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A Lakeside Swedish Log House In The Snow

Living in the south of Sweden, the winters tend to be long, cold and dark and life tends to gravitate indoors. Many a night are spent at home surrounded by candlelight while munching on comfort food! In the North of Sweden however - the days are lit by dazzling white snow and children play outdoors, building snowmen, sledging or building domes. At weekends, many locals like to head off into the wilderness by ski, ice-skates, snowmobile or show-shoes - all of which will leave you happy, rosy-cheeked and ready for a steaming hot chocolate with rum and whipped cream once home! 

Located around 500 km North of Stockholm, Ann Rullander has created a winter paradise in the form of a beautiful log cabin on the edge of a vast frozen lake. The house dates back to the 1800's and was completely renovated in 2006. It was previously used as a summer cottage before Ann and her husband moved there permanently five-years ago. Today, the simple white wood clad interior mirrors the blanket of snow outside, while a roaring fire, candles and blankets help to create a toasty feel. Ready to be transported to a Swedish winter wonderland? 

How beautiful. 

The porch shovelling looks like heavy work (did you notice how much snow there is?) - but an essential exercise if you want to be able to leave your house in wintertime up there! 

Do you get snow like this where you live? 

Ann tells me that in summer they love to swim in the lake and get about by boat. But for a while yet they'll be using skis and a scooter. 

See more of Ann's lovely house over at @annrullander

Would you like to see a few others Scandinavian cabins in the snow? Here are few of my favourites: 


Stor kram! Big hug! 

Niki

Credits: Ann Rullander, shared with kind permission

For my sentiments on what is happening in Europe right now, please see this post. While I continue to blog, behind-the-scenes I am doing what I can from Sweden, while hoping for peace, humanity and a brighter tomorrow. 

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A Contemporary Swedish Ski Chalet With a Wonderful Window Seat!

Hej friends, I hope you had a lovely weekend! Do you ever find that you really look forward to December and all the festive things you'll do and then it arrives and you feel completely overwhelmed? I was feeling like that on Friday so I planned a day of cross country skiing with a dear friend of mine. We headed out to the Skåne countryside and spent the day gliding (occasionally ungracefully!) through the glistening snow. And I came home feeling like a new person. It was with this in mind that I chose today's home tour: a magnificent contemporary ski chalet in Vemsdalen, Sweden. Read on to feel inspired, and feel a sense of  calm a world away from the Christmas chaos! 


The dreamy contemporary ski chalet is a stripped back version of the usual long cabin - with pitched ceilings and waxed birch plywood walls. The focus is on the surrounding a nature, and a window seat makes an inviting spot from which to watch skier whizz by! 

Darker colours help to add contrast and add a cosy touch. 


A ladder leads up to a loftbed. 


Imagine waking up here and watching the slow fall! I'd be tempted to stay there all day with a book, how about you? 


A warm sauna awaits after a day of alpine skiing, snowmobiling, cross country or dog sledding in the snowy surroundings. 



How heavenly. I'd quite happily spend my winter here, how about you? 

Dream about more Scandinavian inspired cabins and ski chalets today.


Would you like to see a couple of pictures from my cross country skiing in the South of Sweden yesterday? Here are a couple of snaps I took with my phone, it was a rare gems of a day!



Above you can see my friend Ullis, over the barbecue just behind the tracks!

Wishing you all a great start to the week! 

Niki

Ski chalet photos courtesy of 212 Property

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Life Change: A Swedish Family Home In The French Alps

We can all agree it's been one crazy year. Never has the home been so important. It presents a safe haven (although I am aware that sadly this is not the case for everyone) in which we can relax and be ourselves. Living in quarantine / isolation - or simply being at home more - has meant taking stock of where we live, and while there are some who are thrilled with where they live, there are others that will no doubt thinking about making some life changes in the near future! 

For Swedish interior designer Bettina Kapare, her husband and two year old son, it wasn't the pandemic that led to a move abroad - but a search for a more meaningful way of life. In 2019, Bettina and her family left their home in Luxembourg after ten years and moved to a small village in the foothills of the French Alps, just outside Chamonix. Today, they enjoy a slower pace surrounded by nature. I caught up with Bettina to find out how they chose their new location, some of the challenges involved with moving, and how she created a home which merges her Scandinavian heritage with traditional Alpine style. Her story is truly inspiring! 

When did you move to the Alps? 
We moved here from Luxembourg in December last year. I guess you can say we made a complete life change. We left Luxembourg after 10 years. At the same time, I quit my job as a business developer in private banking and started working as an interior designer. It's something I'd been dreaming about and had been studying on the side for some years. 


How did you choose the French Alps? 
We owned a small ski apartment in the Chamonix valley and had been spending countless weekends on vacation here skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. When our son was born, we decided to spend part of our parental leave here and it was during that period we started talking about the possibility of moving here. 

How did you make your move happen? 
At first, it all felt like a farfetched dream. Leaving an organised life and a career in Luxembourg, to go and live in the French Alps. But the more we talked about it, the more we realised that it was what we wanted; for our son grow up in the mountains and change to, what we felt would be, a more meaningful lifestyle, with more family time, more skiing and closer to nature. As the saying goes "create a life you don't need a vacation from".

With that in mind, we started thinking about everything that needed to be put in place. We had to find a house, organise work etc. We thought it was going to be a 5-year plan, but once we'd set our minds to it, the move took less than a year. Somehow everything just fell into place. 

What was one of the biggest challenges with moving to the French Alps? 
One of the most difficult things turned out to be finding a house. There weren't a lot of options that were within budget. I had dreamt of a renovation project involving an old farmhouse with a huge garden. Instead, we bought a traditional style chalet built in 2008. It has an open-plan living room and kitchen on the ground floor and three bedrooms upstairs. It also has a large basement which we use as a home office and studio. 

How did you approach the chalet interior?
I faced a challenge merging our furniture and my style into the traditional chalet style. For me, interior design is not about following trends and constantly buying new stuff, it's about creating a space for the people who live there. Incorporating functional aspects with a personal style and a homely feel.  

Since we're living here all year round, I didn't want our home to have a traditional 'ski holiday' chalet feel. I wanted to turn it into a home where we would feel at home every day of the year.


How have you merged your Scandinavian design heritage with the Alpine style? 
Being Swedish, I believe the Scandinavian style is in my nature. When we moved, I felt that I wanted to incorporate the Scandinavian style. Both the Scandinavian and traditional Alpine style use furniture with simple but elegant craftsmanship - something I always feel inspired by. But the Scandinavian style has a lighter feel than the traditional Alpine style. In our home, I've brought in a lot of solid wood furniture, but with a light white finish instead of the traditional darker one. My Norrgavel coffee table is a fine example of this. 

Where did you source your furniture? 
We actually brought most of it with us from Luxembourg - including many Scandinavian design pieces. It's a blend of items we have inherited and second-hand treasures that I have been collecting over the years. I'm happy that we brought them with us, because it made us feel instantly at home. And with everything that has been happening in the world lately and the past few months of lockdown and isolation - our house has turned into our comfort zone. 


What do you love most about your new home?
Almost every evening I have been cuddling up on the sofa or on the bed, and looking up at the mountains outside the windows feeling grateful for our new home. I love the closeness to nature and I'm so happy we dared to make the life change. We haven't regretted moving one single day, on the contrary, our life choice feels more meaningful than ever. I have never felt happier.  


Thank you so much for telling us about your move and your beautiful home in the Alps Bettina - your story is truly inspiring! 

***

I'd love to hear about how you feel about your home - is it somewhere you can always imagine living, or has your perspective changed this year? 

If you've always dreamed of moving abroad, I hope Bettina's story has inspired you. Your big move might be more tangible than you first thought! 

You can see more picture of her beautiful home over at @chez_kapare and find out more about her interior design service Kapare Interiors

Fancy taking a peek at other Scandi homes abroad? 


Ahhhh, I love seeing the Scandinavian design heritage merged with other cultures / styles, how about you? 

Ha det så fint! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Bettina Kapare / @chez_kapare with kind permission.

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Could you stay at the top of a ski jump?!

I do love the weird and wonderful houses of this world - and this has to be up there at the top, literally! Listed on Airbnb with the strapline 'ski in, zipline out' this 'penthouse' apartment sits atop a large ski jump in Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway. If you can stomach the height, the space not only offers incredible panoramic views across Oslo and beyond, it also has bags of style too (loving the mid-century touch!). Unless your Eddie the Eagle though, you might want to take the lift down.












Oslo anyone?!

Ski jumping not quite your thing but love a little downhill skiing (and unusual places to stay)? The  'whitepods' in Switzerland are pretty great too?

And for those of you who like the, er, more traditional - this rustic Norwegian cabin is beautiful!

Have a wonderful day! 

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A chalet in the Swiss Alps

Hello Friday - woohoo! A dream weekend for me is all about planning great escapes to rural outposts. So this Friday it had to be some kind of cabin tour to celebrate the end of the week. And I've got just the thing. Montagne Altarnative  are farm buildings which have been converted into contemporary living areas in the heart of a medieval village in the Swiss Alps. The renovations have been painstakingly carried out with passion, dedication and openness to integrate harmoniously with the rugged mountains and beautiful nature beyond. Weekend in the Swiss Alps anyone?!










Montagne Alternative as featured in Marie Claire Maison. Via Blissful Blog with thanks

Ooooo, how I could Whisk myself away there....how about you?!

Although I love to ski in the Alps in the winter I've never visited in the summer, have you? It's definitely a dream of mine.

This space reminds me a lot of this dreamy Norwegian cabin by the sea (same look, different nature!). Even if, like me you live far from the mountains, this mountain-themed children's bedroom is proof the mountain can come to the city too!

On Monday we're heading to France for our summer holiday. I'm so excited as I absolutely love France, and we'll be attending my sister's wedding while we're there! Since it will be a bit hectic, I've decided to share posts every other day (rather than every weekday) over the next fortnight starting on Monday, I hope this is OK?

Have a wonderful weekend and see you Monday!

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