Sunny side

November 30, 2016 Koivisto 0 Comments

Half a year has passed since we started the blog. Everyone who has been renovating knows, how the reality is. The stress, running out of money, mistakes, lousy planning and compromises. The fact that everything takes more time than expected. In the blog we wanted to focus on the positive side of our project. Taking beautiful photos from the unfinished work makes the chaos easier to handle. When tiredness and moodyness hits it's easy to forget, what we've managed, what we've experienced and what we've learned. The most mind blowing thing has been the tens of visitors - friends and relatives, that came all the way to visit us and gave their support.
One of the biggest changes for us was moving from the city to the countryside. It has open our eyes in many ways. One thing that made us really think our habits, was the water system. When the water is coming from our own well and the waste water is going not further than our yard, it has made us think more, how we use the water. Is it necessary to use so much water and what kind of washing agents we use. As we were renewing the system we had some statistics, how much is the average water usage in Finland. The amounts were unbeliveable, so it was about the time to think and make a change.
The thing we can't get tired of is the surrounding nature and the peacefulness. It's giving us energy with its beauty and surprises. We don't have the same feel in the city. The stars and the moon are brighter here and the air is better. Swimming in the river almost every day is an experience, that's not so likely to happen in a city. We are the most delighted about the life around us. For example this special deer has been visiting our garden every day and made its way to our hearts, such a cutie!
In this half a year we have learned many things from the rough work til the finishing touch and construction terms, that were new to us. Now we have more respect towards this work with the knowledge, how many hours of work is behind all. All of you who are renovating, we wish you a lot of strength and give our respect. The project has made us step out of our comfort area. We have been struggling, but still some way managing. The best thing for us is to see the progress and have the feeling - wow we actually did this!
And you guys - some of you got insprired to visit us because of the blog. We should have had a guestbook, that we would have a mark of you all. Some point we found an old wooden covered guest book here, which is started the day, when Susanna's grandmother turned 20 years. Now the almost 70 years old guest book is again in use. We had a lovely time with you here despite the stress and chaos. The journey has been so far succesful and we hope, that in the end we are happy with the project.


Hello to new floors and ceiling

November 26, 2016 Koivisto 0 Comments

Step by step our home is coming together. We waited over 8 weeks to start with the floor tiles of the bathroom, sauna and the toilet. The new concrete floor (more in this post Basement stories) has to have a certain humidity level for tiling. If the tiling is done before the floor is dry, the concrete is still shrinking and moving under the tiles and can cause uneven end result. We had some difficulties with our floor, but in the end it turned out pleasing and the best thing is, that we have a bathroom soon. We had a better succes with our new wooden ceiling with the help of Susanna's father. On the photo above is the bathroom. Under the panels is an aluminium foil, that the steam won't go through and make damage to the structures of the building.
First step with the floor was to seal the drains and the edges. Then all the surface was covered with a waterproofing, the blue looking paint.
It's said that the first point, where people look when they are showering is the drain. So this spot in the bathroom needed to be well done and it was the starting point for all the floor tiles.
As we were filling the floor, we noticed that the walls weren't quite straight. We would have actually needed to straighten them, if we would have wanted a perfect end result. This time it was already a little late, so now the floor has some oblique lines, but the house is old and some beauty mistakes makes it only more appealing.
Last the gaps were filled. Filling with a black grout was a messy work. For the finishing touch we might have used a little bit too much water. Next time with a drier sponge and less mess.
For the ceiling in all the rooms except the working spaces was chosen panels. We are not such a fans of the traditional Finnish wooden panel ceilings, but we had the material lying around here. The main reason was the financial side of it and it's also nice to use the material, that is already here. First the panels were cut in the right length and then painted with a white transparent lacquer. The idea was to make it look fresh, but still keep the feel of the wood. The wooden texture gives a little warmth for the rooms with only concrete and bricks.
The panels were attached to the frames with a nail gun. The holes were sawed before attaching. They are for the lights, that will be later embed to the ceiling. Because of our low room height, we wanted lights, that are hanging as little as possible. We will show the lights to you soon!
The new ceiling looks nice and it suits well to the other surfaces by bringing warmth. It's also same time modern and classic.
We made some mistakes with the floor, because of our inexperience and with choosing inexpensive tiles. The quality of the tiles and how they were glued togehter could have been better. The gaps should have been 3mm, but now some of them are bigger or smaller. Our mistake was to attach some of the tiles higher and some lower. Anyhow the main thing is, that the renovation is going further and all in all we can be happy with the quality of our work.


Our winter greeting

November 17, 2016 Koivisto 0 Comments

The weather forecast said, that the snow will disappear this week, so we need to hurry with our winter greeting. We love the winter here - the beauty created by the ice and snow. Our greeting is captured in two cards and it's dedicated to all, who have been following our journey. Thank you for the lovely comments and plenty likes on Facebook. They have been helping us to get through the times, when we were thinking, that this renovation project is not making any sense. And thank you for visiting us and giving a helping hand.
Koivisto is the name of the farm and it's coming from the word "koivu", which means birch. We don't know, what is the history with the name. We like to think, that's because of the many birches, that growing at the farm.
The card: Into the frozen woods. Our frozen fields and forest photographed by Tobi.
The card: Flowers of the north. Susanna captured the ice flowers from a window.
We hope, that the snow will last still for a while or come back again soon. It's giving us light and energy for the renovation in the darkest time of the year. If you want to have the Koivisto winter card, please contact us via Lovely winter time for all!


All white

November 07, 2016 Koivisto 2 Comments

The brightness is now surrounding us outside and inside. The winter and snow has arrived. We are still using the sauna house by the river as our bathroom. The river is surprisingly already frozen. So the newest thing is to break the ice in the mornings, so we can take refreshing baths in the cold water. But the shower in the house is also almost ready. Maybe still a one week to go. Among the bathroom we have been fixing and painting the old walls at the basement. First the brick walls were covered with a thin layer of plaster to make the surface better and close the tiny holes. All the rooms are now painted with the first coat. The white color of the paint made all rooms look new and bigger.
Once again we had lovely helping hands here. Simone was helping by painting the bathroom and toilet walls. Thank you!
We didn't want to overdo the walls by making them flawless, but keep the original feel of them - the charm from the old house. Slightly better surfaces and the white paint makes a huge difference. We are happy with the end result, rough and classy.
This is our future office space. Quite a transformation already! The next step is to fix the doors at their places.
The white paint makes nice little details pop up and turns ugly things prettier. For example the waste water pipes are looking now better against the white pure wall.
White is the color of the moment in the form of paint and snow. It's nice at the almost darkest time of the year. On the photo above is Tobi's first time in the ice water. He has still a smile on his face, so it wasn't that bad. Anyway it's easy to smile, because of all the progress we have made.