I got a visit. One of Sweden’s largest home and housing magazines Hus&Hem came to my summer house to get a glimpse of my retreat. With their permission I can share the picture of my weekend home – Hasselbacken. The professional pictures are done by Magnus Selander and some crappy ones are by me.
So the story of Hasselbacken. We got it 2012 and it is a classic summer house in Sweden. Very 70s. It’s one hour north of Stockholm in the region of Roslagen. Archipelago country. We took the name Hasselbacken. It literally means Hazel Hill. The house is at the end of a street and we basically only have meadows as neighbours. And lots of hazel trees. So Hazel Hill.
Over the years we have updated and upgraded our house but we have had a clear vision. Hasselbacken is a place for recharge, resting and pretty flowers. I want this to be calming but not boring. I want to do something with my hands and plant a lot of flowers. But it is important to have a balance here – if you get a lot of flowers they need a lot of care. So a lot, but it is important to find that time to just read a book under the cherry tree.
A retreat for two grown ups and a beagle.
The house isn’t super big. I am not a millionaire… Approximately 60 sqm. We have a guest house (the one in black), a green house and a bath house. Yes, a bath house… We have toilet etc at the main house but it is kind of nice to check in at our spa.
When I plan the garden I want the eye to wander. There should always be something colourful and changing. I could not have a monochrome garden.
We actually have a number of areas to sit and chill. Sometimes you want to enjoy the sun, and other times you want to avoid it. No neighbours, just greenery. Just around the edge here, this is where we keep our composte. One of the best things we have.
We got our green house 2017, so this will be our fourth season. It’s funny that one of the first things people say is “oh good, this is perfect for a gintonic”. I am not saying we avoid gintonics but we actually have this as a work area. Here we grow things. Drinks are for other areas.
As for trends and gardening, we see more and more how we have dedicated areas for certain activities. A part for cooking, a part for resting, a section for kids to play. We have a more open planning. People can do whatever they want in any corner of the land.
Edibles. Also a huge trend. It’s grown so much that you are basically expected to have hedges that give you fruits rather than just being pretty. We mainly grow lettuce, cabbage and tomatoes. Not potatoes as every else is doing in Sweden.
You don’t see it so much but I really, really love gardening. I am pretty crap at it but I love it. And I try new projects every year. I am a suburban kid so I have learnt some. Not a lot, but some. For instance one of the things I like to do is to try a new flower every year. I plant tons of it and try to get to know it as much as possible. 2019 was my year of the iris. Before that was akvileja and before that mallow.
This year, 2020, I will actually do a bit of carpenting and construction experiments. Good luck…
Indoors. I have deliberately tried to get this as a resting space.
A pretty large kitchen area. At Hasselbacken we keep our good tabelware and kitchen utensils. This is where we have time to enjoy cooking and eating. The apartment in the city is more busy.
Bath house. Yes, we made a mosaic wall. We took a picture of the trees outside, sent to Mosaic of Sweden and they made a fitted mosaic wall for us.
Trendhunter with beagle. I love Hasselbacken. It is really a retreat. I try to go here as often as I can, which normally means that I go there every weekend I am not travelling. So, yes, a lot this spring… Normally I perhaps go here a weekend or two per month.
And we end this by showing some pictures with behind the scenes. Photographer Magnus, stylist Matilda and reporter Åsa. And grumpy beagle Ellie.
The team from Hus&Hem missed our unchanged room. Basically the whole lot have been redone or updated but we have kept the toilet as a 70s museum.
Beagle needs attention.