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Helen's Cosy Swedish Summer Cottage Living Room


Kindly sponsored by Nordal, thank you for supporting the brands which make features like this possible*

A few weeks ago, I headed off to My Scandinavian Home interior designer Helen Sturesson's 19th century summer cottage in Blekinge on Sweden's east coast. We had such a lovely time! Last week I shared some information about the cottage's fascinating past and some snapshots of the cosy kitchen, including her Mum's incredible apple pie - take a peek here if you missed it! Today, I'm looking forward to showing you a tour of the main living room area and bedroom (the entire cottage is made up of three rooms: a kitchen, sitting room and bedroom. The loo is at the end of the garden and the bathroom is... in the Baltic Sea! A special thanks to Nordal - the Danish brand who made this trip possible - you'll spot many of their lovely pieces throughout the rooms! Ready to take a look?

The cottage is L-shaped, and the sitting room connects the kitchen (to the right) with the bedroom, when the family of four are here, they all share a room. Two windows flood the space with a warm southerly Autumn light. 

The room is made up of many different items collected over time - including a vintage sofa, a big glass cabinet which helps to keep books and games dust free as well as an incredible mirrored coffee table!


When Helen moved in, she peeled back the plaster on the wall to discover beautiful wood panelling. The planks are all numbers which could indicate the house has have been moved here - although this isn't confirmed (I have come across 'house moving' before in Sweden, does this ever happen in your country? 

CEMA pots in medium, large and extra-large, Club lounge chair in teak and paper rope.

Large 'kakelugn' (tiled ovens) stand in the corner of the main living room and bedroom and are amazingly effective at heating up the house.


In this picture you can catch a glimpse of the wood floor which squeaks as you move across it. A traditional Swedish 'trasmatta' (rug woven with rags / scraps of cloth which I wrote about in my Lagom book as they are a big part of the Swedish heritage) helps to keep drafts at bay and if you look very closely you'll notice the walls are wonky, adding to the charm! 

In the bedroom, floral wallpaper and natural wood help to bring the outside in and a candle brightens up the dark autumn day while adding a sense of calm.


I hope you enjoyed this snapshot into Helen's cottage.

If you have any questions about anything, give me a shout in the comment section below and I'll ask Helen for the low down. 

Incidentally, it's not possible to buy the Nordal items directly from their website (they sell wholesale only), however, there are many webshops throughout Europe which stock their things. Find your nearest stockist here

Next week, I'm looking forward to sharing the final post of three: Helen's cottage ready for Christmas - weeeee, so excited about this one! 

Meanwhile, I'm busy packing for a two-day trip to Oslo, Norway (very excited!) where I'll be writing a guide for Simply Scandi magazine UK (my guide to Helsingborg appears in the latest edition and there's also a Christmas edition on sale right now which features a piece I wrote about our Swedish Christmas). The mag is available here in case you're curious! 

Do you think it could be interesting to share a guide to Oslo here on My Scandinavian Home too? 

Wishing you all a REALLY wonderful, relaxing weekend - and look forward to seeing you here again on Monday! 

Niki

*Thank you to Nordal for this paid partnership and helping to make My Scandinavian Home possible. All words and photos in this post are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. 

A Charming A-Frame Cabin on the Danish Island of Orø


Saturday marks the start of 'höstlov' (autumn half term) here in Scandinavia, and many will be packing their bags in search of a quieter week in the countryside. I wonder if Marie Monrad Graunbøl will be heading to her cabin on the beautiful Danish island of Orø? I first came across her cosy A-frame in the Skandinavisk Voices magazine, and since we're in the middle of building our own cabin, I couldn't resist taking a closer look and sharing a few pictures here! Ready to be transported to the Danish wilderness?

Orø is a small island in the Isefjord, an hour or two west of Copenhagen. It's especially popular in summertime, when Danes flock to their summer houses. But actually, one of the best times to visit is off-season, when you can experience the vastness of the wilderness in solitude. 

A picture of Marie's A-frame cabin taken by Mikkel Tjellesen, as seen in Voices magazine


Marie spends the majority of her time in Copenhagen, where she runs her visual communications studio Revolver, which offers journalism, editing, creative direction and interior styling services.  But there's nowhere Marie loves to be more than at her cabin on Orø:

"Each time I reach the ferry terminal, I get an immediate sense of tranquillity, I breathe more freely, and my mind seems clearer.... most often I greet the stunning scenery on a late Friday afternoon, exhausted from a week's work and longing for a welcome respite... life slows down at Orø" - Marie.

When Marie and her husband first bought the cabin, it was rundown with a rotting foundation and in need of a new roof.  The pair painstakingly replaced everything inside, ferrying items over from the mainland. It was a slow process, but now their hard work has paid off and they have a wonderful retreat.

Although fairly compact, the couple have everything they need at the cabin, and it's been decorated with a simple yet charming blend of artisanal pieces and vintage finds, creating a wonderful, relaxed feel. 

These days the couple know the cabin and island inside out, as Marie explains in her interview with Voices:

"We came to know all the little signs of the changing seasons, the loud, terrifying noises of pines swaying dangerously in the storm, and the true bliss of entering the house to the warmth of the woodturning stove."

What a perfect place to recharge the batteries, don't you think?

Thank you to Skandinavisk for the kind permission to share these images (hop on over to explore their fragrances - they're simply divine!)

Looking for more dreamy inspiration this week? I love these archives: 


Speaking of recharging batteries, my family and I are heading to Mallorca tomorrow to visit my sister for the first time in 4 years! We CAN'T WAIT! She lives in the North of the island with her boyfriend Ben and my two nieces. It's so beautiful up there. 

I'll be taking some time out with Per and the girls and will be back here blogging again on Monday 6th November. Feel free to pull up a chair hang around and browse the archives (after ten years of blogging there's a ton of inspiration in there!). I'll most likely capture my trip on Instagram stories if you're curious to see the island. 

Have a wonderful week! 

Niki

Photography: Chris Tonnesen
Voices spread photography: Mikkel Tjelleson
Styling: Marie Monrad Graunbøl / Revolver 
Shared with kind permission from Skandinavisk

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Great Stays: A Rustic Hideaway Surrounded by Rolling Hills

Feel like getting away from it all? This wonderful rustic hideaway is available through Airbnb! Set high up on rolling hills, The Wensley is architecturally designed with an Oregon and Ironbark timber exterior and offers everything you might need to switch off - including cosy sofas with panoramic views, a fully equipped kitchen, and a wonderful indoor and outdoor bathroom (my eyes are on that zinc tub!) - all with a timber and stone touch to emulate the surroundings. Such beautiful work by Lisa Buxton Interiors! OK, there might be a slight catch (at least for the time being) - it's in Wensleydale, around one and half hours from Melbourne, Australia! Yikes! But that shouldn't stop us from dreaming about a future stay, right? 

In my mind, I'm already soaking in that tub - the odd kangaroo hopping passed. Heaven! 

Could you imagine staying here?

If you'd like to do a little more mid-week 'escape' dreaming, here are some other places I'd love to stay at one day:


Do any of these capture your imagination? 

Wishing you a fabulous mid-week!

Niki

Photography courtesy of The Wensley

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A Fairytale Swedish Summer Cottage / Plus Camp Adventure, Denmark

Cities and towns across Scandinavian are starting to buzz with life again as people slowly return from the countryside and head back to work. But for some, like me, their heart remains at their summer cottage. There's something magical about the laid back, simple lifestyle they afford - and of course, their lush surroundings. Curious to sample Swedish summer cottage life yourself? This idyllic croft from the 1800s just came on the market! Located a short distance from Stockholm  - the traditional Falun red and white cottage is fairly small (50 sq m / 538 sq ft), but definitely big on personality - and wouldn't look out of place in an Astrid Lindgren tale. There's only one foreseeable drawback - and I'm curious to hear if it would be a deal breaker for you or not. Read on to find out! 

And the deal beaker (or maker)? The only loo is a compost one in an outhouse. This is not unusual for an old croft which is yet to be modernised. Helen (as in the interior designer I work with) has an outdoor loo at her cottage too. They once lived there for a year and she remembers waking up in the night and trudging out in the snow to go to the loo! But she says they got used to it and in the end and don't give it a second thought any longer. My granny had one too (as well as an indoor one upstairs) - and I remember it being full of spiders! But the one at this croft is charming in every way. Would it work for you?


Could you imagine spending your summers here? 

If so, this pretty cottage has your name on it, and we'd all love to be the first to visit (bringing our bed linen of course - as is the Swedish way!). 

Feeling tempted? Read more about it here

Fancy seeing some more pretty cottages over the weekend? Here are a few others that belong in an Astrid Lindgren tale:


All this talk of Sweden, and I'm actually in Denmark right now. Having been double vaccinated, we've taken the opportunity to head over the Öresund bridge for a couple of days. Our first stop was Camp Adventure (for a press trip) - which has treetop climbing (have you ever done it? Once you get over the nerves, it's so exhilarating!) and the kids absolutely loved it!


As well as an awesome 45-metre tower you can climb (the structure is magnificent - and has won several architectural awards (not my picture below!):  


And best of all (for me, not the kids, they spent 8 hours in the tree tops!), Northern Europe's largest 'pick your own bouquet' flower farm! It was beautiful:



Keep an eye out for the yurts / cabins (they're pretty booked up so you'd need to plan in advance to stay the night). You can also pair it with a long weekend in Copenhagen since it's only a 50 minute drive away. 

Right, I'd better put the kettle on - the rest of the family will be waking up any moment and I need to take the most of the peace and quiet before the mayhem begins and a day at the worlds oldest amusement park: Bakken

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - I hope you've got some fun /  relaxing plans. 

Niki

Cottage photography: Historiska Hem

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Jessica's Idyllic Swedish Country Croft From 1900

In the month of July, Swedish cities can feel very deserted. Many have fled to the countryside to 'nytta av' (benefit from) the lush greenery and 24-hour sunshine for several weeks, sometimes up to six! Hey, we've waited a long time for this good weather, when it arrives we need to make the most of it! Every July, Jessica, a high school teacher and the creator behind @bynilsgarden, locks up her house in Trollhättan to enjoy the peace and quiet of her pretty country retreat 70 kilometres away. Located in Mellerud, Dalsland, just West of lake Vänern, it's a place Jessica goes year-round to watch the seasons unfold. The traditional 1900 Falun red and white structure conceals a pretty, pared back interior with a country feel. Outside, a pretty veranda provides a spot to enjoy the evening sunset. I caught up with Jessica to find out more. 

"The house was built in 1900 as a small 'Soldarttorp' (soldier's croft). The previous owners took great care of it, renovating it slowly with a passion for old houses. It's located in Dalsland, next to the mountains and a beautiful lake".

Note: a 'soldarttorp' is a croft (or cottage) on the property of a farm reserved for Swedish volunteer soldiers. The dwelling was part of the soldier's pay and included a small field, a few farm animals and other small outbuildings. 

"I use it every month of the year. It's beautiful in summer but it's also special to light a fire when it's snowing outside". 


"I renovated this house myself and live here alone. I was looking to create a warm, cosy and relaxing feel with an old country style". 

"I love the silence and the good energy. It's a place I come to rest".

What a beautiful cottage! I can certainly understand why Jessica loves to come here year-round, how about you? It looks so peaceful.  

See more of this pretty cottage and Jessica's Trollhättan house on instagram at @bynilsgarden.

If you're feeling inspired, you might like to check out the country style living archive and Swedish cottage archives - they're packed with romantic homes and will have you dreaming of a move to the Scandinavian countryside! 

Wishing you a wonderful mid-week - see you Friday!*

Niki

*I am posting three days a week during the summer holidays in order to spend a little more time with the crazies. Check in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday - or enjoy the archives round the clock! 

Photography: Jessica / @bynilsgarden

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