You'll be dreaming of a white Christmas when you look round this beautiful Swedish home

Following a top-to-toe renovation this family house is perfect for festive celebrations

three storey swedish home exterior in the snow at the christmas
(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

When the owner fell in love with this old house on the hill, she never imagined how good it would look renovated and fully decked out for the festive season with candles, fairy lights and natural decorations, among the many Christmas ideas.

Built in 1929, the home is in Holmsund, outside Umeå, in northern Sweden. 

Following a tip-off from a colleague who had seen the for sale sign, the owner couldn't stop thinking about the house. It was a bit weather-beaten and had been well-loved and well-used by the people who had come and gone over the years, but she saw its potential as a family home.

three storey swedish home exterior in the snow at the christmas

(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

‘I love period properties and I was drawn to this house with its characterful curved roof,’ she says. 

It had previously been divided into three flats, one on each floor, so there was extra work to do to ensure it worked well as a complete home again. 

There were positives, however, to the tricky three-storey layout: from its vantage point at the top of a hill, there is a sea view from the third floor. 

Top-to-toe renovation

pale blue christmas kitchen with open plan dining area

(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

The owners have been hard at work since they moved in three years ago. They have fitted a new kitchen and new windows throughout the house, and added a smart weatherboarded façade as exterior cladding, painting it a soft grey shade. 

The couple worked their magic on the interiors, updating each room with fresh paint and wallpaper ideas


pale blue kitchen with wall panelling

(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

The new green kitchen is painted in a calming pale grey-green shade.

The owner decided to remove some of the wall cabinets and raise the extractor fan flush with the ceiling as a kitchen layout, which made a big difference. ‘We are very pleased with how it turned out. There's a much more open feeling in here now. It’s lighter and more practical,’ she says. 

Christmas kitchen peninsula with hob, extractor flush with ceiling,

(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

The kitchen was remodelled and new cabinets fitted, with tongue and groove wall panelling as a kitchen splashback idea. The peninsula is painted in the same shade which helps to increase the sense of space in this small kitchen

The wall between the living room and kitchen has been papered with Sandberg’s Linnea in Garden Green design, a perfect choice for kitchen wallpaper.

Open-plan family dining

christmas dining table with flowers and vintage sideboard with candles and ephemera

(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

There is room for family meals and craft projects around the big antique kitchen table in the open-plan kitchen dining area.

Beside the table is a vintage shop counter that came from the owner's grandmother's country store. It retains its original colour and fits in well with the other colour choices in its new home. 

There is plenty of space on it to display a selection of treasures gathered from flea markets or auctions for a country Christmas dining room idea.

Vintage furniture

vintage desk and cupboard in a home office

(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

The house renovation spurred the owner to change her career from a nurse to opening her own interior store. 

For many years she had been managing an online store selling furniture and interior design accessories, but when the family moved, she decided to open her shop in an old brick building nearby. From here she sells beautiful cupboards and cabinets sourced from all over Europe, alongside lamps and pretty accessories.

Running the store has had a positive impact on the house, too. While searching for pieces for her business, the owner has found cupboards and other items of furniture to suit most rooms in the house, including a home office desk idea.

From time to time she rings the changes, slotting in different pieces of furniture here and there, and selling the previous pieces in her shop. ‘That way I can keep the house looking fresh,’ she says. ‘I never get bored with how it looks.’ 

Cosy Christmas living room

christmas living room with decorated tree, vintage dresser and ceiling light wreath

(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

The owner starts putting out her Christmas decorations early, in November. She puts advent stars in the windows, and adds small pine trees, twigs and fairy lights all around.

The decorated tree is the centrepiece of the Christmas living room, where the family spends a lot of their time, with plenty of space on the generous corner sofa.

‘I used to have different themes when I decorated the tree, but now the children decorate it the way they like with what they like,’ she says, a mix of new and vintage decorations.

original white tiled swedish fireplace decorated for christmas

(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

The white-tiled fireplace, or 'kakelugn', one of the home’s beautiful original features, spreads its warmth and creates a nice atmosphere across the lower floor. 

Magical children's bedroom

childrens christmas bedroom with wallpaper, vintage furniture and small tree

(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

The children's room is a magical space, decorated with Oak Tree Tails wallpaper from Ulricehamns Tapetfabrik.

The vintage cupboard in here comes from the owner's shop, while the lamp, hat box and suitcase were all brocante bargains. A small tree and some natural greenery add a festive touch to this room, too.

Christmas dreams

Christmas bedroom with window decoration, wreath and furry bed throw

(Image credit: Malin Gronborg)

On the third floor is the master bedroom, which has a view of the sea. Even here the owner has added Christmas bedroom decorating ideas, including a paper lantern at the window, soft candlelight, and a natural wreath. 

The owner loves to use natural greenery for her festive decorations and it only adds to making this home the perfect place to enjoy a white Christmas.

Words Johanna Lindqvist

Rachel Crow
Senior Content Editor

Rachel Crow is a senior content editor, contributing gardening content for, and is currently the acting editor of Ideal Home’s sister title, Period Living magazine. She was deputy editor of Period Living for 10 years and has written for lifestyle magazines for many years, with a particular focus on historic houses, arts and crafts, and gardening. Rachel started out her journalism career on BBC radio, before moving into lifestyle magazines. Always harbouring a passion for homes and gardens, she jumped at the opportunity to work on The English Home and The English Garden magazines for a number of years, before joining the Period Living team, and more recently the wider Ideal Home team.