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A Charming, Traditional Red and White Swedish Summer Cottage

If you ever visit the Swedish countryside in summertime, the chances are, you'll stay in a red and white cottage just like this, tucked away in the forest by a lake or the sea. 

In fact, from the outside, it looks very much like the summer cottage I stayed in on my first ever visit to Sweden at the tender age of seven - and the memories of those magical few weeks came flooding back to me when I took this tour! 

What lies behind the facade of these cottages varies greatly. Some have given their cottages a modern update with a fresh lick of white paint and no doubt plenty of patterned wallpaper, others - like the owners of this one have chosen to leave it just as how it has always been over the years.  But there is one thing that all Swedes agree on: the essence of a summer cottage is to lead a relaxed, back to basics life, with work and other stresses and strains left at the door. 

Ready to step back in time and appreciate a cosy retreat where the beauty lies in the imperfection? 



Walking through the door is like stepping back in time. You'd be hard pressed to find anything new in this lovely little cottage - except for maybe the appliances. 

Vintage and antique trays, tins and cooking accessories have been passed down through the generations or collected at 'loppis' (flea markets).  

You'll find wonderful old wood fired ovens like this one in quite a few cottages. Although many choose to install a new oven, they can still be used for boiling water for tea etc.


Old tin mugs, bowls and plates make up the majority of dinnerware. It's ideal as it can be used at the cottage, but also outdoors too - especially if you go for a hike or picnic. Falconware do similar! 


Most of the rooms in the cottage have an old, tiled oven to keep the space warm. They are very effective and can keep a space heated for hours on end. 


Traditional rag rugs, made on a loom using, you've guessed it: old disused cloth are incredibly popular in Swedish country homes. 


So cosy and pretty, but above all else, authentic, personal and relaxed.

Could you imagine owning a little cottage like this? 

I understand that these back to basic cottages are not for everyone. One of my British friends is married to a swede who has a very simple cottage in her family. You have to take your own boat out to the island, along with all your own water and the cottage has no running water and has an outdoor loo. He is less than keen to go and it makes me laugh so much when he recounts his weekends there. 

So, friends there you have it. I hope this week has been a suitably mixed variation of properties for you to feel inspired by - including a Stockholm apartment with a small space hack, Mary's cosy family home in Germany and now this historical home in the Swedish forest! 

Have a magical weekend, see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography: Historiska Hem

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A Dreamy Swedish Cottage in the West Coast Archipelagos

On May 8th I'll have lived in Sweden for twenty years. TWENTY YEARS! I often think back to the summer I met Per - which signalled the start of my Scandinavian adventure. It was a warm and sunny July and I flew over to visit a Swedish friend. We took a road trip up to the stunning West coast archipelago where we spent a week hopping between islands, picnicking on warm granite cliffs and cooling off in the waters of the Kattegat sea. 

I fell in love with Sweden (and so it seems, a Swede!) that summer, with a special place in my heart reserved for the magical islands of the west coast. Even today Per, the girls and I love to sail there and explore the cosy fishing villages and beautiful nature. One of our favourite spots is the car-free island of Gullholmen. It's located just off the island of Orust and instantly recognisable from the tight cluster of cottages and dreamy boathouses. 

Life is slow on the island, and days are spent lolling on decks, watching boats sail past, enjoying a coffee in a little cafe or walking on the quieter stretches of the island to take in the scenery. Needless to say, it's a dream. 

So, when I spotted this charming cottage on ESNY, I couldn't resist sharing it with you to give you a glimpse behind the facade and dream of summer's on this magical little island! 


As with most Swedish summer cottages, the decor is simple and pared-back, with a nod to the coastal location. A glimpse of the channel and surrounding village can be seen from the windows, ensuring the island vibe is never far from sight! 

We're seeing so many window nooks right now, don't you think? They make such a lovely addition to a kitchen - offering a relaxed spot to grab a coffee and chat to whoever is cooking / brewing the coffee! 

Traditional rag rugs (as seen in the hallway) are the floor covering of choice in a summer cottage - I love that they come in all kinds of colours! 

A sea view and a kakelugn? I can just see envision how cosy this would feel come winter, with the wind whipping at the windows! 


Could you imagine sitting here, enjoying supper while the sunsets over the water? Pass me the rosé! 

The cottage even comes with a boathouse and private jetty. That's me sold! 

How idyllic! Could you imagine spending your summers here? 

Did I mention that the address is 'Krabban' ('the crab')? Love that! 

Sadly, this cottage is a little out of reach budget-wise for Per and I - but maybe if we all chip in together with some form of crowdfunding we could divide it between us, right? Always good to dream! 

See the complete viewing here

Would you like to see a few more cottages from the West coast of Sweden this weekend? Check out: 


And if you're thinking of visiting the area (it's a bucketlist place for sure!), here's my guide to 10 beautiful islands to visit.

Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend friends! See you Monday! 

Niki 

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A Charming Swedish Townhouse Where Old Meets New

There was something that immediately resonated with me when i first spotted this townhouse in the Gamle Enskede area of Stockholm. And then I read the blurb: 'an English townhouse' built in 1909 and designed by Victor Bodin.  

Needless to say, I've seen quite a few two-up, two-down formats like this in my childhood in London. But this is different. It has a distinct Scandinavian twist! Firstly, the wall between the kitchen and sitting room has been removed creating an airy open-space and secondly the decor is undeniably Swedish. It's also very unique. 

Think botanical wallpapers, scalloped edged rugs (I want one!), a vibrant gallery wall, candy stripes, pops of cherry red and a mix of antiques and modern day finds. Let's take a peek inside. 

I love this. It feels so familiar yet so unfamiliar at the same time. Sort of English cottage meets Swedish traditional meets Scandinavian contemporary - making the space truly unique. 

Is there anything that caught your eye about this wonderful house? 

While I couldn't find more homes like this to share, I did uncover a few lovely houses in the archive that I had forgotten about. If you have time this morning, dig into these: 


Have a fabulous start to the week! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Skandia Mäklarna with thanks 

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Lovisa's Cosy Swedish Country Home At Christmas

Tjena! I hope you had a cosy weekend! Sadly, here in the South of Sweden the slow has slowly melted away - but further North they're looking all set for a magical white Christmas! 

Evelina Lovisa Lind's traditional red Swedish country home looks so pretty against the white of the snow, and inside it's full of festive touches and as cosy as can be! Think vintage star lanterns, wreaths and plenty of candlelight. One furry member of the family seems to be particularly enjoy the spirit. Scroll on to see more pictures of Lovisa's festive home. 

Outside, the cold hasn't stopped Evelina Lovisa from using her greenhouse, quite the opposite! It's been transformed into a pretty dining space! Just added a heater and you can feel all toasty under cover, with the feeling of being outside! 

What a beautiful home! 

Could you imagine cosying up here this winter? I certainly could! 

See more of Lovisa's home over at @lovisalind. I once featured her previous home (also lovely!). 

There are also lots of more cosy festives homes to be found in the Christmas archive

Have a great start to the week!

Niki

Photography courtesy of @lovisalind, shared with kind permission.

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Helen's Cosy Swedish Cottage At Christmas

The First Sunday of Advent is just around the corner and already we're seeing stars and twinkling lights appear in windows throughout Sweden. With the shorter days and much of the country blanketed in snow, the decorations help to brighten up the darkness and add cosiness and warmth.  

A couple of winters ago I spent a magical few days at my dear friend, interior designer Helen Sturesson's cottage in Blekinge, southern Sweden. You have likely seen some of these cosy Christmas pictures before, but I couldn't resist featuring the entire cosy tour today. 

I love the rustic feel and focus on understated tradition - little wonder the family choose to spend Christmas here by the fire. Ready to get into the festive spirit?


So magical! 

I'd be so happy here cosying up by the fire, how about you? 

It's so lovely and quiet there, and only a short walk from the baltic sea.

The glass decorations seen on the table, hanging on the tree and on the windowsill are all mouth-blown on the Danish island of Bornholm by atelier Pernille Bülow. My family and I are actually heading to the island this weekend to visit the Christmas market so I must stop by and pick up some Christmas decorations! I can't wait, it's such a beautiful part of the world! 

I hope you enjoyed this tour of Helen's charming little cottage! 

Niki
 
Photography - Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home
Home / styling - Helen Sturesson

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