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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My home: garden updates with Ryobi One+ System

What does your outdoor space look like? We have a small but cosy backyard, which after a little work has become our very own outdoor oasis. It still requires a little TLC here and there - for example last weekend we sanded down the table and made a new plant box out of an old discarded palette (link to tutorial below!). It's amazing what you can do with an old palette and Ryobi tools! For those of you not familiar with the company, Ryobi specialises in cordless tools, specifically the ONE+ System with which you can power over 50 tools with the same battery, which is super convenient (and they're sooo easy to use). The day turned out to be really therepeutic (who would have thought DIY could be so mindful?!) - and most importantly had so much fun! Oh and now we have a beautiful table and plant box too! Hope you like it! #feelingempowered.

1. The sanding

2. Our new plant box made from a disused palette (using a jigsaw and drill). 

Photography: Niki & Per Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home

You can see a great tutorial on how to make a similar plant box here

For now we've loaded the box with pretty heather (I love the autumn colours) but come spring, we'll be starting the new vegetable patch (inspired by the The Rurbanite)- wish us luck!

A quick guide to where other things are from: the garden table, chairs and candle holder are from ILVAplates and cutlery from Nordal, blanket from The Beach House.

Have a lovely day!

This post was sponsored by Ryobi. However, all words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and trust and feel you will to. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help me to create fresh and exciting content here on My Scandinavian Home!....And thank you Ryobi for my amazing new power tools!

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Your very own garden retreat on a shoestring budget

Lately there's been a surge of interest in the garden shed. But not in it's traditional form. Sheds are being transformed into cosy spaces at the end of the garden to call your own. Somewhere to be creative, work or simply enjoy a cup of tea! Personally this type of garden retreat has always been a bit of a dream of mine, so I'm always inspired by people who have created their own. Jeska Hearne of Lobster & Swan recently collaborated with Waltons to create a a pretty space with a vintage-boho feel.  The summerhouse is full of whimsical florals and cheerful pops of colour and furnished almost entirely with flea market and antique finds as well as recycled / upcycled items.

Source: Lobster & Swan

Oh so lovely!

It would also make a great guest house (in the warmer months of the year), don't you think?

If you already have a garden shed you're in luck. If not, this one is a  contemporary summerhouse with side shed. Pick up vintage crates here.  There's always a great selection of mid-century side-tables to be found here.  Buy classic books in lovely new covers here. I love pretty Liberty print fabric in florals (like the ones Jeska's used for the cushions) - but you can use small samples of fabrics you have lying around at home - or search for vintage fabric online. Pick up a recycled blanket (and other items) at Jeska's beautiful online shop The Future Kept.

You can see more pics of this make-over here

Other inspiring garden retreats include this fab caravan and a dreamy shed conversion.

Could you imagine having a little space like this to call your own?

Have a lovely day!

PS I'm exploring Helsinki today, so exciting (thank you for all your tips over the last few days - I'm actually in Café Succés enjoying 'the best cinnamon bun in town' and I can testify that it is the best one I've ever tasted - with a bowl of café au lait of course!). I'll be walking around with a small skip in my step as I've just received the news that My Scandinavian Home has been nominated for Best European Interior Blog in the Amara #IBA16 - votes can now be placed here - I'd be so happy if you'd like to vote for me!

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A short and pretty guide to celebrating Midsummer, Swedish style

Tomorrow is one of my favourite celebrations of the year - midsummer. Here's my round-up of beautiful inspiration for celebrating midsummer the Swedish way. 

Damernas Värld
Miss wallflower
Honestly YUM
Bea's cookbook
A Bryan Photo

And for a little know how:

How to make a ethereal midsummer crown, and a beautifully simple floral wreath for your home.

And the feast. Oh the feast! This post by Honestly YUM is the perfect inspiration to create your own midsummer banquet. A midsummer berry cake. Or why not keep it simple - I love the idea of threading wildstrawberries onto straw (as seen above). 

Your midsummer cocktail: Aquavit, sherry and elderflower liqueur.  And decorating ice cubes.

Single? Swedish folklore says that if you pick seven different sorts of flowers and put them under your pillow on midsummer night, you'll dream of your future love!

 'Glad midsommar!' May the flowers in your hair be fresh, and your maypole dancing stay strong!

See you Tuesday! 

*for those of you in the southern hemisphere,  I guess it's happy winter solstice! - any excuse to celebrate, right....? Skål

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