Thursday, 24 October 2013

Stockholm Directory - Jula

Jula's Pre-mixed Line of Paint
Jula is a big chain, self-proclaimed DIY supermarket. The selection ranges from outdoor activities, car supplies, building supplies and electrical.  Jula is great if you are on a budget as the the price point is really low.  The selection in each department is limited but worth taking a look, you may find something you love.  In addition to several fun finds, Jula carries a line of pre-mixed paint.  Nothing fancy but if there's a colour they have that you like, you could save thousands of kronor.  Perhaps after you spend a dark winter here you'll want to paint your entire house white anyway.  There's a very good reason Scandinavians are known for their minimalistic, white interiors.

Tangentvagen 16
14175 Kungens Kurva Stockholm

Monday, 21 October 2013

Swedes, Pumpkins & Godis

So it's Halloween in Sweden.  The Swedes have only recently adopted Halloween.  But really, is it surprising that these godis* lovers would jump at the opportunity to have candy on a day other than Saturday?

There's just one thing.  To earn the candy, you have to be willing to get your hands dirty.

You have to make a jack'o'lantern for your front steps or window, which indicates to all the little ghosts and goblins that you have candy to offer.

1. About 5 cm from the stem, cut a circle to make an opening in the top of the pumpkin (Pumpa på Svenska).

2. Dig out the slimy mess inside (separate the seeds if you like, which can be roasted with salt).  You can use a soup spoon but I think you'll find that using you hands will be necessary also.  Make sure the inside is scraped clean so as not to catch your jack'o'lantern on fire when you put the tea light in.

3.  Cut out the face. Basic shapes work perfectly.  You don't need to get fancy and for what it costs to buy a pumpkin here in Sweden, better to do something not too challenging.

4.  Put in a tea light. Leave the top off while the candle is lit.

Now you can enjoy your Halloween godis guilt-free.  Even if det är inte Lördag.


*Godis - (Pronounced Goodies) A Swedish tradition where kids can have candy but only on Saturday, which actually makes the Swedes the top candy eaters, globally.

Friday, 18 October 2013

DIY - Custom Red Paint

Deep, rich red is one of my go-to colours.  It is so dynamic and works well for all types of different spaces.  When we came to Sweden I had the worst time trying to find a red I could love.  It happened one day, as I was deciding how I felt about our newly painted black front door, the reflection of our traditional red snickarbod hit the black and there it was, the rich red I had been searching for.  So I mixed the two paints and the result was perfect!
Door with Polyacrylic Seal

All you need is:

- A paint brush
- Black façade paint (färg) and some Fula rödfärg.
- Mix them by adding the red pigment to the black paint until you get the colour you like, testing on some spare wood as you go.*
- Polyacrylic

* It is very important to note a few things:

1.  Rödfärg is a pigment made of copper minerals.  It is intended for exteriors.  Our front hallway is separated from the rest of the house by an inner door.  The paint smells for a few days so keep things well ventilated.  We actually sealed the painted door once it had dried with a polyacrylic to protect the paint and make it safer for the indoors.  The seal also made the colour that much richer.

2.  As noted above, rödfärg is made from mineral pigment.  It separates.  I took a soup ladel to dig up the pigment and mixed that with the black façade paint.

3.  The colour in your mixture may be a little deceiving.  You need to test often as the motion of spreading the paint will make the pigments burst thereby releasing the red colour.

The result is a wonderful, dynamic red that you will love!
Adjacent Wall without Seal

Swedes are pretty well acquainted with the inexpensive Fula rödfärg and will likely need it for the sealing of their house or summer house at some point.  I understand that the Fula rödfärg is likely not available in North America.  I suggest, if you love rich red, Sherwin Williams' Concepts in Colour Series - "Crabby Apple" is a delicious red!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Stockholm Directory - Ljusbutik and Ljushuset

Louis Poulsen Ph5 Pendant
Both the Ljusbutik and the Ljushuset are located in Kungsholmen within walking distance of one another.  The products range from traditional shade lamps to Gustavian inspired crystal and glass chandeliers.  There is of course the quintessential Louis lamp (Louis Poulsen of Scandinavia that is) and some interesting contemporary pieces.  The selection and affordable price point are comparable, so it's really a matter of preference or which is closer to you.  And while we're on the subject Belysning is the Swedish word for lighting.

Drottningholmsvägen 13
11242 Stockholm

Fleminggatan 17
112 26 Stockholm