April, 2012

Guest cottage renovation

April 29th, 2012


Déjà vu! This was nearly the same opening photo from our first cottage renovation 2 years ago. You may or may not know that our cottage also has a matching guest cottage on the property that used to act as a rental unit when Juli was growing up. During the first renovation we focused on the cottage closer to the lake and it was more than enough to hold ourselves and our friends over the summer.

With the arrival of our baby we decided to start working away at the guest cottage so our friends and family have their own private space. It is going to a be a lot of work, but my brother Frank and I started taking day trips once a week to get the work done.


Our first step was to empty the furniture in the cottage, and box up all of the miscellaneous antiques to be sorted out after the renovation. With the recommendation from our neighbor we contacted a local antique dealer to visit the cottage and make an offer on the contents.

They gave us a reasonable offer and hauled away everything later that day. Originally we were just going to donate everything, but I’m so glad we called these guys, they were really nice and came to the cottage within an hour of contact.


The bedrooms are really tired looking, and all of the windows need an update.


The water tank in one of the bedrooms already has a decent frame around it, I think we’ll panel it up with some nice pickled pine wood.


There are some details we are happy to keep, including these beautifully oxidized copper sconces in the sun room. This room is going to be the highlight of the renovation complete with matching daybeds.


A view from the living room to the sun room.


We started pulling up the carpet, which lead to 2 layers of linoleum nailed to the floor with a million nails. Next week Frank and I will be on our hands and knees pulling them up one by one.

We still don’t know if we should sand down the pine floors, and treat them with lye giving them a bleached effect. Of course the other more simple solution is painting them white like the main cottage. Part of me wants this one to have more of a natural feel, as if the cottage was never really renovated, just smartly re-worked in the 60s complete with Aalto furniture, white plaster, and pine floors.

What do you think?


Filed under: Cottage Reno | 13 comments

Mjölk sandwich board

April 22nd, 2012

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This week we had a bit of time on our hands so we started working on a custom sandwich board for the shop. We bought a couple of nice wide boards and began to burn them a la Terunobu Fujimori.

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The next step we sealed the board with a very matte polyurethane called Bona Traffic. This will keep the charcoal from rubbing off onto your hands.

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We found some really nice copper hinges to match our copper wall light by Poul Henningsen.

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Here it is drying out in the sun.

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We commissioned Melinda Josie to create the illustration for the sandwich board and a matching version for our window.

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Here it is sitting outside doing its job.

new window

Here is the logo in the front window, it used to read “Pure Scandinavian” but with the amount of Japanese and Canadian influence I think this is more appropriate.

Filed under: General,Mjölk | 16 comments

Mini Mjölk

April 6th, 2012


We are so happy to announce the birth of Elodie (above, she is is one week old!).


About 38 weeks…anticipation!

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Not sure what it is about being pregnant but it often brings out the craftiness in the ladies. Pregnant pal Celine (who is due any day!) and I made soft blocks and baby quilts. The day before our scheduled c section (unfortunate but necessary) Lindsey Bakes popped by the shop with a box of goodies that got us through the two days in hospital. How adorable are those onesies!!!!


About 40 minutes old.

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Dad’s set up / Visiting baby in the NICU (unfortunately we didn’t get to spend the first night with her, as she had fluid in her lungs and needed to be taken care of…but thankfully everything was otherwise ok!)


After 30 hours in the NICU she was finally handed over to us. Our first early morning together (got it under control).


One of the first big laughs for mom and dad: discovering that 0-3 month clothing is waaaay too big for a newborn.


Home to Isha! Her first whiff of the baby she was caught pretty off guard, but she seems to be handling things ok. We’ve been making a big effort to pay a lot of attention to her too.

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This blog just got a whole lot cuter. Cats and babies. Elodie meet Isha. Isha meet Elodie / Classic Isha – butt to the baby, with tail covering her head for good measure.


Ready to watch Game of Thrones!

We still have a few silk baby hats available in the shop. Elodie is modelling the size 0, which still has plenty of room to grow into. Currently not available online though so email us.

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A few more for good measure.


This happens more than is practical.

As Morgan from The Brick House recently suggested, Twitter and Instagram are the new blog. So if you want to keep up to date with our goings on (I promise there are Mjölk, design and food related things as well…naturally we’ve just been distracted), follow us here:
Twitter = mjolkshop
Two perspectives on Instagram = @juli_at_mjolk  / @john_at_mjolk

Filed under: General | 32 comments