• Sweden's news in English

Creating a Christmas home, Swedish style

The Local · 8 Dec 2011, 13:42

Published: 08 Dec 2011 13:42 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

It’s December, and every house in Sweden is bustling with activity. There are advent candles to put in the windows, paper star lanterns to go up in prime outlooks and candles to be lit on shelves, tables, mantel pieces and window sills.

It’s time for ‘Julmys’ or ‘Christmas coziness’. And in the true Swedish way, it’s done with style and flair.

Decorating from nature

So, how to create a contemporary Swedish Christmas in your home?

Forget tinsel. Forget frosty the glowing snowman. Forget blue, yellow and pink flashing fairy lights. It’s time to do it the natural way.

Take to the forests and forage for fir cones, acorns, holly, and branches bursting with bright red berries. Arrange wintery sprigs around candles, over picture frames and on the window sills. Put candles in pretty glass jars and scatter in their masses on windowsills, tables, walls and floors and watch the flames leap and twist and create shadows on the walls.

Fell your own tree

All hail the important Christmas tree. If you want to be with the Christmas in-crowd, avoid the local supermarket car park. Treat the acquisition of a tree with the annual fanfare it deserves.

Don your snow shoes, hat and gloves, and with saw in hand, head out into the woods with your family.

The wonkier the tree you find, the more character it will have once you have dragged it home and adorned it with home made decorations. Though don’t forget that felling a tree in the woods requires the permission of the landowner and that there is generally a fee involved.

Remember to raise a glass of glögg or a mug of hot cocoa from a thermos to salute your new home centre-piece - or maybe just to warm your hands.

Appeal to the olfactory senses

Nothing beats the Yule tide smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree. But if you want to go all the way, a Swedish Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Farfar’s lethal homemade glögg.

So get brewing. Add raisins and almonds to your steaming mug and serve with home made ginger biscuits cut into the shapes of hearts, stars and pigs (yes, I know).

Pierce oranges with cloves and hang on a thread from the mantel piece and dot star shape bowls crammed with star anise around the room. And only then will you really start to sense the heady smell of a Swedish Christmas.

The beauty is in the detail

This is all very well and you probably will create a lovely ‘Julmys’ feel if you fulfil some or all of the above.

But if you really want to be at the cutting edge of a Swedish Christmas, you’ll want to add a few textiles and furniture to the mix.

Think reindeer fur on the floor, antlers on the wall, black and white baubles in bowls, grey sheepskin throws over the back of dining chairs, raw wood side tables and candles in pretty silver lanterns.

Some even change the curtains for a more festive feel. Think Swedish log cabin at Christmas if you will.

But I live in a modern apartment?

Story continues below…

All very well if you live in an ancient wood cabin in Lapland surrounded by acres of forest, but if your home is a 1950’s triple glazed apartment in the centre of Malmö this is slightly more of a challenge.

But help is at hand!

Click here for some more shopping tips to get you inspired for your own Swedish Christmas at home, just add glögg and cheer!

Have a cosy Christmas!

Nicola Brantmark

For more daily interior design inspiration, tips and tricks to create a beautiful home visit Niki's blog.You can also follow Niki on Facebook and Pinterest.

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:26 December 9, 2011 by ithinkimtink
Excuse me, but isn't it true that cutting down trees in "the woods" is illegal?

"Inte störa - inte förstöra"... eller hur?
20:56 December 11, 2011 by martinj
sorry but you miss the point. Wherever you drive there are farms and woodlands which invite you to cut down trees in a sustainable area, and of course you pay for the privilege. Great fun for all the family.
Today's headlines
Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available