Converted Stables Become a Dramatic Home Full of Contrast in Norway

It's Friday friends - JAAAAA! To wrap up the week I'm leading us all over to the dark side (mwah ha ha) on a virtual journey to an incredible maisonette in Oslo. Formerly a stables, the two floor apartment is owned by Nina (blogger behind Note to Self), her boyfriend Jørgen, baby boy Gustav, and cutest pup Ipa. When Nina's not sewing or working as a graphic designer, the pair are transforming the space (often on a minimum budget) into a dramatic family home full of contrast and delicious, warm, dark grey, chocolate and beige accents. Enjoy the tour!

The maisonette has an upside down layout with the entry, bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor and an open-plan kitchen, sitting room and dining area on the upper level. I thought we'd start with the cosiest zone of all - the sitting room!

The sitting room wall has been painted in NCS S 7002B which makes a wonderful contrast to the oak floors, plastered brick walls and a fluffy 70's style shaggy rug (from Layered). And just how cosy does that velour Madison sofa look? The Blind No5 print is by Danish artist Kristina Krogh (available here).

It's incredible what a difference vintage wood adds to a monochrome space. Pick up similar  Thonet-style bistro chairs here (gah! So beautiful!). Nina never quite got on with the original brickwork and so they decided to plaster over it.

"The plastering gave just the right, tactile texture the apartment needed. And the colour was perfect too, so there was no need to paint it."

Where would a Scandinavian kitchen be without a natural linen tablecloth?! So pretty (and it looks better un-ironed too). It's nearing lunchtime here and I'm sort of drooling over the cheese too!

All hale the Bollo chair by Norwegian designer Andreas Engesvik (I've got my eye on the pink one). 

Since the pair are currently renovating a house elsewhere right now (their future home), they didn't want to invest too much money on the apartment. Even so, they still managed to transform the kitchen from this...

 To this...

...on a limited budget!

 To achieve the new look they plastered the walls and painted them in NCS S 7002B, spray painted the cabinets in NSC S 8002B, replaced the thick laminate counter top, kitchen taps, sink (all HTH), added Borghamn handles from IKEA and spray painted the switches, sockets and cables. 

Quite incredible, and so inspiring to know what you can do on a limited budget, don't you think?!

When the pair moved in the stairs were a varnished yellow colour...

They painstakingly sanded them down before washing them with white pigmentation, and then painted the walls and doors the same colour as the sitting room. They also added the same oak floor. 

What an incredible transformation, don't you think?! I've been wondering what to do with my stairs (which are also tinged with an old yellow varnish) and now I may have found the answer - I just need to brace myself for the work (and warn Per!)!

Nina saved a load on a designer clothes rail by creating one from a 12 mm copper pipe, which she bent into shape using a wrench, lightly sand papered and then sprayed matt black! So clever! More info on her blog here

The dark tones are also carried through to the bedroom which give the room a wonderful cocoon like feel - and no doubt feels blissfully dark at night, even under the Norwegian midnight sun!

Another Scandinavian must - natural stonewashed linen bedding (it's that ironing thing again! Source similar here) - the unbleached material looks particularly lovely against the dark grey walls!

And this little chap feels right at home!

Thank you so much for inviting us into your beautiful home Nina, Jørgen, Gustav and Ipa! I for one, might be tempted into over to the dark side in my own home after all. Anyone else feeling inspired too?!

See more of Nina's home renovations, creations and recipes over on her fabulous blog Note to Self as well as on her instagram feed.

I can't resist leaving you with a few other links to enjoy over the weekend too:

f you're looking for more home tours on the dark side try a cosy cocoon-like Swedish home (also featured here) and dramatic green and grey in a Swedish home - actually, do you know what? I'm just going to go ahead and give you the link to the entire 'dark colours' archive! Way easier!

And now for one of my favourites. Conversions. Don't you love it when a home has history (like the stables in today's post)?! See everything from converted garages, warehouses, schools, shops and even a bar here!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


PS This weekend I'm writing a guide to Malmö in which I'm hoping to cover off a load of the things I missed in my previous Malmö guide (and some of the new places that have popped up too) I'm so looking forward to my staycation! Look out for the guide soon.

All photography  © Nina / Note to Self


  1. That's pretty incredible! Mind you, I wouldn't want to be responsible for keeping that fluffy carpet clean AND fluffy!

  2. Hello Nikki, what i love about this place are all the nice objects and the disposition of it.It's so hard to find a nice balance. Beautiful place))) Looking to discover your guide of Malmo. I wish you a beautiful and sunny week end.

    1. Sorry for the double K in your name. Have a beautiful day Niki;))

  3. I Love when People renovate homes on a low budget. More inspiration like that pls ♥️ regards Åsa

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Awesome designs!! Matte black color kitchen tap ware look wonderful. I love this color, For buying matte black kitchen and bathroom accessories visit They have wide selection of bathroom and kitchen accessories in Australia. For detailed offers on new products visit ABI Interiors.

  6. Which colour is the madison sofa?


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