Home decor and food

The New Year celebrations are over and we had a calm and nice New Year’s Eve with close family! The focus was on good food and fixing decorations at home. It was the same over Christmas and it has really been the most stress-free holidays I have ever had. Really nice and relaxing – maybe this should be done every year !? There have also been a lot of watching TV-series and movies and here are two really good tips I can recommend: 

  • Queen’s Gambit – a miniseries in 7 parts about an orphaned girl who grows up in an orphanage in the 50’s and learns to play chess. She also develops a severe pill addiction that she needs to deal with as her chess career takes off.
  • Contagion – an American thriller film about a virus that is even more contagious and deadly than Corona. The film was made as early as 2011 but has been given new life in 2020 in connection with the Corona virus starting to spread around the world.

Because I had so much time over the holidays, I put a little extra focus on the New Year’s table setting this year. In recent years, I have really started to appreciate our older tableware, which we have previously inherited from relatives, but which mostly just stood in the cupboards and collected dust. 

This year’s table setting includes cornflowers – a tableware that I have collected since I was a teenager, telemark silver from Norway and beautiful old glasses that have been inherited for several generations.

Cornflower plates and telemark silver
Beautiful wine and champagne glasses inherited from family

In the middle of the table there are table decorations such as eucalyptus, white roses, and candlesticks.

A mixture of candles, small glasses with white roses in, eucalyptus, light strings and candle lanterns
Small light strings in stars hanging from the lamps
The entire New Year’s table setting

We prepared the food all day and had several dishes you could make in advance, such as artichoke soup and dessert – classic panna cotta with lime and raspberries. We could also prepare the other dishes by chopping everything up so that it could easily be prepared à la minute. 

Here is our entire New Year’s menu:

Pickled food : fried giant prawns, cheese balls and kale. A sweet and sour sauce was served with the prawns and cheese balls.

Starter : Artichoke soup

Main course : Veal roast with cooked and fried vegetables, red wine sauce and risotto with chanterelles

Dessert : Panna cotta with lime and raspberries

Pick food

Fried batter for the giant prawns – about 4 servings:

  • 2 dl wheat flour
  • 1.5 dl light beer
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
When the batter is ready, dip the prawns in the batter and place in the fryer. When the color looks nice, the prawns are ready.
 
Fried kale: pick leaves apart into reasonably large pieces. Make sure the kale is dry before putting them in the fryer. To be fried at 130 degrees. When they are ready, place them on a platter and add some salt.
 
Starter 

Artichoke soup, 4 servings:

  • 500 g  artichokes
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • butter
  • 1, 5 dl white wine
  • 0.5 l of water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 3 dl whipping cream
  • salt and pepper

Peel the artichokes and carrots. Cut into pieces. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Fry the ingredients with butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan.

Pour over the wine and let it boil for a minute. Add water and add the bouillon cubes. Stir. Let this cook for 15 minutes, until everything is soft.
 
Mix the soup in a food processor or with a mixer stick. Stir in the cream and heat. Season with salt and pepper.
 
Main course
 
Veal roast
  • Turn the oven to 100 degrees, salt and pepper the meat and fry in thyme and garlic.
  • Grill the roast in the oven until it reaches 62 degrees. 
  • Take out the steak and wrap it in foil paper. Let it reheat until it reaches 65 degrees. 
  • Raise the oven temperature to 225 degrees.
  • Finally, add the garlic butter and let it fry in the oven for between 5-10 minutes at 225 degrees.
Red wine sauce (4 servings):
  • Fry 1 yellow onion and 2 garlic cloves
  • Pour on 3 dl red wine
  • Add bay leaves and thyme
  • Reduce to half
  • Strain the onion and then put in a click of butter and reduce
  • Add 6 dl veal broth and reduce to half

Cooked and fried vegetables

  • Cut carrots into smaller sticks and fry it with a little salt until soft
  • Fry Haricots verts in soy until soft

Feel free to decorate with the vegetables around the veal steak.

Risotto (recommend Saltå Kvarn)

  • 7 dl vegetable broth
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 dl arborioris
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 dl white wine
  • 1 dl grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Heat broth in a saucepan. Fry onion and rice in olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Pour on the wine and let it boil. Pour in 1/3 of the broth and let it boil slightly while stirring. Dilute with a little broth at a time while stirring until the rice has a pleasant chewing resistance (a little al dente is usually best). This process usually takes about 20-25 minutes. When ready, remove from the heat and pour in the cheese and season with black pepper and salt. Serve immediately.

Dessert

Classic panna cotta with lime and raspberries – 4 servings

  • 1 gelatin sheet
  • 3 dl whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • lime and raspberries
  1. Soak the gelatin leaf, meanwhile boil the cream, add the whole vanilla bean and sugar.
  2. Let this boil for a few minutes. Pull the pan off the plate.
  3. Remove the vanilla bean and wipe it dry. Divide it in half and scrape out all the black little seeds. Put the seeds back in the cream and toss the vanilla bean.
  4. Squeeze the water out of the gelatin leaf and let it melt into the warm vanilla cream.
  5. Pour into portion forms and let set in the fridge for about 3 hours.
  6. Garnish with lime wedges and raspberries.

Feel free to make raspberry sauce with it: boil raspberries and a little powdered sugar, add a little lime.

A new year has begun and it has been welcome! Finally, the year 2020 is behind us and we can look ahead. We can only hope that the vaccination goes fast and that we soon can start meeting normally again. 

Wish you all a healthy and happy 2021!

Our garage is in place!

The project with a new driveway, garage and carport continues and now the building is in place. It has been wet and rainy for a while now so it has to dry out properly before we can start installing the insulation. 

Below, the garage is put together step by step.

The first wall parts are assembled
The walls set up
Roof gable is ready to be built
One gable in place and the trusses are set up piece by piece
The carport is also in place and now the entire building is in place
Evening picture of the garage construction
The panel in place
Roofing felt in place
Roofing felt on both sides, now the roof tiles will soon be laid
And then there was snow in between too, the work continues after Christmas 🙂

The garage project will be completed to extent so that it will possible to start using the garage and the carport. We will continue to work on the apartment, that will be located on top of the garage, this summer. First we will paint the garage one more time and then we will work on the inside ourselves – lay floors, putty, paint and build a wardrobe, etc. Follow our continued journey here on the blog and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ boenderesor /

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Our natural stone wall is almost finished

The first year when we moved into our new house, we built these blasted stone walls. Now the work continues with more blasted stone walls around the house at the garage driveway. Just love how they look and frames the house so beautifully.

This is what the walls looked like this summer before we started further work with natural stone walls

Now we continue the work with the wall and below the basic work begins. The wall must be built so that it ends up as high as the pillars.

This is how nice the wall became when it is ready, straight and nice! Next year there will be Christmas lighting on this part of the wall as well. This summer i will probably plant some nice flowers between the walls.

The wall is drying
Here the ground is prepared for the garage construction and the carport
The wall goes up along the mountain edge that can be seen in the picture
Evening picture of the walls

The blasting stone wall will continue all the way down to the mailbox. Here the work is prepared with the bottom layer of the wall. 

The wall will be quite high, all the way up to the forest edge as seen in the picture

This week the garage is coming so it will be exciting to see when it will be in place. More pictures on the blog are coming🙂

Emmeli and Simon’s house building story

Our names are Emmeli and Simon and this is our story about when we divided a plot and built our dream house. Join us on our journey from start to finish 😊

Here we are when we’ve just got the keys to our new house 🙂

We bought a plot of land from my parents

The plot has been in our family for generations and we were so happy when we had the opportunity from my mother and father to divide and buy a piece of their plot. The plot is perfectly located in the village in Östersund (a town in the northern part of Sweden) and we knew that the view would be nice after all the trees had been felled.

The plot

When we were going to divide the plot, a surveyor visited us on the plot and then there was a meeting with the landowners that lived nearby the plot. It was important that everyone agreed on where the boundaries went when the maps were last updated in the 1950s.

When we had set the plot boundaries, we saw that the plot was wider further up and narrowed a bit further down where were are not as dependent on the surface. Both we and my mom and dad (who own the land) were happy with the new markings. After the site was now exposed, only the paperwork with the municipality remained. Exactly how big the plot would eventually be was going to be decided by the municipality but we got an estimate of about 2,200 – 2,500 sqm which felt perfect!

Clearing on the plot

When the markings were out, we were able to start the ground work. There were many trees that needed to be felled but luckily we had my father who felled all the big pine trees and we helped to pull them in the snow.

A hard job to fell and clear all the trees

We got filling masses from a cycle track construction

We were so lucky that a cycle track construction was going on at the same time as our site work, which meant that we would in principle get a lot of filling masses on our site. Just what we needed to level the ground.

We had decided on a delivery date for the masses later in the spring of May, which we thought was perfect as we at that time expected that we would have had the building permit application approved. But then they called already in January and announced that the construction of the bike path went much faster than planned and they wanted to start tipping lots of masses on our site.

Then we panicked as we did not have a building permit and the ground was still full of stumps and debris since the felling of the trees. How would we solve this ??

During some research, we were told that it was possible to apply for a permit for filling at the County Administrative Board. When we called there we were told that it would take 6 weeks to get the permit but then I used all my persuasiveness on the phone and managed to reduce the time for the decision to 4 days instead! The cycle track work called on a Thursday, the following Tuesday we received permission from the County Administrative Board and immediately hired a excavator operator who tore up all the stumps and debris. On Wednesday, the filling masses came from the bike path work and there were crazy amounts of truck loads, just what we needed 😊

New insight: Once it happens, then everything happens at the same time, at very short notice. 

Really large amounts of filling masses from the cycle path work
We were busy just getting all the filler out on the plot

Choice of house supplier

When choosing a house supplier, we went on house tours in Östersund and met a couple of sellers to get an idea of ​​costs and quality. We had a long thought process, but in the end we found our house. An Eksjöhus, which I actually when I saw it for the first time in the catalog said a bit jokingly, “Yep, there it is, we take it!”. That it was called “Nostalgia” did not make things worse, so nice.

Choice of house model

Choosing a house model was tricky, there was so much to think about and I can admit that I was a little nervous the first time we sat down together, what if we were to think completely differently? Luckily it went well and we landed in the same house types all the time. For Simon, the kitchen island was a must and I wanted an open feeling in the house yet with the kitchen and living room a bit separated so that it does not feel like the same room.

It became a house with horizontal panels at an angle with stairs in the middle of the house, a designed kitchen island from the start and a floor plan with an open feeling with kitchen and living room at an angle, space for a grand piano (important in the long run!) And bedrooms upstairs with city views. .

House model from Eksjöhus catalog
Floor plan downstairs
Floor plan upstairs

When the permit from the municipality regarding the plot boundaries arrived and we had decided on a house supplier, house model and floor plan, we could send in our building permit application.

Interior design

Meanwhile, while we were waiting for the building permit, we started the process of choosing interior design.

Our first meeting was about tiles and tiles for the hall, laundry room, kitchen and bathroom. What a jungle it was and oh what it all cost. The first thing the seller said was that he had never experienced anyone who managed the budget, everyone cracks it. We took this with a grain of salt as we were careful not to crack the budget. But when he started to show which tiles were standard, we also realized that it would be difficult. Pretty quickly we decided to put more focus and money on the floors and less on the walls.

We got lots of great tips! For example, that we should have the same color on the floor in the hall and the laundry room because they are right next to each other, we had not reflected on that at all.

 Floor to bathroom

We found out that the smaller the tiles were, the more expensive it became, luckily we wanted large tiles (except for floor drains where there must be smaller ones).

We chose these fine tiles

The lucky hit was the floor tile we found for the bathrooms (black) and liked so much, it was also available in gray. We wanted the same type of floor tile as in the bathrooms, but in two colors, black in the bathrooms and gray in the hall / laundry room. We were advised to try to keep the same thought through the three rooms because they are edge to edge, so it actually felt like a brilliant idea. 

After the trip to Fresks we went to the tile store again and got to meet the salesman who helped us on our first visit which felt great. We went through every tile, every joint, every molding, both floor strainers and looked at everything again. And it felt so good. The seller also seemed to think that we made good choices and wanted photo evidence from the house because he was curious about the result. 

Towel dryer

We looked at a towel rail in a very exciting design after tips from the electrician as the wall surface is not large where it would sit. There was a small towel tree in both bathrooms, both for tall and short people =) We hoped for warm towels even though they would hang straight down, but it would apparently work fine.

Towel dryer that we chose

The foundation is being prepared

The building permit was approved and the foundation began to be prepared. It progressed quickly when they laid drainage and prepared for all the pipes to drains and such things that would enter the foundation later.

The house foundation on site and preparations for pipes

Emmelis bakery

An “Emmelis construction bakery” was also inaugurated. A thought that had struck me early in the house building process. Combining the interest in baking bread with the dream of a house and getting happy construction workers who possibly would do an extra good job with us felt like a good idea. So, on Fridays, bread was delivered so that the construction workers got extra good coffee on Fridays and Mondays. In the same vein, we also had time to talk about the week and got to meet. They were very happy with their bread with nuts and cranberries🙂

In the same crank the three-chamber well was delivered, it was fun to see one above ground, had no idea what it actually looked like!
Nice plate in a wintry landscape

The scaffolding upstairs

The scaffolding was set up and then the house parts began to arrive. We got a first impression of what the house would look like on the plot and what it will look like when it is ready. So far, so good.

Everything soon ready for the house parts to arrive
Here the house parts arrived and the house construction began

The house on site

Bit by bit, the house began to fall into place – all the wall parts, all the trusses and the roof had also started to be covered, which felt so nice because it rained a little now and then.

Walls and roof frame in place
The scaffolding can soon be removed

The house inside

When it was time for a workplace visit, the inspector thought that the builders had done a good job and the best of all was that we got to go in for the first time! Wow, that was really cool! Just the feeling of pushing down the door handle and opening, finally. In the house it was full of chaos, but you still got a first impression of where the rooms were, how big / small they were and what it would look like. Looking out the windows was also fun, the house was exactly where we wanted with a view in both directions which was magical.

From left: Laundry room, storage room, music room! And right now we are in the hall =]
The kitchen right now, a while left for dinner, but at the same time closer than ever!

Completion of the house

Soon it was time for electricians to enter and before that an electrical meeting would take place where they would go through the drawings and the changes we wanted to make. We had also found out when we could start painting inside the house. Yes, that’s right – we had decided to do all the filling and painting ourselves so we could save some money.

Once we had started preparing for the painting work, I discovered that it was much more difficult than I first thought. I had a bit naively compared it to renovating a room, you fill over nail holes, sandpaper and cover with new wallpaper / paint. But of course, a new house is in a slightly different basic condition than a room that was once made ready. The plasterboards were not even and after every meter there was gaps that needed to be filled with putty. All corners needed to be reinforced and filled evenly. There were a million screws everywhere, both in the ceiling and the walls. It took time and it was difficult. It was also a bit fun, of course, especially when it looked good.

Hard work to paint in a newly built house
We help paint

Scaffolding gone

Last night we met a fantastic house in the sunshine! The scaffolding had been removed and moma mia how nice it was!

The scaffolding was now gone

It had started to get hot too and all the snow had thawed away. We could therefore now see all the stumps and all the debris that had previously been hidden away by the winter blanket. We realized that we needed to fix an excavator that could remove all the debris and stumps otherwise it would be difficult to sow the lawn.

Many stumps and debris on the plot

The house is almost completely finished now

Now we began to approach the end and soon it was time for the final inspection. All of a sudden, a home had begun to peek out. From construction chaos, our kitchen was in place, there was a staircase, there were parquet floors everywhere… It was so nice!

The kitchen on site
The stairs in place

Inspection

Yesterday we had a control inspection, so much fun! A first inspection where the inspector, representative of Eksjöhus, the construction manager and we were involved. For 1.5 hours we walked around and the house was inspected with great care. He was a really picky inspector so it felt safe and he saw a lot that we had not seen. We thought the list of action points was so long but apparently it was a fairly common amount so the builders were not so stressed. They had 4 days to rectify the deficiencies and then on Friday there was a final inspection.

The shortcomings that were pointed out were a few small things such as missing joints on a slab, a broken roof tile, a faulty downpipe, nails sticking out of the attic that should not protrude, and so on. It was also not completely clear in places, we lacked a lot of interior doors and the skirting boards were not attached. 

The drawings on the table. Here to review!

Final inspection

The final inspection went through! The keys were ours! However, we were not really ready to move in as we had a lot of filling / painting jobs left.

But we still enjoyed the happiness of having the keys 😊. It was an unbelievable feeling, 2 years of waiting and then the house stood there, just as we wanted it! Absolutely unreal and amazing!

Everyone was very happy, both us, the builders and the inspector and finally we got a moving-in gift from Eksjöhus. A warm lovely blanket for autumn, cozy!

Painting of the house

The house turned light gray with white knots. We applied for a building permit for a white house but were refused by the municipality, so this color felt like a great compromise. In the sun the house looked white, and in the shade light gray, perfect! We painted the house ourselves when moving in and got good help from the family, invaluable!

It was a little scary to climb so high on the steps
It was tough to paint the eaves as the angle was a bit skewed
The house is painted and here is the result! Ta-daa! We feel super happy, both with how the painting went and how the color turned out.
This is what the back of the house looks like

Our finished house and moving in

The house with porch lighting
The house looks white even though it is light gray
The bathroom on the lower level
The bathroom on the upper level
The kitchen of course
Easter decorated in the kitchen
Open with a lot of light and with the stairs in the middle
Laundry room with lots of light
Laundry bins
Music room
Nice view when creating music

Purchase of an entire home at IKEA

There were a lot of things we needed in the beginning to fill an entire house. Utensils, storage, hooks, some lamp and a lot of furniture. Thankfully, an IKEA was quite close to us. Many quick decisions were made and we needed to quickly get everything together so that we could have a functioning everyday life in the future. Kitchen table with chairs, sofa, living room table, wardrobes, desk, etc. My God, luckily it was more fun to screw furniture than to putty😊

Guess which receipt is from IKEA? That’s right, the left!

How do you feel about the house today?

We live, breathe and enjoy the house, fully. Pinching us in the arms in earnest, with a hotel feeling we wake up in the morning, set the table on the kitchen island and have breakfast overlooking the meadows. We are not city dwellers, we have said that for a long time. But really, we thrive much better here, and it feels so heavenly amazing.

Moose on the plot!

We had guests already the first week too! They did not live inside with us, but just outside. And it was not just any guests, they were royal. The king of the forest, not just one, or two, or three… four, five, six, seven, eight or nine. No, as many as 10 moose! Fantastic, creepy, and a little surreal. 

Morning view – two moose visiting
Wow, wow, here come all the friends too!

Deer on the plot

It quickly turned out that we had even more friends nearby who showed up a little now and then! Sometimes they were at the front of our house, and sometimes at the back.

The world’s wildlife on the site – the deer also wanted to visit!

Our family grows

Some time after we had moved in, there were three of us in our new house, our beautiful little son arrived at the perfect time. Now life really began and we could not be happier😊

Christmas baking with a twist

This year I wanted to do something different with the classic Christmas baking recipies and went all in on both saffron buns and butterscotch!

From the saffron buns I made small balls which I then filled with butter cola coconut and sprinkled on powdered sugar on top of the bun. It became really good actually! I also made some more classic variations for those who do not want to be quite so experimental. The filling for these buns instead was classic raisins. 

Saffron buns (30 pcs)

Ingredients:

  • 50 grams of yeast (sweet)
  • 2 dl cold milk
  • 1 packet of saffron
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 125 g butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 7 dl wheat flour

Filling:

  • 100 g coconut flakes
  • 0.5 dl light syrup
  • 0.5 dl granulated sugar 
  • 0.75 dl cream
  • 40 g butter

How to use:

Pour the cold milk into a bowl and stir the yeast into it. Pour in the saffron powder, sugar, butter and egg in the milk jug. Then mix down the wheat flour and work quickly together into a smooth dough. 

Prepare the filling by pouring all the ingredients for the filling into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes. 

Take the saffron dough on a well-floured baking sheet and knead. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces and divide each part into 6 pieces. Roll up buns of the pieces and put in molds.

Press a hole in the bun and add a click of filling (if you want, you can also fill some buns with about 5 raisins instead). Close the hole and place the bun with the hole side down. Then set all the buns to ferment under a towel for about 1 hour and set the oven at 225 degrees. 

When the buns are finished yeast, brush the buns with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake the buns in the oven for about 7-8 minutes. 

Butterscoth with coco (approx. 40 pcs)

I made these today while I made the saffron buns. I got leftover filling from the saffron buns so I decided to make coconut butterscotch of the leftovers. 

Ingredients:

  • 200 g coconut chopped
  • 1 dl light syrup
  • 1 dl caster sugar
  • 1.5 dl whipping cream
  • 75 g butter
  • 50 g chopped almonds (optional and the amount can also vary)

Do this:

Pour all the ingredients into a saucepan. Boil without a lid, stirring occasionally until the batter passes the test for firmness (the test is done by pouring som cold water in a glas and then taking a teaspoon of the batter to put in the waterglas, when it turns chevy then its done). Adjust the cooking length according to how firm you want the butterscotch coco.

Tip! If you want to make both of these recipes, it is very easy to make them at the same time, as the filling for the saffron bun is basically the same ingredients as for the butterscotch coco. What you do then is that you make the same amount of butterscotch coco as the recipe above. Boil the filling / butterscotch coco  in the saucepan and then lower the temperature. Let stand and simmer for about 5 minutes. Then fill the saffron buns with running butterscotch coco. Leave the rest of the filling / butterscotch coco in the saucepan and add the chopped almonds. Boil without a lid, stirring occasionally until the batter passes the firmness test for butterscotch coco.  

Modern interior style from Germany

Pictures from Lievevolles.zuhause in Germany. Stylish, modern and sober interior style in colors that go in black, white, brown and beige.

Picturecred: @ liebevolles.zuhause on Instagram. Here you reach the account: https://www.instagram.com/liebevolles.zuhause/

 

Test:  what interior design style do you have?  Take the test here!

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A dream location in the archipelago

A dream location in the archipelago

The beautiful scenery, forest, lake and beach were truly breathtaking and it was love at first sight! Out in the archipelago in Kristinehamn we found our little oasis in the middle of Sweden after a visit here on our holiday. There were several plots for sale and we could choose from many different plots – we chose a corner plot that was over 2,600 sqm large and only a minute from the lake and the beach.

A few years later we were told that all plots had been sold and that our plot was especially sought after so we are glad that we were first. The plot is perfectly located and we have sun in our back yard almost all day. In addition, there is a wonderful wildlife all around with lots of trees and animals.

Choice of housing developer

Before we found our dream plot, we had talked for a long time about buying a plot and building a house. That is why we were at Hem & Villamässan long before and had already met a number of developers there. We hade the best impression of Myresjöhus and really fell in love with some of their houses.  

Building permit and choice of house

We received help from Myresjöhus with a new construction map and drawings including a sauna house and carport, which we thought was very flexible. When we sent in the building permit application, I thought it would take a very long time as we also had to supplement with more info about the carport. Luckily it did not take too long and within 8 weeks we got an approved building permit.

We had a very hard time deciding on a house style – there were so many nice ones! Sloping house, 1.5-storey villa, New England, manor house style, etc. In the end, we fell for a mix between Milton and Båstad with a ridge roof. We wanted to get a lot of west coast feeling but at the same time a house that fit into the area. Once we had chosen a house, we still wanted to make changes so we started redrawing, changing, undoing, etc. This process was among the most fun and difficult we have done!

The picture of the house type we chose comes from http://www.myresjohus.se

Other planning for the site

Once the house planning was complete, we could start sketching the plot layout. We wanted a small lawn but at the same time keep as much forest plot as possible so that it would feel like a real natural plot. At the end of the plot facing the lake, we planned a wood-fired sauna house of 15 sqm with a relaxation room and large windows.

Behind the house we planned for the garden with a small lawn and a large wooden deck where we wanted to be able to have space with relaxation furniture, barbecue and wood-fired hot tub. At the entrance we planned a small wooden deck where we can sit and enjoy the morning sun.

To the left of the house we sketched in a double carport with storage. Later on we are also planning for a small house that has a gym for me and a music studio for my husband😊

Location of sauna house, dwelling house and carport on the plot
Picture of the vision of our sauna house

Interior design

There were really a lot of choices we needed to make and down to the smallest detail, quite difficult when you do not see the whole in front of you. The part where we invested the most was the kitchen and it eventually became a rustic kitchen with a lot of work space. We had a very professional kitchen architect at HTH Jönköping so it felt very safe and good.

The sketch of our kitchen 🙂
Some choices of countertops
One of the kitchens we looked at

In the large bathroom we chose dark furniture and a free standing bath where we think we will have many candles. We also chose a dark floor and a background wall in dark stone with a lot of structure in marble.

In the toilet / shower we chose white polished stones on the floor and a white facade for the tile where we could decorate with white furniture.

White polished stones that we have as a floor in one of the bathrooms
Wall tiles in one of the bathrooms

The ground work is being prepared and construction begins

At the beginning of April 2016, the ground work began . Myresjö hus took care of all the work when it came to the house, but we also did a lot of work ourselves, such as the foundation for the sauna house and carport, construction of the sauna house and carport, garden facility and construction of wooden decks and fences.

The ground work is being prepared

Inspection

The house constuction went fast and in and about 2 weeks before the final inspection we had a control inspection. All rooms and bathrooms were ok except for a few small things. However, we had a problem with the boiler in the laundry room, someone had made a mistake and the pipes were pulled a little tight which meant that the boiler did not fit. They removed some of the tiles on the wall to penetrate it, which did not go well and there was a remark on it. They presented different solutions to fix this and nothing felt great but we hope they can solve it in a nice and safe way anyway.

Other parts of the house will be inspected at the final inspection. Tiles were still missing in the hall, some moldings, installation of white goods and such things, but it would be in place in time for the final inspection.

The living room

Final inspection

The faults that remained from the inspection were corrected and what was left now to inspect was the laundry room, the kitchen and the hall.

The inspection went well and there were only a few remarks on the heat pump and some parts that were not in place yet, such as the fan and cornices. We felt that the inspection went a little too fast and we did not have time to look through properly before we went on.

After the final inspection, we got keys to the house and we started walking around and looking more closely. The most important thing for us in the whole house was and is the kitchen and the living room. We have put most focus on these areas and had expected a really nice kitchen. It was nice if you did not look closely. If you looked a little closer, you quickly noticed that the carpentry was completely missing! There was so much carelessness and mess. Some examples are countertops that slipped at windows, too little joint, gaps between floor and plinth, scratched tiles around the fan, black plastic that was left behind the fan, carpets and side parts were missing in all drawers. When we pointed out all the faults to our carpenters five minutes after the inspection, we we were told that the inspection was already complete and that it was too late now. I got so angry!

There were lots of other small flaws like holes, moldings, poorly cleaned, unwillingness to adjust exterior doors, etc. The same was true of several craftsmen on site who spat on the floor of the house next to us owners and complained that they were paid to little to work on our house. How can you even behave like that in front of a customer?

Nicely fixed hole in the worktop?
The joint around the fan and the plastic behind

Other experiences

But we also have positive experiences from other people who have worked with our house construction, such as tilers, painters, electricians, plumbers and ground contractors. We have nothing to complain about at all – they did exactly everything we agreed on and immediately asked if there was anything. I would love to work with these people again in the future!

Unfortunately, I experienced that Myresjöhus did not listen to us when we had problems. You could not get support or suggestions for solutions when you talked to them and needed help.

The house when we moved in
Our kitchen where we thrive today despite the bad start
The bathroom with toilet / shower
Large bathroom with dark background wall

Our best tip for others planning to build a new house

You have to be involved as much as you can! You have the right to talk to knowledgeable people and do not feel that you are too picky or fussy, it is your money and your house! Had we made this journey again and known more from the beginning, we would have opted out of the turnkey contract, which did not turn out as we expected. The promised service delivery from Myresjöhus also failed.

How are you doing today?

We really love the house which is amazingly nice and exactly what we wanted! However, we did not love the process and the level of service from Myresjöhus was far from being the best on the market as they themselves claim. But you forget quickly and we now enjoy our nice home with a cozy atmosphere, our dogs and our small children.

We have had time to build a terrace as well and this is what our house looks like today 🙂
We have planted trees and shrubs that make the driveway and the plot nice and lively
Nice natural environment with mountains around the house
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Scandinavian interior design

The Scandinavian interior style is stripped down, bright and modern and in several ways both minimalist and stylish. The focus in the interior design style is that it should be as neutral as possible where it is common with colors that go in black, white, beige and gray,

Below you will find Scandinavian interor styles from different homes in this category.

Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @casa.mcs on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram
Photocred: @asgeragnesyrsa on Instagram

Test:  What interior design style do you have?  Take the test here!

A fun and creative Halloween

A fun season every year is Halloween! Decorations, costumes, creative food and fun parties – grateful for both children and adults!

We usually invite some friends, eat good food and arrange fun activities. This year we had a slimmer version because of Corona and only invited a couple of friends. The children and I usually have a lot of fun when we plan everything scary the guests will experience. Everything from tombstones with someone climbing up from the grave to dry ice that becomes like a smoke machine and then all the food of course! There is so much on this theme and here I share some decorations, activities, costumes and food we have had over the years.

We begin with…

Decorations

A zoombie tried to get up from the grave (hands visible at the far end)
Here we had a murder in the bathtub 2 years ago, not solved so far!
Decorations this year with light loops that give a cozy glow.
In the US (Ohio) around Halloween which I visited a few years ago
A pumpkin that feels bad!
The clown IT, painted by my daughter Mikaela. See more of her art by clicking here.
Nice light loops at the coffee table
Cobwebs and light loops in the lawyer tree
Happy Halloween!

Disguises

Always fun every year to try to come up with new things to wear. Here are some picks from our guests and ourselves over the years.

We had a nice visit from a handmade monster jaw and zoombie woman, the clown IT can also be seen on the right
Donald Trump! One of our guests was thinking about the scariest thing he could think of and it was Donald himself!
Help! Jason (Max) is trying to kill me!

Activities

There are many fun activities you can do and here are some things we have done recently. Last year we had a costume contest, best costume and most creative costume won! We have also had dry ice in the bonfire and dry ice final and quiz competition.

Quiz competition

This year we organized a small quiz competition in the forest we have behind the house. I arranged small scary stations with light loops and lanterns in the woods and the questions I had set up as notes on the trees. Guests were given flashlights and a map to follow. Here are questions and answers if anyone wants to implement.

Questions

1. What day is Halloween?
2. What is the name of “the kind ghost”?
3. What does a vampire drink?
4. Where is Count Dracula’s castle?
5. Which country holds the title of “The World’s Heaviest Pumpkin”?
6. What colors characterize Halloween?
7. What is the Swedish word for Halloween?
8. Which character is the creature from the movie IT best known for posing as?

Response

1. 31 October
2. Casper
3. Blood
4. Transylvania in Romania
5. Switzerland. It was a total of 1, 190 kilos
6. Black and orange
7. Alla Helgons Afton (All Saints’ Eve)
8. Clown

Food

There is a lot of fun food you can make on Halloween. Here are some tips on good dishes.

Cut pumpkin with guacamole and nacho chips
Root structure in pumpkin-cut shapes. Boil them a little lightly before cutting them so it will be easier to slice them. When everything is ready, add a little oil and salt. Feel free to add some rosemary leaves and garlic also for a slightly better taste. Then roast in the oven until they get a nice color.
Hamburgers can easily be decorated in fun shapes
Ghost cake, se recipe by clicking on photo (recipe in Swedish so use Google translate)

Hope you have a fun Halloween despite Corona! Regardless of whether you invite guests home or not, it is still possible to do a lot of fun such as cooking scary food and decorating creatively!

Happy Halloween!

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Lina and her family built their dream home!

As our family grew, we felt that the city life no longer suited us. We decided to leave the city and invest in building our dream house in a more quiet environment a bit outside Stockholm. We found the perfect plot in Huddinge, a suburb of Stockholm, at the end of a small street very close to a lake. We felt that we would now begin a whole new phase in life – a journey towards our dream home!

This is what the plot looked like when we bought it
I (Lina) and my daughter visit the plot

Choice of a house supplier

We immediately decided on a turnkey contract as none of us are handy fixers. We booked meetings with the house suppliers Rörvikshus, Myresjöhus, Trivselhus, Götenehus and Intressanta hus. We managed to book all five meetings with the house suppliers on the same day! After an interesting, exciting and rewarding day, we were completely exhausted. We learned that most suppliers can deliver similar results, but the cost can vary.

The plot came with certain conditions determined by the municipality’s detailed plan. It was something we had not thought of before, but it affected what type of house we could build. We needed to relate to a building area of ​​a maximum of 150 sqm and a building height of a maximum of 5 m.

Our best tips for the meeting with house suppliers:

  1. Have the plot ready
  2. Know the type of floor plan you want but at the same time be open to new ideas
  3. Read about the conditions for the plot according to the municipality’s detailed plan
  4. Be price conscious – everything can affect the price, from ground works to all choices to be made

Choice of house type

We had an idea of ​​what kind of house we wanted to build which was a mixture between New England style and country style. But we were not completely convinced and felt that we needed more inspiration. We therefore visited  Interesting houses  (Västerås-based) which had a viewing day for two of their houses, Villa Holmberg and Villa Carlsson.

It really was an eye opener! The houses were like classic barns converted into luxury villas and contained a lot of smart solutions in a completely unique way. Clean, stylish and fresh, no window linings, minimal moldings, built-in laundry sink, etc. It became a real insight about how we should think ahead.

We knew the ultimate floor plan was out there somewhere, but where? But then one Friday afternoon we got an e-mail and it was from Rörvikshus – they had sent their new house plan! At a first glance, it looked hopeful.

We started going through the proposal and sketched out the changes we wanted to make. After a few turns back and forth, we finally got a proposal that felt just right for us. Our choice was Rörvikshus and it was so nice when that decision was ready! Of course we had compared all the different offers we received and not least the price but Rörvikshus felt most right for us.

Sketches of house and floor plans
Our final floor plan, downstairs
The upstairs

Planning application

It took a total of 15 weeks from the time we submitted our building permit application until we received an approved building permit. It is longer than the prescribed 10 weeks that the Planning and Building Act states. Admittedly, we had to supplement with changes during the process, but 15 weeks still felt like a very long time.

Interior Options

Early in the process, you have to make all the interior design choices and it is really both fun and difficult! You turn and twist everything and have time to change many times. Some choices we stuck to right away while other choices took much longer.

The kitchen

The Bistro model in linden flower green from Ballingslöv. It has it all! It is stylish, classic but still modern. Gives a feeling of being site-built, without being so and thus not as expensive. This was a style we fell for right away 😊

We fell for this lovely color – Lindblomsgrön from Ballingslöv

Kitchen worktop

Here we had a hard time deciding! In the end, after much hesitation, we landed having Carrara marble and chose to join the company  Apeia granit. It is a natural stone that requires a little care, but it is so heavenly beautiful. 

Kitchen counter tops in Carrara marble

Floor

Before the visit to the floor store Kvadratmeter in Stockholm, we had a long list of what we liked most. In the end, the choice was between 3 favorites:

  • Berg @ Berg Öland XXL Extra white Matt lacquered
  • Tarkett Epoque Also Rustic Plank
  • Tarkett Heritage I Blonde

Once we left, we had made our choice – it was Berg @ Berg Öland XXL Extra White Matt lacquered. We also chose a base mat called Timbertech TX which will make the sound muted.

The choice was between these 3 favorites
It ended up being this nice extra white matt lacquered from Berg @ Berg Öland XXL

Appliances

Rörvikshus has a collaboration with Miele, and since they also have good products, we chose to take Miele straight through.

Tiles and tiles

There were many turns here before we finally landed in the right choice for us 😊

Marble inspired by Konradssons. The plate is called Marmi Cararra Naturale Matt in 29.5×29.5. It is a slab in granite ceramics that is thus easier to maintain than real natural stone.

We also want to build in such a nice niche with built-in spots, which gives both feeling and character. This also avoids the awkward shower baskets that also take up extra space.

Nice niche with a spot light

Floor drain

So nice, discreet and fresh, just such a floor drain we really want!

Really nice floor drain that we ordered

Floor in bedroom

We chose a carpet in the bedroom and for our walk-in closet. A nice gray shade shown in the picture below.

We chose between these colors
It became this gentle light gray tone

Ground work

When the ground work was to start, we had some concerns about what would be underneath. We had not done any geotechnical investigation so we really had no idea what was underneath. There was a risk that the ground was loose and needed to be piled up or even that the boulder found on the plot would turn out to go just below a thin layer of soil.

The ground work is underway and everything seems ok, nice 😊

The plate is cast

Now we had a cast foundation and it went so fast! The sun shone from a clear blue sky and it did not take many hours for the plate to become firm. 

We were amazed at how small the plate looked.

It is important to be involved! As we stood looking at the plate, we discovered a misstake. This applied to the downpipes that would be placed by the bay window. The ground workers had prepared for each downpipe around the house by pulling drainage pipes to our stone coffin for drainage and stormwater. But the ones at the bay were not there. We notified our contact person at Rörvikshus and he announced that the ground workers would rectify this. There was an uncertainty in discovering shortcomings for fear that they forgot more things that we have not yet discovered.

As you can see in the picture at the end of the house, it should be prepared even at the bay window (left in the picture).

The house arrives

Suddenly the first part of the house delivery came and we now got half a house! The builders were incredibly talented, efficient and had a fantastic teamwork! In three hours they had put together an entire basement. 

The lower part of the house comes into place

The house started to take shape and on day 2 the second part of the house delivery came from Rörvikshus, the upstairs! The carpenters worked quickly and efficiently. We hade first worried about the size of the house, but when we saw the base plate we no longer had to think about it, the house felt huge! 😊

The upper floor of the house is raised on site

Some more problems that appeared along the way

Downpipes

When we were at the house, we discovered that gutters had started to be set for future downpipes. It did not look at all like we had thought, there were extremely many downpipes everywhere. It turned out that the downpipe supplier Plannja planned without us being able to take part in the drawing. Whether it got stuck at Rörvikshus or Plannja is unclear, but we would not have seen it anyway.

We had to quickly produce a drawing of how we wanted it and go over it with Rörvikshus and Plannja. Once again, the lesson comes up. EVERYTHING must be checked and approved and you have to think about EVERYTHING. It quickly goes wrong when many parties are involved and do not communicate properly.

Our awesome carpenters fixed the downpipes on the front just as we wanted. It turned out nice too!

Next problem

Roof tiles

We had been told that our roof had been delivered and we were so excited when we went to the house to look. At first we were very happy that they had already had time to lay almost all the roof, but pretty quickly the joy was exchanged for confusion.

Was it just us or were they not very bright roof tiles? At first we did not say anything to each other, my husband and I, but just walked around and watched. But then it was inevitable. It looked very bright!

The concrete tiles we had to choose from were available in three different shades of gray: light, medium and dark. We thought we ordered a dark, but probably there had been a mistake in the communication between which one was which and which one we would have. Right then it felt hard, and we called our contact at Rörvikshus, but afterwards you notice that some things are not as big of a problem as they seem at first.

“Wrong” shade of gray on the roof tiles

Color on the house

Now that the house was in place and we saw the whole house, we started the next project, to choose the house color! We visited Flügger paint, Colorama and Fredell’s DIY stores and bought some paint samples. We painted the colors in a row on our new house in daylight to try to get an idea of ​​which we liked best.

Immediately we could see that some shades really looked completely different in place out in normal daylight and that there was also a difference between sun and shade.

We painted white in the shades (from left to right): Tinted white (or Stockholm white) from Alcro Bestå, white from Jotun Demidekk, S-0500 from Flügger color and Warm white from Alcro Bestå. The winner? White from Jotun Demidekk!

One bathroom tiled and almost finished

Suddenly things started happening inside the house as well. The tile in the bathroom was so nice and we were so happy with the niche and the nice floor drain we chose.

The bathroom is about to be finished.

Final inspection

And then it was finally time for a final inspection and final consultation with the municipality and our KA. Our house got approved on both occasions! The inspector was impressed and said that there were very few things that needed to be fixed, and nothing that affected an approval. The things that needed to be fixed were written down and then the responsibility lay with Rörvikshus and their subcontractors to remedy. The things that were brought up were painting jobs, marks in the foundation and the shade of the stairs. Fixing the stairs was what would be most difficult and take the longest. In the end, we had to hire an external company to repaint it, even though it still did not turn out perfectly, it got much better.

House painted and ready-to-move-in house

Our terrace

A wise decision we made regarding our outdoor environment was to build our terrace already the first year. The environment around a new house construction tends to be quite messy, and especially with small children it is extra hard not to be able to move around on the plot at first. We realized this and are so happy that we chose to build a patio right away. We added a built-in bench and a privacy trellis and here we have really been able to enjoy many wonderful evenings together!

Our cozy terrace 😊
Our private terrace with beautiful rose bushes

What is your best advice to others who are thinking of building a house?

  • EVERYTHING must be checked and approved and you have to think about EVERYTHING. Otherwise there is a big risk that something will go wrong,
  • Choose an independent controller – we did it and it worked so well!
  • Contact the bank early to introduce your idea. Make financial calculations for housing costs and household budget so that you know how your finances are affected when you borrow and build.
  • Build a patio at the same time as the house so that you have an area to enjoy outside when you first move in.
  • Do not wait to paint the house!  The earlier you paint, the better for the house. The primer that the house comes with is not enough to avoid getting moisture (especially in nail holes, etc.) after a whole winter and spring. Also make sure to paint between May-Aug if you are in northern Europe as it is mostly steady weather and mild humidity. Optimal painting conditions are between 20-23 degrees celsius with even daily temperatures.
Welcome in!
Inside the entrance
Stylish and nice bathroom
We love our linden flower green kitchen from Ballingslöv
Our beautiful tulips!
So lovely to have your own little kitchen garden 😊
Our little playhouse on the plot that the children love

How do you feel in the house today?

We still enjoy and LOVE every square meter!

Feel free to go in and follow our continued journey on Instagram: @hejhuset

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