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Before and After: A Rundown House Becomes a Dream Swedish Country Home

I first discovered Johanna's house, in the southern Sweden county of Smålland, via her instagram feed  Vårt Lilla Gröna (our little green), through which she shares pictures of her not so little, but definitely green and very beautiful country home. Although I didn't find a huge amount of 'before' pictures, the ones I did find go a long way to show the sheer amount of work Johanna and her family have put into transforming the house into a beautiful home. Not only that, but they also demonstrate what you can do with a little vision, DIY, up-cycling and a lot of wallpaper! 

Let's take a peek. 

Exterior before

In this glimpse of the exterior, you can see how run down the house was when they first acquired it.

Exterior after

Cladding and period details were added to the exterior, along with a practical terrace - all of which completely transformed the look and feel of the property.

Johanna and her husband are a real dab hand at DIY and carry out many of the projects themselves. The flower tubs above are just one of their many creations! 

A perfect spot in the sun! Just add tea and a book. 

Interior before 

The interior needed gutting and new walls and ceilings were put in - in other words, it needed a massive amount of work! 

The kitchen was stripped right back, and the old stove area was completely reconstructed to create a practical cooking area. 

Kitchen after

Today the family benefit from modern appliances with a traditional country style feel. 

A built-in window seat provides a place to gaze out of the window from the kitchen.  

Clever use of earthy paint colours and traditional wallpaper help to add interest in a time-honoured way to the many rooms. 

Above, the 'skafferi' (larder) door has been painted in two tones), giving it added impact. Incidentally, I have noticed that the traditional larder is coming back in a big way these days. I wish we had the space for one, they remind me so much of my grandparents' house - they use to store my grandads home brewing kit and lots of chocolate clubs! 

Do you have a larder? 

Fireplace before


Fireplaces and woodburning stoves are already coming into their own this autumn in a bid to avoid the escalating electric and gas prices! These masonry tiled ovens are incredibly efficient. 

Johanna was careful to protect this one while they undertook the renovations. 

I love this before and after comparison between white walls and wallpaper. There's something so homely with wallpaper, don't you think? 



Johanna is great at finding second-hand treasures which she then upcycles. This traditional Swedish bench was sanded down, slightly reconfigured and then painted - before becoming a lovely children's bed! 

At the far end of Johanna's daughter's bedroom is perhaps the most magical homemade dolls houses I've ever seen. Click here to see the tour on Instagram (and what the cabinet looked like before the transformation). 



And finally, I couldn't resist sharing this pretty Autumn touch - wreaths on the garden gates, such a lovely idea! 

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Johanna's life in the countryside of Smålland.

Feel like you've seen it somewhere before? No, you're not imagining things, I once showed some snapshots of Johanna's lovely home all decked out for Christmas

See more pictures and feel inspired by her latest projects here

Do you have lots of wallpaper in your home too? I grew up with Laura Ashley wallpaper, but we don't have any in our house right now. 

Would you like to see a few other country homes today? Take a look at: 


This afternoon I'm heading up to our little cabin with a friend - it's such a lovely sunny, autumn day, I can't not make time for a long walk by the sea! Maybe it'll even be warm enough to sit outside? If per asks though, I'm working of course! 

Have a lovely day, I hope the sun is shining where you are too! 

Niki

Photography: Johanna / @vartlillagrona

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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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A Cosy Swedish Country Home with an Autumn Vibe

Have you got that weekend feeling? Here, Autumn is in the air and hats are on! I feel like I'm ready for pumpkin soup and chanterelle toast tomorrow...! I wanted to find a beautiful Scandinavian home to reflect the cosy höst (autumn / fall) vibe - and this lovely Swedish country home is perfect! 

Sarah Macfie (a Swede with Scottish ancestors), her fiancé Archie and three sons Ralph, Hugo and Benjamin live in a white house near Gothenburg, West Sweden. Sarah loves antiques and spends lots of her spare time visiting her local thrift store, going to auctions and searching online for beautiful pieces with which to fill their home.  Couple this with earthy shades of earthy shades and plenty of plants and dried flowers, and the result is a dreamy space where no two pieces are alike. 

Don't forget to keep a look out for the moose! 

Such a lovely home - and very hard to believe that it's a new build, don't you think? 

There are so many things to feel inspired by in these pictures, but I especially love the traditional bed nook, kitchen window seat, the adorable baby picture (those feet / socks!) and of course the moose - isn't he handsome? I've only ever seen one in the wild once, and that's when I was Finland taking pictures for my first book Modern pastoral (now called Relaxed Rustic). They are huge! Have you ever seen one?  

Is there anything that caught your eye in Sarah's house? 

See more pictures here

Looking for more autumn inspiration this weekend? Check out: 


Also I am holding a great giveaway on my instagram right now to win a beautiful table cloth and napkins from Swedish brand Lovely Linen - well worth entering (open to all!) enter here

Right folks, that's it from me this week. I hope you've enjoyed the home tours (Anna and Martin's floating cottage with sauna, kitchen and sitting room is causing quite a stir!). 

Have a fabulous weekend, see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Sarah Macfie, shared with kind permission. 

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