One year ago we bought our apartment.

It was an unexpected move, and originally we had no intention of buying. But, it was a crazy time, things fell in place, and suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of the real estate game in Uppsala. From the time that we found out that we had to leave our sublet, to the time that we got the keys to our very first place together (as homeowners), there passed only about 3 weeks.  It was a really, really intense time for us. But, we trusted the process, freaked out a bit, and ended up with a home that we love.

And now, here we are, one whole year later. Satisfied homeowners, in love with our little place even more than ever.

So, to celebrate, I thought that I’d round up some photos + memories (’cause that’s what I love to do, you know) of our first year in the Yellow Villa.

Why Yellow Villa? Well, that’s because we did an episode of House Hunter’s International – and they dubbed this apartment that during the program. We loved it so much, we decided to keep it. The apartment + the name. Hehe.

Here are the top 10 things that I love about our home. 

1 // The building

Here’s a pic from our home during this winter. It is a yellow building, hence Yellow Villa, and it houses 6 apartments. All of the apartments have the same floor plan (though some are reversed from ours, I think). It’s one bedroom, one bath, a kitchen + a living room. And we are located about a 10-15 min walk to the center of downtown. So, we are considered to live in the central part of the city. On the edge of it, actually. Our neighborhood is mostly 2-story apartment buildings, so there are no big buildings, and the vibe is super cozy + calm. Amazingly, we were able to stay in our favorite neighborhood in all of Uppsala. We really, really love it here.

2 // The floors

Love at first sight. This is the moment that we walked into our home for the very first time… when it was for sale. We could not get over the amazing floors. Turns out, it seems to be one of the most popular things about our place, according anyone who comes to visit. You’ve gotta see them in real life. We are sooooo lucky.

3 // The hall

The entry way. Simple. But cool. It’s the literal heart of the apartment, with every room going off of it. So, we want it to have a welcoming + friendly vibe.

Hallway view #2:

First door to right: Living Room// Second door to right: Bedroom // Straight ahead: bathroom // Door to left: Kitchen

4 // The gathering space

The living room is our our family place. We balance resting + creating here.  We gather here almost every evening together. To just reconnect + be together + slow down after the day’s events. And, on the weekends, we gather here to create. This is the place where we do things we love, whether it be Netflixing, blogging, podcasting, reading, drinking coffee, coloring, writing, photographing, playing games (mostly Lina), meditating (mostly me). It also serves as our guest room (for when you come to visit!).

5 // The creative space

Lina and I have a freaking amazing desk system. It’s a Swedish brand called “String”, a minimalistic brand created in 1949 to be simple, clean, and functional All the shelves + things are adjustable). it’s held it’s insane popularity all through the years… and we saved money for a little bit and then splurged on some pieces to use as our creative work station in our living room. it’s kick ass awesome, we think. And the space actually inspires us, I dare say.

Of course, not because of the desk system that we bought. But, because of the things we have surrounding us. The books, art, organized systems (thanks to my love!), supplies, technology, candles, photos, and anything else that might touch our souls and ignite our passions. We are truly blessed to have this dedicated space.

6 // The sanctuary

The bedroom is our weekend space. Our sanctuary. We love spend looooong, lazy mornings here. Coffee, computers, books, and most often, a cozy little cat. 

7 // The windows

One of the things that I was so excited about was the window above our bed…. and this amazing bush that blooms just outside. Squeee! I’m also in serious love with our windowsills, and having plants adorning them. It just makes me happy. 

8 // The eating space

The kitchen is, of course, the gathering space. Honestly, it is the room that is least used in our home. Of course, we use it every day, but in keeping it real, we often watch Netflix while we eat. Not always, but many evenings. Still, even if it is the least used space, it is always in use. Meals are cooked here, holidays are celebrated here, fikas with friends are enjoyed around the table, work + creative sessions also take place here. I love the kitchen. The place where celebrations + rituals + important conversations occur.

9 // The Swedish kitchen window

Speaking of rituals, one of my favorite places is by my kitchen window. To stand there and simply watch the world go by, or wake up, or late at night when no one else is around. It’s just calming + beautiful. But, the real magic is in watching nature, seeing her through these amazing trees as they change with the seasons.

You know, years ago, like 6 years, I think. I started taking photos from my kitchen window. I lived in Norrköping, Sweden then. Soon, we lived in Asheville, and I took photos off of my balcony there. Then, we moved to Uppsala, and we have lived in 3 apartments here (crazy real estate).  All of my kitchen window photos have been gathered under one hashtag on Instagram: #swedishkitchenwindow. Go + check out my window views throughout the years!

10 // The backyard

So, we really wanted a place with a balcony. But, that didn’t happen. What we ended up with is actually better (plus, it may be in the plans of the entire building to add balconies soon!). In any case, we ended up with a cozy, lush backyard. With our own apple tree! So, it really couldn’t be any better. The outdoor seasons are just fabulous out here. We’ve had picnics, a few bbqs, and just spent time together on a  blanket or at the picnic table in this little, private magical shared space (though we never, ever see any of our neighbors using the space).

There are so many things that I love about our home. But, what I love most is the process of making it our home. We have made it one year now… through all of the seasons, creating memories and traditions, decorating and redecorating, setting it up to be the place that we want it to be – a cozy, open, funky, simple sanctuary. A place where we find rest + retreat, inspiration + creativity. And  place where others feel welcomed, surrounded by vibes of love + calm.

Here’s wishing you a cozy, warm, inspiring weekend at home or away, dear ones.

xoxo. liz.