A Magical Farmhouse on a Hill In Vermont

One magical, sunny day in 2014, photographer James Gardiner and I made our way up a long, winding track in Vermont, USA. Eventually we came to a clearing, and there at the top of the hill amidst 100 acres of luscious New England pasture stood Nadine Dole's farmhouse. We spent the day shooting the house known as 'The Hill' for my book Modern Pastoral (now re-named to Relaxed Rustic). It would be a day I'll never forget. 

The remote farmhouse is simply furnished with a mixture of antiques, handmade items, vintage finds and wonderful pieces of art. Natural materials and a neutral colour scheme unify the eclectic pieces and work in harmony with the surroundings. The windows open inward and upward, filling the living space with a wonderful cool breeze - and providing uninterrupted views over open fields towards distant mountain ranges. 

Meals and afternoon tea are enjoyed at a 19th century pine harvest dining table. The natural woven seating of the dining chairs is slowly coming unraveled, enhancing the relaxed nature of the home. 

The kitchen is simple yet purposeful and made entirely from salvaged items. 

A row of linen aprons (this lovely linen apron* is similar) in muted makes a delightful display on the back wall. Vintage rolling pins are stored in the pockets. 

A Kasanof's & Paramount Bakeries tin bought in an antique store sits above the green armoire. The impressive 'Blueberry' painting is by John Young. 

Nadia collects art from all over the world. The nude portrait was found in a brocante (a secondhand market) in Maussane, France. Dried honeycombs found in the garden in winter rest on a table found at auction. 

An old schoolhouse light hangs above an ornate mirror and porcelain sink and a simple lion claw tub provides a perfect place for a soak while looking out over the pastures, where black bears, coyotes, wild deer and chickens wander freely. 

You can see more pictures of Nadia's magical home in my book Relaxed Rustic (formerly known as Modern Pastoral). 

I also love following Nadia's latest projects on her instagram

If you're as taken with her style as much as I am, you might also like to keep an eye out for one of her workshops - and if you're lucky enough to be in the area a little birdie tells me she might be opening a small shop, cafe or bakery (or perhaps all three?) soon! 

Discover other incredible country homes in the archive! 

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week!

Niki

PS There's currently a give-away over on instagram to win Relaxed Rustic along with five other interior books. 

PPS If you are one of the first to pick up a copy of Relaxed Rustic online and enjoy it, I'd be so happy if you could leave a review - thank you so much :)

Credit: Relaxed Rustic by Niki Brantmark, published by CICO Books (19.99 GBP). Photography by James Gardiner - copyright CICO Books. 

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A Rundown House Becomes a Fairytale Swedish Country Home

In 2010, Johanna Berglund and her family were living in a tiny cottage in the village of Broddarp, North East of Gothenburg - and dreaming of owning a house. One day they heard a rumour that the nearest property was for sale. They immediately knocked on the door. And the rest, as they say is history. Well, not quite. The 280-metre square house needed a lot of work - but they knew it had great bones as it had been built by Johanna's husband's great uncle - a talented builder. The pair set about transforming the house room by room, learning as they went - and ten years later it's nearly finished. Before we take the tour, I can't resist sharing a picture of the house before the renovation - the transformation is simply incredible! 

Before

After

I actually had to do a double take to check it was the same house! I'm so impressed with their vision and how they've gone the extra mile. The level of detail is a rare sight these days and really warms the heart - don't you think? Her online moniker 'snickarglädjen' (joiner joy) starts to make sense now! 

Behind the beautiful carpentry, there's a deck complete with an outdoor kitchen and dining area - an idyllic place to enjoy long summer evenings! 

Johanna and her partner have taken equal care with the interior, creating a charming home full of traditional details, beautiful wallpaper (mainly by Boråstapeter) and a cosy corners. Enjoy the tour! 







What a magical home! The level of care that has gone into the renovation oozes out from every room.
So much so, that it's worth going through the pictures several times - you're bound to spot something new every time!

Is there anything that stands out to you? 

You can see more pictures of Johanna's home over at @snickargladjen and on her website. If you're in the area you might also like to stop by Prästgården - where Johanna runs a boutique and a place to enjoy a swedish fika - as well as pick your own flowers. I'm all in!

If like me, you're now dreaming of rural life, here are a few other homes you might enjoy today: 


Speaking of rural life... we're up at the summer cottage for a few days and word on the street is that my parents-in-law are about to arrive in the harbour by boat. The girls are rushing around me in excitement. I'd better get busy so we can go and welcome them!

Wishing you a happy hump day (nope, still not quite used to that term!!). 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Johanna Berglund with kind permission. 

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Step Inside A Swedish Summer Cottage Oasis From the 1700s

I was meant to post a tour of a city apartment today, and then I realised my mind is already in the countryside - sitting by the sea, legs dangling idly in the cool, sparkling Scandinavian waters. So I hope you don't mind that we return to the beautiful island of Gotland today (yes, I am obsessed!). This summer paradise dating back to the 1700s is nestled in the old town of Visby, a few hundred yards from the Baltic Sea. The current owners described the renovation as a 'treasure hunt' since it unearthed so many exciting discoveries from times gone by including a deep well and an old baking oven. And now, it's time to pass over the reins. Could you be the next one to enjoy this little oasis, with its historic details, traditional kitchen, earthy tones and a seat under the boughs of a blossoming peach tree all summer long? 










Forget the summer - I could live here all year round, how about you?

So happy to see there's an outdoor shower in the garden too, there's nothing nicer than rinsing off under the open sky don't you think (see my outdoor shower and bathroom round-up here!). 

I think I've linked to it quite a few times already (understatement, I hear you say!) but just in case you missed it and would love to see a few more pictures from Gotland and other east coast islands, take a peek at my travel diaries

This summer we're hoping to sail up Sweden's west coast (weather permitting!) and I was thinking of taking my camera and writing a feature about it once we're back. What do you think? Could this be interesting? The Gothenburg archipelago is one of my favourite places in the world and I'd so love for you to experience it one day (if you haven't already!). 

Leaving you with a few other charming summer cottages today: 


Have a lovely, sunny day friends!

Niki

Photographs courtesy of Fastighetsbyrån - with thanks

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A Magical Norwegian Cottage With a Wabi Sabi Vibe

Here in Scandinavian we're counting down the days to Midsummer's Eve. Nature has sprung to life in a riot of colours - with meadows and grass verges bursting with poppies, daisies, harebells and lupins. The sun casts a long, hazy shadow well into the evening as adults and children alike soak up every last drop of golden sun. In the small hamlet of Nesodden, near Oslo, Norway, Hilde Mork and her two children are enjoying the midsummer sun from their magical country cottage. Last year, Hilde and a colleague converted the former ceramics studio and stables into a family home using 100% recycled and secondhand materials. Inspired by Scandinavian functionality and 'Nordic wabi sabi', today the cottage also serves as a studio for Hilde's work as a graphic designer, photographer and storyteller - and an idyllic base from which to enjoy the surrounding forest and countryside. Velkommen inn to Hilde's magical world - where the beauty lies in the imperfection. 




The neighbour's cat often stops by for a visit, making himself at home beside a vintage cabinet, cookery books and bunches of dried flowers. 



In this close-up you can really see how the kitchen has been built using secondhand and recycle materials - from the reclaimed porcelain sink and taps to the cabinet doors. A vintage scissor lamp* provides light after sunset.


A simple rail serves as storage for an array of pots and pans and a traditional woven birch basket* is ideal for other small items. 

In the winter a wood burning stove helps to keep the cottage feeling cosy and warm, while in summer it provides a perfect spot for a vase of wildflowers. 

A series of vintage mirrors help to bounce the light around while also creating a lovely wall display! 



On warmer days, life moves outside, where the family enjoy the surroundings in an understated way while making the most of the long hours of sunshine. 


What a magical world! Slow and sustainable living at its finest. 

Could you imagine soaking up the Scandinavian summer sun from this charming Norwegian country home? 

Take a peek at more of Hilde's home on her instagram @hildemork78 and find out more about her work as a freelance graphic designer, photographer and storyteller on her website www.hildemork.me

Up for a little more Scandinavian country inspiration today? Take a look at these magical homes:


Have a great start to the week friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Hilde Mork, shared with kind permission. 

*This post contains affiliate links which means I might make a very, very tiny amount of money if you buy an item through the links marked with an asterisk. 


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