Life at home in Sweden

Unexpectedly Småland

“Fresh” is the word that comes to mind at this rural Swedish homestead, with over three hundred years of history. Who says you can’t teach an old house new tricks?

The journey to Anders and Christina’s countryside home takes patience. A turn off the last tarred road takes you on a long, winding meander through the thick forests of Småland in southern Sweden – where, after what feels like a lifetime of driving, a clearing finally opens and the proud, red farmhouse appears. Surrounded by tall trees and low, moss-covered stone walls typical of this part of the world, you get the feeling that this house has stood here for centuries. Only, not quite…

A spacious living and dining room with tall ceilings and exposed beams.

It all started for Anders and Christina when they met 34 years ago. At that point, the farm consisted only of a smaller house from around 1690 that was used as a summer holiday home. Fast forward to 2002, when Anders and Christina were planning their wedding: Christina was on the hunt for a venue that felt authentic and unique, when Anders came with an interesting suggestion.

“I have a friend who collects old timber cabins,” he explains. “And he told me, ‘I know of a big house that will be perfect!’ So we went to see it, dismantled it, moved it here to our property, reassembled it and had our wedding celebration here.” (Side note, they recently celebrated their 20th anniversary!)

The slightly wonky windows – all in different sizes and at different heights - add to the rustic charm.

The building in question was a 250-year-old structure from another farm 60km away, with many of the original details lovingly preserved. Its walls are made of thick planks of hand-sawn wood, and the slightly wonky windows – all in different sizes and at different heights – add to the rustic charm.

After a long stint as the family's "party barn", the house was given a full interior makeover eight years ago, with Anders and Christina doing much of the work themselves. Thanks to Anders’ background in cabinet making and carpentry, and Christina’s work in home furnishing, the inspiring result comes as no surprise.

Collections of treasured objects from many years can be found in every room, layering the house with stories and memories. Cabinets, shelves, walls and tabletops are loaded with books, glassware, ceramics, animal horns, and even some of Anders’ own woodwork. “A beautiful home has nothing to do with design or money,” says Christina. “It’s more about heart and passion: picking things you love so that you can feel that it’s personal and done with care and attention.”

A beautiful home has nothing to do with design or money. It's more about heart and passion." – Christina

Life in the Swedish countryside means enjoying nature right on your doorstep, as well as the abundance of light in spring and summer. The house’s most recent addition, “the red room”, is all about maximizing both. It’s an ideal middle ground between in- and outdoors: furnished in red to connect with the home’s traditional 'Falu red'-painted exterior, while glass walls let the sun’s light and warmth flood in. A comfy daybed in the corner is the perfect spot to stretch out and soak it all up.

No doubt about it: wood is the leading star in Anders and Christina's living room, from the original ceiling beams to the tables and chairs, neatly stacked logs by the fireplace, and hand-carved horses in the display cabinets.

When they’re not in the red room or outside in nature, you’ll most likely find Anders and Christina pottering around in the kitchen, with its large island and additional dining area. “We built the kitchen so that we could fit many people in here,” Anders explains. “Often when we have guests or family over, they’re in the kitchen with us, drinking wine and cooking together. It’s a very cosy space for socializing.” Christina agrees. “It meant a lot to us to create a home where the kitchen is the heart.”

Beyond the kitchen, opportunities to gather with loved ones are plenty – from big festive meals at any of the spacious dining tables, to the chairs pulled up at the fireplace on cosy, quiet evenings for two. It’s that feeling of being welcome and at ease that defines this home, and which Anders and Christina treasure most about living here. “We love that it’s such a simple and easy-going home. It’s okay to come and go as you please, the dogs and cats are around and everything just feels good.”

A compact workspace makes clever use of the first floor’s small landing. Office supplies like cables, files and stationery aren’t always easy on the eyes, so here they’ve been packed away neatly into colour co-ordinated storage boxes or the wall-mounted cabinets.

Look left, right, up or down in any corner of any room and charming, personal details are sure to grab your gaze. But you don’t need to have a countryside address, Christina’s eye for design or even Anders’ carpentry skills to learn a lesson or two from this special home.

First and foremost: go slow! Every object here represents a moment or a memory from this couple’s many years of life together. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the saying goes, and creating a home as personal as this takes a long-term view too.

Anders and Christina don’t pay much attention to trends either. Choosing colours, materials and shapes that they’ve always loved (and always will) makes it easier to layer in new things as time goes by.

A five-minute fika with Anders & Christina

We would describe our home’s style as practical, timeless, and genuine. And of course, Scandinavian.

Our favourite pieces of furniture are the 18th century-inspired IKEA dining tables from some years back. We’ve made so many memories around these tables and have used them for all kinds of activities.

One of our greatest inspirations is Skansen, the open-air museum in Stockholm. You see a lot about restoring old buildings, as well as Swedish culture and traditional building techniques.

The best thing about this house is the abundance of light and the fact that we have done almost everything ourselves. There is so much emotion and so many memories here.

Take a stroll outside