About the changing world all around us

Recently Renny and I took a little drive out to the charming island of Torsö, just outside of Mariestad, Sweden. One thing I enjoy looking at when travelling around our summer home is Swedish houses and cottages. All pictures are taken with our Nikon CoolPix camera, click on them to enlarge.

Farmhouse cottage - notice the mailboxes

Farmhouse cottage - notice the mailboxes

On the island of Torsö just outside of Mariestad lay a number of beautiful cottages surrounded by cultivated landscapes, natural flora, and forest full of wild berries and mushrooms. Here you can rent a boat to explore the beautiful lake Vänern, take the cable ferry over to the island reserve Bromö, or just enjoy the lovely sandy beaches. There are also a number of small cafés where you can have an ice cream and a cup of coffee, or try some of the homemade cakes or pastries.

Swedish Cottage for rent, decorated with a bicycle

Swedish Cottage for rent, decorated with a bicycle

Today I will keep to just the lovely cottages on Torsö because they are just so adorable. My favourite cottage is one I refer to as The Rose Cottage. This cottage is painted in traditional red. The most famous red paint for wooden houses in Sweden is Falu Red Paint. The name Falun Red Paint is registered and protected by law and may only be used for paint containing pigment from the Falun mine There is evidence that the paint was used as early as in the 1500s. Timber houses painted red were symbols of wealth and status.

The Rose house

The Rose house

During the 1700s the red-paint techniques spread from the cities and throughout the countryside, and manor estates were built using the cross-beamed method and painted red. From the manor estates, the fashion spread to wealthy minor estates, farms and clergy residences. During the 1800s the farmers also began painting their their houses and sheds red. National romanticism swept the country and Carl Larsson’s Sundborn estate contributed to the dream of the little red cottage.

House with name sign

House with name sign

Another charming habit is naming the country houses. This is not a street sign but the name of the house or farm. Berget directly translated means hill or mountain, so it may be a description of the area or often it is also a family name

Renny and I have done a bit of synchronised posting this evening. If you would like to see more of the lovely sites from Torsö, for example the old church house, some beaches and countryside then drop on in to RennyBA’s Terella. He’ll be more than happy for the company!

Comments on: "Swedish cottages and gardens on Torsö" (26)

  1. […] – e.g. you might wonder why most of the houses are red – so therefore I recommend all to hop over to Diane’s and experience how this adventure looks through her […]

  2. Oh my, so beautiful!
    The new look blog is too!
    Thanks for sharing your vacation. I really must visit Scandinavia soon….

    DianeCA: Thanks for stopping by and the lovely compliments. My blog is almost as pretty as these cottages now 😉

  3. Love love love the new look and theses cottages. Whoa. Do you realize how blessed you are to see this kinda stuff in every day life? Good grief, Charlie Brown. I’m not jealous…but I am. I’m just say’n. *lovies* and gr8 weekend to you and Renny. *smoochies*

    DianeCA: Thanks! You are welcome to come and visit us, we will be happy to show you around.

  4. Always great to explore beautiful things like this with you my dear and great to share it with the rest of the world too – from both of ours perspectives 😉

    and it is fun blogging together too!! We make a great team.

  5. Ha! I knew this red was made with a naturel product from Sweden: the pigment from the Falun mine. I red it a few months ago but forget.
    this is a beautiful place where you are on summer vacation!
    Have a nice WE Diane!

    DianeCA: And how are you enjoying your vacation! Making eyes at people LOL!! Hope you have a nice weekend too!

  6. Mmm… I’ve seen this picture somewhere! 😉

    Looks lovely. Quiet, green and homey.

    DianeCA: Hehehe one of these houses is in Renny’s post but from a slightly different angle. We can have a guessing game and see who can spot it tee hee hee! It was lovely green and homey, I would just love to have one of those cottages. I have dreams of myself in an apron pruning the roses while the smell of apple pie baking wafts up from the kitchen window…….problem is i think thats my alter ego!!

  7. What fun this is Diane. I love the cottage with the bike! And the mailboxes on the other were great. On my way to visit Renny!

    I’m sure you will find more mailboxes over there with a very creative frame. Don’t think I’ll be doing any sailing with the owner though!!

  8. Hi Diane, I’ve come over from Renny’s. Those cottages are rather delightful, especially the one covered in roses…how beautiful.

    People name their cottages or houses here, too. I’ve seen one called “Dun Roamin'”, sort of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?
    We call our place “The Commune” purely because there are lots of people coming and going!

    DianeCA: We call our summer home ‘Paradise’ for obvious reasons hehehe but we don’t actually have a sight for it.

  9. Those are very charming cottages! And the Rose House is too pretty!
    Falun Red paint is protected by law!? Wow!
    Happy weekend!

    DianeCA: Yeah they are serious about their heritage. You can produce a similar color, but in order for it to be that exact color it has to have come from Falun.

  10. It seems to be a beautiful place, I love these wooden houses !

    DianeCA: Kind of like a fairyland or a picturebook I think. I would also love to come and see the country houses in Belgium one day! Maybe you will have to make a photo tour for us??

  11. I collect Swiss chalet music boxes (I used to love — and have now inherited — the chalet music box that sat atop my grandmothers dresser). At any rate, the farmhouse cottage you’ve captured here reminds me of these. I’ll have to go play it! I’m really enjoying my vicarious travels with you and Renny!

    DianeCA: The cottages are so pretty they almost remind me of toys too. Doll houses perhaps.

  12. That first cottage really catches my eye. I can just imagine gardening and relaxing there. I think the naming of a cottage is so charming.

    DianeCA: My favorite is the one I call the rose house. I just love all those roses growing along the walls. I imagine they have been there forever.

  13. Wow! What a beautiful place that is! The farmhouse cottage looks like something out of a fairytale book or something like that 🙂 I love the Rose house as well. When my grandma was alive, she loved roses and was always gardening. I’m sure she would have loved that see that house 🙂

    DianeCA: I do so agree, all of them have a lovely old fashioned quality about them. I am sure my grandmother would have loved it as well.

  14. The island is so beautiful! I need to try and get a post up on my visit to victoria. Been so busy lately! And will be for another month or two!

    I know how it is when you get in a busy period. I am on vacation and can spend a lot of time blogging right now, but in the fall when school starts I will be busy again. I am looking forward to reading about your visit ti Victoria.

  15. Very interesting post – from Torsö and all the small, red cottages. The old Swedish Dream: Lille röda stugan.
    You are right about the red. It was the pigments used to make the colour red, which was more expensive than for other colors that made people to paint their houses red (even if the house was very tiny) to show wealth.

    Only some days to we meet again. Hurray.
    Hope the weather will be much better than we have here today. Very chilly and rain.

    One learns so much blogging. I actually learned about the paint when looking for background info for the blog. Now I learned something too hehehe. We have ordered better weather, hope the gods deliver! Looking forward to your visit!

  16. Oh my, EVERYTHING just has this sort-of storybook quaintness to them! I love it!

    DianeCA: Thanks for stopping by! That is what I love about this little island as well. It is so idealistic and romantic!!

  17. You and Renny really were in sync on your posts, Diane. I sure can understand why you love this special island!

    Thanks, It is double the fun when we do something like this together. We each have our own take on life but we go on sharing it together and enriching eachothers experiences.

  18. I love those flowers all around the houses and such peaceful surrounding. Truly a beautiful place.

    : Maybe someday we can exchange hehehe! You can borrow our summer paradise and we will borrow yours!

  19. Wow, thre are just flowers everywhere! I love that bike propped against the sign.

    DianeCA: It is just adorable. The people are so creative with their gardening.

  20. Oh, I feel at home right away! I’m very proud over our red cottages! I once wrote something about it too. I think it’s a very nice old tradition and it feels so very Swedish to me that I’m afraid that it’s going to vanish. If it did It wouldn’t feel the same any more!

    Typical Swedish Red

    DianeCA: You just keep on enjoying your vacation. It means a great deal to me to have the approval of a true Swede!! After all I have the honor of complimenting your heritage.

  21. oh i think my favorite is that first one. it is just totally adorable.

    Okay you take that one and I will take the rose house and we will meet for coffee in the middle!

  22. I LOVE the rose house!

    Is that for rent too??? Make a reservation there for me, please…LOL…

    Very nice post and great photos of all those pretty, clean and colorful properties.

    DianeCA: Sorry the Rose house is privately owned, but you know dreaming is FREE!!!

  23. Such a charming, beautiful place!! I wish I was there, but at least I have these lovely photos to look at. 🙂

    DianeCA: Well enjoy the sites, and maybe someday you will come and experience it yourself. I didn’t think I would be here 10 years ago either…you just never know.

  24. Thank you very much for your comment! 🙂

    Ah, I absolutely love Sweden (and, second place, Norway) and i’m always happy to find some beautiful pictures of the houses & landscape like this.

    The houses in the Falun colour are so beautiful, it really is like an other, dreamy reality.
    I kinda seem to have some Swedish blood in me, because everytime I hear things about it my eyes are sparkling 😉

    Going to Sweden is one of my biggest dreams that I seriously NEED to do.
    Not right now, but somewhen in the near future, I hope.

    Have a wonderful day!

  25. I have been enjoying looking through all your recent photos, everything looks so green and lush and the houses so cosy and inviting.

    DianeCA: Thanks! I love to capture the charming Swedish cottages…and the weather has been just right with just enough rain and sunshine to make everything blossom this year. Thanks for stopping by!

  26. Oh my GOODNESS it’s beautiful! I have family I’m told in Sweden, my Grandmother writes to them. I’d love to go visit them (I met them when I was a teenager and was fascinated by my cousins and their pride and happiness with Sweden!).

    That’s it…. I’m moving to Sweden! 😉

    Thank you SO much for the photos. More more! 🙂

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