Swedish settlers in the Andes, Colombia.



The first main building is now 10 years old and this is were Julias mother lives permanently. Built on the land inherited from Julias grandmother.

Finally I have made it to my friends Daniel&Julia in Villa De Leyva 2149 meters over the sea in the Andes, Colombia. Daniel picked me up at the airport in Bogotá and we drove here in about 3 hours.  Julia who is from Colombia originally has been living in Sweden since she was a teenager and met Daniel 16 year ago and they have lived together in Stockholm raising their daughter Xué. They have made the move to Colombia to oversee the construction of their new home here in the mountains and to kickstart their all new Colombian life.


The balcony is in the guest room upstairs in the first house.

This is Coco, one of the four dogs that share the life of the family and guards the property. Coco really became a good friend of mine.

Daniel (in the picture) is the architect of both this house and the new one you soon will see as well. This  house where Yaya, Julias mother live has a very large open plan living room/kitchen with high ceiling and three bedroom spaces whereof two of them are entresol type and one is a closed space on the bottom floor.

Xué in a playful mode. While they were building their new place they have all stayed in this house. But now the time has come to move into their own home here in the Andes, right next to Grandmother Yaya.

Xué and her friend playing in the living room. The huge open fireplace was used many of the nights I was there. When the sun sets around 7 pm/19.00 it gets really dark. On clear nights the stars seems to be reachable. Remember we are over 2000 m up (!)

Really like this photo I took of the wall and the ceiling. The ceiling pendant lamp is Daniel´s design and constructed out of metal wire and a thick local handmade yarn.

Time for breakfast. Locally handmade tiles were used for the the bottom floor. The stairs are concrete with hardwood borders.

Cooking tacos the mexican way outdoors. The plywood board is to keep the wind out of the cooking place. Julias brother Giovanni is married to Marta who is Mexican and is in charge of dinner today that is held outdoors. The temperature is constantly around 20 degrees celcius. Year round.

Right next to the outdoor table is the stunning natural pool. It functions just about the same way as a normal lake but is manmade (Google natural pools and you will find a lot of answers of how to build one)  It serves both as a water reservoir and as a swimmingpool. I took this photo a morning when the clouds were laid around like cotton but not covering the Andes completely. Makes you feel like you are flying… Stunning!

Here is the front of the new house and off course some banana trees. The grow all over.

As you can see its all glass and overlooks the valley of the village of Villa De Leyva and the Andes off course. We had been washing so thats why there is so much clothes hanging in front of the house. Kind of like that.

This is the view from inside the windows in the studio/livingroom of the house.

You first come into the hallway that leads to a staircase and into the kitchen. All with cement flooring.

A Chemistry vase large from Jimsch on the table designed by Daniel.

D&J decided to ship furniture they love and alread had,  in a container from Sthlm-Cartagena and then a truck took it to their new house. In the end it would probably cost the same as buying new one ones. But then that big thing ‘to do! was out out the way. Starting a whole new life in a new country means making a lot choices.

The black kithencabinet/worktop goes all the way from the kitchen out to the Studio/livingroom. The open fireplace is the main struchture of the building. To the right downstairs in the back you see the on purpose rusted entrance door ajar.

The ceiling in the studio is high and and the feeling created with the moulded cement and glass is one that I really like.

Love the downstairs big bathroom that has an enormous copper shower head and will get a bathtub with a skylight in the near future in the space not visible in this shot in the area from where the light comes.

The staircase next to the bathroom take you to the bedroom quarters. 1 big and two smaller bedrooms and a bathroom is up here. A ladder leads to Julias workspace that is above the two smaller bedrooms. The textile art on the wall is part of Daniels production.

The master bedroom has a smart storage as part of the back wall as well as very cool suede pillows and bedspread from Jimmy Schönning Hem (!)

While I was there (yes those are my feet) the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom was getting ready which doubles as the floor of what will be the terrace of the smaller bedrooms. Which one of them were where I was staying ( was that to complicated ? ) Nah… Love the for me new use of concrete glass as flooring!

The choice to move to South America was taken and now they are trying their best to make everything come into play for them in their new life in Colombia. Julia was born here but grew up in Sweden, so Colombia feel like home but is all new at the same time. Daniel is in love with both Julia and Colombia and seems to be at just the right place.

The Andes that you will see more of if you stay in touch. I am traveling in the Andes in the coming post here on the blog.

It was lovely to take a morning dip here in the natural pool. The view of the amazing Andes is ever-changing. Never the same.

Even the fish love love it here. When Julia&Daniel are done with the house it will be possible to rent as a studio for projects or to enjoy the area. I will surely come back. This is a place to love.

Stay in touch and see the quaint and cute, old village of Villa De Leyva in my coming post.





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