Room for more around the table

Our first 2 summers in our vacation home in Mölle, Sweden have been fabulous, the weather has really been showing off. Grateful for that – since it allows us to have most meals outside on the porch.

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As you might remember, we brought most of our furniture with us from the previous summer house. The old church bench for example, may not be the most comfortable seating but it works, and the best part, it fits 10 people. I had an old rug, that I decided to turn into one super long pillow case for the bench. Stuffed it with old cushions, and voila, turned out great and now softer to sit on!

When we have our bigger dinners, we just add another one of our old tables along with some of the more rattan/rotting chairs we got spread out around the house. I like it when its easy to just add on and make room for that wonderful larger crowd.

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However, this is how we stage it when its ‘just us’.  I love this spot, love how simple it is yet cozy. We’ve also got a few discrete heaters up on the porch ceiling, which ad warmth and make it possible to sit out longer at night and also makes the season longer.

However, now with fall, its time to move inside and have the meals inside la casa, so I thought I would share one of the updates we made this summer.

We have been wanting to find a new dining table or top. Current table is just too small, or narrow I should say. We are not really able to set the table, barely fit one plate and a wine glass before you get in to the space of the person sitting opposite you. It fine, after all its just a summer place, but not ideal in the long run since we often got friends and family over for dinner when we are there.

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I peaked at different auctions sites – hoping to find that unique table, but no luck. I  started contemplating maybe getting a more modern table to break it up a little. Long story short, I drove passed this old place that make wooden boats and saw they had a ton of planks piled up and laying around.  I asked if I could buy any… “sure”, they said, -walk around and let us know if you see anything you like, and off I went!

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It did not take long, 3 planks stood out, but of course they were towards the bottom of the pile so they were not able to help me get them out that day. Instead asked me to come back to get them the following week. So, I never actually saw the planks entirely, but I had a ´huntch´they would be good.

We then stored them in our garage for several months –  let them dry out before taking them to the carpenter (http://benjaminholm.se/) who was going to help up make the table top.

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The carpenter, who by the way is just the nicest guy and super talented, was not very excited with the choice of wood. Not ideal for dining table, also not ideal after I showed him my inspiration pictures from Pinterest of what I had in mind. Its poplar wood by the way (poppel in Swedish), which is a little soft and does not have that much texture going on, happening and he was concerned of not being able to create that rough look I was sort of going for. After a few discussions back & forth, we decided to give it a go and hope for the best! Go Poplar!

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The carpenter spent quite a lot of time staining it, but after a few weeks he called us and said its ready for pick up. Yay!

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At first, I will admit I was not totally blown away, and of course I compare it to the old one, from early 1900′ super worn out, with cracks, marks and wine stains, just the perfect look. This is obviously a new table top, where we’ve had to ‘work on it’ to try to make and create similar worn, rough look and feel, so not fare to compare. But its growing on me, for sure. My husband loves it! The size turned out perfect. Not sure if the pictures really show the difference, but its longer and much wider. We can easily sit 12 around this new table and still have plenty of room for extra serving plates and table décor and what not…

I chose to continue with the black steel table legs, prefer the contrast in look and material. Also, since the table it pretty big, I thought it would be nicer to tone it down, keep it light and airy if that makes sense. Plus it ads an industrial touch, which I like.

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Yes, so there it is! Now its time to have all those dinners, get the party started!! Make marks, spill some wine :).

That’s all for today my friends. Be well and thank you for stopping by the blog today!

Hugs P

A Crush on Hermès

I grew up with parents who had a good eye to fashion and in particular the fancy kinda fashion, so I probably knew the big fashion brands by name before I knew my “A, B, Cs”. However I will admit, never felt I had the wallet necessarily for it :)).

Today I thought I’d share the one I have a little extra crush on – Hermès.

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For those of you unfamiliar with Hermès, it is over 180 years old French fashion Empire – actually started in Paris handcrafting horse harnesses for caliches and carriages in 1832.  I believe it was only in early 1920´ish when they introduced their first handbags, maybe you remember the iconic “Kelly Bag”? I would not mind a camel colored Kelly bag! The company then began to produce scarves, silk ties – perfumes and later include fashion as well as furniture and all that other good stuff.  To me Hermes, is a classic brand and style dedicated to perfection with a big ‘P’.

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By the way, in case you happen to pass through Paris and like Hermes – I recommend the Hermès flagship store – its stunning, not necessarily the store I would shop in – I would choose one of their smaller and intimate boutiques – this is like a museum…

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Now, my love story with Hermes started way back with this blanket – with a big ‘H’- a classic that will never ever go out of style. Trust me. Instead of buying all those ‘wear & tear’ blankets all those years – this one my friends, – will stay with you for ever! Its that one proof when quality wins in the end. I know, I realize, its just a blanket!!! There are far more important things to care and long for in this world, but I am just saying I like this blanket ALOT ALOT and have for YEARS and YEARS!

The blanket of course comes in multiple colors, but these 3 have always been my favorites. If I had to pick, the gray is the most neutral (Sooo Swedish!) and one that goes with most mood & seasonal changes. However, I am thinking the black adds more contrast – creates a bigger statement – most likely the one for me & our home.  “Amazon Alexa” -: did you get that?…

I probably saw this blanket for the first time, some +15 years ago, and I realize I am ‘damaged’ but every time I see it – it catches my attention – still after ALL these years. I think its a sign, its time to finally open up the wallet, even though its gonna hurt like crazy 🙂

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Now, if the blankets weren’t enough, -blankets that can take over an entire room – there’s those classic unique orange boxes of theirs we all want to get our hands on – and use as decor. They’ve really turned in to collectives. Ultimately successful branding? I’m first to admit – I save my boxes as well!

What’s probably obvious by now, the color orange, a distinctive sign of Hermès. It’s a unique color, captivating and just so Hermès. It is a warm and joyful color – Love it.

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Hermes is also famous for their scarves, and most of them are just so beautiful. It is almost a shame crumbling them up around your neck. I’d rather expose them – as an art piece and either frame them or turn it into a pillow! Very unique and cool, if you ask me. My recommendation – go online and look for vintage Hermes scarves or really use any favorite scarf you have and frame it or make a pillow out of it!

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Before moving on, I wanted to point out that Hermes actually do have a furniture line as well – and above a few picks of their slim & sophisticated design.

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Ok, now from Furniture to this little detail – I love love the idea of just creating a cool twist & wrist kinda thing with the mini scarf. Simple but yet adds that extra little fun touch. Big crush and something you’ll see me wearing more of this spring/summer. You guys with me?


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Now – ‘Time’ to get serious… Besides that gorgeous blanket I crave for – right up there, is the Hermes iPhone Watch with the camel leather wristband. I saw a colleague of mine wear the watch last week and it got me all excited. I already have a nice watch, or two actually, -can one have too many? Mais non, mais non – What a silly thing to ask? Everyone who knows me, know I don’t use jewelry as much, also when I do, I tend to prefer the sophisticated ‘low key’, but high quality pieces – that only few recognize…. Anyways, I am telling you, this watch is actually growing on me, who would have thought?

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Ok my friends, I got to end it sometime – I could go on & on about Hermes and all their good yummie stuff. I have a ton more inspirational images and products to share from them but realize its time to log off & head to bed – work tomorrow.

Can’t believe I did not even get to all their fantastic bracelets. My dear hubby has been too kind over the years, -he knows I got a soft spot for Hermes. Visit their website for more, here.

Sweet Hermes dreams & thank you for checking in today.

Hugs P

 

Concrete floor – what a great call!

Just back from a fabulous summer in paradise Mölle -(for those wondering where that is, – well, -its a small little fishing village in the south of Sweden). No place like it. I promise. I do not know where to begin to describe how fantastic it has been to spend the summer in this new summer place of ours. Both my hubby and I are fortunate to have roles that allow us to sit and work from anywhere, (don’t think it would work otherwise).

Combining work and vacation in Mölle this summer has worked out just fine! Here a few pics of this little place before I get to today’s topic…

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I should probably do an entire blog post on all the good stuff and beautiful things this place has to offer. I have a ton of pics and “must see” places to share, -promise to devote an entire post on just Mölle.

ANYHOW, -we’ve had the keys to our summer place for only 8 months, and during this time I have only been there 3 times. Not enough (if you ask me) but with every time, I get to know it more and discover all the wonderful things & details. One thing I can say for sure, the moment I put the key in that door and walk in – it feels like home! Its that “pinch-me, love our summer place & I want to be here for ever kind of feel.

One of the many details I love in this house, is our choice to put in concrete floor downstairs. Heated concrete floors I should I add.  It turned out to be a great call and better than expected as well (even our builder said it was the best floor he has done so far ;)).

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I was really set on concrete floors from the beginning but did receive a bit of resistant from different vendors …. (and that due to it most often did not turn out as expected so owners where usually never happy with the final result). Its just not the same as going in to a store and picking/pointing to a specific floor you want- with concrete floor its not the same precision, and there is always a chance it will not turn out JUST as you imagined… so I will admit, I got a bit discouraged and started to look for wood floor.

A few weeks later, I had a conversation with our fantastic builder, Sätofta Gruppen and Lennart who runs it encouraged/convinced me that of course – lets do it! I did my homework, we talked through the process – and Voila, again what a great decision. It turned out better than expected. Its WOW, and everyone comments on it now…

A couple of key items; when we did the actual house concrete foundation, we used a different, slightly finer concrete and many more rebars (armeringsjärn). Once you poor the concrete foundation/floor, it is important that you make sure you push/work and walk on the concrete foundation/ add pressure to try to burst as many “bubbles as possible to avoid cracks. After just one day, we could spot/tell how great it was going to look! Cracks will appear within the first 24h already…

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The benefits are many, – lower cost, more practical and durable! I really don’t have to worry about the kids gang running in & out with shoes or dirty summer feet :). This floor can take it and best of all – the natural light gray color looks so darn beautiful. Love, love, love it!

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I wanted to share some close ups for you to be able to see the final product better. We did not add any color to it, its all “au naturelle”. We polished it 2-3 times and just added a coating that was neutral (no shine) but obviously there is options out there depending on your desired final product and look. One minor crack appeared, but given the large area thats totally fine by me- its expected and nothing no one even notices besides me… :).

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One minor concern I originally had, was that it would appear hard to walk on, stand on – but I have to say that has not even occurred to me. No problemas.

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Just another close up to try to show the details of the floor ….

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Its very durable, easy to maintain and clean. ..And this summer, we really tested it = had a huge welcome party with some 60 people running in & out, spilled a few wine glasses and some other goodies but no remaining stains.  No marks the next day.

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I am sure I have a ton more pictures of our concrete floor, but I hope this was a little inspiring,  motivating for those of you considering, thinking about adding a concrete floor. If you run into discouragement – I say, go for it – just make sure to go over it in details with your builder, explain what you want to achieve, go through pictures of what you like and don’t like. The more homework you do, the better of course…

I am not a concrete expert, but I have done quite a lot of homework around this so happy to answer any questions or concerns that you might have.

Thank you for checking in this fabulous weekend – so honored and happy for all my followers! Will check in with you soon again.

Hugs P

American Porch – 4th of July

We are here. We have unpacked and over the moon happy to be in our little fishing village, Mölle. Best part, Sweden is delivering fantastic weather (which is not always the case)- and looks like the warm weather is here to stay.

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First off, I have to share some pictures from our porch, a porch that we just looove and are happy we chose. We live out here. One concern I had initially was that the porch would make it dark on the inside main floor (but o-boy, I could not have been more wrong).

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We decided to make our American porch as wide and deep as we possibly could given the county restrictions (limited area to build). We have our eating space on one end, and the more lounge part on the other end. It fits both and still feels spacious.

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We had a ton of furniture from our old summer place, and luckily it fits here as well. In the back you spot the church bench along with a table that I just love and found some years back, (would have loved a little longer table – oh well, c’ est la vie). To that we got the classic rattan Ikea chairs that most Swedes’ have in their homes.. they look nicer with time as they turn silver gray.

I am so happy that we decided on the American black barn lights – best of all, super easy and fast process to order from Texas and have shipped to Mölle, Sweden.

Above a more close-up of the church bench, that easily sits 5-7 people…

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I just love how it all turned out on the porch. Our plants are liking their new spots. Glad to be out in the sun after months in my brothers garage a few streets down.

Over in our lounge area, I have my old rattan sets’ that I have “won” on auctions. For those of you that follow me, know I love rattan and in particular in summer homes. Its ain’t a summer place without it…in my world…

Of course today, 4th of July and all – our American flag comes up! Happy 4th everyone! Love having both countries in my life – feels a little like, best of both worlds.

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Enjoy the day a little extra today my friends, and thank you for checking in today. I now need to prep for our little 4th celebration but promise to check back in soon soon.

Hugs P

 

 

Dining inside in Mölle

I know I am way behind when it comes to blogging – a ton of new things I want to share with you and of course most of it taking place in our summer house. I promise to do my best to bring you up to speed.

Checking in today quickly – to share pictures and plans to our dining space in Mölle, Sweden. Its placed in the center of the house –  its the first thing you see as you walk in through the main door or back porch doors. Ideally I want to seat 10 people here and currently we can squeeze in 8, so we need to make space for 2 more…

As we were building, one important piece, was getting up our old General Electric industry lamps from Texas – which have been sitting in our old basement for some +7 years. It was time for them to shine and what better place than here! They are an eye-catcher for sure, glad we took the decision to put them up!

We bought them at KirkAlbert in Seattle and shipped them to Sweden many years ago.

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These lamps are heavy, and required extra ceiling support, but the beauty of building a new house – well, then that is an easy fix. I really love how they turned out,  -they add an American touch as well as that unique and “wow’ contrast to it all. As you can see below, I purposely have not cleaned them…

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To the lamps, I’m using an old table from our previous summar place. Its not perfect in size and format but hey, its a summer house and I believe in trying to use and make the best of what you have. However, want to make minor updates to the table + chairs…

For example the table is obviously super old, +100 years for sure and has started to crack a lot. But the biggest concern, the table top is not big/wide enough and ‘ people keep hitting their poor knees in to the bottom ALL the time – super annoying – so we need to fix more leg and chair space.

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First step, I repainted the bottom to a green/gray color. I felt the white made it feel too much of a farmers table for some reason.

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Here is a good pictures that really show how there is not enough space for your legs… The table top needs to come out further…

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Above you see the big crack that has started to show more and more. Again, I dont think the bottom is that great but I will most likely keep it for now and just change the top? Luckily, I found a wood-saw works business very close to our summer place who offers a ton of different wood to pick & chose from.

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I only needed a few minutes in there to find my new table top! Believe its called Poplar…and voila, I now have 4 big Poplar planks in our garage – waiting to be taken care of. More to come on that in a few weeks when I am there again…but believe we will be able to solve the space issue now!

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While I am at it, I decided to do a little make over on the chairs as well. The very light gray color (they almost look white) is not working for me in this space so painting them in a slightly darker gray than the kitchen,  -but still keeping them within the same color-code family (which includes some tiny drops of yellow).

When I was there a few weeks back, I got started on the chairs, but they still need another final coat of paint. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures last time of how its progressing, but promise to show you next time.

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Let this be our “before” picture for now – and remind me later to show the “after’ pic as well -once I am done with my updates!

That is all for me this morning, will check in later today with some additional updates but now time to enjoy the day and day off with my darling kiddos.

Hugs P

 

McQueen moved in…

I am quickly checking in this morning to share my new Steve McQueen photo I hung up in our dining room. I have been wanting to move some pictures and art around, switch things up a bit in the house…easy fix to make rooms look new and updated.

I thought one of my latest S. McQueen additions would look good in here – all on its own (well, along with the million elephants around him of course…)

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My dear Elephants, I put up some +6 years ago – and even though the wallpaper steals a lot of attention – I still like it + its not something you see every day here in Seattle either. The fact that its elephants makes it a bit childish- it adds a sense of humor, and takes away the very formal’ dining room feel. You can find it here.

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Only a few minutes from our house, there used to be a Bambu farm garden place – and yesterday someone had trimmed down the trees along the street, as always I was quick to grab a couple of left over branches and place in vases around the house.  Adding greens’ is a must for me, it not only adds color but really makes any room come alive.

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In here, we also have my husbands home-made dining table he built some 8-9 years ago. He specifically made it to fit 4 of our wishbone chairs in a row. The table recently got painted in gray, so looking new again. Underneath is the good old’ Ikea rug.

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I will admit, we have been bad at using this room lately. Most of the times, we end up eating by our table in the kitchen. Its closer, more convenient and practical. I really do not like when a room is not being used properly. I want to get away from the formal dining thingy’, so I need to be better at setting the table in here.

A ton of nice natural light comes through the big window. We have an identical window on the opposite side (in our living room) as well which feels extra nice during the darker months of the year and when you are really craving for light! However, I feel in order to make the room more cozy and wanting to spend time in here, it needs something, it needs warmth in some way which could be fabric or for ex adding a warmer material in here somewhere…. I have thought about adding long thin curtains in here to soften it up more. However, I forget to remind myself to look in to that, -does that make sense?

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I believe I have already revealed my love for our Carl Hansen’s “Wishbone chairs” – as they are called. We’ve had them for years and they are still in great shape. The kind of classic chairs that age beautifully.  The cool, slim ceiling lighting I found in Canada as I was reading an interior magazine – Lambert et Fils.

I will show you the other McQueen photo I bought next time.

Have a great rest of the week.
Hugs P

 

 

Loving my kitchen

I know I have said it before, our new summer house turned out way better than I could have imagined – and the kitchen in particular. After having spent weeks there during the Holidays – we really got to test it, does it work to prepare big dinners and have a lot of friends come over? And yes, it MORE than works. Such a luxury, cannot believe it!

Before I show some of the new pictures, for fun – let’s look back at the one’s that actually inspired me from the start as I was planning everything.

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This white kitchen caught my attention early and a big part of it was the bench – which is a “holy’ thing for our family and friends. We use it a ton.  A kitchen can easily turn out too modern, stiff or kitchen like :), adding a bench is super useful and breaks it up, brings it to life, + give’s it a warmer feel and turns it into a room. Also, this kitchen had the right look and feel that I wanted for our summer house but perhaps I was aiming for a tiny bit more modern..as always, finding that perfect balance…

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This grey kitchen was also a big inspo for me – I loved seeing the dark grey after decades and decades of all the white kitchens. This felt new and modern. It had that mix of modern, classic and bistro -which I strive for.

When it came to choosing colors, I did not dare to go this dark grey (I thought long and hard about it but no…) Instead I sort of copied the island with open shelves and got the idea to hide the fridge/freezer and pantry..

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Above the sketch I worked out with Åraslöv Kök.

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Here is one new picture from our kitchen. I just completely and utterly LOVE it! Such a joy to be in here!  It is more spacious than I expected but most importantly – I am so happy we chose custom-built kitchen cabinets in solid wood! What a difference it makes! Looking at it, I feel I manage to give it that classic look but yet with a touch of modern, what do you think?

There are 2 things I am still contemplating – one if I should ad glas cabinet doors to the open shelves to the left. Its a easy fix if I decide to. Also one small ‘miss’  is the big fan to the right came in the same color as the cabinets and I had asked for white to blend in more with the wall …also easy fix to re-spray …. if I decide to.

 

SkärmklippI contemplated regarding kitchen lighting, having cool wall scones. I am not a fan of the traditional ceiling spotlights and since we have 2 very large dominant lamps hanging above our eating area I felt I needed more discrete lighting in the kitchen.  Now seeing it all come together, I am glad we just chose Örsjö rail copper lighting.

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One of Åraslöv kitchen’s signature is this drawer unit. Love it and love the solid wood on the inside.

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I will admit that I do not have great pictures of our counter top but the Silestone Lagoon we chose is really practical, resistent and on top – looks fantastic with the cabinet color and concrete floor. We got ours from Helsingborgs Sten. Its worth upgrading from the Carrera marble if you can…

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Here is our little kitchen bench and it might not look a lot to the world here – but its a must for us. All of us have taken wonderful naps on it already – and everybody uses it to stay connected while things are being prepared in the kitchen – its really the social hang! Now – the only thing I need to add is a small table that I can easily bring out and have here. The kitchen island is open on that side so great place to store that little table when you do not want it out. The great thing is that its very spacious so we can place a table there with no problem… Here are a few suggestions I have found so far, but not convinced yet.

Here is the view from the bench looking out to the rest of the room….

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Having the shelves open like this, makes it easy to grab a glas and my concern is that glas cabinet doors would give it too much of a formal look?….

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Here is a view from the eating area – sorry for the pics qualities but I am not an expert on my daughters new camera  – just yet.

I have to log-ff now – but promise to show you the rest of the kitchen, the stove, fan etc ..next time. I need to get out and get some fresh air now! Take care my friends!

Hugs P

 

 

 

 

As you walk in

The entrance and hallway is the first thing you walk in to. Its that first impression. Like so many others, I wanted to create an inviting and interesting first impression. Thought it would be nice if the focus point was the large windows straight ahead and our so called ‘American stairs – opening in the ceiling to be an eye catcher. Turns out the American lamps are pretty dominant as well….>)

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I am really happy how everything has come together after just one week. Obviously it helps having most furniture – nothing we really ‘need’ (more things I would love to add or switch out with time…).

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One little concern I had building this new summer house was if it would look and feel too new. Would we be able to create a warm and summer feel?  I do think our kitchen, stairs and floor picks made a difference but our more older’ furniture makes all the difference. Mixing those pieces of furniture with all the other new things just creates that good vibe and feel.

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I have mentioned it before but one little detail I am a tiny disappointed at – was that this double doors only had the framing on the outside. On the inside, its all flat – no inner door framing which makes it look more modern in my view and obviously not what I wanted here…oh well, believe I will live!

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Some details you cannot see here is that immediately to the right as you walk-in, there is a smaller hallway for hanging your coats.  Also, we have our downstairs bathroom in there to the right. I am very glad its all off to the side, so we don’t have to see it from the eating and social area. For some reason, original floorplan had the bathroom door/ entrance somewhere where we have now have this table of ours. I did not really get that, and preferred a bit more privacy.  Oh and yes – we also created storage under the stairs.

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I was not sure if this old butchers table was going to fit, afraid it would be too big. My dad bought this on an auction many years ago and claims that when he bought it – it was in terrible condition (meaning not ever been cleaned after all years of being a butchers table….I am not going to spell it out but it apparently needed professional cleaning! Now look at it – perfect for this space and not a trace of buthcer!

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Here is a nice view from upstairs. I like how it opens it all up and connects the 2 floors.
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My dear friends, that is all I have time for today – I need to start prepping our first New Year’s Eve in this new ‘summer’ place of ours.  Happy New Year, thank you for following me during this project and process. We are over the moon happy that everything was done in time and turned out better than expected. It is really ‘pinch-me’ – can’t believe it feeling!

Next time we will talk –  will be in 2018! Yay – A New Year, how exciting!

Hugs P

House key in my hand…

I started this blog exactly one year ago – after we bought that lot jungle of ours and we signed the contract with our house builder, Fiskarhedenvillan.  We were told it would take around one year to complete it all (that is if all permits were handed in and approved in time). So – of course – naturally we decided to aim for Christmas in Mölle 2017.  Turned out to be a great plan!

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Now, here we are – one year has passed and our dream home in Sweden is all done! All according to plan! We are over the moooon happy! Best Christmas present ever!!!!!

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For those of you still have not been to Mölle, I can tell you that most homes are white – so our home fits in just fine.

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We had our inspection the morning after we touched down from Seattle, which passed with only a few minor details to take care of.  Most importantly,  we got the keys and were able to move in!  I was confident and booked the movers to arrive only 2h after inspection. Here we are waiting for them to show up….

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There is so much I love about this house and I promise to tell you all about it – and more, but I have just been busy unpacking, working at the same time and on top of that trying to enjoy it and be with family. So just not enough time to blogg as well… but bare with me, promise to show it all as soon as I get back to more “normal….

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We have moved so many times, that we have become quite the experts in getting things up and running pretty fast. Obviously, I had already planned where most things where going – which made it easier.  Another good thing – is that we have a big garage where we can store the things I am uncertain of and or don’t think will fit in the new house. After all, I am being pretty picky and only want the nice things to move in!

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The kitchen is really spacious and wonderful. I am happy how it turned out, and that bench,  — turned out to be perfect for the afternoon naps I have been taking.

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The next morning, my dear hubby went and found this beautiful tree. I had brought new ornaments with me from Seattle – so our tree was done in no time. Love it!

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I know you want to see pictures from the house – and you will as soon as I have it all more ‘ready’. I have added a few pictures on my Instagram in case you want to peak there. In the mean time here on the blog, I thought I would share views from our little  fishing village – from the other morning. As you can see – not much of a white Xmas here…

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I really love this little village, even off-season…

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I am sorry that I need to keep it short today – especially since there is soo much to show and tell but will be back soon soon with more!

Hugs  P