Before and After: A Rundown House Becomes a Dream Swedish Country Home

I first discovered Johanna's house, in the southern Sweden county of Smålland, via her instagram feed  Vårt Lilla Gröna (our little green), through which she shares pictures of her not so little, but definitely green and very beautiful country home. Although I didn't find a huge amount of 'before' pictures, the ones I did find go a long way to show the sheer amount of work Johanna and her family have put into transforming the house into a beautiful home. Not only that, but they also demonstrate what you can do with a little vision, DIY, up-cycling and a lot of wallpaper! 

Let's take a peek. 

Exterior before

In this glimpse of the exterior, you can see how run down the house was when they first acquired it.

Exterior after

Cladding and period details were added to the exterior, along with a practical terrace - all of which completely transformed the look and feel of the property.

Johanna and her husband are a real dab hand at DIY and carry out many of the projects themselves. The flower tubs above are just one of their many creations! 

A perfect spot in the sun! Just add tea and a book. 

Interior before 

The interior needed gutting and new walls and ceilings were put in - in other words, it needed a massive amount of work! 

The kitchen was stripped right back, and the old stove area was completely reconstructed to create a practical cooking area. 

Kitchen after

Today the family benefit from modern appliances with a traditional country style feel. 

A built-in window seat provides a place to gaze out of the window from the kitchen.  

Clever use of earthy paint colours and traditional wallpaper help to add interest in a time-honoured way to the many rooms. 

Above, the 'skafferi' (larder) door has been painted in two tones), giving it added impact. Incidentally, I have noticed that the traditional larder is coming back in a big way these days. I wish we had the space for one, they remind me so much of my grandparents' house - they use to store my grandads home brewing kit and lots of chocolate clubs! 

Do you have a larder? 

Fireplace before


Fireplaces and woodburning stoves are already coming into their own this autumn in a bid to avoid the escalating electric and gas prices! These masonry tiled ovens are incredibly efficient. 

Johanna was careful to protect this one while they undertook the renovations. 

I love this before and after comparison between white walls and wallpaper. There's something so homely with wallpaper, don't you think? 



Johanna is great at finding second-hand treasures which she then upcycles. This traditional Swedish bench was sanded down, slightly reconfigured and then painted - before becoming a lovely children's bed! 

At the far end of Johanna's daughter's bedroom is perhaps the most magical homemade dolls houses I've ever seen. Click here to see the tour on Instagram (and what the cabinet looked like before the transformation). 



And finally, I couldn't resist sharing this pretty Autumn touch - wreaths on the garden gates, such a lovely idea! 

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Johanna's life in the countryside of Smålland.

Feel like you've seen it somewhere before? No, you're not imagining things, I once showed some snapshots of Johanna's lovely home all decked out for Christmas

See more pictures and feel inspired by her latest projects here

Do you have lots of wallpaper in your home too? I grew up with Laura Ashley wallpaper, but we don't have any in our house right now. 

Would you like to see a few other country homes today? Take a look at: 


This afternoon I'm heading up to our little cabin with a friend - it's such a lovely sunny, autumn day, I can't not make time for a long walk by the sea! Maybe it'll even be warm enough to sit outside? If per asks though, I'm working of course! 

Have a lovely day, I hope the sun is shining where you are too! 

Niki

Photography: Johanna / @vartlillagrona

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Period Charm, Pattern and Fabulous Paintwork in a Striking Swedish Home

I've been curious to know who is behind the interior design of this red brick Malmö house ever since it came on the market. Whoever it is has a passion for interior design - and worked really diligently to tell the tale of the property's past, which I absolutely love! From the outside, the classic green sash window frames and scent of traditional roses set the early 20th century scene, while inside, striking paintwork helps to enhance the period features. Keep a look out for smaller details such as the handprinted hall floor, stair rails and wallpaper - all of which help to tell the story of its past, while bringing a contemporary feel to the space. 

The entrance way sets the scene for a home that's full of contrast. 


At first glance it looks like tiling but look closely and you'll see the geometric pattern has been hand painted on wood. 

Side note: did you know, Sweden has a long tradition of painting wood floors? It dates back to the 18th century when simpler wood floors were painted to emulate more expensive materials such as stone or tiles. 

Notice the darker paint around the sash windows - which helps to make them more of a focal point. You can see the same idea in a more traditional environment in this Norwegian cabin. It's such a clever technique! 

A traditional masonry oven helps to heat both the sitting room and kitchen (although these days it's more for the 'mys' (cosy) factor!


I love the incredible windows in the dining area, which open right out, creating an indoor and outdoor feel in summertime, while complimenting the style of the house. 


Striking details and patterns! 

I love it when a small downstairs loo / guest bathroom is done up in a dramatic way - the bolder the better! 

The dark theme is carried through to the bedroom in the form of a vintage wardrobe - as well as in the hallway. 

The garden is filled with traditional lavender and roses (imagine the wildlife!) - which contrasts beautifully with a more contemporary outdoor seating area. 

Such a stunning house and garden. I am very tempted to go and see it, I must say. What do you think - worth a viewing? 

Is it me, or does it also have an English look and feel about it? Perhaps that's why it caught my eye! 

You can find out more info about the house here (in Swedish). 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Bolaget

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A Charming Swedish Home Full of Pattern and Plants!

Fancy a trip to the North of Sweden today? Actually, the East coast city of Sundsvall is only halfway up the country (it's one EXTREMELY long land mass!) - but living in the South, it feels a long way North - so wrap up, we're in for a long ride! Johanna and Aron used to live in an apartment, but when their dream house came on the market, they jumped at the chance to move in with their children Elsi and Jack and poodle Louie (look out for him in the snapshots below, he's so handsome!). The previous owners had done a wonderful job of renovating the property, which allowed Johanna and Aron to focus on the fun part - like "choosing wallpaper and adding colour, pattern and plants!" The pair are extremely passionate about furnishing their home with secondhand pieces "that have a history" - which, in my experience, is key to creating a beautiful, interesting and personal home! Välkommen in

I can't believe it's September already! Eeek! This is just the type of climbing plant I was talking about in yesterday's home tour. Plants like these, combined with fresh flowers and cushions with botanical motifs (like this William Morris one) will help to feel the transition into Autumn and winter less severe (especially if you're a summer babe like I am!).


Johanna and Aron have created a BEAUTIFUL conservatory using rattan furniture and an abundance of cushions and plants -  giving a feeling of being outdoors! Imagine how cosy this space is on a sunny Autumn day, or all lit by candles in the evening?! 

This leather pouf* and jute rug* are similar. 



Johanna has chosen two different William Morris wallpapers for her bedroom and the guest room.  

I'm a big fan of the glass cabinet - look out for my post over the next couple of days and you'll see why! The one in this bedroom (could it be from IKEA?) serves as a great place to store creative kit which is way to pretty to hide away.



What a lovely, relaxed home!

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

I think all the plants add such a great feel! Some say you can never have too many plants  - just look at the home of Caroline Reichel, Hilton Carter, and the Arctic Gardener!

Are you a big fan of greenery too?

See more of Johanna and Aron's home over at her inspiring instagram feed @kvarteret_krukan.

Thank you for joining me on our armchair trip to Sundsvall today - I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! I hope one day, we can all visit in person, I think I'd feel right at home here. 

Niki

Photography: @kvarteret_krukan
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