The Full Tour of Our Tiny Cabin in Sweden!

As the year is slowly coming to a close, I've been looking back at the last twelve months and some of my projects. The one I am most proud of and that gives my family and I an unbelievable amount of joy is our tiny cabin. I absolutely love it. It may only be 30m2 (322 f2), but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in soul! It's hard to imagine that this time last year it was a patch of grass! Here's the complete low down. 

Design

We had a clear vision of how we wanted the cabin to look both inside and out. We turned to talented local architect Anela Tahirovic to help us realise this. Anela was such a joy to work with and sketched a design which perfectly matched our minds eye! 

Inside, we wanted a space where we could be together as a family. We realised that having a separate master bedroom would eat into the main living space, so instead we decided to create an open-plan space with a lower bedroom and upper sleep loft. We also wanted a well-functioning kitchen and bathroom so that it would work as an independent living space. 


The tour!

The exterior of the cabin is clad in different widths of pine which have been treated with 'järnvitriol' (iron sulphate) to give the wood a long-lasting grey-brown weathered appearance. 

The glass doors and windows are from Danish brand Velfac. All the glass doors open up to create a seamlessness between the indoors and outdoors in summertime. In winter it's the perfect space for a little 'light therapy'! 

While we love having so much glass, the downside is that it can heat up incredibly quickly come on a hot summers day. To counter this we had to install a heater / air conditioner (from Electrolux). This wasn't in the original plan, but it's actually turned out to be great as we can maintain 10 degrees Celsius heat in winter to stop the pipes from freezing - and quickly cool the space down on very hot days (few and far between but necessary, especially in the upper sleep loft!). 

We also added bespoke blinds to reflect the sun and heat - and also of course, to block out the light at night. 

Meanwhile, in the kitchen... our Veddinge kitchen cabinets are from IKEA and we added bespoke wooden oak shelves, made from panels bought in a local hardware store. We had the cabinets spray painted in Blek Sand (NCS S2005-Y20R) by Swiss Metod prior to installation. The worktop is a simple laminate one from Hornbach. We installed Helix knobs in antique brass from Beslag Online and a tap from Cristina Rubinetterie.

The kitchen also contains a fridge, small freezer, sink, recycling unit and a portable plug-in stove (all from IKEA). See the complete design plans, more pictures and all the details here.  

The wooden slats and ladder were handmade by a local carpenter. The ladder is detachable and moveable so it can be used for accessing the sleep loft but also to reach items higher up in the kitchen. 

The wood floor and panelling are both from Norrlands Trä (read more about our selection here). 

The extendable table is by Skovby (see it extended here) and the chairs are from Carl Hansen & Søn (these were only on loan for a photoshoot sadly, aren't they lovely?!) but I can also recommend Skovby chairs and stackable Vega chairs for a table like this. 

One of the most essential features for us right form the start was a woodburning stove. We got ours from Swedish brand Contura (see more pictures and details here). There's nothing quite like waking up to a roaring fire on a cold winters day! It gives off an immense amount of heat so we haven't had to turn on the electric heating once this winter (bar the 10 degrees)! 

In the tiny sitting room area we have a Plico Chair (possibly my most treasured item of furniture, I love it!). 

We also went for a Folk sofa bed by Karup. It's ideal for extra guests, but also a cosy place to sleep by the fire come winter! 

We've had the rug for years, it's called 'Beni' from Barfuss Teppiche.

Our bed nook is just over 160 cm wide which provides a snug space for a double bed. We decided to have a built in bed with long drawers on wheels underneath for storage. Today we keep everything from our clothes and bed linen to towels, table cloths and games in the drawers. They are a godsend!  

The mistake we made was using a platform rather than slats. Mattresses need to be able to breathe, otherwise they can get damp and mouldy underneath. We try to air the mattress as much as possible to counter this, but at some point we'll need to drill holes in the platform. 

The sleep loft (which I've realised I've yet to photograph) has space for either three single mattresses or one double. The cabin is 4 metres high, which means there is still quite a lot of head room up there. The girls find it very cosy! 

The bathroom is kitted out with a sink, cabinet, mirror and loo from GSI ceramica and taps from Cristina Rubinetterie. The Tumbled Turtle floor tiles are from Stiltje (one of the areas we splurged). The walls were painted in Kalk by Jotun lady Aqua. 

We weren't sure whether to get a wall hung loo and taps or not as I was worried it would eat into the small space. But actually, wall hung was perfect as it create a natural shelf for all our bits and bobs! 


You can see the complete tour and get the full low down of our bathroom here

The hooks in the bathroom (from Norrgavel) serve as both bathroom storage and somewhere to hang our coats. The little stool is either used as a perch to take of your shoes on entering or drying off and moisturising after a shower (pick up a similar little wooden stool here*). 

Finally, the main entrance to the cabin is through the bathroom. We thought we had made a major mistake with this - and we certainly got some strange looks when we told other people about our plan. However, it turned out to be exactly the right decision. Not only do the hooks double up for towels and coats - but the tiled floor is ideal for wet / dirty shoes! Once inside, all the other doors open up so it can be exited and entered through those - it's just when you arrive! 

I hope you enjoyed the tour and seeing a little more of our cabin!

I think I've covered most things, but if you have any questions please do give me a shout below and I'll do my best to help! 

I'm so looking forward to spending a few days up at our little cabin this Christmas! 

Niki 

PS The next project is the garden (it was a complete mess after the build! Gaaaah!). Do you have any tips for me? It's a total blank canvas right now so a little overwhelming! Even so, it's fun to have something to focus on in 2023. 

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Getaway From it all at a Lakeside Cottage in Sweden


A few weeks ago I featured Anna Starrén's wonderfully unique, floating cottage, built on a lake in the Swedish countryside by her husband Martin. Since then, Anna and I realised we have a good mutual friend in common (Sweden is so small sometimes!). But, more interestingly to you, I also discovered Anna runs an airbnb!

Yep, you can actually stay at her lakeside paradise in the village of Sjötofta, Västra Götaland county. The red, white and yellow guesthouse is setback from the main cottage and has it's own terrace overlooking the woods. The charming, simple interior has everything you might need for a weekend away and in the morning you can look forward to freshly laid eggs  - and a dip in the lake. Oh, and there's also a hot tub and sauna to enjoy. 

Time to clear the calendar? Here's what's in store: 


Just my kind of getaway! Could you imagine chilling here too? 

More info / booking details on Airbnb. And you can see more of Anna's lovely life over at @annastarren and find out more about her workshops, events and floristry here

Keen to discover other cottages available to rent in Sweden? Here are a couple I've featured in the past: 


Or why not book yourself into Stedsans? Another list you might find handy if you're planning a visit is my feature on 20 instagrammable places to stay in Sweden

While I'm at it, I could as well share my Swedish travel guides: 


Right, that's it from me this week. 

Trevlig helg! See you Monday! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Anna Starrén, sheered with kind permission. 

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Elsa's Inspiring Summer Cottage on the Swedish Island of Gotland


Following the Danish cabin I featured the other day, I took your feedback on continuing with the Scandinavian summer cottages this autumn as a green light! 

There are some people whose style just resonates with you immediately - and for me, one of those people is Elsa Billgren. The Swedish TV presenter, fashion and interior stylist and author of the book The Key to the Home: decor, friends, and the food we share, co-produced with Sofia Wood, Elsa and her family 
divides her time between Stockholm (take a tour of her lovely apartment) and the incredible Baltic island of Gotland. 

And I'm excited to share a peek inside the living room, bedroom and bathroom of the latter today. Rustic, calm and pared down, the family cottage in Ljugarn is a wash with subtle off-white tones, surfaces rich in patina and one-off pieces, making it a perfect place to unwind and recharge surrounded by the rugged nature of Gotland. Step this way! 

Pendant 'Liv' light by Klong, sofa from meli meli, rug: Cappelin Dimyr

Elsa found the wall mounted sculpture at a Salvation Army store. The fruit sculpture is from Ala Gård, Gotland. 


The island of Gotland and Fårö is absolutely amazing! It's one of my favourite Swedish islands, and we've sailed to quite a few. See my Baltic island hopping guide here

And just how lovely are these rooms in Elsa's cottage? See more from snapshots from her city and island life here

I've shared many more homes from the island in the past - mostly with a rustic touch, all beautiful. Here's a small selection to get you started: 

A converted schoolhouse on the Swedish island of Gotland
A rustic summer cottage on the island of Gotland'

Have you been to Gotland? If not, it's definitely one to add to your travel bucket list! 

See you Friday friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Elsa Billgren, shared with kind permission. 

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A Light and Airy Danish Cabin by The Sea

A few weeks back I told myself it was time to wrap up the Scandinavian summer cottage posts and return to the city or year-round country homes. But you know me, I'm never one to stick to the rules - especially my own! I couldn't resist sharing this charming, simple Danish cabin with you today. The wooden structure is situated in a cosy, untouched area on the southern tip of Falster, an island in south-east Denmark. 

Zine bought the cabin in 2020 and has been busy transforming it into a simple, relaxing, light and airy place to spend weekends and holidays. As with most Scandi getaways, mix and match 'loppis' (flea market) finds, open storage and a cosy spot in the sun are the order of the day. Enjoy the tour! 

Despite being potentially a little higher maintenance with the dusting, open shelving gives kitchens a relaxed grab and go feel and also means that your porcelain and vases can be a part of the decor! 

Coffee beans and percolators - the most important items in any Scandinavian home! Remember to make it extra strength! 

Stripes and art with nautical motives are a subtle nod to the coastal location. 


Le Klint Sax - A popular Danish lamp, for good reason! 

When designing our own cabin, I was very much inspired by Danish cabins with high, wood panelled walls and ceilings and a stark black wood burning stove (ours is from Contura and looks similar to this). I love the contrast, the statement chimney but also the promise of warmth! 

I also love the parquet floor; it makes me feel really nostalgic as we had a similar one in my childhood home. Some of the pieces had become loose and I used to pick it a part and then build things with it. I don't think that gamer was particularly popular with my parents. 

Baskets are really handy at a cottage like this - and make pretty wall decor when not in use! There are so many beautiful vintage baskets available on Etsy*

I am guessing you can enjoy this cabin year-round thanks to the wood burning stove and insulation (thinking blustery walks along the beach followed by a coffee by the fire!). 

And the good news is, it's 1 hr 45 mins drive from Copenhagen and available for short term holiday lets! Danish island life, anyone? 

See more snapshots from Zine's cabin here

Would you like to explore other Danish cabins and country homes this weekend? Take a look at: 


Right guys, that's it from me. I hope you've enjoyed the tours this week of three very different properties (did you see the artist's home in Kent and Copenhagen apartment).

Have a wonderful weekend, see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Landfolk

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