Kitchen wrap up…

Time to wrap my head around everything in the kitchen.

The house builder Fiskarhedenvillan works with Ballingslöv, a well known kitchen company in Sweden. They have a big variety of styles and my favorite is the Gastro kitchen model. Majority of their products are made in MDF so I wanted to compare it with a custom built kitchen in solid wood as well. I started to look for companies & carpenters close by and BINGO!! I found Åraslöv kök & inredningar, located only one hours drive from our summer place and close to where I was born. A family run business that specializes in kitchen designs. I gave them both my kitchen layout and asked for quotes, good with options.


This summer we visited them both but extra special driving to the smaller family business. The popular phrase, “You had me at Hello” – well Åraslöv had me at their “Carpenter” sign by the street. A lovely drive across Skåne (south of Sweden)!

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Above is their entry door. Who would have guessed what´s behind those doors!? Åraslöv is located in the most beautiful surroundings. I should of course have taken more pictures but we spent all time diving into the details of our kitchen with our sales guy, Kalle (who is great by the way). He gave us the tour and of course everything is made there. Super impressed with their process and high quality!

All material and products are made in massive solid wood! Below an image from the kitchen I fell in love with. A real classic yet with a modern touch. The advantage of choosing a custom built is that you can do any size, shape and form. With Ballingslöv you are still limited to a few standard sizes.


Initially I had my mind set on a white kitchen but going with their light warm yellow toned gray (+ their classic white washed pine on the inside). To that, a white ish´ colored counter top in Silestone. Below images that show similar gray/white color combo…



Can´t wait to prepare our first Christmas meal in this new kitchen of ours! I obviously do not need any Xmas present – this is over the top the best present, wish come true, pinch-me lucky! Below our latest design of the kitchen. Its not fully finalized, I am still tuning on it (which I will continue to do until they tell me I can´t ;)). The image below just doesn´t show the right counter top/color nor our concrete flooring we have.


However, top left you can see the pantry shelves, and opposite that the fridge & freezer. I had this idea of keeping them both “outside” of the kitchen (nothing interesting to see anyways). On the right we are making a built-in cozy bench, perfect for company while preparing dinner or after party – or late after hours! A close by small table that you easily pull out when needed for drinks & snacks is all ya´need. Next to that I placed a tall display cabinet/shelves for the daily plates & glasses. Easy access.


In this pic you dont see the full tall cabinet but instead it shows the open space on this side of the island for 2 old stools or so. Opposite side of the island will be storage.

For counter top, pretty sure I am going with Silestone Lagoon (Blanco orion strong 2nd), since I did not find a light gray matt granite and the gray limestone is more sensitive. Silestone is pricey (especially in Sweden) but super durable and handles stains, tear & wear way better than marble & limestone. Great for the long run & perfect for our family

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Besides the Lagoon counter-top (both pics above), we ordered a custom built box as kitchen fan (spray painted in the same gray color as the cabinets).


We chose an Italian Lofra (90cm wide), slightly fancy for a summer kitchen but my dear hubby has his eyes set on this one, and I wanna keep him happy of course 🙂

I am skipping tiles in the kitchen, prefer to start and keep the walls crispy clean and white. Instead I plan on adding interesting art, details and lighting to the walls.

The when it comes to lighting, I am still debating a few options, for example – wall lamps by GUBI, Artemide or Örsjö…? Imagine them in white, black or aluminium…

I also have this ceiling spot-rail ÖRSJÖ – from our previous summer place. I am thinking it might fit in this house as well, perhaps even in the kitchen?  I will have 2 large vintage pendant” lamps hanging over our eating area so I prefer wall and ceiling lighting in the kitchen.


I realize I started todays blogpost by telling you about our 2 kitchen options; Ballingslöv and Åraslöv. I so assumed that the custom built kitchen in solid wood would be way more expensive and not something our budget could handle, but after some tweaking (not choosing the more expensive drawers with Åraslöv) it turned out to be roughly the same prize, perhaps even slightly cheaper. I was actually more surprised and irritated that a kitchen in MDF could be that expensive. Having to choose between a kitchen in MDF and a custom built in solid wood and the price difference is not big, well – the choice was simple. Also, I am all for supporting a local southern family business! So, Åraslöv kitchen it is! To be continued – keep you posted!

That´s my kitchen wrap for today.


Images from: Pinterest, OlssonGerthel, Whitelivingetc, Myrangecooker, Fjäråskupan, ÅraslövNestorfastighetsmakleri.






Contrasting kitchen island or not…

Things are coming together in our summer house. The builders are really making progress and its painful not to be there in person to follow it all. I rely on friends and family to take pictures as soon as they walk passed our house. Their progress however means that it is certainly time to finalize and order everything in the kitchen (which I still haven´t). Don´t want delays caused by us, so time to get right to it!

Basically, the two things I have left to decide on is, counter top and what the kitchen island should look like.  Both play a big part of the kitchen, in my view.



Below a draft of the kitchen. On the bottom we plan to have our little kitchen bench with comfy cushions and in the background (just off the kitchen) you can spot the pantry on the right side and opposite that the fridge & freezer.


Our downstairs is all an open floor plan. The eating area will be next to the kitchen and we are going for one eating area inside (since we got our other outside space on the porch as well). When designing the kitchen, I felt the need to include an island in the middle, for additional cutting and work space as well as a serving area. I am all for creating contrasts and not making your island identical to the rest of the kitchen cabinets and interior. I like the idea of having an odd or unique piece of furniture that sticks out and creates that contrast.

However, for our eating area, we will have an old farmers table along with 2 very big vintage industrial lamps from Texas hanging in the ceiling, so I am thinking more on having a kitchen island that blends in and lets the dining area get its space and attention it needs. Feel like I need to pick out where the highlights should be…?

Above one image that I have had as inspiration from start, one thing I would change is add a light silestone countertop to mix in a modern touch, if that makes sense..







Now that I know I dont necessarily want the big contrast when it comes to the island, left is deciding if it should be a more traditional closed one or like some of the images below  with open solutions (table´ish style)…I am worried it will be too much given our eating table right next to an island table´(are you with me, table on top of a table? Or?









Hmm….. why can I only have one kitchen ??? :). Wish I could create 2 different islands, and decide later!!! Kitchens are expensive so wanna get it right on the first take!

A little side note, I write this blog to hopefully inspire others thinking about building as well as make sure my friends and family stay up to date with the process – but it has also become a tool for me where I can write it all down, share my thoughts and ideas. Many or most time, like now – it actually helps me narrow it down, reach an answer and come to a decision. So thank you for staying with me, listening, reading and especially for emailing me and giving me your input on things!

Much appreciated!  Promise to give you all the final kitchen decisions next!

Hugs P

Pics borrowed from Pinterest, ElleDecor, DevolsKitchen, Skonahem, Elleinterior.



Looking more like a house

I am back in the US. Sorry for being absent these past weeks but I took a blog-vacation while in Mölle, Sweden. Needed my huge dose of family & friends!

Naturally my feet steered in the direction of the lot each day, and most days multiple times per day. It was exciting to watch it all turn more and more into a house, our house. It was hard to stay away. I am sure the builders were wondering if we would be stopping by this often during the entire building project :). How I wish that would be the case, but from now we rely on our friends in Sweden to keep us up to date and send us pictures.

Today I thought I´d give you that re-cap of all the fun thats been happening.


In my last post I showed you when the foundation and first level was built. Well, that was quickly followed by our builders Sätoftagruppen putting up the scaffolding’s around the house to start with the 2nd floor and roof. And oh boy, the amazing team of 4 guys managed to build it all up in only 12 days. Super impressed!

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We sneaked up the ladder to look at the view, which I am happy to see is stunning! Its that pinch-me feel, I could actually see the ocean, the mountain (Kullaberg) and Grand Hotel on top of that. Lucky, truly lucky lucky!



Once the second floor was done, it was time for the big crane to lift up all the big 11 or so roof trosses. My dear husband watched them connect every single one of them, even went over to the neighbors to get a better view (below) :)).



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Unfortunately the downstairs floor is all stuffed with material so I could really not get good pics from the inside. However, one detail I am extra excited about is the little opening we chose in the hallway. Since we decided to open the upstairs ceiling all the way up to the roof, I thought it would be a fun and hopefully a “wow” detail being able to see all the way up as you walk in! Hope I´m right….

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Bore we left, we got to see them paint the wood panel in the white we chose. Its a white color we have used before and has the features of looking warm even on rainy and gray days. The “Swedish” color code we use is (0601-Y21R).


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Later that day all the doors where put in place and I really liked the darker gray color. I will admit I first decided on black doors but changed my mind in the last minute.

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As we were leaving the guys were up there preparing for the roof tiles. The roof tiles and our black windows are suppose to arrive any day now.  Will admit that I am a bit nervous about the black windows. After all, its not super common yet and I am just hoping it will turn out as nice as I imagine it….

Time will tell.

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Time to finish off with this view from our walk one morning back to wonderful Mölle Village. Can´t believe that in some 4 months & 23 days we will walk here again!

Hugs P






4th of July – a big day for us this year

Just a quick update from the South of Sweden. We are in the midst of summer vacation and of course spending most of it ON the lot!  Its funny how my dear hubby and I keep walking by, walking around even though we know nothing has necessarily happened since the last time we walked by… but for us living far away (and of course loving this project) we want to spend and get to know each stone and corner of our new place.


Since we have chosen concrete floor on the main floor, our builder used a special and finer concrete. I am trying to get a medium grey, natural color and look, so I did not ad any color to the concrete (which is an option of course).  In order to avoid cracks in the concrete floor, here are a few tips I picked up; use thicker steel reinforcement than normal in the foundation, use finer concrete, walk around in the concrete once pored to break up any air bubbles, and dont chose to pore it on real hot sunny days…. (tendency to dry too fast which increases risks for cracks).

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Apparently cracks should appear already after some 30 minutes. So I assume if you dont spot any after the first hour or so, you should be off to a good start!


We have sanded it down 3x times after they first pored it and its really starting to look nice and smooth. Love it so far!

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4th of July turned out to be an extra special day for us this year! Its our first year celebrating it as American Citizens but it is also the day our summer house was scheduled to be delivered! A good sign and a great day in so many ways.

So on schedule and as promised – the big truck from Fiskarhedenvillan came loaded with goodies. Our summer house is inside that truck!!! I realize it may sound silly but its a super exciting day for us and we are over the moon happy to be here for this! It feels a bit like Christmas (just with the most expensive gift ever…haha) …

Building with Fiskarhedenvillan, you build it up bit by bit (not a ready module home). All material, all the lego parts as I call them come cut and ready.  Now, time to unload and next step is to put all those delivered parts together! Hope they know which one goes where….;)



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I feel a bit bad for the neighbors and locals having to see this mess….. hopefully it will clear up within the next 2-3 weeks AND that they will love the finished product of course!

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The delivery has been checked off the list, it all seems to be here and in good condition. Tomorrow the next fun part starts, stay tuned for more….ta ta ta…taaa

My work here is done for the day, time to go down and swim with the kids. Can´t believe it only takes me 80 seconds to walk down to the water. Its a pinch me, unreal happy and lucky feeling.

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I will of course keep you updated on the next 2 building weeks. I also have a ton to tell about the kitchen we chose, as well as show more pics from the fishing village we are building in (which some of you asked for…)

The weather has just been nice so I really wanted to make the most of that and save computer and blog time for the more cloudy and rainy days.. (which I know will come ;)).

Chat soon again! Enjoy your day.
Hugs P



A few kitchen wishes…

I have picked out most parts for the kitchen. The overall plan and layout is pretty set. One last meeting on Monday to decide counter top, which will also lastly decide the color of the kitchen.

Promise to show everything once it is finalized, in the mean time I wanted to share a couple of things that were on my wish list for the kitchen from the start.



FIRST I wanted to show you the 2 pictures above that have been my inspiration from the beginning. Both different in style but that’s just how I like it. Combining, mixing the classic and modern is fun! Now, here are 3 of the things on my looong wish list,

1. Social space
A sitting bench in the kitchen is a must for us. A spot for people to hang, relax and have drinks while others are preparing dinner or dishes. The idea is to have a small table near by that we roll out when needed to place drinks & snacks on. I will have a customized long seating cushion and a ton of pillows to make it extra comfy. Without doubt this becomes a favorite spot in da house. I also imagine my hubby easily taking a power nap between main course and dessert! Having bar stools by the island is another way of staying connected but its not the same, it doesn´t beat the bench filled with cushions. The bench breaks it up and ads warmth to any kitchen.


In our last summer house (image below) due to space we only managed to create a nook, but much appreciated and used.


2. Butlers Pantry
Another detail I am planning on is a separate space for pantry and fridge&freezer. I was looking for a “light” version of the old fashion butlers work space. I want to keep the food separate since most fruits and vegetable prefer to be out of sunlight anyways to last longer. The pantry is also a great place to put bigger or bulkier kitchen appliances, so in the end I am hoping it will help keep the kitchen more clean and clutter free. Our little butler area will be in a small hallway between the kitchen and laundry room, so connected just not right in the middle of the kitchen.



I will admit, my pantries never look like this but it is my goal! I also have the glass jars and baskets to put everything in but somehow things get messy after a week. However, with the system and baskets in place its easier to clean and just put things back in order. I imagine open shelves but surely a more customized space like below makes it all look nicer!



Another detail I want to ad is a tall display cabinet or cupboard (vitrinskåp in Swedish) for the glasses and porcelain we use on a daily basis. I don´t intend to have any upper cabinets besides this one.  I prefer to keep it airy and instead display art, some details and lamps on the walls. Besides, its a summer house so the needs and look will be different. For the longest time I was debating having a unique stand alone cabinet (showing a few of my favorites below) with glass doors, but I am now leaning on having it integrated and in the same as the rest of the kitchen cabinets but with open shelves. I am hoping open shelves will make it feel less formal but still personalized. Glass doors can easily be added if needed further along the road.. I hope I wont regret it…











That was all from my wish list today my friends, promise to be back with more soon. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Hugs P

Images borrowed from:
Artilleriet,  Skonehem, Esny, Everydayenchanting, Devol Kitchens, Kvänum, TineK, Lindebjergdesign, Pinterest. Ikea.




The importance of good foundation

Good foundation goes for everything or at least most things in life but especially when you are building a new house. Getting it right from the start, from the ground creates less trouble along the way and as you go up!

Yesterday I got to watch our builder Sätoftagruppen prepare the foundation and this morning pore the fine concrete. I realise (again) it might not be the most exciting blogpost but it needs to happen before the fun really starts to happen. I am hoping you will follow our journey even days when it might not be tooo inspirational…. through thick n thin, right? Haha …




One reflection, which I remember having made last time we built as well was that it looks very small. I had the same feeling yesterday when I saw the little rectangle “box” they made. I just cannot picture how the floor plan is going to fit. Will I really be able to fit a kitchen, eating and living room here…

We have made our house as big as we can and are allowed so bigger is not an option anyways. Also we needed to place the house within a certain area, which limited us a bit in choosing house model.


Our builder told me they would start with the concrete around 7.30 a.m. and sure thing, when I finally was done with my beauty sleep and got there by 9 they had already come a long way. It was super windy, I am extra glad the concrete landed inside the rectangular box today ;).

Another reflection. Building a house obviously takes time. During that time, there are phases. A lot of activities in the beginning, then followed by a quiet period while waiting for building permit and before you really feel it starts, starts for real! At times its frustrating and you want to push things and time forward but then as you all know – life has a funny way of moving fast anyway ….and WHOOPS… now I am more thinking “will we finish in time”. I realize its all going to happen very fast from now and Christmas.




Next step, we look forward to the big Fiskarhedenvillan truck to deliver all material to start building the frame and house. Can´t wait!

Enjoy your week my friends!
Hugs P

Big kick-off – prepping the grounds

I started this blog so others could follow as we are building our dream summer house in Mölle, Sweden and to hopefully get inspired. A lot of it is sharing my ideas, pictures and inspiration for the house but as you can imagine there are lot of stuff and decisions that are not sexy or inspiring blog material 😉 – but the actual preparation and construction process are important details so bare with me with blogposts like today…


The protocol in Sweden is a meeting with the local City Council, in our case Höganäs county/building above, to go over the project one last time before getting that final OK & GO! I attended the meeting along with our builder Fiskarhedenvillan as well as the Quality/Control Mgr we hired to oversee the project during the entire building process. A good meeting that resulted in a YES – GO – Ok to start attacking that lot of ours for real!

A reminder what our lot looked like before the excavator marched in!

Later that afternoon the county came and put out the yellow poles showing were we can place the houses and at what height/level. The yellow top marks the actual level of our house, as you can see our lot is below street level and we need to fill it up, make it higher.


A few words on lot preparation.  Our lot has been growing wildly for over 50 years so unfortunately a nasty nightmare weed (not sure what its called in English but Kirskål in Swedish ;)) has taken over. We thought it would best to turn the entire lot upside down since they were coming in with their heavy machinery and excavators anyways – and try to get rid of that once and for all.

Preparing the lot usually ends up with additional costs (at least our experience), so for those in the process make sure you ad that to your budget just in case.  This time we were lucky,  our lot turned out to be flat with no surprises (wonderful!). Last time we built in Stockholm (some 10+ years ago) we ended up having to blast/blow a small “mountain” that resulted in 80 trucks driving off with rocks and some (60.000$ // 500.000SEK later – which you can imagine I would have preferred to have spent on interior details and upgrades instead  of “awful/high costs you dont see”… So EXTRA happy this lot turned out flat and with no surprises!

As most of you know we are building a house from Fiskarhedenvillan (you can read earlier post in December why I chose them), they have then allocated Sätoftagruppen to be the ones actually building the house for us. So during my visit to Sweden I wanted to meet them since our house is really in their hands and we are building from a distance. Trust and communication will be key for success (and of course the fact they have long experience of building Fiskarhedenvillan houses and are a stable company) are other key factors. Said & done – we met and we are off to a great start.

Last week I also met with some great landscape architects to get help and ideas with this corner lot of ours.  Obviously, we wont be able to do the entire landscaping at once but I at least wanted to share the “big overall” ideas with the builder so they can help prepare and we can avoid having to bring in heavy machinery back later…

The grey gravel part in the middle of the picture above shows where they are preparing for house and garage to be.  Below you see a big brown pile (which I gather is all the evil nightmare weed he dug up from the front and now working his way to the end of the lot – to then transport that as far far away from our lot as possible! Bye Bye Kirskål!

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Despite being a flat lot, we still have additional lot prep costs – for things like; taking down and driving away all the trees, turning the entire lot upside down and drive away with all the “Kirskål weed”, apply gravel on certain areas to avoid having a big lot of just brown soil. Also but not least asked them to dig and plan pipes for outdoor water and electrical throughout the lot… So, even “just” these small things ad up as well..but rest for sure, it could have been a lot worse :).


To the more FUN part, here is our first landscape sketch. Given we are building a summer house in a fishing village and we are located close to the ocean – we want to create a beach feel around the house. Our goal is to have different “rooms” to create interesting spaces and not just an open lot. Play with grass, high grass, sand, wood deck/pathways in different levels. Include outdoor kitchen, area for growing veggies and herbs, petanque/boule court, a greenhouse/extra house etc etc.. I am super excited about this plan. Its still in working progress and we hope to get into more details these coming weeks. Stay tuned for more landscaping, promise!

Hope you are enjoying your week! Will check back in with you shortly, have some other ideas I need to share with you..

Hugs P

….Pics taken by my dear mother who was just too curious to see how everything was coming along….