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This Swedish Cottage On Its Own Island Could Be Yours!


Things are pretty tough right now, aren't they? I hope you are doing well, despite the circumstances. We can only hope this will all blow over soon. In the meantime, how about a little dreaming? Today's escape comes in the form of a quintessential falu red and white Swedish cottage on its very own islet off the northern shores of Öland on Sweden's Baltic coast. And guess what? It's for sale. As you can imagine it's causing quite a stir! 

Accessed by boat, the cottage has its own dock, from where you can offload baggage and groceries from Öland or the Swedish mainland across Kalmar sound - or take to the waters to explore the lagoon. 


So pretty and wild.  

Imagine sitting out there on the deck, soaking up the Swedish summer sun while watching the wading birds and gulls as well as the occasional boat sail by? Heaven!  


In my mind, the interior is everything an authentic coastal cottage should be - rustic and cosy with an understated nautical, boathouse vibe. 

Beams serve as an ideal spot for a rowing boat, while candlelit dinners can be enjoyed from a simple table which looks out over the water. 

Look closely and you'll also spot a pair of Sou'westers hanging by the door - as well as various other seafaring items such as a ships bell, captain hats, oil lamps and fishing nets. 


Can we also take a moment to imagine this cabin at night? 

Swedish 'rag rugs' have been dotted around the floor and even used as a simple table runner for a touch of cosiness while a row of lanterns line the windowsill and a candle candelabra hangs over the table - ready to be lit once the sun dips below the horizon. 

It would be you and your book - and the sound of the waves. 

You can see more pictures of the interior (including the bedrooms) here

Out of pure coincidence, my family and I sailed to this very lagoon in 2019 and paddled around the tranquil waters on our dinghy and SUP - and took a stroll through the magnificent Trollskog (Troll's forest) just across the lagoon (see below). We even sailed past this cottage - binoculars in hand! Dreaming all the while. 

The cottage hasn't even been valued yet - even so, the estate agent has been unindated with requests.  

I only hope that whoever buys it maintains the authenticity AND rents it out. I'd be there in a heartbeat, how about you? 

Have a dreamy day friends!

Niki

Photographs courtesy of Svensk Fastighetsförmedling

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Ilkka's Charming Rural Retreat In Finland

Hei! How are you today? Feel like getting away from it all? Today, I'm whisking you off to rural Finland and the charming bolthole of interior architect Ilkka Mälkiäinen. Acquired 12 years ago as a weekend escape from Helsinki, Ilkka and Janne have carefully renovated the country home to bring it back to its former glory. Think high ceilings, beautiful wood floors and rooms painted in deep charcoal and steel grey. Today, the home is a goldmine of Finnish antiques and vintage finds and packed with charm. Welcome to Ilkka and Janne's age-old country retreat! 









How beautiful! I love the relaxed, eclectic feel of the home. 

Did you have a favourite room? I've always had a real weakness for romantic style bathrooms. Imagine locking up your city apartment, coming out here to the quiet of the countryside and running a candlelit bath. Heaven! 

This takes me back to the day I captured a home for The Scandinavian Home deep in the heart of the Finnish countryside. And there was a moose grazing in the meadows beside the house. 

I've been wanting to return ever since - something for next summer perhaps? Have you ever been to Finland?

If you're after a little more Finnish dreaming today, here are a few other homes to love: 

Have a cosy day! 

Credits: Krista Keltanen / Jonna Kivilahti - shared with kind permission

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Before And After: A Tiny Off-the-grid Swedish Cabin In The Woods

Have you ever considered a more simple life? Perhaps one that involves swapping urban adventures for a serene rural life? Or maybe you've been considering down-sizing in order to save money and realise a dream! Either way - I think you're going to find todays tour amazingly inspiring! 

As an 'Organic Farming and Sustainable Living' student, Paula Edén had lived in a little caravan in the countryside. Since graduating, she'd always dreamed of returning to 'tiny house' living and a more simple life. Paula set about sketching her dream home and built herself a tiny cabin on wheels. Today, she lives completely off-grid in a 13 metre2 living space, where everything she needs is right there on her doorstep. 

The sketch

Paula had always loved the ideas of a traditional Swedish Falu-red cottage with yellow doors. Her sketch (above) would form the blue-print for the construction phase. 

The Construction

Paula was keen to ensure her cottage was constructed in as sustainable was possible. She worked with natural materials (avoiding plastic and aluminium) and also sought upcycled pieces from reclaim yards - for example, the chassis was made using an old boat trailer. 

Paula sought the help of her Father - a woodwork teacher - and also looked for advice from other people who had carried out similar projects, joining many Facebook groups. As a first-timer, Paula decided to break down the house building process into smaller parts, allowing her creativity to guide her as much as possible. 

As someone who has always been interested in interiors, Paula was keen to put form ahead of function - which is fairly unusual in the 'tiny house' world where space is of a premium! The interior was constructed with left over storm wood, which she combined with new bead boards. 

Once the construction work was complete, the fun began: decorating! Paula painted the interior an earthy sage green using linseed oil paint code S 3010-G70Y and complimented it with Waldemar wallpaper from Boråstapeter. The muted colour scheme and natural wood were deliberately chosen to reflect the surrounding nature. 


Delivery!

The house was delivered to a borrowed plot of land on a farm in Småland, on a hill surrounded by pastures, forest and lakes.  

The interior

The cottage has been kitted out with everything Paula needs - including seating lined with cushions and a set of table and chairs from where she sits to eats, reads and catches up with friends - after coming home from her job as a nursery teacher. 

Living completely off-grid, Paula uses the Wood-burning stove to cook her meals as well as for heating. She collects drinking-water from the nearby farm and a hole in the ground serves as a fridge. Paula also collects rainwater from the roof and swims in the nearby lake to wash. A small solar panel has been attached to the side of the cottage to generate electricity. 

The ceiling serves as extra storage for important utensils such as an oil lamp and a basket used for foraging and gathering homegrown fruit and vegetables. 

Look closely and you'll also spot her sleep loft - a cosy nook above the kitchen!


Vintage tins and jars in the kitchen add to the warm, cosy vibe of Paula's home while providing somewhere to store food. 


How lovely! 

Such a beautiful, cosy little space to potter around in!  

Per and I are planning to build a small cottage in the garden of the summer cottage - but we never actually considered building it ourselves! Feeling inspired, I asked Paula a little more about what it was like to build a cottage, and if she has any tips for anyone looking to do the same:

"It's so much fun to learn how to build a house! It's also great to be able to build your home just the way you want it. On the whole, I felt the process went really well.  I may not have done everything by the book, but I'm happy with it! 

Taking it one step at a time and leave room for creativity. Look for support from other people who have carried out similar projects (there are plenty of groups on Facebook).  And don't think too much, just go for it! 

Remember: not everything needs to be perfect - it won't turn out as you had planned anyway!"

Wise words indeed! 

I couldn't resist asking Paula one more question - how is she finding life in her tiny cabin in the woods and how does she have any plans for the future?

"I really enjoy living in the woods and I feel at home surrounded by trees and meadows. My dream is to be surrounded by a couple of other tiny houses occupied by friends so we can share water and electricity. There's something beautiful about silence, but life is more fun with others!" 

Thank you so much to Paula for graciously sharing her thoughts and images. You can see many more snapshots of her life on a farm over at @paulas.hus


Are you feeling as inspired as I am? I'd love to hear your thoughts on Paula's lovely home below! 

Niki

Photography: Paula Edén, first seen in Land magazine 

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A Charming Little Allotment Cottage In Malmö, Sweden

Fancy finishing the week with something quintessentially Swedish? In my mind, you can't get more 'svensk' than a 'kolonistuga' - and this little one is charming in every way! The little allotment cottage dating back to 1923 has been beautifully renovated by Rebecka Franzén - a physiotherapist with a passion for remodelling and decorating. I chatted to her about her little kolonistuga here in Malmö, the history behind these little cottages and why she's decided to put hers on the market

What is the story behind the 'kolonistuga'?
Allotment cottages have existed in Sweden for over a century. They were originally built for factory workers who moved from the countryside to the city as part of urbanisation. The idea was to give people an opportunity to grow their own vegetables and staples such as potatoes, carrots and fruit so they had some connection to their roots and could extend their household budget. 

Who owns these cottages today?
In recent years they have become increasingly popular with green-fingered people looking for a second home near to the city centre. 

How does a kolonistuga differ from other types of Swedish summer cottages?
The kolonistuga are usually quite small and not eligible for year-round living. Water is typically turned off between October and April. 

I am guessing they have been a welcome respite this summer? 
Oh yes, during the pandemic, they've been a real breath of fresh air for the owners, who can come here and feel connected with others while still maintaining social distance. 

Do these allotment areas have a close-knit community? 
Definitely. It's a place where people of all ages come together. There often organised events such as plant exchanging days, gardening activities and even boule tournaments and karaoke nights! Midsummer is also magical. 

Why have you decided to sell your cottage?
I recently quit my day job and bought an apartment in Lisbon that I am planning to renovate. This is why, with a heavy heart, I decided to sell my cottage. I really hope to find a new owner who loves this cottage as much as I have done. 

Well, I have to say, whoever snaps this up is one very lucky person!

Interested? Find out more information here

Curious to see a few other pretty allotment cottages? Here are some of my favourites: 


Could you imagine hanging out in one of these all summer? 

Or perhaps you have something similar I your own country? 

I know that in the UK you can build a shed but nothing that resembles a cottage. I remember spending copious amount of time at my Mum and Dad's allotment as a child - and will never forget treading on a slug barefoot. It still makes me shudder! My sister is on the waiting list for one in London, but it has a three-year waiting list! 

Right friends, I do believe it's time to wrap-up the week. I hope you felt inspired by all my posts this week! have a wonderful weekend! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Bjurfors.

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A Charming Little Summer Cabin By a Norwegian Fjord

We're at the summer cottage this week, so I'm strictly in holiday mode - even if the weather is not! Even so, I couldn't resist pouring over beautiful 'sommarstuga' (summer cottage) inspiration and thought it would be rude to keep this little gem to myself! The Norwegian cabin in a former boat house belongs to Jotun colour Manager Lisbeth Larsen. Measuring a teeny 36 square metres (387 sqft), the cabin in beautiful Nesodden, Viken County, has everything you might need for a wonderful holiday including a sleep loft, dreamy open-plan living space and direct access to the Fjord! Oh, and being the colour maestro that Lisbeth is, it also has a beautiful harmonic feel. Ready for the tour? 

The cabin has been furnished with a mix of old and new including a kitchen from Kvik, table and bench from FRAMA and vintage chairs which have been painted in Lady supreme finish 4477 Deco Blue

On chillier summer days (err... like today, as well as the past 10 days, and if the forecast is anything to go by - the next 10 days too - baaaah!), a Jøtul wood burning stove comes in handy (if I ever satisfy my lifelong dream of a burner, I'd like one of these bad boys!). 

The back wall behind the sink has been painted in LADY Minerals 0394 Varmgrå and LADY Minerals sealer


The wonderful wide wood plank floor is from Moelven and the bulk of the cabin has been painted in LADY 10679 Washed Linen

This cosy bedroom to the right of the sink has been painted with LADY Pure Colour 4629 Skuggblå and the bedding is from Swedish brand Himla




You couldn't get closer to the fjord if you tried. How wonderful to enjoy a morning coffee looking out over the water! 

Could you imagine spending your summer here? 

Love the blue and greige colour scheme too, it perfectly matches the cabin surroundings, drawing the nature inside. 

Oh, how I love property conversions, how about you? They always make for the most interesting homes! Here are a few others I love:


Also see the schoolhouse, warehouse and barn conversion archives - so inspiring!  

Do you have a favourite?

I'll be back on Friday (now on Swedish summer holiday timings!). 

Ha det så fint! 

Niki

Photography: Per Erik Jæger
Styling: Siv Brenne

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