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A Striking Monochrome Home in Bergen, Norway

I hope you had a lovely weekend? Here in Sweden, we celebrated 'Valborg' (Walpurgis), a traditional spring celebration. Across the country, bonfires were lit at dusk and choirs sang out while children toasted marshmallows. For the young, it's also a big party night, so many were nursing sore heads yesterday! Do you celebrate Walpurgis night in your country too? 

Sadly, I have no pictures of Valborg to share with you today, but I do have a striking home tour from Bergen, Norway! Looking through the pictures took me straight back to the day when everyone was going for the monochrome look, and I was happy to find the interior of this house has survived the test of time. The property belongs to Nina Kristin Kristiansen, founder of Kamelone Design Studio and a restorative yoga instructor. Decorated almost entirely in black and white with a deep green accent, Nina's punchy graphical home is full of contrast. Look closely and you'll also spot iconic design pieces such as vintage Jielde lamps*, Eames chairs and a classic Stendig calendar. Welcome to the ground floor!   


How cool! And so different from other home tours I've shown of late. 

I especially like the timeless chequered floor in the hallway and all the plants (little envious of how healthy her lemon tree is looking; I might have to write to Nina for some tips!). 

Is there anything that stood out to you? Are you a fan of the monochrome aesthetic? 

See more black and white and monochrome homes. 

Have a great start to the week! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Nina Kristin Kristiansen, shared with kind permission. 

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A Magical Rural Escape by a Norwegian Fjord

I am constantly astounded by just how magical some Scandinavian summer residences are. Not because they are luxurious - far from it. You see, Scandinavian summer houses tend to be pretty pared back affairs. The focus is on kicking back and allowing the nature to help you unwind. Slipping away for the weekend or for an entire summer, there are no flights to catch and no schedule to keep. It's a simple life which dances lazily to the tune of eat, sleep, swim repeat. This enchanting summer house on the banks of a fjord in Northwest Norway belonging to Monica (AKA @tante__monica) is a fine example of how the Scandinavians have got it exactly right! 

"The summerhouse has no electricity or water and no road. Usually we arrive by boat," Monica tells me about her family summer house. "But at this time of year we have to walk through the forest since the boat is on land due to winter storms."

So where do they get their water? 

"We retrieve water for washing from a well, and we either get our drinking water from a nearby waterfall or we bring it with us on the boat." 

And the electricity? 

""For cooking we use propane, for light we use old oil lamps and candles and for heating we use the wood burning stoves," Monica explains. "We listen to music on our phones. We love to be there and not have to think about what's on TV. Instead we sit on the veranda and watch the sun go down as the birds fly or swim by and the fish jump from the fjord."


"It's quite romantic, but of course a lot of work," Monica says. "We have no animals, so we have to cut the grass ourselves. We do this once a year in order to allow for the wild flowers and plants to grow and attract a variety of insects. Every year we look forward to seeing if any new species appear." 

"Norwegian flower meadows are now in huge decline and our goal is to make our meadows rich in species again." 

The house is beautiful with a fascinating, if not tragic history. 

"My father grew up in the house. It was built during the war in 1942-43. Sadly the older house which stood there before burnt down. It was a huge tragedy for the family. My father was only nine and had to jump out of the kitchen window and my great grandmother was helped out through the window of her bedroom."

Today, the property, which was built after the fire, has been decorated in a serene, understated way. Vintage and antique pieces pop against a white and grey backdrop, and touches of blue and green mirror the surroundings. 

"I like to use items that have always been here. If we are in need of something new, we tend to buy old furniture and accessories. They are more charming and go a lot better with the house," Monica explains. 

Plates and other items were stored in a wall mounted cabinet with a subtle blue / brown theme and a simple rag rug can be seen on the floor. 

This lovely picture - captured for a feature in Lev Landligs - a Norwegian country life magazine - shows a pair of vintage beds, which had already been painted green when Monica found them. 


What a truly magical place to spend your summers. 

I can almost feel the warmth on my skin and I'd never ever tire of the view, how about you? 

See more of Monica's beautiful summer residence over at @Tante_Monica. Monica is also a keen knitter and sells handmade Christmas stockings through her shop Tante Monica (@christmasknitting) and Norwegian jumpers together with her friend Katrine via @mokkastrikk

Keen to take a peek inside a few other Norwegian summer residences today? I love: 


Niki

Photography: Monica Almskår Heggset & Lev Landig 

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Simple Christmas Touches in A Norwegian Home By a Snow-Covered Fjord


High up on a hill overlooking the magnificent snow covered Stranda fjord, in Norway, Eldrid, Martin and their children Aron and Naomi's home is all ready for Christmas. Forget ostentatious displays, the family have taken a subtle approach, allowing the magnificent, ever-changing snowy scenery to take centre-stage. And I couldn't imagine it any other way! 

"When it comes to decorating, I like to keep it simple and organic, yet festive. I often use a combination of spruce, pine, and eucalyptus as well as brass ornaments and a hint of burgundy" - Eldrid. 

When you live in Norway, there's never a shortage in Christmas trees to choose from!! And this fine one is a perfect size for the room. I love how it's been simply decorated with a few baubles and decorative pieces. 

Glass decorations (such as this pendant tea light holder*) add a festive touch and yet allow the view to shine through. I can imagine it looks so pretty after sunset too!    

"In wintertime, you mostly find me on my skis on top of a mountain. We moved here because of the good powder skiing and the nature because we love to be active outdoors. I love ski touring and also spend a lot of time at Strandafjellet ski resort with my family" - Eldrid. 


A simple window seat (the Hadley daybed is similar) makes a perfect spot from which to watch the natural world go by (while keeping warm!). 

"I love to see how the snow covers the mountains, and how the fog casts a magical spell over the fjord in winter" - Eldrid

A dish made by local sculptur Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng sits beside Norwegian interior magazine Nytt Rom on a set of mid-century nest tables (try an auction site like Lauritz for similar). 

I'm such a big fan of eucalyptus at Christmas time. Did you know that you can also hang a bouquet from your shower head? It smells wonderful when the hot water runs over it. 

What a beautiful place to spend winter! It makes me want to strap some cross-country skis to my feet and head off across the snowy peaks! 

Could you imagine spending the winter holidays here?

See more of Eldrid's beautiful home over at @housebythefjord.

Other Norwegian homes to love in wintertime: 


Meanwhile in Sweden today, its St Lucia day - one of the biggest events in the Christmas calendar. A 400 year-old custom, choirs (and children) across the country will be taking part in a pagan Lucia procession. The central character is 'Lucia' who dresses in white with a big red sash and wears a crown of candles in her hair, but children might also to choose to dress as a gingerbread man, Father Christmas as well as other characters. It's a lovely celebration (even if most are taking place over Zoom this year!). 

Wishing you all a great start to the week! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of House by The Fjord with thanks.

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The Cosy, Warm and Inviting Home of A Norwegian Artist

After a sharing a string of Scandinavian Christmas inspiration, I decided to take a break from the decorations today in favour of a very cosy, very lovely Norwegian home. The home in question is located in a beautiful 17th century building in Bergen and belongs to artist Marie Storaas, wife Ingis - a graphic designer, and their children Mille and Emil. Laid out over three floors, the unique living space combines Norwegian design with a hint of Italian and French countryside, giving it a wonderful warm and homely vibe. Photographer Gunn Kristin Monsen was there to snap these pictures. 

How beautiful! I absolutely love this home - such perfect feel-good inspiration with which to complete the blog week!

Is there anything that stood out to you?

Discover Marie's portfolio and keep a look out for her latest pieces on instagram

And discover other beautiful Norwegian homes: 


Looking for some Scandinavian Christmas inspiration over the weekend? Check out the Christmas archive for tons of Scandi 'Jul' ideas! 

Wishing you all a great weekend, see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography: Gunn Kristin Monsen - shared with kind permission, recently featured in Rom123. 

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Before and After: A Traditional Norwegian Cabin Gets a Beautiful Colour Update

A few years ago, Berit stumbled across her dream croft surrounded by forest in Lunner, Hadeland, South-east Norway. The 50-metre square (538 sq.ft) cabin had great bones, but was in need of an update. Keen to put her own personal mark on it, Berit turned to Hytteliv magazine and interior designer Siv Brenne, who together with paint brand Jotun set to work on transforming the space while working to highlight the original features. The result is a peaceful retreat in soothing tones, and the perfect place to unwind. 

Kitchen before: 

Kitchen after: 

The kitchen has been given a fresh, calm update with wall panels in 1140 Sand, the ceiling in 471 Lys Antik (both LADY supreme finish matt) and the kitchen cabinets are from Bærum Kjøkkensenter, painted in colour s3005-B8OG. 

The sand shade has also been applied to the traditional-style sitting room area to give the living space a cohesive look. 

Master bedroom before:

When Beret bought the cabin, the small master bedroom was a sea of blues ranging from a more earthy shade to a bright sky blue. 

master bedroom after:

A soothing blue-grey tone (6315 Jade) was applied to the walls while the window frames were painted with a slightly darker 6232 Sjøalge to ensure the original features pop. Furniture and accessories in white and sand help to carry the theme through from the kitchen and sitting room. 

Guest bedroom before:

The guest bedroom was a riot of blue and red - which I am not opposed to since it gives it an air of traditional Norwegian country. However, the transformation is so charming....

After:

The top bunk is mounted on the wall to give an airy touch to the small room (I'm curious to know if the walls would hold this at our summer cottage - I'd love to do something similar!). The walls and beds have been painted in a lovely light 1376 Froströk, while the door and window frame have been given a darker 6232 Sjøalge treatment to match the master bedroom). 

Bathroom before:

After: 

The bathroom has also been given a traditional touch with antique furniture against a backdrop of wood panels painted in calming 4017 Pilasterblå. The blind is from Green Apple and bench is from Lama. 

The exterior was also given aan update. A dramatic 734 Brunsvart (brown-black) was a applied to the wood panels and been paired with window frames in a softer 1376 Froströk and shutters in 4252 Kimrök Dämpad - creating a wonderful cohesive look between outdoors and indoors. 

What a lovely update! I love the soothing palette. It demonstrates just how important it is to work with a cohesive colour scheme before you start to decorate. 

Is there anything that stood out to you? 

For more fab before and afters, check out this archive - some really incredible ones in there! Also, take a peek in the Norway homes archive - a favourite of mine! 

A couple of other things before I head off:

If you subscribe to My Scandinavian Home via e-mail, the feedburner will no longer work from tomorrow onwards (unfortunately) so I'm working on a new solution in order for you to continue receiving my posts straight to your inbox! I'll be back soon with more info!

And secondly, my article: Handmade Tale: The Rise of Handcrafts for the Home is now live over at IMM Cologne online magazine if you fancy a read! I love this movement, it makes me so happy! I hope it inspired you, too.

I'll be back tomorrow with a beautiful Scandi home tour. See you then! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of Hytteliv & Jotun

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