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Vintage Moomin

Posted at 9:18 pm in General

Before Christmas, Juli and I decided not to get each other anything this year for Christmas. So obviously I decided to take the opportunity to get her something small but thoughtful, and since Juli used to work in publishing and has a children’s book collection, I went on the search for some vintage Moomin.

I found these two Puffin books at an online book store in Australia.

Moomin Valley in Winter map.

The really special book was a hardcover 1st edition of Moominpappa at sea. Which features really beautiful original cover art.

There is something about these old book illustrations. The newer books which don’t feature original artwork by Tove Jansson just don’t have the same soul to them. Take a look at “Finn Family Moomintroll”, the first novel. The reissues they are printing now has a terrible cover (below, left):

There is something that captures your imagination on the original cover (right).

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Cottage Renovation 2016

Posted at 2:25 pm in Cottage Reno

We were fortunate to have Remodelista feature our cottage renovation back in 2016. As a result, I realized we never posted it here!

In 2009 we did an extensive renovation so you may be wondering why we decided to tackle it again. We came to find that the initial kitchen configuration, that happened to be right at the entrance, wasn’t very conducive to a family of four. We had always dreamed of moving the kitchen to where the dining table was. This was our opportunity to really invest in making the space exactly how we wanted for enjoyment of use and longevity – no more renovations here!

Enjoy!

On the exterior, the biggest things we did were remove the aluminum siding and metal storm windows. We thankfully discovered that the wood was in great shape so we repainted it white, with a new mint green colour for the windows (used to be dark brown), and we got new screens made for the windows.

In the front…or back, depending on who you talk to, we added a bunch of fresh sand and a little garden. The kids love playing back here now, and it’s great when it’s too windy on the water side.

Heading on inside, we used the space now vacated by the kitchen to incorporate some closed storage for linens, necessities and anything else that needs to be hidden away.

The living room is much like it was before, but we changed out the light fixtures on either side of the fire place to be AJ wall lights (repurposed from our bedrooms where their placements didn’t work). We added some Alvar Aalto shelving as well, and another sofa to increase seating.

Another major addition is the white painted bead board that we added throughout the cottage. We simply couldn’t stand the painted dry wall and find that the wood has added a lot of texture and character.

Fireplace is still the same.

New vintage Børge Mogensen bench as a coffee table.

Another new find is this vintage Bruno Mathsson lounge chair and stool.

The whole living room area. There is also an Alvar Aalto kids table and chair set (with Moomin characters) on the left side of the picture. It used to be at our home in Howell’s room but we moved it up for the summer and it never came back.

Looking toward the new kitchen and dining area.

We worked again with Studio Junction on the design of our cottage kitchen. They used reclaimed Carolina Pine on the three furniture like pieces. The unit to the left of the range is comprised of drawers, the unit to the right is one set of drawers and then an open shelf underneath. The third unit is a large soapstone sink with teak drying rack.

Dining table is the Studioilse Extending Together Table and there are two benches, Studioilse 443 bench and Studioilse 446 High Settle Bench.We kept the two blue chairs, and sold the rest of our old set to a couple who have since become our friends! Small world.

There is an additional shelf above using brass components.

We splurged on a small AGA electric stove.

 

 

Other splurge was the Smeg fridge.

 

Studio Junction created this amazing soapstone sink (similar to ours from home) with integrated drying rack. But then they kicked it up a notch by creating the hanging dish storage / drying rack. We are now absolutely spoiled. I think if you are designing a kitchen, an integrated drying rack is a number one must. I find that kitchen design so often concerns itself with mass storage, but we actually make do on comparably less storage. Save money on storage for unnecessary items and put it into something that you use all day long, every day.

 

Heading into the bedrooms, we were inspired by shaker practicality. We haven’t yet solved the clothing storage problem in our main bedroom because our bed is a queen sized StudioIlse Companions bed that takes up most of the room. In the meantime the shaker peg rail helps keep things off the floor.

 

In Elodie’s room, we got her an Ikea bed, Ikea gingham drapes, and an Alvar Aalto wall hung drawer as bedside table.

This kid is living large with this coveted MMF Swedish wall hanging.

We also lucked out and found this gorgeous vintage Swedish dresser and vintage Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn brass table mirror.

Howell’s room is still not complete, because he’s still so little and we haven’t been able to find the right pieces to bring his space together.

Thanks for following along!

 

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Stockholm finds

Posted at 7:30 pm in General,Thrifting,Travel

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We just returned from a trip to Oslo and Stockholm for design week. It was a super busy time, meeting up with friends and seeing what was going on. I didn’t really take many photos of the cities themselves because we’ve been so many times I find it hard to capture (that and the nonstop overhead clouds and dreary weather made for not the best lighting scenario).

Although most of our shopping seemed to revolve around Elodie, we did manage a few fun purchases. Above is a Höganäs Keramik pot. We saw it at the Red Cross shop that’s located directly across the street from the Claesson Koivisto Rune office. We didn’t buy right away but then ran over minutes before closing on our last evening in town. It’s currently freshening up our front entryway, which still has a way to go in resolving the space aesthetically and practically.

 

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These little owls are from Japanese boutique Kiki. They reminded us of Elodie because just before we left she was obsessed with the book Little Owl Lost, asking me to read it like 20 times a night.

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Another last minute find at the Red Cross. I had been looking for some mid century Scandinavian art and the colours and simplicity in this piece stood out.

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One of Elodie’s favourite peek spots. Also, she chooses her own socks.

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We saw this book at designer Eva Schildt’s home. It’s a sort of I spy in Stockholm book, perfect for us non-Swedish speakers. I was going to get her a book to learn Swedish but we figured it wouldn’t be a good idea since we are clueless how to pronounce anything!

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Elodie loves helping daddy water the plants, so we got her a Moomin watering can. Of course she tends to water the floor but I am sure it will improve in time. Skill building! Also, I can’t believe she chose matching socks!

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Tall toddler = belly shirts!

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They bloomed already! I’m liking where we moved this painting. The three items together make a nice grouping.

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Prototype of the Float candlestick by Anderssen & Voll (their website never seems to be working lately so this links to Muuto) for Muuto. It doesn’t seem they went with this colour for production, lucky us!

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We managed to pop by Blås & Knåda, a ceramics and glass store in Södermalm where we picked up four pieces by Hisako Mizuno Jonsson. Funny enough, our friend Alissa Coe told us about these pieces a few days prior and we ended up buying them!

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So we ended up being pack mules on the way home, carrying a lot of breakables. Thankfully everything arrived home safely. We were reluctant to put anything in our luggage because on the way there the airline lost our suitcase with ALL the Sucabaruca prototypes!!! And the bag didn’t make it back to us for over 3 days, with no updates. But it all worked out as you can see in the previous post.

Filed under: General,Thrifting,Travel | 2 comments

Living with a toddler and nice things.

Posted at 7:54 pm in General,Home Reno,Mjölk

toddler bedroom

I’ve been meaning to write about this subject for some time, but between summer and the Nakashima exhibition, we’ve been in a bit of a whirlwind. We haven’t shared much of our house yet, mostly because we are still settling in! It takes quite some time to feel comfortable putting art up (or acquiring it) and finding special textiles that take a space to the next level of homeyness.

We have a flex space that is currently Elodie’s bedroom (she’ll move to another room once either a) another baby comes along, or b) she escapes her crib and becomes ready for a big kid bed. She has been sleeping in here since December but we’ve only just felt like the room is complete. It’s a small space that is ALL windows and doors.  So that makes for a challenge when it comes to shelving and art. I think ultimately though, this isn’t a play room. It’s a sleeping space and needs to be calm and minimal. There is a nice pop of nature out the window (in Canada you legally need to have an operable window in each bedroom, so Studio Junction made a clever little courtyard, where we are in the process of planting some bamboo).

The second we saw the Leander crib and change table we knew it would be perfect for our new home.  I had some serious baby brain going on when I put it together but the craftsmanship is really solid and it’s wearing really well despite the odd bite mark around the edges. We invested in the bed because it also turns into a toddler bed, by expanding by about another foot and a half. The only worry I have is that if I turn it into a toddler bed now, we’ll eventually need another crib. I wish buying the toddler bed wasn’t as expensive as buying the crib. If anyone in the Toronto area is selling or sees one for sale, let me know!!!

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We found this mobile via Remodelista (oddly I cannot find the post) and ultimately bought it from the maker as the store they had linked in the story didn’t ship to Canada. Another piece that is perfect for both a baby and an adult space (would look nice in a sheltered garden for example).

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Pia Wallen Cross Baby Blanket is now available at Mjölk (though may not be online yet). Adult version also available.

Bunny was a birthday gift from a very lovely customer.

toddler bedroom

This carpet we bought via Etsy. John was looking for Moroccan rugs and this was added while he was lurking on a page. It jumped out at us for Elodie’s room. Since she lives in a pretty neutral world, we thought it’d be that extra punch of colour necessary to make it a less serious space. And even though it’s kid friendly, I think it’s a rug she could love and use into adulthood (that is, after her inevitable rejection phase).

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Needing some storage we turned to the much loved Ribba picture shelves from Ikea.

Painting at top was commissioned by Melinda Josie, of our cats. The elephant picture was made by our friend Hollie as a birthday gift. The wood blocks with Elodie’s name are from our friends over at Ltd. Supply Kitchen Brewery (ok, they are our besties, but check out what they are up to if you’re into craft beer).

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The Muji CD player is the perfect little thing for a nursery. The giraffe was a surprise gift from Jake of Machine Age Modern. Some vintage and new Moomin books. A Dala Horse from our wedding. The Chalk Piggy Bank was bought from Ladies & Gentlemen Studio (wow they’ve been busy!). Monkey is from our first trip to Copenhagen together. String is from when we tried to sell it in the shop but it proved too complicated. Portrait of us (just pregnant and not knowing it) is by Phillipa C in collaboration with what was Russet & Empire, during the first Junction Design Crawl (mark your calendar, next one is Friday August 23rd!!).

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On the left was a gift from Arounna and John of Bookhou.

The print on the right is a signed and numbered lithograph that I coincidentally bought on the same day the rug arrived. Serendipitously they have the same colour scheme and sealed the look for the space. I happened to wander over to Williams on Keele, and as I was chatting away my eyes kept scouring. The print was originally in a fake bamboo style frame and I could only see a part of the gold section – somehow I knew it was a Japanese print worth checking out. I asked to look at it and was shocked, $45! I NEVER luck out with finds like this. Honestly, we debated putting this piece in our room, but Elodie liked it from the get go. She gave it a kiss.

We immediately took it to our new framing friends over at The Gilder. It costs a bit more to get a custom white oak frame but so much better than all the generic styles that are readily available.

 

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The Hans Wegner J16 rocking chair and Artek Zebra Pillow. We use this rocking chair every day, and once this room is no longer a nursery, it will most likely move up to the cottage to continue to be enjoyed.

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Moving away from the bedroom, we all know kids stuff gets everywhere. I was starting to feel like we have too much stuff, but have realized we barely have anything. We have two bins and half the stuff is for babies. Elodie doesn’t slow down much to play anyway. She likes running around and practicing skills like climbing up and down. So books and balls and babies are the only things she really interacts with (not even blocks!). The above cardboard box? Needs to go in the recycling…she’s over it.

Elodie loves her chair by Tomii Takashi. It’s the perfect size.

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Not pictured is the Ikea easel, for colouring….

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And yes, she colours outside of the box. This has been like this for weeks too. Ohhh we are certainly not perfect over here!

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The Brasilia coffee table by Claesson Koivisto Rune is a perfect sort of coffee table. Soft rounded corners and hollow means we don’t have to worry about bumps on the head. Except when she climbs up onto the table and jumps off, a constant fascination.

She barely pays any mind to that Masanobu Ando sculpture. And if she does we just take it and move it up high. But generally she’s not all that interested in the stuff around the house. Now that’s obviously her personality, and not all kids will act this way. I find that she gets into trouble if she’s bored or tired.

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In the living room there are some low shelves for Elodie’s toys.

Shhh sleeping bunny. Also, banana hands, everywhere, always.

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Finally on this not so kid friendly yet kid friendly home tour, the rocking sheep (contact us for info, not on website), which for some reason ended up in our bedroom but has yet to leave. And really, it’s quite nice in our room. A touch of kid in an adult space.

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Note: Based on this post it seems like we get a lot of free stuff, but it’s not usually the case. Babies bring the love.

Filed under: General,Home Reno,Mjölk | 17 comments

2 year anniversary! & Giveaway (CLOSED)

Posted at 11:44 am in General,Mjölk

Mjolk Moomin Cookies

We can’t believe it’s been two years already, can you? So much so that yesterday was technically our anniversary. Oh well! One of these years we’re going to have to have a big party in January. Until then…come on by, do some Christmas shopping and grab a cookie [Moomin cookies made by Lindsey Bakes]!

THANK YOU to all the amazing people who come into our shop every day, who enjoy our space and our products in person.

THANK YOU to all the new customers we have met online, through our webshop which we launched in July. You guys have cleaned us out of almost all of our stock and there is still one week left until Christmas!

THANK YOU to all of the writers, editors, stylists and bloggers who have talked and tweeted about us all year long. We appreciate your ongoing interest in our lives and our shop.

THANK YOU to our incredible designers: without your talent, skill and vision we would not be able to curate such a beautiful shop. You are the heart of it all.

THANK YOU for an amazing second year!!!

****CONTEST CLOSED*****As a thank you for all your support, we have a contest to win a Kami Mug by Oji Masanori. Just leave a comment and we’ll choose the winner December 23rd using a random number generator.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

———————–

Some last minute shipping guidelines from Canada Post:

CANADA

Holiday Packages Send by
Xpresspost™ (Fast) ? December 21
Priority™ Next A.M.* (Rush) ? December 22

USA

Holiday Packages Send by
Xpresspost™ (Fast) ? December 16
Priority™ Worldwide (Rush) ? December 20

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Stockholm: Day 1

Posted at 9:39 am in Travel

We arrived in Stockholm and everything is sunny and warm. We stayed at the Scandic Malmem hotel in Södermalm, the hotel itself was great, it’s clean, modern and in the perfect location.

On a trip to Stockholm you could spend most of your time exploring Södermalm. There are countless cafes, boutiques, and some good eating as well. On our first day we visited String Cafe, a busy retro cafe that was packed for their weekend breakfast buffet. If you’re hungry on the weekend and want to find some good breakfast this is a really good pick.

The Ramones hang in the window near an I heart SOFO t-shirt.

There was also a little crepe station with a generous mix of berries and creme fraiche.

On any other day of the week you can stop in and order a cafe latte and help yourself to one of these delicious looking baked goods.

Cafe String

Nytorgsgatan 38
116 40 Stockholm 116 40 Stockholm

After breakfast we walked over to a couple of shops in the neighborhood. This one is called Grandpa. From what we remember it used to be more vintage but now it has a lot of great new brands, similar to RAC in Yorkville.

A couple doors down is a cool record / vintage shop called “An Ideal For Living” There was a bowl full of vintage leather “FIAT” key chains that were pretty cool. They also had a collection of Stig Lindberg pottery, and Moomin books.

We spent most of our day walking around Södermalm and happened upon Thomas Bernstrand’s studio. We totally creeped his window and he spotted us peering in, I bravely gave him a wave and he opened the door for us. We gave him a card and told him about the store and he graciously offered to take us on a tour of his studio.

We were thrilled.

When you enter the space you get a feeling of what has been occupying him and his studio. Public spaces, in fact he had the honor to design park spaces including a large installation in Rosenlundsparken. (More on that later) The concrete seat is called the “Gnone” and is also used to partition roads from parks.

Something that I really wanted to see while in Stockholm was this piece, “Ivy” a stackable bookcase made from pine. I would love to put one in our own home.

A wall mounted park bench called “Kajen mini”, it is used as a spot for a quick rest and is mounted higher than most seating so you can easily get back up when you’re done. Thomas mentioned that these would be great all over the city, for tourists and elderly people who need to stop for quick rests.

A pair of “Strand” chairs inspired by the classic beach chair.

We fell in love with these log and magazine holders, I’d love to get some in for the shop.

We were curious to see the outdoor spaces Thomas had designed so we got out our map and he marked where Rosenlundsparken park was, we had some time before dinner so we headed there.

Here we are! This installation is called “Stranden” which means the beach. The park has a huge lamp outside that lights up at night and during the dark winter Stranden reminds the deep frozen Swedes of summer, and lazy days at the beach.

For dinner we headed to Östermalm to eat at PA & CO. Which is super cosy and popular, you definitely need a reservation to eat here, we saw people turned away at the door all night.

The first thing we saw and ordered was the “S.O.S” platter. One of our favorite things in the world. It comprises of different pickled herring paired with different toppings, our favorite of course being cheese and dill.

One of the issues we had with this place was the menu. It was HUGE with dishes from Indian to Thai to traditional Swedish… We opted for the Swedish classics. Juli had meatballs which were delicious.

I had the Beef Rydberg, which I wasn’t too crazy for. Maybe it was just an off night, looking back at the photo it looks really delicious but there was something off about the meat.

PA&CO

Riddargatan 8
114 35 Stockholm

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