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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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A Small Swedish Home With A Clever Loft Bed

Usually I'd say start the week by going big, but today - I say let's go small! The reason? This quirky apartment in Södermalm, Stockholm is a teeny 33 m2 (355 f2), and perfect fodder for anyone looking for ways to make the most of their small living space. Built between 1904-1907 the tremendous 3.20 metre high ceiling has allowed the owners to build a loft bed with built in storage - while saving much needed floorspace. Despite the home staging and pared-back look, there are some fairly quirky touches. I'm particularly curious to hear what you think of the peeling kitchen wall: design feature or in need of a fresh lick of paint? The jury's out! Join the debate in the comments! 






I'd love to know (and be able to advise) on the paint colours, but I'm not entirely sure since I found this little apartment on Swedish estate agent site Historiska Hem where it' is currently for sale. But you never, know - often when I feature a home the home-owner steps forward, so we'll see! 

Is there anything that stood out to you about this space?

Take a look inside a few other small spaces in the archive, there are some really beauties in there! 

I have to confess, I'm in a bit of a rush today since the crazies started school today (late morning) and it's also Liv's 12th birthday - happy birthday to our wonderful girl! - so there's lots to do before they get home! 

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week! 

Niki

PS - I'm looking forward to sharing some pictures of our new wood floor tomorrow, we're so happy with it, I hope you're going to like it too! 

Photography courtesy of Historiska Hem

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The Cosy, Small Flat of a Copenhagen Creative and Plant Lover

It was so fun to hear you all loved yesterday's home tour as much as I did. What's not to love about a beautifully restored Swedish country home (and Johanna renovated it to perfection too!). Today, I have something for all the city dwellers amongst us - a cosy, charismatic apartment in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. Dane Ann-Kristin Løye Hejl shares 'moments of motherhood, knitting and little corners of her home' through her inspiring instagram feed @annkristinlhejl (if you don't follow her already, it's a must!). A keen gardener, the flat is filled with plants and flowers - and on warm summer days, the balcony doors are thrown open so the family can enjoy a little outdoor oasis. Welcome to Ann-Kristin's world! 

 The pink crate-style storage boxes are everywhere right now in Scandinavian homes. You can pick up various colours at Lagerhaus. Now I've pointed them out, you won't be able to 'unsee' it!!! I think I'm going to refer to them as the IT crate from now on!

A vintage cabinet above the dining table adds charm to the dining area in the corner of the sitting room - while adding some extra storage (while leaving floor space free - perfect!).

Spot the IT crate? 


Ann-Kristin's creative projects are never far away. On the table you can catch a glimpse of one of her latest knitting projects (they have their own hashtag on instagram for good reason - I love everything she creates!). 





The pretty bedding is from JUNA Design - a Danish textile brand with strong a sustainable core. 

It's about 27 degrees celsius (80 Fahrenheit) here in Southern Scandinavia today, so I can imagine Ann-Kristine and her family are sitting out on this balcony enjoying a few rays surrounded by the divine scent of blooming summer flowers (I love this pic on her instagram - so cute!).

Here on the Swedish west coast, we're about to wander down to the water for a dip (it'll be the first of around five swims my children will take today!!). Last night, the final swim was at 9.45pm - and the sun was still up!). Swedish summertime at its finest (we need to make the most of it while it lasts!). Do you live near some cool water you can swim in too?

Before I head off with my towel, I'll leave you with some other  of my favourite Copenhagen home tours to feel inspired by:

A cosy Danish loft full of plants and vintage treasures
Johanne and Luka's beautiful Copenhagen townhouse
The timeless Danish home of a jewellery designer

Gotta love the cool, relaxed Danish style, right?

Have a lovely day! I hope the sun is shining where you are too!

Niki

Photography courtesy of Ann-Kristin Løye Hejl - shared with kind permission. 

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Small Space Inspiration From Swedish Attefall Houses


I've always marvelled at the way Swedes decorate small spaces in such a practical, yet aesthetically beautiful way. It really is an art form. 'Attefalls' are small Swedish houses that measure less than 30 metres square (322 square feet). I've always found them to be a great source of inspiration for small spaces. Here's a round-up of some of my favourites corners (from various abodes). I hope you find them as inspiring as I do - and can find some ideas for your own small spaces, wherever you are in the world!




There are so many clever ideas here! I especially love the loft beds and kitchen ideas! 

Did you spot anything you loved? 

I found all these pics over at Sommernöjen - the architects who specialise in making these beautiful small houses. Check out their portfolio for more inspiration. 

If you're looking for storage ideas, these small houses probably aren't so helpful as they're built for short term stays. However, there's plenty more small space inspiration to be found in this My Scandinavian Home archive

Before I wrap up the week, I'd like to say, once again, a big thanks for all your comments on my post on Wednesday. I have read every single one of them as they continue to come in and will carry your thoughts with me along with my own reflections. 

Wishing you a wonderful weekend friends!

Niki

Photography courtesy of Sommernöjen. Pictures 1,2 and 3 from Plaza, photographer Lennart Weibull, stylist Lina Kjellvertz

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7 Great Ways To Make The Most of An Attic / Loft Space!

Good morning friends! I'm feeling extra sleepy today after relaxing over the four-day bank holiday in Sweden. Two super strength coffees down and still no affect. What is a girl to do?! Maybe make my way to Gothenburg so I can hang out in this beautiful apartment? The wonderful space is currently on the market (any takers?) - and a great lesson in how to make the most of an awkward attic / loft space. Got a room like this in your home - or thinking of finally converting that attic? Here are 7 tips to learn from the Swedes! 

1. Skylights and dormer windows: the lower side of the sloping roof is incredibly low and could prove a real challenge, especially for taller folks. This is where the skylight and dormer window come in handy. Not only do they flood the space with light, they also help to create extra head room. notice how the sofa and dining table have been placed by the windows - capitalising on the extra height and natural light! 

2. Go high! Knocking through the ceiling to maximise height helps to add a light and airy feel to the space (which is crucial as attic spaces can feel really pokey). The beams also help to add character. 

3. Park life: I love how the space is dotted with plants (and even a small tree). It helps to draw nature closer (especially which it can feel so much further away when you're living amongst the rooftops!). 

4. Storage that blends in: shelving and other cupboards that match the colour of the wall (in this case white) will help a small space to feel less cluttered. 



5. A bespoke kitchen: Just because you have a tiny space it play with, it doesn't mean you can't have a practical kitchen. Invest in custom-made units that ensure you make use of every last inch (or if you don't have the budget, chat to the kitchen planning team at IKEA, they're likely to have some great solutions). 


6. Double skylights: placing your bed under a double set of skylights will feel less claustrophobic and help you to capitalise on the big plus of living on the top floor: sleeping under the stars! Skylight brands such as Velux do great blind solutions for them too, so you don't need to worry about losing any shut-eye! 


7. Custom wardrobes and cabinets: in small spaces, every nook counts! Get handy and build units that perfectly fit the space you have, or invest in someone to build them for you. Having lots of storage will make your home feel more practical and organised as well as less cluttered. 

We do actually have two spaces on the top floor of our home like this. They're full of stuff - but seeing this, makes me wonder if we should finally do something with them. Hmmmm. Suddenly feeling alert after all! 

Did any if these ideas spring out to you? 

In case you're struggling with a small space - or simply looking for ways to make it even more beautiful, take a tour of the small spaces archive, there are hundreds of stunning Scandinavian spaces in there! 

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week! 

Niki

Photography: Alen Nordic 
Styling: Nouvel interior
For: Bjurfors 

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A Tiny Danish Beach Cabin That's Big On Style!

Hands up who loves a beach house (both hands shoot up)! The salty air, the warm sand between your toes, the relaxing sound of the waves breaking - all on your doorstep! Living in Scandinavia, we're never that far from the sea, and Per and I share a dream to live in a cottage overlooking the water one day. It's a real pipe dream as waterside abodes don't go on the market too often and when they do, let's just say they're a bit of a stretch! But this lovely little Danish cabin has restored my faith! Measuring 20 metre square (215 square foot), the wooden structure (designed by Add a Room) might be tiny - but it sure does make up for it in style - and location! Think understated, monochrome decor (courtesy of House Doctor) morning coffee in the sun and a sunset soak. 

Morning coffee here?

 I'm guessing that this sofa converts into a double bed after sunset.  

... and by day it's a cosy sofa laden with cushions and two Swing reading lights combined to look like a double arm wall sconce (clever hack!).  


A small gas stove works great for cooking a dinner for two. Incidentally, my Mother has been cooking on a gas stove in her garden in London for the past 6 weeks! Her kitchen renovation wasn't finished when they went into lockdown and she had no hob or kitchen sink. It's amazing what she's managed to whip up on it (sometimes under an umbrella!). 

A little trolley on wheels is ideal for small spaces since it can be moved to whereever you need it. In this kitchen it serves as a makeshift space for that all important coffee machine!


I've been scouring the pictures to see if this little cabin has running water (we've already seen proof of electricity!) - and this outdoor bathroom seals the deal for me. It even has a little mirror!  

How wonderful! 

It certainly gives me hope that Per and I might just achieve our dream one day - even if it means dramatically downsizing. 

Could you imagine waking up here? 

Other coastal homes I'll be dreaming about today: 



And, just in case you're miles from the shore and unable to travel right now - here are 15 ways to add a subtle coastal feel to your home, wherever you are!

Ha det så fint! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Add a Room & House Doctor, found via Planete Deco with thanks.

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