A Small-ish Swedish Home, That's Big on Character

Tjena! Hur är läget? I'm stopping by to share this funky 46 m2 / 495 m2 Swedish apartment (it's turning into a small-ish living space week!) with you today. Whereas in the Swedish home I shared on Monday, the living room also doubled up as the bedroom and home office, in this charming apartment, the main room serves as a living room, dining room and kitchen. 

Even so, the owners have successfully carved out different zones and added lots of character through a blend off mid-century and modern-day pieces as well as plenty of art! Keep a look out for the bedroom which has been painted in a cosy blue / green, which immediately separates it from the main living area. I hope this home provides you with plenty of inspiration! 

For some reason I'm really drawn to the kitchen, it's really cute! I also love the gallery wall in the sitting room, it adds so much to the space, don't you think?

Is there anything that caught your eye? 

One small detail you may not have noticed is the stool under the round mirror. It's been upholstered with Svenskt Tenn fabric which is having a major moment in Scandinavian homes. You'll likely spot it in on bed headboards, cushions, armchairs and chairs in the coming months! 

Enjoy a load more small spaces in this archive. 

Have a lovely day friends! 


Photography: Boukari, Styling Copparstad for Historiska Hem

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A Calm One Room Swedish Oasis In The Heart the City

On Friday, I promised to move out of summer mode and start to embrace autumn city life once again (cue, a break from all the pretty red and white Swedish country abodes - but I can't promise they won't pop up pretty soon again!). Today's home tour is for everyone who is looking for a solution for a home where the sitting room also doubles up as the bedroom and a home office. In fact, one of the things I think Swedes are masters at is creating rooms within a room. 

This so called 'one room apartment' (which in Swedish estate agent terms means that it's made up of one room plus and kitchen and a bathroom), measures 36 m2 / 388 f2 and occupies a section of a beautiful old apartment block dating back to 1927. The living space is relatively simply decorated, and no doubt styled for sale, even so it shows the power of calming off white walls, fluffy rugs and lots of greenery! Welcome to a flat that encompasses small space living in the heart of Gothenburg. 

In the far corner you can catch a glimpse of the wardrobe / closet. 

There's still lots of space for books and other belongings in this room. I'd have put floor to ceiling shelving  at the end of the bed - and then it could double up as a place for novels etc as well as home office files and folders. 

An ochre wall makes all the difference the kitchen, which could have otherwise looked vary standard.

The floor has been given a lick or two of white paint which helps to brighten up the hallway / entrance. 

In Swedish apartment blocks it's not unusual to find various communal spaces in the basement. For example, they'll usually have a communal laundry room which are a total law unto their own and the subject of many community discussions! Take it from me, you need to book your slot well in advance if you don't want to do your laundry at 7am on a Saturday! 

When I first moved to Sweden, we also lived in an apartment block which had access to a sauna. It was simple and understated and also subject to the same booking system. We loved it! Some apartment blocks also have access to a small apartment / bedroom for guests. And in the post WWII apartments you'll often find a bunker too! 

Do you have something like this in your country? 

Would you like to see a few other small spaces today? Here are some truly inspiring homes: 


Have a great start to the week friends! 


Photography courtesy of Kvarteret

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Before & After: An Old Swedish Croft Becomes a Charming Summer Cottage

It's so easy to become 'home blind', don't you think? I find it's only when I come back from holiday or a time away that I see the changes that need to the made to our house (cue - flying about rearranging furniture and adjusting things before we've even unpacked!). That's why I marvelled at the transformation of this Swedish croft. 

Built in the 1900 as a place to house the elderly members of the family and farm workers, the property on Torsö island, lake Vänern has now fallen into the hands of wedding photographer Johanna Carlsson and her husband Vicktor and their dogs Nalle and Doris. Despite growing up with the croft, Johanna had a keen idea of how she wanted the interior to look - and the pair have been renovating it little by little to transform it into a beautiful cottage in which while away the summer. Here are a few pictures (including some before and after):  

The outside has been given a refresh, while keeping the quintessentially Swedish red and white facade intact. 

A porch area doubles up as a sunroom in which to enjoy 'fika' and meals bathed in natural light. 

Kitchen before

Kitchen after

Simple updates such as a new handmade worktop and longer linen curtains have helped to bring this kitchen up to date while maintaining the relaxed traditional feel. 

Sitting room before

Mix and match furniture has its charm, but it's not always the most practical or comfortable. 

Sitting room after

Johanna and Viktor updated the room using wallpaper from Boråstapeter and then furnished it with a comfy sofa (as modelled by Doris) and a handmade table with rustic charm. 

Bedroom before

The pair sleep in what was formerly a children's bedroom with bunkbeds.

I spy stickers - can I get a show of hands for anyone who has spent hours trying to get rid of the residue from doors, beds and other furniture in a children's room? I was scrubbing away on Allie's door just the other week. Mind you, stickers are at least better than slime, there's an outright ban on that stuff in our home! 

Bedroom after

It's hard to imagine that this delightful space is the same room! 

Tulippa wallpaper Boråstapeter adds character to the bedroom while a bedskirt gives the space a traditional touch. 

Outhouse before

Outhouse after

An outhouse on the grounds, previously used for storage, was cleared out and repainted - creating a perfect place for midsummer gatherings.

A simple outdoor shower means the couple can wash under the open-sky and make the most of the long summer days! 

Such a charming summer cottage, don't you think? 

If you'd to keep up to date with Johanna's latest renovation projects, follow along over at @torptokig

As you know by the sheer number of pretty red and white Swedish summer cottages I've been featuring lately, I'm not quite ready to let go of summer just yet. But as we near mid-September the autumn feeling is in the air and I'm going to have to concede that summer is over! I'm looking forward to sharing some Scandinavian city apartments with you next week! Stay tuned! 

Before I head off for the weekend, I also wanted to share with you, that as a London girl (who's been living in Sweden for over 18 years), it was with a heavy heart that I heard the news about Queen Elizabeth II yesterday. Her Majesty was a truly remarkable person who has always been there throughout our lives. I particularly admired her professionalism and commitment to duty but also how warm and personable she was, with a wonderful sense of humour. In the words of Paddington Bear: Thank you Ma'am, for everything. 

Wishing you all a lovely weekend, 

Stor kram


Photography courtesy of Johanna Carlsson, shared with kind permission. 

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Hannah's Swedish City Apartment and Country Summer Cottage

Despite the sunshine, there's a distinct crispness to the air and the start of Autumn is ever-present - are you noticing that too? Many Swedish summer cottages have been boarded up for the winter, but for some, the hideaway is just close enough to enjoy the last of the summer sun with relaxed weekends away. I've been doing this with ours, and it's like two different worlds - one urban, with routines and schedules to keep, the other wild and free! 

I've always marvelled at the difference in the decor between city apartments and summer cottages in Sweden. To emphasise this, I thought we could step into the lovely world of Hannah Persson today. Hannah and her family divide their time between an apartment in the centre of Gothenburg and a summer cottage two-hours way close to beautiful lake Vänern just outside Lidköping.

Let's start with her city abode! 

The city apartment

Hannah and her family's city apartment is blessed with turn-of the-century features including high ceilings, large windows and double doors. It has a wonderful calm vibe, making it the perfect oasis to return to after a hectic day of work, nursery and other family activities. 

The living space is full of mid-century furniture, art, and cosy patterned rugs against a backdrop of calm, earthy tones. 

Rug found at Myrorna (the Swedish version of Salvation Army). Round paper rice lamps from Hay are hugely popular in Swedish homes right now. 

The wool wall hanging is by Swedish artist Ingegerd Silow, below is a curated display which includes a Transparent radio, mirror, plant and paper lamp. 

Blanket by Arket

Bedside lamp Svenskt Tenn, baby bed Garbo & Friends

The summer cottage 

From the traditional red and white facade to the charming small rooms with original touches from times gone by, Hannah and her family's country getaway is everything you would imagine a traditional Swedish cottage to be and more. 

Hannah has furnished the living space with a mix of items picked up at flea markets and second hand stores, giving the home a lovely relaxed vibe. 

Items such as wall hung sunhats help to add a summery touch to the space. 

I was asked in the comment section about these wonderful fireplaces. The Swedish Kakelugn is a tiled oven which started to appear in Swedish homes as early the 1700s. The unit is designed to radiate heat at a constant temperature over many hours, making it a highly efficient way to keep a house warm. Many are still in working condition today, although more often than not they're used for the 'mys' factor (cosiness) rather than for actual heating! 

Despite being inefficient compared to modern triple or quadruple glazed windows you find in year-round homes, original windows like these are highly coveted in Swedish summer cottages. The glass has a slight waviness / imperfection to it which adds to the character of the house. 

The folk-art basket is a wonderful nod to the history of the cottage. 

Flowers from the garden reflect the season, and floral bedding also helps to draw nature indoors, while simple hooks reflect the relaxed grab and go lifestyle so enjoyed at the cottage. 

Displays tend to be less curated and more a thrown together selection of pieces - in the bedroom an impromptu dressing area includes a small vintage mirror with hooks and a jug used as a vase. 

Carefree days are spent picking wildflowers, swimming in the nearby lake - or perhaps simply doing nothing at all. 

I know where I'd rather be - how about you? 

Still, both properties are beautiful in their own way - and it's fascinating to see how the homes have been decorated in a slightly different style, don't you? 

You can see more snapshots from Hannah's apartment and cottage over at @hannahperssons

On another note, I'm receiving lots of emails about the My Scandinavian Home subscription - I've had to change it so if you are no longer receiving mails to your inbox each time I post, please re-sign up below! Sorry for any inconvenience and thank you so much for following along, I love this community. 

Happy Wednesday friends. See you Friday!



Photographs courtesy of Hannah Persson, shared with kind permission

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