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September 26, 2011


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A-ma-zing! Du är otroligt inspirerande och får till och med saker att hända här hemma! Kanske rätt indirekt, men ändå. Tack för hjälpen!




Everything looks just lovely - I especially like the light in the stairwell.


That white paint brightened up the stairwell so much! Looks great!


I'd be going up and down the stairs all day - it looks great x


Another good job ! It looks really great. I'll remember the tip about numbering the hardware too!


wow, stunning. yes, up and down, on and off. i really wish i'd thought to number our hardware, i had an unbelievable problem with that in our london flat, putting the ugly old knobs back when we moved out. disaster! they really did LOOK identical!



It looks great! Did you use a ladder to paint the top of the wall near the ceiling?


Love it!

How much did you pay for the lamp? And can I buy one online?


A practical question from a fellow Vällingby resident: how do you get the rail off? Been looking at ours and it will have to come down but I have no idea how to do it. Help..?!

Tina Slocum

I love the way everything flows! the white, the wood, the prints and that gorgeous light!

MacLeod House

It looks fabulous! I wish I could decide on artwork for the walls, I go backwards and forwards between thinking about photographs, buying art prints, and then back again, because I think that as a graphic designer I should be putting my own work up...and then I can't decide which work to pick, so then I go back to photographs...yes, I annoy myself over this...


I used a ladder for scraping, sanding and spackeling but didn't use it for painting. Instead I used a long handle for the roller and taped a long handle to my brush too and it worked really well.


I bought it in our local lamp store but I found it online here: http://www.inreda.com/showProductsDetail.asp?pID=1596&cID=6&agrID= Mine is the small size and in here it's SEK 1500. I think I paid a little more in store.


I scratched my head about that too but figured it out in the end :). First you remove the screws that hold the ends of the hand rail to the flat metal round things. Then you unscrew the screws located under the rail at each bracket and remove the handrail. The brackets then unscrew from the wall like giant screws so you just turn the whole bracket until it pops out. This is where the numbering comes in because as I did a small handrail on the first floor a few weeks ago I noticed that the brackets wouldn't fit in different holes although they look exactly the same.


Great job! It looks much more uniform!

To Do lists never seem to end and no doubt you keep adding to yours, but at the speed you're getting through them all your list must be getting smaller. Great tip on the numbering the hardware!


Scarlett O'Larsson staircase (not to be confused with the Scarlett O'Hara staircase) :-).
Very nice. Love the chandelier.


Thanks! I'll remember that. Oh, I could just spend hours looking at these pictures. The stairwell looks so clean and fresh.


It's beautiful! I love the painted stairwell and I love the light. Initially, I thought these were the were the stairs from which you had removed the linoleum and I couldn't believe how amazing they looked...but then I read the post. I, too, change projects around. Like you say, they all need to be done so it's really not a bad thing. Can't wait to see how the stairs turn out! I love your blog. You and your home are inspirational to me.


I LOVE the light! It looks beautiful! I have so many fixtures to replace and would love to put this one in my home.


I couldn't live in an all-white house . . . unless it was yours! Amazing transformation; that grasscloth LOOKED light, until you proved that it was dark and dingy, really.

Gorgeous! And, I'll bet, so much more satisfying than pulling linoleum!


The stairwell looks great with the new white paint! It even highlights the flooring on the steps. I love the new Nightfly light - it really suits your new home :)
I like the foto of Mini's favourite chair - how is she getting along with Bonus' absences. Is he still going away for days?


He's gone again. After six days at home he decided it was time to leave again on Friday...

Mini copes alright. On the positive side there's no one around who wants first dibs on any food that is served. On the negative side I think she might be a little lonely on week days when Wille and I are away. We give her an extra portion of cuddles though every day :)


looks very fresh. love that light!


I'm with the people who think that seagrass wallpaper is cool, but the ghostly art is not cool at all. Living with other people's taste instead of one's own isn't any cool, either. So it's great you tackled this project.

I'm curious... why don't you peel the paper before painting? Is it too much work?

I really like the lamp you chose, and I'm SO SMUG this Monday that I'll point out that I suggested a similar one, by Tord Boontje (I also suggested a Tiffany, so my smugness will have to stay at bay).

Have a great week!

christine e-e

amazing Benita... I love watching your progress ~~~ so THANK YOU for sharing this journey with us!

Samuel@Stained Glass Tutorials

Hey Benita !
I really admire and appreciate your hard work,you are so creative and vibrant,your hard work is shining so well,those stairs are looking fabulous and those 3 pieces on that wall are really looking good,there is no need for a bigger one according to me.OMG your sweet home is provoking me to do some renovation of my house.Thank you so very much for sharing such a great,valuable and innovative post with us.

Good Luck and God Bless!!

With Regards!
Samuel Joshua




I write in English, even though we both are Swedish ;) I just bought my first house and you're such an inspiration! You do also have a house where much has to be done and you do work a lot(?) and also have a kid. How do you find the time? And what shall I think about? I want it to be fun, but sometimes you're just to tired :/ Do you write lists or how do you organize you time to renovate and what to has been done, make budgets etc... Can't you make a post about it, that would be fun :D


It looks so fresh! Great job, painting a stairwell can be quite a challenge with the different heights and no place to really set a ladder.

Lisa Johnson

so fresh.so clean.love it.

Lisa Flaherty

It looks amazing! I LOVE the light fixture! Also, the art is really cute; I remember it from your old place, and love them. I love how the bits of citron green coordinate with the shower curtain in the WC. Details, details! You are so spot on with details! <3


What a transformation! Painting the walls and the door made such a huge difference.


Love the new stairwell. I find that I am having the hardest time deciding on what artwork to put up and where. Your three little pictures look great. And that light fixture is so playful, fun and beautiful. Enjoy it.


Every morning, yours is the first blog I open (sorry 'Better After'). I get vicarious satisfaction with every improvement you make and today's posting produced a noticeable feeling of 'ahhhh'. Thank you for your hard work and great ideas. I love that you do these improvements for yourself and in turn, for us! The stairwell is absolutely lovely!


It looks great. Neat and clean. And the handrail fits in really well with the beautiful flooring, why not keep it original i.e. sand and varnish instead of painting?


Oh, I'm not painting the handrail! Just that trim below by the steps that are brown and a lot that's dingy white and grey.


It is too much work for one since I'm totally ok with the structure of the seagrass and also very messy work which I want to avoid atthis point.


I work full time so I only have evenings and weekends to work on the house (and blog).

I'd say, don't start too many projects at once or you will have a very messy house for a long time. Start one project and finish it and then move on to the next or maybe do two that you can manage together. Like paint a room and in between coats you can prep another area for painting or organize a closet and so on.

I'm definitely a list keeper but I often stray away and do things that aren't on the list but add them after so I can cross them out :). I don't make a budget per se but I do try to keep costs down by reusing and remaking and don't often buy a lot of new stuff. I do occasionally splurge on something I really love.


Dear Benita, could you maybe name some of your favourite art shops online like etsy and which artis etc. I am searching for some art right now and like many of yours...


Here's a link to all my favorite etsy shops. I hope you can access it. http://www.etsy.com/people/chezlarsson/favorites?type=shops&page=1


I see a FADO light from IKEA in the background. I need to replace one that was broken with a golf club :-( but they are not for sale here anymore. Are they still for sale in Sweden?


That's not a Fado, it's a light that came from a school where Martin worked part time as a janitor while studying sometime in the early 80's. They were tossing them all out and he managed to salvage a few. I was really pleased when he said I could have it when we split up.


Oh, yeah, that looks much better. I like seagrass in some instances but not so much with ghost art! Beautiful light shade too!


Good choice :D


Lucky you it looks great. Work in the house is coming along really well. You are an inspiration!


Cool change! The lamp is exactly the one I want!!

Kristy | Wholesale Roses Co

good job! you so inspire me in my home renovations... thanks!


this is the first time i've gotten an idea of the light and the flow in this new house -- very nice. and the femme touch in the nightfly lamp makes me happy to think of you in a girly nest, like mini in her bean bag. lovely, and enjoy!


Oh Benita, more reasons I love your blog and it's the first one I read everyday! I love that you admit I didn't feel like doing this, so I did this instead! So true! If I force myself to do a project I don't really want to do, something silly always ends up happening (probably because in the back of my mind I have a bad attitude about it or something), ha. Also, oh my how I LOVE that light! So very much! I have so wanted a Tord Boontje garland light for years, but I think I might like this one even better! And hey, it matches your name! And really is the most beautiful light ever! :-)

blake @ salt teak & fog

what a breath of fresh air, as always. I was 1% partial to that seagrass, minus the ghost art. But, the white is of course you. I think my favorite bit is the beautiful wood stairs and especially the handrail which now looks like a snake-shaped wood sculpture winding its way up the wall.


I love it! I too adore reading your blog everyday. It makes me feel fresh and inspires me to get some work done. You are so good and fearless with paint -- do you mind if I ask you a question? I'm getting ready to paint a picnic table and only want to paint the tabletop and bench tops. Do you think that is ok, or will the wood warp if I don't paint the underside of the tabletop etc?


Verkligen snyggt! Brukar inte gilla ribbräcken så mycket men här ser det riktigt bra ut. ... och lampan... skitsnygg!!


Riktigt snyggt! Brukar inte var så förtjust i ribb-räcken, men här fungerar det verkligen. och lampan... skitsnygg!!


Thanks Benita, this was a huge help :-), evajuliets shop is great!


I think it should be ok unless the top material is carboard thin.


You made the right choice. Paint looks far better than the sea grass. It ties the whole look together.

I wonder if someone is feeding your cat.


Right, I need to ask something before I attempt to to exactly the same thing, i.e pain the stairwell with sea grass wallpaper. Dreading it!

Anyways, how's the structure of the wall after you've painted it? I know that when my parents painted their sea grass covered walls it ended up really hard and rough so that you could actually scratch yourself on it.


So beautiful! That light fixture is delicious. :)


I know, I LOOOOVE the handrail!


I checked with Wille before buying it because I thought he might consider it too girly but he ok'd it :)


I don't think so. He is eating something that's for sure but he's a really good hunter (as is Mini) so I think he feeds himself...


It is a little scratchy but so it was before painting so it's not a huge difference. I don't put my cheek against it though, that's for sure :)


Avoiding mess sounds like a very good idea. Thank you for the reply!

Rebecca @ beautiful square feet

It looks brilliant Benita - you must be so proud as you've accomplished so much in such a short amount of time! You must have added so much to the value of your house already! Those pictures are really sweet, and I love the light shade!


Such a startling difference - it looks so much cleaner and fresher. I always love your wonderful before/afters.


i want to do exactly this. do i understand correctly that i can start with a wallpapered wall, add four coats of my chosen paint directly over that wallpaper? did you prime at all or try to take down the paper? that would be great to just be able to paint it away! great job and very helpful pics.

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