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Pia's Cosy Country Home in Snowy Finland

It's been a very long time since I visited beautiful Finland - both in person and on the blog! While I'd happily hop on a plane, train or boat to Helsinki today, sadly it's not possible. But the good news is, Pia has welcomed us all into her cosy home today - so we can all pay a virtual visit! 

Pia lives in the Finnish countryside with her young family and has decorated her home with antique finds and layers of texture in earthy tones. You'll notice a few Christmas decorations still   - in Scandinavia it's customary to keep decor up until 13th January (a scary prospect when it's considered bad luck past 6th Januaary in England). I've grown to like this tradition as the pretty star lights really help to brighten up the winter darkness and create a cosy feel. 

Keep a look out for the walls - many of which have been decorated with botanical-themed wallpaper (Boråstapater and Sandberg sell classic Scandinavian designs like these) - while exposed wood beams add a rustic touch here and there. I also love the 'kakelugn' (masonry stove oven) and how Pia has created a reading spot beside it. A perfect place to relax while the snow falls outside. 

(Fun fact: Finland has 187,888 lakes, that's a crazy amount of water!)

Tervetuloa (welcome)! 

So pretty! Did you spot the family's four legged friend peeking here and there? So cute! 

A perfect tour to complete the week, don't you think? Don't miss Pia's instagram @pienimaalaistalo for more inspiration. And if you'd like to see a few other Finnish homes today, check out: 


I hope you've enjoyed this virtual trip to Finland today. 

I arrived in Hannover, Germany last night and will be holding a talk at Domotex floor fair today - do come along if you're in town! If you'd like to see the latest trends in the world of rugs, carpets and floor coverings follow along on my instagram stories today! 

Have a cosy weekend, see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of @pienimaalaistalo, shared with kind permission

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A Charming Swedish cottage in the Snow, ready for Jul

Let me take you on her journey to the snowy landscape of Northern Sweden. Tucked away in the quiet countryside of Västerbotten,  you'll find two cottages not far from one another, owned by two sisters. The pair share the same love for antique and vintage finds as well as wallpaper and lace curtains that echo times gone by. At Christmas, their cottages are bathed in the warm, golden glow of candlelight casting its spell on the surrounding countryside. 

Their instagram feed @gammsystra has become something of a sensation in Sweden thanks to the beautiful portrayal of their traditional country homes throughout the seasons - and at Christmas time they really come into their own! 

Here's a small selection from their many Christmassy scenes. Keep a look out for the 'ljusstake' - the candelabra in the window which you'll witness in the windows of most Swedish homes come December and the 'Julbock' a Christmas goat made from straw, another yuletide tradition from this Nordic country. 

At Christmas Swedes drink glögg - a spiced mulled wine with raisins and almonds as well as a side of gingersnap biscuits. A perfect antidote to the cold!

Sheepskins are draped over furniture for a cosy feel. 

So magical! 

Could you imagine spending Christmas here? 

For more beautiful snapshots from the sisters' homes, head over to @gammsystra.

Have a great start to the week!

Niki

Photography courtesy of @gammsystra, shared with kind permission. 

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Lovisa's Cosy Swedish Country Home At Christmas

Tjena! I hope you had a cosy weekend! Sadly, here in the South of Sweden the slow has slowly melted away - but further North they're looking all set for a magical white Christmas! 

Evelina Lovisa Lind's traditional red Swedish country home looks so pretty against the white of the snow, and inside it's full of festive touches and as cosy as can be! Think vintage star lanterns, wreaths and plenty of candlelight. One furry member of the family seems to be particularly enjoy the spirit. Scroll on to see more pictures of Lovisa's festive home. 

Outside, the cold hasn't stopped Evelina Lovisa from using her greenhouse, quite the opposite! It's been transformed into a pretty dining space! Just added a heater and you can feel all toasty under cover, with the feeling of being outside! 

What a beautiful home! 

Could you imagine cosying up here this winter? I certainly could! 

See more of Lovisa's home over at @lovisalind. I once featured her previous home (also lovely!). 

There are also lots of more cosy festives homes to be found in the Christmas archive

Have a great start to the week!

Niki

Photography courtesy of @lovisalind, shared with kind permission.

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A Fairy-tale Summer House on the Swedish Baltic Island of Vaxholm

Are you ready for a little Swedish summer house dreaming today? This fairy-tale property is on the island of Vaxholm - a paradise for Stockholmers who flock here by boat in summertime. 

At first glance, I thought it was Hanna Östberg's home - as the pretty shades of green and turret have a similar feel (see also this cottage with a turret!). But alas, no, it's ANOTHER beautiful Swedish century-old property. Granted, the magnificent location with views out over the Baltic might mean the price-tag is a little (OK, a lot) out of reach for many of us mere mortals, there is still plenty of inspiration to be gleaned from the rooms. Here's what I discovered:


A fence with white tips? What a great detail! 


The Bumling light* (I can never truly get used to that name!) is a Swedish 1960s classic - and the perfect task lighting for over a table.. 

Since it's a summer house, it's fairly sparsely decorated (it could also have been cleared out for the sale), but the wall hangings more than make up for this - adding a decorative touch to the walls while also helping to reduce echo. I 'd love to know where this one is from; the tones are so warm and lovely! Any idea?

If you're looking for similar, Ferm Living sell some beautiful textiles that can double up as wall art, and my friend Helena recently bought this cactus one for her living room which looks awesome. To ensure your blanket / textile hangs properly, it's a good idea to get it professionally framed or sew on two wooden bars - on across the top and the other across the bottom before putting it up. 

Elfa shelving has been built up around the TV, creating space for an amplifier, a plant and other items. I can really imagine these shelves being laden with books - a perfect spot for my Njuta tome, just saying! 

Imagine waking up to views over the archipelago in all directions? Gaaah! I really like the classic blue tone on the wall combined with the warm hues in the bedspread. Decorative bedspreads are an ideal way to add an instant lift to a room. 

String lights on a balcony add a magical touch at dusk - and are a great way to lighten up the darkness when looking out come winter. 

Oh, how I love to dream on a Monday morning (this property is for sale!). 

I've actually never been to Vaxholm - one to add to my travel list! Have you seen my other Swedish travel guides? You might like the island hopping on Sweden's West coast, as well as the east coast islands. Inland, I'd recommend a trip to Malmö (of course) and Helsingborg up the road. There's so much to see and do in this beautiful country. 

After more home tours today? Take a look at hundreds of other Scandinavian summer cottages - from the very basic to blowout - all equally beautiful in their own way, in the archives. 

Have a great start to the week!

Niki

Photography courtesy of Sjönära Fastighetsmäklare, with thanks.

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