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Feeling the Hygge: A Toasty Guide To Wood Burning Stoves

 This is a sponsored post in partnership with Arada stoves. All opinions and words are my own. 


Who doesn't love the crackle of a log fire and that toasty feeling you get from being tucked up indoors as the rain lashes at the windows? Although summer is still in the air, Autumn is just around the corner (dare I say it!) - so if you're looking to get that hygge vibe down before the big chill arrives, now is the time to install a wood burning stove. But where to start? Here's my guide to get you started.


Let's get down to the nitty gritty.

Why a wood burning stove?
Those who own one will tell you they're so much more than a black steel box. As Arada puts it, a word burning stove is"a living breathing thing, sparking passion in those who own it. The rituals of feeding and caring for it become part of your day. The scent and sound of it become part of your home. The glow becomes your companion."

Oh, and they're also heat efficient, cosy and make a pretty cool focal point when not in action too!


What do I need to do to install one? 
If your house isn't listed and you have a working chimney or flue your gaff is all prepped for the installation of a wood burner. If not, you'll need planning permission for an external chimney (bit of a faff but sooo worth it!). Verified wood burning stove companies such as Arada will do the rest.   

But there are so many to choose from?!
Since the stove will become the heart of your home, it's important to pick a style to suit your lifestyle and setting.

Will I feel the heat?!
The whole point of the burner is obvs the heat. So, before we get carried away with the design (who, me?!), it's important to think about how much heat you're looking to get out of your stove. The insulation in our house is so good that a fireplace emitting too much heat would have us 'glowing' akin to a session at the local sauna. We'd therefore totally need something with a lower heat output. The London house I grew up in as a child, on the other hand, was so cold I used to sleep with a hat on (I kid you not!) and we could totally have done with a wood burner designed to heat an entire room (and more!). Read more about finding the right output for your space here.

OK, now for the fun part
The design. When it comes to stoves I love a bit of authenticity. Choose between freestanding classic, contemporary and hardworking heating stoves and designs that are ideal for an inglenook fireplace or for an empty hearth, inset stoves designed to slot into a traditional British fireplace and cassette stoves which can be recessed into the wall for a sleeker finish.


Does it have to be black?! 
It is possible to go for something a little bolder should your heart desire it (hey, you may have noticed I've been going down the root of colour lately, so who knows what might happen next! OK. Yes. I'd probably go for black!).  But for those of you a little less colour shy, Arada offers a choice of seven colours:

Gas or wood / solid fuel?
Tricky one. The beauty of gas is that it's hassle free, there's less cleaning involved, and your fire can reach the desired heat quickly - and be more easily regulated. Plus gas fires have come such a long way, they often look like the real deal too. Having said that, boy/girl scout types might be disappointed about the lack of required probing, the crackling sound and scent of burning wood. The decision is yours!


Keeping it clean! 
Fuel has come a long way since the days of coal (cue black smoke belching out of chimneys across London!), but there's still a lot we can do to keep our fireside read a little more eco-friendly. A new clean burning stove from Arada will produce 90% fewer emissions than an open fire and 84% less than that of a stove produced 10 years ago). And once our stove is installed we can also take other actions too. There's a great guide here

What do you reckon? Could this be the year you install a wood burning stove? I'm incredibly tempted...

Find out more about Arada stoves here and check out their FAQ's for any burning (sorry!) questions.

Here's to chilly summer evenings and a toasty Autumn!

Warm wishes,

Niki

Pictures 1 & 2  feature the i600 Slimline Freestanding stove
Pictures 3 feature the Ecoburn Plus 5 Widescreen
Pictures 4, 5, 6 feature the Farringdon Catalyst Eco Wood Burner

This post is is sponsored by Arada stoves. 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 that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

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Before & After: A Dated Cabin Becomes a Dreamy Airbnb Hideaway In The Woods

Have you ever dreamed of owning a little home from home? Somewhere you can escape to at the weekends and completely switch off. Often the cost and effort involved in acquiring and renovating a second home is enough to put most people off. But actually, a fixer upper doesn't need to cost the earth - there's a lot you can do with a small, remote place on a tight budget. Tom and Hope had always dreamed of owning and renovating cabin in the woods. The answer came in the form of The Cobb Haus, a wooden cabin at the end of a track in the quiet rural neighbourhood of Whispering Pines, Cobb, California. The pair closed in February and set about transforming it into a peaceful retreat, a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. I caught up with the pair to find out more about their wonderful hideaway in the woods - which is also available to rent

EXTERIOR BEFORE

How long did it take you to transform your cabin into the lovely hideaway it is today? 
We completed in February and had it finished (I say that loosely as it is a continuous work in progress!) in June.

EXTERIOR AFTER



Wow, that was quick! What type of work did you carry out in that time?
Most of the work we did was purely cosmetic aside from the bathroom which was a complete remodel. 

KITCHEN BEFORE


What was your decorating goal? 
We really wanted to keep the original 40s / 50s charm while adding some modern touches. It's a small space so keeping the decor minimal and well thought out was key. 

KITCHEN AFTER

The upper cabinets were replaced with relaxed open shelving and the lower cabinets were painted in Woodland Lichen by Sherwin Williams. The green was a perfect choice as it draws the surrounding nature indoors. 


BEFORE - WOOD BURNING STOVE / SITTING ROOM

"There is no central heating but there is a wood burning stove and two small space heaters you can move around as needed."

WOOD BURNING STOVE / SITTING ROOM AFTER

The pair painted the wood burning stove with special paint and replaced existing the hearth with tiles from Home Depot. 

The cosy sitting room has been kitted out with poufs and a side cabinet from IKEA and an Article sofa. There green curtains from Target were picked out to match the kitchen cabinets for a cohesive look. 

What inspired the interior style? 
It's hard for me to pinpoint one style as inspiration, but I love to pull from Scandinavian, mid-century and a little boho, while keeping a minimalistic feel. 

DINING AREA BEFORE

DINING ROOM AFTER
I see (with glee!) that you rent out your cabin through Airbnb - did you have this in mind during the renovation?
Ultimately, we wanted it to feel like home for whoever walks in. We wanted it to feel cosy and inviting with a focus on the beautiful views of the surrounding forest. 

BEDROOM BEFORE

BEDROOM AFTER

A lick of white paint on the floors, walls and ceiling have completely transformed the bedroom into a light and airy room. A glimpse of the forest through the window makes a great focal point (almost like art!). 

The side table is from HomeGoods, however, you'd be forgiven for thinking it has been fashioned out of a tree trunk from outside the door. A perfect nod to the surroundings! 

Truly inspiring, don't you think? 

In case it's rekindled your dream of going for that fixer upper you've always dreamed of, here are some budget friendly lessons to learn from this renovation:

6 ways Tom and Hope saved money
  1. Carrying out a lot of the renovation themselves
  2. Painting existing kitchen cabinets rather than replacing them
  3. Working with the existing structure
  4. White washing the interior for a fresh feel
  5. Furnishing with items from IKEA, Target etc
  6. Renting out the cabin via Airbnb to cover running costs
Not quite ready to purchase your own rural hide-away?! The Cobb Haus is available to rent through Airbnb. And word on the street is that you can also order healthy, homemade meals directly to the door! It sounds like a trip to Whispering Pines (beautiful name!) might be in order, don't you think?

Read more about The Cobb Haus here and check out more pics on instagram

Other incredible rural retreats to dream about this Monday:  


Wishing you all a truly inspiring start to the week! Here's to new future projects, big and small!

Niki

Photography courtesy of The Cobb Haus, with kind permission

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Before and After: Old Stables Become a Beautiful Country Home


Come on, own up! Who frequently fantasises about buying a run-down property / wreck and doing it up? I totally confess to dreaming about this on a monthly basis. Especially when I see some of the incredible transformations out there. And today, I think you're going to feel hugely inspired by the home of Anna-Lena in Lower Saxony, Germany. I think we can all agree that there is such an incredible amount of work that goes on behind-the-scenes of any property renovation. Which is why 'before', 'during' and 'after' pictures are a great reality check, but also inspire. It's quite incredible what vision, hard work and of course, a solid budget can do! Ready to feel inspired? Here are some pictures of Anna-Lena's home - which has slowly been transformed from dilapidated stables into a beautiful, rustic, modern country home! 

Exterior before 

A lot of the exterior was covered in plaster when they first purchased the property. This was carefully removed to reveal the original brickwork.  The entrance has also been modernised and new windows have been installed. 


Main living room - before


Wow! In the above picture you can really get a sense of how the stables looked before the renovation. It was a completely open shell and the stalls are clearly visible. 

The main living space was transformed into a well-insulated living space with a reinforced ceiling to allow for a second floor. 

Main living space - after


The wonderful Clou-Xtra wood-burning stove creates a focal point, while the concrete floor and beautiful wood ceiling add character to the space. 


The darker, clean and contemporary kitchen creates contrast and a sense of drama to the room, while the wood farmhouse table adds warmth and a rustic touch - pertaining to the past. 


Stairs were installed in the back corner of the stables for access to the second floor. 

Master Bedroom with En suite - During! 

Insulation work was carried out on the roof and two VELUX skylights were added to slip in light over the bath. The entire floor was re-constructed and a new wood floor laid. 


Master Bedroom and En suite - After

The beams were preserved to add character to the space and a new wood floor adds a light, modern touch to the space. Natural textures seen in the plant pot and bedding (you can find similar off-white bedlinen here*) help to add depth and warmth to the overall look. The storage is a mix of modern (IVAR from IKEA) and a large vintage wardrobe. 



Bathroom - Before


The room that the second bathroom occupies was non-existent and needed to be created from scratch, which shows the extent of the work put into transforming the building into a liveable space! 


Bathroom - after

The bathroom design is relatively simple yet texture from the wood, the subtle plaster finish behind the washbasin and the beautiful vintage unit help to add interest and warmth to the space.


Hallway / Entrance  - After
A barn door offers a wonderful nod to the history of the building, while the simple, rustic aesthetic is keeping with the rest of the property.

From what I understand from Anna-Lena's instagram, there's a lot more renovation work to be done. And I for one, will be following their journey! 

If you're keen to see what they do next, keep an eye out for updates here: @house.no1

Looking for more 'before and after' / renovation inspiration today? Check out these incredible transformations: 


Could you imagine taking on a project like this? Even if you're not quite ready to take the plunge (or perhaps it's simply to your thing, which is entirely understandable!), I hope seeing these before and after pictures have left you feeling inspired all the same! 

Vi ses imorgon! 

Niki

Photography: Anna-Lena / @houseno.1 shared with kind permission
*This post contains affiliate links

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