Before and After: A Rundown Croft Becomes an Idyllic Swedish Summer Cottage

When I first visited Sweden at the tender age of nine, I completely fell in love with my Swedish friends' summer cottage. It was everything you'd associate with the Swedish summer: a picturesque red and white cottage surrounded by woodland, lakes and the sweet scent of roses. Oh, and maybe the odd mosquito! When I stumbled across Alex and Erika's country home online yesterday, it took me straight back to that summer! Affectionately known as Gubbetorp, Alex and Erika's croft is located in the beautiful Östergötland countryside and has been lovingly restored one room at a time.  The pair share a passion for  antiques, vintage finds and up cycling all of which add to the charm of the space. Here are a few snapshots from before and after the renovation - including ikea hacks, outdoor loo and all! 

Kitchen before


Kitchen after


Sitting room before 

Sitting room after

The pair peeled back the laminate floor to discover a beautiful wood floor - what a great discovery! Wallpaper from Böråstapeter adds a cosy touch to the room and helps draw nature indoors. 


The hall before 




Hall after 
Alex and Erika picked up an IKEA chest of drawers for a song (100 SEK - or 8 quid!) and painted it in a soft grey-green. Rabarber 1792 wallpaper adds a vibrant feel to the space. 


Outdoor loo before

It's not that uncommon for Swedish cottages to have an outdoor loo with no running water. I recently stayed at Helen's lovely place which was the same! It took me back to the days I spent Grandmother's house. Granny Ruth had an outdoor and indoor loo. We never used the outdoor one as it was always full of spiders! 

But the ones I've experienced in Sweden are so much fresher - especially after a make-over! 

Outdoor loo 

Erika and Alex have completely spruced up their outdoor loo - adding wood panelling which has been painted in the same hue as the cottage interior. 

They've also added home comforts such as a hand towel, magazines, fresh wildflowers and perhaps most importantly - a vintage water tank for washing hands. 

The standout piece though, has to be the magnificent antique dresser - it adds such a homely touch! 

What a difference! 

Their garden is simply magical - especially in summertime. It has me dreaming of midsummer (which is only 8 weeks away!) and long summer days alfresco! 

I hope you enjoyed this before and after feature as much as I have! 

If you'd like to see more snapshots from Alex and Erika's home head on over to @gubbetorp.

You might also like to feel inspired by other idyllic Swedish summer cottages here: 


And of course, before and afters

Here's to a sunny, carefree weekend ahead! 

See you Monday friends! 

Niki

Photography: @gubbetorp shared with kind permission

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The Dream Swedish Country House of 'Our Food Stories' is For Sale!

If ever there was an opportunity to snap up a beautiful country home in Österlen, South Sweden this would be it. In fact, when Laura and Nora (of Our Food Stories / Design Tales) reached out to me this morning to tell me the news they were selling I nearly cried on their behalf. But all good things must come to an end, and it's time for this incredibly talented couple to focus on projects in their home country of Germany. Which means that this beautiful house from the 1800s in the tiny village of Södra Mellby is waiting for a new owner!

Since buying it in 2019, Laura and Nora have carried out extensive renovations all the while being careful to maintain the original charm. You might recognise the incredible oak DeVOL kitchen (I once featured it here) - but this is the first time I've shown the rest of the house. And true to their signature style, I was thrilled to see the entire space has been furnished with a wonderful blend of vintage and antique pieces as well as Scandinavian design items, against a calming earthy backdrop. Ready to take a tour? 



Gorgeous! 

Österlen is such a lovely part of Sweden. Home to many artists and musicians, the area is known for its relaxed vibe, rolling hills, stunning coastline, small boutiques and farm shops as well as countless ateliers and flea markets. It's also popular as a summer holiday destination, with many Stockholmers settling in for the month of July. 

The best thing about this house, is that whoever moves in wouldn't need to change a thing. It would be to just relax and enjoy the Österlen sunshine and maybe ride a bike down to the sea for a dip. Such a heavenly escape!

I need to speak to Per. 

Curious to hear more? The house is for sale through Mäklarhuset

If you loved Laura and Nora's Swedish home, you might also like:

Before and after: a derelict classroom becomes an incredible kitchen

Needless to say, the creative duo has amassed over 1 million followers on instagram. Check out Our Food Stories and Design Tales for more inspiration. 

Kram! 

Niki

Photography: Our Food Stories / Design Tales, shared with kind permission

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An Idyllic Rustic Swedish Summer Cottage With a Sauna

It may be cold, it may grey... but that doesn't stop us from dreaming about summer here in Sweden. And I for one, could imagine spending it right here at this idyllic cottage, 50 minutes from Stockholm. Granted the pictures have been taken before the lush meadows have sprung to life and lupins, lilac, and cornflower are in bloom - but you can still get an idea of what a summer paradise this is. Dating back to the 1930s, the 40-metre square / 430 feet square* traditional red and white cottage is far from luxurious - even though it does have a sauna. And that's exactly what I love about it! I'm picturing relaxed days flitting between the indoors and out barefoot  - with long lunches in the garden and a daily dip in the lake. And maybe a good book or two. Ready to dream? 


How lovely! Could you imagine spending your summers here? 

Incidentally - I mentioned that the size is 40 metres square, which is fairly small. But actually, in Sweden they don't count areas under a certain ceiling height - hence the space under the sloped ceiling in the bedroom and bathroom are not included in this. 

There's also the sauna - how nice is that? I can imagine warming the cockles here before taking a cool dip in the lake. So relaxing!

See more pics and all the details here (it's for sale, yep, I know!).

Shall we dream over a few other Scandinavian summer cottages today? Take a peek inside this archive for a LOAD of inspiration. 

Have a great start to the week friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Historiska Hem, with thanks. 

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