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Monday
Nov042013

How I painted my kitchen floor and nearly lost my mind.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I spent a good portion of the past two weeks on my knees, painting my kitchen floor. You see, I had always envisioned a diamond patterned floor for this kitchen. However, it just seemed to be a whole lot of work so I just put it off again and again. Well, unsurprisingly, it actually WAS a crazy amount of work, but I couldn´t love the outcome more. The patterned floors add so much warmth and interest to this room. I love it. Did I already say I love it? Well I do. 

In case you´re interested what the process is, here´s a good tutorial. You´ll need to do a whole lot of this. It´s fun for the first row or so and then it gets tedious. As for how long it took me to do the prep work: SIX HOURS. I do not want to talk about it. The painting itself is actually the fun part. You know what´s not fun though? If your base coat comes off with the freaking painter´s tape. Which it did. It was a nightmare and I totally cried. Don´t buy cheap painter´s tape is what I am telling you. And let your base coat dry for at least three days. Learn from my mistakes! 

Subsequently I spent a few nights touching up the parts that came off. And then! Then! Just when I thought I was finished, there was a thunderstorm one evening and we had a blackout that lasted a few hours. Since there wasn´t much else to do, I thought it was totally clever to warm up some soup in the dark. And what do you know, I stumbled over the dog and suddenly there was carrot soup all over my precious floors. The thing about carrot soup? It´s very orange and it stains. Really, I don´t want to talk about it.

But it´s the outcome that counts, right? And the outcome is very good. Now, let´s talk paint: The floors in here used to be Farrow & Ball´s Cornforth White, which I never really loved (it looks fine upstairs, but really cold in this darkish kitchen). So I decided to try Elephant´s Breath as a base coat, which is slightly darker and a lot warmer. The other color is Charleston Grey, the same color as on the feature wall and the old bench. I was a bit worried things could become too matchy-matchy, but as it isn´t a solid block of color I think it works great. Also, once I was happy with the pattern, I sealed everything with two coats of matte polyurethane. Just to make sure this labor of love lasts for a good long while.

PS: More kitchen posts/pics: 
When we had just bought the house.
When we had just moved in.
When I had just painted the floors.
After the big kitchen renovation.  

Thursday
Oct312013

Good bye October.

Today is the last day of October. People, including me, are talking about their Christmas plans. It is blowing my mind. Anyway! Here´s Ludwig. He doesn´t really mind that time passes as long as he still fits in his favorite chair in the dining room. Which however might not be the case much longer. Stop growing, redhead! 

We´ve had an amazing October weatherwise. Mild temperatures, sunny days. I love how the front rooms of our house are filled with light around this time, what with the sun being so low. Everything seems to glow.

Ponies! Scottish highland ponies, to be exact. They belong to a farm in the neighbor village and I hear they want to sell them all. This is very tempting. Look at them, they are gorgeous. One day I´ll get myself a horse, that´s for sure. Once things in the house and garden slow down. Oh yes. 

Ludwig again. He has one of his impossible phases right now. Waaay to much energy, which in the grand scheme of things (aka his heart condition) is certainly a good sign, but oh my God please send help. The other day my mother very cautiously suggested that it may be time to get serious with his training. Which, uuhhm, might be a good idea. I´m totally one of the dog owners I never wanted to become. You know, the ones who are always apologizing for all the mischief their disobdient dogs are making. Yikes.

There are still things blooming in the garden. I´ve packed away the last of the garden furniture today and planted lots of spring bulbs. Everything is pretty much ready for winter, and it feels good to step away from the garden for some time. Remind me of this in January when I can´t wait to get my hands dirty again. 

Let´s do this, November.

Thursday
Oct172013

Planning a little bedroom redo.

I have never once showed you our bedroom on this blog, and for a good reason: It´s not nice. When we just had moved into the house two years ago, a friend came to visit us, and she was singing high praises about how put together the house already looked etc. Then I showed her our bedroom, and she said "Oh! Well ok this room still needs a little work." The sad things is, she was right, and even sadder, the situation hasn´t improved much since. Well - a little, actually. I did paint the nighstands and our old Ikea bed and DIYed these silly little lampshades and got a bedspread that I love. So the corner above looks pretty OK in fact.

Like the entire upper floor, our bedroom is actually a former attic space that the previous owners of our house converted. This is why we have these beautiful old beames everywhere. Here is a picture of the empty space if you want to get a better sense of the room. 

Here´s where things get not-so-nice. I bought this daybed from Ebay and I think it is very much a mispurchase. It is not long and high enough to cover the ugly huge radiator behind it which bugs me every time I look at it. Also this metal mosquito net thingy on the window needs to come down, it´s kaput anyway. Also some kind of storage in this room would be nice. 

So, here are my plans: I ordered a basic Ikea sofa to go under the window. I toyed with the idea of a vintage sofa but I´m allergic to dust mites so maybe not here and now. I plan to get a nice Bemz linen cover for the sofa once I have the moneys to do so. Then, I´ll get some dressers that will go opposite the bed. These will also have to be Ikea due to budget reasons but I plan to do something cool with them. The room needs to be painted too - we didn´t do this when we moved in and the walls are filthy. I am thinking white again but am open for suggestions. So! Let´s see where this is going. I´ll keep you posted! 

PS: Thank you for all the comments about the cabinet! We´ll talk about this soon.

Wednesday
Oct092013

About that blue cabinet.

The little cabinet in the living room is one of my favorite pieces in the whole house. I bought it on Ebay for very little money right after we moved in two years ago. It was in terrible condition so I brought it back to life and painted it a light blue. I loved the color but then I decided to paint that wall grey, and the two color didn´t go so well together

I was going back and forth for a long while whether I should try an inky black here or instead just paint it white. I don´t really like black though and I wanted some contrast between the rocker and the cabinet which rules out white. Then a few weeks back Farrow and Ball introduced their new colors and I immediately fell for Stiffkey Blue and wanted to try it somewhere in my house. So I painted the cabinet. 

And after the first coat, I was all OMG what have I done. However my rule is that I won´t judge new colors until I lived with them a few days, but now these few days have passed, and I am sorry to say that I still don´t like it. It is.. too blue? Too stark? The lovely people on instagram mostly seemed to like it, though. Do you? And if not, how should I repaint it? 

PS: In the last picture it is apparent that it needs a third coat, but I am holding that off until I have made up my mind about the color. Which may be never.

Sunday
Oct062013

Into autumn we go.

Summer is over. We had our first frost nights this week. The heating is running again. Our fire wood has been delivered. Leaves are falling. I can´t stop thinking about apple pie. 

Autumn is a lovely season but it sure is bittersweet. I feel like we just have emerged from that last cruel winter and I am not ready yet for another one. See those sunflowers? It seems I have just recently planted them, and still by now, only days after that picture was taken, they are frozen and dead. Winter is coming, no matter how much I dread the cold and panic about the darkness.

It may have something to do with the fact that I worked very hard this summer. Like, physically hard. It feels like I have either cleaned the house or tended to the garden all summer long. With the husband slaving away on different summer projects like the deck and the chicken coop, house and garden just fell under my responsibility. So there is in fact some truth to that feeling, but on top I have also worked 40 hours/week in my regular job and entertained a very high maintenance puppy. I am exhausted.*

So in a way, it still feels good to be easing into a season with fewer responsibilities. I´ll focus on that. And soak up that pretty autumn light and try to memorize it as best as I can.

* Just to be clear: I am not complaining. It is hard work to maintain a large house and a large garden, where it takes four hours/week alone to mow the lawn. We knew that, and it will get better once the big summer projects become fewer. Until then, yes, I am overwhelmed at times, but still very grateful for what we have.