Home Reno

Plywood countertops

March 22nd, 2010

The old kitchen counter tops were a source of grief in the kitka kitchen. I (John) love to cook, and I just couldn’t go on with the fake granite particle board counters anymore. I needed a nice surface to work on, and since my cooking was already being compromised by an electric stove, I needed my wooden counter.

We first used plywood as counters at the cottage and were very happy with the result both aesthetically and financially. We even had some left over plywood from the flooring downstairs so the only material costs were the ceramic sink ($99.99) and faucet ($149.99) from IKEA.

The magisso kitchen cloth holder

A new item we’ve recently added to the mjolk shop, a cast iron grill pan designed by Sori Yanagi. I made some pork chops last week and the grill marks made all the difference.

We love our Kristian Vedel bird, and “mine and your” cups.

I applied three coats of left over Bona Traffic water based finish that we used on the floors downstairs. Each coat needs about 4 hours to dry and a light sand.

The birch counters added some much needed brightness, since our kitchen has no natural light. All we need to do now is rip up the floors and paint them white and we’ll have a pretty decent kitchen!

Filed under: Home Reno | 6 comments

White floors, surprise surprise…

February 16th, 2010


It took a few days but it’s finished! Our furniture was a bit too big to move out of the room so everything had to be pushed against the wall while one half of the room was painted, and then after the paint finally dried we moved everything to the other side to paint the second half.


It was well worth it. It just feels so good in here now!


We have our PH5 light looking great over the Saarinen table paired with a few black Lento chairs by one of our favorite designers Harri Koskinen. The shape has a familiarity but the legs are actually bent wood which fits perfectly with other Artek products.


We pillaged a few other things from our shop including the exclamation point which was reclaimed from a shop in Helsinki, it’s encased in oxidized copper. And of course the red Crux carpet by Pia Wallen.


We also grabbed a Pure Nature pillow by Danish textile designer Dorte Agergaard to cozy up tv time.


borge mogensen sofa-6

BEFORE: Red laminate floors – nice enough but generally clashed with our furniture (of course this photo makes it look way nicer) and made the room feel so dark, especially since we never see the sun.


AFTER: the room is so bright at night, and feels so much more cozy.

This is actually just the first half of the reveal! We put up something pretty exciting that we didn’t photograph yet. You’ll have to check back with us later this week!

Filed under: Home Reno | 22 comments

The saga of the floor continues…

February 11th, 2010


John’s at it again (thankfully)!


Anyone want some FREE laminate flooring? Get it outta here!!!!!!!


John started painting but he ran out pretty quickly and the paint store was already closed. More to come later!

Filed under: Home Reno | 10 comments

Toothbrush holder

February 10th, 2010


I am not going to lie. Buying a toothbrush holder is as much fun as buying socks. But in a tiny little bathroom, you need such things to keep the peace. We just got a new shipment of Vipp products in so I decided to bust out the toothbrush holder to see what it was all about…and it promptly ended up in our bathroom with two new brushes and a new tube of toothpaste.

This is the atrocity before:


Ordinarily I would clean these up before presenting them to the world, but I am showing this to you so that I can easily demonstrate our current disdain for stainless steel. This set is from Restoration Hardware, and it wasn’t cheap. I bought it because it was the only thing that I could find that matched our old bathroom, which was beautiful but more classic in style. But seriously, who has time to clean this stuff? I clean it and it’s dirty again within three days. Ridiculous.

The Vipp should hold up longer, because it’s easier to wipe down, and the inside rubber part comes out so you can easily wash it. Plus I now have room for everything in one unit – space saver!

Filed under: Home Reno,Mjölk | no comments

Kitchen: painted!

January 28th, 2010

new kitchen - grey-7

Well now seems likes a good time to lighten the mood a little. We did paint the kitchen last week but it took a long time to get it nice and clean after a few weeks of mess. Ideally, we would love to rip out all the cabinets, counter top and floor and replace the ugly bulky appliances but it doesn’t seem prudent when we will be making big changes over the next 2 years. So we’ve decided to just live with it (I cringe just saying it) and instead make those little changes through lighting (changed out the ugly UFO Home Depot light for the vintage snowball-inspired fixture we got awhile back, and added an under counter light for above the sink), a bit of paint, and new nobs. Makes a big difference!

new kitchen - grey-1

new kitchen - grey-6

Bagel trivets by Oji Masanori, they look so good all three in a row.

new kitchen - grey-2

Kerstin Boulogner’s Surt sa raven tea towel, you can’t go wrong with olives and foxes!

new kitchen - grey-3

As a house warming gift a family friend gave us these great vintage Norwegian plaques that we now have above our sink.
new kitchen - grey-5

new kitchen - grey-4

new kitchen - grey-13

The one thing we did was install new hardware on all the cabinets, they are much cleaner looking now.

new kitchen - grey-12

We found a few of these Aarikka tins which we actually are selling at the store, we kept one aside for ourselves.

new kitchen - grey-15

Immediately we could see what kind of a difference the grey makes. Instantly calming.

new kitchen - grey-20

This is what it looked like when we moved in.

new kitchen - grey-20 new kitchen - grey-7


Filed under: Home Reno | 9 comments

Bedroom redux

January 15th, 2010

Tonight, being Friday and all, we fancied things up a bit by heading over to The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder to try their wood smoked BBQ before settling in at home to get our bedroom in order. I mention this only because we recommend you give it a try if you are craving amazing BBQ and fries (and for the moms, we accompanied our dinner with an order of brussel sprouts…with bacon).

We spent the last few nights sleeping on the floor in the living room and falling a sleep to the television to distract us from the noisy street. To be honest somehow it was some of the best sleeping we’ve had at this place. After all the painting all one really wants to do is see the fruits of their labour so we spent the last hour getting the bedroom tidy and put together, and we just couldn’t wait until Monday to share it with you.

newbedroom (1 of 7)

Simple. We refuse to bring anything back into the bedroom which means the rest of the apartment is a disaster. We are calling this our oasis room.

newbedroom (2 of 7)

Eero Aarnio baby rocket stool and clock by Riki Watanabe.

newbedroom (3 of 7)

Isamu Noguchi beehive inspired light, pillaged from the cottage. I love his little legs.

newbedroom (4 of 7)

Le Klint accordion light – a favourite classic of ours.

newbedroom (5 of 7)

We were having a trouble finding a spot for this Joshua Jensen-Nagle piece in the apartment, but with the open space in the bedroom we can now enjoy it.

newbedroom (6 of 7)

newbedroom (7 of 7)

Grover snuggled right back into bed as soon as we set up. Poor little guy is sick…

You can find the rocket stool, clock, Le Klint and Crux blanket at mjolk.

Filed under: Home Reno | 15 comments