A Magical Rural Escape by a Norwegian Fjord

A Magical Rural Escape by a Norwegian Fjord


I am constantly astounded by just how magical some Scandinavian summer residences are. Not because they are luxurious - far from it. You see, Scandinavian summer houses tend to be pretty pared back affairs. The focus is on kicking back and allowing the nature to help you unwind. Slipping away for the weekend or for an entire summer, there are no flights to catch and no schedule to keep. It's a simple life which dances lazily to the tune of eat, sleep, swim repeat. This enchanting summer house on the banks of a fjord in Northwest Norway belonging to Monica (AKA @tante__monica) is a fine example of how the Scandinavians have got it exactly right! 

"The summerhouse has no electricity or water and no road. Usually we arrive by boat," Monica tells me about her family summer house. "But at this time of year we have to walk through the forest since the boat is on land due to winter storms."

So where do they get their water? 

"We retrieve water for washing from a well, and we either get our drinking water from a nearby waterfall or we bring it with us on the boat." 

And the electricity? 

""For cooking we use propane, for light we use old oil lamps and candles and for heating we use the wood burning stoves," Monica explains. "We listen to music on our phones. We love to be there and not have to think about what's on TV. Instead we sit on the veranda and watch the sun go down as the birds fly or swim by and the fish jump from the fjord."

"It's quite romantic, but of course a lot of work," Monica says. "We have no animals, so we have to cut the grass ourselves. We do this once a year in order to allow for the wild flowers and plants to grow and attract a variety of insects. Every year we look forward to seeing if any new species appear." 

"Norwegian flower meadows are now in huge decline and our goal is to make our meadows rich in species again." 


The house is beautiful with a fascinating, if not tragic history. 

"My father grew up in the house. It was built during the war in 1942-43. Sadly the older house which stood there before burnt down. It was a huge tragedy for the family. My father was only nine and had to jump out of the kitchen window and my great grandmother was helped out through the window of her bedroom."

Today, the property, which was built after the fire, has been decorated in a serene, understated way. Vintage and antique pieces pop against a white and grey backdrop, and touches of blue and green mirror the surroundings. 

"I like to use items that have always been here. If we are in need of something new, we tend to buy old furniture and accessories. They are more charming and go a lot better with the house," Monica explains. 


Plates and other items were stored in a wall mounted cabinet with a subtle blue / brown theme and a simple rag rug can be seen on the floor. 

This lovely picture - captured for a feature in Lev Landligs - a Norwegian country life magazine - shows a pair of vintage beds, which had already been painted green when Monica found them. 

What a truly magical place to spend your summers. 

I can almost feel the warmth on my skin and I'd never ever tire of the view, how about you? 

Keen to take a peek inside a few other Norwegian summer residences today? I love: 

Niki



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Simple Christmas Touches in A Norwegian Home By a Snow-Covered Fjord

Simple Christmas Touches in A Norwegian Home By a Snow-Covered Fjord



High up on a hill overlooking the magnificent snow covered Stranda fjord, in Norway, Eldrid, Martin and their children Aron and Naomi's home is all ready for Christmas. Forget ostentatious displays, the family have taken a subtle approach, allowing the magnificent, ever-changing snowy scenery to take centre-stage. And I couldn't imagine it any other way! 

"When it comes to decorating, I like to keep it simple and organic, yet festive. I often use a combination of spruce, pine, and eucalyptus as well as brass ornaments and a hint of burgundy" - Eldrid. 


When you live in Norway, there's never a shortage in Christmas trees to choose from!! And this fine one is a perfect size for the room. I love how it's been simply decorated with a few baubles and decorative pieces. 


Glass decorations (such as this pendant tea light holder*) add a festive touch and yet allow the view to shine through. I can imagine it looks so pretty after sunset too!    

"In wintertime, you mostly find me on my skis on top of a mountain. We moved here because of the good powder skiing and the nature because we love to be active outdoors. I love ski touring and also spend a lot of time at Strandafjellet ski resort with my family" - Eldrid. 

A simple window seat (the Hadley daybed is similar) makes a perfect spot from which to watch the natural world go by (while keeping warm!). 

"I love to see how the snow covers the mountains, and how the fog casts a magical spell over the fjord in winter" - Eldrid


I'm such a big fan of eucalyptus at Christmas time. Did you know that you can also hang a bouquet from your shower head? It smells wonderful when the hot water runs over it. 


What a beautiful place to spend winter! It makes me want to strap some cross-country skis to my feet and head off across the snowy peaks! 

Could you imagine spending the winter holidays here?

Other Norwegian homes to love in wintertime: 

Meanwhile in Sweden today, its St Lucia day - one of the biggest events in the Christmas calendar. A 400 year-old custom, choirs (and children) across the country will be taking part in a pagan Lucia procession. The central character is 'Lucia' who dresses in white with a big red sash and wears a crown of candles in her hair, but children might also to choose to dress as a gingerbread man, Father Christmas as well as other characters. It's a lovely celebration (even if most are taking place over Zoom this year!). 

Wishing you all a great start to the week! 

Niki



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