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Kitchen of the Week: A Creative Couple’s Swedish Farmhouse Retreat

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Kitchen of the Week: A Creative Couple’s Swedish Farmhouse Retreat

May 21, 2020

The farmhouse was an impulse purchase: Ellen Dixdotter, Jacob Holst, and their two young kids had recently moved from Stockholm to Copenhagen when, on a weekend getaway, they decided to take a look at real estate site Hemnet. “It’s not that we’re financially equipped for spontaneous house buying,” Ellen tells us, “but this old place, even in terrible shape, instantly felt like a friend.” The two happen to love a creative project: Jacob is an interior architect at Green Furniture Concept, and Ellen is the marketing and visual director for Danish fashion line By Malene Birger. They founded several successful Stockholm restaurants and their stylishly casual apartments have made the Nordic design blog rounds.

The couple tackled the renovation largely themselves “with a lot of help from family and friends.” But for the new kitchen, the linchpin of the overhaul, they collaborated with Nordiska Kök (translation: Nordic Chef), Johan Lundkvist’s  Swedish handmade kitchen company that they discovered on Instagram. We ourselves are longtime fans of Nordiska Kök’s clean-lined, old-timey but ageless look and love seeing it in the context of a century-old house. Ellen offered to show us around.

Photography courtesy of Nordiska Kök (@nordiskakok), unless noted.

Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat Jacob and Ellen in their back garden. The farmhouse is in the seaside town of Österlen, in the south of Sweden, just over an hour&#8\2\17;s drive from Copenhagen. Ellen describes the area as &#8\2\20;fields of gold, apple orchards, blue ocean, and amazing restaurants.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: Jacob and Ellen in their back garden. The farmhouse is in the seaside town of Österlen, in the south of Sweden, just over an hour’s drive from Copenhagen. Ellen describes the area as “fields of gold, apple orchards, blue ocean, and amazing restaurants.”

The couple, college sweethearts from Malmö University, spent recent weeks quarantined at the house with their kids—and with friends launched the handmade contemporary rug line Cappelen Dimyr.

Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat In place of a  &#8\2\20;tiny, worn out Ikea kitchen,&#8\2\2\1; Jacob and Ellen transformed five small rooms into their expansive new living quarters: the airy kitchen with newly exposed rafters overlooks a combination living and dining area.
Above: In place of a  “tiny, worn-out Ikea kitchen,” Jacob and Ellen transformed five small rooms into their expansive new living quarters: the airy kitchen with newly exposed rafters overlooks a combination living and dining area.

“We wanted a big, open space with raw surfaces—the wooden floor and massive stone walls in combination with a more delicate kitchen in sober gray-green,” says Ellen. Jacob, the avid cook of the family, envisioned: “An old house in the south of France where beef bourguignon is always on the stove.”

Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat The cabinets are from Nordiska Kök&#8\2\17;s Shaker line painted Natural Colour System 3005 Y\20R, and the counters are solid oak. Nordiska Kök&#8\2\17;s millwork is built to order in a workshop near Gothenburg, Sweden.
Above: The cabinets are from Nordiska Kök’s Shaker line painted Natural Colour System 3005-Y20R, and the counters are solid oak. Nordiska Kök’s millwork is built to order in a workshop near Gothenburg, Sweden.
Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat The sink is a Shaws Original and the faucet came from Sekelskifte (see others like it in \10 Easy Pieces: Traditional Bridge Faucets). The fridge and freezer are concealed in the tall cupboard.
Above: The sink is a Shaws Original and the faucet came from Sekelskifte (see others like it in 10 Easy Pieces: Traditional Bridge Faucets). The fridge and freezer are concealed in the tall cupboard.
Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat The work island came from an antiques market in the Languedoc, in the South of France, in ready to use order. The shiny stainless steel range is a Smeg. Ellen says she bought the peg rail &#8\2\20;many years ago at a Stockholm antiques shop–Jacob thinks I&#8\2\17;m a hoarder but I always find a purpose for my finds.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: The work island came from an antiques market in the Languedoc, in the South of France, in ready to use order. The shiny stainless steel range is a Smeg. Ellen says she bought the peg rail “many years ago at a Stockholm antiques shop–Jacob thinks I’m a hoarder but I always find a purpose for my finds.”
Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat A china cupboard with wavy glass—&#8\2\2\1;a really good remake of antique glass,&#8\2\2\1; says Johan of Nordiska Kök—stands near the drop leaf dining table.
Above: A china cupboard with wavy glass—”a really good remake of antique glass,” says Johan of Nordiska Kök—stands near the drop-leaf dining table.
Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat &#8\2\20;Jacob always wants to be ready to throw a dinner for twenty, so you wouldn’t believe how many plates, forks and knives, and wine glasses we have,&#8\2\2\1; says Ellen, but they keep what&#8\2\17;s on view edited down to a small selection.
Above: “Jacob always wants to be ready to throw a dinner for twenty, so you wouldn’t believe how many plates, forks and knives, and wine glasses we have,” says Ellen, but they keep what’s on view edited down to a small selection.
Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat Van Dyke&#8\2\17;s Restorers offers similar Porcelain \1 \1/4 Inch Knobs with Screw Tops and you can source vintage versions on Etsy.
Above: Van Dyke’s Restorers offers similar Porcelain 1 1/4-Inch Knobs with Screw Tops and you can source vintage versions on Etsy.
Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat The family are now back in Copenhagen and spend weekends at the farm. Here&#8\2\17;s a glimpse from Ellen&#8\2\17;s Instagram feed, @ellendixdotter.
Above: The family are now back in Copenhagen and spend weekends at the farm. Here’s a glimpse from Ellen’s Instagram feed, @ellendixdotter.
Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat The view from the living room. Photograph by Ellen Dixdotter.
Above: The view from the living room. Photograph by Ellen Dixdotter.

Before

Kitchen of the Week A Creative Couples Swedish Farmhouse Retreat A souvenir shot by Jacob (@jacobholst) from when the remodel was in progress.
Above: A souvenir shot by Jacob (@jacobholst) from when the remodel was in progress.

More farm-style kitchens that we love:

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