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A Dreamy 17th Century Swedish Summer Cottage With a Focus on 'The More the Merrier'

Hello there friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend? On Saturday we had beautiful blue skies and warm weather here in Skåne (let's not talk about Sunday!). For a day, we dared to dream of the Swedish summer when many flock to cottages in the countryside. The cottages are usually geared up to cater for as many as possible - with beds at every turn! Take this wonderful summer cottage in Breven, just east of Stockholm. Tucked away among meadows and forest, this 17th century timber cottage comprises two dwellings - a main house (seen below), and an outhouse (featured above). The first serves as a gathering place (when times allow) as well as bedrooms for the owners. The second is for overnight guests and extended family- with one large room kitted out with a double bed, a bunkbed and two sleep alcoves. Pretty curtains help to block out the midnight sun - or the light of a lamp, for those who like to stay up and read! My children would love this - especially Allie, who thinks it's really cosy when we all bunk up together as a family! Roll on Swedish summer days. 

Look closely and you'll notice a painted diamond wood floor - a popular feature in traditional Swedish dwellings. I also the uneven wood logs - which add to the character of the space. 

The master bedroom has such a wonderful romantic air to it. And is that a TV on the ceiling I see?!

The thick walls pave the way for windowsills which are wide enough to double up as seating. A perfect spot for a morning coffee!

The guest house:


If you're ever invited to stay at someone Scandinavian summer cottage, remember to bring your own bed linen. I've been caught out on a few occasions... and I'd hate for you to make the same faux pas! 

The pool house (below) is kitted out with a sauna and extra bathroom - for cooler days. 

Saunas are a common sighting in Swedish homes (Especially in the basement) - although not quite as common as in Finland! The jury is still out on how much people use there here, with some enjoying regular sessions amongst the steam with their family, and others admitting they simply use it as a fancy place to dry their clothes! 


How dreamy! A perfect summer oasis. And with all those fireplaces, a wonderful place to visit all winter long too! 

Could you imagine spending your summer here? 

Find out more about this property over at Historiska Hem

Feeling intrigued about the Scandinavian summer cottage having seen this? Check out the entire archive here. 

Wishing you all a wonderful start to the week!

Niki

Photography Lina Östling

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A Malmö Home Full of Design Classics And Art

It's Friday friends - woohoo! I don't know about you, but I feel it's come around so quickly this week. I'm hoping to nip around the town on my lunch break today and visit some of my favourite design stores to celebrate (in a social distanced / safe kind of way, of course). My usual circuit always includes the Malmö store Olsson & Gerthel - which sells the most incredible iconic design furniture, mixed in with some beautiful pieces by local artists. It's a total feast for the eyes, and food for the design soul! One of the co-owners - Nina Gerthel, lives a stone's throw from the store, in her childhood home in the picturesque old area of Gamla Väster. Nina, an interior designer, is a firm believer in filling your home with pieces you love and that make you feel good and her recently renovated home is a fine example of this - and a wonderful extension of the design ethos and offering of the store itself. Ready to take a peek inside? 


Oh to have beams like these! I am always eyeing up houses in Gamla Väster when they come on the market,  but homes like this rarely come up (Nina took over this one from her parents).  

The other thing that struck me was the art - I love sculptures and Nina has really given them space to breathe so they catch the light and stand out. 

I was reading an interesting article the other day about how, when faced with a design conundrum and looking to improve a look, people naturally add things, when actually, the solution is often to take something away. 'Less is more'  is an artform and one at which the Scandinavians excel! Something to think about over the weekend when organising / arranging your home!

Is there anything that stood out to you about Nina's lovely home? 

Shall we finish off the week with a few other Malmö home tours? Here are a few favourites: 

Sofie's home (owner of my favourite go-to florist): The cosy, vintage inspired home of a Malmö florist 
A local home in St Knut's: A 'mysigt' apartment in soft, earthy tones
The home and studio of the wonderful girl I share my studio with: Carina Grefmar

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! Thanks for stopping by this week :)

Niki

Photography by Robert Våhlström for Olsson & Gerthel

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A Charming Shaker-style Swedish Country Kitchen

I'm a little tired of our kitchen. It's so.... WHITE! And I'm not so sure we need ALL the storage, I mean it's handy, but we really do fill the cupboards with a lot of rubbish, especially in the dining area (thoughts?). So, I've been looking around for kitchen inspiration. And that's when I stumbled across the incredible summer home of Ellen Dixdotter - CEO of Malene Birger and Jacob Holst - an interior architect. Granted their kitchen is in a beautiful old home in the heart of Skåne countryside and a lot bigger than ours (and don't even get me started on the period features!) - I still feel there's plenty of inspiration to be taken away from it - and if nothing else, we get to pull up a chair and dream for a while, which is always welcome in these times, right? Ready to take a peek?  

When the family first moved in, the house was kitted out with a small, tired looking IKEA kitchen with a low ceiling and laminate flooring. 

For a family who love to cook while enjoying a glass of wine - the kitchen is considered the heart of the home - and Ellen and Jacob were keen to create a spacious and sociable space.  They removed the ceiling and knocked through a wall two the sitting room before designing the 'shaker' kitchen together with Nordiska Kök - who specialise in dreamy, custom-built kitchens. 

They also added SMEG appliances as well as a sink, tap and knobs from Swedish company Sekelskifte

Look closely and you'll also spot vintage chopping boards (source similar antique chopping boards here*) and beautiful stoneware - adding to the relaxed, earthy vibe of the space. 

The kitchen island was a 'loppis' (flea market find) - and one of the details I'd love to incorporate into my own kitchen / dining area (I can't wait for the flea markets to open and get scouring, isn't it beautiful?). 

I also love the glass cabinet! Although newly built on site, Nordisk Kök recommended using antique glass in order for the piece to work seamlessly with the traditional country house. 

I have been dreaming about a similar piece ever since I featured Malin Persson's Malmö home (which I have since visited on a few occasions - and it's even more beautiful in real life!). I think they're a great addition to any home. Are you a fan too? 


What a beautiful kitchen - I think they've achieved everything they set out to do and more! 

Could you imagine cooking away here in the evenings over a glass of wine? 

In case you're also looking for kitchen inspiration, here are a few others I love: 


Got a narrow / galley-style kitchen? Per and I renovated our summer cottage kitchen a couple of years back and it's become my favourite room in the cottage! You can find all the details here

Plus, these posts might be helpful too: 

Oh, and one more thing. Ellen and Jacob are co-owners of an online store Cappelendimyr specialising in contemporary artisanal rugs made from natural wool. I've only just discovered this today and am so excited, they are incredible! 

Wishing you a lovely, sunny day friends!

Niki

Photography: Andrea Papini, shared with kind permission
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An Idyllic Red and White Swedish Farmhouse In The Countryside

Mina damer och herrar (Ladies and gentleman), allow me to introduce you to Ekekullen, an idyllic farmstead in the village of Månstad, West Sweden. When Sara Sjöblom and her family moved in five years ago, they became the fourth generation to take-over the beautiful Falun red and white family home.  Sara and her partner have been renovating the property little by little over time while respecting the original structure, built by Sara's great grandfather. Think earthy tones, vintage and antique pieces and a wonderful, relaxed vibe. A perfect country home which combines and old and new and enjoyed by Sara's family, three cats and a flock of chickens. Välkommen in! 

Sara replaced a window with old doors bought from a friend - which her Father then renovated. "It's really lovely to just walk out of the kitchen into the garden in summertime" she tells me. 

The kitchen cabinets (from HTH) span the entire length of the kitchen and have been topped with concrete which has been impregnated and treated with a warm grey tone. 

These 'kakelugn' (swedish masonry ovens) get to me every time - they are just so beautiful, and the heat they give off is incredible! 

Sara found the chairs in a nearby 'loppis' (flea market) and painted them in 4502-Y from Beckers

It's funny how an item can suddenly evoke a memory which has been buried deep in the archives of the mind! Sara's vintage mirror reminds me of the one I saw in the Norwegian home of Tone Krok which I captured for my second book The Scandinavian Home. I had been convinced it was antique, but actually Tone had simply bought a new mirror and left it exposed to the elements in the garden for a couple of years - and it looked just like this one. Now that's a trick worth knowing! 

The grey ball vase* is from popular Swedish brand Cooee. 

A vintage coffee table - a local flea market find - rests in front of a sofa from Decotique.  


In the summertime, life moves outdoors to soak up the midnight sun on rayon chairs from Mio and a handmade table. 

Lounge chairs and a loveseat from Jakobssons (check out their entire outdoor range - so many lovely pieces!) have been arranged around a handmade table for a relaxed outdoor seating area. 

How unbelievably idyllic! It's everything I imagine a Swedish country home to be and more!

I love the outdoor spaces too - some lovely ideas here. Keep an eye out for more outdoor inspiration soon! 

Could you imagine living here? 

If you don't follow Sara on instagram yet, you're missing out! Hop on over to @ekekullen1 for more! 

Fancy taking a peek inside a few other Scandinavian country homes today? How about: 


Magical! 

Oh, and a total sidenote - Swedish names! In the UK surnames tend to be centred around a trade, for example 'Smith' or 'Taylor'.

I've noticed in Sweden however, many surnames tend to either be family names (Larsson - 'son of Lars') - some of which have become so common that the younger generation are swapping them out for made up names. In my experience it's also not uncommon for a married couple in Sweden to also choose the more unusual surname among the pair. 

But it's also common for surnames to have origins in nature. Sara's surname 'Sjöblom' for example, means 'seaweed'. 'Lindgren' of Astrid Lindgren fame, means 'green woodland' while Bergman (Ingrid Bergman) translates as 'Mountain man' and my own name 'Brantmark' means 'steep ground' (not quite as romantic as the others, I know!). I have always loved this. 

Where dot eh family names in your country originate from? 

Niki

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Peek Inside A Dreamy Turn-Of-The-Century Swedish Villa

In my mind there's no better way to finish off the week, than with a beautiful country home tour. And this one in Västra Götaland County, Sweden is positively dreamy. Maria Sundberg Holm has taken a personal approach to renovating her early 20th century house - and thinks nothing of constructing wall panelling, painting radiators and adding DIY touches by hand. Look closely and you'll also spot wonderful traditional touches - including ceramic doorknobs, vintage cabinets and William Morris wallpaper. Enjoy the tour! 



There are so many pieces to love in Maria's sitting room including: Petito sofa in sand from Furnova, lamp from Hallbergs of Sweden and Copenhagen rug.

'The Attentive One' character sculpture* by Kähler Design catches the light in the window - isn't it beautiful? 

Got any leftover wallpaper from a recent project? Why not repurpose it as art like Maria has done with her William Morris paper! 

A simple curtain in the landing helps to hide unsightly storage (source similar linen curtains online here). 

A bed layered with linen (if you're quick, you can still make the most of the 20% discount at Lovely Linen - the Swedish brand I used on Liv's bed and which she's been enjoying ever since) - they do the softest linen in really pretty muted shades. Use the code 'myscandinavianhome' at checkout to claim your discount (expires 21st March). 

Aaaaa, what a lovely home! So may lovely details - and such a serene feel.

I hope you felt inspired too! 

See more pictures and follow Maria's latest DIY projects over at @tradgardsgatan6. 

It's my lifelong dream to live in a turn of the century house like this. There are a few villas like this in Malmö but they're a little out of reach right now. But a girl has got to dream, right? That or a little cottage by the sea. 

What does your dream home look like? 

You might also like to pull up a chair, stay a while and enjoy these Scandinavian country homes:


Right, vänner! That's it from me this week! 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend - vi ses på måndag!

Niki

Photography: Maria Sundberg Holm, shared with kind permission. 
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