A Cool, Calm Scandinavian Style Home in Norway

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Jacqueline DuBois)

Name: Anette, husband Barrett, and baby boy Elliot
Location: Oslo, Norway
Size: 950 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; owned

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Welcome to Scandi Week—Apartment Therapy’s seven-day focus on all-things Scandinavia (often defined as the countries of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway). Sometimes it seems like the whole world is obsessed with trying to copy this corner of the globe, from its timeless style aesthetic to its now-famous coziness rituals. For the next week, we’ll take a look at all of it—cleaning, pop culture, and of course tons of eye popping design inspiration. Pull up a blanket and get hygge with us. This tour is a rerun of a gorgeous Scandinavian home we toured a few years ago.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Anette and her husband purchased a fourth floor (elevator-less) renovation project in 2012. It hadn’t seen an upgrade since the 1970s, and in just under one year they managed to infuse the 19th-century gem with the high style that Scandinavian design is famous for. Anette gives her living space character by combining the old with the new, paying homage to the building’s bones while incorporating both function and aesthetic in her modern decorating choices.

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Living room from kitchen (Image credit: Jacqueline DuBois)

Tearing down the apartment’s lowered ceilings exposed elegant rosettes and massive crown mouldings. The original pine flooring was restored and acts as a stoic reminder that the building is well over 100 years old. Anette fills the home with controlled patterns and unique conversation pieces that fit just-so. Overall, the space is calm, light, and absent of unnatural color. Black is craftily used throughout, adding subtle contrast and complementing the otherwise neutral palette.

(Image credit: Jacqueline DuBois)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I would say my style is typical Scandinavian. I like to combine natural elements with modern design pieces while keeping the mood calm and peaceful. I like clean lines and open surfaces and try to steer clear of clutter.

Inspiration: Definitely inspired by the building’s age. During the renos we tried to stay true to its soul style while giving it the function of modern updates.

Favorite Element: I love the open-concept kitchen/dining room/living room. It is ideal for entertaining. I also love the nine-foot ceilings, high windows, rosettes, and crown moulding. And the original plank flooring, of course. I guess I just love everything original that we were able to bring back to life.

Biggest Challenge: Living in the space through the renos was definitely a challenge. And given the age of the building, there isn’t a single straight wall in the place. This made installing things like baseboards, door frames, and the whole kitchen quite difficult. Nothing is level in such an old building.

What Friends Say: Everyone loves the light up here. We hear a lot that it’s worth the trip up the four floors of stairs.

Biggest Embarrassment: Due to some plumbing challenges, there was no sink in bathroom for the longest time. Guests had to wash their hands in the kitchen.

Proudest DIY: The brick wall and wainscoting in the hallway. The woodwork had to be stripped, repaired, and refinished and the brick had to be chiseled out from inch-thick plaster and re-mortared.

Biggest Indulgence: The kitchen. We didn’t hold back on the design. I wanted a big kitchen that met both our current and future needs. Custom solid oak counter top with inset sink was an indulgence we don’t regret.

Best Advice: Don’t make rash decisions. If you are taking on a large renovation project, don’t be afraid to live in the space for a while to find out what your needs are before you start. This way you are sure to get it right the first time. Also, try to make timeless choices for the big elements in a home. You can always insert trendy design pieces through the decor.

Dream Sources: Bolia, West Elm, Design Delicatessen, bolina.no, palma.no

(Image credit: Jacqueline DuBois)


Ceiling lamps — Skeidar
Wall art — Etsy
Cloth laundry basket — Ferm Living

Sofa — Bolia
Pillows — Ikea, H&M Home, Ferm Living, and Palma
Chair — thrift store
Gray sheepskin — Ikea
TV unit — Bolia
Coffee table — Home & Cottage
End table — Bruunmunch
Table lamp — House Doctor
Striped vase — Kahler
Painting above sofa — By artist Tina Tobiassen
Standing floor lamp — House Doctor
Ceiling lamp — Normann Copenhagen
Curtains — Handmade gift
Art above piano — You Me and The Royal Me
Desk lamp on piano — Ikea

Dining table — Palma
Chairs — Crate & Barrel
Vitrine cabinet — Home & Cottage
Ceiling lamp — Ebb & Flow
Highchair — Stokke
Rug — West Elm
Cabinets, fronts, and countertop — Ikea
Mugs and bowls — Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie
Plates — Urban Outfitters

Bed — Ikea
Nightstand — World Market
Table lamps — Ikea
Ceiling lamp — Ikea
Wall art — Etsy

Shelving — Ikea
Cork board — Homemade
Rug — Ikea
Wall-mounted shoe cabinet — Ikea
Jewelry hanger — Urban Outfitters

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Thanks, Anette!

*Re-edited from a tour previously published.