Before and After: Our Swedish Summer Cottage Bedroom Make-over

This blog post is not sponsored. However, it does include some press items that I've received in the past and present (marked with *)! Thank you for supporting the brands that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

Two summers ago we built a tiny cabin in the garden of Per's family's summer cottage on the Bjärehalvön coast, West Sweden. We love heading up there as often as we can, but this winter we had the perfect excuse: it was time to renovate the master bedroom in the main house! There was nothing wrong with the room per se, it just hasn't been touched for several decades and needed a major freshening up. But you know me, I can't really do things by halves, and this was definitely a case of 'in for a penny, in for a pound!'

I find winter is the perfect time for decorating - do you agree? Plus, Per and I love a project. So, back in October we cracked on in the hope that the room would be ready in time for spring. And it is! I hope you like reading about the transformation today!

The walls were covered in wood chip and since I had my eye on a wallpaper I loved, the existing layers needed to be removed - no easy feat! It was a gruelling, messy job getting rid of it all - but satisfying too! Underneath, we discovered that the century-old walls were also very uneven which meant we needed to plaster over them and then cover with a base wallpaper. 


The original wood floor is lovely but the varnish had slowly yellowed over the years, so we rented a sander to file the wood down, before adding several layers of white soap wash. Neither of us had done this before and the sander was a mighty machine! We had our heart in our mouths as we worked around the room - concerned that we might accidentally burrow down and wreck a plank! 

It all worked well in the end though and this is how it looks now: 


We'd also noticed that the ceiling was coming apart at the seams, and there was no outlet for an overhead ceiling light. 


Per added panels to cover the seams - which match the panels on the ceiling in the main room of the cottage. And we also gave the ceiling, skirting boards, architraves and door a fresh lick of white paint. 

We're willing to do most jobs ourselves (sometimes with the help of YouTube) but since we value our lives (and respect Swedish law!), we called in an electrician in to re-wire the room and add an outlet in the ceiling as well as power sockets to the wall! The lamp is called REGNSKUR from IKEA. 

We were keen to give the room a traditional cottage feel with a modern touch and a hint of green to match the rest of the cottage, so we looked at samples from Swedish Sandberg wallpaper, eventually settling on Karolina green*. 

We were a bit apprehensive about putting the wallpaper up but it was surprisingly quick and easy once we got going. You definitely need to be two pair of hands for the job - and pay attention to aligning the pattern down to the millimetre with each new section so nothing goes awry! Probably good to double check if it's the right way up to (my wonderful dad once learnt this the hard way!). 


And then the fun part began: decorating the room! 

We were keen to use as much as possible from what was already there. 

The bed is the same  but I added a simple headboard (115 cm high x 180 cm wide) and then added a white linen cover. The bed linen is from HM Home and the blanket and throw are old ones from home. The rug was already there. 


The windows are quite wide (measuring 197 cm) so I picked out the Mozart extendable curtain rod from Åhlens. I had some old-ish white linen curtains hanging around in the loft which turned out to be perfect for the room. You can find similar white linen curtains here

I don't go anywhere around the cottage without my well-worn Shephard slippers


The chest-of-drawers was already in place and the chair has always been at the cottage! 

Nothing says spring to me like a bouquet of Mimosa! it brings a little sunshine to the greyest of days, don't you think?

We re-hung the vintage mirror on the wall (it had been resting on the chest-of-drawers for years so it was nice to finally put it back up!). 


We also wall mounted two sets of simple wooden hooks from Swedish store Granit (I find hooks so useful in a summer cottage - they're perfect for hanging the few outfits you have with you, plus other essentials like a dressing gown for 'morgondopps' (morning dips) and a sun hat! 


The hooks also provide a great place for other items - including one of my favourite bouquet lamp* by Le Klint and a robe from Humdakin* (bringing a touch of Danish design to Sweden!). 

In this picture you can also catch a glimpse of the new dimmer switch* and power socket* (both from Corston). The electrician also added power sockets either side of the bed. 


The pine wall shelves had yellowed with age so I repainted them in Jotun Tidlös to match the wallpaper. I might write a separate post about this. It's amazing what you can do to give old pieces a new lease of life. Would you find that of interest?

The bedside table is the original one that was already in place. 


I hope you like the results as much as we do! 

Naturally, if you look very closely our DIY renovation it isn't perfect, but that comes with the territory of carrying out a project yourself, and I wouldn't have it any other way! 

If you have any questions, please do give me a shout in the comment section below and I'd be happy to help. 

Would you like to see a few other of my room makeover from the past? Check out: 


All a labour of love! 

Do you dabble in DIY too? 

Niki

PS I am starting a 30 days of Njuta challenge on instagram stories today, come and join me! #30daysofnjuta

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Our DIY Budget Powder Room Makeover

Not your standard opening picture. But I thought I'd show an honest 'before' picture of our downstairs bathroom - swimsuits and all. 

We've been putting off renovating this room ever since we moved in fifteen years ago and it's still sporting the same red ceiling and blank walls. There was nothing wrong with it per se, it was just very plain and a little dated. Nothing that warrants ripping the entire room out and starting from scratch at least. Even so, it had become unloved and a dumping ground - there were even some skis in the shower! 

Renovating a bathroom, no matter how small, can be hugely expensive. But having painted the tiles in our laundry room, I felt optimistic that something could be done to our downstairs loo on a budget too!

Here is what we did. 

The first step was to paint the ceiling (I can't tell you how satisfying it was!). We used a white from the Jotun Lady Aqua range. The floor also got a makeover with 3V3 tile paint in Tarmac

And then came the rest:

Ta daaaa! 

There's quite a lot at play here. We removed the glass shower door and hung up an L-shaped shower rod (we bought a simple white one and then painted it in the same paint as the floor). The shower curtain (light stone from Humdakin) and rattan matt add a softness to the room and help to dampen the sound - always good in a guest bathroom!  

We kept the wall tiles (one of the biggest costs when renovating bathrooms is the work that goes into replacing tiles) - but since the walls were so vast and blank, we decided to put up a glass cabinet (Hastrup from Jysk). It was no easy feat; we had to use a special sensor to detect what was behind the wall. The last thing we wanted to do was drill through a pipe or electric cable. This is a major danger when drilling into bathroom walls, I'd highly recommend calling in an expert to avoid any accidents! 

When it comes to budget makeovers, I am a firm believer that the devil is in the details. Picking out smart pieces really help to elevate a room. The brushed brass toilet brush and toilet roll holder are both from Danish brand D-line

I've had the little rustic stool for years (pick up a similar antique stool here*). And the art is by Swedish painter Carola Kastman

The next step was to give this corner an overhaul:  


Here is the result, drum roll please....

We tried to keep the existing bathroom cabinet and sink but it simply wasn't practical for numerous reasons, so in the end we swapped it out for this very reasonably priced cabinet, sink and tap from Hornbach

I updated the colour on the cabinet using Mohair from Jotun Lady (thinking about it now, I probably should have used a specific bathroom paint, so let's see how it fairs!) and added knobs and a towel rail from D-line


I have never liked the plastic silver lights that were here when we moved in. The problem was we didn't want the faff and expense of changing the mirror so we had to find a light that exactly fitted the holes! I was very relieved to finally stumble across this bathroom light in Bauhaus! 


The final corner to get a simple makeover was this one: 




We swapped out the existing aluminium towel hooks for pretty handcrafted ones from D-Line (which match the other details). 

I'm a big fan of baskets (these are from Granit and IKEA) - they make each hook go a lot further and now we have a lot more space for bits and bobs like swimwear, slippers (from Humdakin), hair stuff etc. 

This is how this corner looks now: 


Right folks. That covers everything I think!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our budget DIY bathroom makeover! If you have any questions just give me a shout below and I'll do my best to help. 

By the way, have you noticed how tidy it looks? I'd love for it to stay this way. But will I still find empty loo roll cartridges on the side when I go in? Definitely (does this drive anyone else nuts?). Will it be filled with drying swimwear and ten thousand towels within 24 hours? No doubt! 

But for today at least, I will be enjoying it in all its neat and tidy glory!

I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend! 

Niki

A big thank you to Per for helping with so much of the DIY - I'm so lucky to have a handyman and physicist in the house! So much appreciation for the brainstorming and advice from Helen Sturesson too! 

Also, thank you for the press gifts D-line, Humdakin and IKEA.  

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Before & After: A Dated Danish house Becomes a Vibrant Summer Cottage

The rain is coming down in Sweden and I'm guessing there are plenty of card games going on behind closed doors of everyone's summer cottages. Meanwhile, judging by these pictures, the sun is shining over the Öresund strait in the Danish town of Rørvig, North of Zealand. 

This pretty 80 sqm / 861 ft2 cottage in the woods is owned by sisters Ane and Sigrid. Since buying the property, the pair have completely renovated the property both inside and out to create a dreamy place for their families to spend summer and in fact, to get away from it all in other seasons too. 

It's somewhere they come to relax - clearly seen by the day beds, window seats and casual style. The fresh whites help to create a bright and airy feel, while pops of pink and other bright colours add to the vibrancy of the living space. Ready to see a few before and after pictures? 

Exterior before

Exterior after

An entirely new shade (earthy pink), new windows, sunroom extension and new deck have completely transformed the exterior into an inviting cottage! 

A cosy dining nook has been carved out under the sloping roof using built-in seating and rattan chairs. 

Kitchen side view before

Kitchen side view after

Walls were knocked through to create a light and airy open-plan living space and a new kitchen has been installed with pretty blue cabinet fronts to reflect the coastal location. 

An antique bed serves as a place for afternoon naps and overnight kips! 

Sunroom before
Sunroom after

New windows, a fresh lick of white and a new herringbone floor was what was needed to completely transform the sun room into a beautiful bright space to relax, surrounded by greenery! You often see pretty floral cushions like these in danish summer houses. 

Bedroom before

Bedroom after

I am guessing the beautiful wood floor was lurking under the laminate flooring - what a find! New windows, a fresh lick of paint and old beams have added a wonderful summer cottage vibe to the bedroom. 

Toilet before 
Toilet after

A new, larger and lower window has made a huge different to the feel of the bathroom. I also love the tiles! 

What a perfect transformation from a slightly pokey, dated house to an idyllic summer cottage. I would perfectly happy relaxing here all summer - sunshine or rain, how about you? 

You can see more pictures of Ane and Sigrid's cottage over at @det_lille_hus_i_skoven. And also, great news. If you're looking for a holiday home to rent in Denmark this summer, this one is available through Landfolk here

Take a peek inside a few other Danish summer cottages today: 


I hope today's post has transported you to summers in Denmark and filled you with inspiration! 

Niki

PS if it's sunny where you are, please can you send a little our way?

Photography courtesy of @det_lille_hus_i_skoven with thanks. 

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