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Merry Christmas Everyone!

A little note to say thank you so much for a wonderful year here on My Scandinavian Home. I've loved sharing Scandi-inspired design with you and reading all your lovely comments and personal notes. I started My Scandinavian Home ten years ago and I have to say, I am just as passionate about writing posts today as I was a decade ago, and that's thanks to you all! 

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

'God Jul'

Niki

PS I'll be taking a little time off over Christmas and the new year and will be back here again on 6th January. If you're looking for some Scandi inspired inspiration over the holidays, here are a few of my favourite archives: 



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City Guide: 20 Things to Enjoy In Malmö In Wintertime


 In paid partnership with @malmötown. All words, pictures and recommendations are my own. 

I moved to Malmö, southern Sweden in 2004 and I'm so proud to call this city my home. Many choose to visit in spring and summer when the days are long and the weather is mild - but actually, Malmö makes a great weekend getaway in wintertime too! Think cosy cafes and restaurants, 'mysig' (cosy) Christmas markets, blowing out the cobwebs with a blustery walk along the city beach and warming the cockles in a sauna. Here are 20 of my favourite things to do in Malmö in wintertime:



1. Enjoy a steaming glögg (spiced mulled wine) or hot chocolate surrounded by sheepskins and blankets on picturesque square Lilla torg.





2. Visit one of the Christmas markets for arts and crafts, local Swedish delicacies and winter warmers (mid November - December)! 


3. Take in the pretty Christmas lights on Lilla torg and Gustav Adolfs torg (November - January)! 

4. Celebrate Lucia on 13th December - Experience one of the many candlelit Lucia processions in Malmö - it's one of the most important events in the Swedish calendar and centred around 'Lucia' the bearer of light in the winter darkness. 

5. Stroll around some of the city's residential areas by night - including Gamla Staden and Västra Hamnen and feel inspired by the 'Adventsljustake' (advent candles) and paper star lanterns that light up the windows (November - January). 

6. Blow away the cobwebs with a walk along Ribersborgsstranden (the city beach) for amazing views of the Öresund Bridge (famous from the TV series 'The bridge'). Some years the sea freezes over come January and February, it's a sight to behold! 

7. Enjoy a sauna and a dip in the sea at Ribbersborg Kallbadhus (peeping into the left of the picture above)  - no bathers required! Sea frozen over? No problem, they'll cut a hole in the ice for you!



8. Ice-skate on the lakes at Ribbersborg. 

Note: always consult the local authority website to check the ice is safe to enter and always carry the necessary safety equipment. 

9. Or glide around one of the free ice rinks at Vinterdröm (winter dream) in Folkets Park (ice-skates available to hire), before tucking into a warm drink and pizza at local boho favourite Far I Hatten

10. Visit one of the many city museums and art galleries including Malmö museer, Moderna Museet, Form Design Center and Malmö Konsthall

11. Sample 'surströmming' (fermented herring) - a pungent Swedish delicacy, and other 'delights' at the Disgusting Food Museum






12. Shop for practical yet stylish winter clothing such as thermals and fur-lined boots as well as sports and outdoor gear at Naturkompaniet, Peak PerformanceStadium and XXL - or pick-up traditional knits (above) on Lilla torg. 

13. Shop for beautiful design and Scandinavian Christmas decorations at Granit, Designtorget, Svenssons, Grandpa, Lagerhaus, and Åhlens

14. Pick up vintage and sustainable pieces - and enjoy lunch at AB Småland.

15. Join locals at Malmö Saluhall - a fantastic indoor food market, filled with stalls serving delicacies from all over the world. 

16. Take some time out with a coffee and good book at Atrium, or if you're feeling active book a round of boules and brunch at Boule Bar.

17. Recharge your batteries over an afternoon 'fika' (coffee and cake) at Konditori Katarina or Noir Vin & Kaffekultur

18. Book a traditional Julbord (traditional Swedish Christmas buffet) at Årstiderna or Rådhuskällaren.   (November / December). 

19. Dine at Aster - featured above (one of Malmö's new best kept secrets - excellent food, very cosy - hard to find, difficult to book - but, oh so worth it!!), Ruths (great for brunch or supper) or Quan (wonderful atmosphere, excellent food). Book well in advance! 

20. Enjoy a night cap on the sofa at MJs or a cocktail at the top of Malmö Live with incredible views over the city.


Need somewhere to stay? Book a room at Story Hotel (above) or Clarion Malmö Live for views over the city. Or MJs and Duxiana for fab design. 

Staying a little longer and want to explore the surrounding area? We love downhill and cross country skiing at Vallåsen (around 1-2 hours away), taking a hike and enjoying a barbecue in Bokskogen beech forest or going to see the wild seals in the Måkläppan nature reserve on the Falsterbo peninsular.

However you choose to spend your time, I'm sure you'll leave Malmö with rosy cheeks and lots of new Scandinavian experiences under your belt! 

I really hope to see you in my wonderful, adopted hometown soon! 

Niki

PS Are you a local or visited Malmö in the past? Feel free to share your own experiences and any tips on activities to enjoy in winter below! 

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10 Scandinavian Christmas Crafting Ideas (Many are Edible!)



If there's one thing I really admire about the Scandinavians, it's their passion for crafting and DIY. And at Christmas there's no stopping our dexterous Nordic friends. Referred to as 'Julpyssel' adults and children across the country are busy rolling out gingerbread dough, perfecting their Christmas caramel, carving out paper snowflakes to hang in the window and finalising candle holders with moss. If you'd like to channel your inner Scandinavian and get crafting this week, here are 10 Christmas DIY ideas to get you started: 

1. A-Frame Gingerbread house: a favourite in Sweden, edible gingerbread houses look so pretty at Christmas. If you're a novice, it might be best to start with a kit (they sell them at IKEA!), but I also love this fab A-frame cabin made from heart shaped gingerbread!  


2. Mini gingerbread houses: These pretty houses can be hung in the window or on the tree (they might also get eaten on the way - and who'd blame you!). Instructions / recipe here


3. The gingerbread village: Why create individual houses, when you can make an entire village? There's so much fun to be had creating a skyline, and you can eat it afterwards too. 


4. Mini gingerbread drink decorations: Imagine serving hot chocolate with this little touch - hygge personified! Instructions  here


5. Julkola (Christmas caramel): Who doesn't love homemade sweets at Christmas? Caramel makes a perfect addition to the table too - or wrapped as a present. Original recipe here (in Swedish), English recipe here



6. DIY snowflakes made from cardboard: These pretty decorations made from loo roll cartridges (or straw, toothpicks, newspaper - just about anything!) look just as pretty on the tree as they do hung in the window! Instructions here. 


7. Window drawings: Looking a little grey outside? Why not grab a white pen and create a pretty Christmas display to brighten up your view? 


8. Paper flowers: Colourful crepe is a perfect material for making pretty paper flowers. Place them on mini trees, in a bowl or create a garland. Know-how here. 


9. DIY Forest friends wrapping: put a smile on your children's faces with these cute forest friend Christmas wrapping ideas! 


10. Candle displays: Small plant pots make a perfect candleholder at Christmas time. Simply fill them with soil, a little moss and some small branches from a fir tree. 

So many great ideas here. Can you imagine making any of these? 

What do you make at Christmas? Inspire us in the comment section below! 

More Christmas DIY ideas here: 


Have a great start to the week!

Niki

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Our Small Bathroom Plans / Design For the Cabin




GSI Ceramica and Cristina Rubinetterie are kindly partnering in our project. 

I was up at the cabin yesterday (see our plans) and the build is progressing nicely! I can't tell you how excited I am! Buoyed by the progress, I thought it was time to share an update on the next phase of our build: the bathroom! 

Floorplan 




With only 3.66 metres square (XX f2) to play with, it's a case of dream big, think small! Even so, we had several criteria for the bathroom: it should be low maintenance, long-lasting, practical and of course beautiful! Let's start with my favourite - the latter! 

Inspiration:

Natural & Raw
Since being up at the cottage is all about enjoying nature, I am keen to keep the look natural. I love the idea of rough finishes and a fairly minimalist approach - with a warm, earthy palette. 


The Design
With the little space we have, I knew a bath would be out of the question (I guess we have the sea nearby!) - so we focused on a WC, sink and shower. 

I've worked with the incredible Italian brand GSI Ceramica for several years now and appreciate how the company prides itself on combining the latest technology with craftsmanship, rooted in a thousand-year-old tradition of Civita Castellana ceramic district.  I always appreciate the high quality which is vital since we're keen for our little cabin to be as low maintenance and long-lasting as possible  - something I've learnt from my Scandinavian friends!

The GSI Ceramica design team came back with these drawings which were spot on: 



The matt white loo and sink are from the Kube X Collection which you mind recognise from this feature. I love the rectangle forms, slender edges and pared down lines. It's a collection that offers something for every size bathroom too, so I knew it would be perfect for our small space! 


1. WC: Kube X 941509: This wall-hung loo is seriously awesome: it features Swirlflush (the quietest flushing system in the world!), helps to save water and has a soft close seat - all important when you live in close quarters, don't you think?

2. Kube X washbasin - 60 x 47: A sleek, narrow washbasin which is perfect for small spaces (loving the white plug!).

3. Prisma Unit 60 x 47: A cabinet was essential - especially with a tween and teenage girl knocking about! This unit launches in 2022 and has been specially designed to fit the Kube X Collection. I opted for a 'Bianco' matt Finnish. Here's a sneak peek of what to expect from the collection: 



4. Four Season Mirror with LED - 60 cm: yes, we'll spend most of our days up there with salty hair and make-up free, but you know, we don't want to scare guests, and this mirror comes with a built in LED light  (always wanted that!). 

Taps & shower
For the taps and shower, we chose items from Cristina Rubinetterie. You'll likely recognise the name since the Italian brand is available in over 60 countries and they've been producing beautiful pieces for the bathroom, kitchen and wellness interiors since 1949! I was looking for something simple and elegant, yet practical with a beautiful finish, and the Tricolore Verde collection fits the bill perfectly!  




*Both in a beautiful matt, brushed old brass finish. 

A note on wall hung loos and taps:
We learned you have to allow for up to 20cm wall space to create room for the cistern and tap fittings. We were slightly concerned that this would eat into the already small space, but came to the conclusion that it would create a perfect opportunity for a built-in shelf above the loo and sink.

Tiles:

And finally, the tiles! I was considering wood panelling (as you can see from the original design) but after some deliberation, I decided to go for more practical, square hand cut tiles in white from a local Swedish tile manufacturer. And for the floor - beautiful Tumbled Turtle tiles from Stiltje. Both very raw with a matt finish -of course!

Thank you for bearing with me through a very long post - I hope this info is helpful for anyone planning a new bathroom in 2022!  

Now, it's just to build it (gaaah!). In the meantime, here's a snapshot of how the bathroom looks right now: 


There's work to be done! 

Niki

Photo credits: 1. Villa Hagerman - M Arkitektur 2. Hotel Santa Clara 3. Coco & Jack 4. Mathew Williams for Remodelista 5. Bert & May 6. Sequence by GSI ceramica 7. Cristina Rubinetterie

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7 Christmas Gift-Wrapping Ideas Using Cloth (Furoshiki)


Back in October I thought to myself "this year, I'm going to be super organised people and buy / make / bake all my Christmas presents well in time". Fast forward two months and I'm in the same position as I am every year - a few things left to buy, none wrapped. But this weekend, things are about to change. Once I've ticked everything off my list, I'm going to attempt a new gift-wrapping method: Furoshiki

For those of you not familiar with it, Furoshiki is a Japanese square-shaped cloth traditionally used to wrap and transport goods, with a focus on aesthetics (I like the sound of this already)! Although less formal than 'fukusa' which is used to present more formal gifts, Furoshiki is becoming increasingly popular in the design world. And the good news? You can wrap your presents in just about any fabric you have at home: silk, cotton, linen, nylon. As long as you can fold it, you can use it! Feel inspired? Here are 7 examples of beautifully cloth-wrapped presents to get you started! 

1. Top picture: Beth Kirby has used linen and silk to wrap her Christmas gifts.

2. Forever the romantic Swede, Anna Kubel has added a pretty flower, to her wrapping although any Christmas bloom will do!

3. More of a simple fold held together with safety pins, this delightful wrapping would look equally pretty with a sprig of eucalyptus, boxwood or holly as it does dried flowers.

4. Pretty berries add a touch of colour to this linen wrapping. 

5. Dried oranges, spruce and cinnamon add a divine smelling, decorative touch to wrapping. 

6. Dried wild flowers make a pretty touch - anytime of the year! 

8. Or for something completely different, why not wrap your presents in knit - they'll be as snug as a bug in a rug - and look pretty too! 

So pretty, and this is all very well, but I noticed that there are no awkward shaped items here like a football or a bottle of wine! No fear though, as there are many different Furoshiki techniques you can use - find out more here

What do you think, could you imagine using the art of Furoshiki this Christmas? 

More gift wrapping inspiration: 

8 beautiful rustic gift wrapping ideas

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! Happy wrapping! 

Niki

Credits in order: Anna Kubel, Beth Kirby, no credits found,  Majamas Earth, ShyntatamyaDécouvrir DesignAdventures in Cooking - shared with thanks. 

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