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!

Rattan means summer

For me rattan symbolizes summer. Its the material to use in warmer weather (not that Sweden always offers that….) but I love to include it in our summer house. It ads a beach feeling, a natural color and texture that goes well with all the white, linen and any colors for that matter.  Throughout the years I have collected and “won” different rattan furniture’s on auctions which will now find its proper spot in our coming summer house.

The material has been used for a long time and I recall it had a bloom in the 70s but the last 5 years its made a sweet comeback, at least in the Nordic countries. Today you can find them in different colors, black has been trendy for a while but I have always preferred the light natural color. In my opinion, it wins in the end.

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I love having rattan furniture and details both inside as outdoors. In one corner of our coming back porch, I will have rattan lounge sofas filled with a ton of pillows and mix that with our concrete table. Inside I have a couple of lounge rattan chairs that I place here and there, along with a bunch of baskets as decor, flower pots and for storage.

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This chair above is a favorite of mine from Svenskt Tenn, but it is a bit pricey. Today there are many different brands and good rattan products for more reasonable prices. I personally love scouting the Swedish auction sites for the more vintage ones. That is where I have made most of my rattan findings.

If the chair I mentioned above was high end, as a Swede I of course want to show you some more affordable pieces from Ikea. Their spring rattan collection looks really nice. Love the cupboard/dresser.

Below is the classic Ikea “Agen” chair that has been around for ages. We have them around our outdoor eating area. I mix it with an old farmers table, a long green old church bench (u can spot parts of it below). In our coming summer house our eating area will be on one side of the porch (so covered) but one nice thing about the Agen chair is if you just leave it outside it ages into this nice vintage gray color and look.

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Above one of the sets I bought on an auction. I have another very similar set so I don´t need more, but I still peak online every now and then. I especially look extra around holidays since people tend to travel and are too busy keeping an eye on auctions. And, if I am lucky, less competition and prices tend to stay normal. (Maybe I should not have told you this…;) ,

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Using baskets as pendants is a fun idea. It gives a nice lighting and ads warmth and texture to a room. I have the exact ones as below but much smaller which I used in our small hallway in previous summer place (2nd below). I am not sure they will function as pendants in the new place, most likely just as baskets… but a cool idea regardless.

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Before letting you go, I just wanted to ad this little final image – its the good old classic rattan bike basket which you see a lot during the summer in Sweden. Super cute. Great if going to the store for smaller things, to the bakery for the morning bread, to the beach with your towel or your coffee n sandwich for the picnic.
Oh, how I want it be summer now….

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Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

Hugs P

Images borrowed from Pinterest, Ikea, SvenktTenn…

Bunkbeds it is

Finally checking in with you after 9 wonderful days in Mexico. I brought the computer with me, with the intention of writing and blogging but I was overly optimistic (as usual). I just enjoyed it too much and felt no desire to open up the computer. Now back to normal life and picking up where I left.

With the building permit now in our hands, we move on the next fun phase which is taking down that jungle of ours and seeing what our lot really looks like! I am guessing its still a few weeks out, so in the meantime I am working on remaining rooms and details. Today I thought I would walk you through our kids room.

We are making one of the bedrooms into our kids bedroom. Our 3 girls are not that young/small anymore so we dont want to create a “kiddie kids” room but being a summer house we prefer the girls to share room so built in bunk beds feels like a smart way of using the space. I am also hoping them sharing rooms will give them fun summer memories before they are too big and off on their own.

Below is the image that inspired me in the first place. In general our bedrooms will be small but we are opening up the ceiling on 2nd floor which will make it feel more spacious and especially for the persons sleeping on top bunk beds.

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When looking for ideas online, almost all images/design that came up were for smaller kids but I am showing you a few picks.

I want a clean and classic look (that doesn´t scream kids room) and is custom built. Its on me to come up with a design to give to the carpenter for quote or if time permits my dear hubby wants to take on the project. The criteria so far:

  1. I want the bunk beds on each side on one of the windows, 4 beds in total.
  2. Built-in solution. Painted in light gray and remaining room in white…
  3. Important that each bed has its own space – their on shelf to put their book, phone,  charger on. A reading lamp and some personalized touches. I want to create a feeling they have a room within each bed if that makes sense.
  4. All beds of course need to have the same white bedding. Goes without saying 🙂
  5. I would love to ad smart storage solutions, perhaps drawers underneath or side.

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Obviously this has a different layout but I like how its a room within a room. Below images with bunk beds painted in different gray colors, thinks it ads warmth.

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When surfing online, I came across some fantastic big rooms with multiple bunk beds.  We would have to give up our entire upper floor to our kids (…and I am willing to do a lot for our kids, but I gotta draw the line somewhere ;)). I just wanted to share them with you as well in case one of you has this kind of space…

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Now time to get the drawing and bunk bed sketches started. Will show you once its done (that is if my drawing will be good enough to show). Have a wonderful rest of the week. Promise not to go silent like last week again!

Hugs P

 

Images via Pinterest.

Airstream on my mind

The winter in Seattle has been too gray and wet for my body, so I am embracing and looking extra forward to our coming trip to warmer destination. Craving sun & d-vitamin.

We are still waiting to hear back from Höganäs county in Sweden regarding our building permit (soon 10 weeks have passed). The delay is due to making the garage taller than the allowed height. The process then is to let neighbors give their opinion, so together with Fiskarhedenvillan we have been trying to solve it. We hope our last adjustment will be approved. For now, we can only wait. Once we get the GO, we can “order” the house and finally book the EXCAVATOR to turn our lot upside down. As you can see below – we still haven’t been able to walk in. We are not sure what we bought ;). Its a jungle, but we love our jungle.

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Speaking of jungle or well forest, I found this fun vacation spot. It obviously has nothing to do with our summer house but my goal with this blog is also to write, share and inspire with other ideas and discoveries I stumble across. So, today I am taking you to California.

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I found this wonderful spot located in north California (close to San Fransisco) called Autocamp. A cool camping place in the hearts of Sonoma´s wine country. Perhaps you true campers do not consider this is to be the real deal but for me being more the hotel gal´ that prefers the comfy beds, the fresh towels, wine & fruit …;), this sounds and looks just perfect for moi!

My love for Airstream trailers goes way back before Dr. Dreamy Sheppard showed up with his in Greys Anatomy :). I just think they have the coolest design and are so classic.

We are often in the look out for fun long weekend ideas and for us with 3 girls we need to alternate and do different things to keep them all happy. I certainly love exploring new cities but I also think its important & healthy to experience something a bit more authentic, like being in the woods and far away from it all. After almost 10 years in Seattle, a place known for its outdoorsy lifestyle I have learned to appreciate the outdoors much more. So Autocamp looks like a fantastic spot for us to visit. Take a look.

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Autocamp offers super luxury Airstreams as well as tents. All of them designed and with top of the line comfort. Sounds like a nice mix of camping and hotel. They have a cool main club house, a small store, a big bar as well as hang out areas, indoor and outdoor fireplaces. Of course they have wifi (if you really cant be without it for a weekend).

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Below images from their restroom and showers. It certainly doesn’t look like the camping bathrooms I have visited during my years. No, far from it.  This looks like a SPA in comparison!

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Here´s how one of the tents look like. Just imagine, don´t need to spend the first 2 hours putting up your tent (which in some cases can lead to tiny irritation and arguments ;)). At Autocamp, its already made! Not sure about you but I have never stayed in a tent that looks like this. Nope. Obviously I realize the experience and fun with camping comes with putting up your own tent, creating your own fire, catching your own food etc etc… but please don´t hate me for liking this idea as well….;)).

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Autocamp is of course located in the forest, easy to go on hikes, make picnics, rent and go on bike rides. There is close by canoeing and you can also take the car and drive out to the ocean if you feel like that. Just chilling and reading a book sounds like a wonderful idea as well.

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Earlier this fall we went on an American style family RV trip with another family and we both said afterwards that we want to experience this again. So much fun. Obviously driving your own RV is slightly different but this place could maybe be the next fun experience we do? What do you say M?

Hugs P

 

The Autocamp Photography is by Aubrie Pick
3 Airstream images via Pinterest
For more info visit Hotel Autocamp