Still steadfastly resisting the unrelenting progress of spring, I am drawn to this gem of a house in Dalarna province in Sweden.
One of the most famous symbols of Sweden, the dalahäst, is originally from Dalarna province. These small painted horse statuettes carved from wood have been around for centuries, they were children’s toys crafted by travelling woodcutters from wood scraps using only knives. The men would stay in these simple log huts in the forest, away from their families, and carving toys by the fire was a way to pass the long dark winter evenings when no felling or transporting could be done. Wood carving used to be a very common skill in rural Scandinavia, and log scraps were made into spoons, bowls, cups or toys.
This house was renovated from such 19th century single-room log house in Tällberg. The owner, a plasterer by trade, knew his way around concrete and stone and with the help of an architect, created an utterly modern house nestled in the snowy forest. I love a design which dares to be extraordinary. This house has its origins in one of the old one bedroom woodcutters cabins, to which more square metres have been added. There is the open plan living room, the raw concrete joining beautifully the darkened, aged logs from the old cabin. And then when you think ‘ooh this is a lovely cosy house’, you enter the concrete hamam complete with moroccan tiles and a view over the snow covered lake Siljan. Blown. Away.