before and after

Handmade in Moste

Klara and Klemen are students of architecture who live in an old house in Moste, Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia. they regularly walked past the once grand villa hidden amongst the trees in this old neighborhood, and wondered about the abandoned looking apartment inside – which, it turned out, had been sitting empty for 20 years. after tracking down the owner and making a deal to fix up the flat in exchange for rent, they got the keys and started renovations. you can read the story of the apartment on their blog Handmade in Moste.

In truth, the flat did not look inviting at first glance; the paint was falling apart, plumbing and electricity wires suspiciously battered and the floor was very damaged in some parts. There was no central heating and all other modern commodities. But it had promising qualities such as high ceilings, big rooms with lots of windows, it was classically built out of brick and had a cooking furnace that was so inviting, that we almost smelled wood burning…

they designed and made many of the built-in components in the house themselves – including (but not limited to) a beautiful work light; all the shelving in their studio, bathroom & kitchen; a sturdy coffee table and the sweetest log rack. you can see all their projects on their blog, and read about their philosophy of handmaking items of quality & simplicity.















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soon

it’s going to be spring soon! though our tricksy south african weather has been making everyone assume it’s spring already (this has probably been the mildest and most glorious winter in recent memory.) i bet we’re in for one more crazy cold front before the proper hot weather hits us though - remember when it snowed in august?

photos by the very talented will renton

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chesty before & after

now i know some of you might think it’s sacrilege to paint over a wooden piece, but the fact of the matter is that this particular chest of drawers only cost me R300 (that’s like, US $40) – and it basically just had a shoddy veneer that was chipping in places.

i also took major shortcuts in it’s ‘resoration’ as i had to do everything in my tiny flat in an afternoon. i would have preferred to sand the entire thing down and give it a lighter oak finish, but that would have involved way more admin than i was prepared to go through for my wee chest right now.

so this is what i did step by step:

  • unscrewed all the door knobs
  • i washed this baby down with sugar soap – it was pretty gross (i imagine it stood in some kids room since it was built, it even had old eighties stickers on it)
  • gave the drawers 1 coat of plain old water based acrylic (in white, obviously) – applied with a roller
  • when that dried, i gave it another coat of plascon velvaglo (also white)
  • i gave the frame one quick coat of nova dye woodstain in mahogany (leftover from another project) – applied with a roller sponge. this stuff is amazing, is dries in seconds & you don’t need to varnish afterwards.
  • i took the doorknobs apart, painted the outside black and the inside gold

aaaand… that’s it! it came out pretty okay in the end, no?

inspired by this particular before & after over at penny people designs (which is a far better execution, but probably easier to do if you start with an untreated base)

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now & then

i LOVE now & thens! when i first saw Jason Powell’s “looking into the past” flickr set, i thought to myself, ” if i had a blog, that would go on it “. well, i do now (serious). there’s also a group pool with some pretty groovy submissions from other flickr members.

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