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Chic & Country Magazine Article

As we drive through a tunnel of ancient trees, past weathered barns and a narrow gravel lane, we are taken aback by the fact that this hidden gem is just a short distance from the main road. Nestled in the woods with only a small summer cottage at the end of the lane for company, Linda has created a magical little haven! After years of envisioning a greenhouse at her Swedish woodland cottage while splitting her time between London and Cornwall, Linda finally achieved her dream in a unique way. 

The cottage is ingeniously connected to the old storage barn, maintaining a link to its historical past. At first glance, the structure resembles a quaint chapel with its elegant pointed windows that stretch from floor to ceiling. Upon closer inspection, we notice that Linda initially intended for this space to be a greenhouse, evident in the lower brickwork that harks back to a Victorian style. 

"I've always admired the romantic English greenhouses, but since brick isn't commonly used in Sweden, I wanted to preserve the charm of the old wooden cottage and barns in my garden. By painting the cottage a light grey, matching the main cottage's gables and door linings. I was able to create a seamless connection between the old and the new sections," Linda explains. 

Linda made it a point to construct everything using reclaimed materials she had gathered over time. Doors, windows, bricks and furnishings were sourced from various locations across Sweden and different time periods.

This collection was amassed during road trips, flea market visits, online auctions and through connections with her former suppliers from her interior design businesses in the UK and Sweden. "The only new additions are the structure and the eco-friendly sewage systems. While I hadn't planned on including a shower and WC initially, I decided to incorporate them during the renovation for the main cottage. This way, I could allocate space for a kitchen inside and keep the guesthouse separate. Additionally, having the shower and WC accessible only from the outside ensure that guests attending garden parties don't track dirt through the guesthouse or main cottage," Linda adds.

Measuring a clever 25 square meters to avoid planning approval, the space has been maximised to it's full potential. Linda emphasises the importance of vertical space, noting that when floor space is limited, building upwards is key. The loft, situated above the kitchen and covering half of the cottage, creates an open and airy atmosphere in the rest of the room. The wallpapered ceiling mirrors the swaying treetops outside, fostering a serene environment. 

The little house features different wallpapers, such as Woodland Retreat from Kate Walton Collections for the kitchen, Villa Rosa from Wallquest for the bedroom and the plant room is Artemis Ecru from House of Hackney. The wallpapers were chosen to reflect the flora of the surrounding woodlands. "I wanted to bring the outdoors inside as much as possible. Vases are filled with garden meadow flowers, and both indoor and outdoor plants are thriving here," Linda shares. "In winter, I bring in large potted olive trees, figs, and lemon trees from the garden to protect them from the cold. The large windwos were a must to maintain a connection to nature, even on rainy days."

Linda admits that she designed the space without the aid of architects, relying on her creative vision and a team of open-minded builders. She provided a simple hand-drawn sketch to her carpenter, explaining her inspiration drawn from the architecture of Amsterdam townhouses. The end result showcases that creativity and resourcefulness can yield remarkable results without the need for extravagant budgets or architectural expertise.

The garden boasts an apple tree, and we admire the 1200 square meters of flower meadow that Linda meticulously cultivated over seven years, surrounding her extraordinary summer retreat. Bees and butterflies flit about the meadow, while her friend's horse grazes nearby, waiting for a ride. The tranquility is palpable, with only the melodic chirping of birds and occasional cuckoo breaking the silence. 

Linda reveals her plans to install a stunning green log burner for cosy Christmas holidays, inviting us to return in winter to witness the snow-covered landscape. The thought of such a picturesque setting has us yearning for a holiday escape and Linda's enchanting woodland cottage has even sparked a desire within us for a rural retreat of our own. 

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