A Traditional SwedishVilla Overlooking the Stockholm Archipelago

I've been to Stockholm many times, but it was only when I visited the surrounding archipelago that I truly grasped the allure of living there. We passed thousands of cottages on the water's edge nestled among forest, while commuters, kayakers and sailors ambled along the waterway. I was straight on 'Hemnet' (Sweden's database for the property market), searching for a new family home! Alas, we're still based in the south and very settled, but a girl can dream! I mean, who wouldn't want to return to this beautiful villa in Oxön each day, one-hour drive from the city? 


The villa combines traditional Swedish style with a coastal vibe and capitalises on the light that reflects off the water - as well as the magnificent views of the Baltic Sea. 

This winter, the tiled masonry oven seen in the corner here, will no doubt roar into life. I don't know about your neck of the woods, but here in Sweden many house owners are panicking about electricity prices and looking for alternatives - wood is in high demand! 

One of my favourite types of bathroom cabinets - up cycled antique dressers! 

Can you see yourself waking up at the weekend and heading out here in your robe with a morning coffee? 

The family bathroom also makes use of an antique dresser, while twin basins help to ease the morning congestion (we could so do with this in our family bathroom, how about you?). 


How wonderful! I can just imagine returning here each day, could you? That view! 

In midwinter some of the waterways freeze over, paving the way for long distance ice-skaters - who snake their way through the islands. It's a sight to behold! 

Dream away over other Scandinavian waterside properties here:

 
Have a relaxing start to the week! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Eklund via Nordroom with thanks. 

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Anna and Martin's Tiny Handbuilt Cottage Floating on a Swedish Lake

"I've never tried that before, so I'm sure I'll manage it" - so said Pippi Longstocking, and these are the words Swedish florist Anna Starrén and her husband Martin live by. Martin had always dreamed of building a floating cottage from which to explore the lake beside their country home. And when his friend passed away, he put all his effort into turning his dream into a reality. Read on to discover more! 


The starting point was to build a floating pontoon (measuring 5 x 10 metres), upon which the little red and white cottage (measuring 4 x 3.5 metres) was built.  The pontoon is attached to the mainland using a series of mooring lines. 

The house has everything you might need for a relaxing day by the lake including a sleep loft, sauna, isolated floor, wifi, fridge, gas stove, shower, water converter, shower, dry loo, binoculars, bird book, ceramics for 10!, a coffee maker and an anchor! 

Oil lamps are dotted around the little cottage, providing light and heat. The cottage is also powered by 2 x 160 solar panels and a 3x 90 amp battery. 

The kitchen, sofa and ladder have all been hand built to fit the space. 

Anna says: "building this house is one of the best things we've ever done, it's become our year-round refuge."

Come winter, the lake freezes over and the little cottage becomes a perfect spot for ice bathing. 


A whole is cut into the ice so that they can still take a dip after a sauna. 

BRRRRR! 

Could you imagine winter bathing like this? 

If you're ever in Sweden during winter, you must try it - it's such a crazy yet wonderful experience (especially afterwards once you're all wrapped up warm again and nursing a mug off glögg!). Studies have shown it has numerous health benefits! 

See Anna's inspiring instagram feed @starrensannan for more pictures of the floating cottage, as well as their main house. You might also like to stop by Anna's homepage for more information about her work as a florist and upcoming workshops (how I'd love to do one of those - I wonder if she holds any at the floating cottage?). 

Would you like to see a few other unusual properties today? 


Happy lillördag! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Anna Starrén with thanks 

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Before & After: An Old Swedish Croft Becomes a Charming Summer Cottage

It's so easy to become 'home blind', don't you think? I find it's only when I come back from holiday or a time away that I see the changes that need to the made to our house (cue - flying about rearranging furniture and adjusting things before we've even unpacked!). That's why I marvelled at the transformation of this Swedish croft. 

Built in the 1900 as a place to house the elderly members of the family and farm workers, the property on Torsö island, lake Vänern has now fallen into the hands of wedding photographer Johanna Carlsson and her husband Vicktor and their dogs Nalle and Doris. Despite growing up with the croft, Johanna had a keen idea of how she wanted the interior to look - and the pair have been renovating it little by little to transform it into a beautiful cottage in which while away the summer. Here are a few pictures (including some before and after):  

The outside has been given a refresh, while keeping the quintessentially Swedish red and white facade intact. 

A porch area doubles up as a sunroom in which to enjoy 'fika' and meals bathed in natural light. 

Kitchen before

Kitchen after

Simple updates such as a new handmade worktop and longer linen curtains have helped to bring this kitchen up to date while maintaining the relaxed traditional feel. 

Sitting room before

Mix and match furniture has its charm, but it's not always the most practical or comfortable. 

Sitting room after

Johanna and Viktor updated the room using wallpaper from Boråstapeter and then furnished it with a comfy sofa (as modelled by Doris) and a handmade table with rustic charm. 

Bedroom before

The pair sleep in what was formerly a children's bedroom with bunkbeds.

I spy stickers - can I get a show of hands for anyone who has spent hours trying to get rid of the residue from doors, beds and other furniture in a children's room? I was scrubbing away on Allie's door just the other week. Mind you, stickers are at least better than slime, there's an outright ban on that stuff in our home! 


Bedroom after

It's hard to imagine that this delightful space is the same room! 

Tulippa wallpaper Boråstapeter adds character to the bedroom while a bedskirt gives the space a traditional touch. 

Outhouse before

Outhouse after

An outhouse on the grounds, previously used for storage, was cleared out and repainted - creating a perfect place for midsummer gatherings.

A simple outdoor shower means the couple can wash under the open-sky and make the most of the long summer days! 

Such a charming summer cottage, don't you think? 

If you'd to keep up to date with Johanna's latest renovation projects, follow along over at @torptokig

As you know by the sheer number of pretty red and white Swedish summer cottages I've been featuring lately, I'm not quite ready to let go of summer just yet. But as we near mid-September the autumn feeling is in the air and I'm going to have to concede that summer is over! I'm looking forward to sharing some Scandinavian city apartments with you next week! Stay tuned! 

Before I head off for the weekend, I also wanted to share with you, that as a London girl (who's been living in Sweden for over 18 years), it was with a heavy heart that I heard the news about Queen Elizabeth II yesterday. Her Majesty was a truly remarkable person who has always been there throughout our lives. I particularly admired her professionalism and commitment to duty but also how warm and personable she was, with a wonderful sense of humour. In the words of Paddington Bear: Thank you Ma'am, for everything. 

Wishing you all a lovely weekend, 

Stor kram

Niki

Photography courtesy of Johanna Carlsson, shared with kind permission. 

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