Summer Cottage Kitchen Renovation Update: Getting There!

In paid partnership with Bosch
I thought it was time to share a little more about where we're at with our summer cottage kitchen renovation . Per and I have been working like crazy over the past few weeks and it's really starting to come together - phew! Here's a quick round-up:

1. The floor
Having stripped back the plastic laminate floor a few weeks back to reveal a cheap wood floor, we felt the best thing to do would be to sand it down and paint it white (using Flügger hard floor paint) - thank you for all your words of encouragement to do this!

2. The walls
After a LOAD of plastering, Per gave the walls a fresh lick of matt white paint - it feels so much fresher now!

3. The cabinets
The IKEA METOD units were delivered to the cottage and I collected the VEDDINGE fronts from Swiss Metod in Malmö who did a great job spray painting them (read more about the colour samples I tested here). We then spend what felt like forever screwing them together with the help of a MASSIVE pile of IKEA manuals - such an immense job -and not without a few mistakes!!

We'd read a lot about whether or not it's possible to install an IKEA kitchen yourself. To be honest, without Per there's no way I'd have attempted it, but with a lot of patience, the IKEA chat room and you tube, it's starting to take shape!

4. The appliances
All the Bosch appliances arrived - including the fridge-freezer, dishwasher, oven and fan and I had a field day unwrapping them. It felt like Christmas had arrived early!

Feeling super proud with how far we've come, but there's still lots to be done.

Have you ever installed a kitchen? If so, I'd love to hear about your experience!


*This series is in paid collaboration with Bosch. However, all words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too.

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Summer Cottage Kitchen Renovation Update (Including a Few Nasty Surprises!)

In paid partnership with Bosch:
I thought I'd share a quick update on our summer cottage kitchen renovation with you (see the before pictures here!)! The demolition has begun together with my partner in crime (Per). It took way longer than we thought and we discovered some very nasty surprises along the way but we're feeling proud of all our hard work too! Here's the low down:

Choosing the cabinet colour

Thank you so much for sharing all your thoughts on colour. Based on your input, I tested three paint samples:

NCS S 2002-Y (light grey)
NCS S 3005-G50Y (light green)
NCS S 3005-G80Y (green-beige)

The colours look a lot more muted / softer in this picture due to the camera setting, but in reality, the green shades felt way too heavy and dark for the small space. The light grey, on the other hand, felt fresh and subtle and also offered a gentle nod to the colour of the Nordic sea. I think we have a winner!

Next step: the cabinet fronts and decor strips will be sent to the trusty team at Swiss Metod in Malmö to be spray painted! Yay!

TIP: You don't have to stick to the cabinet colours available at your local kitchen supplier - a professional spray painter can transform the fronts using whichever shade you like! To find the right colour, I tested large squares of colour on ALL the walls and observed them over 48 hours so I could see how they looked in different light. 

Dismantling the kitchen
Per and I stripped out the kitchen being careful to save anything we felt may come in handy. It was a lot of fun, but it also revealed a few nasty surprises...

1. Fire risk! 
When we pulled out the cabinet beside the fridge, we discovered a nasty surprise. The cabinet to the left been placed flush against the wall (which houses the fireplace on the other side). No heat had been able to escape and the wall and cabinet were completely charred black. We were lucky the whole joint hadn't burnt to the ground! I was hoping to go for a 60 cm cabinet here, but now we definitely have to go for a 45 cm with a big gap for ventilation! 

Wood floor
Do you remember I was excited to see if there was a beautiful, 1930s wood floor lurking under the 70s laminate? Well the good news is there is a wood floor. The bad news is it's cheap, poor quality and at some point had been painted dark green! So now we're left with two options: sand it down and paint it or replace it with tiles or a wood floor. Since we're trying to keep the costs down I'm thinking the former, but I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

3. The Walls
The wallpaper came off like a dream (so satisfying!) but lurking beneath was another layer of paper which also needed to be stripped away. I can only describe the work akin to peeling 500 potatoes. Our hands and arms are still aching! 

The current state of the kitchen
By the time we left, we were covered in dust and grime but the kitchen has been completely stripped out - hurrah!  

I'm so looking forward to finally implementing the design plans to make this place as pretty as can be. There's a whole bunch of work ahead but I'm starting to think it's going to be worth it!

See all the before pictures, plans and appliance choices here.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please do weigh in below!


*This series is in paid collaboration with Bosch. However, all words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too.

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My Summer Cottage Kitchen Renovation: Choosing the Appliances!

In paid partnership with Bosch:
Thank you so much for all your positive feedback on the summer cottage kitchen renovation plans I shared with you last week. I'm starting to feel so excited now! There's just one thing left to do before we rip everything out: choose the appliances. We knew early on that we'd go for Bosch since we've had their white goods for years and they're a perfect fit with IKEA kitchens - but now I realise that's only the beginning. There are other decisions to make. Like, do I go integrated or visible? And which model? Guh! I paid a visit to Elgiganten here in Malmö a few weeks ago to take a look at the options and I've finally narrowed it down to this: 

To be seen or not to be seen - that's the question! At home our fridge is on display but at the cottage I'm thinking that it's since it's a small space, it would be nice to go for a cleaner finish by hiding it behind the cabinet doors (inspired by the image below). 

After a little deliberation I've gone for this streamlined model which is designed to be hidden behind cabinet fronts. Apart from the fact that it would more than cater for our summer wine and cheese (which is our No.1 priority, of course!) it also has a low energy consumption (A++), saving 25% compared to fridge/freezers with energy class A. Nice! It also features NoFrost technology, so we'll never need to defrost it (our kids seem to be incapable of closing a door so it usually looks like the arctic in our freezer) which leaves more time to enjoy... well, the wine and cheese! 

We have a built-in oven at home (seen below - note: this is an older Bosch model which is no longer sold) and I love that they take up less space than a range cooker and you can fit more storage around them as a result. Vital in a teeny space! 

Since the oven will be on show, the design is important, and to me, this is the sleekest one in the range! Admittedly, I'm unlikely to appear on MasterChef anytime soon, but I do love to make a Sunday roast (you can take a girl out of England....) so, naturally I love that this comes with a built-in meat probe known as 'PerfectRoast'. All you need to do is insert the thermometer and enter the desired temperature. The oven will let you know when your food is ready and turn off the heat! No more overcooked roasts (can you hear my family breathe a sigh of relief?!). I'm also liking the self-cleaning function which turns all the dirt to ashes, so you never need to clean the oven by hand. Amen to that! 
Our current cottage stove has seen better days (understatement!) so anything will be an improvement. But since we only plan on updating our kitchen every 50 years (the last time it was 'done up' was in the 1970s) we might as well go state-of-the-art with an induction cooktop. Plus, induction hobs look so neat and. are really easy to clean - as exhibited in the beautiful Danish kitchen below! 

As soon as I saw this one, I felt super excited! Not only does it have a FlexInduction feature which, I learned, means you can use it like a conventional induction cooktop (4 rings) or combine them to make two large, continuous cooking zones - which is awesome for feeding larger crowds. It also has a 'FryingSensor Plus' which essentially means we can fry our food to perfection (cue no more over cooked and under cooked meatballs in the same serving = very happy kids!). It also has a string of other benefits which you can read about here.  

I love a visible fan as much as the next person but once again, we need the cabinet space (minimalists we are not). So instead, we're going for a hood that's practically invisible when not in use, and once pulled out it has the most amazing capacity to clear out the kitchen fast and it's super quiet (if I still manage to burn something with my new oven and hob - no one will ever need know!). What's not to love?!

There may or may not be a dishwasher lurking behind the beautiful cabinets in Anna Pirkola's Finnish kitchen, but that's just how I like it! So, for this appliance, I'm going all in 'invisible'. 

We were actually tempted to go for a 45cm dishwasher until a friend pointed out that we'd spend our entire time unloading and reloading it (especially as the kids seem to go through 25 glasses an hour in the summer - do you find the same?!). Which brings me to my next point. And no, unfortunately it doesn't put everything back into the cupboards for us, although that would be amazing! But it is super efficient. The VarioSpeed Plus option rinses three times faster. So, if we've got a back-log of glasses (likely), we can reduce the rinse time by up to 66% at the push of a button. Ha! You won't beat us kids! 
So, that's where I'm at. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my choices and please do share your own experiences, I'd love to hear any tips you might have. 

It really does feel like we can actually start tearing out the existing kitchen any day now - woohoooo! Let the fun begin! 


Photography credits: 1. Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home 2. Photography: Osman Tahir, Stylist and Home owner: Catrine Åberg / Cooee Design   3. Bosch Home 4. Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home 5. Bosch Home 6. Our Food Stories 7 & 8 Bosch Home 9. Anna Pirkola 10. Bosch Home

*This series is in paid collaboration with Bosch. However, all words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too.

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My Summer Cottage Kitchen Renovation: Floorplan and Design

In paid partnership with Bosch
Quite a lot has happened in the last three weeks with the summer cottage kitchen renovation. I have spent the last couple of weeks measuring and sketching and now I think I may have arrived at a design direction - hurrah! Thank you so much for all your input - it's been invaluable! As you know, our little cottage is located in a small fishing village on the West coast of Sweden. The sea is a gentle grey-blue and I'm keen for the kitchen to reflect this. I'm therefore thinking about a soft, muted light grey or pale green palette blended with white and warm wood.

I've narrowed my search down to IKEA VEDDINGE cabinets (seen in the picture above) since I like the sleekness  - they feel less fussy for a small space and easy to clean 8as one of you pointed out on Facebook - thank you!).

As with any room that employs light colours and a clean look, I'm aware I'll need to add plenty of warm touches. I'm thinking accents of natural wood (hooks, chopping boards, stool etc), stone and tarnished brass.


I took my scribbled measurements and pictures of our L shaped kitchen along to the IKEA kitchen design centre (you just book online and then rock up at the given time slot) - and lo and behold the designer happened to be an old friend I hung out with when I was on maternity leave (Jess) - who also happens to have great taste! Malmö's a small place and sometimes it totally pays off! This is the floor plan we arrived at:

I would love to do away with the upper cabinets for a really fresh, up-to-date look - but the kitchen is way too small and we have way too much stuff (even after a Marie Kondo style declutter!). Sadly, I'm not sure a lot of open shelving is an option either since we are not at the cottage enough and the items would just collect dust - what do you think? I've left wall space to the right of the sink just in case!
All of the lower cabinets are drawers since they can be fully extended which makes them a more practical option than cupboards.

One of the beauties of selecting an IKEA kitchen is that Bosch appliances are a seamless fit (I am keen to use these in the cottage kitchen as we've always had them at home and I'm a firm believer in opting for reliable, good quality appliances that last). The oven and induction hob will be placed under an integrated fan (I love 'open' fans' but need to capitalise on storage). The dishwasher will be seamlessly hidden behind 'number 6' in the layout and the fridge-freezer will be built-in behind the cabinet door in position 11.

I hope you like these ideas. The plan is only preliminary so please do weigh in if you have any thoughts / advice - I'm all ears!
Even though there's a whole load of work ahead, this renovation is starting to feel real now and I'm getting SO excited. Weeeeee! 


Photography credit for main picture: Mikael Lundblad

*This series is in paid collaboration with Bosch. However, all words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. 

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My Kitchen Renovation: 5 Kitchen Colours I love Right Now

In paid collaboration with Bosch 
Last week I mentioned that we're finally renovating our summer cottage kitchen - woohoo! I'm so excited. Not only is it well overdue (see the before pictures here) - it also means a lot of time drooling over swoon worthy kitchens on Pinterest. I've narrowed it down to five looks I love right now (not all practical, I must say, but a girl can dream, right?!). 

1. Blue / grey tones (above) This kitchen belongs to my friend Tina Lekeberg, who's a bit of a colour guru! I love the muted blue, green and grey tones she's used (the darker cabinets have been painted in NCS 6010-R90B and the lighter ones in Restful Le Havre). I'm also a big fan of the light grey marble worktop and backsplash (I've honestly lived with wood worktops for too long and I'm looking for something a little more practical this time round). I also like how the plants add an immediate sense of harmony! 

2. Sage green: This is definitely one of the big kitchen colours of 2019, and there's something so calming about it! Light green is certainly a strong contender for the cottage kitchen (I'll take a couple of samples up with me next time I go).  Are you a fan too? And just look at those little porcelain wall lights! They're from a local shop here in Malmö - and I've had my eye on them for so long.

3. In the pink: How fabulous is the colour of this Reform kitchen from?! As I said a girl can dream - but in reality, our cottage kitchen hasn't been decorated since the 1970s and probably won't get another facelift for fifty years - unfortunately this means I'm kind of going to have to reign it in a little in terms of colour and go for something a little more timeless, do you agree? Don't even get me started on the fabulous tiles!!

4. Two tone: Will you look at this Norwegian kitchen?! The interior architect has used a deeper blue-green on the lower cabinets and a lighter mint-green/blue on the upper cabinets. I also have my eye on the brass / gold touches (are you a silver or gold person?). Since the summer cottage is quite old, I might try to go ever so slightly more traditional with tarnished gold, we'll see!

5. Soft grey: Which leads me to the final kitchen. These soft grey cabinets and brass knobs in the home of Cille Grut were captured for my second book The Scandinavian Home (I'll never forget the day we spent photographing her beautiful house on the Danish coast). The light wood worktop adds a warm touch to the space so if I were to go down this route, I should definitely think about incorporating wood somewhere to prevent the look from appearing cold. What do you think?

IKEA LERHYTTAN cabinets are similar to the ones in the kitchen above. I think they could be perfect for a small kitchen as they are fairly understated and don't take up too much 'visual space'. Also, Bosch appliances fit seamlessly with these IKEA cabinets (I'm very keen to integrate the dishwasherovenfanfridge etc.) so this could be spot on! Hmmmm. Lots to think about! 

Next step: measuring-up and designing the layout. Oh, and testing those colour samples I mentioned. It suddenly feels like there's so much to do! 

I'm looking forward to updating you with my progress next week. In the meantime, please do weigh in below, I'd love to hear your thoughts! 


Picture credits: 1. Niki Brantmark / Tina Lekeberg 2. Photography Petra Bindell, Styling Emma Persson Lagerberg. 3. Reform 4. Photographer Nicklas Hart, Interior Architect Cecilie Claussen 
5. The Scandinavian Home published by CICO Books. Photography by James Gardiner © CICO Books 

*This series is in paid collaboration with Bosch. However, all words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. 

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My Swedish Summer Cottage Kitchen Renovation (Before)

In paid collaboration with Bosch
I am so excited to introduce a new series today. If you've been following My Scandinavian Home for a while, you'll likely know my family and I have a very small summer cottage on the West coast of Sweden. I've never actually showed pictures of it before because it's in major need of renovation. I mean MAJOR! But all that is going to change! Over the next twelve weeks I'm going to be renovating the kitchen. I know in these pictures it looks surprisingly OK - but trust me, at a closer glance it's not! Firstly, it hasn't been touched since the 1970s - the wallpaper is peeling away in great swathes, the units are all frayed and sometimes the handles have a habit of falling off. Secondly, the current kitchen doesn't use maximum use of space (kind of important in an L-shaped room that measures 8 square metre / 86 square foot) - it could be waaaay more efficient. And finally, none of the appliances work properly (I can't tell you how annoying it is to leave a casserole on the stove for an hour, only to find the hob hasn't been working!) Oh and did I mention there is a family of mice lurking somewhere behind one of those cupboards? I think you get the idea!

The plan
My goal is to transform the space into a fresh, practical, well functioning, beautiful kitchen (big plans, huh?!) in time for the family to descend on the cottage at midsummer. It's also important to ensure the look fits with the rest of the cottage (the house was built in the1930s by my husband's Grandfather and holds lots of fond memories!).

The Partner
One of the reasons our summer cottage has been somewhat neglected over the years is that we're only there a few weeks a year and share it with other members of the family, so money is always invested elsewhere. Back in our kitchen in Malmö we've had Bosch appliances for over 12 years (oven, hob, fan, microwave, fridge freezer, dishwasher.... you name it) and we've always been so happy with them, it therefore felt like a natural step to partner with Bosch for this project and install Bosch appliances in our summer cottage kitchen too. Since we are keen to keep the costs down, it helps that Bosch appliances are a seamless fit with IKEA kitchens too!

Grand plans indeed. I'm feeling very excited and at the same time just a teeny bit daunted!

Over the next twelve weeks I'll be sharing my renovation here on the blog (as well as over on Instagram) including my inspiration, plans, the design, expected surprises (of which I'm sure there'll be plenty!) and of course, with any luck - the final reveal! Please do weigh in - I so welcome your tips, advice and opinion on decisions along the way! And if you're planning a kitchen renovation of your own, I hope you'll find the series helpful.

Time to hit the grindstone!


*This series is in paid collaboration with Bosch. However, all words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. 

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