Before and After: Our Swedish Summer Cottage Bedroom Make-over

This blog post is not sponsored. However, it does include some press items that I've received in the past and present (marked with *)! Thank you for supporting the brands that make My Scandinavian Home possible. 

Two summers ago we built a tiny cabin in the garden of Per's family's summer cottage on the Bjärehalvön coast, West Sweden. We love heading up there as often as we can, but this winter we had the perfect excuse: it was time to renovate the master bedroom in the main house! There was nothing wrong with the room per se, it just hasn't been touched for several decades and needed a major freshening up. But you know me, I can't really do things by halves, and this was definitely a case of 'in for a penny, in for a pound!'

I find winter is the perfect time for decorating - do you agree? Plus, Per and I love a project. So, back in October we cracked on in the hope that the room would be ready in time for spring. And it is! I hope you like reading about the transformation today!

The walls were covered in wood chip and since I had my eye on a wallpaper I loved, the existing layers needed to be removed - no easy feat! It was a gruelling, messy job getting rid of it all - but satisfying too! Underneath, we discovered that the century-old walls were also very uneven which meant we needed to plaster over them and then cover with a base wallpaper. 

The original wood floor is lovely but the varnish had slowly yellowed over the years, so we rented a sander to file the wood down, before adding several layers of white soap wash. Neither of us had done this before and the sander was a mighty machine! We had our heart in our mouths as we worked around the room - concerned that we might accidentally burrow down and wreck a plank! 

It all worked well in the end though and this is how it looks now: 

We'd also noticed that the ceiling was coming apart at the seams, and there was no outlet for an overhead ceiling light. 

Per added panels to cover the seams - which match the panels on the ceiling in the main room of the cottage. And we also gave the ceiling, skirting boards, architraves and door a fresh lick of white paint. 

We're willing to do most jobs ourselves (sometimes with the help of YouTube) but since we value our lives (and respect Swedish law!), we called in an electrician in to re-wire the room and add an outlet in the ceiling as well as power sockets to the wall! The lamp is called REGNSKUR from IKEA. 

We were keen to give the room a traditional cottage feel with a modern touch and a hint of green to match the rest of the cottage, so we looked at samples from Swedish Sandberg wallpaper, eventually settling on Karolina green*. 

We were a bit apprehensive about putting the wallpaper up but it was surprisingly quick and easy once we got going. You definitely need to be two pair of hands for the job - and pay attention to aligning the pattern down to the millimetre with each new section so nothing goes awry! Probably good to double check if it's the right way up to (my wonderful dad once learnt this the hard way!). 

And then the fun part began: decorating the room! 

We were keen to use as much as possible from what was already there. 

The bed is the same  but I added a simple headboard (115 cm high x 180 cm wide) and then added a white linen cover. The bed linen is from HM Home and the blanket and throw are old ones from home. The rug was already there. 

The windows are quite wide (measuring 197 cm) so I picked out the Mozart extendable curtain rod from Åhlens. I had some old-ish white linen curtains hanging around in the loft which turned out to be perfect for the room. You can find similar white linen curtains here

I don't go anywhere around the cottage without my well-worn Shephard slippers

The chest-of-drawers was already in place and the chair has always been at the cottage! 

Nothing says spring to me like a bouquet of Mimosa! it brings a little sunshine to the greyest of days, don't you think?

We re-hung the vintage mirror on the wall (it had been resting on the chest-of-drawers for years so it was nice to finally put it back up!). 

We also wall mounted two sets of simple wooden hooks from Swedish store Granit (I find hooks so useful in a summer cottage - they're perfect for hanging the few outfits you have with you, plus other essentials like a dressing gown for 'morgondopps' (morning dips) and a sun hat! 

The hooks also provide a great place for other items - including one of my favourite bouquet lamp* by Le Klint and a robe from Humdakin* (bringing a touch of Danish design to Sweden!). 

In this picture you can also catch a glimpse of the new dimmer switch* and power socket* (both from Corston). The electrician also added power sockets either side of the bed. 

The pine wall shelves had yellowed with age so I repainted them in Jotun Tidlös to match the wallpaper. I might write a separate post about this. It's amazing what you can do to give old pieces a new lease of life. Would you find that of interest?

The bedside table is the original one that was already in place. 

I hope you like the results as much as we do! 

Naturally, if you look very closely our DIY renovation it isn't perfect, but that comes with the territory of carrying out a project yourself, and I wouldn't have it any other way! 

If you have any questions, please do give me a shout in the comment section below and I'd be happy to help. 

Would you like to see a few other of my room makeover from the past? Check out: 

All a labour of love! 

Do you dabble in DIY too? 


PS I am starting a 30 days of Njuta challenge on instagram stories today, come and join me! #30daysofnjuta

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An Eco Retreat Stay in the Forests of Sweden

Dreaming of an escape today? Allow me to whisk you away to depths of the Swedish forests, and this fairytale getaway! Nestled by a lake in the southern Sweden wilderness, Urnatur, meaning 'primeval nature' is the brainchild of forester Håkan Strotz and forest biologist and edible plants expert Ulrika Krynitz. The pair are passionate about ethnobiology and the interaction between man and nature and wanted others to experience an eco-retreat where you can get away from it all and go back-to-basics. 

Made up of an off-the-grid treehouse and a series of cabins built by Håkan and decorated by Ulrika, Urnatur invites guests to stay on Sjögetorp and Renemo farms and make the most of everything the surrounding nature has to offer. Sleep in the trees or snuggle up in a cosy log cabin before taking to the lake in a kayak, foraging for berries and other delicacies or cooking supper over an open fire. You might also want to explore the farm shop for lovely local wares too! 

It does look wonderful, I have to say - and a far cry from my studio in Malmö where I am tapping away at my laptop today. 

Could you imagine spending a week or two here come summertime? If so, visit the Urnatur website for more information. 

Thinking of visiting Sweden and looking for more places to stay? Check out the holiday homes, rentals, airbnb and design hotel archives to find somewhere wonderful! You might also like to delve into my Scandinavian travel and city guide archives to plan your trip in full! Välkommen!  

Speaking of escapes, Per and I finished the summer cottage master bedroom renovation this weekend and I took my camera with me to take a few shots! We are so thrilled with the outcome - even more so since we carried out all the work ourselves. I can't wait to share the results with you on Wednesday. I hope you'll like it as much as we do. See you then! 


Photography courtesy of Urnatur, with thanks.

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A Light-filled Swedish Home in Former Slätthults School

I absolutely love the idea of living in a former a school - or just about any conversion for that matter, how about you? There's something about the buildings past life which makes the building feel extra special, and it often lends itself to beautiful architecture too. 

Having said that, converting a building is not without its difficulties - and the interior design can also be a complex jigsaw puzzle! Especially when there are very large rooms and awkward angles involved, which you so often find with schools.

This beautiful light-filled house in Lerum, West of Gothenburg in Sweden used to be Slätthults school. The house has undergone a meticulous restoration, blending modern comforts with respect for its original architecture and the era in which it was built. The result is a thoughtfully preserved house which marries the present with its historical roots. Wonderful! 

I can just imagine the patter of children's feet as they ran up and down those stairs. And the silence in the classroom as they went about their school day! 

Such a beautiful house! Could you imagine living here? 

I have shown quite a few converted schoolhouses here on my scandinavian home over the years - here are few that are well worth returning to this weekend: 

My friend Louisa's home in a converted school (don't miss the cat at the end!)
A beautiful Finnish family home in a former schoolhouse

I have also featured many other conversions including a former fire station, garage, bar and shop! You might like to pour a coffee and pull up a seat this weekend and explore the entire conversion archive

Have a fabulous few days, and see you Monday!

Trevlig helg! 


Photography: Peter Pousard, styling: Isabelle Seger for sale via Lundin

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See you at Inspiring Formland Spring 2024!

Paid partnership with Formland

NEWSFLASH! Those of you who have followed my Scandinavian home for a while will know how much I love to make the bi-annual trip to Formland - the interior and design trade fair in Herning in Denmark. And on February 4th it's time for the Spring 2024 edition!  

Taking place between 4th and 6th February, the fair is a huge source of inspiration. It's where I go to discover the latest Nordic trends (I always tell everyone that if you want to glimpse into the future and foresee the latest trends, you only need to look at the Danes; what they are wearing and how they decorate their homes!). It's also an amazing place to get a sneak peek of the new collections for the coming season. 

This year I'm looking forward to discovering the unique trend zones, participating in inspiring workshops, listening to talks live from the Speak Up stage and meeting all the exhibitors as well as others from the world of interior design! 

Walking around the various stands is a feast for the eyes. But I especially love that you can meet everyone from big name international brands to independent artists - all of whom are equally passionate about what they do and will eagerly take their time to chat to you about the story behind their wares, and show you the latest collections. Some exhibitors also hold cosy and fun events! 

Do you work within the interior and design industry? If so, perhaps I'll meet you there (tickets and more information available here). If it's too far for you to travel, but you'd still love to pay a virtual visit, follow along on my instagram stories where I'll be reporting directly from Formland on Sunday 4th February. 

I'll be back tomorrow with the usual home tours - and I promise this one is especially beautiful to celebrate the end of the week. Vi ses! 


All the images in this post are from brands who will be exhibiting at the fair; from top: Tell Me More, Ib Laursen, Chic Antique and Oaklings. Although these are all earthy tones - there will also be a riot of colour at the fair too! 

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