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 Charming Swedish Orangery Used for Entertaining

The 'staycation' this year has seen a huge a rise of people looking to move out to somewhere they can enjoy a little more space. But we've also been looking to do more with what we have at home too - whether that's carving out private areas for a home office (see yesterday's post!), or building an extension, garden shed, or outhouse. But there's one thing I haven't seen mentioned - and that's an orangery! Technically, an orangery is a room or dedicated building on the grounds of fashionable residences between 17th - 18th century, used to protect fruit trees during the winter - these days it's become something more. Swedish interior and garden stylist, Ulrika Grönlund has built an orangery in the garden of her Malmö home using a mix of old and new.  The white facade gives the structure an air of the med while the wonderful recycled windows and doors offer a nod to the traditional orangery of times gone by. The space serves as a beautiful room in which to entertain, and also somewhere to store less hardy plants during the winter. Ready to feel inspired? 









How beautiful! 

If only we had the space for one of these. I'd love to be able to say, ''please come through to the orangery where dinner is served...''

You can take a tour of the entire Malmö home here (it's for sale.... gaaaah! I need to speak to Per!) and feel inspired by Ulrika's latest interior and garden projects on her instagram @ulrikagronlund1 and website

Could you imagine having an orangery like this in your garden (or future house!)? 

Niki

Photography: Skandiamäklarna

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Oak and a Cosy Roaring Fire In A Swedish Cottage Kitchen


Warning: this kitchen might make you want to move to the Swedish countryside. Especially if you love 19th century architecture, wood beams, and a roaring fireplace! Laura and Nora of the incredible Our Food Stories (whose Berlin studio and German country home I've also featured), bought a cottage in Österlen, Southern Sweden a few years back. I've been following the renovation ever since and have loved the way they've been adding their own signature touch while being careful to maintain the property's natural charm. This week Laura and Nora revealed their recently completed kitchen - which combines a stunning oak Devol Haberdasher kitchen with Bertazzoni and Smeg appliances and vintage lighting. Oh, and a wonderful fireplace of course! 

I'd be perfectly happy to keep Per company from the Little Petra armchair while he ambles about in the kitchen. His cakes might not be a patch on Our Food Stories.... but he does makes a MEAN spag bol!

This jute rug* is similar (and biodegradable). 

The Haberdasher kitchen is a handmade modular system, which features unpainted oak cupboards inspired by mid-century English interiors and a traditional gentleman's haberdashery - which makes it extraordinarily charming!


What oven do the girls with a foodie themed instagram feed that has amassed over 1 million followers use? A professional Bertazzoni range cooker, that's what! Now we know the secret to culinary success! 


The worktops are a mix of marble and handmade aged copper. The sink is also made of marble. 



The walls have been painted with chalk paint from Icelandic brand Kalklitir in 'calce' (I also used Kalklitir in my kitchen and I'm so happy with the nuanced finish!). 


Love that the unit in the above picture is also used for wood storage - it really adds to the cosiness of the space, din't you think? But above all else - look at that farmhouse table! *Sheds actual tears*! I've been looking for one like that for ages. I wonder if it was sourced in Sweden. I'm off to investigate! 

Before I head off - have you noticed kitchen cabinets made from natural wood have really come into their own in 2020? See also a calm, warm kitchen designed by Holly Marder and the awe-inspiring private kitchen of Noma head chef René Redzepi - beautiful! 

Could you imagine opting for wood in your kitchen? Or perhaps you're too busy imagining yourself in that fuzzy armchair by the fire to care! In which case, I wouldn't blame you! 

Wishing you a wonderful, cosy day friends! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Our Food Stories with thanks

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An Idyllic Rustic Swedish House In The Countryside

Tjena! I hope you had a great weekend! I might be at my studio in the heart of the Malmö right now, but my mind is distinctly in the quiet of the countryside - or at least, that's where I'd love to be today. And when you see this rustic cottage, I've got a feeling you might feel the same! This traditional red and white Swedish house has been decorated in muted greys and fresh white and filled with antiques, vintage finds and lots of interesting art. I could quite happily pad around here all week - working from that desk, tinkering away on the piano, enjoying coffee on the terrace and taking leisurely walks by the water. How about you?! 










What an idyllic retreat! 

Could you imagine spending your week here too?

I have always been a fan of a simple white and light grey combo! 

Incidentally, a friend of mine is moving into a new home this week and asked me to recommend a white paint. In Sweden the most popular seems to be 'Stockholmsvit' (Stockholm white) code S0502Y. It has a warm tint to it which adds a homely vibe of the living space. It also works in well with warm textures such as wood, rattan and other natural, earthy materials. 

I'll be quiet now and leave you to dream! 

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week. I hope it's as peaceful as this very house! 

Niki

Photography: Fantastic Frank found via Nordic Design with thanks

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