Monday, December 10, 2012

Swedish-Californian Christmas Style!

Do you ever visit someone's home and get so inspired you want to go home and redo everything? I do!  Last week it happened at my friend Catrin's new home. We met through tennis and she was gracious enough to host our tennis team for a Christmas brunch. I was excited to see what she has done since moving into this beautiful hillside home. 

 Immediately, I was enchanted with her very Scandinavian style and her holiday look. Catrin is from Sweden and has been living here and in the U.K. for several years.  Her home reminded of my Norwegian sister-in-law Line's home and her similar clean and bright decor. 

Love her dining area! Catrin's simple red spread looks elegant and unfussy. Perfect for brunch. If you haven't had yummy saffron buns before, they are a traditional Swedish food eaten on December 13, Santa Lucia Day. If you are lucky enough to have someone bake you homemade ones they are a treat! Catrin's on the center plate below. You don't see them in too many bakeries here. I found a recipe and more details about St Lucia Day here.


One thing I love about Catrin's home is the natural light and abundance of windows. With lovely views of the hills you feel like you are in a grown-up tree house. The dark wood floors, white walls, bare windows and absence of clutter is refreshing. How great are those white painted chairs with a Marimekko print cushions? I like how she uses them with a dark wood table.

This is a home that is family friendly, cozy with a calm feel. There are neutrals and pops of color. Christmas looks great in here. Red and white is more traditional for Christmas in Scandinavia, not so much the red and green as here. 

How is it Europeans always have these wonderful Christmas trees that look just cut from the forest? Catrin's was no exception with it's bushy not triangular shape. Paired with the Scandinavian tradition of less ornaments, her tree looks sweet and not over-done like so many trees here. I wanted to run right home and stash half my ornaments away!

A nod to their homeland on the sofa...

And a scattering of these fellas around...

Candles in the window is another tradition.

Besides her darling Christmas decor, and the whole house, I also was envious of Catrin's home organization. Look at this set-up in her entry. She designed this to hold 80 shoes in the tall cabinet! Each child (she has 3!) has their own cubby and storage space. It makes her home kid friendly yet modern and clean. This was built for her by California Closets. 

This island was the center of her living space. It has wonderfully durable metal counter. The lamp makes the light warm and the sides of this island is equipped with refrigerator drawers! Genius. Which brings me to  another part of her house we all loved, the pantry!

Through the archway behind her kitchen there was previously a washer and dryer. She took that out, added shelves for all her things, cookbooks and wine included. She even glammed it up with a skylight and pendant lights!

The view from her front door...

The path back down to our cars... Just love the Northern California oak covered hills.

Thanks Catrin for allowing me to invade your space! I can't tell you how inspired I was when I left.

I hope you enjoyed it too!



  1. What a fabulous home! I love the Scandanavian styling.... less is definitely more:) Have a great week Kim:)

  2. I was immediately struck by the light airy rooms and the lovely views. A lovely warm family home.

  3. Her house has amazing views and so pristine. It must have been a fun ladies day out.

  4. I love the decor. Such a beautiful home. Love the red and white, too. Our tree has too much on it this year, but the kids did it all. They love it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. The decor is fantastic and I'm a big fan of dark wood floors and lighter walls, as you know! p.s. Thanks so much for your lovely comment a week or so ago, I will be emailing you soon!

  6. Lots to comment on here Kim :) First, the kitchen is gorgeous. My husbands grandfather was born in Sweden so I try to add a bit of this feel in my own home. I like the clean and simple lines. Your friends home is so inviting, warm, and cozy. Thank her for allowing us a grand tour!

    Hope you are enjoying the season.


  7. Thanks for the tour Kim.
    I totally understand how refreshing it is to experience another way of decorating and living.
    I have also felt the lure of a more edited and clutter free environment lately and feel myself drawn to less is more images. I hate to admit it but even the idea of adding more clutter through Christmas decorations gave me a little anxiety this year.
    Thanks for the tour. It is a treat when people allow us a peek inside their homes!!!
    Next time a picture of the two of you PLEASE.
    Merry Christmas Kim!

  8. You are just so right - that red reads as so vibrant and yet unfussy. Totally agree - my Swedish friends always get it so right with quality and simplicity. Her lighting over that gorgeous island is wondrous. What an inspiration.