Home Reno

Bedroom finished!

June 30th, 2010

We knew exactly what we had in mind for the bedroom before we even started. We wanted it to be comfortable, clean, and above all else simple. We allowed everything to come together very slowly and made sure the decisions we were making would work beyond our bedroom when we convert the apartment into a family home.

Hope you like it!

We took a reindeer hide from the store for the bedroom, it has such interesting rib marks and colour.

A new edition to the room is the Le Klint 101 pendant light designed by Kaare Klint. It’s much better than an exposed bulb on the ceiling and adds a soft light to the bedroom.

We also thought it would be a neat idea to have the Libri shelf at the side of our bed. The leaning bookshelf has been copied many times but the Libri has a very special quality to it that the others don’t have.

We moved the Michael Lax Lytegem to Juli’s side of the bed so she could have a small light for reading. She was reading “The girl with the dragon tattoo” last night and I didn’t notice at all.

i-glass decanter designed by Timo Sarpaneva, and ceramic bird by Tapio Wirkkala.

A 1930s ceramic box from Royal Copenhagen that I got Juli for Christmas last year.

The most important addition to the bedroom was a set of Snow cabinets by Thomas Sandell & Jonas Bohlin. We finally have a place to put our clothes! And yes we do watch television in bed (sorry Oprah) we like to watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report before bed.

My little wooden tray I got in Japan is the perfect place to put my manly things at the end of the day.

The bird hanger from Icelandic designer Ingibjorg Hanna looks so cool on the wall. Maybe you have a piece of clothing you like so much you want to display it? Or maybe you’re like me and want a place to put your shirt before bed.

Tom Dixon is the creative director for Artek, and a while back he came up with the concept of white Aalto stools upholstered with Varvunraita fabric from Marimekko. We actually got the last 6 from the factory and we just had to take one before they all sold out! (If you want one we still have a couple in the shop)

The wooden splint basket is by Harri Koskinen designed exclusively for the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. I emailed them to see if they could send me one and whoever I talked to was nice enough to fullfil my request! It looks like it can perfectly fit a wine bottle, so I think Juli and I will have to take a picnic someday soon.

That’s the bedroom right now, hope you liked it!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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

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

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

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

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

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This is what it looked like when we moved in.

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


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