sneak peek: ulrica wihlborg


ulrica wihlborg and her husband craig forrest live with their two sons, axel, 3, and gustav, 1, in los angeles but for five weeks every summer, they escape to ulrica’s homecountry of sweden to this beautiful property in the southern town of esseboda. this peek makes me vow to eat outside as much as i can before the cold weather makes it impossible!  (see the full flickr set here!) {thanks ulrica, craig, axel, gustav, solgerd and lars!} -amy a.

[This house, which is a property with several houses and buildings on it, is named Villa Solgärdet. It’s named after my amazing mom – Solgerd Wihlborg –who created this beautiful place out of her imagination. My mom and my dad, Lars Höglund, own the property together.  When they bought it, the house and its surrounding buildings were in complete ruins. The main house was built in 1886 by a well-to-do farmer and his family, but hadn’t been taken care of since the early 1900s.  The houses and the surrounding barns were beyond teardowns, and the grounds contained about 7,000 pounds of rusted steel and metal farm equipment. Still, the house was located in such a special place – it was sitting on a sunny hill (sol is the world for sun in Swedish) overlooking forests and meadows – that my mom decided to restore it from the ground up and make it into a small “pension” where people could come and experience beauty and nature.  My mom describes it as a place where you “can hear the silence.”]


[image above: My mom also made all the bedding herself, from the sheets to the bedskirts to the pillowcases, as well as the curtains in all the rooms in the house.  It’s heaven sleeping there, because all the sheets are pressed and the pillow cases are ironed by hand – everything is done with so much love!  The white bedspreads you see in a couple of the photos of the rooms are vintage and made by hand.]


[image above: The décor also reflects the era during which the house was built. The majority of the furniture pieces and décor details are from the early 1900s and were picked up at local antique stores and flea markets.]

CLICK HERE for the rest of Ulrica’s sneak peek after the jump!


[While restoring the property, my mom and dad found a lot of interesting tools and original details that they repaired and used as decorations in the house.  The idea was that, even though they basically rebuilt the house from the ground up, they wanted to infuse the home with its original soul. The purpose was to reuse anything that could be reused, both for historical and environmental purposes, but also to “bring back the soul” of the home.  For example, one of the original kitchen chairs was turned into a coat hanger in the hallway, and all the original doors were refurbished and painted.]


[image above: My mom is an amazing carpenter, so a lot of the architectural drawings and carpenter work was done by her with the help of my dad, a former test driver for VOLVO in Phoenix, Arizona, who now works fulltime at the company locally. My dad restores classic cars, and he owns a Dodge from 1931 and a Chevrolet Bel Air from 1951, which is the car above. He’s amazing!]


[image above: The cows are Scottish Highland Cattle. There are three of these cows on the property! They are pretty majestic!]

  1. kandy says:

    and they take guests?! what a enchanting place! the photos are wonderful. tell your parents they’ll need to add a english link to the site to encourage more u.s. travelers!

  2. summerbl4ck says:

    makes me want to summer in sweden! ulrica’s photos were featured on sfgirlbybay today too

  3. Ulrica says:

    Kandy – yes they take guests! It sleeps from 1- 14 people. It’s an amazing place :) So happy you like it and thank you for your beautiful comment! xo, Ulrica.

  4. silvana says:

    The photos are truly incredible. How fortunate to be able to spend your summers in such a magical place. Wow!!

  5. Pat says:

    This place is but a dream!! The chandelier is most unique, and the bedding is beautiful.

  6. victoria says:

    beautiful! and i’m featuring a fashion shoot of ulrica’s today, too. she’s got amazing style. this is so heavenly…i’d love to spend a summer here!

  7. Maria Valdivieso-Pakozdi says:

    This place is from a fairy tale.

  8. michelle says:

    i want to go to there.

  9. LOVE this place. i’ve always wanted a place to ‘summer.’ ahhh…a girl can dream.

  10. ooh.. I wish I can get there and living forever!
    *daydreamer*

  11. Can I visit please? I’m a good houseguest, I swear!

  12. Helena says:

    This place is Heaven on Earth, that´s the truth. Loved all the photos.
    Do you know that ” sol” is exactly the same word in Portuguese and means the same as in Swedish?
    Sol = Sol = Sun !! So cute!

  13. Isabelle says:

    Please post images of their home in Los Angeles too!

  14. Meghan says:

    this place is exquisite. and i love that it’s the female who’s the skilled carpenter!

  15. SWOON! I want to move in there!

  16. Kelly says:

    I love me some Scottish Highland Cattle!

  17. Missy says:

    This cottage takes my breath away! It’s so beautiful!

  18. Beautiful. Really wonderful post. My ever burning desire to travel more and more just got a little hotter.

  19. Melissa Hill says:

    Oh my goodness. I am totally in love with this place. I have a weird fascination with all things Swedish. Maybe someday I will get the chance to visit.

  20. lans says:

    gorgeous photos!

  21. Sonja says:

    Oh, I love it so much I can’t stand it! My mother’s from Norway and I recognize so many wonderful, comforting, Scandinavian things in these photos.

  22. Maren says:

    I just got back from a week in a Swedish country house and this is making me want to return NOW. Love that horizontal wooden paneling, especially.

  23. corinne says:

    well well well no excuses anylonger to go back to Sweden :) we had a fantastic time there already in May ! Your country is beautiful !!

  24. Mirjam says:

    What a magical and inspiring place. And it gets even better with this touching story behind it. Love, love, love!!

  25. max says:

    Magical place, looks exactly like my dream home.

  26. Sandra says:

    It’s a nice place! I love this cows!

  27. Asdgho says:

    I love craft, especially handmade laces. I love all this art that takes so much time and is so underrated. I have a bedspread made by my mother-in-law as a wedding present that I will give to my daughter-in-law and my son, once they get settled into their new home.

  28. Sol Plante says:

    Love it! Magical place…

  29. Twig says:

    Love the spool table on the deck.
    Is that a laminate floor in the bedroom with the red runner? What brand is it? I had to look twice, it was so convincing….

  30. I love everything about it. Thanks for the beautiful tour of this very special property. :)

  31. Virginia says:

    what is the technique of making those bedspreads called? Lace, as Asdgho said?

  32. Lisa says:

    As my daughters often said of a very misunderstood (by them) nursery rhyme – “If witches were horses then bears would fly”. I prefer to “witch” (wish) that I could “fly” to Sweden anytime and have a lovely home for peace and relaxation. I also want to see a moose! You and your family are very fortunate. I will not envy you. I will just continue to “witch”.

  33. Eva says:

    Love it all! Such a homy feel, with all the homemade bedding! Amazing car, too. And I love the cows, we have them here in Rotterdam in a park not far from where we live. They’re just the best :-)

  34. Hester says:

    These pictures make me want to back my suitcase and fly to Sweden again!
    What a great place, what a great parents! You lucky girl!! Thanks for this dream!

  35. Beautiful…. Elegant & warm. Your parents are obviously marvelous people and you are o very lucky to send time in such a unique summer home!

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