I love the changing of the seasons, and after an unusually long-drawn-out and busy summer both here in Suffolk and in Scandinavia, the change of pace in Autumn is more than welcome!
It's time to be cosy, hibernate and get into the Hygge vibe, light the stove and the candles, invite friends and family round for kitchen supper, snuggle down under a warm throw and watch box sets or put on the layers for bracing dog walks in the ever-changing countryside, before dropping into a welcoming country pub.
Of course we have all been doing this for ever but the Danish definition of Hygge is the ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures. Friends, family, graciousness and cosiness. What could be better?
Monday, 17 October 2016
Sunday, 21 August 2016
One blue-grey and white bedroom finished! I love the colour, which changes with the light and the time of day and works well with the curtains we put up a few years ago after a sailing holiday in Holland. They remind me of washed-out Dutch skies, and the walls needed to fit that theme too. It's a very soft and restful colour and I am enjoying adding the finishing touches.
The old French chair was re-upholstered using an antique French sheet, and the cushion was made from French fabrics found in a flea market by rosehipinthecountry.com. The flower painting is by a local artist and I crocheted the shawl myself many years ago while on holiday in Ibiza with my first husband. A few years later our new-born babies were wrapped up in it.
I found this botanical painting in the Voewood book and art shop closing down sale in the North Norfolk town of Holt, where we spent our short honeymoon last May. The picture is painted on vellum, as was the fashion in the 18th century when these paintings were so popular. It looks very comfortable in its new frame above what used to be my children's bookshelf. Everything has a history and carries memories.
Perhaps the next project is to paint some of the rather dated pine furniture a soft off-white. Something to keep me busy in the autumn when the garden is less demanding.
Clothes, shoes, cushions, handbags and scarves have all magically disappeared into the spacious wardrobe in the corner of the room!
Friday, 7 August 2015
|A simple vase of flowers at Grassagarden|
There is so much to enjoy and to explore in Sweden. On a sunny day, the water sparkles in the strong, clear, clean light, the days are endless, the sunsets memorable.
But what I also love is the Swedish sense of style which perfectly suits the Swedish climate and the strong light. So simple but so beautiful.
We arrived on the small island of Rastaholm on Lake Malaren to find that it was barbecue night at the Rastaholm Inn. The freshly-caught barbecued sea bream was quite simply one of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten, served with a selection of freshly prepared salads, a cold glass of white wine and finished off with a delicious coffee served with a glass of warmed rum and chocolate truffles and fresh berries. There was live music and later we took to the dance floor...
|Table Decorations, Rastaholm Inn, Lake Malaren|
The morning after the storm that brought us to the town of Strangnas on the shores of Lake Malaren was my husband's birthday and luckily the day was fine and clear, so we spent the morning exploring the town. We came across the pretty Cafe Grassagarden which dates from the 17th century and used to be an inn.
The interior was just as charming and I loved the windows. I have a big love affair with Swedish windows.
Another favourite spot on the mainland is the KutterKonfect, a lovely shop and cafe in the town of Trosa not far from Stockholm. The speciality is chocolate-covered marzipan, the presentation is amazing and the temptation is huge!
Sunday, 10 August 2014
We had arrived in Vastervik, a provincial seaside town five hours to the south of Stockholm, and the temporary mooring place of our boat. Cold, wet and windy, we were marooned there for a couple of days waiting for the weather to change, giving me plenty of time to hit the summer sales. New pillows and duvets arrived on the boat, together with bright duvet covers, cushion covers and a small blue and white cotton rug that neatly fits both in the saloon and the cockpit and which I cannot now image being without. Citronella tea-lights glow in colourful glass holders in the evenings, deterring mosquitoes and adding to the ambiance - mosquitoes are ubiquitous when living on the water and being confined with one for the night in a very small space is to be avoided at all costs!
Anxious to avoid yet more shopping, he insisted we set out as soon as the weather improved, heading north towards the Stockholm archipelago and completely different way to see Sweden!
Monday, 4 August 2014
Scandinavian design was the theme of the second day of our city break and we set off across Stockholm to the outskirts of the city and the wonderful house and garden of Carl Milles, sculptor and garden designer, and his artist wife Olga. So much contemporary design has been influenced by their work, which flourished in the first half of the 20th century and has some parallels to the English interior and garden design movement inspired by the Bloomsbury Group both at Charleston and Monks House in East Sussex and at Sissinghurst in Kent.
Continuing the design theme, we ended the day back in central Stockholm at the hugely influential and equally expensive design store, Svenskt Tenn and I made the discovery that my own interior design philosophy of mixing old and new, different styles, colours and patterns actually originated here with Estrid Ericson and Josef Frank, who, incidentally, designed the furniture in the room above at Anne's house in Millesgarden.
With many thanks for her inspiration and advice to Lucille at usefulorbeautiful.blogspot.co.uk who was in Stockholm shortly before me.