries or blueberries.

Ice cream popsicles
Once you've made the ice cream above, these popsicles are quick and easy to make, look super impressive, and best of all, taste delicious! 

Ingredients
Ice cream mixture (as above)
Your choice of toppings - desiccated coconut, nuts, melted chocolate, sprinkles.

Method
Make the ice cream recipe as above and divide the mixture between popsicle moulds or
large square ice cube moulds. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 2 hours or until
solid. Remove popsicles form the moulds and dip into your chosen topping. Place on a plate with
baking paper and back into the freezer until serving.

Top tip
The best way to remove the ice cream from the moulds is to place the moulds under warm
(not hot) running water for a few seconds. Allow them to stand for another 30 seconds and
they should release easily.

Flower ice cubes
One of my favourite midsummer tricks - ice cubes embedded with edible flowers look so pretty and look like you've gone that extra mile, even if they only take seconds extra to prepare!  

Ingredients
Edible flowers (I've used pansies which are perfect as they come in a variety of colours. If you are in doubt whether a flower is edible, always check prior to consuming)*
Herbs (I've used dill, rosemary and mint)

Method
Separate the flower heads from the stem and cut small sprigs from your favourite herbs. Dot them around an ice cube mould (I used the mould in my Slim Ice Maker - a really nifty feature that hardly takes up any space!). Add water until each compartment is full. Once set, drop the cubes in your drink for a pretty, refreshing summer drink!  

Berry and herb ice cubes
I love to spice up summer cocktails (and even ice cool glasses of water) with berry and herb ice cubes. They look really pretty in the glass, add a hint of flavour and smell lovely!  

Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, mint, rosemary and dill all make great ingredients and I also like to freeze lemon and lime slices separately. You can make a huge batch and use them to pep up drinks all summer long!



I hope you're feeling inspired by these simple ideas! Please feel free to add your own favourite freezer recipes below, I'd love to hear them! 

Roll on balmy summer days!

Niki

A big thank you to Sarah Brooks-Wilson for working with me on this shoot - such a fun day, plus we got to eat LOADS of ice cream! 

This is Kindly sponsored by Samsung. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands and products I love and can truly recommend. Thank you for supporting the businesses that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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