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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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Pattern, Prints and IKEA hacks in a Charming Swedish Cottage

Why, godmorgon! I hope you had a lovely weekend! I was up at the cabin and the light was so beautiful (you can catch a glimpse in this little film). Elsewhere in Sweden, illustrator and creator Kajsa Hagelin was also making the most of the late summer days with her family at their home in the countryside. Kajsa and her family have been renovating their quintessential red and white cottage by hand, sharing the inspiring kitchen transformation, Ikea DIY hacks and choice of wallpaper and textiles on instagram. Look closely and you'll also spot lots of Kajsa's own artwork throughout the house too. Ready to feel inspired?

Kitchen before

I'm not sure when the above 'before' kitchen shot was taken - it looks dated to say the least! Either way, Kajsa and her family decided it was time to strip it away and make space for a new kitchen!

Kitchen after

The pair installed an ikea kitchen themselves, adding custom handles for a traditional touch. 

I love this breakfast scene! 

A gallery wall in the dining room includes some of Kajsa's own work (namely the two top right pieces).  You can find many of her prints at Wall of Art

A pair of vintage rattan chairs ensure a relaxed vibe in the sitting room, while the gallery wall (which also includes some of Kajsa's own work) cleverly disguises a Samsung The Frame TV - can you spot it? 

Simple hooks hammered into the side of the staircase create a spot for children's coats and classic Swedish Fjellraven Kånken rucksacks

The wallpaper in the children's bedrooms is from Willam & Morris and the bedding above is from Garbo & Friends. But what really steals the show is the hand built wardrobe - made from an ikea Billy bookshelf as well as left over panelling and a wardrobe door. 


In the other children's bedroom, they've also worked their magic with a Billy Bookshelf, this time customising it with colour, knobs and fabric. So clever, don't you think? 

The wallpaper is by William & Morris



A less than attractive water boiler gave Kajsa the excuse to add pretty Svenskt Tenn fabric to the upstairs bathroom. Svenskt Tenn is a classic brand in Sweden having been around for nearly a century. Recently their colourful textiles and wallpaper have become really popular among a younger crowd! 

So many lovely ideas in this home, don't you think?  

I particularly love all the textiles, wallpaper and prints  - they add so much character. 

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

See more of Kajsa's home over at @kajsavisual and discover her work as an illustrator and creator here (she's so unbelievably talented!). 

Would you like to take a peek inside a few other creatives homes today? Here are a few to get your started:


Have a happy start to the week! 

Niki

Photographer Kajsa Hagelin, shared with kind permission. 

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