Our Home - All Set For Christmas!

I might not have bought any Christmas presents yet (aaaaagh!), but I have decked the halls with boughs of holly (fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!). Actually, that's not strictly true, there's none of the prickly bush in sight. Instead a king spruce (which we chopped down at a local sustainable tree farm last weekend) stands proudly in the corner (I think she's a beauty - but that might be because of all the effort we went to sawing away in the rain!!) and I threaded my new hanging brass candle wreath with fresh eucalyptus. I only noticed afterwards that I've gone all out gold (mainly thanks to wonderful Danish brand Nordal!)! But it's not all bling, I like to think the pure linen tablecloth and sheepskins  give our open plan room a touch of cosiness too. Here are a few snapshots, I hope you like our Christmassy home (and holiday table) as much as we do!

It all feels especially cosy at night when all the candles are lit and the Christmas tree is twinkling (I love the dark evenings in the run up to the holidays, how about you?!). If only it could all quickly change back to summer time on Boxing Day, and then everything would be perfect!

I have to say, I'm especially happy with my new hanging candle ring! It was so easy to wire the eucalyptus to it (I used two branches which I placed opposite each other and bounded them to the ring using a thin wire). I then hung the ring a safe distance from the wall (around 30 cm) which seems to have done the trick. It's the first thing I light each day!

Could you imagine having one of these in your home too?

In case you're curious about some of the other items, here's the low down:

Get the look

1. Xmas deco tree
2. Hurricane glass
3. Circle candle hold (hanging)
4. Christmas hanger tree
5. Silver glass hanger
6. Brass trolley
7. Circle candle holder (on trolley)
8. Stoneware cake plate
9. Stoneware dinner plate
10. Clear cocktail glass with gold pattern
11. Clear glass with gold pattern
12. Cement candle holder
13. Tulip candleholder
14. Pure linen table cloth

I've mainly linked to the Nordal online Danish store, however they do have retailers throughout Europe - you can find your nearest one here.

Give me a shout in the comment section below if you're wondering about anything else. I'd be happy to point you in the right direction!

Right. I think its time to go and pour myself a nice glass of glögg and put some Christmas music on, what do you think? Oh no. Hang on. I've got a mountain of holiday shopping to do. Eeeeek! 


This post is brought to you in collaboration with Nordal. All words and creations are my own. Thank you for supporting the hand-picked brands that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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Helen's Cosy Swedish Summer Cottage Living Room

Kindly sponsored by Nordal, thank you for supporting the brands which make features like this possible*

A few weeks ago, I headed off to My Scandinavian Home interior designer Helen Sturesson's 19th century summer cottage in Blekinge on Sweden's east coast. We had such a lovely time! Last week I shared some information about the cottage's fascinating past and some snapshots of the cosy kitchen, including her Mum's incredible apple pie - take a peek here if you missed it! Today, I'm looking forward to showing you a tour of the main living room area and bedroom (the entire cottage is made up of three rooms: a kitchen, sitting room and bedroom. The loo is at the end of the garden and the bathroom is... in the Baltic Sea! A special thanks to Nordal - the Danish brand who made this trip possible - you'll spot many of their lovely pieces throughout the rooms! Ready to take a look?

The cottage is L-shaped, and the sitting room connects the kitchen (to the right) with the bedroom, when the family of four are here, they all share a room. Two windows flood the space with a warm southerly Autumn light. 

The room is made up of many different items collected over time - including a vintage sofa, a big glass cabinet which helps to keep books and games dust free as well as an incredible mirrored coffee table!

When Helen moved in, she peeled back the plaster on the wall to discover beautiful wood panelling. The planks are all numbers which could indicate the house has have been moved here - although this isn't confirmed (I have come across 'house moving' before in Sweden, does this ever happen in your country? 

CEMA pots in medium, large and extra-large, Club lounge chair in teak and paper rope.

Large 'kakelugn' (tiled ovens) stand in the corner of the main living room and bedroom and are amazingly effective at heating up the house.

In this picture you can catch a glimpse of the wood floor which squeaks as you move across it. A traditional Swedish 'trasmatta' (rug woven with rags / scraps of cloth which I wrote about in my Lagom book as they are a big part of the Swedish heritage) helps to keep drafts at bay and if you look very closely you'll notice the walls are wonky, adding to the charm! 

In the bedroom, floral wallpaper and natural wood help to bring the outside in and a candle brightens up the dark autumn day while adding a sense of calm.

I hope you enjoyed this snapshot into Helen's cottage.

If you have any questions about anything, give me a shout in the comment section below and I'll ask Helen for the low down. 

Incidentally, it's not possible to buy the Nordal items directly from their website (they sell wholesale only), however, there are many webshops throughout Europe which stock their things. Find your nearest stockist here

Next week, I'm looking forward to sharing the final post of three: Helen's cottage ready for Christmas - weeeee, so excited about this one! 

Meanwhile, I'm busy packing for a two-day trip to Oslo, Norway (very excited!) where I'll be writing a guide for Simply Scandi magazine UK (my guide to Helsingborg appears in the latest edition and there's also a Christmas edition on sale right now which features a piece I wrote about our Swedish Christmas). The mag is available here in case you're curious! 

Do you think it could be interesting to share a guide to Oslo here on My Scandinavian Home too? 

Wishing you all a REALLY wonderful, relaxing weekend - and look forward to seeing you here again on Monday! 


*Thank you to Nordal for this paid partnership and helping to make My Scandinavian Home possible. All words and photos in this post are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. 

Our home at Christmas

Do you have any Christmas tree traditions in your home? My family and I absolutely love heading out to a tree farm (not dissimilar to this beautiful one I mentioned a few weeks ago) to collect ours. When we get home the entire space is filled with the wonderful scent of fresh pine and we set about decorating it with a steaming glögg in hand. This year our decorations are from Nordal, a Danish online shop working with talented designers to create beautiful, unique pieces.  I went for a pared-back look (you know me!), including simple wrapping paper decorated with ribbon and foliage, adding a sprinkling of brass to the tree with a fab drinks trolley to match! (all that glitters...... ). This year we were keen to go 'off grid', and revert back to an era when trees were lit up from the lovely warm glow of real candles. Using real candles* immediately paves the way for a 'slower' more simple Christmas.  Since they can only be lit for short periods at a time and you need to be extremely vigilant,  it forces you to stop and admire the beauty of the tree and take in the magic of the moment. Here's a peek at our home all decorated for Christmas (with the help of one little elf in particular!), I hope you like it! 

Credits: Photography (me) Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home. Styling Genevieve Jorn (pictures 5, and 7 styled by me).

Oh I do love this time of year, the house feels all cosy now! 

Here's a guide to all the pieces I've used:

1. Diamond xmas tree candle holder 2. xmas tree candle white 3. Paper waste ornament large 4. Metal star golden 5. Two-in-one ball hanger 6. Metal star black 7. 8. Circle candle holder 9. Ring bottle 10. Flower vase  11. Ring vase 12. Fluffy sheep 13. Advent candle holder 14. Scissors 15. Basket 16. brass trolley 17. Box with ribbon 18. Small cement tea light holder 19. Medium cement tea light holder.

If you'd like to know about any other items please do give me a shout in the comments section below!

*Real candles are beautiful and have been used by our ancestors for hundreds of years. However it's important to remain extremely vigilant! Always space candles properly, keeping a safe distance from other decorations, overhanging tree branches and other flammable items. Ensure the candles are straight, and not in the way of any drafts and never leave lit candles unattended. It's also advisable to keep a bucket of sand or water or better still a fire extinguisher close by - just in case!

Have a wonderful day!

PS Did you spot my little helper?

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Nordal. All words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too.

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DIY Christmas Advent Calendar

I got a little creative yesterday and made an advent calendar. I think this is first one I've ever completed before 1st December, let alone ten days in advance! It's certainly going to keep them enticed! The idea all started when I spotted the super cute white and gold Christmas Advent Calendar Bags from Danish brand Nordal. I wanted to create something modern, but with a rustic touch.  I loaded each bag with sweets for every member of the family. I have to confess I was one set short so one bag has potatoes in it - I can't tell you how much I laughed at the thought of them opening it. Finally I get to prank back. I do have a set of back-up sweets up my sleeve though! Just in case you'd like to create something similar - here's the low down.

What you need

Nordal Advent Calendar Bags* (the 24 stickers are included)
- A long, sturdy branch (this one is 110 cm)
- 120 cm white rope (for hanging)
- Tack / nail (for hanging)
- Brown string
- Presents / sweets (make sure they are not too heavy!)
- A few sprigs of fir

*The Nordal advent calendar kit is available in online shops across Europe (find your nearest retailer / online store here - I spotted some in Denmark here and the UK here). If you live outside Europe you could try 24 white or brown paper bags and use postage tags or stencils for the numbers). 

What to do
I wanted the advent calendar to have a rustic touch - and the answer came in the form of a stick which Allie brought back from the woods a few weeks ago (any stick will do as long as it's relatively long (this one is 110 cm) and strong enough to hold 24 bags).

I tied a length of nylon rope (you can pick up similar in all good hardware stores) to each end of the stick and then hung it from a tack in the wall - forming a triangle.

After filling each bag with goodies, I added the number stickers and then used simple brown string to hang each one from the stick. Instead of creating holes, I threaded the string under the fold of the bag before sealing it.

Rather than preparing them all in advance I found it easier to to cut the string as I went along so that I could check how low I wanted to hang each bag. They were then tied to the stick using a really simple knot (let's hope they hold - my sailor husband would be less than impressed if they're all on the floor tomorrow!).

And finally - I found a few sprigs of fir (which I picked up in a flower shop in town) and tied them to the centre of the branch for a festive touch!

And now, all we need to do is wait until 1st December!

If you've got any questions about the DIY just give me a shout in the comment section below and I'll be happy to help!

Do you make / buy an advent calendar each year? If so, I'd love to hear about it. One of husband's mates gets one from his wife each year with an IPA for each day (how's that for a great idea?!).


This post is brought to you in collaboration with Nordal. All words and creations are my own. Thank you for supporting the hand-picked brands that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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My new window nook / reading corner!

We've got a window nook in our open plan sitting / dining room area and it's been home to everything from a drinks trolley, gallery wall and even our Christmas tree! But in the back of my mind I've always thought what a beautiful spot it would make for a daybed. Not only does this corner of our home get the most beautiful light, it's also really peaceful looking out over the garden and up at the moon at night.  And guess what?! I've finally got around to creating it thanks to a little help from Danish brand Nordal and their lovely wall lamp and cushions in grey, dusty rose and a soft cream throw as well as a few other bits and bobs (see below for more details!). It's turned out soooo cosy and already become the most popular spot in the house!

Photography: Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home. Styling: Genevieve Jorn

What do you think?

Although it's super sweet seeing a little row of children's feet sticking out from under a blanket while they giggle over something on the ipad... but just one evening this week, just one!...I'd love to light that oil lamp, pour myself a large glass of something and read a book in this very spot!

Get the look:

1. Wall lamp 2. Floor cushion dark grey 3. Rug 4. Cushion cover purple grey 5. Cushion cover with circle print 6. Cushion cover dusty rose 7. Round serving platter 8. Oil lamp 9. Cotton shawl off white/beige

The open book is the first sneak peek inside my very own The Scandinavian Home (which launches in three weeks - exciting!). And I found the mobile here.

Give me a shout in the comment section below if you're wondering about any of the other items you see!

Have a lovely day!

PS Oh and a big Happy Birthday to stylist extraordinaire Gen! - I love working with you :)

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Nordal. All words are my own and I only ever work with brands I love and think you will too. Thank you for supporting the brands which help me bring fresh posts to your mail box. And thank you Nordal for helping me finally complete my window nook!

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Your New Year cabin hide-away?

As the Christmas holidays draw near I'm dreaming about getting away from it all for a few days at a little remote hide-away. Nothing fancy, just my family and I and a little wood burning stove - doesn't that sound wonderful?! This tiny Swedish cottage in Marie Emilsson's garden at Håkesgård, just outside Varberg on Sweden's west coast fits the bill perfectly. The traditional falun red cottage, which includes a kitchenette, bedroom and basic facilities has been newly renovated in classic green tones to match the surroundings. Oh and it has a hot tub too. Guh! How I'd love to spend my holidays here, how about you?!

Credits: Photography - Kristin Lagerqvist (blog here) - shared with kind permission. 

So pretty! And the surroundings? Beautiful!

Could you imagine spending a few days here?

Get the look from Marie's little cottage: Morris Willow Bough wallpaper, Farrow & Ball sells a selection of green paint like this, straw fedora (source vintage ones here), buy beautiful grey linen fabric by the yard here, L:A bruket soap, these traditional linen cushions /pillows are pretty.

You can see more pics of Marie's lovely cabin here

The second to last image of the wood burning stove is taken from the main house - and features a beautiful garland made with fir and other foliage gathered from the garden - more pictures and a great tutorial of how to make this garland here.

Although not currently for hire, word on the (blog) street is that Marie might start to make it available - watch this space! In the meantime, if you're in Varberg, Trip2garden is definitely worth a visit with it's garden, café, shop and gallery.

More beautiful homes captured by Kristin Lagerqvist include a vintage inspired Swedish home full of soul, the lovely home of Johanna Bradford and an idyllic allotment house. I have to say, this Scandi-boho style is one of my favourites.

And if I've got you dreaming about getting away from it all, you might also want to check out three of my favourite archives: swedish cottages, rural reteats and log cabins (just scroll passed if Marie's cottage comes up first). And relax!

Have a lovely day!

PS Thank you to everyone who entered the give-away to win two vases from Nordal - the winner has now been announced here.....drum roll....

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