How to Rent a Swedish Cottage!

white cottage gotland

On two occasions I’ve rented a small Swedish cottage for some slow travel! I always get lots of questions about these adorable little cottages, so I thought I’d share a few tips in a post! Many Swedes have summer houses or often families have little “stugas” in their backyards. If you aren’t familiar with the Swedish summer house tradition, I recommend this article over on where it talks about the theory of completely slowing down and you need more than two weeks to do that! Swedish summer houses are often simple, some even lack plumbing, while others are super fancy (and huge that you could share with lots of kids and another family?), you can really find what you want if you look. Here are a few tips for finding the perfect Swedish cottage to rent!

1. I really like this site Stugknuten. I’ve found both of my cottages this way. The first time I rented, in the month of August, It was quite pricey, more than I’ve ever paid for rent, though about average for a small apartment in NYC. If you think about that, it’s not a big deal. I did share with a couple of friends so we split the cost. I ended up staying for two more months which were then off-season and the owners offered it to me at less than half the price.The second time around, I paid even less. The owners did tell me though, that’s normally what they would charge for a week in the summer. Still, cheaper than a hotel (It was around $550 for a month!).

2. I absolutely love grocery shopping in Sweden so having a wee little kitchen to cook is just a treat and saves money on eating out.

swedish cottage kitchen

3. Often the cottages come with row boats (many are on lakes or out in the archipelago) or bicycles. When I rented out on the island of Resaro near Stockholm, the owners lent me their bicycle and I rode all around into the closest town where I could take a ferry to Stockholm. On Stugknuten, you can do an advanced search (in English!) to find just what you want.

4. Don’t be afraid to see if you can get a special rate. I am a big fan of traveling in the off-season, and I often, nicely ask if the owner will consider offering a special winter rate. I am almost always met with a yes

5. There are lots of traditional red houses which are darling, many white and sparse, others quite kitschy and 70’s. There are also some gorgeous, super modern houses. On my Pinterest board  you can see some dreamy modern cottages in Gotland.

how to rent a swedish cottage

6. I have to say I just love the cottage life! Since I live alone, I actually don’t enjoy living in big spaces. A one bedroom or studio alwayts feels just right to me but there’s something really special about a one room or one bedroom cottage. It feels like a home but all the space gets used. So cozy! My dream is to build a little swedish cottage someday (maybe in Maine?).

7. While you can find a cheap, last minute cottage quite easily in the fall or winter, booking for summer you need to schedule way in advance. Cottages get booked early, and owners ask a premium price. I’d recommend sharing with a friend if you are budget conscience and starting your search a year in advance.

8. Consider location. Do you want to get away from it all? There are cottages with no electricity on their own islands or if you prefer, or there are cottages near Stockholm where the city is just a bus ride away!

Any tips, my Swedish friends, for finding just the right summer or winter cottage?

More posts about Sweden!

Photos: Chelsea Fuss.

A Gotland Ceramic + Spice Studio!


Wandering in search of dinner, my first evening on Gotland, in the city of Visby, I walked through cobblestone alleyways, past restaurants lit with lanterns, peeking into windows as I strolled! One such window was the studio of Fab Visby. I saw a whitewashed room filled with ceramics, and a studio with a giant inspiration board providing a burst of color on the otherwise minimal, whitewashed scene. I noted a ceramic studio filled with sketches and clay. I came back for a visit the next day and as if the place couldn’t get any better, I discovered a wall of flowered salts! Some weeks later after I was settled, I asked Camilla if I could come by and visit with she and her cousin, owner of Delia’s and take some photos and peek into their studios.

visby ceramics

Join me for a walk through the studio and shop of the Fab Visby girls who’ve set up a gorgeous oasis of pottery, spices and salts, and handcrafted pieces scouted on yearly trips to India. One part salt and spice studio, one part ceramic studio, and one part retail shop!

fab visby

Made from gorgeous Indian fabrics, the clothing fills up one corner of the shop and features one of a kind pieces and handcrafted leather bags.

ceramics visby gotland

Camilla’s ceramics are just what you’d expect from a Swedish ceramicist living on the island of Gotland- the lines are clean and the final product minimally beautiful. I noticed when I first arrived on Gotland, I took photos that had more negative space and cleaner lines. There’s something about this beautiful places that inspires a quiet sparseness!


It’s challenging not to just linger and linger in the shop touching linens, and staring at beautiful baskets, and handmade canvas totes.

ceramic studioceramicscj keramicspices

delias visby

The special spice and salt mixtures include all sorts of concoctions with ingredients like French salt, Indian rose petals, or cornflowers (delicious with meat or fish!). The gorgeous packaging makes an incredible display in the shop!

ceramics gotland 2

salt and ceramics

Keep up with the shop online at the sites below ( I believe they do ship!).

C. Jensen Keramic


Photos by Chelsea Fuss. Taken on the island of Gotland, off the coast of Sweden.

Best of Frolic! 2014

floating flowers

Perhaps a bit tardy, but I always post my years in review and I wanted to do the same for 2014. I’ve been blogging for 8 years now. Whoa! Kinda crazy. I always feel like I never get anything done so it’s nice to look back and see I actually did something this year. It was so great to finally have the re-design launch. Looking forward to some new projects this next year and conversing with and meeting more of you. For now, a look back with gorgeous photos by Lisa Warninger, Leela Cyd, Aran Goyoaga, Linnea Castro and The Bloomist.

Portland, Flowers + Styling

white kitchen

Floating Flowers

Seattle Kitchen Feature

How to Become a Prop Stylist

How to Become a Floral Designer

January Flowers

5 Winter Flower Ideas

All About Valentine’s Day!

New Styling work for : Bambu, Williams-Sonoma, The Kitchn Cookbook, Egg Press

peony love

Peony Love

film stills

Flower Film Stills

how to plant sweet peas

How to Plant Sweet Peas


The new Frolic! launched! 

portland bathroom

Tour my Apartment

leela cyd

Tour my Kitchen


Springtime Mix and Match Story with Polarn. O. Pyret


Flower Students continue to make awesome work

flower arranging party

A Saturday Morning Flower Arranging Party!

Springtime in Dreamy Portland

a spring flower class

A Spring Flower Class in Seattle


france flower garden

For 4 weeks I lived on a self-sustaining farm in France taking care of bunnies, donkies, chickens, sheep, veggies and flowers and even did a little hitchhiking.

Gardens 1 | 2 | 3

Bike Rides in Brittany

More Summer in France Posts

Flower Arrangements in France: 1 | 2| 3| 4 | 5 | 6

flowers france

Eating in France:

Chocolate Beet Cake

Cooking for One: Baked Eggs

cooking for one

Travel Tips


Leaving Portland!

10 Ways to Trim Your Travel Budget for Europe

On Slow Travel

6 Months a Nomad: My Life on the Road

A Guide to Roscoff, France

How I Travel: Tips for Traveling on a Shoestring Budget!

The English Countryside

row boat flowers

Adventures on an English Flower Farm! 1|2|3|4|5|

Summer in the English Countryside

An English Country Flower Extravaganza!

10 Ways to Make Your Cut Flowers Last Longer

Eating in the English Countryside

An English Country Market

An English Country Farm Fair!



A Visit to Leva Kungslador

The Island of Fårö

Tour my Gotland Cottage

Secret Source from Swedish Stylists

Eating in Gotland: Fika!

And not yet published! My adventures on a wee flower patch in Wiltshire making wreaths with two lovely ladies (Sara + Ann) of My Flower Patch who designed the wreath below.

english country wreath

Cheers to 2015!

Photos: Lisa Warninger: 1,2,3,4,6, 11. Chelsea Fuss: 5,7,13,14,15,16,17.  Leela Cyd: 8. Linnea Castro: 9 . Aran Goyoaga: 12 . The Bloomist: 10.

Paper Stories

frolic travel paperspaperyellow

Do you save papers when you travel? I have a horrible habit of picking up papers wherever I go and then hanging on to all of them. Right now they take up about 1/4 of my luggage so I decided to take photos and then toss most of them. I love hanging on to hand-written notes, ticket stubs, exhibition notes, business cards, concert schedules, bus tickets…!

Flower Class!

online flower class

I have new sessions open now of my online flower class over at Nicole’s Classes! The site just got a new re-brand and it looks awesome. Nicole started one of the first online classrooms for design and the format is fun and easy! There are lots of classes to choose from including my own Flower Arranging 101! You supply your flowers and take photos of your arrangements and then I provide you with feedback. There are videos and step by step tutorials to watch. My student’s are always creating super inspiring projects around the world. Check some of them out right here. More info on the class here.



Photo by Chelsea Fuss. Taken in Brittany, France.

Learn Photography In Italy with Leela Cyd

leela cyd

My friend, and sometimes collaborator, Leela Cyd is offering a photo workshop this summer in the Cinque Terra in Italy! She’ll teach you the ins and outs of photography, including the business side of running your own show and how to get work from exciting clients. An artist and an adventurer first, Leela’s photography is fresh, fun, feminine, and super dynamic. At the same time, you’ll discover some hidden gems in this region of Italy with Leela and her friend Bianca, seasoned travelers and Italophiles! See more info here! I highly recommend learning from Leela and just being in her presence will put a smile on your face! Leela is one of those rare souls who has the gift of mingling art and business. If you have the desire to learn the art of being a creative entrepreneur, she’s your gal!


Photos: Leela Cyd.