Create Rustic Scandinavian Style

4 tips to bring a fresh Scandinavian look into your home, no matter the actual age of the house.

The northern location of Sweden results in summers that are drenched in sunlight during the long days. Natural light is an integral part of the culture and homes throughout the region work this into their design using colors and textures that reflect it well. Sara Normann teaches us how to achieve the airy, yet traditional feel of a Swedish home in her the new edition of her book Simply Scandinavian. Even if your house is newer construction, you can still get that time-touched look we all love here at Romantic Homes.


Let The Light In. Get rid of curtains all together if possible. “Not having curtains is important in a culture that adores light. Houses in Sweden tend to be well set apart, which means privacy is maintained.” Natural light instantly adds a sense of openness and vitality to any space. If you need some coverage, choose white curtains in a sheer fabric. This will still allow light to pour in but shield the interior from outside.


Distress Tables. Making a kitchen or coffee table look worn is easier than it seems. Simply paint any wood piece with your favorite shade of white, allow to dry and rub sandpaper on areas that would experience wear naturally. The wood underneath will show through and give the furniture a charming rustic look.


Contrasting Metallics. “Materials like the rough, powder-coated steel of the classic Tolix chairs and stools break up the whiteness of the room and give it depth.” Find Tolix chairs at affordable prices online, where many vendors offer them.

Wide Floorboards. Emulate the locally sourced wood flooring of older Scandinavin homes using wide, pale floorboards. Normann notes that doing this adds a rural feel to the room and makes your home appear much older than it may actually be, giving it a sense of history.

9781849757294 copy

Simply Scandinavian by Sara Normann
Ryland Peters & Small, $29.95;

Celebrate with Lavender Lemonade & Florals

Summer entertaining ideas that are as pretty as a pitcher of ice cold lemonade.

romantic homes lavander lemonade recipe
A silver tray and a crystal pitcher mingle in this table setting with mason jar tumblers and a vintage hand-made yo-yo table tablecloth for a country-chic blend of high and low.

With the temperature rising and gardens coming to life, the summer sunshine beckons us to come outdoors.

Quality time with family and friends moves from the living room to the backyard for barbecues, water balloon fights and all manner of outdoor fun that can only be had in the warmer months.

An icy drink is essential to beat the heat and stay cool while enjoying the weather and what better way to hydrate than a glass of fresh made lemonade?

Here’s a recipe for a lemonade with a pretty floral twist, plus three ideas for decorating with flowers as you prepare to entertain this summer!

Sourced from: The Cookie Rookie




  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp dried lavender
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • Lemon slices and lavender sprigs for garnish
  • Blue or purple food coloring (optional)


  1. Over medium heat, combine two cups of water and sugar, bringing to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Turn off of the heat and stir in agave nectar and lavender.
  2. Allow mixture to steep for 2 hours (less if you want less of a lavender taste). Strain the liquid, pressing the lavender down to make sure you get all of those juices into your mixture!
  3. In a large pitcher, combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, lavender mixture and water.
  4. Feel free to add a couple drops of blue or purple food coloring if you want more color than the lavender provides. Serve over ice.

Now that you’ve made a pretty beverage for your guests, read on to learn how to create an inviting setting to go along with it.

romantic homes lavender lemonade floral napkins

Decorate napkins with twine and flowers

Give your table a rustic look using twine to wrap napkins and small sprigs of fresh flowers.

Twine like this can be found at craft stores while the flowers can be gathered from the wild, your own garden or picked up at the grocery store.

For extra floral flair, create a small bouquet to adorn the back of each chair.

romantic homes lavender lemonade edible flowers

Use edible flowers to garnish sweets

Make your favorite sweet treats or simply grab pre-made baked goodies from your local grocery store.

Most grocers have some selection of edible flowers in stock, but for a wider variety, check health food or speciality stores like Whole Foods, or order from online retailers such as Gourmet Sweet Botanicals.


romantic homes lavender lemonade tablescape centerpiecen sunflower

Tie it all together with a grand sunflower centerpiece

Sunflowers are at their peak in beauty during summer and every table needs an eye-catching centerpiece to anchor the look.

Place your sunflowers in a pretty pitcher to accent the rustic feel created by the napkin holders and flowers.

If it’s just too hot outside, the party can be easily relocated indoors.