A Beach cottage and the Swedish boutique

Tue 23rd, Apr, 2013

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Hello Beach Cottage ladies.

Well, after much pinning (find me here on Pinterest) of lighting, much perusing of lighting in Sydney’s lighting shops and even seeing lovely coastal beachy lights at an interiors shoot I recently photographed I finally settled on the Swedish boutique for the first lot of new lighting for this old coastal cottage.


I’ve rambled on on here before how I am a tad on the fanatical side about not having overhead lights on and prefer the soft light of lamps and more that lovely ritual as the sun goes down and the evening draws in of going around and switching on the lamps.

But when one has bare bulbs in quite a few places and one is supposed to be a home blogger one has to make changes.


Sooooooo, after all this looking I settled on IKEA, because, mostly of budget – I know, I know I sound like a broken record on that subject, but, the one and only lights I did see that I absolutely loved were $2269 each by way of one of Australia’s very nice coastal decor interiors stores.  And the thing is I needed 13 – there is no way by any stretch of the imagination I would be able to convince my lovely husband on this one, though really that wasn’t even an issue because I am averse to that kind of expenditure – I do know via a friend of mine who works in construction that it is more than reasonable for some people to spend upwards of $100,000 on lighting.  That person is not me.


So here we are again then, back to the Swedish boutique, we’ve been here often on this blog and will be back here again when the new kitchen goes in soon…and of course when the investment property is up (more on that soon).

I went to IKEA for a grand total of 13 lights, and as usual with that store, they like to keep you on your toes, ten of them were out of stock, despite what the stock check I did before I left home said.  So I came home with these three.


I also wanted some chairs – I’ve been needing to replace dining chairs for quite a while now and want a mismatched vintagey feel eclectic look – these will go along with the vintage French cafe chairs I found on Ebay after being alerted by a lovely reader, along with a couple of others from another shop which are similar but not white Winking smile and popped with a few vintage ones that have a bit of colour – I am still on the lookout for more of those to add.

Here is one of the chairs from the Swedish boutique with a few of my bits and pieces to see how it fits in around here.


I just bought a couple of these to start off with, wondering how they would feel and look – as usual the design is great – I think I have said before that I don’t go anywhere near IKEA furniture such as wardrobes and drawers anymore after being disappointed just one time too many with the quality and longevity, but, chairs have never let me down and these are great.


…and that my friends is my latest escapade to the Swedish boutique.


If it weren’t for stock levels, really, this little boutique is a good one…and any misgivings you do have are obliterated in one quick move by a plate of one thing in the cafe…hello meatballs.

See you tomorrow


IKEA foto lamp link here to Australian site $39.99

exactly the same lamp link here on the USA site $24.99 (US to AU is exchange is about the same right now)

and here link to the UK site at 18 pounds (about AU$24)

Ingolf chair here (same with this – the chair is $10 more in Aus)

why in Australia we are paying a lot more for the same goods?


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33 Responses to “A Beach cottage and the Swedish boutique”

  1. Stacey Harrimar says:

    I watched a program on tv about why Ikea charges more in Australia than anywhere else in the world. It was pointed out that it couldn’t be because of the shipping costs (most of it is made in China!) The best Ikea Australia could come up with was because Australia has a small population therefore a smaller market they have to charge more or something along those lines….. sounds like a crock of #### to me!! : )

    • Ann Sutherland says:

      This reasoning is why I absolutely gasp in horror at the local prices when visiting Australia. What a load of you-know-what. I just checked this pendant at my local Ikea (San Francisco Bay Area) – $24.99 plus sales tax brings it to just under $25. I note that since online purchasing is up in Australia many retailers have been caught with their undies showing and are dropping prices in order to compete – after years of gouging. They have a long way to go. Note: I don’t mind paying more in Aussie restaurants as I know the staff are paid better there than in the US – hence the 18%+ tip being standard here.

    • sarah says:

      yes it sounds like a story to me as well – I have heard a few different theories as to why they charge more, but none hold up well when you examine x

  2. Melissa says:

    I just bought 2 of these pendant bit in aluminium for our new ikea kitchen!! They are hanging above the island and look great!!!!

  3. Hi sarah….I love those lightshades..

    I have been in Brisbane all weekend visiting 26 yo son and I was planning a trip to Ikea with him to replace his expedit bookcase which was damaged when his place flooded..
    Alas…none in stock at the moment (lucky we rang beforehand)..
    So i love Ikea too, but not when things are out of stock!!

    ps..I have returned home with the flu or something of all things so feeling a tad “down”…BUT mr sooty did multiple 360′s when he smelt me upon my return (smelt cos he is blind!!)…how fab are our doggies??
    x andrea

  4. Kat says:

    Love your choice in lights. Just perfect.
    Also love your chair!
    Cripes $100,000 for lighting?!! Are you serious?
    That is about our budget to extend our house….one day.
    Sadly your new blog layout means I lose the start of words on the page down the left hand side.
    Otherwise it looks great!

    • Emily says:

      Losing the left hand side here too ( on iPad in landscape, it’s a tad better in portrait), otherwise totally digging the new look.

      • sarah says:

        Hi Emily

        thanks for your feedback, it’s actually optimized for tablet/phone so that it is easier to load and read. :-) nothing is being lost – I will be getting a ‘switch off mobile’ version too.


    • sarah says:

      yes I am serious, that is a budget on lights alone for some people x

  5. Neen says:

    Luuurve Luuuuurve Luuuuurve them, funny thing is we are looking to convert our 3 downlights over the kitchen bench into pendant lights to bring the light closer to the bench ( we have 12ft ceilings!!) and these look perfect. We have antique white walls not pure white so me thinks these little boutique lights are what we need. Aaaaaah they are beautiful……..enjoy …..;) Neen
    (Let me know how you go installing them)

    • sarah says:

      Hi Neen, we will be calling in an electrician to fit them so hopefully it won’t be too tricky x

  6. Oooohh these lights are lovely. Very bc!! AND you saved yourself about $99,000?!? Well done!! x

    • sarah says:

      yes I did, I think I need to get some good brownie points from Mr BC for saving us so much money lol x

  7. bec says:

    i’ve actually just bought 3 red ones as seen in the latest house and garden. love em!
    Bec x

    • sarah says:

      oh nice, I didn’t see them in red and I don’t read House & Garden but I like the sound of them x

  8. merilyn says:

    perfect sarah, we have the same taste in many things … great
    isn’t that what we all? want someone to get us!
    anyway here is my mother’s pastry recipe …
    it probably came from her mother who came from Nottinghamshire in 1911
    Betty’s biscuit pastry … (always delicious)
    imperial measurements
    1 lb self raising flour
    1/2 lb butter
    5 ozs sugar
    4 tblsp water
    2 eggs
    mix butter and sugar, add eggs, water then flour
    knead and roll thinly.
    that’s all it says … lol m:) good luck, it was always good!

  9. Kirsty says:

    Gorgeous. I have really been loving the shabby chic French provincial look with just a touch of industrial thrown in!

  10. judy gill says:

    sorry Sarah Im like Kat i have trouble reading your new layout.other than that it is great.do you have much success painting chairs.i have quiet a few old ones and thought i might try painting them white.thanks again for a great blog it is always so interestng.wow i could build a whole new house on what those people spent onlighting how funny is that

  11. Cherrie says:

    Good choice me thinks. I like bright lights so often take the covers off but I think I could just about manage with yours. Just wanted to let you know that I have been indulging in some drippy white painting, possibly with the odd brush mark still showing and remembering that it is not the quality but the amount of white I use and the happiness I get that is important. Thanks for alerting me to that thought. Cherrie

    • sarah says:

      love a real-girl brush mark Cherrie! The happiness and satisfaction if more important than perfection x

  12. Kim Buca says:

    Hey Sarah,
    i have those same lights 2 of them and i have 2 of the alunimum ones the white well i vory like colored ones came from there and the silver i found at a thrift store for 4.99 a piece as son as we remodel this cottages kitchen we will add the lights! working on my coastal bathroom right now hubby and a good friend whos a contractor finally got 1 room going yayy! i was so excited when i moved to this location because ikea is about 20 mins from me could be a bit dangerous that chair is almost exact to the ones at target i want in a pale pale blue and white ones too! they are pretty reasonable here in mich target sells them 2 for 119.00 keep in mind i have never ever pd lots of money for chairs either usually found curbed or thrifted! not too bad i think but then again i never pay full price for anyhting so some of this home stuff remodeling is killing me the money being spent i am so used to thrifting its what i do and love thats why they all in my family named me the thrift store diva lol!

    • sarah says:

      wow you found them for a great price!

      good luck with the bathroom and yes I hear you on buying full price when you are used to thrifting furniture x

  13. Rukmini Roy says:

    And you’d go bonkers if you hear how much we overpay for everything we like. Shipping amounts to thrice the price of the commodity. Sadness!
    But love your lights. And the chair too. I think they are great and looks great in your home too. You are a shopper I’d really like to hang out with :) You’ve an eye for these pretties lady!

  14. Ann Sutherland says:

    Re the quality of Ikea furniture (of which I have a fair amount): I bought 6 Ikea bentwood chairs back in the late 70′s. They have been my main dining chairs since then and I’m just about to re-paint them (in white of course) for the second time. I made tie-on pads for the seats int he 80′s and am making plain white covers now. I wonder if the quality is still the same….

    • sarah says:

      hmm interesting, I am not sure the quality is the same nowadays? though I have always been quite pleased with the chairs x good luck with the painting x

  15. Nadine says:

    I don’t mind the new site Sarah, except for the previous, or older/newer post which I use to catch up on your activities if I don’t visit your page for a few days.

    • sarah says:

      Hi Nadine

      Thanks for your feedback, you can still see that you just need to scroll down and I will have a slider back soon, hth x