Camilla's Dream Home in Dalarna
We absolutely adore this wonderful and cosy old house in the beautiful region of Dalarna in Sweden. Here at Nordique, Camilla Dahlin - the owner of the house, has told us more about her dream home and life on the countryside!
Camilla: I live with my partner Erik and my teenage son Wilmer and our two fluffy cats in a small house in the countryside. I have two jobs, I work for the Swedish Transport Administration as a process manager, and I also work as a wedding photographer - adorafoto.com.
I was born in and spent all my childhood in this small place in the Dalarna countryside called Gustafs. The name comes from an old competition between two small neighbouring villages, where the one that built a church first would get to name the place after King Gustaf of Sweden!
I moved when I finished school and about ten years ago I was looking for a house for me and my son. I looked everywhere and one day I passed this house that is only 500 metres from my parents house. I remember thinking that this house would be so perfect for us. A month later I couldn’t believe it, but it was up for sale!
I went there to look at it and it was so beautiful with three ceramic chimneys, a wood stove in the kitchen, old floors, a beautiful staircase and lots of big windows that allow the light. Outside there was this beautiful front porch that made the house look like a small gingerbread house.
I was totally in love with it even though the kitchen and bathroom was really old and not functional at all. After we moved in, it has been transformed to a very special place that we are proud to call our home.
The house was probably built sometime around 1890 and the owner ran the old village bike shop out in the small barn next to the house. The house is placed in the middle of an very open countryside area in Dalarna, a plateau where the best land for farming is. The river Dalälven runs only a kilometre away from the house and it is surrounded by rolling fields where farmers grow their crops.
It is an absolutely beautiful area and a couple of years ago we built a porch on the back of the house that really lets us enjoy the view from our house in the summer. Fields, old farms and a huge mountain clad with forest. A place where we smell the newly cut grass from the fields and watch animals like rabbits, foxes, badgers , birds of prey, deers and sometimes even elks. We once even saw a wolf. Here we listen to chirps and cuckoos and happy larks and the sounds of swallows that swoosh around our house, all while watching beautiful sunsets and the huge sky turning red and pink and purple and blue.
Dalarna (or Dalecarlia as it is often called abroad) is county placed in the middle of Sweden and is often referred to as the heart of Sweden. It is visited by lots of tourists every year as it is utterly beautiful with farmland, hills, blue mountains and lots of lakes and old red houses.
It is also full of traditions and folklore. The wooden and beautifully painted horse ”the Dalahäst” is from Dalarna and is often used as a typical symbol for Sweden. Around midsummer Dalarna is the place to visit to see traditional midsummer celebrations where the locals put on their traditional folk dresses and dance around the midsummer pole to traditional fiddle music. It doesn’t get more Swedish that that!
The village of Gustafs is mostly known for it´s special spicy sausage made from horse meat…. It´s called Gustafskorv and is traditionally eaten on locally made hard flat bread like Skedvibröd and with a beer. Unusual but it tastes great, I promise!
The house is old and has such a beautiful soul. I don´t want to go against that soul when decorating, but I am also not the kind of person that likes to have only antiques in a house. To me, interior design should also show modern influences and try to express the personalities of the people living there. So we mix, and match and move things around and replace. We have lots of old furniture from my parents’ old farm, but also lots of things from IKEA and modern design.
For me it is important that a home feels cosy and relaxed and light. Lots of blankets and pillows and I want to choose things that I will love for a long time, and don´t have to replace. Some decisions are made quickly, some can take years to complete. And I have a ground rule - things should be comfortable and practical. No hard designer sofas or expensive kitchen utilities that we’ll never use because they are hard to use.
See more of Camilla’s wonderful home at: @greatshotsbynumber10