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An Magical Rustic Family Farmhouse In Rural Finland

I hope you're having a great week! The warm weather has finally arrived in Southern Sweden so we've spending lots of time down outdoors making the most of it! The leaves have burst into life, and a drive through North Skåne countryside yesterday reminded me so much of a trip I once made to Finland. Have you ever been? I remember feeling mesmerised by the rolling hills, the wildflowers and my first sighting of a moose grazing in a meadow. It was magical! I wish I'd known about this rural home owned by Hanna and her husband Tomas and their children Frans, Hilda and Eedvin at the time of the trip, it would have been perfect for my Relaxed Rustic book (formerly known as 'Modern Pastoral').  Located in Western Finland, the rustic farmhouse is filled with beautiful vintage and antique finds against a backdrop of 17th century architecture and romantic wallpaper. When the family aren't tending to their sheep and chickens, the children are tearing through the rooms on a trike - just as Tomas' family have done for generations. In the words of the Finns: tervetuloa sisään

How magical! 

I love the Scandi rustic country style, do you? 

I think I'm secretly a country girl at heart! 

Hanna shares daily snapshots of life in the Finnish countryside over on her lovely instagram feed @punainen.pihlaja - well worth a follow if you're looking for some dreamy inspiration! 

Other Finnish homes to love today: 


Have a lovely day! 

Niki

Photography: Hanna / @punainen.pihlaja - shared with kind permission

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Hanna's Swedish Log Cabin in the Woods of Georgia


You can take a girl out of Scandinavia, but you can't take Scandinavia out of the girl. And this is certainly the case for Hanna Söderström - originally from the Far North of Sweden, just three hours from the Arctic Circle, and now living near Atlanta, Georgia. Hanna and her Swedish husband found their wonderful country home by studying Google Earth. Since acquiring the keys, they've carried out extensive work - transforming it from a dated 80's look to a Scandinavian oasis in the heart of the woods. I caught up with Hanna to chat Scandinavian design, texture, DIY and the roll nature plays in her home.   

How did you end up in Georgia?
I moved to Georgia in 1999 to play soccer as an exchange student while I studied business at Uppsala. I ended up getting an internship for Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia and thereafter worked in marketing for a Swedish company here in Atlanta. Later, I met my husband who is also Swedish. His family moved here when he was three. 

How did you find this beautiful property? It's so special! 
We were looking for the greenest spot on Google Earth within 45 minutes of Atlanta, that would never be developed on. We bought this house in 2010, a traditional log cabin that backs on to lake Allatoona and miles of hiking trails. 

It sounds like you found a magical spot - and true to your Swedish heritage - close to nature! I am guessing the cabin didn't look like this when you moved in? 
We have slowly updated the cabin into a rustic modern Scandinavian style living space, while still keeping the elements that make it unique: the stove, log walls, beams and front porch. In 2019 we added another 2000 square feet to the home, including the kitchen, back porch, master suite, finished basement and garage. 

You described the look as Scandinavian modern rustic; can you tell us more about this style and how you achieved it?
Cosy Scandinavian to me, is lighter wood tones and real, natural materials like stone, linen or cotton fabrics, wool and metals. I have applied matt earthy colours and textured walls and collected authentic farmhouse antiques that have a patina, which add to the cosy, relaxed feel. When we first moved in everything was orange and felt very 80s. I painted the ceiling and whitewashed the log walls and we installed lighter oak floors finished with a matt sealer. 

For a more modern Scandinavian feel, I like to contrast all the vintage and antique pieces with modern light fixtures and surprising decor elements. I have a real weakness for designer lights! For me, antiques and vintage need contrasting elements in order to stand out even more. 

You have some beautiful pieces in your home, including the antique Swedish chair that opens up into a table (see above - genius!). Where do you find furniture for your home?
Most of our furniture is inherited or vintage. We brought a sea freight container over from Sweden with all our belongings and furniture. Really, the only things that are new in our home are the textiles, upholstery, lights and some of the art. 


I love all the DIY ideas and hacks you share on your instagram (like the bed - see below). I have always been impressed by how good Scandinavians are at DIY. Would you stay this is part of your heritage? 

It's definitely part of my heritage. I grew up in the far North of Sweden, just three hours from the Arctic circle. There, you're kind of forced to know how to do things yourself, and if you don't know how to do things, you ask your neighbour! That's kinda my mentality. Also, my dad is a skilled carpenter and works with restoring properties. My mum was great at sewing and knitting. 

I love woodwork, painting, sewing and took classes in upholstery. But most of all, I like to learn while doing. I'm not an expert in any area but not afraid to try. That's what's fun and exciting. I like to encourage others (especially women) to try DIY. Usually, it's not as hard as it seems - and that's kind of my motto! 

Before

After
Hanna painted the bed in Annie Sloan French Linen, which works perfectly with the Dry Ground lime wash walls. 
 
I love that your home is so close to nature, and love how you've drawn the surroundings in, was this intentional? 
I feel brining nature inside is inherently Scandinavian. Branches, foraged flowers, pine contes, stones etc. I don't do much seasonal decor, instead we live with the season and let nature decide the accents. It's also important to us to make our food from scratch and pick and preserve mushrooms and berries. 


Hanna and her husband added antique doors throughout out the cabin. The ceiling lights in the bedroom are from American contemporary lighting manufacturer RBW. 


You've created a true Scandinavian oasis! A house like this is really 'finished' but more a process that constantly evolves over time. What's next? 
This has been my dream ever since we moved, and all the details have been played out in my head daily for years. Having this much space is a dream come true and I feel so lucky to have pursued my passion of transforming spaces here - and also for others. There are several areas of our home that still need to be renovated. We have a long journey ahead! 


Beautiful - and so inspiring!

I can't wait for the 'loppis' (flea markets) to re-open. In the meantime, seeing that bed has inspired me to scroll online for vintage and antique pieces that might not be the right tone, but have a beautiful shape. More often than not, you can personalise them to be exactly as you wish! 

Oh, and how amazing is the master suite!

Is there anything that stands out to you?

Take a look at Hanna's instagram @homeathand to follow her latest projects - or contact her directly to find out more about her interior design services. 

If you'd like to see some other inspiration over the weekend - why not take a scroll through the country homes archive - there are some really dreamy Scandinavian homes in there (plus some from further afield too!). 

I hope you've felt inspired by the posts this week on the blog! 

Hands up who's ready for the weekend (both hands shoot up). I've been eying up a book and my new chair for several days now!

Wishing you all a great couple of days, see you Monday!

Niki

Photography: Hanna Söderström @homeathand

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Rustic Simplicity in Beautiful Neutral Tones

Are you a fan of rustic? If so, you might just love the rustic simplicity of this living space. It's been beautifully styled for a Zara home photo shoot, and the images were just too beautiful not to share! Think subtle nuances of cream, beige and light brown with texture oozing from the surfaces of stone, rattan, linen and wood. Perfect inspiration for anyone looking to add softness to their home, without a load of 'stuff'! 

This reminds me a little of my own sitting room - I love the brown tones and tactile linen fabrics. 


A friend gave me a wooden bowl like this for my birthday a few years ago and it's been a favourite ever since. They're soooo versatile. I use mine for serving food (salads etc) but also for decorative purposes - they look pretty filled with fir cones, shells and other items!

Love the two-toned hem on these curtains - there's something really cool about them in the light. 


So serene! Just what I needed for a little mid-week calm, how about you? 

How I'd love to swipe my hand across the bedding in the final picture... I bet it's so soft! I have to say, my desire to touch things is what get's me in trouble in museums! Tell me you also get an uncontrollable desire to touch and feel things from time to time. I think that's why I also prefer to shop in store than online (I'm so old school!).  

There's a load more rustic inspiration here: 

A magical farmhouse on a hill (captured for my second book - I'll never ever forget the day I spent there!).

And in the rustic archive

Wishing you a great Wednesday! 

Niki

Photos courtesy of Zara Home

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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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