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Swedish Easter Traditions Include Feathers, 'Hags' and of Course, Lots of Eggs!


Tomorrow marks the first day of Påsklov (the Easter Holidays) here in Sweden. 

You might be surprised to hear that easter is celebrated in Sweden, given that many are devout atheists. But actually, Easter is a big deal, even if the tradition is largely secular. Colourful feathers to appear on birch branches and little eggs are hung from twigs (as seen in my home above!). 

Although it might all look a bit different this year, usually the main 'eggcitement' (sorry!) starts on Skärtorsdagen (Maundy Thursday) when children dress up as Påskkäringor (Easter hags) and wander from door to door - wearing brightly coloured head scarves and faces painted with rosy cheeks and freckles  - asking for sweets (scroll down to the last picture in this post to see how cute they look!). 

Families gather on Påskafton (Easter Saturday - yes, they never can quite wait until the 'main day'!) and tuck into a smorgasbord of pickled herring, salmon, new potatoes, lamb, a cheese flan, various egg dishes as well as other delicacies - which is interspersed with singing as well as schnapps and beer. Post lunch games include egg rolling and 'egg picking' and of course, the children enjoy lots of chocolate delivered by the Påskhare (the Easter hare!). 

All in all, a really fun holiday.  

If you're looking for some pretty, yet simple ways to decorate your home this easter, here are few ideas: 


Also, you might like to whip up my favourite Swedish Easter dish: gubröra - it's great on crisp bread!

Oh, and for a fun touch on the easter table, try this easter bunny napkin idea!

What easter traditions do you have in your country?

I'm taking a few days off to spend a little time with my family and will be back again on Tuesday, 5th April. 

Wishing you all a wonderful week!  

Niki

PS the eggs in the picture are by Afro Art who sell some lovely easter decorations!

Photo: Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home
Styling: Helen Sturesson

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A Young Couple's Classic & Elegant Danish Home

MSH is turning into a bit of a Danish home love fest this week. This is the third home I've shared from that Nordic country this week (I hope you enjoyed the lovely pastel infused apartment on Tuesday and the summer cabin yesterday!). When you see the pictures, I'm sure you'll understand why! Twenty-four-year-old Liva Tholstrup and her boyfriend have decorated their turn-of-the-century apartment in Frederiksbjerg, Aarhus in an elegant, classic Scandinavian style, combining earthy tones with design classics and a wealth of natural materials. Pretty ceramic collections, an array of vases and various wall decor help to give the space a lovely homely vibe. Julie Wittrup Pladsbjerg and Mikkel Dahlstrøm of Another Studio were there to snap some pictures. 

I love this look, simply because I really love the classic Danish style. It helps that the apartment has incredible bones too - which add a decorative touch to the simple aesthetic. 

Is there anything that caught your eye? 

When I was 24 (the same age as Liva) I had recently graduated from university and was living in Dubai, working as an event organiser. I was living in a shared rental apartment. I remember decorating my room (painting the walls, putting up posters etc) but it certainly wasn't in the same calibre as this! Where were you and what did your accommodation look like when you were 24? 

See more snapshots of Liva's lovely home here - and there's a wonderful article about it in Alt. magazine (in Danish). 

You can also check out more Danish homes in this archive

It's SO sunny and warm here today, in fact the nicest day we've had in months. So, I'm heading off in a minute to catch a few rays Scandi style (winter coat buttoned up, face angled towards the sun!). I hope the sun is shining where you are too! 

Niki

Photography: Another Studio - shared with kind permission

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A Charming Danish Summer Cottage With a Coastal Vibe

Saturday marked the spring equinox - which to me is a pinnacle moment in Scandinavia! From now on the hours of daylight will exceed the darkness, what a wonderful thought! It also gives us the license to dream that summer is around the corner (even if great swathes of the region are still blanketed in snow!). Many Scandinavians will be heading to their cottages over easter to start preparing them for the summer ahead. And no doubt, Helle Rye of @anordicmoment will also be making the trip (sanctions permitting). Helle loves to spend weekends and summer holidays at her charming cottage on North Zealand. The relaxed coastal vibe of the cottage contrasts sharply with the modern vibe of her city apartment. It's a place where she comes to relax, make the most of the great outdoors or read a book beside the woodburning stove. Enjoy the tour!  

Summer cottages are very much a pared back affair, with a strong focus on drawing the inside in. A simple shell poster in the kitchen is a lovely reminder of the nearby beach (and will help to find shell seekers identify their finds!). Source a similar one here*

Simple rattan furniture in the dining room helps to add a relaxed beach vibe to the space, while soft sheepskins make them feel a little more cosy!

In winter and colder summer days, Helle warms the cabin with the help of a wood-burning stove (something I'd love to install in my future cabin). Do you have one in your home?

A large jute rug (I recognise this one from IKEA) and light blue textiles add to the coastal vibe. 

I love the idea of using a jute rug on the wall as a headboard. I guess, it's really important to find a nice soft one - but it looks fab in this cottage! 

An outdoor bed? Sign me up! 

Bamboo furniture is always pretty - if you're interested in a similar look, keep an eye out for ones that can withstand all weather otherwise they'll quickly deteriorate. 

A popular addition to gardens across the world this winter: the outdoor fire pit! This one has been made extra cosy with a bench made from palettes and laden with cushions. So hyggeligt! 

Such a lovely, charming cabin! 

I love it how Helle has taken the opportunity to decorate the space in a completely different way from her city home

Could you imagine hanging here with friends or family, and a good book - all summer long? 

For more inspiration, check out the summer cottage archive - one of my favourites! 

Har det så fint! 

Niki

Photography: Helle Rye

*this post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and buy something I will make a very tiny commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting My Scandinavian Home! 

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Line's Relaxed Copenhagen Home with Pretty Pastels

Hej vänner! Popping in with a little Danish inspiration for you to today. Think pared back, whitewashed, with pops of pastel. Yay! This beautiful apartment belongs to Line Schjelde, a Copenhagen based PR manager, who lived with her boyfriend and their little daughter. Excitingly, the family are expecting a little baby girl in a matter of weeks! Given the serenity of the space, it's hard to imagine their home is in the heart of the thriving, urban district of Vesterbro (fabulous area to explore if you're ever in town!). It's beautifully calm yet has some wonderful focal points thanks to the gallery wall, beautiful furniture choices and the lovely details!  Enjoy the tour! 

No one does gallery walls like the Danes! 

Prints from: Paper Collective, Hein Studio, Matisse (available here) and Modernamuseet

But my eyes are on the two mini ball pendant lamps - how cool are they? From what I can gather, Line made these herself using two rice paper balls (costing €5 each!). The HAY dining table is also fab - and the mix and match chairs help to create a relaxed look and feel.


One of the things I have been taken for granted lately are windowsills. Scandinavian homes are generally blessed with wide ones that can be used for so many things (this has been pointed out in the comment section a few times!). Walk around a city street or a country village and windows will be lit by a lamp (this one is the Balustre in pale pink* by Kähler) in the window - make your return home in the dark that more welcoming!

Another observation, un-related, but still interesting: front doors open outwards rather than inwards. I think this might have something to do with the snow - although that doesn't account for apartment doors. Hmmm. What are the windowsills like in your country, and do your front doors open inwards or outwards? 

The kitchen has been kept very minimalist aside from open shelves brimming with pottery by AnnLouise Roman Gustavsson,Julie Damhus Studio, Les Gens Heureux and Bitz Living

I love the sofa (from The Sofa Company - the colour is so warm and inviting - just imagine Line and her boyfriend snuggled up here with her two little girls! 


I get asked so many questions about floating bookshelves. Montana is a great source!

What a difference a pretty cushion can make to a room! Line picked this one up from Thus The Fuss (who's home I once featured here). Keep an eye out for her pop-up shops here

This lovely Ferm Living pond mirror* is really popular right now - I love the shape! 

The famous IKEA Stockholm cabinet that's now been discontinued and making waves on eBay! If you see one and you like it, nab it! 

What was I saying about windowsills? I mean, seriously!  

All in all, such a lovely home, it's really brightened up my Tuesday - I hope it has yours too!

Loving the pops of pastel!

I'll be keeping an eye on Line's inspiring feed for her latest updates - but more importantly for BABY NEWS! I'll never forget the birth of my second daughter and her sister rushing through the doors of the hospital shouting "WHERE'S MY SISTER?" before showering Allie with a million kisses! Wishing you so much luck with the birth Line - what a magical time you have ahead! 

Looking for a little more Danish inspiration today? 


Niki

Tonight, I'm excited to participate in a Live Shopping Event over at Boozt.com where I'll be sharing some fun ideas for how you can update your spring table for spring. Come and join us at 7pm (GMT+1). Admittedly, I'm a tad nervous right now (anything 'live' is a little daunting, don't you think?) so it would be wonderful to see a friendly face in the Q & A. Plus, you'll be able to enjoy a discount on anything you buy. Winner!  

Photography: Line Schjelde shared with kind permission. 
*Affiliate links

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Before & After: A Derelict Classroom Becomes An Incredible Kitchen!

Hello friends! Boy, have I got something inspiring to share with you today! I admire many people in the design world. But there are two people in particular, I am constantly in awe of: Laura Muthesius and Nora Eisermann of Our Food Stories. Everything this lovely couple touch turns to gold - from a Berlin warehouse and German countryside apartment to a beautiful cottage kitchen in Sweden. And now, they've turned their hands to a former schoolhouse in rural Germany. When they got the keys to the property a few months ago, it had been empty for decades and the interior was, shall we say 'rustic' to say the least! So much so, many would have run a mile, myself included. But fortune favours the brave and these two had a vision - which, with a lot of hard work, would become a dream reality! 

The exterior and interior was in dire need of some TLC, with many of the original features stripped away - including the windows, which had been replaced with cheap reproductions. 

Working as a food stylist and photographer (with over one million followers on instagram, no less!), Laura and Nora were keen to create a large kitchen from which to work, film and live. The pair set about tearing out a small bathroom to recreate the original classroom area. 

They were hoping to find a wood floor lurking beneath the layer of concrete but sadly, when they peeled it back, it had been destroyed so they laid a new oak wood parquet floor. They also swapped out the modern windows and replaced them with replicates of the original windows from Sorpetaler Fensterbau.

Fortunately, they were able to bring their Devol kitchen from their previous country apartment, which they supplemented with extra units to capitalise on space. 


One of the features I love the most is the vintage arched door, which Nora sourced online - WHAT A FIND!!!!


The kitchen units and worktops were planned around the natural light which pours in through the large windows. 

They installed a Bertazzoni cooker (which will no doubt play a major part in their delicous cake creation moving forward!). 

An incredible DeVol marble sink matches the countertop which was custom-made by MCR

Matt limewash paint from Bauwer Color was applied to the walls (Ibiza) and ceiling (Smokebush).  

And finally, the pair installed a mantel piece and a DeVol freestanding pantry cupboard on the opposite side of the kitchen. 

I love glass cabinets - they're a perfect way to display pretty kitchen items while keeping them dust free (a big problem with the open shelves under my kitchen island!). 

All-in-all one, a really incredible kitchen, don't you think? Trust this pair to create such a unique and original, timeless kitchen!

You can keep to date with their latest recipes on @_foodstories and interior projects over at @_designtales_. They've also shared more info about this kitchen reno here - and if you're curious, you can take a peek at their cosy Swedish cottage kitchen here

And if you're looking for more kitchen inspiration today - check out: 


Have a wonderful start to the week friends! 

Niki

Photography: Nora Eisermann & Laura Muthesius / Our Food Stories - shared with kind permission. 

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