A Dreamy White Vintage-filled Cottage in California

I am often asked how I find homes for this blog. The answer is hours and hours of scrolling instagram, Pinterest, and interior magazines. But sometimes, I home just lands in my lap - and I was very excited when this beautiful cottage appeared in my inbox this weekend! 

The cottage is located in central Vacaville, California - a short drive to the Napa Valley and with the Sierra Mountains less than 2 hours away. It belongs to Colette Miller and her husband who have been busy renovating it to restore it to its former glory and add her own 'California Casual' vibe to the space. 

If you love light and airy homes, white wood panelling and plenty of lovely vintage finds, today's tour is for you! Oh, and it also features a romantic rustic sunroom and even a shed! Read on to hear more about this dreamy property in Colette's own words - and a load of beautiful pictures captured by Lynda Kennedy

"We downsized to this little cottage on a tree lined street 10 years ago. It is 1200 sq. ft (111 sq.m) with a detached garage and shed."

"The kitchen is on the to-do list, but I'm OK waiting. I call it the 'unfitted look'- I think when I do remodel it there won't be any drastic changes... maybe a Smeg fridge though!" 

"The previous owners had remodelled and took out the vintage wood paned windows and the wood floors were covered with wall-to-wall carpeting. All of the windows and had been replaced as well, so we found vintage windows and doors that we thought the home was probably outfitted with when it was built in the early 1940s." 

"We raised the ceiling in the living room and added two skylights to really let all the light in and it immediately felt so much more spacious." 

"We replaced the pot belly stove for a 60's Malm stove for the vibe we were going for."

"If someone were to ask my "vibe" I wouldn't really know how to answer. I don't really fit in one box, but if I had to put a name, I'd like to think it's 'California Casual". 

The back porch was open when we moved in. I knew the moment I saw it that it needed to be a sunroom. I had 6 old windows that we used to partially enclose and its my favourite space just off our master bedroom for morning coffee! 

"I love our little shed in the backyard too. It's been a gardening shed, an art shed, a sit-in shed when rain is pitter-pattering on the tin roof. And now that I have grandkids, I have made it into a playhouse for them to play in."

What a dream!

It feels like this property has fallen into exactly the right hands! I love that old windows and doors have been refitted - and also that a sunroom has been made from vintage finds, I'd be so happy sitting there, sipping coffee while the rain patters on the windows, how about you? 

You can see more pictures of Colette's pretty cottage and follow her latest home updates over at @colettemiller

Is there anything that stood out to you about Colette's home? If so, please do share in the comments below, I love to hear your thoughts, observations and reflections! 

The interior reminded me a little of Leanne Ford's woodsy cabin and also some of the properties by Australian Lynda Gardner (especially her Daylesford property) - two interior designers I admire. And I think the sun room holds similarities to romantic Camellas Lloret - somewhere I've always wanted to stay! 

I am busy packing as I am heading off to Norway tomorrow for a week. I'll be heading to Bodø and then the Lofoten islands for a travel piece for Simply Scandi magazine, and I am SO excited! If you'd like a virtual trip, do follow along on my instagram!

Have a wonderful start to the week! 


PS Don't forget to make the most of the 20% discount at Skandinavisk with code myscandinavianhome20 - I love their FJORD fragrance, they've managed to captured the scent of the Norwegian fjords beautifully! 

Credits: interior design - Colette Miller, photography - Lynda Kennedy, shared with kind permission. 

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Gen's Playful Swedish Summer Cottage

Only three weeks to go until midsummer and Swedes are counting down the days until they lock up their city homes and head out to the country to relax! My dear friend Genevieve Jorn will be spending her last summer with her family at her summer cottage in Almåsa, just outside Malmö - as they have decided to put it on the market

An interior designer and creative director at Farniente Beach Club, Gen has added her signature style with pops of colour and pattern throughout the little 40 metres square (430 foot square) cottage - giving the space a fun and playful touch, while the predominance of white, natural materials and wood panelling ensures it remains somewhere you can come to relax and kick back for the weekend or entire summer.

Let's take a little look around! 

What a lovely getaway! And so near Malmö too. 

It must be with a very heavy heart that Gen has decided to sell up - but I am looking forward to seeing what she does next. 

Find out more about this summer cabin here. 

Did the playful touches and use of colour resonate with you? 

Up for more inspiration today check out the entire summer cottage archive, other popular archives include before and after renovations, vintage inspired homes and small spaces

Happy Lillördag (little saturday)! 


PS (AD) I am so happy to see so many of you have made the most of the 20% off voucher in yesterday's post, I hope you enjoy the Skandinavisk fragrances as much as I do! 

Photography courtesy of Eric Olsson with thanks 

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Our Summer Cabin - and a new Collection from Skandinavisk!

Sponsored by Skandinavisk - I only work with brands I love, thank you for supporting the small business that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

Hej kompisar! Do you have a place which is close to your heart? Somewhere special where you feel instantly happy and relaxed? The Swedes refer to this as your 'smultronställe' meaning 'wild strawberry patch'. It might be a secret picnic spot you've been visiting since your childhood, a beach you love, or even a corner of your garden. 

Mine is our summer cottage. When we arrive in the small fishing village in Northwest Skåne, Sweden all my worries fall away and I flit about with my family, barefoot and fancy free! It's a laid back place where the forest and sea meet and the scent of the salt spray and sea kelp from the Kattegat Sea blends with the scent of beach rose and hawthorn from the shore. 

I know many of you live far away from Scandinavia, but if you're ever intrigued about the subtle scents of the landscape - Skandinavisk have captured them in their new, locally made, organic hand, hair and body care collection - quite incredible! The collection includes an absolutely divine shampoo and conditioner, wash, lotion and hand cream, as well as other items and comes in fragrances HAV (distant shores) - my favourite!), SKOG (calm of the boreal forest), FJORD (carved from glaciers), and ØY (island solitude). 

Now that the warmer weather has arrived in Sweden, we spend as much time at our little cabin as possible. Here are some snapshots from a recent visit - as well as our newly stocked little cabin bathroom! Välkommen! 

Per is great at swimming in the sea all year round, but I am what Swedes like to refer to as a badkruka (swimming pot) - i.e. someone who is a little afraid of getting in very cold water! So, before the water temperatures rise, I prefer to shower back in the cabin. 

Although little, our bathroom is wonderfully cool and refreshing - in part thanks to the stone floor and shelf (made from the same tiles) - but also because the door opens to the garden, so you feel like you're showering alfresco. 

I try to stock our cabin bathroom with the most beautiful products so that we can feel really pampered when we're here (seen above: the HAV (distant shores) hand cream). 

The cool waters of the Kattegat Sea are so refreshing - and a perfect place to collect 'tång' seaweed. When I first moved here, I learned that you can use it as a body scrub and it leaves your skin silky smooth, so sometimes I collect a small sample to take back to the cabin.  Have you tried this? 
The HAV (distant shores) fragrance from the new hand, hair and body care collection from Skandinavisk beautifully captures the scent of the rugged Scandinavian coastline and includes a 500 ml wash and lotion - with packaging made from 98-100% recycled PE plastic, 200 ml wash and lotion both in glass bottles, shampoo and conditioner, a 200ml and 200ml lotion and hand cream. The fragrance is also available in a scent diffuser and a scented candle (both with refill options). 

I love that the new collection is made from locally sourced active ingredients (which are combined with existing certified organic ingredients) - including Swedish rapeseed oil (the fields are in bloom now and so beautiful!), known for its proven soothing skin protection properties, beta glucan extract from Swedish oat fibre to soothe, care for and moisturise the skin and scalp in washes and shampoos. And Nordic beets is blended into conditioners to reduce friction and help the hair shine. Nature at its finest! 
I have to say, Per is not big on body care items - but he does wax lyrical about the SKOG (calm of the boreal forest) wash (seen above - now available in a 200 ml glass bottle with refill option). He's been coming to the cottage since he was little and spent summer's roaming the forest with his brother, which is maybe why I think it resonates with him so much! 

Today, we love to go walking in the forest on a hot day as the canopy provides so much shade. It also shelters you from the wind on a cold day, and a perfect place to collect decorations at Christmas time - and whatever time you visit, you can always here the babble from the stream and the hushed sounds of woodland creatures going about their business. This time round we could hear a woodpecker hard at work, and one of our neighbours tells us they recently spotted an Elk - although we've yet to see him! 

If you're curious about the SKOG scent, Skandinavisk has captured it in the SKOG hand, hair and body care collection with subtle notes of pine needles, woodland lily, birch sap, and fir cones - all of which bring the calm of the Scandinavian boreal forest alive. Although sadly, the sound of a woodpecker and the light footstep of a deer is harder to capture! 

I hope you enjoyed these snapshots from our little cabin by the sea and forest - and hearing about the new collection from Skandinavisk. 

The small team in Copenhagen are so lovely and have made a discount code just for you guys here on the blog in case you'd like to treat yourself or a friend! Use the code myscandinavianhome20 to get 20% off all individual products from Skandinavisk before 31st August 2024. I'd love to hear which scent from Scandinavia you like the sound of the most! Or perhaps you already have a favourite? 

FYI the new collection is available in Europe and USA, with other items from their assortment available in retailers in 40 countries and also online here

If you're curious about anything in my bathroom like the tiles, paint, taps etc, check out this post for the complete lowdown! 

Have a great start to the week friends! 


All photographs and words by me.  

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A Charming, Traditional Red and White Swedish Summer Cottage

If you ever visit the Swedish countryside in summertime, the chances are, you'll stay in a red and white cottage just like this, tucked away in the forest by a lake or the sea. 

In fact, from the outside, it looks very much like the summer cottage I stayed in on my first ever visit to Sweden at the tender age of seven - and the memories of those magical few weeks came flooding back to me when I took this tour! 

What lies behind the facade of these cottages varies greatly. Some have given their cottages a modern update with a fresh lick of white paint and no doubt plenty of patterned wallpaper, others - like the owners of this one have chosen to leave it just as how it has always been over the years.  But there is one thing that all Swedes agree on: the essence of a summer cottage is to lead a relaxed, back to basics life, with work and other stresses and strains left at the door. 

Ready to step back in time and appreciate a cosy retreat where the beauty lies in the imperfection? 

Walking through the door is like stepping back in time. You'd be hard pressed to find anything new in this lovely little cottage - except for maybe the appliances. 

Vintage and antique trays, tins and cooking accessories have been passed down through the generations or collected at 'loppis' (flea markets).  

You'll find wonderful old wood fired ovens like this one in quite a few cottages. Although many choose to install a new oven, they can still be used for boiling water for tea etc.

Old tin mugs, bowls and plates make up the majority of dinnerware. It's ideal as it can be used at the cottage, but also outdoors too - especially if you go for a hike or picnic. Falconware do similar! 

Most of the rooms in the cottage have an old, tiled oven to keep the space warm. They are very effective and can keep a space heated for hours on end. 

Traditional rag rugs, made on a loom using, you've guessed it: old disused cloth are incredibly popular in Swedish country homes. 

So cosy and pretty, but above all else, authentic, personal and relaxed.

Could you imagine owning a little cottage like this? 

I understand that these back to basic cottages are not for everyone. One of my British friends is married to a swede who has a very simple cottage in her family. You have to take your own boat out to the island, along with all your own water and the cottage has no running water and has an outdoor loo. He is less than keen to go and it makes me laugh so much when he recounts his weekends there. 

So, friends there you have it. I hope this week has been a suitably mixed variation of properties for you to feel inspired by - including a Stockholm apartment with a small space hack, Mary's cosy family home in Germany and now this historical home in the Swedish forest! 

Have a magical weekend, see you Monday! 


Photography: Historiska Hem

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