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Sunny July has landed, and brought with it the official holiday month of Scandinavia. Out of offices are on, the shoes are off - and our Nordic friends are preparing to relax and soak up the sunshine! This charming and laid back Danish 'Kolonihave' (allotment cottage) gives a wonderful glimpse into the chilled vibe of the Scandi summer. 

If you've been following My Scandinavian Home for a while and / or read The Scandinavian Home, you'll have noticed a distinct difference between the way Scandinavians decorate their city spaces and summer cottages. The former tend to be a more contemporary affair with clean lines and a blend of new Nordic pieces and vintage / finds. The latter on the other hand are distinctly more relaxed and lower key. 

Why is that? Summer cottage life is all about flitting between the indoors and outdoors - from the sandy shores of the sea or lake to the dewy grass in the garden and into the kitchen for a refreshing glass of elderflower squash. You might decide to plonk yourself on the sofa and curl up with a book or laze in a hammock. There might be a knock at the door and an army of children from the neighbourhood charge in. Or friends might drop by for a fika. It's simply about relaxing your way. 

And if you're worried about your interior, the hygge vibe will quickly evaporate along with the squash! This is why cottages tend to be kitted out with simple yet lovely, relaxed pieces that only get better with age! 

When Susanne Storm first bought the allotment garden house in Rødovre, Denmark fourteen years ago it was in a terrible condition - so much so that she was actually 50th on the waiting list but still got the offer to buy it! Most would have torn it down and started again, but Susanne saw its potential and after several years of renovating using second hand materials, the family love to spend their weekends and holidays in the 60 m2 (645 f2) cottage. 

The house dictated the decor, and many of the items you see are either from Susann'es grandmother's house or found at flea markets - set against a calm white backdrop. 

An outdoor shower and toilet was one of the things that Susanne added to make the cottage more comfortable to live in. 


A perfect oasis from where Susanne and her family can relax all summer long! 

Glimpse inside other Danish 'kolonihave' including: 


Have a lovely, relaxing start to the week! See you Wednesday! 

Niki

Photography: Lasse Wind, shared with kind permission. 

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A Light and Airy Danish Summer Cottage Oasis

Swedes are still recovering from a magical Midsummer weekend of sunshine, floral crowns and revelry! I had an apartment lined up to show you today, but since the mercury is set to hit 30 c (86 f) in Scandinavia today, I thought a summer cottage by the sea might be more apt! This classic black and white cabin in Tisvilde on Denmark's North Zealand coast, is owned by interior stylist and furniture manufacturer Ophilia Thalund. Ophilia has created an airy, light filled interior in soft shades of white, blue, grey and brown. The sparsely decorated space features items collected over time including flea market finds as well as pieces collected on travels - resulting in a personal oasis in which to relax on balmy summer days!

A classic 'trasmatta' rag rug* - a mat made from scraps of clothing and other leftover textiles - helps to protect the floor in the kitchen. 

In Scandinavian cabins, natural materials and simplicity rules the day! 

A simple white butterfly chair can be easily transported outside when the sun shines! 

A wood bench doubles up as a side table for coffee table books and an antique bottle has been repurposed into a cool lamp! 

Ophilia often sits at this antique desk when she's working up at the cabin. 

This rustic wood stool* is similar. 

Wood panel walls and soft grey-blue shades help to connect the cabin to its coastal location. 

Lovely! I can imagine on a day like today all the windows and doors are thrown open and everyone is flitting between the sea and the garden - occasionally popping inside to collect a drink or slice of watermelon. Just like us! 

Take a look at more dreamy Scandinavian summer cottages today. 

Speaking of summer - the school holidays are in full swing and I will be dialling down to my summer blogging schedule (posting on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays) in order to spend time with my girls - and try to keep the chaos at home at bay (cue: a trail of destruction including coils of wet towels, a rapidly diminishing pantry and a crazy number of glasses in use at any one moment - does anyone else recognise this?). Even so,  it's my absolute favourite time of the year! I hope you are able to take a little downtime and relax too. 

If you're thinking about visiting Stockholm this summer - why not stay in the beautiful archipelagos so you can combine the sea and calm surroundings with the city? Here's a 20% code off for you if you stay at hotel Vår Gårds Saltsjöbaden for three nights or more between 1st - 31st July 2022: NIKISUMMER. I loved it so much last winter I'm taking my whole family there this July! 

See you Wednesday! 

Niki

Photography: Birgitta Wolfgang Bjørnvad / The Sisters Agency shared with kind permission. 

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18 Ideas to Create a Swedish Summer Oasis - From Basic to Blowout!

The Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea is a true summer paradise. It's a place where wild flowers sway in the wind, and the pin sharp light catches the rocks on the rugged coastline and glistens on the blue of the Baltic Sea. 

Swedes flock there in July and August to relax and catch up with family and old friends while soaking up the long hours of daylight.  

There are many beautiful houses dotted around the island - some basic, some luxurious and everything in between! Today I stumbled across this contemporary oasis on the North east of the island which is currently for sale (I know!) - and I couldn't resist sharing it with you.

Why? Firstly, it had me dreaming of wiling a way a summer here with family and friends. Secondly, more importantly, because although we might not all have the space / budget for everything this wonderful house to offer - there are lots of ideas to steal - both big and small to channel that wonderful Swedish summer house vibe! 

Ready to take a look? 

1. A covered outdoor dining and barbecue area: Summer is all about spending as much time outside as possible and making the most of the abundance of daylight hours. An outdoor  dining / BBQ area is essential. The trouble is, the Swedish weather gods aren't always on our side so a pergola, with fabric to draw across on rainy days is ideal!

2. Solar powered lanterns: who needs to be faffing around with turning on and off outdoor lighting when the sun can do the job for you?  IKEA sells solar lamps like these. They look beautiful hung in the trees at dusk (as seen in yesterday's home tour). 

3. Outdoor kitchen: If you can't take the heat, create an outdoor kitchen (if you only have a small outdoor space or balcony, mini versions are possible with some creativity!). A perfect way to prolong your time outdoors and save from shuttling everything to and fro on trays! 

See more outdoor kitchen inspiration here and here

4. The double sun lounger: there's something luxurious about a double lounger, don't you think? Pick one that can lay flat or prop up so you can enjoy a book or a siesta at whim! 

Note, bamboo is not very weather resistance so best kept under a covered terrace. 

5. Permanent Cover: let's just say the weather in Northern Europe doesn't always do what we want it to do. A covered terrace is ideal for ensuring you can still enjoy the great outdoors on rainy days - and it's perfect for shade on warmer days. 

6. A sauna: On chillier summer days, a sauna is a perfect way to relax and feel some much needed warmth. But on winter days it' really comes into its own. And the health benefits are numerous!

7. An outdoor shower: why wash off in a steamy bathroom, when you can lather under an open sky? 

8. A swing: There's no better way to bring out the child in you like a swing. In my mind I'm already sitting on it overlooking the pool with a drink in hand, how about you? 

9. A comfy outdoor social area: a perfect spot for relaxing with friends and enjoying a fika (the swedish ritual of enjoying a coffee and cake) - or better still, a pre-dinner aperitif! 

10. Somewhere to take a dip: this house has a wonderful pool - and I can totally see myself drifting around on a lilo - I mean, how lovely! But if like me, you don't have the space / budget, how about a small plunge pool or wilderness bath / hot tub? Or a nice cool dip in a nearby sea / lake / stream is also a wonderful way to cool off! 

11. Sports: table tennis, badminton, darts, Kubb (a classic Swedish garden game), croquet... it doesn't really matter which you decide on, it's just fun to have some social activities to enjoy in the sunshine!

12. A relaxed indoor kitchen: At the Swedish summer house it's all about keeping life as simple as possible and the indoor kitchen should reflect this. Simple open shelves allow for a relaxed, 'grab and go' feel and natural materials like wood and stone help to bring the outdoors in. 

13. Let there be light! The Scandinavian winters are dark, so when the light returns it's important to embrace it. Glass doors help light to flow through to rooms further away from the window. A simple curtain can be pulled across for privacy. 

14. Hooks and more hooks: there's no simpler way to store your summer clothes than a rail of hooks. Besides, all you'll be needing (with any luck) is a robe, bikini, kimono and sunhat! Oh, alright then, maybe a cardi / jumper for the evenings. And a raincoat.... but let's not get bogged down in the details! 

15. A simple dressing room area: a mirror, hooks and chest-of-drawers = a basic walk-in-wardrobe, Swedish style! 

16. A space to work: A quiet place by the window will help you to feel connected with the great outdoors and keep that holiday feel alive while you work! 

17. A simple outhouse for guests: when it comes to the Swedish summerhouse, it's about accommodating as many people as possible - whether that's extended family or friends passing through for the night. I for one, would be perfectly happy to wake up in this little poolside cabana! But I've also seen garden sheds transformed into wonderful little guest houses (size permitting of course!). 

18. Bring your own bedding: In Sweden, it's customary for guests to bring their own sheets, duvet covers, and pillowcases and you provide the bed, pillow and duvet. Which means less work for everyone, and more time catching up! 

So many ideas - I for one would love a table tennis to have outside at our little cabin this summer - so fun! I might just have my eye on a double sun lounger too.

Is there anything that stood out to you?  

For more ideas on how to spice up your outdoor space, Scandi style, see: 


Kram! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Bertwig with thanks 




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This Light-Filled Danish Summer Cottage is Available to Rent This Summer!

Looking for a Scandinavian adventure? This summer house on the Danish coast of North Zealand is waiting for its next guests, and looking at the pictures, I'd like that to be you or I! Described as a 'undisturbed sanctuary close to the waters edge' it's everything a Scandinavian summer house should be. Simply, yet practically furnished, it's full of light, natural materials and has a wonderful seamlessness between the indoors and outdoors. Ready to dream of summer days on the Danish coast? 


Could you imagine spending your summer here? I'm picturing a glass of wine on the terrace on a lovely, sunny day! 

See more pictures - and find out more about booking this cabin as a holiday rental over at Landfolk

The way the doors open up to the outside remind me so much of our little cabin. I'm so hoping to stay there this weekend and finish the kitchen - I hope I can share some pictures with you soon. 

In the meantime, I can't resist sharing a few more danish summer home inspiration (you know me!). Check these out: 


Ha en dejlig dag! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Landfolk, shared with kind permission. 

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This Little Swedish Allotment Cottage is a True Summer Oasis!

It's that time of year in Scandinavia when everyone is falling over themselves to enjoy the long-awaited warmer weather (we're talking 16 C/ 60 F today - we'll take it!). While some will be looking forward to hanging out in their garden or local parks this bank holiday, there are others who will be cycling across town to their 'kolonistuga'. Nestled on koloniområdes or 'allotments', these, small and often simply-decorated cabins offer a perfect opportunity to grow your own veg and relax in a green oasis without heading out of town. In spring the water and electricity are turned on for the season and the allotment communities spring to life! This beautiful allotment cottage in Slottsskogskolonien, Gothenburg is a perfect example. Located on a plot far from the road, the 27 m2 / 290 f2 cottage offers all the silence and stillness of the countryside as well as comfy beds for an afternoon siesta or overnight stay - a true oasis! 

The exterior gives the impression that the cottage is rooted in the past, so I was somewhat taken back when I saw the interior pictures! On closer examination though, the cottage was actually built in 2020 and the older appearance lends itself to upcycled windows and doors - a wonderful nod to the previous property on the plot. 

The owners have added modern comforts and contemporary touches such as marble countertops in the kitchen and a wood burning stove by the sofa. However, to use the loo and shower you'd need to navigate the short distance to the communal bathroom nearby. 

I love how the wood floor has been painted different colours which help to carve out zones within the open-plan space. The storage is also really clever - doubling up as room dividers. 

When not in use, the ladder hooks to one side (we've emulated this in our own little cabin, it's important as they take up way more space than you think). 

It might be small, but the clever design allows space for four berths in twin beds and a sleep loft. I've had first-hand experience of sleep lofts recently thanks to the one we have built at our cabin. I also love the bed in the beams above the kitchen in this little cottage! When floorspace is tight, it makes sense to make the most of the height of the room. 

During the day, the twin beds double up as seating to form an indoor dining area. 

Naturally, the most important feature for an allotment cottage is the garden. This charming place benefits from a mature garden with plum, apple, and pear trees as well as favourites such as roses, tulips and daffodils and the more unusual Japanese snowball, Amer maple and flowering dogwood plants.  


So idyllic! 

Fancy one of these allotment cottages? I've got good news; this lovely abode is for sale. And if you happen to be in Gothenburg this Sunday or Monday, you can pop along to the open viewing! Maybe you'll be the lucky one to snap it up! 

Who needs a country estate when you can have a green oasis right there in the city centre?

See other little allotment cottages here: 


Do you have something similar to this in your country? I'd love to hear about it if so! 

It's a bank holiday here tomorrow so I'm planning on spending some downtime with Per and the girls - hopefully up at our little cabin but we'll see! I hope you have a lovely, relaxing few days. 

Vi ses på Måndag (see you on Monday!). 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Svensk Fastighetsförmedling, found via Nordroom with thanks. 

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