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A Back-to-Basic Swedish Lakeside Cottage with a Wild Bathroom

While the snow falls here in Malmö, I am aware that those of you in the Southern hemisphere are basking in warm sunshine. So, today I'm pressing the pause button on my wintery posts and taking you on a journey to a little Swedish cottage by a lake in summertime. 

The little red and white cottage near Västerås, Sweden, truly embraces a back-to-basics lifestyle - and the great outdoors is as much a part of the living space as the indoors. Life here is all about switching off and enjoying a simple summer by the lake - just you, the trees, the occasional curious moose and a book by the water. 

Ready to dream? 

The main cottage measures a mere 20 m2 (215 ft2) and comprises a charming kitchen and sitting room area.

Remarkably simple, the cottage doesn't have any running water (you need to bring it with you - which is not unusual, I have a few friends that transport their own water to their cottages, some even located miles away on an island in the archipelago). It does however, have electricity! 

The charming kitchen has open shelving to display prettier items, which a chequered curtain covers the plumbing and pots and pans. An IKEA unit provides extra storage under the window. 

A placard behind the sink bears the words: 'For those who have good friends, the simple cottage becomes a castle'. Truer words were never spoken, do you agree? 

The cottage also has a fireplace for colder days (hey, this is Sweden - you never quite know what temperatures you're going to get come summer!). 

Notice how a curtain has also been used in lieu of a cupboard door - adding to the relaxed look of the space. 

A sunroom has been added to the front of the cottage, providing a perfect spot to entertain friends while looking out over the lake. An oil lamp overhead emits a warm glow at night. 

Blue and white is a classic theme for Swedish waterside summer cottages. Here a chair, runner and bowls draw the lake indoors.  

A stone's throw from the main cottage is a smaller one-room dwelling where you'll find the bedroom. A simple chair serves as a bedside table. 

The wild 'bathroom' comes in the form of a table, mirror nailed to a tree and the lake. There is also a compost loo nearby. 

To me, this picture embodies everything I love about the Swedish approach to summer, where even the most simple daily ritual becomes an event and brings you closer to nature. The perfect antidote to daily life in the city!

A lounge chair offers a place to relax and njuta* after a 'morgondopp' (morning dip) with a coffee.

Is this your kind of summer getaway? 

If so, perhaps this cottage is for you! Check out the listing here

Would you like to see a few other back-to-basic dwellings today? Feel inspired by:  


Happy Lillördag (little saturday)!

Niki

Photography courtesy of SvensktFastighetsförmedling, with thanks
*advert for my own work

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A Cosy Cabin Where the Outdoor Space Takes Centre-stage

I've gone a little off piste this week. OK, majorly off-piste, with not one but TWO cabins Down Under. The first: a garden hideaway, was on Wednesday, and the second - today! But who can blame me when they exude relaxed charm? 

The Woods Ocean Grove is made up of two cosy cabins nestled in the woods in the Ballerine Peninsula, Wadawurring, Australia. With the roar of the ocean and calls from the bush forever present, the property has been designed to embrace the great outdoors with an al fresco dining area, kitchen, bathroom and fire pit. 

Living in Sweden, I understand the allure of embracing the great weather when it arrives - and love the idea of carving out zones in the garden (or even a little balcony). Don't miss the snapshots of the interiors too - full of easy vintage style as well as colours and materials inspired by the ocean and bush beyond, drawing the outside in. 


Lovely inspiration for a balcony. I really like how they've added bar stools and a bar for coffee... wine.... If your balcony is covered, a swinging chair is a great idea too! 

The tiles in this outdoor bathroom give the space a complete look and an air of permanency. And you can never go wrong with a clawfoot tub, right? 



Outdoor curtains add a whimsical, soft touch to spaces which could otherwise come across 'hard'. In this instance, it's a perfect way to ensure privacy in the bathroom too! 



Anyone for tennis?

I actually used to play college tennis (many moons ago)! My serve is so bad these days though I prefer Padel. But I'd be happy to pick up my racket for a swing on this court! 

Could you imagine staying at The Woods Ocean Grove too? Find out more here

How great is the outdoor space? I know we don't all have gardens as big as this - but it's still amazing what you can do with a balcony or even a windowseat - and by adding lots of blankets, cushions and oil lamps you can enjoy it long into Autumn, maybe even winter! 

I've also always loved the idea of using colours that reflect your surroundings. Granted that in a city this can be tricky - but there's nothing to stop you from bringing in chestnut browns, rust and burnt orange come autumn, and vibrant green shades in the spring, storing and brining out items is such a quick way to refresh the home and embrace each season - and means you'll appreciate what you have even more. Do you like to update your home for the season? 

Have a fabulous weekend! I'll be back on Monday with a Scandinavian home tour! 

Stor kram! 

Niki

Photography by Marnie Hawson, styling Belle Hemming Bright. Shared with kind permission. Last picture by Nikole Ramsay

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10 Scandinavian Summer Cottages with a Little Extra Alfresco


The Scandinavian summer is all about making the most of the great outdoors, especially after the long, dark winter! Summer cottages are therefore designed to capitalise on the outdoor space. Alfresco living room areas, kitchens and bathrooms are a popular choice, while others might have anything from an outdoor pool to a more simple bathtub! For chillier days there's a sauna, and for everyday there's the lake, fjord or sea for morning, afternoon and evening dips! I hope you'll feel inspired by these ten wonderful Scandinavian summer homes. 










So many wonderful ideas here. Could you imagine incorporating some of these into your home / outdoor space? 

To be honest, the weather has been decidedly bad this summer so I think I'd opt for a sauna right now! Anna's floating one is really fabulous, don't you think?

With the holidays in full swing, I'm taking a couple of weeks off to be with my family. I hope you have a relaxing fortnight and the sun shines for you! 

See you on Wednesday 9th August! 

Niki

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18 Ideas to Create a Swedish Summer Oasis - From Basic to Blowout!

The Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea is a true summer paradise. It's a place where wild flowers sway in the wind, and the pin sharp light catches the rocks on the rugged coastline and glistens on the blue of the Baltic Sea. 

Swedes flock there in July and August to relax and catch up with family and old friends while soaking up the long hours of daylight.  

There are many beautiful houses dotted around the island - some basic, some luxurious and everything in between! Today I stumbled across this contemporary oasis on the North east of the island which is currently for sale (I know!) - and I couldn't resist sharing it with you.

Why? Firstly, it had me dreaming of wiling a way a summer here with family and friends. Secondly, more importantly, because although we might not all have the space / budget for everything this wonderful house to offer - there are lots of ideas to steal - both big and small to channel that wonderful Swedish summer house vibe! 

Ready to take a look? 

1. A covered outdoor dining and barbecue area: Summer is all about spending as much time outside as possible and making the most of the abundance of daylight hours. An outdoor  dining / BBQ area is essential. The trouble is, the Swedish weather gods aren't always on our side so a pergola, with fabric to draw across on rainy days is ideal!

2. Solar powered lanterns: who needs to be faffing around with turning on and off outdoor lighting when the sun can do the job for you?  IKEA sells solar lamps like these. They look beautiful hung in the trees at dusk (as seen in yesterday's home tour). 

3. Outdoor kitchen: If you can't take the heat, create an outdoor kitchen (if you only have a small outdoor space or balcony, mini versions are possible with some creativity!). A perfect way to prolong your time outdoors and save from shuttling everything to and fro on trays! 

See more outdoor kitchen inspiration here and here

4. The double sun lounger: there's something luxurious about a double lounger, don't you think? Pick one that can lay flat or prop up so you can enjoy a book or a siesta at whim! 

Note, bamboo is not very weather resistance so best kept under a covered terrace. 

5. Permanent Cover: let's just say the weather in Northern Europe doesn't always do what we want it to do. A covered terrace is ideal for ensuring you can still enjoy the great outdoors on rainy days - and it's perfect for shade on warmer days. 

6. A sauna: On chillier summer days, a sauna is a perfect way to relax and feel some much needed warmth. But on winter days it' really comes into its own. And the health benefits are numerous!

7. An outdoor shower: why wash off in a steamy bathroom, when you can lather under an open sky? 

8. A swing: There's no better way to bring out the child in you like a swing. In my mind I'm already sitting on it overlooking the pool with a drink in hand, how about you? 

9. A comfy outdoor social area: a perfect spot for relaxing with friends and enjoying a fika (the swedish ritual of enjoying a coffee and cake) - or better still, a pre-dinner aperitif! 

10. Somewhere to take a dip: this house has a wonderful pool - and I can totally see myself drifting around on a lilo - I mean, how lovely! But if like me, you don't have the space / budget, how about a small plunge pool or wilderness bath / hot tub? Or a nice cool dip in a nearby sea / lake / stream is also a wonderful way to cool off! 

11. Sports: table tennis, badminton, darts, Kubb (a classic Swedish garden game), croquet... it doesn't really matter which you decide on, it's just fun to have some social activities to enjoy in the sunshine!

12. A relaxed indoor kitchen: At the Swedish summer house it's all about keeping life as simple as possible and the indoor kitchen should reflect this. Simple open shelves allow for a relaxed, 'grab and go' feel and natural materials like wood and stone help to bring the outdoors in. 

13. Let there be light! The Scandinavian winters are dark, so when the light returns it's important to embrace it. Glass doors help light to flow through to rooms further away from the window. A simple curtain can be pulled across for privacy. 

14. Hooks and more hooks: there's no simpler way to store your summer clothes than a rail of hooks. Besides, all you'll be needing (with any luck) is a robe, bikini, kimono and sunhat! Oh, alright then, maybe a cardi / jumper for the evenings. And a raincoat.... but let's not get bogged down in the details! 

15. A simple dressing room area: a mirror, hooks and chest-of-drawers = a basic walk-in-wardrobe, Swedish style! 

16. A space to work: A quiet place by the window will help you to feel connected with the great outdoors and keep that holiday feel alive while you work! 

17. A simple outhouse for guests: when it comes to the Swedish summerhouse, it's about accommodating as many people as possible - whether that's extended family or friends passing through for the night. I for one, would be perfectly happy to wake up in this little poolside cabana! But I've also seen garden sheds transformed into wonderful little guest houses (size permitting of course!). 

18. Bring your own bedding: In Sweden, it's customary for guests to bring their own sheets, duvet covers, and pillowcases and you provide the bed, pillow and duvet. Which means less work for everyone, and more time catching up! 

So many ideas - I for one would love a table tennis to have outside at our little cabin this summer - so fun! I might just have my eye on a double sun lounger too.

Is there anything that stood out to you?  

For more ideas on how to spice up your outdoor space, Scandi style, see: 


Kram! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Bertwig with thanks 




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