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A Beautifully restored Country Retreat in Burrawang

While I may have focused on all things Autumn on Instagram yesterday (those Scandinavian wool and alpaca blankets are a must, after all), other parts of the world are slowly emerging into spring. And James Watts - managing director of ethically run rug store Armadillo, his partner Tony and their dog teddy - will be enjoying the season to come in style. 

Located in the historic village of Burrawang (great name!), in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, their 1930s weatherboard cottage has been lovingly restored into a cosy country retreat. For the look, James' drew on his design background and a previous career in set design - and the pair wanted to create a layered, cohesive look with a British touch. Think one-off vintage finds, heirlooms, textiles and art as well as nature-based colours inspired by the countryside and sea. 

Ready to take a tour of their cosy home? Step this way! 

James and Tony worked hard to restore many of the original features, and anything beyond repair was replaced with consideration to the 1930s architecture. A front porch and decking were also added.  

The cosy, light-filled dining area is comprised of a built-in bench topped with textiles from Cultiver, classic Thonet chairs and a rug from Armadillo

Walls painted in Porter's paint Highlands Grey add contrast and drama to the kitchen - as well as a sense of cosiness in winter. The stools are from Great Dane and rug from Armadillo. Many of the smaller pieces are vintage. 


A basket / pot from Water Tiger rests on a table picked up at Lydie Du Bray antiques. A vintage light from Emac & Lawton lighting can be seen to the right. The jute rug is from Armadillo

The house has two bathrooms, the first of which is kitted out with fittings from The English Tapware Company and tiles from Teranova

The bedroom wall has been painted in Porter's duck egg (the bespoke bathroom cabinet looks like a similar shade but is actually Porter's Arctic Bay, the table lamps are from Bragg & Co and the bed linen picked up at Society Limonta

What a perfect retreat. I love the blend of Australian country with British nostalgia - it really speaks to me! 

Is there anything that stands out to you about James and Tony's country home? 

I'm particularly grateful to photographer Marnie Hawson for the kind permission to feature these images. I'm constantly inspired by Marnie's work having featured many of the homes she has captured in the past including her own vintage-inspired living space in a former post-office. Marnie is a values-driven photographer working with people and brands who have a genuine commitment to the environmental and social impact of what they do. I particularly love her Prints for Wildlife - with 100% of profits going directly to independent wildlife shelters. 

Fancy taking a peek around more homes Down Under this weekend? There are plenty to feel inspired by here (if this cottage pops up first, just scroll on by - although I can understand if you'd like to look through the pictures again!). 

Right folks, that's it from me this week. I hope you have a wonderful few days and see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography: Marnie Hawson 
Styling: Olga Lewis

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A Charming Summer House in the Finnish Countryside

I'm on a roll with Finnish homes this week (still dreaming about that cabin by sea, how about you? This lovely 1960s home in the countryside belongs to Nina Möller, co-founder of Bang Interiors. In her design work, Nina strives to create spaces that centre around quality, comfort, functionality and sustainability - all factors that transcend into her own family summer house. White walls provide a backdrop for an eclectic blend of furniture which includes vintage finds, antiques, design classics and contemporary touches. The result is a relaxed home in which to kick back and relax all summer long! 

What a perfect place to switch off and unwind! I can just imagine sitting out on the terrace while the children run around on the grass under the midnight sun! 

Could you imagine wiling away your summer here too? 

For more summer house inspiration today, pull up a chair and scroll through the Summer Cottage archive - there are hundreds of beautiful spaces to look at from the past ten years! 

Happy hump day friends (I'll never get used to that term - I think it's the British in me!!). 

Niki

Photography: Krista Keltanen / Editor & stylist Jonna Kivilahti, shared with kind permission

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A Swedish Country Home That's Charming Inside and Out!

Let's go on a trip to Borås, West Sweden today and stop by at the fairy-tale home of  Evelina Lovisa Lind, her husband, two boys and cutest pups Tage and Tore. A photographer, Lovisa takes daily snaps of their home and life in Västra Götaland County while she studies gardening. The family home is a wonderful blend of antique and vintage finds set against a 'moody' backdrop of greys combined with accent walls adorned in William Morris. Evelina has drawn the surrounding landscape indoors using botanical prints, nature inspired wallpaper, climbing plants and fresh flowers from the garden. Keep a special lookout for the beautiful pendant light (I'd love one for my own home!) and the whimsical DIY idea! 

Intercepting the tour to point out the beautiful recycled Tropez pendant lamp - made from paper mâché and inspired by a floppy sunhat! The botanical prints are by Swedish artist Jonna Fransson

So beautiful - indoors and out!

Greenhouses are having a real moment in Sweden - popping up left, right and centre and used for everything from traditional gardening to a garden room. Are they popular where you are too? 

And now for the simple, yet pretty DIY idea: a candle wreath wrapped in dried Pearly Everlasting flowers. It's a perfect way to prolong the summer, and it'll stay in place for years!  Here's how: 

1. Pearly Everlasting is known for its excellent dried flowers. To dry them out, cut the stems before the blossoms are fully open and then hang them upside down in a dark place.  

2. Weave the dried flowers around the candle wreath as you would when making any other wreath and keep them in place with a thin wire (see this tutorial for more guidance). make sure you give the candles plenty of space to avoid a fire risk (never leave naked flames unattended). 

Lovely idea!

Is there anything that stood out to you about Evelina's house and garden?

If you'd like to see more snapshots, hop on over to her instagram @lovisalind

Ha en bra dag! 

Niki

Photography: Evelina Lovisa Lind shared with kind permission. 

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This Romantic Swedish Art Nouveau Villa Could Be Yours!

Good morning friends, how was your weekend? Monday morning has only just begun and I'm already at my desk in our urban townhouse, dreaming about a move to this romantic Swedish countryside villa (so, that's new? LOL!). But when you see the pictures, you'll probably understand! The early 20th century art nouveau villa dates back to 1910 and with a heavy heart (I'm sure), the artist owner has decided to put it on the market. They say fortune favours the brave, and for anyone willing to take on the project in rural Flen, in Södermanland County, west of Stockholm, this magnificent property is all yours! Think large spacious rooms and magnificent windows which flood the space with light and provide breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Many of the original features are still intact including the large masonry stoves and wood floor are still intact, so it's just to add your very own personal touch! 

Could you imagine moving here just in time for winter? 

Oh, the ways I could make this place my own. And don't even get me started on the garden. I'm not sure we're quite ready to move 500 km though! 

More details here

Dream about other Scandinavian country homes today in this archive.

And a quick reminder to make the most of the 20% discount at Bemz with code MSHfall - a perfect opportunity to get a new slipcover for your sofa like these, update with cushions, or refresh your bedroom in time for autumn (see my recent makeover)! 

Wishing you all a wonderful start to the week! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Historiska Hem

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A Beautiful Rustic Home in Rural North Sweden

Do you ever romanticise about moving somewhere remote, wild and windswept? I often wonder what it might be like to live in the far North of Sweden, where the sun set marks a month of darkness, the sky lit by the beauty of the Northern lights. Maybe one day I'll make my move. For now, I'll live through others. And one of my favourite homes is that of garden designer Fanny Lindén and her family . You might recognise Fanny's beautiful, rustic home from these Christmas and Spring features. And this morning I stumbled across these images captured by Lina Östling and Mari Strenghielm (see her lovely former home on an island!) who paid Fanny a visit last year. The pictures give you a glimpse into family life and a world where the beauty is in the imperfection. Vintage and antique pieces proudly bear the hallmarks of time, and the doors are thrown open to a world where everyone is welcome - children, cats, chickens and whoever else chooses to wander in! Välkommen! 

So beautiful! 

I love the bright yellow barn door and vibrant Falu red facade, imagine how lovely it looks against the snow in wintertime! 

I can't tell you how tempted I am to live like this (maybe a gap year - as a former Londoner it would be a WAY too big step to make the move permanent off the bat, I'd need to test the waters first!). Could you imagine living somewhere rural? Or perhaps you already do? 

Other Rural Scandinavian homes to love this weekend:


Wishing you a wonderful couple of days - see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography: Lina Östling Styling: Mari Strenghielm - shared with kind permission. 

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