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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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

Silestone Blanco Orion                        Silestone Lagoon

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).

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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.

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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 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.

Hugs//P

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.

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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.

 

 

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.

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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,

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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3. DISPLAY CABINET
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…

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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.

 

 

 

Deciding on countertop

We are in the midst of finalizing our plans for our kitchen and I will admit it is super exciting but challenging at the same time.  After all, the kitchen is the center piece so I really want to get it right! One of my (many ;)) problems, is that I like a number of different kitchens and styles…

Promise to tell you all about my kitchen ideas but today I wanted to share thoughts on counter tops.  At the moment Silestone is my favorite but its pricey so I might need to mix it with another material. Here is what I have found,

  1. LAMINATE is probably the most affordable material. You can get it in all kinds of colors as well as marble look-alike for ex’ . Resistant against stains and super easy to maintain & clean. The one downside, it doesn’t feel like the real thing…but then again easy to upgrade one day.

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2. WOOD – a nice option that helps ad warmth to the kitchen. Its affordable but needs maintenance after some time, especially around the sink/water, where you will quickly notice stains. Being Scandinavian´n all – I prefer the lighter white-washed wood if I where to pick wood.

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3. STAINLESS has been around for ever and never really goes out of style (its usually colors and wood that do…). Its durable, easy to maintain and well priced. I would perhaps mix the stainless top with another material to avoid it feel to sterile.

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Below a kitchen where they have mixed it …
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Pic Vardagsglädje – above a close up where they mixed silestone + stainless.

4. CONCRETE – a material I really like and am convinced would ad a cool look and contrast to our other wise traditional summer house and style. I love the grey concrete color and since I am debating having it on the main floor I am not sure if its too much adding it as counter tops as well. Regardless, a strong candidate.

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5. NATURAL STONES

MARBLE CARRARA – a classic and popular counter top. High quality, a little more expensive but still better priced than the quartz. However it cannot withstand stains as well and this time around I prefer a counter top where I dont need to worry as much. I know there are ways to treat it to make it more resistant, so its still on the list ;). I would then prefer a thin top to give it a more modern touch …

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NATURAL STONE – limestone, a beautiful material that I have had in the past and just love love but it does require work given its sensitive towards stains from wine and all kinds of citrus fruits. I remember being on my toes every day, worried as someone was preparing fresh orange juice, making the salads with all kinds of citrus fruits or as hubby was making the afternoon gin tonic. Conclusion, its over the top beautiful but probably just not the pick for our family right now… OR?

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SILESTONE/QUARTZ – a strong contender but for sure very expensive. You can choose to make the top as thin as you like ( with concrete it’s harder, easier to break). It comes in various colors and styles. This is my top pick – but will there be money left for that :))

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CORIAN/DEKTON – amazing products that can resist almost anything. They are both in the very very high price range, where DEKTON is the latest and even more expensive but with improved durance. Its not an option for us in this summer house but wanted to mention it to you … in case someone else is thinking about it.

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So, to summarize – my first pick is Silestone  (in a very light color) and if it gets to pricey I might try to mix it with concrete, perhaps have concrete on the island ….but I promise to show you all/more details soon soon.

A side from that, if you are in the stage of building and deciding what counter top to choose – make sure you check prices with someone other than your assigned kitchen supplier. The kitchen stores need their little profit share so it makes sense checking somewhere else as well. “Shop around” before deciding.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!
Hugs P

Pics borrowed fr; Ballingslöv.se, Vardagsglädje.se, Pinterest.com, Insta;Whitelivingetc, Åraslövkök, Skönahem.se, Husligheter.se, Elle.dk

 

 

 

 

Heart of the house

Now to the most important room, the heart of the house – the Kitchen! Like all families, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen, we work from home/the kitchen, we love cooking, having friends over for dinner and the kitchen always becomes the hang area until late hours. So, this space needs to be right and cozy. The criteria´s we have so far:

  • We want one big dining table just outside the kitchen (connecting) and in the kitchen space we want to create a small bench & mini round table.
  • A clean island (no bar stools) just a nice area for work, chopping, placing food…
  • I want the fridge, freezer and pantry to be in a space of its own between kitchen and laundry room (our coming drawings will explain it better). A sort of old fashioned “serveringsgång” in Swedish/a passage so its not visible as much in the kitchen.
  • We don’t want upper cabinets in general, but one display cabinet from floor to ceiling where we can store all porcelain on one side.
  • Would love to ad a unique stove & kitchen fan (anyone familiar with the brand)?
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  • We hope to afford a nice stone, carrara marble, concrete, quartz, silestone as countertop…(guess we have to save in on something else 🙂
  • Still not sure what color to chose for cabinets; white, gray or petroleum blue. I have always had light gray and white kitchens in my life..hmm… or if we want cabinets with raised panel, plain or a mix?

Here are some kitchen pictures from Pinterest, Ballingslöv, Esny, twwp that inspire me.

Before I log out I want to share our idea of creating a small divider between sitting area and kitchen in some way. Its an open floor plan but I want to separate the 2 different areas. I love the steel/glass combinations below but most likely it will be cheaper to do it with wood/glass. Below images to give you an idea what I am trying to accomplish, cool right?

Pic from Esny, Ikea, Pinterest

So, as you can see I still have a lot to decide and finalize but if there is one room that I am willing to put in extra time and money on – its the kitchen for sure!  Wish me luck that I will see it clearer when its time to sit down with the kitchen architects… open to comments!

Cheers/P