A Clean & Colorful Oslo Townhome

published Aug 17, 2015
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(Image credit: Jacqueline DuBois)

Name: Edith, husband Ole, and 2-year-old daughter Ebba
Location: Holtet — Oslo, Norway
Size: 1,600 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year, 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)

Space is not easy to come by when hunting for a home in central Oslo, so when Edith found this two-story townhome, she did not let its need for a little TLC scare her away. Rather, she saw potential, reworked the layout, bade farewell to the 1970s wallpaper, and carpeted floors, and created a stylish family home.

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When Edith found this townhome, she didn’t let its need for a little TLC scare her away. (Image credit: Jacqueline DuBois)
(Image credit: Jacqueline DuBois)

Edith is a lover of iconic design. She adorns the space with functionalist, Mid-century pieces that continue to stand the test of time against a backdrop of modern color. Many of the classic pieces are inherited originals whose signs of age give the home soul and authenticity. Like the dining chairs, which have served for four generations of Christmas dinners and evening chats over cups of tea. And when you are done playing “Name That Lamp,” you can enjoy the various blues, grays, and nudes chosen to offset the typically Scandinavian-white walls.

The living room is an oasis of light, with a gorgeous view out to the backyard where apple, cherry, and plum trees grow alongside raspberry and currant bushes. The kitchen lends itself as well to entertaining as it does to a cozy breakfast with the family. They have cleverly maximized storage space while keeping the design very clean with the floor-to-ceiling wall cabinets, and one can’t avoid ogling at the marble countertop and limewash backsplash. The bedrooms are simple yet refined, and looking at the staircase, one imagine the pitter-patter of small feet and the squeaking of hands sliding over the beautifully rounded banister.

From the glorious backyard to the small decorative details, Edith has created a uniquely special home for her family and friends to enjoy for many years to come.

(Image credit: Jacqueline DuBois)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Scandinavian with a bit of retro. I love color and pattern.

Inspiration: Friends, travel, Pinterest.

Favorite Element: The yard and how central the location is while still being a calm, quiet neighborhood. I also like the space in the kitchen. I was happy we had room for an eating area. Oh, and I love the dining chairs I inherited from my grand-aunt. They are a lovely Norwegian design from the 1950s.

Biggest Challenge: All the decisions we had to make in such a short time frame while renovating the entire house all at once. And it wasn’t ideal to living in a renovation project with a small child.

What Friends Say: That is quiet, and great to have the backyard. It’s not that common in the city. I also get a lot of comments on the paint colors and on our bravery for taking on such a large endeavor with the renos.

Biggest Embarrassment: Normally there are toys and fingerprints on everything.

Proudest DIY: I really like plywood. We had some sheets cut to use as a headboard and for the bench in the kitchen.

Biggest Indulgence: The marble countertop. It was expensive and a bit impractical because it stains easily, but I love the look. Otherwise, I definitely have a thing for lamps.

Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to be daring with paint. It’s always easy to paint over. Invest in classic design, you will most likely have these quality pieces forever. It’s also a good environmental choice.

Dream Sources: Illums Bolighus, Bolia, Ferm Living, Eske, Bolina, Artilleriet, Hay


(Image credit: Jacqueline DuBois)


  • Ceilings: Beckers Scotte 3 CHI 7236
  • Walls: Beckers Scotte 5 Sommersne 1928
  • Ebba’s room: Jotun Supermatt LADY Pure Color 2845 Bevegelse
  • Staircase and second floor hall: Jotun Supermatt LADY Pure Color 4710 Duggblå
  • Living room feature wall: Jotun Supermatt LADY Pure Color 5362 Fusion


  • Doormat: Pappelina
  • Tiles: Historiske fliser
  • Stools: Vitra
  • Dresser: used
  • Mirror: Hay
  • Shoe rack: Normann Copenhagen
  • Coat hanger: Vitra
  • Key box: Designtorget


  • Rocking chair: Eames
  • Sofa: Bolia
  • Pillows: Fine Little Day, H&M Home, Chhatwal & Johnsson, Hay
  • Rug: Ellos
  • Tables: Habitat
  • Copper candleholder: Tom Dixon
  • Pouf: purchased in Marocco
  • Floor lamp: Arne Jacobsen
  • Pendel lamp: Gubi
  • Wall lamp: Hay
  • Wall art: Kai Fjell, Mother and Child by Hilde Mork
  • Throw blanket: Mandal Weavery
  • Media unit: Montana
  • E poster: Playtype


  • Dining table: Bolia
  • Chairs: “Bambi” by Rasted & Relling, inherited
  • Pendel lamp: Tom Dixon
  • Floor lamp: Jieldé
  • Magazine rack: Designtorget
  • Shelving unit: String
  • Yellow desk lamp: Verner Panton
  • Bowls: By Lassen, Lotus av Cathrine Holm
  • Wall clock: Vitra
  • Toy bag: Oyoy


  • Cabinets: IKEA
  • Countertop: Lenngren Naturstein
  • Lamps over counter: Normann Copenhagen
  • Lamp over table: Gubi
  • Cutting boards: Ferm Living, Illums bolighus, and inherited from great-grandparents
  • Small canisters: Orla Kiely and inherited
  • Table: inherited from great grandparents
  • Chairs: Hans J. Wegner
  • Bench: homemade (plywood)
  • Hanging planter: Ferm Living
  • Wall art: Joran Jacobsen, Banksy
  • Letter board: 13tretten
  • Pillows: Nicolette Brunklaus, Funkle, Jonathan Adler
  • White wall storage pockets: Uten.Silo from Vitra


  • Headboard: handmade, cut plywood
  • Lamp: Tom Dixon
  • Bed: Bolia
  • Lamps on headboard: Bolia
  • Quilt: Hay
  • Poster: RK design


  • Bed: Stokke
  • Red chair: Vitra
  • Sofa: left behind in the house by the previous owners- my mother-in-law re-upholstered it.
  • Shelving: String
  • Lower white cupboard: Ikea
  • Knobs: Anne Black
  • Boxes on wall: Ferm Living


  • Daybed: Ikea
  • Book cabinet: great-grandparents
  • Chair: Hay
  • Floor lamp: flea market
  • Pouf: purchased in Marocco
  • Wall art: dumpster find- a school was throwing it away


  • Mirror: Bolia
  • Soap: Aesop
  • Basket: Menu


  • Laundry basket: House Doctor
  • Waste bin and soap dispenser: Vipp
  • Lamp: Menu


  • Desk: grandparents
  • Chair: Eames
  • Art: Therese Nortvedt
  • Paper bag: Kolor
  • Gray basket: Muuto
  • Blanket: Hay

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Thanks, Edith!