• October 12, 2018

    The Stone House: an autumn weekend

    It's been awhile since we've been to the Stone House. In part because it's still a little under constuction, but also because of the usual September busyness of back to school and an increase in customers at the shop who have returned from their summer activities. 


    The kids had a four day weekend over Thanksgiving so we decided we needed to go for a visit. Thankfully Peter Tan from Studio Junction accommodated us, despite his (very tidy) construction zone. 


    It was heaven. A perfect sort of moody, foggy, drizzly but not too wet weekend. Everyone was so calm and happy, and surprisingly busy with the little things.


    I spent quite a bit of time enamoured with the landscape. The colours were just changing so it was mostly golds and greens, with splashes of red and purple. The property becomes so lush over summer it's interesting to see everything wither. 


    This front area is the only larger open field area that we have. Last year the middle patch was so natural and pretty. Our farmer friend razed it last fall and we tried to till and plant wildflowers but unfortunately something else took hold, a variety of very strong grasses/wheat? It didn't have the same appeal so we are going to cut it back again and work a smaller section. I guess it'd be good to have a larger space to play too.


    I imagine using this open space for archery. It's the one thing from my day camp days that I loved doing and never ever got to do it enough. If anyone has any tips on real kid friendly sets or places to buy, let us know via email. I started looking while in Belleville and am not sure the hunting shops would sell leisure/kid friendly archery equipment.


    Under construction, Peter and his crew have been working hard on the drive through doors - they will become a solid wood entryway and on the other side a large picture window. The concrete pads have been poured, hence the protective tent.


    Glad that the cornfields are still hanging around. They were working across the street on Friday...but seem to get to these fields last which I appreciate.


    This is the only window we didn't switch out. I am sure we will come to regret that as the wind begins to whistle through. I am enjoying this little view into the kitchen.


    We are just waiting on the glass panel for this massive picture window that will look out onto our tiny apple orchard. They found a perfectly good concrete pad already there so to make things easier, the window will sit atop a concrete ledge but the bonus is we will have a little bench on the inside, perfect for contemplation.


    More textures, colour and fog.


    I found John under the only producing apple tree. Unfortunately all the apples had fallen but he was salvaging what he could.


    No filter required, these apples are pretty much the only colour going right now.


    I am pretty envious of John's get up. Where can I buy this without going to the UK? Not a rhetorical question, shoot me a message via juli_at_mjolk instagram or Mjolk email. It sounds silly but I feel I need an appropriate wardrobe of tweeds and horseback riding fashion breeches (I had a great pair from Club Monaco circa 1994. What ever happened to Club Monaco? They lost me awhile back...). 


    We have lots of little paths around the property. Here I found the kids exploring on their own.


    Meanwhile, inside we drank a lot of coffee, had fires, and enjoyed the dark moody interior. The kitchen is obviously still a work in progress but the light, THE LIGHT! It's like living in a Vermeer.


    On Saturday we went into Belleville, to L'Auberge du France for some promised french fries. Next door is Scalliwag Toys which we popped in to grab a new board game (based on my Instagram Stories and availability, we bought Ticket to Ride). We were feeling a wee bit high on family life and ended up buying the deluxe Brio train set...and a Playmobile bakery too. The owners of the shop were very sweet -- the very reason it's important to SHOP LOCAL. I don't know how this little shop survives with all the big box shopping mall competition but I hope that locals begin to appreciate their very cute and walkable downtown main street. It's high time we reclaim our retail landscape.


    A mini tour of Belleville, to inspire you to shop local. 


    Left: Scalliwag Toys and L'Auberge du France cafe.


    Middle: Stephen License Bicycles & Hobbies - this place is so classic.  We almost went in but I was feeling reckless and knew I'd end up buying an electric John Deer riding car or something. Also the reason we didn't go into the neighbouring pet shop...that bunny in the window was so cute and living life in a cage that was past due for a clean up. It's important to know when you have no boundaries.


    Right: We haven't been to The Lark yet, but know many people who have or who know the owners so we look forward to visiting the next time we are up and without kids.


    Funk & Gruven A-Z antique shop and Howell talking to 1974.


    Back at the stone house, the kids were playing hide and seek, which always tickles me considering there are nearly no places to hide. Howell usually ends up running shoeless outside in search of cover so Elodie ended up out there too. They returned about 5 minutes later with a bucket of leaves and proceeded to work quietly on the perfectly positioned large scale Fly coffee table. Using the leaves they acquired they did leaf studies. Be still my heart!


    So quiet, so focused.


    The Hans Wegner Peacock chairs are together again. We just couldn't separate them, despite our best intentions to buy two and sell one to pay for the other.  That corner needs work but it's a great start! It's my newspaper reading corner.


    Next post will be about some new hardware and small design objects.


  • August 30, 2018

    The Stone House: bathroom and guest room

    The view from the parlour towards the guest bedroom and the bathroom.


    A few views into the guest bedroom from the parlour. 


    Guest bedroom details:


    Companions Bed in walnut by Studioilse. Evidently this is the best bed ever.


    Walnut and cast iron McQueen bedside chest by Matthew Hilton (also available via Mjölk but not currently on our website).


    Carrie Lamp from Menu is battery operated and handy for walking to the bathroom or contending with bats at night
    (aka using as a night light to keep the bats away).


    Walls are painted with Belgian Wilderness lime fresco from Pure & Original Paint.
    Same as our showroom, different technique.


    Not that you can really see it here, but the blue, purple and green flatweave Swedish rug is by Judith Johansson. We were first introduced to her work at JP Willborg in Stockholm (I highly recommend a visit there), where we bought a gorgeous red and blue rug. We then acquired a brown and orange one via auction. So one could say we are fans.


    Waiting for a desk. Disappointed we cannot place a desk in front of the window but due to a second door that goes into the bathroom the bed is in the way. Mexiko Pendant from Kalmar (for some reason it's not on our website but it is available via Mjölk). A shaker box in the deep set window. Artwork found at an antique market in Tokyo. 


    A view into the bathroom. To the right of the door is a sandcast brass light switch by Oji Masanori from Futagami. We managed to get a few for the main floor. Adore them.


    New additions to the bathroom:


    The poetic Alma pendant light by Tham & Videgard for Wästberg.


    Black cabinet is a Belgian barber cabinet from the early 1800s.  Don't get me started on the trial
    that was acquiring this. 


    Striped rug was a surprising find from Ikea. We had bought a rug on Etsy and then forgot that we actually bought it, found this rug at Ikea which was perfect, then found out we actually did buy the Etsy rug. Super organized over here! Etsy rug is now bedside in the guest room.



    A view of the white oak console, with baskets from Ingegerd Raman's collection at Ikea. Towel rack and towels from Momogusa. Artwork bought in Japan, by Swedish artist Gunnar Larson.




  • August 21, 2018

    Stone House: the parlour

    Ta da! New wall colour in the living room! 


    We switched out the overworked and underwhelming Elephant Grey for Pure & Original's Old Linen. We are so happy with the change. The room feels calm and warm, and it doesn't interfere with the view outside. It also has less contrast with the chair rail.


    I'm going to be honest, I am kind of sad that I am all caught up with these renovation posts. In July we got another shipment of furniture to the stone house. The vintage pieces have been loboriously aquired over the previous two years (remember we put our offer on the stone house back in 2016). 


    Furniture in the room:

    Mayor Sofa by Arne Jacobsen from &tradition in gold velvet. 

    Fly coffee table by Space Copenhagen from &tradition in smoked oak base and Pietro di Fossena marble top.

    Vintage chair by Charlotte Perriand.

    Vintage Piano by Poul Henningsen (!)

    Vintage rug Snäckorna by Barbro Nilsson.

    Vintage rug Hästhov by Marianne Richter.

    Framed drawing on left by Sean Stewart.

    Framed painting on right by Ellesworth Kelly.


    Accessories in the room:

    On the left windowsill, a candleholder gift from Malin Appelgren.

    On the right windowsill, a sculpture by Falke Svantun.

    On the table, sculptures by Masanobu Ando and Keisuke Iwata, accompanied by the Pallo vase
    by Carina Seth Andersson.

    On the sofa, a lovely soft Japanese Yak Wool blanket from Jurgen Lehl,
    which I used this past weekend outside on the new bench, a pillow by Jaime Hayon, and a pillow from Mourne Textiles.


    Vintage light fixture is by Vilhelm Lauritzen. These fixtures were site specific, for a place called Christiansborg. We actually bought one for a client project and then lucked out finding another one for our own place!


    A better view of the Hästhov (coltsfoot) rug, and a shaker stand for candlemaking.


    The unresolved corner, recently a little more resolved since we brought the second of the Peacock chairs over...

    they just begged to stay a pair though we had initially hoped to fund the purchase of one with the sale of the other.


    Kalmar Hase floor light brings quiet sophistication to the scene.


    We have been debating moving an artwork to this wall from home. It's a Joshua Jensen-Nagle piece, all moody and the right colours...but is it too glossy?


    What do you think?  (let us know via Instagram @mjolkshop or @juli_at_mjolk or @john_at_mjolk)

















    The kakelugn looks right at home in this 1840s Georgian parlour room.












  • August 15, 2018

    The Stone House: First Sleepover

    Our first sleep over at the stone house occured over a kid-free May long weekend.


    On the way we stopped at Yorkdale Mall to buy some linens for our bed, only to discover that RH only sells via online (despite their new lavish mall showroom). Scandalized, we grabbed a bite at Jamie Oliver's restaurant, which was actually quite good. We are Jamie fans. I preamble with this to say that we didn't really arrive until about 3pm.


    We set up the bedroom. Well, at least the kids who aren't here with us are all set up.  We slept on the mattress cover.


    The upstairs woodstove didn't end up where we had planned, which is making the space cramped in one corner. Kind of annoying but where we wanted it we had to install the kakelugn, who's pipe comes right up through the floor to the roof. We had really wanted a sitting area for in front of it but now I am not sure what's going to happen.


    The kid's beds are from Ikea.


    Early kitchen set up: it's called making do. We have a fridge, a bar cart, a stove and a kitchen table. Keen eyes will note that our table is the Enfield Table, our own production. Early review: we love it.


    Here John is firing up the wood cook stove for the first reheat our leftover pasta from earlier in the day. 


    While we unpack our meagre kitchen items we realize we forgot one essential: mugs for our morning coffee. It's getting late in the day as far as small town life is concerned so I do the 7 minute drive into Stirling and find a little candy/novelty shop that is open. Success and relief! The town provides.


    While we wait for the stove to fire up, we go on a walk about.



    Our lawn maintenance pal Mike makes sure to mow us a path through the meadow, as well as a few openings to the stream, making it quite pleasant to wander around and check out all the sights.


    Look at that copper trough. So. worth. it. 


    We were in total awe of the light on this particular evening. It was the warmest of welcomes. The trim, having been painted recently from white to drop cloth, was the perfect choice.


    Walking through our small orchard that is comprised of about 5 apple trees, with I think two varieties of apple. Last year we didn't get any apples but the year prior we had some really tasty ones.


    You can see the drive shed in the background. To the immediate left would be the farmer fields (not our property). To the right is a tiny sliver of a forest, and then the stream.


    This was the first time we experienced spring at the stone house.  Apple blossoms!


    Two more angles.


    A peek inside the drive shed, with feed bag ghosts.



    Dinner is served, in Jicon dinnerware.


    Time for another walk about. The view from what will become a corn field (not ours).



    That night we watched some Westworld and then a bat woke us up at 3am.


    Our first morning waking up. I am shocked that this photo was taken at 9:52am, seeing as how the sunlight just comes right on in, and we wake up to the vistas that surround us. Then again, we continue to be sleep deprived parents, in this case, without said children to deprive us.


    Coffee table is the Fly with Pietro di Fossena top.



    The gloomy day was actually lovely to experience. We anticipate many gloomy days ahead. Lighting is essential. 


    Left is the Kalmar Hase floor light and a Castor oil lamp
    which is one of our favourite things to use at the stone house.


    Right is the inaugural kakelugn lighting...base plate to follow this coming weekend!


    I think we just puttered about after breakfast. John installed stuff, I scraped the paint off some windows (the exterior painters sure made a mess of them!).


    Lunch time already? Keeping it simple.


    Very pleased to see a lilac tree out the living room window. This was the first window I cleaned and I loved sitting on the sofa just gazing out this window.


    Time to walk about! This is from the driveway. John has Piet Oudolf meadow dreams for this space.

    Spoiler alert: grass won, not by our choice but by its sheer tenacity.


    View from the road. Farmer's field is not ours. Our land is kind of triangle shaped. To the left of our drive is a little bunch of trees and a stream and the property widens out past the house.


    Took a walk to check out all the lilacs growing roadside. Can you smell it?



    The old pasture and holding pen, lined with lilacs.


    Foraging some dandelion leaves.


    What are these yellow plants? Pretty in the spring but they run absolutely WILD and take over.

    They are next to the stream.


    Heating up dinner. I mentioned it's all about slow living right? I am literally posting photos in order that they happened. This was our day. Puttering, eating and walking about.


    I can't get enough of this oil lamp.


    Dinner is served, courtesy of Matty Matheson's leftover summer stew that he served at Mjölk's Brian Richer exhibition opening.


    On this evening, we were also visited by a bat. I will assume it was the same bat as the first night. There always seems to be one bat. I of course know there are like 50 bats, but there is only ever one at a time inside. It's like they stumble in accidentally, I can't even figure out from where because we sealed so much up. Anyway, this time John managed to get it downstairs and out the door, using a Jaime Hayon Pillow.


    On our last day we grudgingly decided to get the primer painted. We added water to the can because the paint is quite thick (suggested) and used a regular roller for this part, just like you would with regular paint.


    Not gonna lie, painting always seems like a great idea, like no big deal when you start, but it always takes longer than expected. Then again, the results are worth it.


    Final lunch of the weekend. Riveting.