Archive for February 2016

Easy way to paint a coffee table

As posted before we have two so called marble tables. Since we have one black HAY tray table there was need for at least one black table. I'm not a great fan of traditional painting, I must say. Usually you have to wait for such a long time and normally you don't  get satisfying result at the first time. All those disturbing lines etc.

This is how other coffee table looked previously.

Necessary things in Kaj Franck's Lokerikko

Then I saw something in Biltema. Hobby paint was something new  for me. It's spray which worked better than what I had expected. Almost as the "real " spray-paint what I used for Muurame Katinpoika bed when junior was younger. Except this was easier and faster option. When using spray surface became surface dry in 15-30 minutes. And no  s Naturally I left table to dry for another 48 hours-just in case. I considered using sandpaper but after testing spray to a smooth veneer I decided to skip it and go straight to business. Let's see how table looked afterwards..

Black-painted coffee table will not stay in living room. I'm planning to move it to television room where HAY's tray table is. After all I have another similar, non-painted coffee table left. And that wire-middle-thing. I'm quite sure I'll get rid of it. 

Have a great weekend!

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Few words about saving energy

What a Valentine's Day! I could write about it but I have promised to blog about energy so let's talk about it :)

Electricity bill consists of network tariffs, energy and different taxes.  Compared to other European countries energy itself has been one of the cheapest in Finland. To be precise, household electricity prices have been cheapest in Finland. And by this I mean relative costs. Latest statistics are found here-> Eurostat's statistics (<click)
Also, Finland became third in the share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption (EU statistics 2014). Just after Sweden and Latvia. Ok, to be honest Norway and Iceland were actually even better in sharing renewable energy-both countries just don't belong to EU.

Still, saving energy is a matter of saving natural resources. It is also meeting targets to combat against global warming. We know that in practice saving energy is about switching off lights, adjusting room temperature right and by selecting energy saving household appliances etc. 

Also quick showers and saving warm water saves energy and money. I was surprised how much one can affect on energy bill by consuming less water. Also after having lived and travelled abroad in countries where tap water isn't recommended to drink I appreciate good-quality water even more and don't want to waste it-even though we have plenty of it.

When building a house, energy-saving choices should be made at early stage. In Scandinavia proper insulation, heat recovery ventilation, triple glazing in windows and placing smaller windows towards north save energy.  

If we would now build a house with more than 150 square meters I'd do for geothermal heating. Operating efficiency has grown during past five years and building costs have lowered. Also air and water-source heat pump could be an option. And what about solar energy? Last fall I posted about Penni (<click) house presented in Finnish housing fair. It offered interesting and fresh ideas about energy saving. 

On the other hand if we would build house with less than 150 square meters I'd consider other options. Straight electricity combined with air-source heat pump and perhaps fireplace could be optimal choice. We have this kind of heating system at the moment, without fireplace (because planned place was not optimal for fireplace). We use around 11 000 kWh annually. Before buying air-source heat pump use of electricity was around 16 500 kWh annually. So it really pays off. I could also invest on solar panels. We'll see..

What about you? Share your energy-saving idea.

Next time some ideas about painting..



Nutella bun

Sorry-no energy-saving today, but perhaps next time. Today we celebrate Shrove Tuesday here in Finland. Therefore we have enjoyed Shrovetide buns, or more precisely we started on Sunday. I made bun dough and few buns. Kids wanted to help. This means eating dough and coarse sugar but also helping with cinnamon rolls and sprinkling coarse sugar. 

And how about some Nutella? I'm not a great Nutella fan, but kids really loved eating it. And this one was the German version , not the U.S. version. My German friend always reminds me about the differences :) Thank's C. 

Traditionally Shrove sweet buns are filled with either almond paste or whipped cream and jam. And I've understood that Swedish semla is filled with both almond paste and whipped cream. This time I filled buns with Nutella and whipped cream. I even dug some of the bun away so that it would contain more Nutella. And this is how it looked Recipe below...

Recipe for lactose-free sweet buns

5 dl lactose-free milk (Valio)
50 grams of yeast
200 grams lactose-free butter (Valio)
2 dl sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons psyllium
approx. 13 dl wheat flour


lactose-free whipped cream (+vanilla sugar)(Valio)

  1. Combine yeast with warm, 37 degrees of Celsius milk in a mixing bowl.   Add sugar, eggs, cardamon, psyllium and salt. Mix. Add wheat flour in small doses.  Add butter almost in the end and add last what flour until combined. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  2. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled its size. After that, punch the dough down and make round balls. Place buns on oven tray and allow them to rise for about 15-20 minutes. Brush some beaten egg over the top of the buns.
  3. Bake at 200 C until buns are golden brown. Fill when buns have settled.

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Kids' room lightning..muutama sana lastenhuoneen valaistuksesta

In Scandinavia it's crucial to have proper light in room. We have three different sources of light (plus naturally day light) in kids room. Pendant lamp, ceiling light and led spots.

Jasmina ceiling plafond: manufacturer Innolux
Picture taken in Finnish Housing Fair 2015 Vantaa Kivistö
I bought this brass pendant lamp (Artek Golden Bell) from Stockmann about a year ago. Now it found its way to girl's room. I'm still not sure if it will stay in the middle of room. I might change it to work as school desk light and put a Jasmina ceiling plafond in the centre of room. We'll see..

Loft bed is just next to window but still space under bed was imperfectly illuminated and looked gloomy. Therefore we also assembled led spots under lot bed. Spots broadened space under loft bed and now space looks a lot better now than previously. 

Last but not least there's Kartell's Take pendant lamp on the school table. It's modern and chic and suits well for the room.

Next time few words about energy saving...

Tällä kertaa muutama sana lastenhuoneen valaistuksesta. Skandinaviassa valon tarve ja valaistuksen merkitys korostuu varsinkin pimeinä talvikuukausina. Hyvän yleisvalaistuksen merkityksestä puhutaan paljon, mutta käytännön esimerkkejä on mielestäni vähän tarjolla. 

Vaihdoimme kattovalaisimen vuosi sitten ostettuun Artekin Kultakelloon. Aika näyttää siirrämmekö Kultakellon työpöydän valaisimeksi kuten Lisbet E. on tehnyt. Kultakello antaa mielestäni hieman liian vähän yleisvaloa. Tilalle voisi vaihtaa esimerkiksi Innojokin Jasmina-plafondin, jossa näyttäisi olevan eri värisävyillä ja valotehoilla saatavia valaisimia. 3000 K värisävy vastaa lämmintä valkoista ja voisi olla sopiva huoneen yleisvaloksi.

Muuramen parvisängyn alle laitoimme spotit pinta-asennuksena. Spotteina käytimme ledejä, joissa on viime vuosien aikana tapahtunut paljon muutoksia. Spotit toimivat tehokkaasti pimeähkön tilan avartajana. Vaikka parvisänky on ikkunan vieressä ei spottivalaistuksesta ollut ainakaan haittaa.

Viimeisimpänä valonlähteenä lastenhuoneessa on klassinen Kartellin Take-valaisin, joka on mielestäni moderni ja sopii ajattomasti tilaan.

Seuraavalla kerralla energiansäästöstä..

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