Great Stays: A Rustic Hideaway Surrounded by Rolling Hills

Feel like getting away from it all? This wonderful rustic hideaway is available through Airbnb! Set high up on rolling hills, The Wensley is architecturally designed with an Oregon and Ironbark timber exterior and offers everything you might need to switch off - including cosy sofas with panoramic views, a fully equipped kitchen, and a wonderful indoor and outdoor bathroom (my eyes are on that zinc tub!) - all with a timber and stone touch to emulate the surroundings. Such beautiful work by Lisa Buxton Interiors! OK, there might be a slight catch (at least for the time being) - it's in Wensleydale, around one and half hours from Melbourne, Australia! Yikes! But that shouldn't stop us from dreaming about a future stay, right? 

In my mind, I'm already soaking in that tub - the odd kangaroo hopping passed. Heaven! 

Could you imagine staying here?

If you'd like to do a little more mid-week 'escape' dreaming, here are some other places I'd love to stay at one day:


Do any of these capture your imagination? 

Wishing you a fabulous mid-week!

Niki

Photography courtesy of The Wensley

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Latest Tiny Cabin Update: I Need Your Help!

It's been a while since I've updated you on the little cabin we're building in the grounds of Per's family's summer cottage (see our plans here). Word on the street in the Bjärehalvön is that the build will start in September (so exciting!). It's kind of crept up on me though and now I'm in a panic. This week, I started looking at windows and doors. It's safe to say, I'm starting from scratch with this, but learning fast. And I've narrowed it down to two options (hopefully): 

1. Doors that concertina up - like these fine specimens from Outline, seen here in a small Danish cabin of Lena at Peekaboo design. The beauty with these is that they still have a traditional touch but create a wonderful seamlessness between inside and out. 


2. The other option is to go for doors that open separately, like in this charming summer cabin below owned by Lina Kjellvertz (I once featured her fabulous Mallorcan house), designed by Sommarnöjen (Velfac sell similar doors). 

At this stage, I'm not even sure if option one is possible with, but it's worth investigating - so I thought I'd throw it out there.

Which do you think would work the best? 

Curious to see more Scandic-inspired tiny cabins today? I love: 


Or for something a little different, the before and after pictures of a Mercedes sprinter van which was converted into a tiny camper van are incredible! 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! 

Niki

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A Simple, Yet Cosy Norwegian Cabin By The Fjord

God morgen - as they say in Norwegian! How was your weekend? Here, it was a cold, snowy one but the sun was shining, and I actually found myself squinting in the brightness (you wouldn't believe how much we long for that sensation here in Scandinavia in the winter!). But there can also be a certain beauty in the grey, and our friend Hilde Mork, is the master at catching it. I featured her lovely little Norwegian cottage twice last year, once over the summer solstice, and once at Christmas. And now that cabin has become her studio - and she and her husband and their children have moved into a wonderful cabin overlooking the fjord. The pair have carefully renovated the space over time - transforming the old, uninsulated structure into a modern living space. Here are some snapshots of life by the water in the Norwegian winter. 











Beautiful!

I love the simplicity - of the interior, it shows the power of vintage finds (old chairs, lamps etc) as well as wood and textured linen. 

Could you also while away a winter here looking out over the water?

I think it'd be rude not to put our feet up, and celebrate the beginning of a new month with a few more Norwegian home tours today, do you? 

Here are a few of my favourites: 


Wishing you all a great start to the week - and better still, a wonderful start to Feb. Can you see the light slowly returning where you are too?  

Niki

Photography: Hilde Mork - shared with kind permission

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A Cosy Candlelit Cabin Deep In The Norwegian Fjords


Do you get the feeling that some days you just want to escape to a far-off place, light a fire and lead a simple life? In my mind, Lisa Reid Mjaavatten has got it just right. Her cosy log cabin lies deep in the Western Norwegian fjords, surrounded by mountains and endless wilderness. Built in the 1970s and consisting of two tiny bedrooms, it provides just enough space for her, her husband and their three children to escape daily life in Bergen. In her interview with North Letters magazine, Lisa describes how her cabin is her sanctuary - even in the midst of the harsh Norwegian winter.  Read on to discover why!

As an interior designer, Lisa was keen to maintain the history of the cabin and keeping the original pine panelled walls and kitchen was a deliberate move to keep "the very spirit and essence alive in the cabin". The decor is also deliberately simple and uncomplicated. "I do not need a lot of things, not having a material ownership is incredibly liberating, but the few things I do own have a special meaning," she says. 


A simple log is used as a side table for candles and warming cups of coffee. 

A pair of vintage snowshoes adorn the wall in the bedroom, while a contemporary Kizu table lamp rests on a chest-of-drawers. 

When the family first bought the cabin, it had no water or electricity and they had to collect water from a few hundred metres away up a narrow forest path. It was only in recent years they decided to install electricity - and the simple act of switching on a light brought with it ''a feeling of total luxury.'' 


While many struggle with the harsh Norwegian winter, Lisa chooses to embrace it. "I love the cold and grey months." she tells Northern Letters, "Feeling the hard rain bite against your cheeks just gives me a little reminder that we are not in charge here, Mother Nature is in control. We are here to enjoy what she brings us and not take it for granted." 

Life at the cabin in winter doesn't come without complaints from the family - especially about "going outside in minus 15 degrees Celsius. Or scraping ice off the inside of the windows in mornings. Or cutting through thick ice in the property's well with an axe to get water for the morning coffee." But even these are seen as a positive: "This is adventure and we are making memories." 

Lisa enjoys a coffee on a handmade bench covered with a warm sheepskin (similar sheepskin items can be found here*).

Lisa loves to sit outside all year-round and take in the staggering surroundings. "The old pine and birch woodland around the cabin offer protection from the harsh weather and winds," she explains to Northern Letters. "The swaying of the branches from the hallowing winds up the fjord sing songs when I am alone."   And the beauty of the huge mountain peaks and deep, inky blue fjords bring with them a sense of calm. "They are like old friends keeping an eye on us."

What a magical place! 

I was particularly interested to hear how Lisa embraces the harsh Scandinavian winter. I have to confess I've always struggled with this - especially come January and February! I like the idea of deciding that the feeling of the freezing cold rain or snow on your face can be seen in a different light - and obstacles caused by the cold weather build memories. Funnily enough, some of my strongest memories (and language!) come from trying to put chains on the tyres in Norway, or stepping out in minus 25 degrees Celsius at Marianne's cabin and watching the head torches of cross-country skiers flash pass as they make their way home. 

I also took heed from a wise friend from Greenland who suggested experiencing sunny days in winter as a bonus. "If you except that it's likely to be cold and grey when you walk out the door, you're more likely to embrace it," she explains. 

I've also found lighting candles at breakfast and after work help to make me feel good - as well as bringing in lovely seasonal touches like pinecones, branches from a fir tree etc. Not so much that it feels Christmassy - but just enough to enjoy that hygge vibe! 

Do you experience harsh winters where you live? If so, do you have any tips on how to embrace the colder months of the year?

Thank you so much to North Letters for the kind permission to share these beautiful images. You can read more about Lisa's home here (in English) and it will also be in print when North Letters magazine hits the newsstands in February 2021. In the meantime, I'd highly recommend checking out their Instagram feed - it's stunning!

Fancy feeling all cosy today by taking a peek inside a few other Scandinavian log cabin? I love: 


Have a hyggeligt day friends! 

Niki

Photography: Gunn Kristin Monsen

*affiliated links

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A Cosy Finnish Log Cabin In Winter Time


This morning I had to wear gloves for the first time while cycling to the studio. It was one of those crisp sunny mornings - and I found myself excited about the prospect of winter woollies and thick socks! Are you there yet? In honour of this, I thought we could embrace the Scandinavian winter spirit with an über cosy Finnish log cabin. Flanked by lake and forest in Sastamala, 3-hours from Helsinki,  'Koivikko' (meaning 'birch grove') cabin provides the perfect retreat for owners Kimmo Pirhonen, head of Finnish clothing and homeware brand Balmuir, and Ville Pursiainen. The cosy 100-year-old cabin required little in the way of renovation, with the floors already painted soft grey when they moved in. Instead Kimmo and Ville have focused on creating a cosy hide-away, from where they can recharge their batteries and enjoy the peaceful surroundings without distraction. Ready to get toasty? Step this way...





How lovely! 

I could head there for the weekend and stay the month, how about you? 

The timber walls are just beautiful! 

Imagine waking up in that fluffy bed beside the fire on a winter morning - coffee gently brewing on the stove. Gaaah! 

Check out the original feature in Sköna Hem (in Swedish).

If I've got you in the toasty cabin vibe now, check these 'hyggeligt' hideaways out too: 


Anyone else dreaming about a weekend at a cosy log cabin now? 

Niki

Photography: Krista Keltanen, shared with kind permission. 

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Step Inside The 'Whale Song Shack' With A Dreamy Ocean View

The routine has started - which feels a little like work - home - work - home - work - home, interspersed with crazy early mornings where the kids can't find their gym kit / homework / bike keys - aaaagh! This could explain the copious amounts of getaways I've been sharing from the Southern Hemisphere lately. I mean, who wouldn't rather be reading a book in a cabin overlooking the sea right now?! And this one in Tasmania had me at the name: Whale Song Shack. Originally built by a local fisherman, the cabin has been transformed into a breath-taking holiday home where you can watch whales migrate, gannets dive and fish and fishing boats haul their catch from the window.  Inside, the whitewashed interior is deliberately pared back - with wood details and vintage finds adding plenty of warmth - or when the temperatures really dip, there's a wonderful stone fireplace! Ready to dream? 







Meet you there?

I've been contemplating writing another book lately - could you imagine what an incredible writer's retreat this would make? Gaaah! Amazing! For now, of course, it's all about staying put, but a girl can dream, right?! I hope this cabin has you dreaming today too - and given you a spark of mid-week inspiration for your own home!

See more photos and find more information about the wonderful Whale Song Shack (love their instagram too!). 

 Here are a few other cabins I dream about daily: 


And nearer home, my friends' cabin: 

Have a happy Wednesday! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Whale Song Shack including photographs by Marnie Hawson and Kate T.

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