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…

Skärmklipp

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 ;)).

file-63

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…

file-64file-62

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!

file-54

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… :).

file-56

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.

file-52

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

file-55

file-57

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.

file-53

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

Our magical stairs

When I first started planning this house I identified 3 things that were extra important. 3 things I either wanted to put extra time or money on and the stairs being one of them. The kitchen + porch where the other 2 things.

A reminder to my new followers, we are building a summer house and even though we are building a pretty good sized house for a summer place (according to Swedish norms”) I knew I could not get too carried away due to space and that boring thing called budget ;(. My goal was to upgrade just enough where I kept majority of the standard package and then added a little extra without increasing costs too much.

A few drafts back & forth before we settled on this from Drömtrappor.

trappa1.PNG

This wrap around balcony on top and opening all the way up to top ceiling as you walk in felt like a great American detail to ad to our Swedish summer place.

trappa.PNG

In the original floor plan the stairs faced the other way, meaning you would access the stairs immediately as you walked in through the main door. I wanted to avoid that, avoid having to step on the doormat and shoes every time you needed to go up & down the stairs. Instead I was hoping that it would be nice walking down in the mornings and face the social area and kitchen.

IMG_4311

Here is a first peak of the stairs.

IMG_0005

We decided to make storage underneath the stairs. We also have a little space opposite that, to the right – a space for coats n shoes as well as a guest bath.

IMG_0060

IMG_0058

I love this view, seeing the stairs and balcony!! Of course I would have preferred to see it without all the paper covering the floor. Super duper curious to see what is under it all..

At first I imagined the stair railings all in white, but I made a last minute change to gray *extra cost of course. Some have already asked why I did not make it black and go with the windows … I understand why you ask – but for some reason I believe the warm light gray fits better in to a summer house, plus it connects with the kitchen cabinets (exact same color) and for those who know me, know that I have painted a lot of our furniture in that exact gray as well …so this time, I am going with da gray!

IMG_0057

IMG_0056

IMG_9997IMG_0061

IMG_0068

IMG_0066

Here is a view of the entrance and as I mentioned to the right as you walk in is a space for jackets and shoes as well as guest bath. I changed the original floor plan a bit because I preferred having the coats and bath a bit off to the side, to give it more privacy and not having to see all shoes as you sit in the open social area…

Oh yes, realize I forgot to mention that the actual steps on the stairs will be as the floors upstairs = white stained washed pine. Keeping my fingers crossed it will all come together nicely. Time will tell, soon we will know + and soon time to set the BIG COUNTDOWN!

Hugs
P

 

Some updates from the house

A brand new week just started but I wanted to share the mix of pictures my dear mama took with her little phone over the weekend. This first picture below made me super happy. I know I repeat myself – but I am so excited about the black windows! If we would have chosen white, it would have looked nice – but not as nice as this, right!?

file-29 (005)

We added extra trim around the window, a “New England” detail. It looks like they have one window left to do but a decision and detail we chose that I think goes well with the summer house and also fits well in to Mölle.

file-31 (003)

Here is one side of the house and please ignore all the junk in front of it :). I had to make the upstairs windows slightly smaller and place them a bit more in the middle due to how we plan the 2 bedrooms (with our built in bunk-beds). It would most likely look more symmetrical with them placed right above the windows below but we had to do it this way in order to accommodate our plans, so that is that. Each room has additional windows on the other main sides so plenty of light.

file1-2 (004)

Here is a close up of the entrance, our Classic-series double front door from the company, “Diplomat dörrar”. We ended up choosing gray door instead of black, something I am glad about≤. The gray ads another dimension to the otherwise black & white house.  However, wanted to point out my first little disappointment (not a big deal but still enough to bug me ;)) – turns out the outside framing on the door only comes on one side! On the inside its plain, flat and therefore gives it a more modern look – hmm but why? I did not think of asking, double checking this. I assumed since I ordered the extra classic door I would get a nice classic door period. Why do they even have a “half” product? However I realize its a luxury problem and there is so much to love about this house…

file-29 (007).jpeg

Inkedfile-29_LI

Here you get a glimpse of the entrance. As you enter the house, there will be a short roof before it opens up all the way up to the top ceiling. Hoping this will be a nice wow-affect, cool first impression kind of feeling. This side faces the woods, the mountain as well as the church! Truly lucky with the views from all sides! The picture of Mölle church below is taken from the main road, just wanted to show you how beautiful it is.

file-29 (003)

Now moving upstairs, we discovered a “surprise”. In situations like this, I am super thankful for my moms pics, they help us stay connected and see how everything is progressing. This big wall was suppose to be all straight, that little extra added space/build-out to whats going to be the bathroom is not something we had seen on sketches. A misunderstanding somewhere but not really our fault so it will be fixed, so glad about that! Fiskarhedenvillan Skåne and our sales guy Fredrik has really been great about handling and responding to questions or issues like this.

file1-2

As you can see, the walls are starting to come up, and you can now get a better idea of layout and space. To the left master bedroom, middle closet/storage and to the right the bathroom and sauna.

file2-3 (004)

Capture

Here is a view from the back side of the house, which I see as the main side since this is where we will spend most time. This side faces the water and gets the sun all hours of the day (luckily the sun is not usually as strong in Sweden)…

A few things; I mentioned before that we were restricted as to how big we could build and placement of the houses and this was the only way we could fit these 2. I would have loved more space between the house and garage but did not want nor felt I had the time to “make a case” about that …again, there is so much to be appreciative about so it is what it is.

file2-3 (004)

However, one little miss in the delivery – the garage windows should also have been black. No big deal, its being taken care of, so all good!

file-29 (004)

When we chose black windows, I was worried that it would pop-out to much or it would take away the sunlight and view from the inside but after seeing this image and seeing how well you still see in…  I just loooove it!

Heard rumors they were starting to build the big porch deck while the electrician crew do their thing inside.  Will just have to wait until next weekend for pictures.

That was my quick house project update! Thinking about colors and wallpaper, will share some thoughts on that next!

Hugs P

 

Rapidly coming together

Promised to show you to the latest from our house. Since I cannot be there in person, I ask friends to swing by and take pictures with their phones as often as they can. So far, I have been receiving updates almost every week, so happy about that! If I´d live in Sweden, OH – I would walk by almost every day if I could to check, chat, admire and get all ahead of myself! (I am sure the builders would love that ;))

Remember, they started to build the house July 4th so I feel they have come far! Almost the entire black/granite roof is in place and the last wood panel is being put up before they paint the house entirely once more. Sätoftagruppen have really done a great job so far!

10

We are eagerly waiting for our black windows to arrive! Crazy curious to see how they turn out and look like (I just have a feeling they will look super duper). With a little luck they should arrive this week! Keeping all fingers and toes crossed!

2

Here you see the back side of the house and what is going to be the porch. We were restricted as to the area we were allowed to build on so we stretched the porch as much as possible – believe it will be 3x10meter (which if I´m not mistaken should be around 9×32 feet??). I don´t have a pic that shows how spacious it will be but I can really see us use the porch plenty plenty all year round (heaters on the way…)

3

13

Here you see our little garage to the left, which is actually not as small as it might appear. We not only got restrictions on how big every building could be but also the specific placement, so we followed all rules. Would have wanted to place the garage a bit further in on the lot and the house further away from the garage, off to the right – but no, unfortunately not allowed and we did not feel any interest in pursuing and testing that rule with the county (given we were on a tight timeline and wanting everything to be ready for Christmas in December.

16

9

Here is the front side, the main entrance. We ended up choosing darker gray doors (initial plan was black but they tend to be more sensitive to stains and marks as well as color fade with sun). The windows are slightly bigger than standard size which I am hoping will ad more natural light (something we need in the Nordics”).

11

Both sides of the house look finalized and painted. Just need to ad those black windows I keep nagging about and Voilá!

5

Ok, I need to log off and get ready, heading out to look for a dress to my friends coming wedding. Super excited, believe it will actually be my first American wedding. Can´t wait, love weddings!

Keep enjoying your Monday! I just watched how the Eclipse created a dark shade over our back yard…

Hugs P

 

 

Looking more like a house

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

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

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

file-39

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

file-38 - Copy

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

file-37

h

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

file-35

Capture.PNG

file-24 (002) - Copy.jpeg

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

file1-4 (002) - Copy.jpeg

file1-5 - Copy

file1-2 (002) - Copy

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

file-33

file-24 (003) - Copy.jpeg

file-31 (002) - Copy

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

file-28 (002)

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

Time will tell.

file-29 (002) - Copy.jpeg

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

Hugs P

 

 

 

 

 

Big kick-off – prepping the grounds

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

Capture

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

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

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

huspinnar

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

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

IMG_9279
As most of you know we are building a house from Fiskarhedenvillan (you can read earlier post in December why I chose them), they have then allocated Sätoftagruppen to be the ones actually building the house for us. So during my visit to Sweden I wanted to meet them since our house is really in their hands and we are building from a distance. Trust and communication will be key for success (and of course the fact they have long experience of building Fiskarhedenvillan houses and are a stable company) are other key factors. Said & done – we met and we are off to a great start.

IMG_9283
Last week I also met with some great landscape architects to get help and ideas with this corner lot of ours.  Obviously, we wont be able to do the entire landscaping at once but I at least wanted to share the “big overall” ideas with the builder so they can help prepare and we can avoid having to bring in heavy machinery back later…

IMG_9284
The grey gravel part in the middle of the picture above shows where they are preparing for house and garage to be.  Below you see a big brown pile (which I gather is all the evil nightmare weed he dug up from the front and now working his way to the end of the lot – to then transport that as far far away from our lot as possible! Bye Bye Kirskål!

IMG_9280 (003)

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

tiyninh

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

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

Hugs P

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