A Magical Norwegian Cottage With a Wabi Sabi Vibe

Here in Scandinavian we're counting down the days to Midsummer's Eve. Nature has sprung to life in a riot of colours - with meadows and grass verges bursting with poppies, daisies, harebells and lupins. The sun casts a long, hazy shadow well into the evening as adults and children alike soak up every last drop of golden sun. In the small hamlet of Nesodden, near Oslo, Norway, Hilde Mork and her two children are enjoying the midsummer sun from their magical country cottage. Last year, Hilde and a colleague converted the former ceramics studio and stables into a family home using 100% recycled and secondhand materials. Inspired by Scandinavian functionality and 'Nordic wabi sabi', today the cottage also serves as a studio for Hilde's work as a graphic designer, photographer and storyteller - and an idyllic base from which to enjoy the surrounding forest and countryside. Velkommen inn to Hilde's magical world - where the beauty lies in the imperfection. 

The neighbour's cat often stops by for a visit, making himself at home beside a vintage cabinet, cookery books and bunches of dried flowers. 

In this close-up you can really see how the kitchen has been built using secondhand and recycle materials - from the reclaimed porcelain sink and taps to the cabinet doors. A vintage scissor lamp* provides light after sunset.

A simple rail serves as storage for an array of pots and pans and a traditional woven birch basket* is ideal for other small items. 

In the winter a wood burning stove helps to keep the cottage feeling cosy and warm, while in summer it provides a perfect spot for a vase of wildflowers. 

A series of vintage mirrors help to bounce the light around while also creating a lovely wall display! 

On warmer days, life moves outside, where the family enjoy the surroundings in an understated way while making the most of the long hours of sunshine. 

What a magical world! Slow and sustainable living at its finest. 

Could you imagine soaking up the Scandinavian summer sun from this charming Norwegian country home? 

Take a peek at more of Hilde's home on her instagram @hildemork78 and find out more about her work as a freelance graphic designer, photographer and storyteller on her website

Up for a little more Scandinavian country inspiration today? Take a look at these magical homes:

Have a great start to the week friends! 


Photography courtesy of Hilde Mork, shared with kind permission. 

*This post contains affiliate links which means I might make a very, very tiny amount of money if you buy an item through the links marked with an asterisk. 

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Exciting Design News From Some of My Favourite Italian Brands!

Every April the interior world flocks to Milan for the annual Salon del Mobile. It's arguably one of the biggest interior fairs of the year and one of my favourite events - offering a perfect place to meet other people from the industry and hear all the latest design news. Sadly, this year it was cancelled due to the (whisper it) coronavirus pandemic. So, in honour of the event - 12 of my blogger friends and I have clubbed together in partnership with Design Diffusion to share the latest design news from some of our favourite Italian brands.

Holly of Decor8 will kick-off tomorrow, and I will follow on my own instagram on Tuesday 16th June, sharing the latest news from Cantori, Casalgrande Padana, CRISTINA Rubinetterie, Doima Cucine, Maistri, Minotticucine, Quadro Design and Viva in my stories. You can then follow the instagram 'chain' as we take turns to present the exciting design news.

We hope you'll come and join us for an Italian design fest!


Picture 1: Macro Grigio granite-effect porcelain stoneware by Casalgrande Padana
Picture 2: Kitchen by Maistri
Picture 3: East Side tap from Cristina Rubinetterie

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Design Diffusion, all words are my own.

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A Relaxed Swedish Island Summer Cabin on The Water's Edge

Per and I both grew up with sailing, and as you know, we usually spend our summers sailing the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian (and sometimes North German) coastline. I readily admit, Per's more into the technical (some might say important) stuff like trimming the sails, navigation etc. While I'm more of a G+T, fair-weather type of sailor who's forever asking to sail closer to the shore so we can take a look at the waterside cottages!! In my mind, the prettiest coastal homes of all can be found out on the islands. What I love most about them is that despite their prime location, they often still possess a wonderful, understated feel.

Just with all Scandinavian summer houses, the focus is on being outdoors - and the interior should never distract from the beautiful surroundings. This wonderful cabin, nestled on the water's edge on a tiny island called Jutholmen in the Stockholm archipelago, is a fine example of this! 

Formerly a workshop, the cabin has been transformed into a year-round holiday home with a relaxed industrial meets boathouse vibe. In fine weather, the family can head outdoors and relax on a large terrace overlooking the water. 

Bamboo furniture from Tine K Home and iconic Swedish Grytthyttan outdoor dining furniture help to add a natural, laidback feeling to the outdoor terrace without taking away from the stunning scenery! 

The island is accessed by boat - and once settled, a small speedboat is used to head to the nearby island of Dalarö which has many restaurants, shops and cafes. People often use their boats to head to smaller uninhabited islands to enjoy picnics and swim.

In Sweden 'allemansrätten' gives you the 'right to roam' anywhere in the countryside as long as you don't disturb or destroy it, enabling everyone to experience nature and enjoy the beautiful Swedish lifestyle. That's one very large playground!

I love this fairly basic outdoor kitchen. Why miss a moment of sunshine to wash-up and cook when you can do it outside! 

The interior has a relaxed, industrial vibe. Mainly black and white, touches of wood help to bring a warm feel to the space. 

Wood panelling, vintage ship lights* and vintage school biology print* help to draw attention to the coastal location, adding a subtle 'sjöbo' (boat house) vibe. 

I spy vintage gym equipment - always a winner in my eyes, and not a bad spot for a round of boxing either! FYI Etsy is a great source for vintage gym equipment*

Bunking up! Simple sleeping quarters lime this or a common site in Swedish summer cottages and are ideal for family and guests to catch some shut eye before another day outdoors soaking up the sun (or rain!!!). 

The Swedish summer can be chilly at times. I'm not kidding when I say last summer we witnessed water temperatures of 9.5 Celsius (49 Fahrenheit) and driving rain on the east coast. A sauna is ideal (some might say mandatory) for thawing out after a day on the frigid waters - and taking a dip in the sea. When visiting it's unlikely you'll have a private 'bastu' (sauna) like this one, but many islands have public saunas you can book (one of my favourites is on the island of Tjärö - which I featured in this post). 

What a stunning oasis! 

This rare gem of a property was actually on the market a few weeks ago but, as you can imagine was quickly snapped up - more details here.

Probably the most ridiculous question I've asked all week (although you never know!) - but could you imagine spending your summers here?! 

I'll be thinking about this beautiful cabin when we take to the water this summer - maybe I'll discover come other hidden gems (from a distance!) - if so, I'll be sure to let you know! 

If you have more time today / over the weekend - take a peek at: 

All so dreamy - do you have a favourite? 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend friends, see you Monday! 


Photography courtesy of Sjönära with thanks

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Before and After: A Dreamy Beach House On Australia's Gold Coast

The vision some people have is simply incredible. When Sarah and Aaron Waters came across this (rather blurry!) 1960s red brick house on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia, they immediately saw its potential. The family have been renovating it since 2008, transforming the property from a dated living space into a breath-taking, white clad, light and airy beach house for the entire family. It's easy to see why Bilinga Beach Abode has appeared in glossy mags such as Adore magazine and often hired as a backdrop for photoshoots. Ready to feel inspired?! 
Facade before (see above too!)

Facade after

The facade has been completely updated with fresh white wood cladding for a true beach vibe. Bi-folding doors also ensure a seamlessness between inside and out.  

Gaaaah! Will you look at this oasis?! 

I love the clear glass fence around the pool. Surprisingly I still come across pools in private homes today without a safety fence. Here's proof that you can have a pool that's safe for children and yet still looks lovely! 

Sitting room before

Sitting room after

Not kidding. Is it even the same house? The amount of work that has gone into the transformation is quite incredible. It's not for everyone. But this snapshot shows that if you do have the budget, time and patience it's quite incredible what you can achieve! 

Couldn't resists including this lovely pic of one of the children on the skateboard ramp - such a cute idea! 

Before Bathroom

I guess this picture was taken when the old bathroom had been ripped out - but it's still fun to see the bare bones before Sarah and Aaron transformed the space into this....

After bathroom

Loving the pink tiles! 

Their other bathroom has had a multi-page spread in Adore magazine, and when you see the pictures, it's easy to see why - it's beautiful! 

Tiles from Tile Trends Tweed, cabinets from Hello Trader

Sadly, I don't have any before pics of the bedroom, but here are the results. Think golden tones and layers of cosy textiles....

I'm seriously blown away by this transformation. It will definitely make me see houses that come on the market here in Malmö from a new perspective! 

Would you consider a renovation project? Or perhaps you've already done one (or are knee deep - or neck high in one right now!) - if so, I'd love to hear about it! 

One question, living by the sea in Malmö, do you think I could go all out Australia Gold Coast with my decor? I'm tempted but then again, I'm not sure we have quite the same winters! Bah! Perhaps subtle 'coastal' nods would work better here! 

You can see more of Sarah and Aaron's beautiful home over at @bilinga_beach_abode,  

Oh and, whatever you do today - take a quick browse through the 'before and after' archive - it's one of my favourites! 

Have a lovely day! 


Photos courtesy of Bilinga Beach Abode
Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 19, 11, 12, 17, 18  Bilinga Beach Abode 5, 15, 16 Villa Styling / Adore magazine 8. Elouise van Riet-Gray for Lana Caves

Thanks so much to my fab friend Sarah Brooks-Wilson for the tip! 

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The Vibrant, Colourful Sitting Room of a Swedish Photographer

Sending a little sunshine from Sweden today. This quirky (don't miss Gizmo!), vibrant and fun sitting room belongs to Jenny Brandt Grönberg a local photographer based just outside of Ystad, Skåne. Jenny loves to do things differently and has such a distinct, playful style which always puts a smile on my face. I especially love her sitting room, with it's bold pops of blue, green and pink as well as a fun and eclectic blend of vintage furniture, lighting and art. I hope you feel as inspired by it as I do! 

I hope this mini tour has brightened up your day as much as it has mine!

I once showed a complete tour of Jenny's home many moons ago here - and her fab prints are available here

Love to see some other vibrant, colourful Scandinavian spaces? Check out a cheerful Swedish home with flashes of bright colour, take a rare peek behind the facade of Nyhavn's colourful facade and enjoy this fabulous Danish home in a plethora of colours

In a bit of a hurry as my eldest daughter finishes primary school today so we're off to celebrate over lunch in the sunshine (no one wants to be missing that sunshine - you never know how long it will last - is it the same where you live?!). This comes after my stepson took his 'studenten' last week and graduated from school! GAAAAH! Where did the time go? They grow up so fast, don't they?! 

I'll be back tomorrow with an exciting home tour! In the meantime, sending you a barrel load of sunshine and love from Sweden! 

Stay well! 


Photography courtesy of Jenny Brandt Grönberg

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