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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 Cosy Finnish Log Cabin In Winter Time


This morning I had to wear gloves for the first time while cycling to the studio. It was one of those crisp sunny mornings - and I found myself excited about the prospect of winter woollies and thick socks! Are you there yet? In honour of this, I thought we could embrace the Scandinavian winter spirit with an über cosy Finnish log cabin. Flanked by lake and forest in Sastamala, 3-hours from Helsinki,  'Koivikko' (meaning 'birch grove') cabin provides the perfect retreat for owners Kimmo Pirhonen, head of Finnish clothing and homeware brand Balmuir, and Ville Pursiainen. The cosy 100-year-old cabin required little in the way of renovation, with the floors already painted soft grey when they moved in. Instead Kimmo and Ville have focused on creating a cosy hide-away, from where they can recharge their batteries and enjoy the peaceful surroundings without distraction. Ready to get toasty? Step this way...





How lovely! 

I could head there for the weekend and stay the month, how about you? 

The timber walls are just beautiful! 

Imagine waking up in that fluffy bed beside the fire on a winter morning - coffee gently brewing on the stove. Gaaah! 

Check out the original feature in Sköna Hem (in Swedish).

If I've got you in the toasty cabin vibe now, check these 'hyggeligt' hideaways out too: 


Anyone else dreaming about a weekend at a cosy log cabin now? 

Niki

Photography: Krista Keltanen, shared with kind permission. 

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Step Inside The 'Whale Song Shack' With A Dreamy Ocean View

The routine has started - which feels a little like work - home - work - home - work - home, interspersed with crazy early mornings where the kids can't find their gym kit / homework / bike keys - aaaagh! This could explain the copious amounts of getaways I've been sharing from the Southern Hemisphere lately. I mean, who wouldn't rather be reading a book in a cabin overlooking the sea right now?! And this one in Tasmania had me at the name: Whale Song Shack. Originally built by a local fisherman, the cabin has been transformed into a breath-taking holiday home where you can watch whales migrate, gannets dive and fish and fishing boats haul their catch from the window.  Inside, the whitewashed interior is deliberately pared back - with wood details and vintage finds adding plenty of warmth - or when the temperatures really dip, there's a wonderful stone fireplace! Ready to dream? 







Meet you there?

I've been contemplating writing another book lately - could you imagine what an incredible writer's retreat this would make? Gaaah! Amazing! For now, of course, it's all about staying put, but a girl can dream, right?! I hope this cabin has you dreaming today too - and given you a spark of mid-week inspiration for your own home!

See more photos and find more information about the wonderful Whale Song Shack (love their instagram too!). 

 Here are a few other cabins I dream about daily: 


And nearer home, my friends' cabin: 

Have a happy Wednesday! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Whale Song Shack including photographs by Marnie Hawson and Kate T.

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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 Charming Swedish Allotment Cottage In Summer Time

If there's one thing the Scandinavians are good at, it's a staycation. It could be because the system is set up to give people a long summer holiday (3 weeks in a row is very normal), it could also be that everyone has waited so long for the good weather to arrive that the last thing they want to do is miss it! Some may stay home in the city (or countryside), others might visit friends and family, and others again might head to their summer cottage or 'kolonistuga' (a small house on an allotment that you're allowed to stay in over a limited period). I touched upon the latter a few weeks ago when I showed a wonderful little artist's cottage in Copenhagen. And today, I stumbled across this pretty abode! Located on aptly named 'Spenatgången' ('spinach aisle'), the one bedroom cottage has everything you need for a summer's day (an easy chair, a radio and a vintage tea set!) and reflects the simple, back to basic lifestyle that so many love to enjoy here in summertime.  After all, who needs a load of fuss around you when you have an abundance of light?! 



Look at the floor! Loving this mint hue - something to consider if you opt for a white interior! It also took me a while to spot the simple plug-in hob on the counter-top!






I can just imagine the owners toiling the earth before rewarding themselves with a cup of tea (actually... make that an extra strong coffee if I know my Swedish friends right!) in the deckchairs! 

As the Swedish proverb goes 'borta bra, men hemma bäst' (away is good, but being at home is best) - and when I look at this little cottage, these words certainly ring true. 

Could you imagine spending your summers here? Bet you know what I'm going to say! Yep, this charming allotment cottage in Gothenburg is for sale! Read more about it here if you're curious! 


Here's to a simple summer! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Helins Mäklarbyrå with thanks.

I have been reading all the new comments that came in over the weekend on my reflection post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on such an important topic, I'm proud to be part of this community.

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