Elisabeth's Scandi, Loft Space
Name: Elisabeth Riksen
Size: 818 square feet
Home type: Apartment
Location: Oslo, Norway
What you're looking at:The self-designed bookshelves are a dream come true, and also the heart of the apartment. The red brick building outside is an operational chocolate factory. Smells fabulous! (Image credit: Elisabeth Riksen)
The self-designed bookshelves are a dream come true, and also the heart of the apartment. The red brick building outside is an operational chocolate factory. Smells fabulous!
The view from the galley kitchen throughout the apartment. There's tons of space in the extra deep drawers on the left. Winters in Norway are dark, but come summer, the apartment is so light even the plants in the centre of the apartment do well without the plant lights switched on.
Years lived in: 2 years, owned
Household: No one
Have any design professionals worked on this space? No
Do you currently live in your Small/Cool space full-time? Yes
Describe your space:
Scandinavian minimalism done wrong on purpose, and with enthusiasm. High ceilings, but a low pulse, and plenty of room for books, plants, collectibles, and guests. Fabriksen is essentially a huge one-bedroom apartment, and I’m happy to have created plenty of hidden and on-display storage to compensate for the lack of doors and cupboards. I want character and personality in a home that’s cozy for one, but also very suitable for socializing.
Did you DIY anything in your space? And, if so, what's your favorite DIY?
I am an impatient and below-average-skilled DIYer. But that doesn’t stop me from having a go. I tweak, hack, and repurpose furniture to make it suit my needs. I do a lot of quick fixes, but am sensible enough to get a professional in for the big jobs, such as the bookshelves. I drew up the design, but got someone else to build and assemble. So that’s “half” DIY, and I’m very proud that the design is so very functional in addition to looking exactly how I wanted it to. Fun fact: Several almost identical shelves have been created based on photos, info, and measurement shared on Instagram.
How do you make your small space work for you and feel bigger than it really is?
I organize my belongings to get a proper overview of what I really need, making sure cupboards, drawers, and shelves are utilized to the max. For example by building custom, repurposing and for example using old shoeboxes or homemade wardrobe organisers so I can fit more and still see what’s there. Any furniture that does double duty, for example my bed, which has six massive drawers, or the bench in my entryway, which has four, is very welcome here. Most of what isn’t old or custom is from IKEA. They’re great for storage.
How does your home reflect you?
My heart and my head (and budget) agree that taking care of what I already have or finding pre-loved, secondhand, and hand-me downs is better than buying new. Almost every belonging has a story, and I’m always happy to tell it. In that sense, the whole apartment is a bit like a photo album with snapshots of memories. A lot of my art is by friends and family, the books (except the ones in the TBR pile) have been read. I love imperfection, and most of my things are old, as I prefer to adapt and repurpose to buying new. Also, I’m the tidiest clutterbug you’ve ever met.