October 18, 2016 § 1 Comment
September 13, 2016 § Leave a comment
A while ago I discovered the blog of Sania Hedengren and Susanna Zacke, stylists and home dec journalists from Sweden. It’s so lovely to see cozy, colorful Scandinavian style – not everything and everyone in the Nordic countries revolves around modern monochrome minimalism, you know. 🙂
Just a few favorites:
Lovely blue and white front hall with touches of pale wood from an article of theirs in Hus & hem magazine some time in 2015.
Detail from a dream kitchen with white and blue.
Whoops! That’s almost only blue and white and wood. Well, I do know what I love. 🙂
December 8, 2015 § 1 Comment
We got our Christmas tree this weekend from our yard, like last year. This one looks better, I think!
In the front hall, I set one of my prized Scandinavian-style electric candle sets, our Finnish straw goat and Danish straw pig, the Finnish himmeli and a vase of leftover brances from the pine (barely visible on the floor).
I’m off for the rest of the year. Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta!
June 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
Our back door has a huge window on it. Since the door faces south west, the nook it opens to gets unbearably hot in the summer. For a long time, we’ve wanted a sheer curtain there to block the sun. I finally got one made. Here’s the back door before:
I used scraps of the same sheer fabric we used elsewhere in the house, round elastic, eye screws and small nails. Voila!
Much better. 🙂
April 29, 2015 § 2 Comments
Our house is very low on utility-type closet space. We have a large basement, sure, but it’s not a very handy storage space for things that we need regularly but not daily (like the vacuum cleaner), or things that don’t like humidity (like cardboard). Therefore, we use our basement stairs as a de facto cleaning closet / pantry, and store tools, outdoor furniture, outgoing recycling and the like in the basement. Earlier, at times when life was very busy, we’d “temporarily” drop off a thing that was supposed to go to the basement, and never remembered to actually move it when things calmed down. Towards the end of last year, the stairs had gotten cluttered enough to bother me.
Ugh. Time to do something.
Since the stairs are wide enough and we don’t mind storing things there, we decided to keep the basic arrangement and just impose more order. First I carried everything out and went through everything to toss tossables (like torn bags) or relocate keepables (like tools and empty bottles) and, finally, vacuumed the stairs. Then I created zones.
The top half of the stairs is still a bit of a mix, but it’s neater now. At the top are my work slippers and on the wall a DIY corkboard and pens for Mr. E’s homebrew info; below the corkboard there’s a recycled sixpack carrier in case he wants to send some samples home with a visitor. Opposite that there’s a small container for expired drugs waiting to go to disposal. There’s still a broken cabinet door and an extra shelf waiting for their final destinations; they won’t stay long term.
The landing is now our tall-stuff-cleaning-closet. I added a wall rack for the tools (mop, sponge mop, broom) and hooks for the two collections of reusable / recycling bags. We’ve really grown to like tossing our recyclable paper into a cardboard box or paper bag and toting that to the recycling center; it works well for us. There’s also space for a large sheet of cardboard (to be reused for mess protection or shipping), the vacuum, kitchen window screens (note to self: install them soon) and two gallons of potable emergency water. Here’s the top half after reorganization:
The bottom half of the stairs continues as a pantry; I just removed everything else and dedicated the area to food-related items. Chipboard clementine boxes lined with brown paper make very nice, unobtrusive (=narrow) produce drawers. We’ve successfully kept potatoes, onions, squash, pumpkins and apples there. This is what it looks like now:
You could say that this isn’t much of a change and be right. It is, however, enough for now. (I dream of at least painting in the future.) What’s best, even after a few months, we’ve been able to keep the new “cleaning closet” and “pantry” neat and clutter-free – that means it’s working!
Here’s a before-after photo of the top half and the landing:
And a before-after photo of the bottom half:
As it turns out, we unknowingly timed the change very well. This February’s snowstorms created so much ice in March that our roof leaked. It was a relief not to have to worry about cleaning tools falling on you while stomping up and down the stairs to deal with snow and the leaks.
January 26, 2015 § Leave a comment