Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

The Boat Room


It's finished! We've had constant rain for the last 48 hours so I've spent quite a lot of time downstairs finishing up the details in the boat room. That's Martin in those photos by the way.


I ended up having to put three coats of primer and two top coats on the desk top which was a bummer. I hate waiting for paint to dry. I'm quite happy with the result though.

And yes, for those who have followed my blog for some time, that IS the road sign I've been bickering about. Martin has had it since before we met (ie before 1987) and it has moved house with us three times. Martin has refused to get rid of it and for the first time in 20 years I've found a spot for it. And I actually really like it there. Martin was pleasantly surprised to find it on display but is now considering adding the original lights to it. Hm, not sure about that.


This is where the desk extends into the Billy bookcase. I used the space for some clutter collector tin boxes. It's where I'll shove all the little do-dads that I'll find in the boat room during my weekly cleaning sessions. Martin, take note!


The reason for this room to be called the boat room is because this is where Martin keeps all his clutter boat related things. Besides from books and magazines there are photos, prizes, memorabilia and collections. The water color at the top was painted by Martin's uncle who was an amazing artist.


Needless to say the boat room is Martin's favorite space in our house but I think there's too much stuff. During a recent purge Martin did get rid of piles of books and magazines though so now it's a little bit airier in there. I wouldn't mind getting rid of the brown encyclopedia (26 volumes or so) in the middle though, We've never (ever!) looked up a single word in it and I think it's such a waste of space. It has that old musty odor to it too… So, what do you say, toss or keep?

Today's Swedish words:

boat = båt

desk = skrivbord

road sign = vägskylt


  • joan Vignocchi says:

    toss! (as in recycle) those ugly encyclopedias!

  • Kate says:

    Wow – the desk turned out beautifully! And now there’s enough room between the desk and the end of the bed – well done!
    I’d throw the encyclopedias out – or give them to a local charity shop or something. There’s nothing in there that you can’t find online now, and you could free up a whole shelf.
    You are so inspiring!

  • Well said, I will be showing your comment to Martin! 🙂
    Unfortunately our local charity shops don’t accept books any longer. I guess they get inundated with everybody’s unwanted books and can’t sell them quick enough.

  • ibb says:

    My parents have a similar encyclopedia at home. Before internet, I usually read it looking for places to explore, words I didn´t know…I know that it is a hole self…but well…I like books. I love them. Keep!

  • Juliette says:

    Maybe repurpose those encyclopedias as packets of epenephera you can sell in your Etsy shop. I can see people crafting with that stuff. Maybe not the ENTIRE set of encyclopedias, but a few books worth…?
    Because I agree, they need to go. And this from somebody who as a child used to love lying on the living room floor and flipping through the set my parents had. (guess this is why i love reading online now…)

  • rabenfrau says:

    That’s a wonderful place now! I really like the desk! I would keep the books, like ibb I hate tossing books! If they are too shabby, you could perhaps wrap them in paper that fits in the room?

  • I like that idea! At least save the most interesting pages 🙂 Also I’ve been wanting to try my hand at those pleated book art thingies. If Martin will part with them maybe that’s what they’ll be good for!

  • Icka says:

    Being married to a man who brought 101 cardboardboxes filled with books into our shared home, I´d love it for you to be able to toss those books out.
    But on the other hand, I too have come to the conclusion that there are few things as beautiful as old books. So now, as I have been totally brain washed, I´d say: keep! 😉

  • Hei! Så flott blogg du har!!! Veldig inspirerende! Mange nydelige bilder!!
    Ha en fin dag!
    Klem Anette:)

  • quinn says:

    I’ve got a musty-book issue myself at the moment…all the books (mostly out of print) and photocopied materials I used to research my Master’s thesis were carefully labeled and packed in boxes, then stored in a friend’s basement while my house was being renovated. The friend’s basement turned out to be damp, and all Spring I have had all the boxes – dry but musty-smelling – airing on my porch, which means I can’t even enjoy using the porch! BUT…these materials constitute a specialist library that would be nearly impossible (and very costly) to replace. What to do???

  • Anne says:

    If it is “Ugglan” (Nordisk familjebok) I’ll take it myself. If not – give it to Myrornas! You will not miss it… after all you can access the National Encyclopedia on the net.
    I also like the idea to do something crafty with them. You could put interesting pages for display somewhere and change them now and then… Or print them on pillowcases 🙂
    No throw them away. You are allowed to. The archivist has spoken.

  • tea says:

    Chez—regarding the encyclopedias, are you the type who likes flipping through old books nostalgically? if not, your local antique dealer might take them, but don’t expect much for them. But ask yourself first are you going to be back in the antique shop in 15-20 years from now, buying a set of encyclopedias because you are nostalgic for flipping through the books?
    Quinn-I have been in a similar situation, was making a cross country move and all my old research was too heavy to justify the expense of moving it across country. My son spent weeks carefully scanning all of my photocopies and books, and saving them as PDFs for me, now they all fit on one small flash drive.

  • Sara says:

    Toss, miracle girl!! No one ever uses them anymore now that we have the internet… And dont’ you just love tossing?! Trash day is my favorite day of the week!

  • valeria says:

    The sign looks perfect in the room! I would donate the books.

  • Elly says:

    Maybe if you pretend to love them he will change his mind about them. Men seem to like to keep things that us women would like to get rid of. Once he thinks you like them he will be willing to let them go…

  • Carol K says:

    Oh this looks so great. You did an amazing job. I love the sign there.
    Toss ’em!
    I have been “purging books” for a year!
    Our local public libraries have book sales and the proceeds go to buy new books and support the libraries.
    I give a lot of books to them. Also to my kids school library. However the craft idea sounds good as well. Another miracle- just a day in the lifr of woner girl!

  • LisaZ says:

    This turned out beautifully, very neat and clean too. You do amazing work!
    I’m not sure about the books. I love old books, but if they smell bad I think something needs to be done with them…I would hate the smell.
    Good luck with Martin!

  • meg h says:

    if he can’t stand to get rid of the books, then why not make paper jackets for them? maybe some wax/parchment paper so you can read the titles, or just plain white paper with the titles written on the spine of the paper… it would help the room flow better. the boat room looks amazing though!

  • kelli says:

    if they belong to you and you want to toss them, then toss them. but if they are martin’s……….you know what i’m going to say. i am not a fan of things laying around that are not functional, or not being used. that would be my argument, if your gonna keep’em then use’em.

  • kelli says:

    what is epenephera?

  • jja says:

    It looks typisch Benita! 🙂
    “The reason for this room to be called the boat room is because this is where Martin keeps all his clutter boat related things. ”

  • Jean says:

    What a fabulous job on the interface between the desk and the Billy. And those clutter collector tins in that space are amazing!

  • Annapolitan says:

    You could toss those books out one by one and see if he notices… he might not notice until you had thrown out half…! And then the half that are still there are useless. (Half a set isn’t much of a set, don’t you think?)
    (Well, now that I read what I’ve written, I’m ashamed at being so manipulative. I wouldn’t want someone to do this to me.)
    How about a yearly goal? Every week you must get rid of 2 cm of reading material. At the end of the year, that is over one meter of books or magazines and that whole bookshelf of encyclopedias should take care of the yearly quota.

  • Ella says:

    A lovely old set like that can be hard to part with, old books are tough-ies. So if they can’t leave quite yet, how about making paper dust jackets in white or the color of the moment to make them seem less heavy and visible in the room. I do love the thought of recycling their contents on etsy too.
    Fantastic job on the boat room redo!!! I really love your melding of the desk with the bookcase, superb idea and reality!

  • Shana says:

    If they were mine, they’d be in the recycling bin, period. Sorry, Martin! Umpteen pounds of unused dead weight’s gotta go.

  • Karen says:

    The room looks great! I’m so jealous!

  • .hmmessage P
    font-size: 10pt;

  • Sorry, I was testing to see whether I can answer via e-mail. Nope!
    It’s not Ugglan… it’s some other brown thing Nordisk Familjebok typ… I doubt Myrorna will want them. RK don’t…

  • I’m not that type at all. I’ve never missed a single thing I’ve tossed. Martin is the hoarder here… Trust me, I won’t be missing them in a million years!

  • You are sneaky 🙂 But I bet he wouldn’t even have noticed if I’d taken the whole lot and tossed it and replaced it with a couple of empty boxes… Now that we’ve been discussing it all day it might be a trickier operation though… Shouldn’t have mentioned it…

  • Franziska says:

    you did a great job – again!!!

  • Vicki K. says:

    This room looks marvelous!! Very nice – and I like Martin’s road sign as is. If it were me (as I have done before) I’d get rid of the encyclopedias. You can look up anything you need online. Especially if you haven’t even used them.

  • devil says:

    The boat room looks fabulous. Great job, Benita!
    The encyclopedias…they really should go. They stink, they take up too much room, and NO ONE with online access needs encyclopedias. Really, it’s like keeping a dead pet’s corpse in the freezer (I knew someone who did this). No good reason.
    That said, we wives won’t get our way ALL the time. So, as with the street sign, you might just have to let this go. At least they’re in the boat room and not a more public space, right?

  • quinn says:

    Scanning never occurred to me, but it would indeed take “weeks”…still, what a relief to dispose of all that musty bulk! Thanks – something to think about!

  • Robin says:

    Hey Benita – I’ll add my vote to the etsy-philes! It’s win-win – the musty old encyclopedias are reborn in someone else’s house (!) as fun repurposed artwork.
    If anyone is looking for a terrific how-to on making flowers from 4-inch scallops of “vintage” paper, check out Leah’s Scrapbook Room vBlog No. 2 on YouTube. Donna Salazar, a super-terrific paper artist, shows how to make the flowers out of old dictionary pages. I’ve tried it myself and they come out great.
    (In the meantime, a crisp white “protective” paper cover on the books would do the trick, too.)

  • MissuzC says:

    The desk, and now room, is gorgeous!
    I vote to put a DIM light in the road sign–I think it would look really neat (but not a glaring neon kind!!)
    And, my vote is for the encyclopedias to GO!
    You haven’t EVER used them? No point keeping them around. I love old books, but only ones that I love and USE!
    Besides, Martin is going to need an empty shelf for future memoribilia and collectibles, right? 😀
    Keep up the good work, You really inspire me!

  • Vanessa says:

    Here’s a crazy idea: paint them white. If the text on the books’ spine is embossed it would make a cool monochromatic aesthetic. (But that’s if the color bothers you more than the fact they’re taking up prime real estate!)

  • Tammy says:

    My husband and I are avid sailboat racers too. It’s hard to incorporate the various racing trophies, photos and mementos in the home without it feeling like a shrine to the sport. You’ve done a lovely job here.
    Regarding the encyclopedias, I’m sure they’ll make their way out someday. Until then, be thankful they are in the boat room and that Martin doesn’t insist on keeping them someplace more visible! Perhaps you could fashion a semi-transparent door on the shelf that would keep them slightly hidden and the smell contained?

  • Maddy says:

    Toss!!! or “Freecycle”: an online “giving stuff away to keep it out of landfill” site, I am sure you would have one in Sweden!