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An Idyllic Finnish Summer Cabin on the Water's Edge

Hello friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Here in Scandinavia, it looks like the summer isn't ready to give up on us just yet - and we're being treated to a last hurrah, with blue skies and sunshine. In honour of this, I'm excited to be taking you on a tour of a wonderful Finnish summer cabin. Perched on a rocky incline, overlooking the water, the timber cabin is situated on a secluded island close to Rymättylä, South Finland. Owner, Nina Ahonen - interior designer and stylist - has created a wonderful, laidback oasis, from which to switch off from the world and enjoy the magic of the surroundings. The cabin is accessed by boat from Helsinki. Here's a peek inside. 

How incredible! 

When we're out sailing (binoculars out!), I often spot idyllic cabins like this one on the various islands we pass. They always look so idyllic. 

Could you imagine wiling away a summer here? 

Other Finnish summer cabins and cottages to love: 


And for something more year-round with ALL the warm feels: 


Gaaah, take me to Finland (I'm currently obsessed with this country as I've just written an article for a magazine about Lapland - I promise to let you know once it's published!). It's such an incredibly varied country - from the summer paradise in the south, to the frozen Arctic Circle in the North where husky sledding and the Aurora Borealis await! 

Here's to an inspiring start to the week! 

Niki

Photography: Krista Keltanen, Researcher, journalist and stylist: Jonna Kivilahti - shared with kind permission.

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A tour of an idyllic Finnish summer cabin

If someone asked me to describe my dream Scandinavian summer cottage, this would be it (you may recognise the idyllic Finnish cabin from this post). Situated on its own island on the West coast of Finland, the lovely owner, photographer and graphic designer Johanna Lehtinen, her husband Jari and daughter Tilda take the 10 minute speed boat ride out to the cabin as often as they can. "We try to use it the whole year round but because of its location there are times when we cannot get there - for example, when the ice is too thick for the boat but to thin for walking or using the snow cat." With no running water or electricity, the cabin is a true back-to-basics experience, where the family spend their time "chilling, playing board games, taking boat rides to other islands, visiting and welcoming friends, fishing, rowing, swimming etc," But most of all it's about soaking up the surroundings - "I love the wonderful sea and nature, and the peace and tranquility that the island brings. It's great to be in such close contact with nature," Johanna tells me. And I can totally see why.











 



Photography / home-owner Johanna Lehtinen

Could you image having a wonderful get-away like this to escape to?

I'm not sure I'd ever leave!

Get the look from Johanna's cabin: kitchen - Marimekko teapot and cups, I love the vintage jugs here. bedroom - this vintage shop sells a selection of one of a kind locker units, pick up an old milking stool here and paint it white. And above all else, the details - like Johanna's stacked pebbles, vases of fern and candles in stones collected from the cabin's surroundings. It seems like the best interior decor of all, is waiting on the ground right outside our backdoor (the theme of my first book Modern Pastoral!).

If you feel inspired by Johanna's cabin you might want to check out her latest photography and graphic design projects on her blog and instagram, and also visit her wonderful webshop where she sells her own nature inspired art photography such as Waves and her book Laiturilla, featuring eleven Finnish summer homes by the sea as well as other items (yes, she ships worldwide - woohoo!).

If like me, you're feeling truly inspired by Finnish design today - here are a few other links to beautiful summer cottages and hide-aways: an idyllic Finnish cabin with a sea view, a dreamy lakeside cabin with a twist, and a beautifully simple modern cabin.

Have a wonderful start to the week!

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Before And After: A Dated Cabin Becomes a Modern Scandinavian-inspired Colorado Retreat!

It's Friday friends - and that calls for something extra special, don't you think? And I have just the place! A few days ago, this magical cabin in Twin Lakes, Colorado dropped into my mail box. Photographer, author and teacher Christine Bayles Kortsch and husband Daniel Kortsch (also a photographer) had always dreamed of owning a remote cabin to visit at the weekends, as well as offer as a property for workshops, photoshoots, elopements and more. After years of drooling over cabins online, their dream finally came true in the shape of Alpenglow Cabin which they purchased and renovated together with Daniel's brother Jon-Marc and his partner Laura. Surrounded by rugged beauty and wild nature, the location was perfect, the cabin itself however, was in need of a little TLC. I caught up with Christine to find and out more. 

Kitchen - Before

Christine, Daniel, Jon-Marc and Laura completely gutted the cabin, before painting the pine paneling white.

"We did the entire renovation ourselves (except the hardwood floors) and found primary inspiration in Scandinavian-influenced design. This included talks with our Danish brother-in-law and admiring photos of his family's summer cottage."

Kitchen - After 

Dated upper cabinets were ripped out and replaced with wooden open shelving for a light, relaxed and contemporary feel. The lower cabinets were given a lick of white paint and moved around to give the entrance more breathing space. 



"The copper collection is antique and was passed down from my sister-in-law Laura, whose heritage is Norwegian and German."




Main Living Space - Before

Nothing can take away from the staggering view of the mountains - but the hot tub was fairly dominant and there's no denying that the living space was incredibly dark and lacked cosiness! 

Living Space - After

A fresh lick of paint (I like how they still have wood on the ceiling and around the windows) and wood floors have helped turn the cabin into a fresh and airy, yet cosy and comfortable living space. The hot tub exterior has also been given a makeover - making it less dominant while still providing a dreamy spot from which to gaze out over the mountains. 

"My husband is a woodworker and he made the live-edge dining table."

"My brother-in-law Jon-Marc is a sculpture fabricator and had the wood stove hearth pad custom-made." 

Master bedroom - Before

Master Bedroom - After

A wall-to-wall carpet was ripped out and replaced with a dark wood floor for a modern feel. 

Simple, soft furnishings like this woven wall hanging by Sweet pea Artistry Co help to add a cosy alpine feel. 

Bedroom 2 - Before

Bedroom 2 - After

You can really see the Scandinavian feel coming through in this bedroom: the minimalist feel, botanical touches and the chequer detail!



"We are so proud of this cabin. It is tangible evidence of our blood, sweat, love of nature, passion for beauty and daydreaming. We felt a sense of real pride when our Danish brother-in-law Rune announced we had achieved a hygge feel!"



The beautiful surroundings - which offer endless options for hiking, back-country skiing, snowshoeing, paddling, rafting, rock-climbing and mountain biking - inspired the name 'Alpenglow' which according to Merriam-Webster is the "reddish glow seen near sunset or sunrise on the summits of mountains". Christine, Daniel, John-Marc and Laura also use the word to describe "that cosy feeling you get curled up by the fire with friends after a day of fresh air and adventure." 

Both versions sound wonderful to me, what do you think? 

Alpenglow cabin is now available on Airbnb for others to come and enjoy. You can also find more information / pictures on the Alpenglow Cabin website and instagram

Perhaps it's time to start searching for that dated property that's waiting for someone to come along and give it the TLC it deserves. Who knows, this time next year, we could be sitting in a hot tub overlooking Colorado's highest peaks! 

More cabin love / inspiration to be found here:


Thank you so much to Christine for submitting this project! If you have a project / home tour you'd like to share do send it my way. I can't promise to feature all of the submissions but will certainly keep an eye out for homes that are a perfect fit with My Scandinavian Home!

Right friends. I believe it's time for the weekend. WOOHOOO! Wishing you a relaxing, cosy weekend vänner! Thanks for a great week - I've loved reading your comments! 

Vi ses på Måndag!

Niki

Photography Christine Bayles Kortsch / Daniel Kortsch except the hallway which was shot by Molly Lo Photography.

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A Cosy Finnish Log Cabin In Winter Time


This morning I had to wear gloves for the first time while cycling to the studio. It was one of those crisp sunny mornings - and I found myself excited about the prospect of winter woollies and thick socks! Are you there yet? In honour of this, I thought we could embrace the Scandinavian winter spirit with an über cosy Finnish log cabin. Flanked by lake and forest in Sastamala, 3-hours from Helsinki,  'Koivikko' (meaning 'birch grove') cabin provides the perfect retreat for owners Kimmo Pirhonen, head of Finnish clothing and homeware brand Balmuir, and Ville Pursiainen. The cosy 100-year-old cabin required little in the way of renovation, with the floors already painted soft grey when they moved in. Instead Kimmo and Ville have focused on creating a cosy hide-away, from where they can recharge their batteries and enjoy the peaceful surroundings without distraction. Ready to get toasty? Step this way...





How lovely! 

I could head there for the weekend and stay the month, how about you? 

The timber walls are just beautiful! 

Imagine waking up in that fluffy bed beside the fire on a winter morning - coffee gently brewing on the stove. Gaaah! 

Check out the original feature in Sköna Hem (in Swedish).

If I've got you in the toasty cabin vibe now, check these 'hyggeligt' hideaways out too: 


Anyone else dreaming about a weekend at a cosy log cabin now? 

Niki

Photography: Krista Keltanen, shared with kind permission. 

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A Cosy Candlelit Cabin Deep In The Norwegian Fjords


Do you get the feeling that some days you just want to escape to a far-off place, light a fire and lead a simple life? In my mind, Lisa Reid Mjaavatten has got it just right. Her cosy log cabin lies deep in the Western Norwegian fjords, surrounded by mountains and endless wilderness. Built in the 1970s and consisting of two tiny bedrooms, it provides just enough space for her, her husband and their three children to escape daily life in Bergen. In her interview with North Letters magazine, Lisa describes how her cabin is her sanctuary - even in the midst of the harsh Norwegian winter.  Read on to discover why!

As an interior designer, Lisa was keen to maintain the history of the cabin and keeping the original pine panelled walls and kitchen was a deliberate move to keep "the very spirit and essence alive in the cabin". The decor is also deliberately simple and uncomplicated. "I do not need a lot of things, not having a material ownership is incredibly liberating, but the few things I do own have a special meaning," she says. 


A simple log is used as a side table for candles and warming cups of coffee. 

A pair of vintage snowshoes adorn the wall in the bedroom, while a contemporary Kizu table lamp rests on a chest-of-drawers. 

When the family first bought the cabin, it had no water or electricity and they had to collect water from a few hundred metres away up a narrow forest path. It was only in recent years they decided to install electricity - and the simple act of switching on a light brought with it ''a feeling of total luxury.'' 


While many struggle with the harsh Norwegian winter, Lisa chooses to embrace it. "I love the cold and grey months." she tells Northern Letters, "Feeling the hard rain bite against your cheeks just gives me a little reminder that we are not in charge here, Mother Nature is in control. We are here to enjoy what she brings us and not take it for granted." 

Life at the cabin in winter doesn't come without complaints from the family - especially about "going outside in minus 15 degrees Celsius. Or scraping ice off the inside of the windows in mornings. Or cutting through thick ice in the property's well with an axe to get water for the morning coffee." But even these are seen as a positive: "This is adventure and we are making memories." 

Lisa enjoys a coffee on a handmade bench covered with a warm sheepskin (similar sheepskin items can be found here*).

Lisa loves to sit outside all year-round and take in the staggering surroundings. "The old pine and birch woodland around the cabin offer protection from the harsh weather and winds," she explains to Northern Letters. "The swaying of the branches from the hallowing winds up the fjord sing songs when I am alone."   And the beauty of the huge mountain peaks and deep, inky blue fjords bring with them a sense of calm. "They are like old friends keeping an eye on us."

What a magical place! 

I was particularly interested to hear how Lisa embraces the harsh Scandinavian winter. I have to confess I've always struggled with this - especially come January and February! I like the idea of deciding that the feeling of the freezing cold rain or snow on your face can be seen in a different light - and obstacles caused by the cold weather build memories. Funnily enough, some of my strongest memories (and language!) come from trying to put chains on the tyres in Norway, or stepping out in minus 25 degrees Celsius at Marianne's cabin and watching the head torches of cross-country skiers flash pass as they make their way home. 

I also took heed from a wise friend from Greenland who suggested experiencing sunny days in winter as a bonus. "If you except that it's likely to be cold and grey when you walk out the door, you're more likely to embrace it," she explains. 

I've also found lighting candles at breakfast and after work help to make me feel good - as well as bringing in lovely seasonal touches like pinecones, branches from a fir tree etc. Not so much that it feels Christmassy - but just enough to enjoy that hygge vibe! 

Do you experience harsh winters where you live? If so, do you have any tips on how to embrace the colder months of the year?

Thank you so much to North Letters for the kind permission to share these beautiful images. You can read more about Lisa's home here (in English) and it will also be in print when North Letters magazine hits the newsstands in February 2021. In the meantime, I'd highly recommend checking out their Instagram feed - it's stunning!

Fancy feeling all cosy today by taking a peek inside a few other Scandinavian log cabin? I love: 


Have a hyggeligt day friends! 

Niki

Photography: Gunn Kristin Monsen

*affiliated links

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