Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Nordic Light

Over the years, Tom and I have traveled to Scandinavia numerous times throughout the seasons. We've feasted on hearty autumnal smorgasbords, visited snowy birch forests in winter, and scoured Stockholm's stylish shops in spring. But, there is nothing quite like the ethereal Nordic summers. The long days of endless sunshine are just spectacular. 

We just returned from a buying trip. To celebrate these first days of summer, I'd like to share my photos taken last week in Denmark and Sweden. Remember to click on the photo for an enlarged view.
Happy summer!
Loi
PS - To see more photos of Scandinavia, visit my post here and my Instagram page here.
We made a trip to Fyn, a Danish island admired for its quaint coastal villages, charming harbors, and landscape of rolling hills, open fields, and tidy farmlands. The Baltic Sea is visible in the above photo. Isn't the light incredible?
Perched on the village hilltop in the heart of Horne, this commanding medieval church seems to float despite its bulk. It is at the same time beautiful yet austere. The circular part is original, and the wings were added in the 1400s.
Golden wheat fields shimmering in the early evening light.
These gentle rolling fields of flowering onion chives were intoxicating and beautiful.
Fyn is known for its thatched stucco and timber cottages, barns, and farmhouses. The cottage above had the perfect seaside setting.
Both the farmhouse and garden shed belong to the same estate. I forgot to photograph the magnificent manor house :( 

These big leaf plants have spread all over the island. I'm not sure what they are, but my guess is either Gunnera or Butterbur?? Anyone know? They are also in the second photo at the beginning.
Leaving Fyn, we drove across the Great Belt Bridge - the world's 3rd longest suspension bridge. Slow down the car, Tom, and let me to take this photo! Got it!!
Welcome to Sweden! Since the weather was terrific and, there was still plenty of light, we drove down to the southern coast for dinner after a busy day. Dinner was so-so. But, the view of the Baltic Sea more than made up for my Ikea-like Swedish meatballs.
I adored this cute red fisherman's tackle shed - tons of personality!
Speaking of red, there were fields and fields of wild poppies fluttering in the wind. Even though I've been to Sweden probably 25-30 times, this was my first time seeing them in bloom.
Their delicate petals remind me of crepe tissue paper.
In addition to having amazing summer light, Scandinavia has some of the most beautiful painted furniture - many in light tone-on-tone shades of whites, grays and creams.
Here are just a few pieces we have coming in our new shipment. Above is a Swedish Rococo serving cabinet from the 1760-80s. I love the iron handles on the sides - a popular and useful feature found on antique Scandinavian furniture.
This Rococo table still has its old paint. The faux marble top surface has been refreshed.
And another Rococo table below. This one has a very sculptural top with pronounced curves. The cabriole legs are a classic Rococo feature.
I have been buying and selling Swedish clocks for over 10 years. This one has just the right form with pleasing curves and proportions. All these pieces will be coming in our next shipment - stay tuned!
 

78 comments:

  1. I think I mentioned to you on Instagram, but my husband and I traveled to Norway, Sweden and Denmark last September and thus began what will our lifelong love affair with that region. Thank you for this little treat on an otherwise dull Friday afternoon.

    Your images, especially the photos of the poppies, are spectacular!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I knew it.

    I knew I would be gasping for air, but what I didn't know was that you were going to literally escort us, gently, through poppy and onion fields, in the almost eternal light of a Scandinavian summer. Then you lower the boom with even more surprise and show us your finds.

    I live in Minnesota, one of the chambers of the Scandinavian heart of the US. You can see the influence here in the design of the homes, and the Scandinavian sensibilities ring throughout the Twin Cities. But never have I seen such a keen selection of ANTIQUES as I do chez vous, Loi and Tom! MON DIEU your finds are thrilling!

    That sweet little red fishing hut, those COTTAGES with the thatched roofs! TAKE ME NOW!!!!!!!!

    Thank you for posting and keeping us on the edge of our seats. Wishing you both a relaxing welcome home, and much success in selling; someone is going to snatch up these lovelies tout de suite!! Anita

    ReplyDelete
  3. Spectacular pictures Loi. These are memories of a lifetime! What an idyllic life you seem to have my dear. You and Tom are certainly fortunate to have each other and share such wonderful adventures ! Now a little breather before the shipment comes in? I love to live vicariously through your travels. I'm sure Mocha and Panda miss you terribly when you're gone. Do you board them or have someone come in to take care of them? happy summer to you and I hope to catch up soon.
    XoxoNancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nancy! We have a house sitter that takes care of Panda, Mocha and my topiary plants :)

      Delete
  4. Hi Loi,

    What glorious light, full of clarity, softly shining on such beauty among landscape and structures alike! All your photos are gorgeous, but I am especially entranced with the medieval church, its surroundings and stature! You captured the swans so gracefully in their routine swim and the fields of flowering chives are a mauve delight! Partial to poppies, they are so dainty and sweet trying to stay strong in that cool, challenging wind! All are lovely in the Nordic light!

    xo
    Poppy

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gorgeous photos! Now I have another spot to add to my travel wishlist.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I went to Sweden yesterday...oh wait that was just a trip to Ikea. ;) I adore your photos Loi! Everything is so beautiful! The architecture is amazing! Love the medieval church! So interesting. I am a total sucker for thatched roofs, so I loved those photos too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, Loi, you have outdone yourself. This is an incredibly beautiful post- you are a fabulous photographer. Fyn is like a dream world. I would die happy there. Much thanks to you for sharing your wonderful travels as well as you do- they brighten my world!
    xo
    Mimi

    ReplyDelete
  8. Welcome home! I'm so glad Tom slowed down for you to take the bridge photo...simply beautiful! And I have to say that you have now convinced me through your many wonderful posts and images, that I NEED to make a trip to Scandinavia! The pieces you have coming in the next shipment are gorgeous!

    xo Kat

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful images. Denmark, Sweden and Norway are on my list of places to go in the next few years. Had to smile when I read the comment about Tom slowing down. Can't tell you the number of times I've asked to turn around and go back because he went too fast the first time.

    ReplyDelete
  10. so beautiful! that is one place i dream of going.... my grandmother's parents were from sweden originally, and i always have felt a connection to that side of me, even though i have never been there. one day!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Did you say 'hi' to my friend, Petra? Kidding, she lives in Sweden...somewhere. I would love to go there. Your pictures are breathtaking. I know you will do a post when you get the shipment. I love those posts.

    ReplyDelete
  12. S green with envy! I don't think I was breathing at all while reading the post. Just so much beauty to behold,it took my breath away. Seriously. Stunning photos as usual. X

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a wonderful trip. Perfect weather and views. I have never been to the Scandinavian countries. I would love to visit one day. The country buildings you photographed are so beautiful. For sure your purchases are magnificent. I enjoy seeing your photos on Instagram. Have a great summer weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Loi how wonderful!! I love the fields of flowers, the idyllic setting, the beautiful antiques of course!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena
    Giveaway by NOVICA

    ReplyDelete
  15. What an amazing trip Loi and the weather just beautiful.
    I walked through your post twice taking all the gorgeous scenery and now I'm clicking and going into cinemascope for a closer look.
    The huge leaves are either Butterbur or Darmera perhaps, I love the effect!
    The shimmering wheat fields are magical, that stunning conical roofline of the medieval church and the perfect Fisherman's tackle shed, just wonderful. I have to get myself over to Denmark very soon.
    All this journeying is making me hungry, I'm craving herring and a big hunk of rye bread.
    See you over on Instagram!
    Se dig senere!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Paul! Those plants were everywhere on Fyn. A bit invasive and problematic, I think.

      Delete
  16. Thrilled to see this lovely post today Loi - all of your photos are a treat.
    I agree with Paul that the huge leaves are most likely Butterbur, I do not think that they are Darmera which has finger like edges to the leaves.
    The medieval church looks as if it has come straight out of a fairytale book.
    I am feeling Nordic nostalgia - my eldest son and family leave Norway at the end of next month - next stop for them Paris.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After a bit more research, I do think the plants are Butterbur. BTW, I think Cothay Manor has Butterbur growing near the stream. Thanks!

      Delete
  17. Hi Loi - Such spectacular scenery and your photos captured it so well. I would love to visit Denmark and Sweden some day. Just looking at the photos of wheatfields, poppies, and coastline make me feel more relaxed after a long week at the office! It is hard to choose, but may favorite photo is the swans and they're babies. Beautiful....
    Have a terrific weekend back home,
    xo,
    Deborah

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dear Loi

    The images of the long days and the big skies over Scandinavia are breath-taking. The onion crop had me deceived for a minute, thinking lavender. Your keen eye for antiques and proportions shows the nature of your profession. Continued joy as we enter Summer time

    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Loi how wonderful to live and enjoy your wonderful experiences in life with Tom....and then share them with all of us!
    The Onion chives are spectacular! I agree the poppies do look like crepe tissue paper..amazing!
    Looking forward to seeing all those gorgeous pieces arriving ....it will be like Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your images are beautiful and it looks like you had a successful buying trip...I adore the Swedish clock!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm smiling...my daugther and family are in Sweden now (son-in-law is from Stockholm,) so I see what they are seeing. Thanks! How do you "give up" your newly found treasures...just beautiful. Tack!! franki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tack, Franki :) You are in the DC area right? Stop by and visit us in Bethesda!!

      Delete
  22. You go to so many wonderful places and I have so much fun living vicariously through you! Your finds are to die for!! xo Leslie

    ReplyDelete
  23. Loi, Gorgeous images! You seem to have captured the essence of Sweden. You made some beautiful purchases to add to your lovely shop. Always fun seeing the world through your eyes!
    Happy Saturday,
    Kathysue

    ReplyDelete
  24. I want to go there! Your photos are stunning :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Beautiful, beautiful! Thank you for showing us places that are totally new (to me!) and make me want to go and visit.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Loved your post and the photos!!!! I have not seen photos from this region so it was a wonderful treat. Your eye for sites is perfect and what fun to shop for large pieces!!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. What lovely photos! And your furniture pieces are wonderful - I especially love the Swedish Rococo cabinet with the handles on the sides. What a wonderful feature for moving day! I adore Scandinavian style.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Even more beautiful than before! Your photos continue to get more beautiful each time I visit your blog! Lovely trip. Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. omg, loi. the church in Horne, the wild poppies, and your recent finds for the shop. i'm feelin woo woo woozy with all this nordic light shinin beauty. what a dreamy trip i would love to take one day. so peaceful and inspiring, my friend.

    smiles to you.

    michele

    p.s. i have been making delish swedish meatballs since i was 6 yrs old and swedish pancakes even longer! yum!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could totally see you painting your fabulous landscapes and dreamy seascapes over in Scandinavia!!!

      Delete
  30. Loi! Gorgeous photos as always. You could take a photo at high noon and it would be magnificent. I loved seeing all these photos and had to laugh at that field of chives. We have some taking over my herb bed right now.

    All amazing finds. I want to make a Denmark and Sweden trip some day and have friends in both places but David is not interesting. He is convinced it looks the same as Canada there. Haha. I am sending him a link to these photos. Much better antiques. :)

    Xox Terri.

    Ps. At the airport in Toronto now heading east to visit my mom (and Maine) for 3 weeks!!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Just beautiful, Loi; it looks like the most perfect spot on earth. And that is a stunning clock. xo, Phyllis

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh, Loi, your photos of the Danish and Swedish countryside make me long to go there! I may have mentioned this to you before, but my husband's grandparents came to the US from Denmark. It's a country we'd both like to visit one day, but I hear it's very expensive. I can't wait to show him your gorgeous photos!
    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you ever visit, let me know. I'll share some tips on enjoying Scandinavia for less.

      Delete
  33. Pure loveliness! And I adore swedish clocks! Maybe someday I can own one!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hello Loi, One of the things I like most about visiting Ohio is the long summer days, when it stays light past 9:00, and there is a relaxed summer feeling. In Taiwan, about the same latitude as Miami, Florida, it gets dark around 7:00 during the summer, so I can only imagine how great that very late sunlight must feel.
    --Road to Parnassus

    ReplyDelete
  35. Loi, isn't this all beautiful! The pictures of the countryside and all the gorgeous furniture! The Scandinavian countries are on my 'must visit' list!
    Loi, I am in love with that beautiful painted table!! To die for! And oh yes indeed the clock is stunning too!
    Thank you for sharing this with us! I wished we lived closer, I might think I would visit you daily!!
    xx
    Greet

    ReplyDelete
  36. I too enjoy the long nights of summer, (in Scotland). The downside is of course the short days of winter. Your photos are beautiful, and yes that's gunnera. The allium looked like lilac at first, but I think it's normally too cold for that anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. During a winter visit in Stockholm, we were caught in a blizzard as the sun was setting at 2:30 PM!!

      Delete
  37. Loi you are right, it's all about the light! It fills up the landscape and architecture in a way that makes me feel that I am dreaming. What a perfect journey!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Loi you and Tom are very lucky to have visited such a beautiful place. Love seeing the swans with their babies and those poppies are stunning. Our chives are all in bloom but they look better en masse like that field. Your pictures are breathtaking and those pieces you found are amazing!

    XXX
    Debra~

    ReplyDelete
  39. sweden has been officially added to my "must do" list. enjoy your travels and shopping dear loi
    debra

    ReplyDelete
  40. Dear Loi,

    Your posts of the Scandanavian countryside (and the painted antique furniture) make me want to visit there soon. I'm looking forward to your latest "loot!'

    ReplyDelete
  41. So beautiful! My college roommate was from Sweden and I have known its beauty through her eyes and words. Seeing the landscape through your eyes and lens makes me wish to travel and also brings back fond memories of her(and college)! Thanks Loi for always providing us with beautiful and inspiring photos!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I don't know if the fields or the church took my breath away first! Stunning images, Loi, and he furniture is gorgeous!
    Thank you for sharing this gorgeousness!
    Teresa
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  43. Picture perfect! some of these would be gorgeous paintings! What inspiration, thank you for sharing!
    XO Karolyn

    ReplyDelete
  44. Loi,
    You have shared a little bit of both countries and I thoroughly enjoyed the virtual tour. The fields of onion and poppies are beautiful. Thank you, Tom, for stopping the car for Loi to photograph the swan family! I loved the pieces of furniture you've shared.
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  45. Fantastic photos Loi! I love all the thatched roof cottages and that little red tackle shed is adorable! We are painting the little barnhouse this same shed of red. The swedish clock is my favorite...sigh!!
    I had to go through this post twice to make certain I didn't miss anything. What a great trip this must have been...and I thought I had a busy week last week:)!
    Hugs,
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  46. Beautiful photos. Do you think the difference in light between Denmark and Sweden and Washington, D.C. makes a difference when you decorate with the furniture you bring back? Would you use more or less color at home in accessories or wall color, for example?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great question, Cindy. In terms of light in Scandinavia, they have a more drastic change from winter to summer. Regardless of the amount, I prefer a neutral background. I would definitely accessorize with more and brighter colors, whether in the U.S. or Scandinavia, in a room with intense sunlight.

      Delete
  47. Beautiful photographs Loi! The light is magnificient there. It looks like you have picked up some wonderful pieces for your shop. Welcome home!
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  48. Dear Loi,
    Wow! Thank you for taking the time to shoot those beautiful photographs on what was surely a busy trip! The light really IS remarkable there, isn't?! The pieces you selected were, as always, exquisite... Can't wait to see how they look in your shop....
    Warm regards,
    Erika

    ReplyDelete
  49. I don't know what's prettier, the Scandinavian countryside or the beautiful finds from your trip. I've never been to Scandinavia and your photos make me want to pack my bags and go exploring. The lovely Northern light is a perfect way to celebrate the long days of summer.

    ReplyDelete
  50. You really take great photos, Loi. Particularly loved the cottage by the sea, the chives and poppies, the rocky coast line, and of course the lovely antiques. You will make a convert of me yet. By the by, I think the large-leaved plant might be petasites.
    Wecome back,
    b

    ReplyDelete
  51. 1 - I never knew flowering chive could look so pretty in mass like that.
    2- Love me a thatched roof
    3 - One day I will be able to afford a real Swedish clock. Love the one you found.

    Dawn

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hello,
    que bom viajar assim, trabalhando e conhecendo lindo lugares. Amei esses campo cheio de flores e a casa um paraíso.
    Tenha uma ótima e feliz semana.
    Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hello Loi,
    Thank you for taking the time to visit me. It's always so encouraging when I see a visit from you and a beautiful comment always follows. Your travels always impress and the soul in each photo is breathtaking, you make our travels with you so inviting.
    What next is on your list of inspiration is what so exciting.

    Thank you dearest Loi for completing my post with your grace and beauty.

    Xx
    Doré

    ReplyDelete
  54. Dear Loi...what beauty....thank you so much for sharing these GORGEOUS glimpses of your trip....I would love to visit there someday.
    I spent a few childhood years in St. Petersburg, so that northern light is familiar... :)
    It is so bright and clear....I can almost feel the freshness!
    I love the sweet homes, and how wonderful that you were able to see the poppies in bloom...it's all so stunning.
    And then the fun of receiving your beautiful shipment after your return!
    Enjoy, dear friend....
    Wishing you and Tom a terrific week!
    Many hugs,
    - Irina

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures of Scandinavia, not to mention the gorgeous pieces in your next shipment! Although our paternal grandmother is from Darlena, Sweden, we've never made the trip - definitely on our bucket list!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Oh my god such pretty pictures. thanks so much for making my day. So picturesque and gorgeous. the flowering onion fields are breathtaking. You are so luck to take several visits there --- just may be my next European vacation!!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hello Loi Thank you for taking the time to visit me You really take great photos,The light is magnificient there.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Beautiful pictures Loi......makes me yearn to visit my all my family back in Sweden! You found some stunning pieces for your shipment....I have a particular love of Mora clocks.

    Thank you for visiting me, and do please try Elderflower Cordial if you can!

    Have a lovely day,

    Sophia x

    ReplyDelete
  59. Your photos are always so beautiful, Loi. You really have a nice way of capturing the true beauty in all you see.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I think we are both in need of some cool Nordic air right now....hot and humid in Mpls. as well!! I do hope you will have some cooler temps soon, dear Loi...
    I am enjoying the beautiful images above once again....so very special.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my post, sweet friend....you are always so gracious!
    And those little corners on the photos? hee...they were actually supposed to be see-through, but I like the effect too! I used Picmonkey....you just choose the frames gadget (at the bottom)....and there will be an option for rounded corners....you then check off "transparent"....to my surprise, transparent ended up having those little photo corners! It is such a fun editing site.
    xoxo,
    - Irina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Irina! I'm including the link to your post so that my readers can enjoy your photos (and see these photo corners):

      http://palomasea.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-little-getaway-to-big-marsh.html


      Delete
  61. one more quick question -- what is vest time to go visit there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mid June - August! So beautiful during those months.

      Delete
  62. Loi,

    What a way to start the summer.You really enjoy the hunting, gathering, and sightseeing and it shows. Thanks for sharing with us we really love all that you do.
    You have enough great shots and sharing to put into a coffee table book...a great addition to all designers libraries...love all of it.

    Bette

    ReplyDelete
  63. This is a very useful article and pic for the readers, especially for me thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Loi! What spectacular beauty! I've never been to that part of the world, but you make me think I'd feel right at home That first shot of the wheat field with the trees all in the row? Love it. Speaks to me. Thank you for sharing! Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  65. I'm always enthralled with your gorgeous pictures from all of your trips but these are exceptionally stunning! How did you first start going to Sweden? You make it sound like its just a hop, skip and a jump away and I always thought it would be a difficult trip to make! I think I've been wrong in my thinking! Your purchases are incredible! I loved every piece you showed us and I have a feeling they will not last long in your shop! Thanks so much for letting us see that part of the world through your eyes!

    ReplyDelete
  66. What a lovely post:) you really captured the beauty of my lovely home country.

    If you want to see an amazing Swedish hotel..check out my blog:)

    Have a great week

    LOVE Maria from inredningsvis.se
    (sweden)

    ReplyDelete
  67. How beautifully you've capture the beauty of Scandanavia! Isn't it gorgeous. When I am back in US and happen to miss Sweden I can always revisit this post.
    Mora clocks I happen to have discovered after moving to Sweden. Interestingly I have a kitchen cabinet that is shaped like that and when the movers brought it in, they set it down saying it was the 'clock' :). It was only later that I realised why they had said so.Mind if I ask....Do you shop for furniture further towards Stockholm? The reason I ask is because sitting in Skane I do not come across many stores with Gustavian style. Am I missing something....can do with some direction. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I came back to your blog after you mentioned that you had been to Beaune to see if you had posted any pictures of Beaune. Didn't see any but found all of these other wonderful travel photos. You are such a good photographer! All of your photos are amazing. I love the purple flower field. From afar it looks just like the photos of French lavender fields you see from Provence. Love the poppy fields too! I need to get to Sweden!

    ReplyDelete

Many thanks for your visit and comment. If you have a question, let me know and I will respond here. Loi