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Thursday
Sep262013

A picture wall in the Kitchen.

This is one from the "I meant to show you forever" pile. I am sorry that the pictures aren´t that great, but it´s really hard to photograph my darkish kitchen. Also at one point I´ll have to get a decent wide angle lense. The other day I found the perfect one! It costs 700 Euro. A girl can dream, right?

Anyways. So since getting our new kitchen I felt that above the old bench there needed to be something special. You know how in some spaces blank walls are totally fine, and in others not? This is one of the latter. I thought of a mirror, because you know I love mirrors in a kitchen, but that would mean that I always have to look a me in the mirror while cooking, and dear God no this isn´t an option. So one day I saw a lovely kitchen in a decor book with lots of framed photographs above the counters, and I thought hmmm... I could do this. 

And so I did! And I really like it! I had my my own food photographs blown up and the frames are Ribba ones from Ikea, so this wasn´t an expensive project at all but I think it makes a big impact. 

Now, onwards with the kitchen. The next thing to happen is new paint on the floors. These light grey floors are certainly nice but I am about to lose my mind with the 20 paws that are trotting in and out of this house PLUS mud season. So I´ll go darker this time and also I´ll do the diamond pattern I wanted to try for ages. These days I am choosing colors and I think I have made up my mind. Exciting times! Oh yes.

Sunday
Sep222013

On the island.

We just returned from a weekend on an island in the Baltic sea called Usedom. It´s been two years since I´ve last been to the coast, which is waaaay to long. 

Also, we wanted to show Ludwig the ocean. He loves water, so we thought this would be just the thing for him. Turns out he is a bit scared of the waves but is very fond of the seagulls.

He made lots of human friends on the island. The amazing thing about Ludwig is that everybody loves him. And everybody wants to know more about him. Yes, an Irish Setter. Yes, still young. Yes, a bit of a handful... We love these conversations. It´s wonderful to see how our crazy dog makes people happy in an instant. I wonder why there aren´t more Setters on the streets though. Everybody seems to love this breed (and rightfully so). Have I ever told you how we came to have an Irish Setter? Another time.

Usedom is a very pretty place. Gorgeous beaches. Lots of beautiful old villas by the sea. 

I mean, right?!

We rented a holiday apartment that was pure perfection. I now want floor-to-ceiling windows real bad (sooner or later we are going to make this a reality in our kitchen). 

The apartment was situated in village a bit off the coast and the landscape was really spectacular. 

I mean, right?!

Last but not least, I found the beach chair that is meant to be mine. Grey and white stripes! The prettiest.

Wednesday
Sep182013

Yes, another rug.

Hello, my name is Katrin, and I have an addiction to drugs. 

So you may remember that back in May I bought this blue rug for the dining room and while I tried to love it, honestly, I never really did. There were too many blue tones in that room, and while it looked fine on a sunny day, the space looked cold when there wasn´t enough light. Also, I really wanted something more rustic and with a bit more texture. 

So I bought this one. In the product description it says that this is a large, fringed version of a doormat, and while I am not entirely sure whether this a smart marketing move, it is basically true. However it does have that texture I wanted, and the color is exactly right. The day we put the new rug down, the sun was shining through the windows, and all of a sudden the whole room seemed golden. And the angels sang and all that.

In case you worry about the fate of the blue rug, it now lives in the hallway. I´m not sure whether it will be a permanent fixture there, but as we are heading into winter I´ll take everything that makes that drafty old house a little less chilly.

Sunday
Sep152013

Sleeping beauty.

There´s a somewhat larger town close to our village that is quite pretty. It even has a little castle! Technically I guess it would be more like a mansion, but castle is what everyone calls it. It is surrounded by a quite substantial, beautiful park with a pond and large trees and everything. Sadly, the castle itself has been vacant for years.

I´ve always wondered how it looked like inside until last weekend, when we read in the paper that there would be a guided tour. Of course we went, expecting maybe three other people to attend. Wrong. There were about 50 people waiting in the parking lot. Quite the event.

The thing is, the castle has a rich history and most of the people who grew up in the area have some kind of connection to it. In the past 100 years, the castle with its 40 rooms has been used as a nursery, a registry office and most important of all, a hospital. 

As we walked through the rooms together, it was amazing to listen to the stories that the other visitors would tell. "This was the waiting room where I spent so much time!", exclaimed one woman. Another would fight back tears in the beautiful ballroom like space, now derelict, where her daughter got married. Yet another told me how she would take her child to the nursery every day for many years (apparently you had to enter through the cellar, which caused many nightmares).

One older woman noticed my camera at one point and then would tell me about what to expect in the next room. "You must take a picture of this!", she said several times. It was quite endearing. Sadly,  I couldn´t take any decent pictures of the ground floor as the windows there have been nailed shut and the light was too bad (we walked around with flashlights).

All in all, such a great adventure. And so moving - to think of that space that has touched the life of all these people and now is an example for the decay of so many mansions and castles in this region. 

Wednesday
Sep112013

Let us talk about the library.

Ah, the library. I still remember that pretty much exactly two years ago, this was the very first room I painted, and also it was the first room where we refinished the floors (you can see a before picture here). Then we plopped shelves in the one part of the room (the library used to be two rooms which have been knocked together) and painted two walls "Down Pipe" by Farrow and Ball, and it looked like this. And then a long time nothing happened, until this spring I got a job where I can work from home. Which I do in the library. I bought an old desk that sits in front of the window and overlooks the garden. I´ll show you that part of the room soon.

What you see in this post is the other half of the room. Back in March, I had painted two more walls in "Dove Tale" (which I still love - it looks very purple in these pics but not in real life). Then the husband an I quarreled for months which chairs we should get for the space.

Then in June we finally had our new wood burning stove installed in here and I ordered the husband´s favorite chairs just to put an end to that folly. They´re blue. I am pretty sure you can see that. The thing is I still haven´t decided whether I adore the color or hate it. It changes from day to day. I think I will try to sew some neutral linen slip covers for them at one point. 

So this space is far from finished but it´s a start. I am thinking maybe a rug here, and different lamps, and I want to get something that replaces the Ikea stool under that woolen blanket. The little side table we found in my mother in law´s garage, it fits pretty great I think. The painting I got on Ebay and I adore it. The village could pass for ours if you´re not too detail oriented. 

Here´s Ludwig enjoying the stove. It´s a Morsö, it was a little very expensive but is worth every penny. It´s gotten chilly around here so today was the first day I lit the fire in here during the day. This was exactly how I imagined working from home - with a view of the garden and a fire burning right next to me. Lovely. 

Now, what do you think about the blue chairs? I bet these are controversial.