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Before And After: A Tiny Off-the-grid Swedish Cabin In The Woods

Have you ever considered a more simple life? Perhaps one that involves swapping urban adventures for a serene rural life? Or maybe you've been considering down-sizing in order to save money and realise a dream! Either way - I think you're going to find todays tour amazingly inspiring! 

As an 'Organic Farming and Sustainable Living' student, Paula Edén had lived in a little caravan in the countryside. Since graduating, she'd always dreamed of returning to 'tiny house' living and a more simple life. Paula set about sketching her dream home and built herself a tiny cabin on wheels. Today, she lives completely off-grid in a 13 metre2 living space, where everything she needs is right there on her doorstep. 

The sketch

Paula had always loved the ideas of a traditional Swedish Falu-red cottage with yellow doors. Her sketch (above) would form the blue-print for the construction phase. 

The Construction

Paula was keen to ensure her cottage was constructed in as sustainable was possible. She worked with natural materials (avoiding plastic and aluminium) and also sought upcycled pieces from reclaim yards - for example, the chassis was made using an old boat trailer. 

Paula sought the help of her Father - a woodwork teacher - and also looked for advice from other people who had carried out similar projects, joining many Facebook groups. As a first-timer, Paula decided to break down the house building process into smaller parts, allowing her creativity to guide her as much as possible. 

As someone who has always been interested in interiors, Paula was keen to put form ahead of function - which is fairly unusual in the 'tiny house' world where space is of a premium! The interior was constructed with left over storm wood, which she combined with new bead boards. 

Once the construction work was complete, the fun began: decorating! Paula painted the interior an earthy sage green using linseed oil paint code S 3010-G70Y and complimented it with Waldemar wallpaper from Boråstapeter. The muted colour scheme and natural wood were deliberately chosen to reflect the surrounding nature. 


Delivery!

The house was delivered to a borrowed plot of land on a farm in Småland, on a hill surrounded by pastures, forest and lakes.  

The interior

The cottage has been kitted out with everything Paula needs - including seating lined with cushions and a set of table and chairs from where she sits to eats, reads and catches up with friends - after coming home from her job as a nursery teacher. 

Living completely off-grid, Paula uses the Wood-burning stove to cook her meals as well as for heating. She collects drinking-water from the nearby farm and a hole in the ground serves as a fridge. Paula also collects rainwater from the roof and swims in the nearby lake to wash. A small solar panel has been attached to the side of the cottage to generate electricity. 

The ceiling serves as extra storage for important utensils such as an oil lamp and a basket used for foraging and gathering homegrown fruit and vegetables. 

Look closely and you'll also spot her sleep loft - a cosy nook above the kitchen!


Vintage tins and jars in the kitchen add to the warm, cosy vibe of Paula's home while providing somewhere to store food. 


How lovely! 

Such a beautiful, cosy little space to potter around in!  

Per and I are planning to build a small cottage in the garden of the summer cottage - but we never actually considered building it ourselves! Feeling inspired, I asked Paula a little more about what it was like to build a cottage, and if she has any tips for anyone looking to do the same:

"It's so much fun to learn how to build a house! It's also great to be able to build your home just the way you want it. On the whole, I felt the process went really well.  I may not have done everything by the book, but I'm happy with it! 

Taking it one step at a time and leave room for creativity. Look for support from other people who have carried out similar projects (there are plenty of groups on Facebook).  And don't think too much, just go for it! 

Remember: not everything needs to be perfect - it won't turn out as you had planned anyway!"

Wise words indeed! 

I couldn't resist asking Paula one more question - how is she finding life in her tiny cabin in the woods and how does she have any plans for the future?

"I really enjoy living in the woods and I feel at home surrounded by trees and meadows. My dream is to be surrounded by a couple of other tiny houses occupied by friends so we can share water and electricity. There's something beautiful about silence, but life is more fun with others!" 

Thank you so much to Paula for graciously sharing her thoughts and images. You can see many more snapshots of her life on a farm over at @paulas.hus


Are you feeling as inspired as I am? I'd love to hear your thoughts on Paula's lovely home below! 

Niki

Photography: Paula Edén, first seen in Land magazine 

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A Cosy Little Oasis To Call Your Own

A one room bedsit conjures up all kinds of images - not always positive. For example, I spent my first year in London after uni in a dismal bedsit where the windows would rattle every time a double decker bus thundered passed! If only I'd seen this cosy oasis - I could have actually made something of it! This teeny Manhattan apartment belongs to Chloé Crane-Leroux, a food, interiors and lifestyle photographer from Montreal, Canada. In the photography world, Chloé's is known for her minimalist touch and carefully curated eye, and this transcends into her bedsit. Opting for an off-white tone throughout, Chloé has artfully balanced clean and minimalist with a cosy touch - no easy feat in such a small space! The result is a calm escape and a place to call her own in the heart of the buzzing metropolis! 




So cosy, don't you think?

I can just imagine how wonderful it would be to walk through the door and feel the hustle and bustle of the city fall away.

For a tiny space, this sure does work. I took a closer look to see why. Chloé has used three key styling tricks:

1. She's stuck to one colour theme throughout: a warm off-white
2. An array of different textures add interest and depth
3. A large mirror over the mantel piece helps to make the room feel larger and bounce the light around 

Somethings to think about if you live in a small space or looking to decorate a small room in your home. 

Fancy seeing a little more? Chloe's inspiring feed features snapshots of her life which she divides between Paris, Montreal and New York City (when the current situation allows!). 

Oh, and if you like the filters she's used on her photography, you'll be happy to hear Chloé also sells Lightroom presets

Other small spaces to feel inspired by today: 


Happy Tuesday friends!

Niki

Photographer: Chloé Crane-Leroux, shared with kind permission

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A Clever Small Space Solution For a Bedroom or Home Office

Homes come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes you need to get a little creative to accommodate that extra bedroom or home work space! And I love what the owners have done with this small, 44 m2 (473 f2) Stockholm apartment. Using reclaimed wood, upcycled windows and doors, they've cordoned off part of the living room to form a master bedroom.  The windows ensure natural light still flows through to the bedroom - and yet the space still feels cosy and private. All in all, a lovely, unique idea! Oh, and check out the blue shade too - 'deco blue' by Jotun Lady has a similar calming tone. 







I love how the doors open right out to give the space a light and airy feel. 


Such a clever solution! 

I see that there are curtains in the sitting room which can be drawn at night, but I'd also consider black out blinds in the bedroom area too, just to make sure you get an extra good shuteye. What do you think?

Do you have an awkward space in your home that you're trying to puzzle out? 

In my parents home, where I'm currently staying (see below), the third bedroom used to be accessed via the second bedroom. Mum was always worried that taking away a section of the second bedroom to build a corridor would make the second room feel too cramped - but eventually they took the plunge and I have to say, it's worked amazingly. The second bedroom still feels fine and it's great to have separate access to the third bedroom rather than creeping passed someone snoring away! 

If you fancy checking out the entire tour - it's still available here

Niki

Thank you SO much for all your lovely comments, I've read all of them and your words feel so comforting. Unfortunately, we didn't receive the results we wanted and I have prolonged my stay at my parents' house to be with my Dad. However, I'd love to continue coming here daily to blog, but do bear with me if I disappear for a few days! 

Photos: Svenskfast found via Planete Deco with thanks

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Cosy Small Space Living in Gothenburg, Sweden

It's dawned on me that lately I've been featuring many homes with staggeringly high ceilings and large spacious rooms. But the reality is, more and more of us live in small urban spaces. The good news is, with the right decor, these living spaces can be equally beautiful! And Swedish interior designer Anna Mason, has got hers just right. In her teeny 36m2 (387f2) rental high up in the rooftops of Johanneberg, central Gothenburg, Anna has struck the perfect balance between light and airy and incredibly cosy - despite the low sloped ceiling. The trick, it seems, is utilising the floor space, which Anna has used to display art, boxes of treasured items, books, plants and other collections. I also love the mix of family heirlooms, vintage finds and contemporary pieces which add a relaxed, homely (or if you're in the US, 'homey') vibe. Perfect inspiration for anyone looking to transform a tight space into a cosy home! 










I'd be happy to potter around here all weekend, how about you? 

I particularly love the displays of books, art and other pieces on the floor, it gives the living space a wonderful, relaxed vibe.

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

These pics were taken by Johanna Hagbard who also has a lovely home. See the tour here! And don't miss her instagram feed for some DREAMY interior inspiration. 

Fancy taking inspiration from other small spaces this weekend? There's a TON in the archive, some of my favourites include: 


FRINALLY (still not tired of that phrase - or at least I can't stop saying it every Friday...). Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? I'm going on a press trip to Copenhagen to stay at a wonderful new hotel - and dragging Per along with me for the ride. So excited to be heading back to the Danish capital. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend too - see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography and styling: Johanna Hagbard, shared with kind permission. 

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A Charming Little Allotment Cottage In Malmö, Sweden

Fancy finishing the week with something quintessentially Swedish? In my mind, you can't get more 'svensk' than a 'kolonistuga' - and this little one is charming in every way! The little allotment cottage dating back to 1923 has been beautifully renovated by Rebecka Franzén - a physiotherapist with a passion for remodelling and decorating. I chatted to her about her little kolonistuga here in Malmö, the history behind these little cottages and why she's decided to put hers on the market

What is the story behind the 'kolonistuga'?
Allotment cottages have existed in Sweden for over a century. They were originally built for factory workers who moved from the countryside to the city as part of urbanisation. The idea was to give people an opportunity to grow their own vegetables and staples such as potatoes, carrots and fruit so they had some connection to their roots and could extend their household budget. 

Who owns these cottages today?
In recent years they have become increasingly popular with green-fingered people looking for a second home near to the city centre. 

How does a kolonistuga differ from other types of Swedish summer cottages?
The kolonistuga are usually quite small and not eligible for year-round living. Water is typically turned off between October and April. 

I am guessing they have been a welcome respite this summer? 
Oh yes, during the pandemic, they've been a real breath of fresh air for the owners, who can come here and feel connected with others while still maintaining social distance. 

Do these allotment areas have a close-knit community? 
Definitely. It's a place where people of all ages come together. There often organised events such as plant exchanging days, gardening activities and even boule tournaments and karaoke nights! Midsummer is also magical. 

Why have you decided to sell your cottage?
I recently quit my day job and bought an apartment in Lisbon that I am planning to renovate. This is why, with a heavy heart, I decided to sell my cottage. I really hope to find a new owner who loves this cottage as much as I have done. 

Well, I have to say, whoever snaps this up is one very lucky person!

Interested? Find out more information here

Curious to see a few other pretty allotment cottages? Here are some of my favourites: 


Could you imagine hanging out in one of these all summer? 

Or perhaps you have something similar I your own country? 

I know that in the UK you can build a shed but nothing that resembles a cottage. I remember spending copious amount of time at my Mum and Dad's allotment as a child - and will never forget treading on a slug barefoot. It still makes me shudder! My sister is on the waiting list for one in London, but it has a three-year waiting list! 

Right friends, I do believe it's time to wrap-up the week. I hope you felt inspired by all my posts this week! have a wonderful weekend! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Bjurfors.

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