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Karen's Lovely Summer House in the South of Sweden

I started blogging 12 years ago - and one of the things that has surprised me the most, is how many wonderful people I have met! Interior designers, photographers, homeowners, bloggers, brands and most importantly you guys via your comments and mails (even if you're a 'silent' participant, I see you!). It's meant that I have never felt alone - despite tapping away at my laptop solo! Thank you! 

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting photographer Karen Hilmersson who reached out via Instagram. Karen is French and lives in Belgium with her Swedish husband Pelle and their teenage children Lilly (15) and Eliott (soon 18).  The family frequently visit Malmö and recently bought a charming summer cottage in nearby Österlen. We discussed the project over a coffee recently and their holiday home is every bit as lovely as Karen described. Read on to discover more! 

Where is your summer cottage located? 
The house is situated near Sandhammaren in Österlen. We love the South and this part of Sweden as we always spend days here before going back to Brussels, and we have friends in Malmö and Lund which are very close. I also like the proximity to Copenhagen. I love Sweden and am so happy to finally have a place here we can call ours. 

Österlen is popular among Swedes especially in summer thanks to the beautiful nature, is this one of the reasons you picked this location? 
Absolutely. Our cottage is close to marshland... we have fields on the one side with the sunset in front of the terrace and woods on the other side. The beach is only a ten minute bike ride. 

I'm excited to see inside! First, let's take a look at the floorplan. 

Glossary: Vardagsrum (sitting room), Kök (kitchen), Sovrum (bedroom).

Can you describe the layout? 
It's a summer house that originally had three separate units from the 50s, and the previous owners turned into a whole house (keeping one unit separate - not featured here as we have yet to renovate it!). The former owners lived here year-round and the house was in good condition, which meant we could focus on more cosmetic updates. 

I love the kitchen! Did it look like this when you moved in?
We kept the kitchen that was already in place and painted the cabinets in French Gray from Farrow & Ball. The vintage dining table is from AB Småland in Malmö. 

What do your days look like when you are at your cottage? 
We enjoy this house in every season. In the summer, we love to make meals and invite friends over on one of our long tables inside or out and watch the sunset from the terrace. We also enjoy the fireplace and watching movies on the big sofa (from Meli Meli) in the autumn and winter. The surroundings are also very important to us, the beach at Sandhammaren and the hills of Kåseberga are amongst our favourite and Kivik is a short 40 minute drive. There are also some nice restaurants nearby and we love Orum117 bakery and pizzeria! 

Decorative bedspreads can really lift a room! I love the ones you have in your bedrooms, where are they from? 
We found them both in AB Småland in Malmö, I think they are from the Danish brand Masala

I like simplicity of this bedroom. Can you tell us about the details?
The overhead lamp is from Malmö Möbelfabrik and the Pool Lines art print is from Hotel Magique. The floor is from Norrlands Trä

The wall lamp is from French company Silly & Billy and the vintage chair is from AB Småland. The Mirror Mirror print* is by Sofia Lind. 

I understand the bathroom was one of the bigger renovation projects? 
Yes, it was a total renovation. The floor tiles are from Marrakesh Design and the subway oat milk wall tiles are from Dekora (although they looked verrrrrry different in the shop!). The sink is called SVEDBERGS MYRE from Bauhaus and the shower and taps are both from Tapwell

What a wonderful getaway you have created! Thank you so much for giving us a tour! 


You can see more snapshots from Karen's home as well as her beautiful portrait, lifestyle and travel photography at @karenhilmersson or on her website where she also sells a selection of her prints. 

I hope you enjoyed the tour of her home as much as I did! I am looking forward to meeting Karen next Friday along with the Australian lifestyle and travel photographer Lean Timms here in Malmö. So exciting! My job is to find the best coffee and cinnamon buns in town for our 'fika'! Tough but someone's got to do it! 

Would you like to see a few other beautiful Österlen homes today? Don't miss: 

Planning to visit Österlen? This house belonging to an architect is available to rent via Airbnb! 

Happy mid-week friends! 


Photography: Karen Hilmersson, shared with kind permission. 

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A beautiful Swedish home in Österlen

Tomorrow is a big day in Sweden; Midsummer's eve. It's always a wonderful day (even though, by tradition the temperature drops by 10 degrees with horizontal rain!!). I've been learning how to make the midsummer wild flower crown for my two little girls hair and we'll all be leaping around a maypole like frogs (don't ask) out in the countryside. So to celebrate the occasion, here's a lovely home from a beautiful part of this region in Skåne - Österlen.

Hus o Hem, photography: Karin Foberg

I spy shabby chic dressers, beautiful mosaic tiled floors, crates used for shelving and Tolix chairs. What a lovely relaxed home from home don't you think? If you could see the surrounding nature of Österlen you'd be even more in love. You can see more pics and read more info about this home here.

And tomorrow I'll also be announcing the winner of the Japanese Washi tape! So don't forget to stop by and see if you've won (if you haven't entered, hurry! click here).

Niki x

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A Fabulous Vintage Inspired Loft in a Former Textile Factory

Last night I was under pressure. I searched high and low for a special home tour. One that would end the blog week on an inspiring high. And then, just as I was about to give-up, this place showed up. It was everything I was looking for: packed with personality, unique, and inspiring. It's also in a city close to my heart, Philadelphia - where I spent a year in my teens (I still miss those cheese steaks!). Looking at this incredible loft, I'm wondering why I left? Could I really have lived in a 2400 square feet (222 square metres) Northern Liberties loft like Liz Sparacio?! Maybe not, word on the street is these rentals in a former textile factory are hard to come by. But I am delighted to see this space has fallen into the right hands. Liz, who works at Philly's number one second hand store Jinxed, has ensured there's something fascinating to look at at every turn: from the 'hand' chair and mannequin sculptures to the art, plants and vast array of wonderful vintage finds. I'll say no more, just leave you to enjoy the tour. Happy Friday friends!

Wow. Just wow! This totally brings out the wannabe artist in me (you know, the one wearing paint splattered dungarees with a scarf in my hair working from my own ceramics atelier in Österlen!). One day, one day!

For now though, I'll settle for admiring the fabulously quirky and delicious second hand pieces in Liz's loft. The chairs, the mannequins / sculptures, the paintings, the vintage finds. It's a complete feast for the eyes.

Anyone else feeling a tad inspired?!

If you'd like to see more of Liz's home check out her instagram feed really_really_Lizzy for daily updates (she's so funny too!).

And for more creative spaces this weekend I love:
A Former factory becomes an inspiring home
The lovely home of a Danish artist
An artist's home in a former factory
Pretty blues and greens in a former artist's atelier in Copenhagen
A Finnish home in a converted factory
A Parisian artist's home in a former button factory
An artist's studio and home in Stockholm

Have a happy weekend everyone!


PS Just heading to Copenhagen for a meeting with Skandinavisk - exciting! I might have to treat myself to an after work (or "AW" as they call it in Sweden) by the canal. I'm looking forward to it already! Are you up to anything fun this weekend?

PPS If you haven't filled out my survey yet, I'd be so happy if you could take a mo to look at. Thank you!

Photography 1& 2 Love Me Do Photography the remaining: Liz Sparacio 

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Marianne's Art-filled Apartment in SOFO, Stockholm

Sweden might be a big country geographically, but the population is small:10 million (the same size of London), which means never more than a few degrees separation from anyone. Interior and graphic designer Marianne Wikner and I first connected when I reached out to feature her beautiful home in Mariefred (which she has since sold). I instantly fell in love with her love of art, sculpture and antique pieces - and a home tour of her and her husband's charming country escape in Österlen, southeast Sweden quickly followed. 

So, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered Marianne has a flat in Stockholm! Located in SOFO (the quarter south of Folkungagatan in the hip neighbourhood of Södermalm), the apartment has all the hallmarks of Marianne's signature style including plenty of antique and vintage finds as well as paintings, busts and figurines, but it also has an air of calm, ensuring it's the perfect oasis to return too after a day in the city. Welcome to Marianne's Stockholm home!

You'll recognise this table from her Mariefred home. This time, Marianne has opted for a soothing beige backdrop as opposed to the striking deep tone seen in her previous dining room area

The trick to creating a gallery wall like this is to include a variety of different styles of art (oil painting, illustrations etc), as well as mix and match frames (some without too!). I also like the way Marianne has included objects. 

The entrance hall is wonderfully clutter free - a calm welcome after shutting the door on the buzz and whir of Sweden's capital city! 

The sitting room is made up of a selection of times collected over time including a leather Chesterfield, cane chairs and poufs. 

A collection of well loved coffee table books, sculptures and treasures have been displayed on the table in the corner. 

What a perfect oasis! 

Marianne's interiors have got me so excited about 'Konstrunda' next week. Every easter, it's time for the big art exhibition across Skåne, south Sweden. There are five different tours to choose from, and we usually pick one each year, travelling around the countryside dropping in at the ateliers and galleries of painters, potters and sculptures. It's one of my favourite events of the year. 

Do you have something similar in your area? 

I'm particularly excited about heading to Norrviken to see Sara Bergman's exhibition - I featured her lovely home in Höganäs last year, and her art is wonderful! 

In case you'd like to see more of Marianne's home - check out her instagram here, and take the tour of her Österlen home and former house in Mariefred

On another note, I know I usually write posts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday but this afternoon the crazies and I are heading off on a long weekend to Berlin (very exciting!) with my Mother so this post is a little earlier than usual! I hope you have a wonderful weekend, see you Monday! 


Photography courtesy of Marianne Wikner, shared with kind permission. 

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