Memory lane..

I love going through old pictures and memory lane. Today I stumbled across the ones from our old house that we built in Stockholm 2005. Oh my, cannot believe its 12 years ago!!! At the time, we had our eyes set on a more modern house.  Seeing it now, of course there are things I would not chose today but at the time it was the thing” – however overall it still feels pretty darn nice… Thought I’d share them all with you…

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The lot we bought was located on the highest peak of Lahäll Täby, just outside of Stockholm. I actually found it online while we were fortunate to be living in Paris and bought it without seeing it. I knew the location was great and you cant go wrong with building a new home just outside of Stockholm. Turned out to be a great decision!

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Here is our little entry hallway. Still like that wallpaper I put up on the closet doors. Love love love the Portuguese limestone we chose, it is a bit sensitive but I did not mind that – its a classic and just never goes out of style! One of the things I remember we put a lot of time and money on was the lighting. I wanted the exclusive but discrete ones – so you might not notice them as much (but that was sort of the goal…).

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12 years ago, oak floor and details were a bit popular … now I would preferred the lighter wood of course but oh well, “thats history”…

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It was a fairly open floor plan, which we thought we loved at the time. Not totally sold on that as much today. Now looking at it, its fun seeing all the furniture and decor that are now either standing over here in Seattle and some waiting in storage to move into our summer place.

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Love the table my dear hubby built. Still going strong, however it got painted in Seattle. (of course still loving my wishbone chairs, classic – keepers).

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Wow, very colorful mix here… >). Its that single patterned armchair that is a bit too much, but its just so comfortable that its hard to get rid off. I still have it, but thinking its time for a makeover, a new fabric that easier goes with the rest… :)…

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I loved this little cozy TV and reading room. The kids had their own space upstairs so this became our “adultsie one.. We had a built in book shelf which turned out great in here.

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The big windows just brought in so much light into the kitchen, which was wonderful. I kind of liked only having one eating area (skip the formal stuff) but after math…would have been nice to have had perhaps a tiny kitchen nook or bench to sit on. We did ad a super small bar area but not cozy to sit on for too long..

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As you can see there is a wall between the rooms but with 2 big openings on each side so not entirely open but still enough to get a nice spacious and connecting feel´ without having to see all the mess in the kitchen while you sit down for dinner.

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Remember being very focused on the symmetrical and having a very clean kitchen. Also, liked that we chose aluminum appliances instead of stainless – in my opinion goes so much better with white *and never have to worry about fingerprints….

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Here is the upstairs, where the kids would hang. A little desk with computer for them to share and a sofa/TV area. 4 bedrooms upstairs.

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The ceiling windows created a ton of light (and made it craaazy warm during summer months).

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Again here, chose a very clean and simple bathroom. One big mistake we made was the black granite tiles which on best days looked wonderful but I kid you not, every foot step, dust showed instantly so I felt I was cleaning that floor almost on a daily basis…soo of course not optimal with 5 in the family.. Lesson learned!

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Here is a pic from our little sauna, which we loved and used many times per week. We have included one in our new coming summer place as well and we are certainly looking forward to enjoying it this Christmas. Note- this was initially meant to be my closet but I agreed to give that up for some loving sauna (which I dont regret of course)….

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We really focused on creating a big deck – that went around. Loved our outdoor space!

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Ok, that was that! Again, love going down memory lane. Maybe I should try to gather pics from all our old homes, the one in Paris if I can find enough pictures…

Hope you are enjoying your weekend. I am off to my daughters soccer match!

Hugs P

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Chance to win a tiny house

I came across a wonderful little company and story in Lamon Luther (handcrafted furniture), located in the southern parts of the US. Carpenter Brian overheard a conversation during lunch one day – about the homeless living in the woods outside of his town. He went to see the conditions for himself and quickly decided he wanted and needed to help. A few of the homeless people were former builders and craftsmen so Brian found a way to help and bring hope. Brian who is a 3rd generation carpenter felt this was also a good way to keep the tradition of American craftsmanship alive. It is truly a wonderful story of how this company came about and operates today.  You can read more about them, their stories and their products on their website but what caught my attention today was the tiny farm house they built!

– that you actually have a chance to win this December… Oh, I am in!

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This is the cutest tiny farm house I have ever seen. It even matches the summer house we are building in Mölle, Sweden. I could easily see this as our little guest house on our lot, but I can also imagine traveling around the US and discovering new places with this tiny beauty.

Its only 260sqf = 25kvm, but its got all necessities. They have used the space very well, and I love that they added a guest or kids loft up there.

Obviously I am big fan of the white facade along with the black windows but the interior is also spot on. The neutral tones, the wood ceiling makes it relaxing, inviting and very warm.  Take a look.

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Its so cool, and I am all for down sizing after seeing this! Now, the best part is that we all have a chance to support them but also win one of their tiny houses. This is part of their foundation that helps subsidize craftsmen housing expenses. For more information about this wonderful project and how to donate and be part of this – go to their website and look under GIVE!

https://www.lamonluther.com/

Hugs P

All images @Lemon Luther

Creme de la Creme stoves

I think the cooktop and stove play a big part of every kitchen. After all, its where the magic and all yummy stuff is made. In our family we live to eat good and yummy food every day. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen and its a wonderful way to keep everyone happy and together. Nothing beats the home cooked meals… which leads me to todays topic – the range, the cooktop!

Normally you have 3 options to choose from, gas, electric and induction and for our summer house we are going with the induction stove. As you already know there are quite a few different brands out there, they are fairly similar and a lot of look-alikes but you find differences in tiny details such as more use of plastic instead of real metal on some parts. Some models and brands might rattle more than others and some are just way to expensive for our summer budget. Here are a few I know…

Lacanche

OK, I am going right to my favorite dreamy French gas stove. No detours here. High-end but their stoves sweep the floors in my opinion when it comes to look and design! I have a crush on their gray colored version shown below. Its just so darn beautiful! Their factory in France dates back to the 18th century which explains a lot, they know their stuff…

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Oh la la – isn´t this gray version just to die for! …next house over here maybe…

Ilve

llve make Italian state of the art ranges and cooktops. We have had one in our previous home and were really happy with the quality, design and performance. Can certainly recommend Ilve but a little more than we wanted to spend this time.

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Bertazzoni

Bertazzoni is another well known Italian brand that have specialized in stove production and cooking appliances since 1909. A bit less in cost than Ilve but still as good in quality. Believe I will choose one of their induction stoves for Mölle. bertazzoni

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Smeg   – another Italian home appliance manufacturer based in Guastalla. Their company has been around for over 65 years, and whats fun with the Smeg appliances is that they decided to work with famous designers early and create a  different, fun and most of the times colorful design (you might have seen their refrigerators for ex).

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Lofra

And yet another Italian company that does this for a living as well. Lofra started in 1956 so I suppose they have some serious competition to deal with just in Italy alone. I was about to pick one of their models, their prices were lower and more kind to my wallet but after some qualify feedback – I am choosing Bertazzoni this time.

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Viking

Finishing it off with an American brand, Viking – which is relatively a young company but they continue to grow and are really considered a high-end innovated appliance brand. Believe they are all made here in the US but uncertain if they ship internationally just yet, but go on their website to learn more..

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That´s all from me this beautiful Thursday! Will be back soon, sorry for being a bit blog absent lately but the days are just not long enough!

Hugs P

 

Pics borrowed from Lacanche, Smeg, Lofra, Ilve, Bertazzoni, Pinterest.

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.

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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.

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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…?

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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..

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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?

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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.

 

 

South of Sweden anyone?

Obviously, my antennas are all set for summers in Sweden. The South of Sweden has a special place in my heart and its the place to be (at least for me –  hope I am not stepping on any toes…:)). Today I am showing you a home that could be yours. Its out for sale now and if I wasn’t building a summer house already – I would certainly think it be worth paying a visit to this magical place. Take a look.

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When I saw this seating area above – I realised the home has been in a magazine before because I already have this image/space saved on my computer from before. There was something very inviting with the sofa and chairs to that dining table. I will admit that many times I decorate with furniture that I like, looks nice, is practical but I forget how important it is to choose something that is really comfortable as well. After all, the idea is create a home I love and want to spend every minute in and that certainly goes for my dining spot given we have sit down dinners every night. Also, imagine your guests never wanting to leave either… I just think this space looks super comfortable and inviting.

I can sense all the wonderful dinners & interesting conversations this place has had. Wish I could have been a fly on the wall (so to speak..haha.).

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I mentioned my passion for sisal rugs a few days ago, so seeing how they used it for the upstairs as their carpet – well, let me just say, love it. Again, another detail that ads warmth to the house.

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This is also a gorgeous eating area, love the mix and styles but I dont think I would sit as long on these chairs as the other dining chairs by the kitchen but I will admit the room looks nice.

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The images come from the realtor; Mäklare Ekström & Co. For more pictures, info or perhaps placing an offer 🙂 –  just go over to the realtors site.

Hugs
P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before & After our Nordic makeover

A few of you have emailed about our house here in Seattle. Yesterday, I found old images from when we bought the house 2012. I thought it would be fun to show a couple of before & after pictures. The house type is common in the area, the builder is known. The style and floor plan felt already back then not very current or modern but we liked the location and thought it would be fun living in a more American style home (in comparison to more modern small houses in Sweden).  We decided to give the house a`light Nordic` touch up, as I call it. A lot of it is color (white!! ;)) and some of it is style and furniture of course but just fun to look back.

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The kitchen was in solid wood so we decided to keep and paint it in a light gray color. I try to save and re-use things as much as I can and there was no point in throwing out a good kitchen.  I changed the backslash to classic white subway tiles, change all the appliances, put it some pendants and replaced one cabinet with open shelves. Wanted a light and more fresh and modern look to it and I think we managed to get that without having to spend a ton of money.

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The counter tops were in black granite, not what I would pick but I also did not think it would be worth changing, unnecessary cost.

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Our kitchen is connected and open to our family/TV room. This is a space our family uses the most. I really like the flow and openness and all the windows in here.

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We painted the bookshelves in a slightly darker gray than the kitchen cabinets, and we also changed the carpets throughout the house from a white to light gray. I added white linen roman blinds to wrap it in more..

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I am in the look out for a coffee table and have been for quite some time. I have a few in mind, just haven’t gotten to it. I found this one on the street many years ago and I made it work by letting hubby fix the top and paint it black. Our summer house is taking all time and energy when it comes to interior design and furniture…

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When we moved in the walls were all in the new builders beige color. It probably took me 2 months to go through the entire house, walls & trims (trims were creamy) and I prefer crispy white so all trims, doors, windows etc had to be repainted. Those who know me – know I find painting therapeutic so a brush in my hand is common. I added a little drama with the black trims on the stairs.

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This is our other living room, the perhaps more formal one but still a room we try to use and hang in as much as possible. I do not like having rooms or furniture that are too formal or fancy. I really want to use and live in the house. We upgraded the fire place so during fall & winter we certainly enjoy our evenings here. I am not a big fan of the columns but I have learned to accept/ignore them and just appreciate our home. Strong believer in focusing on all the positives instead!

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Hope you enjoyed my Before & After pictures!

Have a wonderful week.
Hugs P

Eyes on concrete floor

I have always loved concrete floors, it looks cool, interesting and on top of that is practical. Heard that if you choose concrete, you need to be aware and ok that it could turn out a bit different than what you perhaps have expected once finished. Have also heard there are ways to come close to your expected finished product by doing the right prep work…

I have been debating and comparing wood, big ceramic tiles and plain concrete floor for the main level. Pretty sure all 3 would look amazing but after some encouragement from the guy building our house + a new Instagram friend, concrete is now on top of my list.

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Like all materials there are pros & cons. Lets start with the pros and why I love it:

  • super durable, eco-friendly and is easy to maintain, don´t have to worry
    about marks (from fancy high heels) or tear and wear from kids…
  • a nice industrial look, great mix and contrast to all the wood and white. Also perhaps a bit unexpected for a summer house…which I like.
  • if I ever wanted to change, I could easily just put a new floor on top of it.
  • the cheapest of my 3 floor options9f882d5a1e4d22aff02a7c229c810e54

A few cons would be:

  • its a hard surface, if you drop anything a glas for ex it will most likely break.
    if you fall on it, it would hurt…so don´t fall and keep your glass in your hand!
  • always a chance you can get some cracks but there are ways of preventing that.
  • hard to walk on, obviously rugs help with that and I suppose you get used to it or we recommend crawling instead :)…

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You can get the floor in various colors and textures. I am leaning towards a matte light gray color (similar to light natural above) with a smooth polished texture where the `small stones´ show as little as possible. I was inspired by my Instagram friend who apparently did 4 layers of polish. In terms of maintenance, all you have to do is seal or wax it every 3-6 months to protect it and make sure it looks nice and lasts for ever. Below a picture from my Insta friends floor (@funkiset) which I think looks super nice!

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She also sent me these 4 images that show different looks from here floor. Its the same floor but some of it has to do with the lighting but in the 3rd pic from left, it shows a little area where they missed to get the stones down as much as in other areas. The pictures just confirm that it will vary a little but that is also what makes it so unique in my eyes.

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Also love this color and look above…

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We will have heated floors so hope it should help and make it feel warmer and cozy…

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A huge fan of how they continued and took the concrete floor outdoors as well. Big wow!

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The more I think about concrete floor and look at pictures, the more I am imagining it in our summer place. I am waiting for a quote from my builder but guessing it should be a cost save in comparison to a nice wood floor, at least thats what I have been told. Keeping my fingers crossed, cause sure know I need to save somewhere!!

So, tell me – do you like it as much as I do? If you have any tips or recommendations – always appreciate your input! Love reading your emails and comments.

Hugs P

Images from Pinterest, Skonahem. Special thanks to Instagram @funkiset for letting me use her pictures and sharing her experience with the concrete floor!