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?
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!
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.