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A Beautifully Crafted Tiny House On Wheels


Spreading some tiny house love today. I came across this in the feed of Anna Malmberg, a Swede living in the South of France (you might remember her beautiful house which she shares with her hat maker husband and their son) . Anne helped her friend Romain Lemonnier to style and take these pictures of the tiny house that he had built in a nearby village. The cabin was bought by a man who had been homeless for many years. He inherited some money when his Mother died and was finally in a position to buy himself this property. He calls it his 'castle'. Looking at the level of craftsmanship that has gone into it, I can see why! Curious to look around? 


How incredible! And so inspiring for anyone looking to build a tiny house. Unless of course, you'd like to ask Romain to build one for you (more info here: P'tite Nid Mobile). 

It made me think more about the little cabin we are building - which incidentally has suffered from a slight delay - apparently the foundation needs to breath for three months before we can kit out the interior. Even so, I hope the first spade will go into the ground within weeks. Exciting! More to follow soon! 

Here are a few other truly inspiring tiny homes: 


Looking for inspiration for a small apartment? Take a peek in the small spaces archive

I'm heading over the bridge to Copenhagen today for 3 Days of Design. I'm so excited as I get to go 'abroad', tuck into Danish pastries (a given!) and experience some incredible Danish design. Winner!  Keep an eye on my Instagram stories if you'd like to follow along!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! 

Niki

Photography: Anna Malmberg, shared with kind permission. 

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An Endearing Danish Summer Cabin on an Allotment

It's only a couple of days until midsummer, and Scandinavians are gearing up to the big event. The atmosphere in the city is slowly changing as folk load up the boot of their cars, ready to ride out to the countryside. Danish family Nicolai, Sofia and their three-year-old child will no doubt be exchanging their urban apartment to enjoy the long weekend at their charming little kolonihave (allotment house). The small wooden cabin is located in Åbyhøj, a quiet suburb of Aarhus known for Northside festival - a popular 3-day music event. The cosy pared-back abode has everything the small family need to enjoy the summer holidays - including a kitchen, dining area, sitting room which doubles up as a bedroom, and a loft bed. On warm days, life spills out onto the newly built terrace and lush garden. Kom indenfor! 

I love the relaxed summer vibe, mixed furniture and touches of green and blue - a perfect little escape! 

Is there anything that stands out to you? 

Scandinavian allotment houses are really special. I've explained the history behind them here. If you feel like taking peek inside a few more, click on any of the links below:


So lovely! I hope you're feeling inspired too! 

Niki

Photography:
1, 2, 3, 5, and 9: Julie Wittrup Pladsbjerg & Mikkel Dahlstroem / Another Studio
4, 6, 7, and 8: @sofiaganer

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A Swedish Couple Turn a Mercedes Sprinter White Van Into a Cosy Home

Let's celebrate the weekend with something a little different - and super inspiring! Meet nomadic Swedish couple Indie and Joel who were travelling the world when the pandemic hit. Forced to return home, they decided to pursue their dream of a more sustainable and minimalistic lifestyle and turned their Mercedes Sprinter van into a home. When they first bought the van, whom they've since christened 'Luna', the main compartment was an empty shell, but they immediately saw its potential as a living space. Read on to find out how they converted their little van into a cosy home!

Before

 The pair designed, built and decorated the van entirely on their own from scratch, without any prior experience! Amazing! 

The back of the 2008 van measures 4.3 metres, making her the second longest model in the range - and with a little work and careful planning, enough space to create a small kitchen, social area and bed!


The fully functional van was fitted solar panels, an 84 litre freshwater tank, a fridge and freezer compartment, a 100-amp lithium battery, mains hook up, arctic insulation, and a fully equipped kitchen among many other things. 

You can read about the entire build - which took eight months (including all the items they used) on their 'On the freeside' blog and vlog (in case you're feeling inspired to do something similar!). 

After

It's hard to imagine that you can create such a lovely, cosy living space in a mere 4.3 metres, but not only have Indie and Joel created a practical, highly functional home, it's also lovely and cosy too! Think traditional kitchen cabinets with cup handles, tiles, wood details and plenty of storage as well as a social area. 

When space is of a premium, it's important to make use of every inch. In the kitchen, the side of the sink has been used to store washing up liquid, soap, chopping boards and utensils. 

The cabinet on the far side was built by hand using plexiglass: ""The idea of a glass cabinet was inspired by the old glass pantries our parents and grandparents once had," Indie explains, "we thought they look so beautiful. So, we created our own using plastic".

"We wanted to create a bright light Scandinavian style interior with a bit of a farmhouse feel", Indie tells me, "the feeling of stepping into a modern cabin in the woods. All the horizontal lines, including the countertops, ceiling and floor, are made out of dark walnut and all the vertical lines (cabinet doors, walls etc) are white". 

The loo and shower are located under the countertop beside the sink. For those of you who love tech / want to read more about the ins and outs - you can find out more information about the van water life and plumbing system here

The spice rack is made from wood shelving and brass pipes - which help to keep the jars in place (follow the steps here). 

A wooden door gives access to the main driving compartment. 

"For us, it was important that it felt like a home; somewhere peaceful", Indie tells me, "we used warm colours to make it feel cosy and it was also important to be able to host friends - hence our big U-shaped sofa".

At night, the table is lowered to make a platform in the middle and two mattresses are added to form a 160 x 200 cm bed with a 24 cm thick memory foam mattress. A comfortable place to wake up each day, looking out over the nature - or end the day, gazing at the stars!


In Scandinavia its customary to take your shoes off when you enter a home - and in Indie and Joel's van it's no different! Simple, low wooden shelves by the entrance provide storage and help to keep the entrance-way clear. 

***

All in all, one INCREDIBLE project! And such a special home. 

If you'd like to follow Indie and Joel's journey, hop on over to their instagram @onthefreeside - which is full of pictures from the van and the various locations they visit, or explore their website and vlog for know-how on how you can build your very own home on wheels from a white van! 

Feel like reading about a few other inspiring stories involving tiny homes this weekend?


Although not quite as tiny as this van, you might also like to see our plans for the little cabin which we are hoping to start building in September. Exciting!

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend, thank you so much for stopping by! 

Niki

Photography: Jennifer Nilsson

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The Design Plans For Our Tiny Swedish Cabin (Komplementbostadshus / Attefallshus)

A while back I wrote that Per and I are planning on building an attefallshus (a small Swedish cabin usually measuring 25 m2 (269 sq.ft) - but in this case it's a 'komplementbostadshus' which is allowed to be 30 m2 / (322 sq.ft) in the garden of Per's family's summer cottage in South Sweden. We've been pouring over lovely cabins for ages as you know from this post! We were hoping to buy something ready-made but after assessing all the options we eventually decided to design it ourselves. Out-of-the-blue, I came across Anela Tahirovic - a really talented architect based just outside of Malmö, whose home I featured yesterday. Anela has been working with us to help realise our idea - while also adding some great ideas,  tips and tricks of her own. Ready to see the plan?!

Tadaaaa! This 3D drawing (by the fab Mahir at Studio Ark) gives an idea of the overall look and feel. We wanted to draw inspiration from the surrounding forest - and decided on brown wood panelling (see the inspiration below for a photo of the wood finish we are hoping to achieve). 

Since the living space is so small, we were also keen to draw in as much natural light as possible and create an indoor-outdoor living space. This is why the cabin has so many windows and doors - which we can throw open on warm summer days.

I am toying with the idea of swapping out the black frames in favour of slim brown ones for a softer look (as seen below in this lovely 'Hållbar' 40 m2 house by Woodworks. What do you think? 

Here are some drawings by Anela showing how the cabin will look from different directions:


Inside, there will be a tiny sitting room area, basic kitchenette (fridge and sink), double bed and bathroom on the lower level, and then an upper loft area (accessed by a ladder) for two more beds. In such a small space, storage is a struggle - so, not only do we need to live fairly minimalist (not easy for the Brantmarks!), but we will also need to find some smart storage solutions! Here is a sketch of the layout: 
I am looking forward to sharing more inspiration for the interior and the outdoor area with you soon. In the meantime, this past post might just give you some idea of the general design direction!

And good news, we have planning permission - WOOHOOOO! We were hoping to have started the build this spring, but all the local builders are crazy busy due to the pandemic, so now we're looking at September. Feeling excited but ever so slightly nervous too! 

I hope you like the plans so far! 

Wishing you all a lovely day, 

Niki

A huge thanks to Anela Tahirovic for the design sketches and Mahir from Studio Ark for the building and construction drawings as well as the 3D visualisations.

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Our Tiny Swedish Holiday Cabin: Exterior Inspiration


Those of you who have been following My Scandinavian Home for a while (thank you!), will know that Per's family have a little summer cottage on the coast of North West Skåne. It was built by Per's grandparents in the 1930s and today, it's enjoyed by Per's Mother - who heads there for much of the summer. We also love to stay there whenever possible - at the weekends, over Easter and for several weeks in the summer. It's our very own little paradise, understated, raw, rugged and windswept. Days are spent sipping coffee, wondering through the pine forest or village in our dressing gowns to the water's edge, playing games while the rain comes down or chugging out to the island of Hallands Väderö (second picture down) by boat. Here are a few shots I've snapped with my phone over the years. I hope it'll give you an idea of the surrounding nature, and the simple life we lead at the cottage!




Tiny Cabin Location and Inspiration 



Per's Grandfather fell in love with the area just like we have many years later and built the little cottage (above) up on a hill near the church. Per's Mother, an avid reader of my blog (hej hej!), recalls playing in the meadows in front of the cottage as a child, and taking a 'morgondopp' (morning dip) in the sea. These days, the 'meadows' are occupied by summer houses, but Liv and Allie still love to run carefree down to the water for a swim, no matter the weather. 

The cottage itself is tiny, and if we're all in place - the sofa becomes a sofa bed and the children and their friends sleep on a bunkbed and a blow-up mattress. It works for now, but we'd love to spend more time there - and as the children grow-up, we'd love for their children to enjoy it as we do today! 

In Sweden, it's common to build tiny cabins in the grounds of a summer cottage to make space. Known as an 'Attefallshus', you are permitted to build a 25 square metre (269 square feet) cabin and, recently, also a 30m2 cabin (322 square feet) - known as a 'Komplimentbostadshus' (try pronouncing that!) in the grounds of your property (see restrictions here - in Swedish). It's the latter we're interested in since it will give us enough space for a family of four. This winter, we marked out a section of the lawn and the planning has finally begun! So exciting! 


We have earmarked this section of the garden beside an old oak tree running parallel along the fence to the neighbours' garden (with their kind permission) - which affords both properties some privacy.  

Cabin Exterior Inspiration

When Per and I brainstormed the look and feel of the cabin we decided against replicating the main house and instead were keen for the exterior to blend into the surroundings - and incorporate the rugged nature of the forest and coastline. Wood therefore felt like an obvious material for the exterior - and we love that it ages gracefully over time. The exact wood and tone is to be determined (watch this space) but we particularly love the look and feel of the cladding above and below. 

Since life at the cabin is about spending time outdoors and soaking up the surroundings, we're keen for the cabin to have large windows which draw the outdoors in and allow a seamlessness between the garden and the interior. Lately I've been partial to grid windows, seen below. 

This is obviously WAY bigger than 30m2, but more to demonstrate the windows I was talking about! 

Off-plan or Our Own Design? 

There are a fair few 'off-plan' cabin solutions available in Sweden, some of which create the entire cabin in their yard before dropping into place with a truck and crane. This sounds like a brilliant hassle-free option on paper, but  in practise, we have a really clear picture of what we were looking for - and none of them quite fit the bill. So began the search for an architect. More of which I'll share with you in my next 'Tiny Cabin' update along with the plans. 

In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you like the wood exterior? Are you also a fan of these types of windows? Perhaps you have some experience of building a tiny cabin or house yourself and like to share some insight (as rookies, we'd be eternally grateful!). 

Here is a little more great 'tiny cabin' inspiration:


Oh, and the last cabin is actually a holiday home on the Isle of Skye - available to rent! I know! Scotland anyone?   

Wishing you all a lovely 'lillördag'! 

Niki

Photography credits: 1 - 9 Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian home, 10. Krista Keltanen for the book Happy Homes, 11. Barn House Cabin 12. Light and Dwell 13. Wild croft on the Isle of Skye

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