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A Striking Holiday House By The Sea in Rural Iceland

Iceland. What an incredible country. Have you been? Per and I had the pleasure of visiting over a decade ago and we were absolutely mesmerised! We took the coastal road South, taking in waterfalls, glaciers, icebergs, and volcanic peaks on one side, and the rugged coastline on the other. Along the way, seals would pop their heads out above the icy waters and eye us over the black sands. The nature was lit by 24-hour sunlight and was as raw, striking and dramatic as you can imagine. After four days we left feeling we'd only just scratched the surface and agreed to return one day. I was reminded of this promise when I stumbled across The Black House this morning. 
   
Located at the foot of mount Hafnarfjäll along the shores of the rugged Snæfellsnes peninsula, the house was designed by Icelandic interior architect Rut Káradóttir. The simple clapboard frame was inspired by the humble 18th century coastal houses typical of the area, which were often treated with natural tar to shield the facade from the harsh climate. Inside, the magical open-plan living space combines a rustic vibe with contemporary touches and the deep, dramatic tones emulate the stark drama outside the window. Enjoy the tour! 




So incredible, don't you think?! 

I think this house is a sign that we need to return and explore more of this incredible Nordic country as soon as possible!

Did I mention it's available as a short-term holiday let too?! I KNOW, RIGHT?! 

FYI - the house sleeps four and is available to rent through Boutique Homes.

Meet you there? 

If you've been to Iceland and have any tips, please do share below! I'd love to hear them! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Boutique Homes.

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A Soothing Swedish family Home With the World's Cutest Kitten!

How are you all doing? Ups and downs? I hear you. But hopefully I have something that can really lift all our spirits! Pull up a chair, put your feet up and stay for a while, this Swedish home will have you dreaming about calm spaces and fairy-tale children's bedrooms. Oh, and it even includes a cute dog and fluffy kitten for good measure! Welcome to the home of Anna-Maria Blomqvist. Anna-Maria lives in the pretty town of Sigtuna, just North of Stockholm. It's a lively little place known for its traditional wooden houses and having the oldest main street in Sweden. Anna-Maria, her partner and their children live in an old croft house which they've lovingly restored into a family home. The house is a sea of earthy greys, deep blues and forest greens, reflecting the lake and forests of the surroundings. Look out for the pretty wallpaper too! 

Since moving to Sweden, a blanket on the sofa has become an essential item (we actual have several these days otherwise there are actual fights!). This chunky knit* one sold online is similar. 

The family hound has found a perfect spot to snooze beside a Josef Davidssons wood burning stove. Oh, to be him today! 

Love this dining setting. But, gaaah, I've seen this star pendant light so many times and can't for the life of me remember the name - can anyone help? It would be great to provide the details.  Also, can I get a slice of that cake, please?



This seems to be the week for vintage glass cabinets (did you see the one in yesterday's Finnish home tour?) - beautiful! I love this one in the children's bedroom too, how about you?

The wall has been finished with Kalkitir chalk paint from Iceland. We painted one of our kitchen walls with this recently. It arrives in powder form and you mix it with water. It's surprisingly easy to apply, organic and gives a beautiful texture. Home DIY project perhaps? If there's enough interest, I might be able to organise a discount. Give me a shout if you're interested!

The wonderful Graylag goose mobile is designed in Sweden by Wonderforest Co. 

What a cosy bed, made even prettier by the Boråstapeter Nocturne wallpaper and bed canopy. And the best news of all for parents - with a bed like this, the children will have no need to turn the sofa into a den! Hallelujah!  


 And finally.....

Because who doesn't feel joy from a picture of the world's fluffiest kitten? Isn't she a Darling? Wonder what she thinks of the flying goose mobile?! 

I spotted this last picture in Anna-Maria's Instagram feed. Not only does it show a glimpse of Sigtuna's pretty Main Street, it also gave me a chance to tell you about a Swedish easter tradition you might not know about! 

On Skärtorsdagan (Maundy Thursday) children across Sweden dress up as påskkäringor (Easter hags) wearing brightly coloured head scarves and faces painted with rosy cheeks and freckles - as seen above! They then wander from door to door asking for sweets. I was so taken aback when I opened the door my first Easter in sweden. They look as cute as a button, but still, being British I was a bit baffled and not terribly well stocked up on godis (sweets)! It's one of the main signs that Swedish Påsk (easter) predates Christianity. It was said that on Maundy Thursday, witches flew to consort with the devil at Mount Blåkulla (a tiny island off Sweden's east coast), some swedes (particularly in the western part of the country) light bonfires to ward off the evil spirits - although these days more so on April 30th (Walpurgis Night). 

Do you have unusual Easter / spring holiday traditions in your country? If so, I'd love to hear about them! 

Back to the home tour. Is there anything in particular that stood out to you? I love the wood burning stove! It's a really beautiful one and adds so much warmth to the home. 

Check out more snapshots from Anna-Maria's home over on her instagram @annamaria.blomqvist.  


I hope this lovely tour (and sharing the unusual Swedish Easter traditions!) has given you a little respite today! Do share your thoughts in the comment section below, I'd love to hear from you!

Niki

Photography: Anna-Maria Blomqvist
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The Soot House: A Beautiful Cabin Inspired By Rugged Landscape

What do you get if you combine a sculptor with a builder? The Soot House, that's what! Sculptor turned builder Anthony Esteves built the Soot House by hand, combining his learnings as a sculptor with newly acquired high-end building techniques. The charred black structure was inspired by the 'ghostly quality' of 17th century New England homes and the wild, craggy landscape of Spruce Head, Maine. Today Anthony, his wife Julie O'Rourke (founder of RudyJude kids clothes) enjoy the house and it's beautiful surroundings first hand. 

I've always been such a big fan of black houses. They're fairly common in Scandinavia (especially for summer houses / cabins). For this charred black structure, Anthony was inspired by the island's black spruce and lichens as well as the wild landscape. 

The table (which was picked up at a local secondhand shop) is so beautiful, don't you think? My Mother has a similar one which she bought at auction years ago- sadly the drawers mean that it's too low to fit a chair / your legs under the table (just a word of warning to measure up before you acquire one of these bad boys!). She uses hers as a side table, and it looks equally beautiful!

I love how the textures - such as stone and wood - have been carefully selected to mirror the craggy surrounding landscape.


A small stove resting on a vintage chest-of-drawers serves as somewhere to cook evening meals (in a back-to-basics kinda way!).


Rails made from copper pipes and ropes are used as clothes hangers in the bedroom.

Wow! So striking, personal and unique! You can really sense the connection that the house has with its surroundings.

The interior would look equally at home on the rugged Swedish Baltic island of Gotland.

And the exterior reminds me a lot of this incredible black house by the sea in rural Iceland which I'm totally planning on renting one day! 

Are you a fan of black facades too?  

Niki

Photography Greta Rybus, found via Remodelista with thanks. 

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Relaxed Californian Meets Modern Scandinavian In An Incredible Family Home

Despite its location in the heart of Venice, California, the owners approached Amber Interiors to transform their house into a Scandinavian Modern Cabin. The results take the indoor-outdoor lifestyle Scandinavians so love, to an entirely new level. Bifold doors in the kitchen and sitting room pull back to create a seamlessness between the interior and exterior and allow a cool breeze to float through the house on warmer evenings. Inside, the theme is strictly monochrome with natural wood and layers of textiles adding softness and warmth. Vintage and contemporary pieces sit by side and the vibrant green hue from a plant is never far away. Enjoy the tour - this home is incredible! 



Flag halyard chair (one of my all time favourites!), leather pouf*, kilim rug*

Look: a TV! Soon we can start saying the 'screen' has become a thing on My Scandinavian Home, don't you think? I love how wood panelling has been used to hide the electrics - so clever! 

The tall plant in the corner of the room completes the look in a beautiful way by adding height. 

The Serge Mouille two-arm wall light* becomes a statement piece against a matt white wall - and can be angled so both can read at night.

This is one of the most inspiring shared children's room I've ever seen - isn't that white and wood bunkbed incredible?! 

Well, what did you think? 

I could move right in and not change a single thing! 

You can see more pictures and find out where many of the smaller pieces are from here

If this look has got you dreaming about Scandinavian modern cabins - here are a few others you might enjoy:


Soooo dreamy!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Niki

PS Thank you so much for all your lovely comments about my summer cottage kitchen - I'm so happy you like it! It feels great to have finally finished it! 

Construction: Potter Mills 
Photography: Tessa Neustadt

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An inviting apartment with warm tones in Södermalm

I love the warm tones in this lovely apartment in Södermalm, an area in central Stockholm known for it's relaxed and creative vibe. The yellow, burnt orange and deep red accents help to create an inviting feel. All that's missing is the warm glow from candles in the masonry oven and you're all set for a rainy day! Speaking of which, I like that there's a grey base to the space too - adding yet another dimension and a great contrast to the warmer hues.  Keep an eye out for all the different lighting it in every corner too)....












I love this home, it's kind of creative, elegant and sophisticated, yet relaxed at the same time. What are your thoughts?

Did you notice the ceiling in the kitchen? 

A few items I know and love from this Stockholm home? (Oh go on then!): Sitting room - Tiki sofa. Try Loom and Field for lovely kilm cushions / pillows (like this one), source a mid-century daybed here. Dining area: Artek chairs, AJ floor lamp, the light is from Örsjö - this industrial light is similar (love this!).

Link guide:

Pianos in the home - It's enough to want me to start lessons! 

This hallway.

Fascinated by these 15 surprising things about parenting in Iceland.

Following on from my Malmö city guide, why not make a weekend of it and pop over the bridge to visit these 5 inspiring showrooms in Copenhagen?!

I'd like to wake up at this little beach cottage everyday.


Have a lovely day!

Source: Husman & Hagberg.

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