A Hot tub for all Seasons – Autumn

November 12, 2018


||This post was made in collaboration with Skargards

If you follow me on Instagram stories you will have caught glimpses of a new addition at the cabin, something that I think everyone would think possibly goes hand by hand with a cabin in the fjords, a hot tub, or as Norwegians call it, a badestamp. Traditionally a badestamp is barrel wood fired hot tub, mostly made of cedar wood. Rustic looking (exactly like a big barrel with wooden seating inside) , they are typically found in mountain cabins where after skiing scandinavian people will enjoy a warm bath in the chilled weather outside with steaming water. Nowadays hot tubs can be found in various sizes and made of various materials, with many different heating configurations such as electric, gas, or propane. When we decided it was time to also add a hot tub at the cabin we all agreed it should be wood burning. It makes more sense since we dont use the cabin all year long so it is more economical to burn some wood whenever we need it, but also, I think it gives out more authentic notes. I did not want a completely traditional barrel hot tub, cleaning is not ideal plus it is not that comfortable, but I did not want to completely abandon the look, this is a hot tub for a cabin after all! The Regal Hot Tub from Skargards ended up to be the perfect solution for us.

The Regal model , it looks like a traditional hot tub but it is very contemporary, manufactured in fiberglass-reinforced hard plastic according to the same technology as boat hulls, so it is light yet very sturdy. From my experience as I have used it a couple of months now,cleaning is minimal (just rinse the walls after draining) which makes it maintenance free, very important in my book. I could go on about the specifications of the tub itself, but you can find all the details at Skargards website, however, something also important for me, the tub itself is very efficient. When firing the stamp, a natural underpressure is created in the oven that causes the bath water to circulate by itself. The oven in Skargard’s Regal is cleverly integrated into the hot tub and with the inherent circulation a uniform water temperature is obtained throughout the hot tub. Specifications aside this means more room inside and more flexibility, regardless of how many people are in.

Typically when we think hot tub we think winter time with lots of snow and steaming water. Also we think of party right? We have certainly had parties since we got the tub but as the title suggests, I find the tub to be relevant all year long, for private baths but also for friends coming over. It has been a beautiful fall and we have greatly enjoyed spending time in the tub relaxing, listening to music and reading books that have been on our list for a while, watching the sun set across the fjords. We have also found that morning baths are splendid as well, half of the photos here are taken in the early misty morning, with a coffee on our hand tossing wood into the oven. Even better when we have used the tub the previous day because the water is still warm the next day for that early bath. Coming home after a long skiing day and enjoying the steaming tub relaxing your muscles is great, but it is another sort of luxury altogether to wake up in the morning and set off for a morning bath while the sun rises.

That said I cannot wait for winter to come for those steamy baths, then spring for the stunning fjord views when the earth wakes up. As for the summer? I cannot wait to use the tub to cool down after sunbathing on the platform. All in all, it is truly a hot tub for all seasons.

Accessories : Must haves 

  1. The Skargards tubs come with quite a few accessories,  I chose a bubble system for massage though we also ended up using it to naturally drop the temperature of the water when we feel is overheated for our taste. I dont know if its a must have but it is very enjoyable plus the added trick of lowering the temp without getting out of the tub is welcomed.
  2. I also added an underwater light something I highly recommend as during the night the illuminated water feels like swimming in an underground hidden lagoon. Turn it off if you prefer counting the stars, leave it on for magical light. Also it is convenient if there is no other light around so you know where you are stepping into (it gets completely black here at night).
  3. I originally ordered one shelf (as seen in the photos) but I put an order shortly for a second one that we installed on the opposite side of the first. If you have the tub freestanding like we do and dont integrate it halfway into your veranda for example, you need the space for convenience sake. We usually leave there glasses, bottles, our phones, books, bluetooth speaker etc
  4. The stairs are also very important unless you are above 1.80m in height. At a mere 1.65m myself it is hard to get in and out and the original stairs are by far the most elegant looking solution ( unless you can find an alternative).
  5. I did not get the extra smoke pipe, it reduces the heating time but with the insulated lid (see below), we decided to wait on it and judge afterwards. We are happy without it but of course if you need the most efficient heating you can add it.
  6. One of the most important must haves in my opinion is the insulated lid (as seen in some of the photos).  The insulation is reinforced with steel frame, and the entire lid is dressed in boat vinyl. Very durable and easy to handle since it breaks in half, its importance is multi faceted. The lid at its primary function protects the tub from objects but dirt as well ,it is completely insulated so the water and the tub both stay clean. Equally importantly ,it can lay over the hot tub during firing, which significantly reduces the heating time while it also traps heat afterwards. If we use the tub in the afternoon until before sleeping, upon waking up the water is still warm enough to get in for a morning relaxing bath. An absolute must have for outdoors tubs.
  7. I did not order a rain hat to begin with, but I do feel bad for the pipe when it rains so I ended up ordering one afterwards. Not a must have, but good to have certainly.
  8. I did not get a smoke pipe protection either, but the pipe does burn a lot and we have all now been careless enough to burn ourselves one way or the other ,so I think I am getting one soon. Just for my peace of mind. Absolutely must have if you have children.
  9. Last but not least, is dependent on the quality of water you fill the tub in and the temperature of where you live. The tub can be fitted with a water cleaning system , something we need since we use water either from our well or the fjord. With the cleaning system we never have to change water, and with the help of the lid we can leave the same water in for a good amount of months even. Filling in the tub can take a few hours so why not avoid this and also keep the water clean? A water heater can also additionally be hooked on the cleaning system keeping the temperature of the water up to 45 degrees. It can greatly decrease heating time but for us most importantly it means that the water will never freeze during winter. A must have. Important detail : You can have the cleaning system without the water heater but you cannot have the water heater without the cleaning system.

// Photography and Styling by Katerina Dima

 

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Sick Day Essentials

November 11, 2018


This week I have been so much under the weather, it has been almost impossible to work or concentrate. Usually I would get some sick days off, but as freelance I have been working and resting accordingly. Really mostly resting and sleeping, due to intense coughing and the headache that comes with it sometimes all I can do these days is lie in bed and try and take it easy. Thankfully I can work right from home where I can have all the pumpering I need, something that really helps me feel a little better. Regardless of if you are under the weather like me, maybe this list will give you ideas of how to pamper yourself through the flu or have a relaxing weekend, for me these are essentials not just for a few rough days but for the whole winter.

For more pampering ideas check the ideas Elisabeth Heier is suggesting for a Wellness Weekend . One of the most important things I forgot to include on the list, catch up on your best friends blogs and any other on your list <3

:: 1.  Comfortable Sleepwear || The simple oatmeal linen long shirt as seen above has been my go to sleepwear especially now I am sick. Jennifer Hagler from A Merry Mishap blog, is the co creator of this fabulous garment with The Sleep Shirt company, and you can find it here.

:: 2.  To help you Sleep || Zara recently launched a Cashmere capsule collection for fall, and among others I found some of the accessories very useful. The eye mask made of 100% cashmere feels really good against the skin, and it really helps with sleeping during anytime of the day uninterrupted by daylight. I also bought a handy toiletry bag (again 100% cashmere), for next to bed essentials, mainly to hide the packets of paracetamol and coughing tablets.

:: 3.  Natural Pain Reliever || From cramps to neck pains, a warm water bottle has always been one of the first things I grab when looking for immediate relief before reaching for the painkillers. This pillow/warmer is a cross between all the benefits of a water bottle and a soft pillow.  The pillow stuffing consists of clay beads and the cover is made of flax and cotton, just pop it in the microwave and wrap it around you or lay your head on top of it. I love it. From Meraki, if you are in Norway find it here.

:: 4.  Healthy shots of hydration || Keeping hydrated is essential and with coughing my need for tea more than quadruples. Favorite teas from A.C. Perch’s TheHandel , the variety is remarkable, try White Mulberry tea for a remarkable experience (the tins can be found in store or online, they carry a huge selection of sizes and colors all with the distinct logo). Ceramic mugs from Kinto (I keep adding to my collection). Just add in any tea a little bit of honey ( try the organic Wildflower Honey from ILA , raw, cold-processed honey comes from the Finger Lakes region of New York. Collected from fields of wildflowers ), and add some fresh ginger juice. This has been my saviour this week.

:: 5.  Keep Warm and Cozy || This is a no brainer, of course you need a cardigan. Last year I bought a mohair Kimono sleeve style from Acne and it is my go to wear inside the house during winter anyday. Favorite blanket for keeping feet warm made by 100% Merino wool, the APT blanket from Teixidors. For good measure put some leg warmers on, if nothing else, feeling like a ballerina while sick will only lift your spirits.

:: 6.  Aroma for the soul || I burn candles for the calming smell but also to bring warmth (coziness) into the room. Mad et Len Petit Papiers  is made in France, sweet, warm, and resinous, it is inspired by Papiers d’Armenie, benzoin-coated incense papers that took France by storm in the late 19th century. I found mine in Stockholm but I am sure there are various online stores that it can be ordered from.

:: 7.  Pampering || There is nothing worse than feeling sweaty while being sick, it is something that will bring me even more down. Especially since we tend to sweat a lot, showers and keeping fresh are essential. Hair shampoo and conditioner by Noir Stockholm , it smells amazing and my hair have never felt softer. Since I am spending so many hours in bed, a face mask is also essential.My favorite from Danish Jorgobe with black kaolin clay that absorbs excess sebum and cleanses clogged pores.

:: 8.  Reading  || From favorite blogs, to magazines, to new or old unfinished books, I find myself always attracted to cooking books when sick. Possibly because I feel my taste buds are failing me, I tend to eat with my eyes. The Nordic Baking book covers traditional cuisine from the entire Nordic region, from Greenland to Finland and everywhere in between. An absolute must if you wish to understand Nordic cuisine!

 

//Curated collage by Katerina Dima

 

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Styling Sessions for AXOR Montreux Campaign – A bathroom mixer with Authentic aesthetic

November 7, 2018


Advertisement // Campaign in collaboration with AXOR

Today I am happy to present you the campaign I have been working in collaboration with AXOR . Every mixer and shower from AXOR features their own unique design, designed in collaboration with world-renowned designers, such as Philippe Starck, Antonio Citterio and Jean-Marie Massaud.

AXOR embodies luxury in the bathroom and kitchen. Avantgarde, one-of-a-kind products and collections are created to the highest aesthetic and technological standards. They all live up to the aspiration “Form Follows Perfection”.

I was free to choose whichever mixer I wanted and create an interpretation of how I imagine it in a bathroom. I chose the AXOR Montreux that combines authentic aesthetics ,with the evolution of industrial design at the wash basin. The design partner for AXOR Montreux: Phoenix Design is an independent design studio which has won more than 700 design awards. Focusing on product design in the tradition of the Bauhaus style and supreme ease of use of the products. True to the original style: the bridge mixer with high spout and cross handles with authentic porcelain inlays. Unmistakably classic.

But how can a classic fit a contemporary bathroom? I took the challenge by imagining the mixer in a lifestyle moodboard, a great visual in order to express what I had in mind. Texture and color are most important, for this reason I chose the Montreux to be made in Brushed Black Chrome FinishPlus surface finish. I find that this specific finish, chosen from the 15  AXOR Finish Plus colors, can be perfectly tailored to the interior design of almost any contemporary bathroom as well as any classic bathroom. It will fit just as well in a marble bathroom, or a bathroom with cement finishes, or even a bathroom with Moroccan hydraulic tiles. I decided to use classic details to show how even colors that one might not imagine will look great in fact complement the mixer ,brown packaging with wooden details along with soft natural colors.

Below you can also see the mixer in detail, and its beautiful brushed chrome finish. Scroll for photos of my interpretation of how a lifestyle moodboard can easily be transformed into a real bathroom.

Using the same materials and surface suggestions, it is not hard to go from having a mixer to creating a DIY bathroom. The AXOR Montreux can fit into a perfectly designed bathroom, something that AXOR has been a pioneer at .

Luxurious bathroom design is not dependant on the size of the room. The floor plan is not a benchmark for the high quality of the interior furnishings. It’s a question of having high standards with regard to shapes and materials. Granite, marble, wood and elegant fabrics.

While any AXOR mixer can be used in an architectural designed bathroom, here in Norway I know so many of you love to work on building on your own. From kitchens to bathrooms, Norwegians love to employ designers for a luxurious result, but they also love to create something on their own, and it important that it feels equally luxurious. With the AXOR Montreux that couldn’t be easier. The mixer comes ready to be mounted, with a minimal knowledge of having done this once before or watching a short video, installation shouldn’t be a problem at all. Here I present to you which materials you can start with that are easy to find an assemble. Wooden surfaces, water resistant paint for the walls, a ceramic basin. I imagined going all the way back to the classics for this composition. Feel free to change colors, add stone or cement, fabrics and details, the Montreux will bring everything together at the end and it will be the centerpiece of the washing area.

// Photography and Styling by Katerina Dima

 

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Aesop :: Atlas of Attraction | Gift Kits

November 4, 2018


Each year, Aesop collaborates with a designer on its gift kits, a specially curated range of items for the Christmas season. This time , with a new design in collaboration with Dutch couturier Iris van Herpen, it is something you might not want to miss.

 

Collectively titled ‘Atlas of Attraction’, the kits celebrate why people are inevitably drawn to particular places, ideas or one another at year’s end.

‘Movement and memory endlessly unfold, creating patterns of connection and attraction.’ Iris van Herpen

I use Aesop for my primary skincare , and of course I like to mix it up, but I do go back to my favorites when they are finished. These kits are a great way for me to replenish my stock, and I am also left with an Aesop bag (you can use that linen bag to carry everything or wrap anything) plus a reusable amenity case. The usual black fabric case is replaced for this collection only by a material that feels like washable paper, which is usually made using a cultivated fibre . From a distance it looks like leather or even wool, but it is not, and since I could not find more information on it, I am going to go with what I think it is, if I am wrong please let me know in the comments below.

When it comes to its contents, there are 4 different kits, and I chose the one that included most of what I am missing as of now. The six piece “Contours of Discovery” includes the following :

  • Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser, 6.76 oz.
  • Geranium Leaf Body Scrub, 6.09 oz.
  • Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash, 16.9 oz.
  • Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, 2.54 oz.
  • A reusable amenity case

Take a look at the rest of the Atlas of Attraction kits here.

// Photography and Styling by Katerina Dima

 

 Find me on Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Bloglovin | Feedly | Snapchat | Etsy

© 2013-2018 ONLYDECOLOVE.COM

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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