July, 2010

Signal Shed

July 28th, 2010

Mariah Morrow and her partner Architect Ryan Lingard built their own cabin deep in the woods. The most inspiring part is they did it for around $57,000 including land!

The Signal shed is only 130 square feet and sits near Wallowa lake in Oregon (about 6 hours from Portland).

The cabin is completely off the grid with no running water and is heated by a wood stove that they found on Craigslist.

Cedar siding wraps around the cabin and is accompanied by recycled windows and a metal roof. The cabin sits on a platform to minimize the impact of the site. The material costs were around $10,000 and although there was 2 years of planning that went into the cabin. It was built in only 2 weeks with help from family and friends.

“We don’t think of this as a vacation house. Wherever else we live, this will always be home.”

You can get your own Signal Shed by following this link

via Sunset

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Cottage hodge-podge

July 27th, 2010

There was something missing in the living room at the cottage. We needed a coffee table, but we didn’t want anything covering our rug, and we didn’t think that a glass table was that appropriate for a cottage.

The solution?

The Castor table designed by Hans Sandgren Jacoben for Askman. The two trays are reversible (white or black) and they are removable so you can bring them in the kitchen with you to easily carry a snack back to the sofa while watching Mad Men.

Isha is passed out in the background. So. Hot.

I think it needs a few books on the bottom…


We installed some birch shelves by Alvar Aalto on either side of the fireplace. They are looking fantastic!

Vintage Moomin character dolls.

Savoy vase with wild daises.

We installed a Bilberry pendant light aimed at the wall to the left of our fireplace. We don’t really have much lighting in the cottage and at night it can be really dark around here so the extra spotlight is a welcomed addition. Plus the light is so cool! It almost has its own face.

The concrete Sailor we purchased from Johan Pergenius made his long trip from Sweden to Canada. It arrived last week and we brought him to the cottage.

Thanks Johan!

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New entrance at the cottage

July 21st, 2010

Juli and I must be putterers because we always seem to come up with more projects to do while we’re at the cottage. One thing that always bugged us was the entrance way. It’s the first thing you walk into when you enter the cottage and you’re greeted with yellow knotty pine, a terrible light fixture, and an exposed coat rack.

The first thing I did was paint everything white and replace the ugly glass ceiling fixture (which seems to make an appearance in every apartment in Toronto) with a simple ceramic fitting.

Note to self: We really need to replace that old brown metal door!

Juli has been taking Japanese dress making classes and now she has a lot of confidence with the sewing machine. She made this great gingham curtain to hide our jackets and shoes.

Another quick fix was this simple doormat and cast iron door stop by Makoto Koizumi.

It looks just like a river stone.

We put up a little coat rack behind the door for another place to hang stuff. You can never have too many hangers!

Here is a picture of how the entryway looked before. Even with the sunlight coming in, it was still really dark.

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A house is not a home without art

July 15th, 2010

Our first art purchase in a very long time happened after I obsessively perused Melinda Josie‘s website one quiet Saturday afternoon in the shop. I came across her Dalahäst Blå and was happy to learn that it was still available. It’s really lovely in person, and I found the perfect spot for it in the bedroom, which happens to be the Dala zone. I love the spot by the door because I can see it from bed, and I see it every time I leave the room.

A bedroom side note: There is this weird nook in order to accommodate a window on my side of the bed. Our closet is in another room, so I recently grabbed a small Loop Stand which fits my heavy rotation summer wear perfectly. On the stool is a really cool Carin Wester top I bought in Stockholm three years ago and never ever wore, until yesterday! Don’t you love when that happens? I held on long enough to figure out how to incorporate in my wardrobe – usually waiting that long is a total bust.

These encaustic pieces by Beverley Owens are finally up on the wall. They were my first ever art purchase about 5 years ago!

My other first major art buy was this gorgeous piece by Joshua Jensen-Nagle. He’s moving his studio to the neighborhood so we’ll hopefully be seeing more of him.

This collage is by Aprile Elcich, from her The Royal Family series.

I desperately want to get a new frame for this modern piece. In the photo the old frame looks nice but it really drags the piece down in person.

There’s plenty more to hang, but this is a good start. And you know what, it really does FEEL more homey in here now.

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Goodbye lattice, hello slatty

July 12th, 2010

By no means has this summer at the cottage been as busy as last year, but we’ve still been finding problems here and there that need to be taken care of. One thing we’ve been putting off for two years has been changing out the ugly lattice that runs along the side of the deck.

One of the big pushes for us was seeing how amazing Morgan’s (from the Brick House) slats turned out in front of her home!

The before…

The sliding door.

And the result!

I can’t believe it took us so long! For some reason we thought it was beyond our skill level, until Juli got fed up and demanded that we figure it out. It was a rough start at Home Depot, when we realized they didn’t really sell the size of slats we were looking for (and they don’t rip–cut along the grain–larger pieces). After circling the lumber department 5 times, we finally noticed some 1.5 inch thick slats of red cedar. It wasn’t the budget choice, but it was the only choice, and we figured that the savings we made not hiring someone were compensation enough. Plus, the cedar is gorgeous and these are like feature walls, so it ended up being beyond worth it.

The slats were spaced out 1.5 inches apart and by some divine grace the slats of the door actually line up perfectly.

By this point we gave each other a high-five, took a beer break, and admired our handy work.

After doing the first two, we knew we needed to finish the other side.

We got right to work. I was obviously dressed appropriately.

Another great transformation, another high five.

Next weekend, we’ll have new outdoor furniture, and hopefully some greenery for the deck too!

In other news, for dinner on Friday we had steamed clams!

Isha: I bring you mouse, you give me baguette. That’s how it works, right?


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Summer home in Gotland

July 10th, 2010

Well, I think we found one summer home that Juli and I are head over heels about. We got our first issue of Skona Hem just a couple of days ago, and we were greeted with one of the most inspiring homes we’ve seen in a long time

The home belongs to graphic design couple Henrik Nygren and Susanna Nygren Barrett. Henrik Nygren is an art director with his own company, and lecturer in typography at Beckman’s College of Design. His wife Susanna Nygren Barrett, grew up outside Vancouver, Canada, and has been the creative director and co-owner of design agency BVD.

I felt an instant connection to this couple the second I saw that SK4 record player in the corner, Naoto Fukasawa book on the Poul Kjaerholm coffee table and Pia Wallen blanket neatly folded over a leather PK22 lounge chair. We actually have a sofa just like the Oak Hans Wegner sofa they have in their living room. Ours is by Borge Mogensen and needs new webbing, and new cushions. We’re thinking it’ll look great in the guest cottage so we’re bringing it up with us this weekend.

Oh Bruno Mathsson… You make me weak in the knees.

It’s all in the details, isn’t it? I spy a Naoto Fukasawa CD player and Norwegian Luxo task lights. These guys have MAD STYLE.

Of course you need modernest art and Ekeby pottery to complete the home.

A wonderful concrete indoor/outdoor space connecting the living area and the outside. The table has a lime stone top with a wooden bench draped with gray sheepskins.

I also want to mention that Anna from Door Sixteen wrote about this house like 2 years ago! It’s interesting to see it again with new photographs and a meaty article.

Photos by Johan Carlson for Sköna Hem

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