A Cosy Candlelit Cabin Deep In The Norwegian Fjords


Do you get the feeling that some days you just want to escape to a far-off place, light a fire and lead a simple life? In my mind, Lisa Reid Mjaavatten has got it just right. Her cosy log cabin lies deep in the Western Norwegian fjords, surrounded by mountains and endless wilderness. Built in the 1970s and consisting of two tiny bedrooms, it provides just enough space for her, her husband and their three children to escape daily life in Bergen. In her interview with North Letters magazine, Lisa describes how her cabin is her sanctuary - even in the midst of the harsh Norwegian winter.  Read on to discover why!

As an interior designer, Lisa was keen to maintain the history of the cabin and keeping the original pine panelled walls and kitchen was a deliberate move to keep "the very spirit and essence alive in the cabin". The decor is also deliberately simple and uncomplicated. "I do not need a lot of things, not having a material ownership is incredibly liberating, but the few things I do own have a special meaning," she says. 


A simple log is used as a side table for candles and warming cups of coffee. 

A pair of vintage snowshoes adorn the wall in the bedroom, while a contemporary Kizu table lamp rests on a chest-of-drawers. 

When the family first bought the cabin, it had no water or electricity and they had to collect water from a few hundred metres away up a narrow forest path. It was only in recent years they decided to install electricity - and the simple act of switching on a light brought with it ''a feeling of total luxury.'' 


While many struggle with the harsh Norwegian winter, Lisa chooses to embrace it. "I love the cold and grey months." she tells Northern Letters, "Feeling the hard rain bite against your cheeks just gives me a little reminder that we are not in charge here, Mother Nature is in control. We are here to enjoy what she brings us and not take it for granted." 

Life at the cabin in winter doesn't come without complaints from the family - especially about "going outside in minus 15 degrees Celsius. Or scraping ice off the inside of the windows in mornings. Or cutting through thick ice in the property's well with an axe to get water for the morning coffee." But even these are seen as a positive: "This is adventure and we are making memories." 

Lisa enjoys a coffee on a handmade bench covered with a warm sheepskin (similar sheepskin items can be found here*).

Lisa loves to sit outside all year-round and take in the staggering surroundings. "The old pine and birch woodland around the cabin offer protection from the harsh weather and winds," she explains to Northern Letters. "The swaying of the branches from the hallowing winds up the fjord sing songs when I am alone."   And the beauty of the huge mountain peaks and deep, inky blue fjords bring with them a sense of calm. "They are like old friends keeping an eye on us."

What a magical place! 

I was particularly interested to hear how Lisa embraces the harsh Scandinavian winter. I have to confess I've always struggled with this - especially come January and February! I like the idea of deciding that the feeling of the freezing cold rain or snow on your face can be seen in a different light - and obstacles caused by the cold weather build memories. Funnily enough, some of my strongest memories (and language!) come from trying to put chains on the tyres in Norway, or stepping out in minus 25 degrees Celsius at Marianne's cabin and watching the head torches of cross-country skiers flash pass as they make their way home. 

I also took heed from a wise friend from Greenland who suggested experiencing sunny days in winter as a bonus. "If you except that it's likely to be cold and grey when you walk out the door, you're more likely to embrace it," she explains. 

I've also found lighting candles at breakfast and after work help to make me feel good - as well as bringing in lovely seasonal touches like pinecones, branches from a fir tree etc. Not so much that it feels Christmassy - but just enough to enjoy that hygge vibe! 

Do you experience harsh winters where you live? If so, do you have any tips on how to embrace the colder months of the year?

Thank you so much to North Letters for the kind permission to share these beautiful images. You can read more about Lisa's home here (in English) and it will also be in print when North Letters magazine hits the newsstands in February 2021. In the meantime, I'd highly recommend checking out their Instagram feed - it's stunning!

Fancy feeling all cosy today by taking a peek inside a few other Scandinavian log cabin? I love: 


Have a hyggeligt day friends! 

Niki

Photography: Gunn Kristin Monsen

*affiliated links

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A Norwegian Home With A Cosy Autumn Vibe

Someone once described Norway to me as 'Scotland on steroids' - simply because the nature is so vast and awe-inspiring. And in my mind, the country really comes into its own in Autumn when the fjord lands put on a spectacular display of golden hues and fiery reds. I reached out to Astrid Marie, a Norwegian interior designer whose wonderful home in Western Norway is always a perfect reflection of the season - to hear her best tips on how to harness the beauty of the season. And best of all, most of them won't cost you a penny! 

"Go outside and look for pieces from nature that can be used to decorate your home. I love using branches with or without leaves alongside fallen pinecones"

"I love to take branches from my beech tree. They keep their brown leaves all winter before the fresh green leaves take over in the spring."

"I add pillows and blankets to create a cosy feel. I love to bring the colours of nature inside and choose pillows and blankets in brown, ochre and rust colours. Sheepskins are also nice at this time of year." 

"I love my fireplace, it makes our living room feel complete. It's especially cosy when it's cold outside. I like to listen to the crackle of the wood burning. The logs are a beautiful element in the interior even when the fire is not lit.  I also light a lot of candles during autumn and winter. I love scented candles!" 

"In summary, natural elements from nature are the ultimate decoration in autumn, and best of all, they're completely free!"



Such great tips! I don't know about you, but I'll be heading out to the woods beside my parents' house this week to see what I can find on the forest floor. I love that you don't have to spend a fortune to create a cosy Autumn feel at home - the Norwegian way!  

You can see more of Astrid Marie's lovely home here. And don't miss her instagram where she shares snapshots of her interior as well as latest Norwegian interior design projects. 

If I've got you in the mood for Norwegian style - there are a load more homes here - and there's a ton of Autumn ideas in this archive

Here's to a cosy start to the week! 

Niki

Photography: Astrid Marie

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A Charming Little Summer Cabin By a Norwegian Fjord

We're at the summer cottage this week, so I'm strictly in holiday mode - even if the weather is not! Even so, I couldn't resist pouring over beautiful 'sommarstuga' (summer cottage) inspiration and thought it would be rude to keep this little gem to myself! The Norwegian cabin in a former boat house belongs to Jotun colour Manager Lisbeth Larsen. Measuring a teeny 36 square metres (387 sqft), the cabin in beautiful Nesodden, Viken County, has everything you might need for a wonderful holiday including a sleep loft, dreamy open-plan living space and direct access to the Fjord! Oh, and being the colour maestro that Lisbeth is, it also has a beautiful harmonic feel. Ready for the tour? 

The cabin has been furnished with a mix of old and new including a kitchen from Kvik, table and bench from FRAMA and vintage chairs which have been painted in Lady supreme finish 4477 Deco Blue

On chillier summer days (err... like today, as well as the past 10 days, and if the forecast is anything to go by - the next 10 days too - baaaah!), a Jøtul wood burning stove comes in handy (if I ever satisfy my lifelong dream of a burner, I'd like one of these bad boys!). 

The back wall behind the sink has been painted in LADY Minerals 0394 Varmgrå and LADY Minerals sealer


The wonderful wide wood plank floor is from Moelven and the bulk of the cabin has been painted in LADY 10679 Washed Linen

This cosy bedroom to the right of the sink has been painted with LADY Pure Colour 4629 Skuggblå and the bedding is from Swedish brand Himla




You couldn't get closer to the fjord if you tried. How wonderful to enjoy a morning coffee looking out over the water! 

Could you imagine spending your summer here? 

Love the blue and greige colour scheme too, it perfectly matches the cabin surroundings, drawing the nature inside. 

Oh, how I love property conversions, how about you? They always make for the most interesting homes! Here are a few others I love:


Also see the schoolhouse, warehouse and barn conversion archives - so inspiring!  

Do you have a favourite?

I'll be back on Friday (now on Swedish summer holiday timings!). 

Ha det så fint! 

Niki

Photography: Per Erik Jæger
Styling: Siv Brenne

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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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The Inspiring Norwegian Home of a Danish Design Hunter!

Goooood morning! If you love discovering new instagram feeds as much as I do, here's a great one for you: @mr_aardal! Thomas Aardal has recently sold this beautiful early 20th century house in Sandnes, just south of Stavanger, Norway. I couldn't resist sharing a few snaps before he turns the key. The good news is, he's taking all his iconic Danish design furniture with him and I can't wait to see what he does next! Enjoy the tour! 







I love how there's a Danish treasure around every corner - Klint, Wenger, Jacobsen - this place reads like a who's who of Danish design! Mesmerising! 

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

If you'd like to see what Thomas Ardaal does next, follow along on instagram here: @mr_ardaal

There's a load more fabulous danish homes to discover in this archive today (hey, it's Monday, you've got to ease your way into the week in a nice way!). 

I've just arrived in Cologne, Germany for IMM Cologne - one of my favourite fairs! I'm going to do my best to check out all the latest trends and product news and report back. Follow along on instagram stories if you're curious! 

Have a great start to the week guys! 

Niki

PS There's absolutely no way I'd be able to have an open wardrobe like Thomas's. I wish I was as neat as this, but I've resigned myself to the fact that I never will be (sorry Kondo!). 

Photography courtesy of Thomas Aardal shared with kind permission. 

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