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  • 06/12/14--10:00: 5 Quick Fixes: Knife Storage
  • Knives usually end up hidden in a drawer; here are five ways to stow your kitchen arsenal in plain sight.

    In-Counter Knife Storage from The Brooklyn Home Company | Remodelista

    Above: Fitzhugh Karol and Lyndsay Caleo, partners in the Brooklyn Home Company, added a clever kitchen addition to their brownstone in Brooklyn, a custom island of sapele wood with a built-in knife block.

    Above: First spotted on AT—a Vancouver couple renovated their kitchen and didn't want the typical magnetic knife strip or a bulky knife block. Instead, they used a $20 Ikea Kraftig cutting board, created holes to fit their knifes, and sunk it into the kitchen counter a knife block (the blades disappear into an empty space beneath the counter).

    Viola Park Kitchen Design Company | Remodelista

    Above: Kitchen design company Viola Park integrated a knife block into a stainless steel backsplash. The wood block holds 12 knives and is available in walnut, rift-cut white oak, and bamboo; $125.

    DIY Under Counter Knife Rack from Local Kitchen | Remodelista

    Above: Kaela Porter writes the blog Local Kitchen and lives in a 1,000-square-foot cottage. Because of space limitations, she needed to come up with a clever storage solution for her knives. She installed a magnetic knife rack at the base of her kitchen cabinet, so the knives are in easy reach.

    Above: In a house in the Netherlands, designers Ina & Matt added a built-in knife rack in a work table.

    How about making your own knife rack? Have a look at Alexa's recent DIY: Wall-Mounted Leather Knife Rack. For more easy design ideas, go to our Quick Fixes archive.

    Looking for a place to store garden tools? On Gardenista, check out a Powder-Coated Steel Tool Rack.

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on April 12, 2012 as part of our Kitchen Remodel issue.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Pricey, yes, but possibly the last set of kitchen tools you'll ever buy. Designed by Hagino Mitsunobu for FD Style, the Kitchen Tools Series is made of rustproof stainless steel with a durable black matte finish.

    FD Style Kitchen Tools | Remodelista

    Above (L to R): The FD Style Grater ($64), FD Style Wine Opener ($188), FD Style Peeler ($52), FD Style Bottle Opener ($36), FD Style Zester ($62), and FD Style Can Opener ($68), all from Rikumo.

    Can Opener Black Matte | Remodelista

    Above: The FD Style Can Opener is $68 from Rikumo.

    FD Style Peeler | Remodelista

    Above: The FD Style Peeler is $52.

    FD Style Wine Opener | Remodelista

    Above: The FD Style Wine Opener is $188.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Most people know actor, writer, director, and producer Corbin Bernsen from his movie and TV roles—remember Arnie Becker on LA Law?—but in real life, at home with his wife, Amanda Pays, and their four sons, he plays the ultimate in-house carpenter and handyman. A shared interest in remodeling and design was in fact one of the things that brought the couple together—Amanda is a former actress now full-time interior designer, and the two have been renovating and flipping houses together in LA for the last two decades. We featured their California king-sized kitchen in the Remodelista book, and in recent posts we've spotlighted their backyard bunkhouse and laundry room—all of which Corbin had a hand in planning and building.

    We met up with Corbin and Amanda at their latest flip house off Mulholland Drive and asked Corbin to fill us in on life as a serial remodeler and tool-belt wearing guy. (Stay tuned: Amanda will be filling us in next on her recycle, restore, and reuse approach to design.)

    Photographs by Laure Joliet for Remodelista, unless otherwise noted.

    Actors Corbin Bernsen and Amanda Pays at work on a remodel | Remodelista

    Above: Corbin and Amanda test out the Isaac 1 Light Pendant from Schoolhouse Electric in the kitchen of their latest flip, a 1960s 2,000 square foot post-and-beam house that they bought in February and have just finished.

    Remodelista: How many houses have you and Amanda remodeled? 
    Corbin Bernsen: About twenty. I actually did a few before I met Amanda as well, including the one I was living in when we met (which she immediately re-remodeled!). And when I was in my late teens, I put myself through a few of years of college by flipping a small house in Laurel Canyon. Not an easy one—it was about a hundred steps up a hillside—but the job was mostly "paint and carpet."

    Actor Corbin Bernsen at work on a remodel | Remodelista

    Above: Corbin with a barn board—the day we dropped in, he was working on a sliding barn door to go between kitchen and living room.

    RM: How did you pick up your carpentry skills?
    CB: That first flip came about thanks to my godfather who built small houses in LA. He financed the project; I did the work and got the profit. He was a great friend and mentor who put me on construction crews at a very early age, starting with sweeping up at “roll the cords” (the end of the day's work when you roll up the electric cords around 3 pm). That was right after school, so I made a few bucks and started to learn the trade. Then, in my teens, I started doing real carpentry during the summer with his crew. I loved framing— the smell of the wood, watching the walls take shape. That's still my favorite part of the process: seeing something grow from nothing.

    Corbin Bernsen's remodel in progress | Remodelista

    Above: Corbin's work table in the flip house.

    RM: When you and Amanda are house hunting what do you look for?
    CB: The first thing that we look for, or “feel” for, are bones, history. If the bones aren’t intact, we simply don’t respond. Houses that have either been untouched or added to with respect for the original structure usually get a further glance. But there’s more, especially in California: the outside, the garden also needs to have a feel and must be in proportion to the lot size and the house that sits on it. We can absolutely tell when a house has had loving owners and happy families. There’s a vibe.  

    RM: How do you Amanda collaborate on projects?
    CB: One of the greatest things Amanda and I have shared over the years is our love of remodeling. It's a central part of our bond. And we were fortunate to discover early on that we each have our own strengths. Mine has always been space planning, and Amanda is great at all the design details. Often the process starts with a stick and a patch of dirt. From there I've become pretty good at creating fairly detailed scale drawings on graph paper. After that I like to tape things out, or put up string to show the rooms. Once I’m done, Amanda steps in (in actuality, she’s there all along the way), but after the space is “discovered,” she then starts thinking about design details, which can affect some spatial choices, so we work in tandem. I think we both thrive on problem solving.

    Corbin Bernsen star handyman | Remodelista

    Actor Corbin Bernsen  at work on a remodel | Remodelista

    Above: The barn door in progress.

    RM: Any advice for how to find a good contractor? 
    CB: Hate to say it but roll of the dice. The harsh reality of today is that contractors need to have multiple projects going to keep their crews. Having a great construction crew, like a filmmaking crew, is everything. You want them to be into the project, share the sense of adventure, and take pride in a job well done. Too often it’s just a paycheck. I buy our crew lunch now and then, get to know everyone's name, involve them in the project. This isn’t a trick but a genuine effort to acknowledge all involved are part of the history of the house and its future.  

    RM: Advice for how to control costs?
    CB: I’m the last one to talk to about controlling costs. For me the project is either done right or why do it at all. Thankfully, I have Amanda, who, like many great producers I’ve worked with in film and television, knows where to draw the line. She's actually very practical—she buys all of our appliances at Sears and reuses furnishings over and over. We love old things—Amanda is all about recycling—so we buy just about everything for our houses at flea markets: we've found doors, windows, sinks, plumbing fixtures, rugs, shelving. Lately we've been sourcing old wooden cupboards to use as pantries in place of built-ins. For our current kitchen, we needed fifty cupboard handles and found exactly fifty incredible old galvanized metal handles at a flea market for $25.  

    Corbin Bernsen and Amanda Pays bunkhouse | Remodelista

    Above: Corbin designed and built the wooden stairs in the couple's backyard shed that they turned into a bunkhouse. For a full tour, see Backyard Bunkhouse, Hollywood Royal Family Edition. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    Corbin Bensen bedside shelf made from scaffolding wood | Remodelista

    Above: The Corbin special: a bedside shelf made from an old scaffolding board. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    Corbin Bensen's utility drawer | Remodelista

    Above: Corbin introduced order to a utility drawer by inserting a wooden cutlery tray. The metal drawer pulls are the ones the couple discovered at a flea market, $25 for 50. To see more, go to Amanda Pays and Corbin Bernsen Air Their Dirty LaundryPhotograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista.

    RM: Five favorite tools for working around the house?
    CB: I narrowed my list down to seven:

    1. Estwing 28 oz. framing hammer. I’ve had mine for almost 40 years.
    2. Classic circular Skil Saw.
    3. Carpenter’s pencil. I only use the thick ones that used to be given out free at lumberyards; now you pay for them!
    4. My tool belt. Had a great one that was part of my life for 30 years and it was just stolen. Very cool, worn-in tan suede. Classic. Gone!
    5. Carpenter’s square by Stanley.
    6. Snapline. A most handy tool for ripping plywood and boards; it gives you a blue chalk line to cut from one end to the other.
    7. My music. My taste varies wildly, but I like music to get things going. Bob Marley always seems to work.

    RM: Are all tool belts essentially equal?
    CB: Not at all—the perfect one is broken in, soft, fits your waist perfectly, and doesn't crawl down to your ass over the course of the day. I bought a new one, but it ain't workin'.

    Actors Corbin Bernsen and Amanda Pays at work on a remodel | Remodelista

    Above: "We love the creation process, and I suppose the challenge," says Corbin. "There's a great sense of accomplishment from overcoming obstacles. When projects come together, there's that we did it feeling." See more of Amanda's work at Amanda Pays Design.

    RM: As a handyman, what do you find yourself fixing most often in your own house?
    CB: Changing fucking light bulbs! Nobody in my camp will do it. They’d rather live in the dark than change a light bulb. Beyond that, I mostly fix things that involve wood and/or framing. I’m not a plumber or electrician—one stinks and the other can kill you if you screw up. I do wood. 

    For more Expert Advice, see Every Woman Loves a Contractor, tips on how to hire and work with a builder. On Gardenista, read Michelle's 10 Mistakes to Avoid When You Remodel.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Beyond the loft bed: retractable sleeping platforms that literally disappear during the day, freeing up living space.

    Funn Roberts Retractable Bed | Remodelista

    Above: Mad Men actor Vincent Kartheiser lives in a 580-square-foot cabin in Hollywood; designer and builder Funn Roberts devised a pulley-operated retractable loft bed (with a 300-pound counterweight). Photo by Joe Pugliese via Dwell.

    Funn Roberts Retractable Bed | Remodelista

    Above: The bed in sleeping mode (the live-edge headboard is attached to the wall with hinges and flips down to create a desk when the bed is raised). Photo by Joe Pugliese via Dwell.

    Renato Arrigo Architect Retractable Bed | Remodelista

    Above: For a tiny flat in the center of Taormina, Italy, architect Renato Arrigo created a cable system to raise and lower the master bed.

    Renato Arrigo Architect Retractable Bed | Remodelista

    Above: The bed being raised; photo via Renato Arrigo.

    Cornell University Solar Decathalon House Retractable Bed | Remodelista

    Above: For the 2009 Solar Decathalon House, Cornell University students designed a crank-operated retractable bed.

    Retractable Loft Bed | Remodelista

    Above: An electronically operated retractable bed by Flow in NYC.

    Espace Loggia Retractable Bed | Remodelista

    Above: The Mobile Loft Bed from French company Espace Loggia rises to reveal a workspace.

    Espace Loggia Retractable Bed | Remodelista

    Above: The Mobile Loft Bed in sleep mode.

    Looking for clever Small Space Living ideas? See Live/Work Furniture from Japan and The Studio Apartment, Garage Edition. And don't miss our survival guide posts from Gardenista's Erin Boyle: Life in a Tiny Apartment, Brooklyn Edition and 10 Tips for Living in 240 Square Feet.

    On Gardenista, read about Subdividing a Small City Backyard to Make it Bigger.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    What happens when programmer guys go shopping for mattresses? They toss and turn at night and dream up schemes for disrupting the industry. Two sleep startups are seeking to reinvent the way mattresses are made and sold, streamlining the options and cutting out the middlemen.


    Casper Mattress | Remodelista

    Above: "We looked at the hotel industry, where they don't ask what kind of bed you need, and in general, people love sleeping on hotel beds," CEO Philip Krim told The Verge. "Mattress retailers play a game with eight gradients of firmness, for example; that's how they guide you through the showroom toward something more expensive." 

    Casper Mattress | Remodelista

    Above: The Casper consists of latex foam layered on top of memory foam (the engineers behind the product have worked at IDEO, Muji, and NASA, collectively). Prices start at $500 for a Twin Casper and $950 for a California King Casper. The Casper is compressed and delivered in a box that fits in any door.

    Tuft & Needle

    Tuft and Needle Mattress | Remodelista

    Above: Founded by a couple of Palo Alto software developers (John-Thomas Marino and Daehee Park), Tuft & Needle wants to be the Apple of the mattress world ("No one, anywhere, is psyched about the brand of their mattress," they say).

    Tuft Needle Mattress | Remodelista

    Above: The Tuft & Needle mattress is available in 5-inch and 10-inch thicknesses (suitable for slatted base or box spring bases). Prices start at $200 for a twin and go up to $500 for a king.

     How about an Angled Headboard, a Featherbed, and Sleep-Inducing Pajamas to go with your new mattress? For bedroom design ideas, peruse our Gallery of Rooms and Spaces. On Gardenista, read Michelle's 7 Secrets for Making a Perfect Bed.

    Insomnia? Jackie Ashton has 10 Secrets for a Better Night's Sleep.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    This week the Gardenista team gears up for Father's Day (good last-minute gift ideas), fills us in on garden gravel, and investigates the dark side of tomatoes.

    Here are a few of our favorite posts:

    Rodic Davidson Architects workshop | Gardenista

    Above: World's nicest garden shed? The Outbuilding of the Week belongs to UK architect Bed Davidson who built it when he inherited his grandfather's woodworking tools and workbench.

    Jacqueline Morabito Design Garden | Remodelista

    Above: Kendra takes us on a tour of Jacqueline Morabito's garden in Provence.

    Personal Effects bag by Artifact | Gardenista

    Above: In 10 Easy Pieces, Justine presents waxed canvas carryalls ideal for Dad (the women at Remodelista are coveting several of these, too).

    Field Guide to Tomatoes | Gardenista

    Above: "Tomatoes are something like that co-worker who sweetly wears pencil skirts and cardigans. Then she starts telling you about the motorcycle she just bought and the skydiving lessons that are her New Year's resolution," writes Laura in this week's Field Guide. To grow bountiful tomatoes, read this personality profile and tip sheet.

    Gray house paints | Gardenista

    Above: There are at least 50 million shades of gray. In Palette & Paints, Meredith zeroes in on 10 favorites selected by members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory

    Pea gravel and brick vegetable beds | Gardenista

    Above: Hardscaping 101 is devoted to pea gravel for good reason: it's economical, creates weed-free garden paths, and "crunches underfoot as satisfyingly as crispy cereal."

    News alert: Gardenista is a co-sponsoring GROW London, a contemporary garden fair in Hampstead Heath on June 20-22. Remodelista's own Christine Chang Hanway is one of the featured speakers, and Gardenista's Kendra Wilson will be curating a display of outdoor furniture and accessories.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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  • 06/13/14--10:00: Nautical Style on Pinterest
  • At Remodelista, we're generally not partial to decorating themes—but we do love nautical style. (Think navy-striped blankets, dock cleat hardware, and fishnet pendant lights.) The latest bedding collection from Nautica is full of classic maritime motifs easy to incorporate into any decor. For inspiration, see our Remodelista + Nautica Bedding board on Pinterest.

    Nautical Style on Pinterest with Nautica + Remodelista

    Above: A snapshot of our Remodelista + Nautica Bedding inspiration board.

    Nautica Bedding Lawndale Collection

    Above: Nautica's Lawndale bedding collection is a modern take on awning stripes.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Viennese designer Carl Aubock is known for his sculptural interpretations of mundane, everyday household objects; we think his humble hooks are among his most covetable pieces. Designed in the 1950s, the hook is made of polished brass and comes in two sizes.e

    Carl Aubock Hook | Remodelista

    Above: The Large Carl Aubock Hook in polished brass is $295 from The Line (the smaller hook is out of stock at the moment).

    Carl Aubock Hook Large | Remodelista

    Above: The Large Carl Aubock Hook measures 5.7 inches tall, 1.2 inches wide, and 3.15 inches deep.

    Carl Aubock Hook | Remodelista

    Above: The hook comes with brass mounting screws.

    Carl Aubock Hook Black | Remodelista

    Above: Large Carl Aubock Hook in Brass Patina is $225 and measures 5.7 inches tall, 1.2 inches wide, and 3.15 inches deep.

    Carl Aubock Hook Patinated | Remodelista

    Above: The Large Carl Aubock Hook in Brass Patina comes with brass mounting screws.

     Here at Remodelista we love Hardware. Have a look at 10 Easy PIeces: Inventive Wood Wall Hooks and 7 Space-Saving Hallway Storage Solutions. And read Christine's Remodelist 101: How Shaker Peg Hooks Save My Summer Sanity. Over on Gardenista, have a look at Kiel Mead's Driftwood Hooks.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    We're wrapping up our Cool Dads week and looking ahead to Scandi Midsummer. In the meantime, take a look at what's on our radar:

    Towel Warmer Technology | Remodelista

    Vifa Speaker from Copenhagen Home Technology | Remodelista

    • Above: Woven sound: Dalilah has her eye on these sleek Vifa speakers from Copenhagen. Photograph Courtest of Vifa. 
    • The Remodelista SF office needs an indoor swing.  
    • What else do we need for the Remodelista office? A proper coatrack.

    Renaat Baem Atelier in Antwerp, Belgium, Photograph by Mieke Willems | Remodelista

    Philips Hue Wireless Lighting Home Technology | Remodelista

    • Above: Have you met Hue? With these connected LED bulbs, you can control lights using your smartphone or tablet. Photograph courtesy of Philips Hue.  
    • Remodelista's newest addition to the UK team, Jane Potrykus, recently visited Fieroza Doorsen's exhibition, Works on Paper, at Wilson Stephens & Jones gallery in London. 
    • What can $5 million get you? Anne Hathaway's light-filled Brooklyn loft

    Ouli Flowers Los Angeles | Remodelista

    • Above: Plotting a visit to Ouli in Echo Park, LA.

    For more posts from the week on Remodelista, take a look at our Cool Dads issue. And don't miss Gardenista's ode to the Gentleman Gardener

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    How do a pair of designers please a client who doesn't yet exist? For Sam Gnatovich and Alexi Rennalls, who tackled this midcentury remodel as an investment project, even a phantom client's desires commanded diligent legwork. Says Sam, "We worked very hard to try to understand and predict who would buy the house and what they would want." Envisioning the likes and dislikes of a young couple or a single man from the East Coast, they designed accordingly. 

    Sam, an architect, and Alexi, an interior designer, comprise Los Angeles-based Simo Design—members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory. They took the original structure down to the studs, keeping only the original architectural frame and the house's most dramatic feature: "ridiculous" (according to Sam) panoramic views of LA. They also completely reorganized the floor plan—"It just did not make sense for today's buyers"—and created a masculine and light-filled, midcentury-inspired space.

    Simo Design Los Angeles midcentury-inspired kitchen remodel, Remodelista

    Above: The kitchen proved to be the most challenging room in the house. Says Sam, "We always find that the simpler the look, the harder we have to plan to make it perfect."

    The two were sticklers about the detailing: the back wall is bookmatched Calcutta Crema Delicato marble, and the maple cabinetry was custom built and stained. "Our woodworker makes all of his own stains, which we love," says Sam, "but he probably loves it less since we found out, because we know that all of his samples can be tweaked to get the exact color we want." 

    The ceiling lights are from Schoolhouse Electric—"a great alternative to vintage since they always work"—and the kitchen island is covered in Absolute Black granite with a leather-like brushed finish.

    Simo Design midcentury remodeled storage system, Remodelista

    Above: As is common in midcentury houses, the floor plan was open and light on discrete spaces. The designers created this built-in bench and storage area to function as a sort of mud room.

    Simo Design in Los Angeles midcentury remodeled living room, Remodelista

    Above: In the living room, the designers doubly defined space by layering rugs: the top rug is vintage from West Hollywood retailer Woven Accents, and the bottom is from World Market. The claro walnut slab coffee table is a custom Simo design, and the two stools are vintage Paul McCobb designs newly reupholstered.

    Simo Design Los Angeles midcentury remodeled master bedroom, Remodelista

    Above: The house lacked a true master bedroom, so the pair converted a second living room. The new bedroom epitomizes the look the designers were after: trim, slightly masculine, and, thanks to new sliding glass doors to a balcony, filled with abundant natural light.

    The designers had to drop the ceiling to accommodate new kitchen plumbing; the beams they inserted are decorative but placed exactly beneath the original, now hidden, ceiling beams. 

    Simo Design Los Angeles midcentury remodeled bedroom with custom wood headboard, Remodelista

    Above: The wall-to-wall red oak headboard conceals a concrete beam that runs diagonally to the bottom of the house. The designers considered leaving the beam exposed, "but it just wasn't the right look," says Sam. The Nelson Cigar Wall Sconces were sourced from YLighting.

    Simo Design in Los Angeles midcentury remodeled bathroom, Remodelista

    Above: The master bathroom is tucked in what had been a dark corner. The designers remedied the setup by adding a frosted glass window and inserting partial walls that allow in light from the bedroom. The cabinets are natural maple, and the countertop is Bella Crème limestone. 

    Simo Design in Los Angeles midcentury remodeled guest bedroom with painted geometric wall, Remodelista

    Above: Sam and Alexi don't usually tackle the painting themselves, but Alexi created the wall graphic in the guest bedroom. ("We put her art degree to good use," says Sam.) They applied the geometric pattern in lieu of a headboard, and used a layer of brown velvet pillows at the back of the bed delineate the space. 

    Simo Design remodeled midcentury house in Los Angeles front doors, Remodelista

    Above: The front doors and hardware are original and newly refinished.

    Simo Design remodeled midcentury house in Los Angeles, Remodelista

    Above: A tongue-and-groove privacy fence and garage door are additions to the otherwise well-preserved exterior.


    Above: One of the original bedrooms—with its wall-to-wall plush carpeting and textured walls, the house was ready to be refreshed.

    Above: The kitchen had been remodeled over the years and the designers decided to entirely rethink it.

    For more by Simo Design, see The Designers Are In: Expert Tips from Remodeling Pros and Rehab Diary: LA Living, Venice Style.

    Go to Midcentury to tour other houses of the period. For landscaping ideas, see Gardenista's Landscape Architect Visit posts.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    The Nordic countries know how to greet summer, and this week we're joining them. In anticipation of the solstice (get ready, the longest day of the year is Saturday, June 21), we'll be holding outdoor feasts, drinking aquavit, wearing garlands—and celebrating all things Scandi.

    Scandi Midsummer Remodelista Issue

    Above: A dinner hosted by Le Marché St. George in Vancouver from 5 Quick Fixes: Elevating the Napkin.


    Hotel SP34 Copenhagen | Remodelista

    Above: Later today, Jane, the newest member of the Remodelista team, will be showing us around a just-opened Design Hotel in Copenhagen with bentwood beds.


    Teema dinnerware from Iittala | Remodelista

    Above: Teema, Kaj Franck's 1952 Dinnerware design for Iittala, is making two appearances on Tuesday: in Izabella's guide to setting a Swedish Midsummer Outdoor Table, and as this week's Object Lesson (did you see Megan's lesson about another summer staple, the Butterfly Chair?)


    Stainless steel Fustis drinks dispenser | Remodelista

    Above: Get the party started: 10 Easy Pieces is all about summer drinks dispensers, including this stainless steel classic. To fill in the picture, see last week's 10 Easy Pieces: Outdoor Charcoal Grills.


    Mjolk Scandi Floor How-To | Remodelista

    Above: Do you share our obsession with Scandi pale wood floors? On Thursday, our friends Jon and Julie of Mjölk in Toronto talk us through how to get the whitewashed look. (And, in the meantime, take a look at Jon and Julie's Scandinavian-Inspired Kitchen with Hints of Japan, and read our recent Ask the Expert on The Ins and Outs of Wood Floors.)



    High Low AJ Lamp | Remodelista

    Above: On Friday, Julie presents our latest High/Low: two Scandi standing lamps at opposite ends of the price spectrum.

    Let the celebration begin: Over at Gardenista, they're also Diving into Summer.

    Behind in your Remodelista reading? Have a look at all our Back Issues, and also check out what we're up to on Pinterest.

    More Stories from Remodelista

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    Today, to inaugurate our Scandi Midsummer issue, we're exploring unseen rooms and corners of Tiina Laakonen and Jon Rosen's Finnish-accented house (we first featured it in the Remodelista book)—and exploring her use of indigo. As the fashion stylist and owner of Tiina the Store explains: "I find blue incredibly soothing. Plus, I'm a one-trick pony, I like to do variations on a theme." 


    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett House | Remodelista

    Above: The compound consists of a trio of connected barn-like structures that Tiina and Jon, a photographer turned tech entrepreneur, designed with the help of two moonlighting young architects, Tim Furzer and Nandini Bagchee. The central structure houses an open-living space that introduces the gray, white, black, and blue palette used throughout—an ode to Tiina's childhood in Finland. A 9-by-12-foot sliding glass door (one of two) opens to the outdoors and adds lush greens to the mix. Tiina's furnishings include a pair of decades-old George Sherlock sofas that she reupholstered in a patchwork of Marimekko prints, and a collection of square poufs by her friend Christina Kim of Dosa (who is currently having a Dosa 30th birthday show at Tiina the Store).

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Table | Remodelista

    Above: The dining table, one of Piet Hein Eek's scrapwood designs, is set for a lunch with a Marimekko tablecloth (most of Tiina's Marimekko patterns are 1960s designs by Maijo Isola that are still in production). The glass-and-wrought-iron candelabra is by Erik Höglund for Costa Boda, a piece Tiina purchased in Stockholm 10 years ago. The walls of the entire interior are sheathed with custom 8-inch wide poplar shiplap, a sophisticated riff on classic barn siding.

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Glasses | Remodelista

    Above: Many of Tiina's favorite everyday items, including these Iittala Kartio Tumblers and Pitchers by Kaj Franck, have made their way into her store—the idea for the shop came about as Tiina was gathering things for the house and finding herself in search of Finnish classics from the fifties and sixties: "Over the years, you become enamored of things from your origins. I've lived abroad for so long, but what I like is my own tightly curated version of all things Finnish."

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett at Work | Remodelista

    Above: Tiina grew up in Imatra, Finland, an industrial town on the border of Russia; she left for Paris at 19, and, after an international modeling career, got her start in fashion by assisting Karl Lagerfeld. The low table behind her displays her collection of rice grain porcelain made by Arabia of Finland, and collected piece by piece largely by trolling eBay.

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Shelves | Remodelista

    Above: Vintage Arabia ceramics in deep blue pattern the upper shelves of the kitchen. The black-and-white tableware includes pieces by Arabia and Iittala; the owl-patterned Taika Mug is by contemporary Finnish designer Klaus Haapaniem.

    Bed Rooms

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: The master bedroom is housed in its own wing, reached by stairs wallpapered in Night of the Skylarks, a 1950s pattern by Birger Kaipiainen, a Finnish ceramicist and designer who Tiina calls her greatest source of inspiration. The wallpaper reappears in several places in the house; here, it's paired with walls painted Farrow & Ball Drawing Room Blue. "I felt those halls needed a color to make them feel cozy and less hall-like," says Tiina. Stay tuned: On Thursday we'll be presenting Scandi Palette & Paints inspired by Tiina's choices.

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: In the guest barn, a Marimekko Quilt, handstitched in Finland from vintage fabric, covers a cast-iron bed from Charles P. Rogers & Co. The rag rugs were made by Tiina's sister-in-law: "I wanted rag rugs because they're old-school Finnish," says Tiina.

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Dosa Garland | Remodelista

    Above: The room's antique bedside table holds a mercury glass lamp, a 1969 piece by Finnish designer Helena Tynell for Luxus of Sweden. The heart garlands are from Dosa's Corazn Milagro project (see A Housewares Collection with a Cult Following.)

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Study | Remodelista

    Above: Another guest room has its own seating nook with a Restoration Hardware sofa—"it was half off, minus 20 percent," says Tiina—and a throw rug from West Elm. The 1940s portrait was a gift from Jon's grandmother. The tray table is by Design House Stockholm.

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Flowers | Remodelista

    Above: A Ted Muehling Egg vase by Nymphenburg.

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Corner | Remodelista

    Above: In the kids' guest room, Uglydolls occupy a Mademoiselle Lounge Chair, a 1956 Iimari Tapiovaara design for Artek that's still in production. Birger Kaipiainen's Night of the Skylarks wallpaper reappears here in a different combination of blues.


    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Office | Remodelista

    Above: Jon owns Nucleus Imaging, a digital post-production company—and has an enviable work setup at home. His desk is a vintage Swedish design that traveled with the couple from their original apartment. The wall lights are Schoolhouse Electric Alabax Lights.


    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Pool | Remodelista

    Above: The backyard slopes down to a pool house with a zinc roof. See our recent Remodeling 101 for the lowdown on Standing Seam Metal Roofs

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Pool | Remodelista

    Above: Tiina's blue palette extends to the outdoors.

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Pool | Remodelista

    Above: A pitch pine is one of several memorable trees on the property.

    Tiina Laakkonen Amagansett Pool | Remodelista

    Above: Blue hydrangeas frame the pool.

    See more of Tiina and Jon's house on pages 30 - 45 of the Remodelista book. And stay tuned for a summer table set by Tiina. 

    On Gardenista, see 10 Landscapes Designed Around A Single Tree and How to Deal with Tree Stumps.

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    Whenever I travel, I relentlessly research the perfect hotel: I like to try to pass as a local, but I want to be close to the action, whether touristy or not. Nestled on a street lined with design shops and cafes, and a stone’s throw from both a public garden and the heart of Copenhagen, SP34 seems to be the perfect base for my next CPH visit. (The name SP34 is an abbreviation of the property's address: Sankt Peders Strade 34.)

    Part of the Brøchner Hotel Group, SP34 opened in April after undergoing extensive renovations—the site formerly operated as Hotel Fox and was overhauled by architect/designer Morten Hedegaard. The new interiors have a cozy feel that references midcentury designs while looking fresh, leather headrests included. Your bentwood headboard awaits:

    Photography by Brochner Hotels via Nordic Design

    Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Gray Walls, Bent Plywood Headboards | Remodelista

    Above: The 118 guest rooms are decorated in soothing grays with warm accents.

    Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Gray Walls, Chairs, Seating, Tables, Lighting | Remodelista

     Above: An appeal of minimalist Scandi decor is that it conveys a sense of space. We like the fact that Hedegaard detailed not only the beds but the armchairs with leather pillows.

    Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Gray Walls, Chairs, Seating, Tables | Remodelista

    Above L: Table for two with blue metal legs. Above R: Design references abound: this chair frame is akin to the Hans Wegner rope chair; it's finished with woven black webbing, an Alvar Aalto trademark.

    Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Gray Walls, Chairs, Seating, Tables, Lighting, RUBN | Remodelista

    Above: An amber-colored custom light from Swedish company RUBN fills the space with a golden glow. Read about RUBN in today's post New Lighting Classics from Sweden.

    Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Bathroom, Tile, Sink, Lighting | Remodelista  

    Above L: A peek at SP34's clean bathroom layout. Above R: Dark walls highlight a mirror framed in leather. 

    Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Gray Walls, Bent Plywood Headboards, Bed, Pillows | Remodelista

    Above: Beds have individual bentwood headboards

    Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Books, Lighting, RUBN | Remodelista

    Above: Details like books on a ledge give SP34 a homey feel. The light is another custom design by RUBN.

    Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Wood, Hanger, Storage | Remodelista     

    Above: The perfect way to hang (and display) tomorrow's outfit.

    Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Lounge, Bar | Remodelista

    Above: SP34's Lounge Bar and Cafe with a bike in the window and platform seating that encourages lounging.

     Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Lounge, Bar, Tables, Fur, Throws, Cafe | Remodelista

    Above: Fur throws make for cozy seating.

     Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Lounge, Bar, Lighting, RUBN | Remodelista

    Above: A playful mural serves as a conversation starter. For reservations, go to Hotel SP34.

    Visiting Copenhagen? Start planning your visit with our Insider's Guide. Fans of typography will want to go to Playtype—and from there, it's a short walk to Blomsterskuret, which as Gardenista suggests, may be The World's Most Beautiful Flower Shop.

    Below: Hotel SP34 is located in Copenhagen's old Latin Quarter: 

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    Spotted (and admired) in the Hotel SP34 in Copenhagen: lighting from Rubn an under-the-radar company based in Vittsjo, Sweden. Founded in 1951 by Uno and Osten Kristiansson, Rubn produces a line of hand-assembled lights ranging from humble (simple wall sconces) to high end (large modernist chandeliers), designed by Niclas Hoflan.

    A good selection is available at Twenty Twenty One and SCP in London (unfortunately, the lamps are not yet in the US or Canada).

    Rubn Lighting Sweden | Remodelista

    Above: A custom light in the K25 Food Hall in Stockholm.

    Rubn Lighting Sweden | Remodelista

    Above: The Miller Table Light in black (L) is £248 and the Lector Table Light in white (R) is £322 at Twenty Twenty One.

    Rubn Lighting Sweden | Remodelista

    Above: A custom fixture at the Llama Restaurant in Copenhagen. The Lord Pendant Lamp is £368 at Twenty Twenty One.

    Nimbus Copper Light Rubn | Remodelista

    Above: The Nimbus Light in brass is £184 from Twenty Twenty One.

    Rubn Lighting Sweden | Remodelista

    Above: A detail of the custom lighting in the K25 Food Hall in Stockholm.

    Rubn Glass Pendant | Remodelista

    Above: A glass globe in the Hotel SP34.

     See today's post on Copenhagen's Hotel SP34 for more. And browse our Image Gallery of rooms and spaces for more Lighting ideas, including Standard Socket's Designs by Small US Workshops. Go to Gardenista for Outdoor Lighting sources.

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    Perhaps you've heard of Learning from Las Vegas, a 1972 tome on design lessons gleaned from the Strip by architects Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour. (Not to mention Air Guitar by Las Vegas-based cult art critic Dave Hickey.) We decided it was time for us to conduct our own Vegas investigation of sorts: this past weekend, Dalilah headed to Las Vegas for a few days to explore the city from a design vantage.

    You can follow in her footsteps: we've partnered with to award one reader with a $1,000 gift certificate toward his or her own Las Vegas summer getaway—good for use at the hundreds of hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues on All you have to do is enter the Remodelista in Vegas contest.

    Vintage Las Vegas

    Above: Image via

    To enter: 

    • Follow Remodelista on Pinterest
    • Create a pinboard titled Remodelista in Vegas. 
    • Fill the board with what you think Remodelista in Vegas might look like. Pin at least two images from and two images from Remodelista. (Take a look at our Remodelista in Vegas pinboard for inspiration.)
    • Assemble a minimum of 10 images on your pinboard.
    • Paste a link to your Remodelista in Vegas pinboard in the comments section (below) of this post.

    Remodelista editors will choose the pinboard that best captures the Remodelista side of the city. The contest is open to US readers ages 21 and over. The contest ends on Friday, June 27, 2014 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time, and the winner will be announced on the following Monday. See our Official Rules for details.

    See highlights from Dalilah's Vegas trip on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and keep up with on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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    We're thrilled to announce the second annual Remodelista Considered Design Awards, in which we honor our readers' domestic spaces and design acumen. Read on to learn more about the contest (and the custom lamp from Jielde you stand to win).

    Remodelista 2014 Considered Design Awards

    Have a kitchen you're insanely proud of? A bath that's a labor of love? A bedroom that lulls you to sleep? Every day, we show you the spaces we love; now it's your turn to share. 

    Our awards program is open to all readers—and we're hoping to see living quarters of all sorts, from tiny rentals to new builds. We have separate categories for amateur designers and professional work, and a swoon-worthy prize: each winner will receive a Jielde SI333 Signal Desk Lamp in bronze, a special-edition produced exclusively for Remodelista. And each winning project will be spotlighted on Remodelista. Winners will be announced on August 9.

    This year, we have an exciting new addition: a panel of guest judges. You'll recognize many of these design-world luminaries; stay tuned for the full roster on Tuesday. 

    Contest Categories:

    We will run a separate contest for amateur and professional designers in each of these categories:

    Best Kitchen Space

    Best Living/Dining Space

    Best Bedroom Space

    Best Bath Space

    Best Office Space

    Outdoor enthusiasts, note: the Gardenista Considered Design Awards have seven new categories this year, including several for architects and other spatial designers, such as Best Garden Shed or Outbuilding, Best Hardscape Project, and Best Outdoor Living Space. Head over to Gardenista for details.

    Important 2014 Dates:

    Submission Deadline: Monday, July 7 by Midnight PDT
    Finalists Announced and Reader Voting Begins: Wednesday, July 16
    Reader Voting Ends: Friday, August 8
    Winners Announced: Saturday, August 9

    How to Enter:

    We've done our best to simplify the entry process. At our contest site, you can submit up to six photos of your space along with a descriptive caption for each photo and a design statement explaining your overall project. You can submit one project in each category for which you qualify. All projects will be published in the Gallery tab of the contest site within a few minutes of submitting. The guest judge in each category will work with Remodelista editors to review all entries and choose up to five finalists in each category. When we announce our finalists on July 16, Remodelista readers will be invited to vote.  

    See our contest Terms & Conditions and FAQ for more information. 

    Enter the contest here. And readers, don't forget to come back and weigh in during the voting period. 

    Good luck!

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    One memorable July, I found myself in a friend's seaside summerhouse just outside of Gothenburg, Sweden. As I stood in the tiny kitchen, surveying the interior, I couldn't help but admire the efficient use of space throughout the cottage.

    At this similar summerhouse in Söderfors, walls and wood floors are painted bright white to open up the small rooms. We especially like the children's bedroom, which features twin metal beds, step stools as bedside tables, and a frothy tulle pendant light. And the good news is: the cottage is for rent: see Widerlov & Co.

    Liv Light

    Above: Windowsill plants and a few graphic linens stand out against an otherwise all-white bedroom.

    The Essentials

    Piper Bed

    Above: The Piper Bed in stainless steel is $599, no box spring needed, from Room & Board.

    Liv Light

    Above: Designed by Jonas Bohlin, the Liv Light is made from layers of tulle and can be sourced from the Scandinavian Design Center for $749. For a DIY alternative, see our post Design Sleuth: Green Liv Light by Jonas Bohlin.

    Molger Step Stool in Wood from Ikea | Remodelista

    Above: Ikea's Molger Step Stool is made of birch; it looks good as is or can be painted white; $29.99.

    Hector Metal Table Lamp

    Above: Original BTC's Hector Metal Table Lamp is $255 from Horne.

    Linens and Accessories

    Aina Pair of Curtains

    Above: The Aina Pair of Curtains are available in bleached (shown) and seven other colors of linen; $49.99 from Ikea.

    Black Tick Sham Pair

    Above: Matteo's Black Tick Sham Pair is $95 for two queen-sized shams, $125 for king, from Matteo Home.

    Sailor Navy Sheets from Unison in Chicago | Remodelista

    Above: From Chicago store Unison Home, Sailor Navy Sheets are made in Portugal; $140 for the queen size fitted and flat sheet. The Sailor Navy Pillowcases are $32 each for the standard size. For more ideas, see 10 Easy Pieces: Striped Sheets.

    Cotton 'Senovinis' Blanket

    Above: Fog Linen Work's Cotton Senovinis Blanket is $134 from Dry Goods New York.

    Indigo-Dyed Cotton Blanket from Lookout & Wonderland | Remodelista

    Above: Hand-dyed Indigo Shibori Linen Textiles made by Lookout & Wonderland start at $220 at The Primary Essentials in Brooklyn.

    Kardemumma Plant Pots

    Above: White Kardemumma Plant Pots range from $1.99 to $12.99 from Ikea.

    For more ideas, see Children's Rooms in our Image Gallery of rooms and spaces. On Gardenista, have a look at a New Basement Playroom in a 1908 Garage. And for more of our design dissections, Go to Steal This Look

    N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on July 3, 2012 as part of our Scandi Summerhouse week.

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    We're thrilled to announce a new addition to our awards program this year: a roster of design-world luminaries as guest judges. 

    Each judge will review one contest category alongside the Remodelista editors and will choose up to five finalists for each category. After that, the eventual winner will be chosen by you!

    Conde Nast Traveler Editor-in-Chief Pilar Guzman, Guest Judge of the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

    Above: Pilar Guzmán, editor in chief of Condé Nast Traveler and former editor of Martha Stewart Living, is judge of our Best Office Space (Professional) category. Read more about Pilar.

    Furniture Designer Gesa Hansen, Guest Judge of the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

    Above: Designer and art director Gesa Hansen, owner of the Hansen Family furniture company, is judge of our Best Bath Space (Amateur) category. Read more about Gesa.

    Fashion Designer Jenni Kayne, Guest Judge of the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

    Above: Fashion designer Jenni Kayne is judging our Best Office Space (Amateur) category. Read more about Jenni.

    Wendy Goodman, Guest Judge of the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

    Above: Wendy Goodman, design editor of New York magazine, is judging our Best Living/Dining Space (Professional) category. Read more about Wendy.

    Gael Towey, Guest Judge of the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

    Above: Graphic designer and video producer, Gael Towey, founding art director of Martha Stewart Living, is judge of our Best Bedroom Space (Amateur) category. Read more about Gael

    Diana Darling of The Architect's Newspaper, Guest Judge of the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

    Above: Diana Darling, founder of The Architect's Newspaper, is judging our Best Kitchen Space (Professional) category. Read more about Diana

    Elana Frankel, Senior Director of Photography and Style at One Kings Lane, Guest Judge of the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

    Above: Elana Frankel, senior director of photography and style at One Kings Lane, is judging our Best Bedroom Space (Professional) category. Read more about Elana

    Juli Baker and John Baker of Concept Shop Mjolk, Guest Judges of the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

    Above: Juli Daoust Baker and John Baker, owners of the Toronto concept shop Mjölk, are judging our Best Kitchen Space (Amateur) category. Read more about Juli and John.

    Branding Expert Luke Hayman, Guest Judge of the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

    Above: Graphic designer Luke Hayman, a partner at Pentagram, is judge of our Best Living/Dining Space (Amateur) category. Read more about Luke.

    Pointed Leaf Press Founder Suzanne Slesin, Guest Judge of the 2014 Remodelista Considered Design Awards | Remodelista

    Above: Suzanne Slesin, founder of art and architecture imprint Pointed Leaf Press, is judging our Best Bath Space (Professional) category. Read more about Suzanne

    How to Enter:

    We've simplified the entry process. Write an overall design statement describing your project and submit up to six photos of the project, along with a separate caption for each photo. You may submit one project in each category for which you qualify. All projects will be published in the Gallery tab of the contest site within a few minutes of submitting. For each category, a guest judge will work with Gardenista editors to review all the entries and choose up to five finalists. After we announce our finalists, we will invite friends, family, and fellow Gardenista readers to cast their votes.  

    See our contest Terms & Conditions and FAQ for more information. 

    Enter the contest here.

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    Like most Swedes, Midsummer—the annual June start-of-summer celebration—is by far my favorite holiday. I have fond memories of wearing a floral garland, dancing around the maypole, singing små grodorna (Swedish for "the little frogs"), avoiding the pickled herring, and heading straight for the freshly-picked strawberries.

    Back in the early days, the Swedish Midsummer was celebrated to welcome long days of sunlight and the season of fertility. Today, the holiday marks the start of summer and takes place on or around the solstice, the longest day of the year (get ready: this year, it's Saturday, June 21). Midsummer calls for an escape to the countryside, where family and friends gather to eat, drink, and dance. Swedes go to great lengths to make it the party-of-the-year. To throw your own Midsummer bash, here are the tabletop staples:

    Midsummer Table Setting via Blomsterlandet I Remodelista

    Above: Swedes keep the table setting simple and natural for Midsummer—a linen tablecloth, white dinner plates, and just-snipped flowers and greenery.

    Fog Linen Work Tablecloth Remodelista  

    Above: The simple Natural Linen Tablecloth by Fog Linen comes in three sizes starting at $64 from the Fog Linen shop. 

    Matteo Linen Napkins I Remodelista  

    Above: Matteo Linen Napkins are $88 for a set of four. They're available in seven colors and measure 22 inches by 22 inches. Photograph via The List Collective.


    Teema Dinnerware Collection I Remodelista  

    Above: A Scandinavian classic designed in 1952 by Kaj Franck, Teema Dinnerware by Iittala comes in six colors, including white. The pieces are sold individually; dinner plates are $26 at Unica Home. In today's Object Lesson, Megan explains the story behind Franck's design. For more tableware, see 10 Easy Pieces: Basic White Dinnerware.

    Joyce Bud Vase from CB2 I Remodelista  

    Above: CB2's Joyce Bud Vase is dishwasher safe and measures 4 by 4 inches; $2.95 each. See Gardenista's 10 Easy Pieces: Single Stem Bud Vases for more options. 

    Midsummer Schnapps I Remodelista

    Above: Chilled aquavit and nubbe, Swedish schnapps, are the drinks of choice for Midsummer. Refills are frequent and hearty toasts are punctuated with bouts of traditional schnapps songs. Swedes often make homemade schnapps infused with berries and herbs. 

    Sagaform Schnapps Glasses I Remodelista  

    Above: Handblown SOS Schnapps Glasses by Swedish company Sagaform; $20 for a set of four from Huset.

    Ikea Korken bottle | Remodelista

    Above: Spice your own schnapps using a Korken Bottle; $3.99 from Ikea.


    Above: The Midsummer feast include various kinds of pickled herring (sill in Swedish)—a must-serve dish if not always a favorite among the children. Photograph via Ikea Livet Hemma

    Weck 10-oz Canning Jar I Remodelista  

    Above: Weck makes some of our favorite jars for food storage and canning (see page 333 of the Remodelista book). The Weck 10 oz. Jar is 3.50 from Crate and Barrel. 

    Baby-New-Potatoes I Remodelista  

    Above: The tasty new potato (färsk or ny potatis in Swedish), harvested prior to full maturity and sold immediately, is another Midsummer dish. A light scrub removes any dirt and the potatoes are cooked whole with their skin on. Traditionally served with fresh dill, chives, and sour cream, they're shown here in a new twist, created by blogger Skye McAlpine, with parsley, lemon, and the coastal green samphire. Photograph From My Dining Table—go to the site for the recipe. 

    Iris Hantverk Pan and Vegetable Brush I Remodelista  

    Above: The Iris Hantverk Pan and Vegetable Brush works well as a potato scrubber; $27 from Fjorn Scandinavian. And if you're looking for additional brushes, see 10 Easy Pieces Vegetable Brushes on Gardenista. Photograph via Tea and Kettle.

    Strawberries in a White Bowl I Remodelista  

    Above: The first strawberries of the season are the classic dessert for the Midsummer smörgåsbord. Swedes take their strawberries seriously: every year we worry about the frost ruining the berry harvest and avidly follow the news predictions leading up to the holiday. We pay a premium price for our strawberries, and many families pick their own. Photograph via Bogart Loves Blog

    Covered Pedestal Cake Stand Terrain Remodelista  

    Above: Sometimes the Midsummer host makes a strawberry cake. An inviting way to serve it would be in this simple glass Pedestal Cake Stand, made in the US and currently on sale for $34.95 from Terrain.

    Midsummer Maypole in Sweden I Remodelista

    Above: The celebration begins with flower picking for the maypole and garlands. The tall, cross-shaped wooden post is dressed in leaves and flowers, and is the central symbol of the celebration. Children and adults alike dance around the pole to traditional Swedish songs. The children and women usually wear flower garlands and some people dress-up in traditional folk costumes. Photograph via Sveaborg Society.

    Erin Boyle's Flower Crown I Remodelista

    Above: On Gardenista, Erin shows us how to make a Midsummer Garland. Photograph by James Casey. 

    Gearing up? Our friends at Food52 offer an entertaining tutorial in Expert Advice: How to Set the Table. These Table Linens by LA Designer Heather Taylor would work well for a Midsummer table. 

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    To be filed under: always rely on the advice of locals when traveling. My husband and I (children in tow) spent a summer vacation in Sweden a few years ago. Our first instinct was to contact our Stockholm friends Martha and Anders for ideas: where to stay, what to do, where to eat, etc. I'll always be grateful to them for insisting we take a ferry to Grinda, a small island in the north Baltic Sea archipelago (a two-hour trip from the center of Stockholm), for a hike through the forest followed by lunch at Grinda Wardshus.

    Since our visit, the restaurant has been gathering steam: owner Jan Pfister is on a mission to "elevate the cuisine of the archipelago" and it's been written up in Conde Nast Traveler, the Financial Times, and so on. I'm plotting a return visit.

    Photos courtesy of Grinda Wardshus unless otherwise noted.

    Grinda Wardshus Exterior Sweden | Remodelista

    Above: Henrik Santesson, the first chairman of the Nobel Foundation, bought the island in 1906 and built the Art Nouveau villa as his summer house in 1995.

    Grinda Wardshus Deck Sweden | Remodelista

    Above: Straight out of Bergman: the terrace overlooking the Baltic sea.

    Grinda Wardshus Lobby Sweden | Remodelista

    Above: The moody wood-paneled reception hall.

    Grinda Wardshus Living Room | Remodelista

    Above: Even in summer, a fire is lit.

    Grinda Wardshus Candle Sweden | Remodelista

    Above: A candle illuminates the restaurant concierge desk.

    Grinda Wardshus Dinin Room | Remodelista

    Above: The pale, sunlit dining room; photo by Gentl & Hyers for Conde Nast Traveler.

    Above: Candles illuminate the dining room, even during daylight.

    Grinda Warshus Bedroom | Remodelista

    Above: A simple, spartan guest room.

    Above: Built-in daybeds.

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