Welome To My Place
Today I wanna share some pictures of my place with you. I renovated it last spring/summer, and was so happy with how it turned out. Before I get started I gotta take a moment and take in what a beautiful day it is in Stockholm today! As I'm writing this I'm actually sitting on my balcony. The sun is shining on my pale skin, and the birds are singing in the trees. I just love life right now. The other day when it was so sunny, I went a little nuts and started planting flowers out here. I know they're gonna die within hours, but just for a moment I'm gonna be happy about it.
I decided to renovate my entire place last spring. After endless of hours of sitting on my coach staring at my place and thinking about all the things I wanted to fix, I actually got around to get the project started. Well not me exactly, but the builders did. Oh those poor builders... I must have been their nightmare personified. I'll tell you all about it later... I think it needs it's own blogpost!
Anyway... I was really afraid of getting started. I think my fear was that I thought I was gonna make the wrong decisions and ruin my place. I've done little projects through the years, such as painting the walls etc, but nothing major. Now that I know how great a place can look with a touch up, I'm so inspired and want new projects!!! It's really fun to create and see the whole process. I have a friend who's done a lot of renovations projects, and he recommended me the construction company, and he also gave me a lot of advice during the way. It was so helpful. It's hard to believe in yourself when you start such a big project for the first time, but next time I know how to do this on my own! (I think).
First off... The colours! I went from quite colourful to all white walls and grey on doors and window frames. I also had my parquet floors white stained. I went out of my mind a little bit whether to go white or dark, but decided on white, and I'm happy I did. I loooove my floors now.
I also decided to through the kitchen door out and make the entrance bigger. It's amazing what difference that made. So much more light and spacious.
I had the electrician put in ceiling spotlights with dimmer in both the hallway entrance and in the bathroom. So worth the money. I feel completely different when I step in to my place nowadays with the great lighting!
The whole kitchen needed to be done. I went from green walls, to white, grey and brass/gold with a marble countertop. I ordered the details from different places and shops to make it more personal.
Since I went with white walls I could go with grey cupboards. In my opinion, when you go with all white, it tends to feel stiff and sterile.
I kept my green rugs from my green kitchen days.
I've been dreaming of owning a fridge and freezer from Smeg, and I finally made that dream come true. Love it! I actually hugged it when it arrived, (partly because I had been without a fridge and freezer for like 1 week and was starving because I could never buy groceries).
Even though I had pretty recently painted this room white (from a light purple colour by the way), I had this whole room repainted. I was afraid that if I didn't do that, it might look old in comparison to the rest of the place. The painters also painted all the ceilings. Huge improvement, especially in the hallway entrance. They also smoothed out the unevenness from old wallpaper. I never had the energy to grind it down, so worth the money to let the painters fix it!!!
I bought both my bed, bedskirt and the curtain from my friends at Sänghuset Elgen. They had the headboard, bed skirt and the curtain all custom made just for me.
In my bathroom I lowered the roof and put in ceiling spotlights with dimmer. Great lighting is crucial to have in your bathroom. (Anyone trying to do their makeup in shady lighting knows what I'm talking about). I got a new sink and toilet cabinet, and I put in new patterned clinker floor, but kept the walls as they are. Then I threw out the old bathtub, and put in a shower instead, plus, my best buy: a washing machine. May I never have to share a washing machine again with strangers in a building! I love my little bathroom so much now.
What I've learned from my renovation:
1. Time and preparation. Before starting, don't underestimate the time the renovation will take. Also, don't underestimate the amount of time it will take to get your home ready for it. Take time to organize. It took me forever because I am manic about it, but it made the process much easier when it was time to unpack.
2. Decide on a color and a theme. If you have a compact living, like I do, decide on a theme for the whole place. At one point my kitchen was green, my hallway entrance was blue and the big room was white. It just felt messy and smaller. Save those ideas for when you get a bigger home. I will for sure.
3. White can be fun! I never saw myself as the all white walls girl, but actually, it enabled me to be so much more creative with the decoration.
4. Inspiration. I love to get inspired. I get inspiration from peoples houses, places I've seen while traveling, or beautiful movies and interior magazines. When it's time for styling, I take all those ideas and mix it up and make it my own style. You don't wan't to just copy something you see, it tends to look soulless, and it might not fit the architecture of your home.
5. Ask questions. At each store and before each order, I asked a million questions to make sure it would be right. Don't hesitate to do that. Salespeople like to help and usually have pretty good knowledge of the things they are selling!
6. Don't rush it. I was very quick with my decisions ones I got started, but I had been thinking about everything for a while. I feel like every home needs to be lived in, or at least, you need to feel what the home needs before just force a style on it. Does that make sense?
7. Don't live in your renovation project. If possible, live somewhere else. I moved back a little bit too early, and it was quite awful. However, it saved me some time while working on unpacking and fixing the place. I will say this though: I woke up each morning coughing from the dust, and I was hungry all the time since the kitchen wasn't ready. I think I lost a couple of pounds.
8. Think long term. Yes, it's fun with trends, and yes I did go with some of them, but I also really tried to be pretty classic. You don't wanna invest a lot of money in something that next season already feels dated.
9. Don't yell at your builders. They might be big, and they might take their stuff and leave. Make them coffee and give them icecream (preferably päronsplitt). You're paying for their work and you gotta make sure they work. Therefor be firm, but at all time, be nice and charming!
10. If first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again! You live you learn. Be creative.
Not that I'm an expert at this subject after one renovation project, but feel free to ask questions or to just leave comments!