How we restored an old Victorian Farmhouse from 1905!

This is us, Paige, Brandon and our dog Belle, on a road trip

We (Paige and Brandon) fell in love with the old Folk Victorian Farmhouse, built in 1905, when we first laid eyes on it. The house was a complete wreck where every little space in the house needed work from the foundation to the roof including everything in between like electrical, plumbing, siding, bathrooms, kitchen and all other interior. We decided to give the house all the love and affection it deserved. 

Old Folk Victorian Farmhouse, built in 1905

It was the summer of 2017 that we found this truly amazing house and decided to buy it right away. It had everything we had been looking for. We realized the amount of work it would take to get it in shape again but we were confident and determined we could do it. Off course we knew there would be tears, sweat and exhaustion but we realized there would also be laughs, joy and pure happiness! In the end we reasoned, it would all be worth it!

We’re both engineers by training and planned to do 99% of the work ourselves. Framing, windows, plumbing, electrical, drywall, tile, you name it! 

So, where did we start?

We pinpointed quickly a few things that we needed to do and consider first:

  1. Completely replace and upgrade all electrical work.
  2. Insulate both exterior and interior walls for warmth, sound and fireproofing.
  3. Save plaster, if reasonable.

Upstairs hallway

We started out with the hallway upstairs. The reason for this was because the hall was the simplest room to renovate and the most complicated room to actually have in the process of renovation.

This is what the hall upstairs looked like from the beginning
First thing we did was to remove old insulation, wiring, plumbing, windows, and plaster
Removing old carpets and our cat Bob is checking it out
As you can see carpet pads don’t lie! It was pretty disgusting to discover these pads beneath.
Discovering what’s beneath the carpet and the pads was a highlight! The floor is gorgeous!!!)
These floors will look amazing one day!
Here the groundwork is done and prepared for phase two
Painting the walls in the hall
Our windows touch the floor up here so off course they got plinth blocks. The upstairs is only about six and a half feet tall so to get full windows they mounted them at floor level. Too charming for words!
We still have to refinish the floors up here, our next upcoming project.
This space gave us confidence for the rest of the house
Many corners of the world are present here in this hall. The chandelier is French. The rug is Turkish. The hangings are American.

So we finished the hallway upstairs for now and the only thing left is that we need to refinish the floor. We are completely thrilled that we have an “upstairs hall.” An actual hall that can hold furniture. What a project it’s been and what a great feeling it is to enjoy this space now. It really gave us confidence for the rest of the house.


Downstairs hall

Next space to fix is the downstairs hall!

From the beginning we realized all the beautiful details in the hall like the staircase with the carvings and the furnace closet door with original shellac. It was important to us to be careful in our preservation work so all the details would come forward in the best possible way.

This is where we started with old plastic floor and carpet. Notice the beautiful stairs and door though, the details are incredible!
Hallway work in progress

The story of our chandeliers

I once bought a three-armed chandelier from France intending to put it in the downstairs hall. It was beautiful and perfect, but a smidge underwhelming. I moved it upstairs with a heavy heart, knowing I would never find its equal. I searched and searched until one day on a different website from a different seller in a different city in France…the same chandelier. But…WITH SIX ARMS!!! We quickly rearranged so the six-armed chandelier was put in the downstairs hall and the three-armed chandelier was put in the upstairs hall.

Our beautiful chandelier with six arms
We received an absolutely wonderful package that was stuffed FULL of fantastically amazing old house stuff. Amidst the gorgeous locks, knobs, hinges, and backplates were these little...triangles. We had no idea what they were. But a quick phone call to a friend revealed they were DUST CORNERS. To sit in the corners of your stairs (or rooms) and prevent dust!!
The door to the furnace closet under the stairs is one of the sweetest in the house. It’s made from tongue and groove bead board planks and still has the original shellac on it. You can see on the right the finish has darkened from a hundred years of hands pushing it closed. It’s also the only door in the house that retains all the original trim, albeit painted white.
Hallway downstairs almost done, notice the ceiling - isn't it just beautiful?!
Hallway downstairs complete with rug in place

Next project – The Kitchen!

A mostly unfitted, historically inspired, Victorian kitchen for our 1905 farmhouse was our next restoration project to take on. How we had longed to begin this project.

First of all cabinet design can really make or break a kitchen. It was important for us to have just the right historic cabinets that would blend well in with the rest of the kitchen. Also we were looking for retro technology to give the Victorian kitchen just the right look and feel.

It took ten months to complete our Folk Victorian Kitchen! We are so happy and thrilled with the end result! See our work and the end result in the following pictures.

This is the kitchen we began with, a kitchen that had been modernized over the years and not what we wanted. We were looking to bring it back to its original state again.
Fifteen hours, four states, and one wild Sunday later and I. AM. SCREAMING. All my electric range dreams had come true and manifested in this absolutely stunning piece of retro technology. It was so beyond perfect I couldn’t handle it. I love the way the older stoves have the space on the side or middle so handy! We put hot stuff on there all the time.
Found this amazing sink off of Facebook Marketplace
The gorgeous floors beneath the tiles were incredible but just needed a little work – here they are all DONE.
Cabinet design can really make or break a kitchen – just love all the details in the ones we found.
The kitchen is finally done!
The house originally had a single door here. And if I hadn’t fallen irrationally in love with these, I’d probably have put a single door back. But sometimes you want something and no amount of reason or logic will make you unwant it. So. Our doors are here to stay!

Bedrooms next!

The house came with several bedrooms, one which had a hidden fireplace. Here is a selection of a few of them just to give you a hint of the amount of work put in to each one of them.

One bedroom in its original shape
This is were we found the hidden fireplace
Our work to bring out the fireplace has begun in this picture
Work finished, any thoughts?
Just love this room and look at the gorgeous floor that we found under the carpet! What a treasury!
This is another favorite room in green. We are so fortunate that we have dozens and dozens of family history pieces that have been passed down through the years. The library table, that we are now using as our computer table, was made by my great-great-great grandfather and it is still in great shape!

Last but not least, the bathroom!

There was only one bathroom in the house and we planned to make the most of it! We had a vision from start when we had found just the right tile pattern, sink and lamps. First thing we did was to get rid of the carpet – there was no way we would leave it there!

Our only bathroom was carpeted! That carpet had to be removed immediately!
Today we installed the waterproofing membrane in the bathroom. We put down a layer of thinset first, scraped it with a grooved trowel, put the membrane on top then smoothed it in place. And honestly? It was kind of awful.
We had to mock up the sink placement to figure out where to add bracing supports. I had never seen it assembled before today.
We found the right tile pattern!! No border needed! No more searching! Just matte white penny tile from @flooranddecor and matte charcoal accent tiles. Affordable! Beautiful!
Many months later, we are about two weeks out in this picture from having a functioning bathroom on the main floor.
Here it is! Our bathroom was finally finished!! Just love every detail in here.
More bathroom pictures
Just love having a big window in the bathroom

Summary of our house journey so far

Over the last three years that we have been working on our house we’ve had highs, lows, and everything in between. If I could say so myself it has turned out pretty freaking spectacular and we are so happy that we did this.

Please visit my blog https://farmhousevernacular.com and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/farmhousevernacular/ to read about our entire journey and our continued projects.

Do you have a house restoration story or any other house or garden project to share? Please visit Share your story – Residence Journeys! We would love to hear from you.

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We renovated our terrace and built a new relaxation area

We built a new terrace
After more than 15 years, it was time for a proper refurbishment of the entire terrace. The fence needed to be replaced, we needed to change the pool lines, grind down and oil the wooden frame around the pool, replace the fence and while we were working we took the opportunity to expand the terrace. Since we have started to grow a lot of plants, flowers and vegetables we needed a large terrace where we can fit everything🙂

This is what the terrace and fence looked like before we started the project
This is what the old terrace looked like after we removed the fence and the interior
Here we have torn off the entire terrace, only the pool and the old pool liner that remains
Slowly but surely we start building the new terrace and as you can see it will be much bigger at the same time we built the whirlpool into the terrace
Here the whole terrace is ready and also the new fence is in place

Newly found interest in plants and crops

A great interest that has been added in recent years is the cultivation of basically everything that can be grown. It is everything from vegetables, herbs, flowers, shrubs and trees. We have a large greenhouse at the back of the garden where most things are grown, but not everything can fit there, so both the terrace and other areas in the garden may become new growing areas. It is so much fun to see everything that grows, to be able to eat according to the season and to be able to give away to families, friends and acquaintances.

Cultivations are underway here
Here you see the new pool liner and even more plantations and trees, when they grow they are planted out in the garden
We also have a lovely tent for hot sunny days and chilly and rainy evenings
The terrace was large but it fits our family well which consists of one 6 year old, two teenage children, 3 adults and lots of dogs and cats.
We were so happy with the new pool liner 🙂

Enjoying our new pool and terrace

This is our favouite area to spend quality time together as a family. There is something here for everyone wether it is cooling off in the pool, relaxing by the deck, heating up in the sauna or bubble bath or just hanging out in the lounge area. 

Table arrangements are so much fun!

Lately, I have become more and more interested in table arrangements. It is so much fun once you get going 🙂 🙂There are so many different combinations of table decorations and at the moment I am very into eucalyptus leaves and light loops. Here I share some pictures from Saturday’s dinner table setting. 

Light loops hang down from the lamps
View towards the kitchen
Close-up of table setting – tableware: Rörstrand Grace. Candlestick: Friendship knot
Lovely snowy view outside the window
A beautiful bouquet in the middle of the table is the finishing touch
Fun to decorate with a beautiful table cloth
View from kitchen island towards dining room and living room

Dessert tip – white chocolate cheesecake!

Source: All About Food

We ate this really tasty dessert this weekend: White chocolate cheesecake! Perfect mix between sweet and sour and quite easy to make. We had in digestive biscuits and it was very good! Be careful not to add too much pomegranate syrup since it’s quite sour. 

The recipe for white chocolate cheesecake!

4 servings

Ingredients:

  • About 20 optional biscuits
  • 200 g cream cheese
  • 2 dl whipping cream
  • 0.5 dl icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 100 g white chocolate

Marinate strawberries / raspberries

  • 250 g fresh strawberries
  • 100 g fresh raspberries
  • 3-4 tablespoons pomegranate syrup

Decorate:

  • Lemon balm
  • Strawberries
  • Icing sugar

Do this:

  1. Chop the chocolate and melt it in a water bath or microwave and allow to cool. Whisk together cream cheese and whipping cream to a creamy and fluffy consistency, add the melted chocolate and continue to whisk. Turn down icing sugar, vanilla sugar and whisk a little more.
  2. Put the biscuits in a freezer bag and crumble with your hands until everything becomes crumbs.
  3. Rinse and divide the strawberries, raspberries into smaller pieces and place them in a bowl. Then mix in pomegranate syrup.
  4. Wrap cookie crumbs, cheesecake batter and the marinated strawberries, raspberries in each glass. Then place in the fridge for about 45 minutes. before serving. Garnish with strawberries and lemon balm.
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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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