Home Reno

Demolition part two

July 20th, 2011

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We hope this week will be the last week of demolition. the walls are gutted right to the brick and the ceiling has completely opened up, we’re looking for anything that could be salvaged but it looks like we need new everything, floors, drywall, windows.

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The front oriel windows float off the end of the building.

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This is something you don’t see often, 19th century engineering. Using a similar formula to a suspension bridge, the weight of the windows are supported by a long horizontal beam and to offset the sag, two beams are connected at an angled point and a metal spike is driven in the center.

Surprisingly enough this tactic was enough to hold the oriel windows for over a century, but after a lot of water damage and rot to the original beams this will have to all be replaced (budget buzzkill).

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We would love to plaster over the brick walls instead of using drywall as it would add such a beautiful texture. We fell in love with white painted plaster after seeing it used countless times in buildings by Alvar Aalto. Unfortunately we have to keep in mind sound and insulation.

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Peeling back the walls you can see some of the original details like the remnants of an old window.

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Or this beautiful curved wall detail made with the building’s original plaster.

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You can now see all the way from the back to the front.

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These are the original ceilings which might look beautiful sprayed white but the pattern is very busy and distracting, plus having a clean drywall ceiling means hiding all of the wires used for lighting.

So many decisions to make!

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Demolition

July 4th, 2011

If you’ve been to the shop this week you might have noticed a lot of noise going on upstairs. We have begun the first stage of renovating our home above the store, taking out all of the interior structure and leaving a blank slate to be put back together.

Over the last 2 years we’ve been putting in a little bit of work here and there to make our apartment nice to live in, but all the work we did was simply cosmetic. This old building has a lot of structural and electrical issues that need to be taken care of sooner than later.

It was a little hard committing to renovating our place, there is a lot on our plates and we did have the living room the way we wanted but there were so many things we couldn’t fix without getting invasive like: stucco ceilings, way too many awkward rooms, a college dorm kitchen, no windows, and the very obvious issues with structure. It’s impossible to capture with photographs but you can actually feel the floor sinking as you walk close to the Bay window area, this is perhaps our biggest problem area to fix during the renovation.

So why now?

Besides the obvious fixes to get the building back to code, we just feel that this is the best time for us to take on our future home. We want to have a family some day soon, but we’ve had a lot of friends who went through renovations during pregnancy, and it was very stressful time. Why not try to start enjoying our home sooner than later. Plus, we’re really excited to collaborate with Studio Junction again on this project. Christine and Peter have played such an important role in our life, and it wasn’t even a question of whether or not to work with them again. We were talking about the future of the building even before designing the store.

The good thing about a building this narrow is that there are no internal load bearing walls, so we can just gut the whole place and start from scratch. In the meantime we’re temporarily renting an apartment just down the street. We’re excited to share some insight during the next stage in our renovating endeavors. Also we’ve got our temporary apartment looking pretty good in the meantime, more on that to come!

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White sprayed electric fireplace

December 20th, 2010

We finally got our vintage fireplace sprayed white and lugged up to the apartment (I’m very proud of Juli). The burnt orange was pretty cool, but I’m happy that we got it sprayed a simple white.

Tim from Beresford Inc. did an amazing job keeping all the details intact, including this retro “Log” logo.

We picked up an extension flue at Home Depot and the little tin cap which finishes off the top, but also has an open vent for the fan.

The faux logs are pretty quirky, but they do set the mood. I’m still toying with painting the brass handles black, just for simplicity sake.

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Painted hallyway & Naoto Fukasawa armchairs

October 28th, 2010

It’s been a long process, but finally all of the floors in our apartment are painted! We left the hallway for last, because it is by far the most inconvenient to paint. Every morning before work I would paint myself out of the apartment, and by the time we came home the paint would be dry and be alright to walk on. We attempted to barricade our cat in the living room by moving the piano to block the hallway, but after the first day she found a way out. Juli came upstairs and heard paws on the keys of the piano, a thunk and a pitter-patter down the hallway. This obviously wasn’t the first time that happened.

Our front entrance now has light coming from both ends of the hallway.

Check out how it looked before.

Not the smoothest transition into the black floors.

Sometimes things arrive damaged, and sometimes those damaged pieces go in our apartment.

Case in point: Naoto Fukasawa dining chair.

We also moved the wishbone chairs and replaced them with a pair of floor models from the store. The wishbone chairs although beautiful, just weren’t very comfortable. They have been replaced with the Naoto Fukasawa lounge chair, which has been sitting in our showroom for 10 months.

We’re entering dangerous territory.

Definitely no way to run a business.

But how could we resist the smooth sexy curves of this very beautiful piece? We always secretly wanted them for ourselves (still available to purchase new though!).

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Kitka’s office supplies

September 17th, 2010

We’ve been anticipating this post ever since we started working on the office. Over the years for some reason I’ve been collecting modernist office accessories for the day where I could have my own minimalist Dieter Rams style office.

Enjoy!

Braun ET55 calculator, designed by Dietrich Lubs & Dieter Rams.

Plus Minus Zero calculator & Lamy ballpoint pens, designed by Naoto Fukasawa.

Braun desk fan, designed by Reinold Weiss (1961).

I have to give a bit of a shout out to Lawrence from Atomic on this one. He has one on his desk and every time I visit I coveted it, until I recently found one with N. American voltage on ebay.

I just received “White” by Japanese designer Kenya Hara.

It’s a quick read, but maybe I’ll get to use the Angular bookmark designed by Folmer Christensen.

Now available at the Mjolk Shop. Let me introduce you to the rest of the line:

Ruler, designed by Folmer Christensen.

Paper knife, designed by Folmer Christensen. Winner of the Form 91 award (Frankfurt).

26/6 Stapler, designed by Henning Andreasen. Awarded the Danish Design Council’s ID prize and included in the Industrial Design Collection at the Museum of Modern Art.

The only stapler you will ever need.

Pen tray with calender, designed by Folmer Christensen.

A couple of new additions to the office (paper tray and coffee maker to complete the collection).

Super fluffy Isha.

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String

September 11th, 2010

We recently got our shipment from String, which we will be selling through the Mjölk shop. Of course we need to give the shelf the old Kitka approval before we start selling it, so we installed one in our office.

You can never have enough storage, EVER!

Our little Kay Bojesen monkey’s habitat.

A collection of books that are currently inspiring us.

It seems like when I’m done with a magazine I don’t really go back to it, and that’s partly because it’s no longer in view. But there is still good stuff in a lot of them, things that I don’t really want to forget. Now that we have these shelves we can neatly display all of our magazines!

Braun SK4, designed by Dieter Rams.

Our friend Paul volunteered to come over and help me assemble the shelf.

He has way better tools than me.

The system is seemingly simple, but ingenious at the same time. The poles are mounted to the wall where the legs of the pole actually bare the weight of the shelves, it’s a pretty easy install and also pretty affordable.

We currently have the white Pocket String (2 panels, 3 shelves) available in the shop ($200).

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