Experience tranquility by the sea at this idyllic Scandinavian summer house on a private island.
One of my dear friends spends a few weeks each summer at her family’s Scandinavian summer house on an island in Finland. There, in utter tranquility, they and their guests can relax, enjoy crayfish season, indulge in sauna followed by a quick plunge in the sea, go for boat rides and spend time outdoors. She was generous enough to give us a tour of the house and the grounds via her personal pictures. Otherwise, it would be impossible to visit since the house is nearly an hour by boat from the mainland. “People love color in Finland because of the dark months in the winter,” my friend explains. People wear the most amazing and colorful clothing in the summertime for example, Marimekko. Or, they wear white.” Several of the outbuildings, including a small sauna house and a shed are painted a typical vivid red-brown, trimmed in white and perched next to stone levies.
Walking up to the main house, which is set on a rise, it’s clear by the number of windows that natural light is extremely important in this climate. The exterior of the house is a yellow-brown, also typically used on exteriors in the region.
Decking around the house is buttressed by natural “dry” stone walls. In cold climates, walls without mortar holding them together are often built in this manner as they can withstand extreme temperatures. These were built by masons from Estonia.
A natural Moroccan rug and a pair of classic leather armchairs creates a welcoming spot to sit by the windows and read.
The same natural stones used for the exterior walls are fashioned into a magnificent fireplace inside.
This tall, paint-decorated china cabinet adds touches of soft country color to the whitewashed breakfast room, which has rustic country accessories on the walls and hanging from rafters in the two-story space. pillar candles on wrought-iron stands — always a necessity in rural areas — sit on the floor nearby.
Scandinavians always have been fond of exotic Asian chests and mix them with modern art and rustic accessories. White the walls are whitewashed, the breakfast room floor is painted a shiny, pale gray.
An old 3-door pine writing desk provides additional storage in the breakfast room in addition to a parking spot for a ship’s model and a book for guests to write in their experiences on the island.
Sauna is part of a daily bathing ritual in Finland. A broom and natural rush seats sit outside, on a wall near the island’s large sauna house.
A wood-fire heat the sauna to a high temperature which, in turn heats up your body. In the sauna, a scoop and buckets are used to ladle water over your body as you sit.
On the way out of the shower, bathers grab a towel and head for the stairs down to the sea. The felted hats are used to keep wet heads warm in cooler weather.
A ramp leads down to the tranquil bay — a perfect spot for dipping and swimming. The small island in view is uninhabited but covered with wild blueberry bushes and occasional clusters of chanterelle mushrooms.
Red sky at night promises a magnificent day to come — this sensational Scandinavian summer house sunset was actually snapped at 11 p.m!
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