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! 


Photography: Gunn Kristin Monsen

*affiliated links

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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? 


Photography: Krista Keltanen, shared with kind permission. 

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The rustic Norwegian log cabin hide-away

How much would you love to head off to this rustic Norwegian log cabin for the holidays? If I could spend just five days at this retreat, belonging to founders and owners of Bolina,  I'd camp out by the  roaring log fire with a cup of tea, my book by Swedish novelist Jonas Jonasson- the one hundred year old man who climbed out of a window and disappeared (which I've been meaning to read all year), play board games with my family, take long walks in the snow, and generally feel relaxed and very merry. How about you?!

Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer, Sisters Agency with kind permission.
Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer, Sisters Agency with kind permission.
Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer, Sisters Agency with kind permission.
Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer, Sisters Agency with kind permission.
Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer, Sisters Agency with kind permission. 

I have to say the owners have been ingenious in their decorating. At first glance it looks like a classic log cabin, but look closely and you'll notice a modern blend of textures  (concrete, wood, sheepskin, velvet, rattan) and styles (industrial, rustic, contemporary). Combine this with unique fittings such as the kitchen units crafted using reclaimed wood from a derelict barn and the result is an incredibly warm, cosy, personal retreat.

Oh how I dream to own a place like this. What about you?

More dreamy log cabin's I could pad around in this holiday include a Norwegian one by the sea (the sauna!), a black and white Finnish retreat, or a cottage in the snow that looks like this (toasty)!

If a rural retreat feels a million miles away right now and you have a christmas shopping list as long as your arm (it is the weekend before Christmas after all) you might want to take inspiration from these two fab gift guides: for children, for just about everyone. And my fail safe last minute man gift. Good luck!

Wishing you a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

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Cabin Anna: Designed to Live At One with Nature

Nature lovers, prepare to be wowed! Dutch designer Caspar Schols has taken the indoor-outdoor living concept to a whole new level with Cabin ANNA: a hybrid cabin designed to bridge the gap between traditional camping and a log cabin. 

So, where did the idea come from? Caspar Schols had just finished a university degree in physics when his Mother asked him to build a garden cabin. With no architectural education, Casper drew on his vision to create a 'dynamic connection between man, nature and home'. The cabin should be a 'flexible space where she could read or paint, organise family dinners, and where her grandchildren could give theatre performances- But above all else, the cabin had to bring her closer to nature.' The idea for cabin ANNA was born. 

The structure is made up of a central conservatory nestled between two permanent structures and works in much the same way as you might dress for the weather - peeling away layers as the clouds clear and the temperature rises.  

Great walls slide back to reveal the open-sky - under which you can sleep, bathe, read and gather. 

On chillier days, the structure can be covered and a wood burning stove - helps to heat the space, all the while still ensuring you feel at one with nature. 

Casper's design received instant worldwide recognition and a flurry of awards generated partnerships which meant he was able to build different variations - some of which are available to purchase (with the option of an on-grid or off-grid versions). Meanwhile, guests are invited to book Cabin ANNA for an overnight stay in several different locations around Holland. I'm there! 

Simply incredible! I only wish I'd known about this concept before we started to build our tiny cabin  (update to follow soon - we're making great progress!). It's not too late to incorporate a sunken bath in the outdoor decking though, right? Remember the Danish summer cottage one?

Could you imagine staying here? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the indoor-outdoor living concept!

Feel inspired by other ideas in the tiny house and cabin archives where you'll find everything from a former railway carriage to a converted Mercedes sprinter van

Såååå, That's it from me this week. Thank you so much for stopping by and for all your comments - I might not always be quick to respond, but I love to read each and very one of them. Right now it feels even more important to be a part of a community that's based on peace, love and respect - and I thank you all for helping to create that right here. 

Stor kram (big hug to you all), 


Photography courtesy of Cabin ANNA

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A Cosy Off-The-Grid Cabin in The Woods

There's two ways go in Autumn / Winter - embrace it or escape it. And boy does Alice Saunders embrace it. When Alice isn't making travel bags for her successful business Forestbound in Boston, she's escaping to her magical cabin in the woods in the heart of New Hampshire. It's 'escape' in every essence of the word. Located at the end of a dirt track, the off-the-grid cabin has no running water or electricity and mobile reception can only be obtained by rowing across the lake! Alice and her boyfriend spent several years renovating the space on a shoestring budget, furnishing it with charming vintage pieces and cosy layers of textiles. The result is an unbelievably cosy, rustic, relaxed living space where the pair can truly switch off, read and enjoy the surroundings - completely uninterrupted! Time to dream....

This has to be one of the cosiest little cabins I've ever seen! I'd so LOVE to be kicking about there right now, candles lit, book in hand. How about you? 

It would also make the most perfect writers retreat, don't you think? Once, of course, I've come up with a topic - details friends, details!

Could you imagine escaping here for a few days too?!

If you'd like to see more pictures,  hop on over to Alice's instagram here. Better still, if you're planning a long weekend at a similar log cabin, you might just want to pick up one of her Forestbound original tote or carryalls made from found and salvaged textiles. They're fab! 

There's a load more dreamy places to drool over in the rural retreats and log cabin archives (some of which are also on Airbnb - just saying!). 

Have a cosy day! 


Photography: Alice Saunders, shared with kind permission.

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A Norwegian cabin by the sea

For a long time now my dream has been to renovate a beautiful wooden cabin by a lake or sea here in Sweden so that my family and I can spend weekends and holidays there (this Finnish family are my inspiration). This Norwegian cabin owned by Kari K.Holm and her German born architect husband Jurgen Kieh is just what I'm looking for. The house is designed for outdoor living, for every indoor space there is an outdoor area to match. From the many verandas Kari and Jurgen can wave at friends as they sail by the island. An idyllic retreat! Imagine this space with candles, Christmas decorations and a roaring fire?

Photography Pia Ulin (with kind permission). Dwell.

Do you think my dream will ever come true? I promise you'll be the first to know if it does!

What do you dream about on gloomy Monday mornings?

For more cabins and retreats check out this Finnish log cabin, this romantic log cabin with a twist and this Danish retreat. So beautiful!

I hope you had a lovely weekend!

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Cosy bedrooms with a log cabin feel

Hello and Happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely weekend. Here in Sweden the lakes are starting to freeze so for those of you longing for your bed this morning here are a couple of pics of 'log cabin' inspired bedrooms from some of Norway's top bloggers. For more bedroom inspiration and to vote for your favourite bedroom on NIB (Norwegian Interior Blogs) click here.

Picture: Cathrines Hjerterom Buy deer motive bedding at the beautiful Norwegian online shop Hviit


This and above picture: Draumesidene by Elin Parr via NIB. I wish I knew where this ski bedding was from,  I LOVE it! Anyone have any tips?

What I love most about these bedrooms is the use of winter themed motives such as reindeer and skiiers on the bedding and all the natural wood used in various forms, so cosy for this time of year.

Got to run and get my morning Latte (*emergency!!*) but pop by this afternoon for inspiration on where to shop and what to buy for a log cabin feel! Hej heeej!

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A black and white Finnish log cabin

I'm so happy it's Friday! Today I'm off with my little girls and we're planning on going out and doing lots of fun things. But first, I couldn't resist publishing this charming Finnish log cabin decorated in black and white and crammed with vintage finds. Oh how I wish I had a country home like this. Thank you Mrs Jones for the inspiration!

Photography: Krista Keltanen for Kotivinkki magazine
You can see more pics here (check out the way the creative homeowners use old doors and windows for decoration and ways to display items in many of the rooms - wonderful or what?!). 

Any plans for the weekend? Finding yourself a log cabin to renovate perhaps (I'm tempted)?. What ever you're doing, have a lovely one - and see you Monday!  

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