My Scandinavian Home Sunset Beach Gathering!

This gathering was made possible by Granit  - all words and thoughts are my own.

Do you have a favourite beach? One of my all time favourites is Ljunghusen on Sweden's south-western tip. Dunes and powdery white sand stretch out as far as the eye can see and the Baltic waters are crystal clear and a cool, blue-grey. Oh and the beach is almost completely deserted! I've always felt it would be the perfect spot for a beach gathering - and what better than a My Scandinavian Home summer celebration to kick off the start of the Swedish holidays?!

Sarah Brooks-Wilson and I nipped to Swedish brand Granit, who sell an assortment of interior design and functional storage in timeless neutral colours - as well as a local DIY store to pick up everything we needed. 

We decided to keep the look simple to match the surroundings, opting for natural materials such as linen, bamboo, sea grass, wood and glass and soft, muted colours. The table was constructed from a wooden palette (the only heavy item!), which we covered with a linen towel.

In my mind no gathering is really complete without flowers, what do you reckon?! To match the wild setting we filled glass vases and jars with simple blooms such as Baby's Breath and Queen Anne's Lace and tied left over sprigs to bottles and napkins.

The food was kept equally simple - with tapas style olives, charcuterie, salad, bread, cheese and the most delicious orange and sultana loaf baked by Sarah (she makes a mean cake!).

You'd never find a Swedish home without one of these cheese slicers! Incidentally, the irregular shaped plate it's resting on is actually made from eco paper - such a great find!

The light was pin sharp (it's an area famous for artists because of this) and the evening air balmy (we were very lucky in other words - especially for Sweden!). Even so, the sky shifted constantly between dramatic, bruised clouds which threatened to leave us running for the car one minute and a golden sunset the next!

For the awning / wind break we used wooden poles from a local DIY store (make sure they have a spiked end so they are easy to bury in the sand) and 2 metres of sheer white fabric tied on with elastic bands. It honestly took about 2 minutes to put up!

Here's a quick run-down of all of the other items we used in case you'd also like to recreate this for an evening at the beach: 

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1. Cushion Ribbed Grey 2. Cushion Ribbed Offwhite 3. Basket Palm Small 4. Carpet Seagrass 90x200cm 5. Wineglass 52cl 6. Candle 7x10 cm White 7.Vase Recycled Glass 30x18 cm 8. Plate Eco 10pcs 9. Blanket Quilted Grey 10. Cushion Linen Lightgrey 11. Cushion Linen Dark Grey 121. Basket Seaweed Small 13. Lantern Rattan 20x24cm 14. Lantern Bamboo 90cm 15. Lantern Glass Jar 16. Light String Ball 80 Lamps 17. Bottle Seegrass 0,75L 18. Plate Tapas 19. Tray Bamboo Ø30 cm 20. Kitchen Towel Linen Dark grey 21. Kitchen Towel Linen Offwhite 22. Cutting Board Beech 30x12cm 23. Towel Linen Large Lightgrey 24. Basket Bamboo Ø20cm 25. Bottle Patent Cork 0,5L 26. Lantern Glass Bottle 27. Bottle Patent Cork 7cl 28. Cheese Slicer Wood/Metal 29. Cushion Chair Lightgrey

* Granit has physical stores in Sweden, Germany and Finland and ships Europe-wide. 

We had a truly magical evening - and now I know how simple it is to set-up, we'll definitely be doing it again soon!

There are only two thing I'd do differently - the first would be to take a wheel barrow or some kind of mode for transporting the stuff down to the beach... and the second would be to ask Sarah to bake even more of that cake!! It was sooooo good!

Do you have a beach near you for sunset gatherings like this? If so, I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below!

And speaking of beaches and summer, I hope you don't mind that, as per every year, I'll be paring down to three posts a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) over the next three weeks to enjoy a little down time with my family and make the most of everything the Swedish summer has to offer.

I hope you are able to enjoy a little down time to njuter av solen too!

Skål to sea, sands and sunsets!


Photography / production: Niki Brantmark. Styling: Sarah Brooks-Wilson

Thank you to Granit for sponsoring this post and making our My Scandinavian Home beach gathering possible. As always,  all styling and words are our own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that make fresh content possible.

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A Bright, Family Home by The Ocean

Hej! How was your weekend?! It's a luxury long one here thanks to Valborg: a Swedish tradition to light bonfires in honour of the 8th century German vestal St.Walpurga (we're heading to a little fishing village further up the coast later to celebrate - you're so welcome to follow along on IG stories if you're curious to see more!). In the meantime, I'm taking us somewhere much, much further afield here on the blog today: a beach side suburb of Newcastle, Australia! Ring a bell? Interior stylist and talented lady behind The House on Beach Road, Caitlin lives around the corner from Maddy who's relaxed home I shared last Monday. The pair are good friends having met on Instagram. Caitlin and her husband Jon have been renovating their beach house, slowly transforming it into a vibrant, open-plan family home which they share with their three children Olivia, Ellis and Harriet ("Harriet is 4 weeks old so the house is total chaos at the moment!"). I caught up with Caitlin mid-chaos (although you'd never guess!) to find out more:

This black pendant light is similar,  prints by Mapiful, Loom and Field sell similar rugs

 When was your house built? 
Our house is a mixture of styles built through the eras. The original part of the house was built in the 1940's and across the generations it has been added onto creating a large beach style home.

The before and after pictures of the main living area are quite incredible! What did you do to transform it into the bright space it is today?
The exposed beams were pre-existing in the house however, they were a heavily stained timber which made the room feel dark and heavy. We decided to paint the entire room white and it completely transformed the space. It's such a beautiful bright and airy space now and the heart of our home. 

What are the advantages of an open-plan living space?
We love the open planned nature of the house as it works well with the small children. The space opens onto a large deck which has ocean views and is a place where we spend most of our time. The kids wonder in and out of the house and onto the verandah and from this living space they are always in sight.

How did the coastal location influence the style of your home? 
Being only 200 metres from the beach, our house style definitely reflects coastal living. The use of neutral tones, light filled spaces and lots of greenery are all influenced by our laid back lifestyle.

See pictures of the local beach here - I wouldn't mind having this on my doorstep, how about you?! 

Have there been any other influences on your style? 
My husband and I both have strong opinions on how we renovate and decorate our home. He loves all things industrial and minimalistic and I love mid century modern and coastal so we tend to fuse these all together to make it work for us.

Rattan sofa from Au Fait Livingwhite pom pom cushion.

Where do you shop for items?
I shop from a wide range of places. My favourite local store is definitely Willows Home Traders. So much of my home is filled with their beautiful pieces. I'm also a keen thrifter. I spend hours scanning Gumtree for second hand goods that can be given a second life. From my treasured mid century sideboard to my vintage oak dining table, I have found them all for a steal on Gumtree.

Moses basket

Isn't it the most lovely beach house? I'd so love to see the view of the ocean from the terrace - I'll be watching Caitlin's instagram like a hawk in the hope I might get a glimpse!

In the meantime, I wish Caitlin all the best settling in to life as a family of five!

If you'd like to see more picture of Caitlin's lovely home there's a load more pictures on her instagram feed.

And for more beach house inspiration it's totally worth checking out the entire beach home archive. A couple of my favourites include a dreamy urban beach home,  a dream Danish house by the sea.

Have a great start to the week all!

... things are starting to heat up here in Sweden, better get packing!

All photography  ©Caitlin / The House on Beach Road

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A Relaxed Beach Home in Neutral, Earthy Tones

Why hello there! Do you have countries which you haven't visited yet but just know when you get there you're never going to want to leave?! For me, it's Australia. Not only do the inhabitants enjoy a balmy subtropical climate, our Antipodean friends seem to lead a wonderful outdoorsy lifestyle (surfing, beach days and barbies...) and Australian interior design is having a bit of a moment too. Interior stylist, renovator and fellow Brit, Maddy of Hutchinson.House, made the move four years ago and lives in a beautiful, relaxed beach house with her husband Ben, 10 month old baby girl Florence and cat Pip. I couldn't resist asking Maddy a little more about their recently renovated home, her take on the latest Australian design trends and their life Down Under.

Three African Binga baskets create an interesting wall display and are in keeping with the beachy, natural vibe of the house.

How did you end up in Australia?
I met my husband in the Caribbean when we used to work on yachts. He is Australian and for us to be together, one would have to move... I chose to move to Australia, because well, it's Australia! And he's also a very keen surfer.

What do you love most about living Down Under?
I love the tropical weather and beach lifestyle. It feels like a permanent holiday!

I can well imagine! Your beach home is so lovely! How would you describe your style?
Originally from the UK, I will always have an English element within my style and I love a timeless colour scheme like blue and white. Having an overall neutral colour scheme with white walls, earthy materials and fresh greens reflects our informal beach lifestyle.

The Miami Dining Chair - Basket Weave is a fairly new addition to the beach house. Sadly it appears to be sold out - but this chair is similar. 

What do you like most about having a neutral colour scheme? 
Having a neutral palette is calming and consistent. It gives the flexibility to experiment with patterns and colours throughout the changing seasons and ever changing trends. But more importantly having a neutral palette is easy to strip back to and is timeless and classic.

The kitchen doors have been painted in a blue hue from Taubmans. Two cane  Eco barstools (love these!) provide a place to sit while the other is cooking.

What would you say are the key elements to consider when designing a beach house? 
The natural light, white walls and using raw materials are key. Using tropical plants and greenery is also a simple way to bring the outdoors in and make your space feel fresh and earthy.

 Loom and Field sells a lovely handpicked selection of Beni Ourain Rugs.

Where do you buy items for your home?
There is a strong global influence throughout our home. Many pieces we own are unique and derive from places all over the world: from the Moroccan rugs I hand picked in the Atlas mountains to the African Mali mudcloth I chose in a European flea market.

"I love artwork, ornaments and textiles that tell a story."

What do you love most about your home? 
Our home is filled with natural light, plants and special pieces that we have collected over time. It reflects us and who we are. Each space in our home shares our story.

What are the key interior trends in Australia right now? 
I would say celebrating a neutral colour palette with a minimal boho beach aesthetic. It has become increasingly popular to fill homes with artisanal and bespoke handcrafted goods from around the world. Ethnic and tribal cultures in Africa and Morocco have had a huge influence lately.

Linen blanket with fringe, Bed headboard from The bedhead Co, blue and white cushion from Indie Bungalow (this batik indigo cushion is similar). African Binga basket (seen on the wall).

"Textiles and materials that are ethically sourced and produced are showing more popularity in Australia as we are becoming more sustainable in the way that we live."

What are your interior trend predictions in Australia for 2018? 
I sense that interiors will have a stronger European influence with a more dramatic use of colour and pattern. dark walls, wallpaper, burnt reds and terracotta tones will increase. I also feel that an element of Parisian style may make its way into the interior design trend this year.

 Vanity / bathroom cabinet painted in Benjamin Moore, tiles from Jatana Interiors

Florence's bedroom has a light dusty pink touch. The neutral scheme, basket pendant light and cushions help to tie the space in with the rest of the home.

Photography: © Maddy / Hutchinson.House

What a wonderful home? Thank you so much to Maddy for taking the time to show us your beach home and tell us more about your (incredibly enviable) life in Australia!  

You can see more shots of her lovely home here

Anyone else feeling like a gap year might be in order? 

These beautiful, relaxed beach homes might just be the push we all need: a super relaxed cottage,  a boho holiday home in Byron Bay (available to rent!), a holiday home in a former miner's cottage

If a holiday is more likely (they do 17 hour direct flights these days, after all!) - there's also The Bower (if you book it, can I come with you? I promise to be an excellent travel buddy!).

Happy Monday all!

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A dreamy urban beach home

I can't tell you how excited I am about today's home tour. Located just east of Sydney, this beautiful cliff top beach house combines white washed walls and soft coastal tones with an urban feel. But it hasn't always been as fabulous. When the family of four bought it in 2010 it was a run down bungalow - soon put to right by architect Brian Bass and interior design team Hare & Klein. Today, wall to ceiling windows offer panoramic views over the sea, and the light walls allow the beautiful light to bounce around the split-level house. Curved walls, texture and layers add a softness and help the space to flow. Oh how I'd love to live in an urban beach house like this!

Photography: Anson Smart (shared with kind permission). Styling Joseph Gardner.

Could you live here?!

A few items I know and love: Ghost sofa 16, Serge Mouille floor lamp, Z1 pendant light, J39 or 'the people's chair', this bamboo pendant light is similar, pick-up beautiful stonewashed bed linen like this here.

You can see a few more pics of this lovely Australian home and a full write-up over at Vogue.

When a home as lovely as this is featured, I think it would be rude not to make it a 'beach home' kind of day don't you?! Warning - this archive will have you dreaming of an escape to somewhere warm and tropical!

Have a lovely day!

PS Two exciting announcements - don't forget to make the most of this reader offer from Abbott & Mosley and the winner of the Beni Ourain rug is now up here!

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