Tag Archives: Sauna

Mountain cabin in Reineskarvet, Norway

Pretty spring colours are everywhere, so fresh and bright, or alternatively delicately pale pastels, Easter decorations, flowers, summer fashion, blah blah blah. When the rest of Europe is packing away their merino thermals, up north Easter is when the ski season actually gets going.

This cabin is in a fantastic location in Norway near Ål, in Reineskarvet, only a short hop from the ski resorts Hemsedal and Geilo, and another short hop from Finse. The entire plateau is a true Disneyland for cold weather adventurists, and it has played a big part in  many polar expeditions; Scott’s ill-fated South Pole expedition trained in Finse, and many present day adventures have started here (our Greenland trip included). Hardangervidda’s fierce weather provides ideal training conditions for such adventures, with blizzards, extreme cold and high winds a normal occurrence during the winter months.

What better place to build a cabin, I say. The mountain hut is located at 1100 metres with huge panoramic windows giving these incredible views of the mountains and surrounding wilderness. Outside and Inside it is clad with aspen, lovely light pale wood that is soft to touch and has great acoustic properties. A neat 124 square metres houses five bedrooms, a bathroom, a sauna and a huge open plan living space. I’d happily have winter all year long if I could live here.

via Hytteliv, photos by Sveinung Bråthen

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Four Cornered Villa, Virrat, Finland

I want to post my favourite ever house in Finland, it’s the Four Cornered Villa in Virrat, not far from where I grew up. The firm behind this beauty is Avanto architects in Helsinki. A firm that has chosen to call themselves after an ice hole should be just the one to design a lakeside retreat. This is, would you believe it, an off-grid country cabin, what the Finns would classify as a ‘mökki’ or ‘stuga’, because it is used like one and it has all the elements of such weekend/holiday cabin: lakeside sauna, no electricity, and no running water. But it bears no resemblance to the traditional primitive log cabin. I love it. It is shaped like a cross, offering four different views from the four wings, and covered in magnificent glass windows, inviting, luring the outside in even when the temperatures are at a fresh -30C . The house is heated with a couple of wood stoves and relies on good insulation to make it habitable during the winter months. Seen from the lake, the house is completely blended into its surroundings because of the dark paint. Inside, it’s all white wood. It’s heavenly.

And have a look at the sauna. Have you ever seen anything more perfect?

Four Cornered Villa, Virrat, Finland

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Sauna in the Swedish Archipelago

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So here it is, a new blog, where I am curating inspirational spaces from the Nordic countries: interiors, public spaces, outdoors, architecture. I also want to blog about design, good quality industrial design, the style in form and function, the beauty of the everyday.

I was thinking about a suitable first post for my new blog and it was obvious. It had to be a sauna.  For me, coming from Finland, the sauna has almost mythical qualities. This one is in the Stockholm archipelago in Sweden, designed by Widjedal Racki Architectur and it is perfect. I believe that after you have sat inside, being enveloped by the soft heat from the stove, looking through the huge glass windows at the archipelago lit by the blue hues of the midnight sun, you come out as a better person.

Thanks to Cabin Porn for the photos

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