Turn Your Outdoor Space Into a Cosy Haven This Autumn / Winter

Baby, it's cold outside. At least in Sweden! Usually, this would be a cue to move indoors, but there's nothing normal about 2020, right? This autumn it's all about catching up with close friends and family al fresco. Which means it's time to up the backyard / balcony ante! The good news is, the Scandinavians have been pros at this for years. Visit a café or restaurant in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, and you'll find every chair in the outdoor area has been prepped with a fleece blanket. And they don't stop there. Sheepskins, outdoors rugs, string lights, lanterns, candles and fire pits are all pre-requisites to a cosy evening al fresco - no matter the weather! I started to up my backyard game a few weeks back, but I've realised there's a whole lot more I can do. Are you also looking to turn your outdoor space into a cosy haven? Here's a little inspiration to get you started.

Early Autumn nights call for candles, lanterns, a beautiful set of string lights and maybe even the warmth of an open flame. All this, not only to illuminate your outdoor space but also to create a relaxing ambience and the kind of comfort we crave right now! 

Lastly, round up some extra chunky blankets and put them within easy reach for you and your guests to grab. You can never have too many! 

Just add woolly jumpers, a hat and a steaming mug of glögg and you're all good to go! 

What are your plans for staying connected this Autumn (or Spring if you're in the southern hemisphere)? 

I'm thinking lots of Zoom calls, but we also might just fire up the barbecue this weekend for halloween!


Thank you so much to Ana Degenaar for helping to collateral the lovely pictures for this blog post! 

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16 Inspiring Outdoor Terraces for Every Size, Style and Budget

Outdoor spaces are fascinating - there are just so many alternatives and done right, they can become a wonderful extension of your living space. Whether you're influenced by the 'English garden' (my Mother's London borders are packed with blooms and you can't see the patio for pots!), the 'Scandinavian outdoor space' (more often than not: an understated, practical and comfortable affair) or the walled Mediterranean courtyard, where balmy evenings are enjoyed alfresco with a chilled glass of rosé - I hope you'll find inspiration in my round-up of 16 outdoor spaces for every size, style, budget and climate!

1. The romantic urban oasis (above)
I had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Henriette in Paris for the launch of the French version of my Lagom book and it was even more magical in real life! Do as this wonderful boutique hotel and make a feature of a back wall using climbers, a mirror and twinkling fairy lights. Add vintage outdoor furniture for a romantic oasis right there in the city!

2. The urban side alley
Make the most of narrow spaces with slim borders a simple table and string lights!

3. The built in bench
When space is of a premium opt for a built-in bench that lines the wall or fence (it can also be used for storage!). Wisteria, seen in the far right corner, is a great plant for vertical greenery, and it's hardy too. We all know the real hero of this space though: the fireplace! How very hygge!  You can see the complete tour of this little garden here

4. The wood burning stove
An old wood burner has been given a whole new lease of life in this lovely Swedish backyard. Loving the bamboo furniture too.

5. The big illusion!
Mirrors can make a small outdoor space feel way bigger. I particularly love old repurposed varieties. This one is available at Aldgate Homes.

6. The window to the world
In an urban environment it can be tricky to carve out a private space. In this pretty Parisian courtyard which once featured on the front of Marie Claire Maison, glass windows ensure a light and airy feel while wisteria and potted Japanese Maples screen the patio from view. That bar table is great too, don't you think?

7. The natural canopy! 
This easy-to-care for space is a natural extension of the house. Vines have been trained along a trellis for natural coverage. Painting outdoor walls is also a great option if you like a little colour!

8. The all-weather 'garden'
This stunning space in Holland gives the illusion that you're outside while actually being housed in a greenhouse! Check out the tiles!

9. The boho-romantic patio!
Can you also feel the warmth and gentle breeze oozing from this sun-dappled terrace? Rattan furniture and bright coloured cushions add to the vibrant and relaxed feel. Word of warning - if you live in cooler climes, make sure you opt for rattan furniture designed to withstand all weathers.

10. The comfy diner! 
It's not always possible to squeeze in a dining area and comfy L-shaped sofa - so why not combine the two. This sofa has been made from concrete and then lined with pretty cushions. I also like that this Moroccan-inspired outdoor patio belonging to actress Shay Mitchell, has been made up of mix and match furniture and lots of vertical greenery for a wonderful, relaxed vibe! See the full tour over on My Domaine.

11. The treat your feet!
In the summer it's not unusual to wonder outside bare foot - so why not treat them to something soft? Rugs are a perfect way to make an outdoor space feel cosy. If you live in a rainy place (story of my life!) select rugs specifically designed for outdoor areas. 

12. Warm Minimalist
Who said minimalist spaces need feel cold? This beautiful, covered dining area has been created using palm woven chairs and a simple wooden table for lovely, long lunches alfresco. The towels on the wall give the impression that there might just be a pool lurking around the corner... nice! 

13. The Balcony jungle
Bring 'forest bathing' to your balcony with a load of beautiful plants (look closely and you'll see they are all low maintenance perennials - hurrah!). I also love how they've painted the wall dark grey to make the space feel more intimate. A set of string lights add a magical touch after sunset. 

14 . The DIY roof terrace
Unless it's your sole outdoor space, let's face it, roof terraces are often neglected! But there's a simple way to transform them into a comfortable oasis on a budget. This wonderful corner sofa has been cobbled together using a series of shipping palettes. Just add cushions and a pretty climber and you'll have a little oasis in no time. 

15. The hammock
Hands up who else would happily swap places with the person in this picture? We might not be lucky enough to have a pool like this (isn't it lovely?!) but there's usually a place for a hammock (I like this one*) - even on a balcony. Just add a great book! 

16. The pool garden
This would never fly in our garden in Sweden - but a girl can dream, right?! Plus, there might be some of you out there with a space and climate begging for a pool like this. If so, can I come over?! Oh, and it's made from a shipping container - can you believe that?!

Roll on summer and long lunches alfresco! 

For more outdoor inspiration today, take a peek at:

My small backyard gets a cosy make-over
7 boho ideas for outdoor spaces (big and small)
A charming Swedish garden
Alfresco showers!

I'd love to hear more about your ultimate backyard -  and what you loved most from these pictures. Weigh in below if you have the time!


Photo credits in order of appearance: 1. Herve Goluza / 2. Nanette Wong / 3 & 4. De Zanderik / 5 & 6 Peter Carlsson / 7. Aldgate Home / 8. Marie Claire Maison / 9. Unknown - can you help?! 10. Yvonne Kusters Interior / 11. Gypsy Purple / Katherine Ireland / 12. Shay Mitchell / My Domaine / 13. Unknown - please help me to match this picture with the owner! / 14. Tine K Home / 15. Unknown - can you help pair this picture with its owner? 16 Unknown - great if you can help! / 17. Haciendas Tentadoras - photo by Nils Preston Schlesbusch / 18. Tanqua pools (I am not sure if this is the original credit, if not, please give me a shout below!) 

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My Small Back Yard Gets a Cosy Make-over


When we moved into our house ten years ago the back garden was completely derelict save for a patchy lawn and a pathway beaten in by neighbourhood cats! It looked completely uninviting! I have to confess, the English girl in me has always pined for a big garden which I could fill with plants and flowers - so I was a little sceptical about this aspect of the house. Over time though, we've slowly chipped away at it - pulling up the grass, adding climbers and perennials and lots of garden furniture. And then this week, we spiced it up with a load of cosy pillows, blankets, lanterns and other accessories courtesy of my wonderful sponsor, Danish homeware brand Nordal. It feels so much cosier now. I snapped a few pictures to share with you. I hope you like it as much as we do! 

One of things I love the most is the brown rust archway from a local garden centre - we had to remove a section of the beech hedge to fit it in but the space immediately felt bigger. A large umbrella also helped to create a more intimate feel, especially since our garden is overlooked.

I love lanterns, they help to light up the plants and flowers after dark and make a back yard feel extra mysigt (plus they're perfect when Malmö is such a windy place to live!).

Since the garden is surrounded by hedges, the only way to add flowers such as these Anemones was to use makeshift flower boxes and plant pots. I've also got some pretty, terracotta pots (see further down) which I found at a local nursery.

We picked up the L-shaped sofa a few years ago in a garage sale (search for 'black rattan outdoor sofas' and I'm sure you can find a similar one) - it's soooo comfortable! And even more so after throwing in a load of linen cushions and blankets. The girls like to chill on the floor cushions!

I planted some mojito mint a few months ago and it's gone completely wild - which means cocktails galore around here - and even some left over to make tea. The brass tray is from Nordal.

Often oil lamps are a way better route to take in the garden than candles since they shelter the flame and can be refilled. Underneath the table is a kilim rug which I found in my Danish neighbour's garage (thank you Daphne!) - I love it but sadly it's not outdoor-proof so it'll need to be taken indoors when the rain comes down (read: often!). 

I love the patina on old terracotta pots. This is one of my favourites (I've had it for years, it's perfect for lavender and salvia! 

Right. I have to confess - bamboo isn't the best outdoor furniture choice for Sweden (if you live in a wonderful consistently warm clime you're way better off!). BUT it does look pretty we thought we'd give it a go and enjoy it while it lasts (to make it go that little bit further we throw it into storage over the winter) - we bought this set a few years ago but there are lots of beautiful sets online! The linen blanket and chair cushions are both Nordal.

My Mother gave the antique bench to me as a present years ago - sadly it's so rusty these days that it's not really possible to sit on it, but I couldn't bear to part with it so it now functions as somewhere to store extra blankets and plants. 

The string lights really add that final touch in the evenings - and they're so subtle too! I found these in town, and I know there are a load on places like Etsy

I hope you enjoyed the tour! It's not a big space, but we think it's a super cosy place for the family to hang out in!  

In case you're curious about some of the accessories I added this week, here's the low down: 
Get the look

1. Tall lantern
2. Small lantern
3. Dark grey cushion cover
4. Raw metal bench
5. Brass water pitcher
6. Natural linen blanket
7. Iron planter on stand
8. Chair pad
9. Natural linen cushion cover
10. Garden pruner
11. Ikat quilt
12. Brass tray

If you're curious about anything else you've seen just give me a shout in the comment section below, I'd be more than happy to help!


This make-over was made possible with the help of Nordal. All design, styling and words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the companies that make fresh content possible.

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A 19th century Swedish home with an outdoor oasis

I'm curious - what would you say the best thing about summer is? For me, it's the time spent outdoors. I love how you can throw the doors and windows open in the morning and stride around barefoot all day. We have a very small backyard, which does the trick (on the whole) but when I spotted this Swedish home which went out on the market this week it was hard to not jump straight in the car and head over for a viewing! Located in Landskrona, here on the south west coast of Sweden, the late 19th century house belongs to designer and architect Robin Berkhuizen (if you don't already follow Robin on Instagram, you must!). The white property has been beautifully renovated to reveal original brickwork and beams while at the same time transforming the interior into the magnificent family home it is today. And just look at that outdoor oasis?!

Credits: home-owner / designer: Robin Berkhuizen  / For sale through Fastighetsbyrån.Thank you for the tip Pella Hedeby!

Could you imagine living here? I think I need to have words with the man when he gets home!

You can see more pics of this magical home over on Robin's instagram feed and find out more information about the sale here.

Oh and on an entirely separate note - you may have noticed some changes going on around here with my blog design! I felt it was time for a subtle refresh and am working with the talented Ana Dagenaar of Blog Milk Design to give My Scandinavian Home a little bit of a face lift. There may be some disturbances over the next few days - but I hope it should all be up and running by the end of the week. Do let me know if you spot anything strange, you're missing anything or simply have a thought about the design you would like to share. I'm all ears! Thank you!

Have a lovely day!

PS I thought you might be interested to hear the wonderful blogger / colour trend specialist Gudy Herder is holding a give-away to win a copy of my book, The Scandinavian Home: Interiors inspired by light - open to European readers!

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