This Small Scandinavian Home’s Minimal Style and Gigantic Windows Make It Feel Much Larger Is

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A living room with large windows on the walls and ceiling

Name: Hege Vorkinn Sletten
Location: Rjukan, Norway
Type of home: House
Size: 650 square feet
Years lived in: 3 months, owned

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My home used to be an old power-transformer building (built in 1920) that was converted into a small, 650-square-foot house over three floors. I gutted the entire building and started from scratch. The first floor now has a combined kitchen, living room, dining room, plus a small toilet room. The two remaining floors hold three small bedrooms and a bathroom. I have owned it for a while but spent almost four years renovating it before I moved in a couple of months ago. It has lots of natural light and high ceilings, which I’m so grateful for because it helps make the space feel more spacious than it really is.

I’m quite passionate about all the storage solutions in my home. It has been a lot of work finding the right balance between storage and having some empty open space, but I think I’ve managed to combine designated areas for all the “stuff” you need like a vacuum cleaner, seasonal clothing, and Christmas decorations while still making the place feel spacious and light.

I love to live minimally and question what I really need and what does and does not add value to my life. By choosing to live small and simple I feel like I’m able to free up more time and money to focus on what I love, which is traveling, reading, staying active (preferably outdoors), and time with family and friends.

During the renovation I focused on using a lot of natural, light wood and white surfaces to get as much natural light from the outside as possible. I’m quite sensitive to clutter and disorganization in my environment but living small forces you to be thoughtful and intentional about what you bring into our home, which I find very freeing.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Modern Scandinavian minimalism

What is your favorite room and why? Definitely the combined living room/dining room. It’s in a glass addition to the front of the house, which brings in so much light and amazing views over the surrounding mountains. It feels like you’re outside when you’re sitting at the dining table and at night you can lie on the couch and gaze at the stars by the fireplace. The open floor plan, combined with the high ceilings, make the space feel a lot bigger than it is. The TV is hidden in a cabinet in the kitchen island so if you don’t want to watch TV you can just close the cabinet doors and no one will know it’s there.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? Since everything in the house needed to be space saving and contain storage I have custom built most of the furniture myself. I struggled for a long time to find dining chairs that went with the custom-built bench and dining table, but a few weeks ago, I found these three chairs that are made of wood from a rubber tree. I like that they are light, comfortable, and don’t take up too much room. They are three of only a few things in my home that I have not built myself, bought secondhand, or had gifted to me as a hand-me-down.

Any advice for creating a home you love? What has worked well for me has been to find a color palette that I like and to stick to it pretty religiously. Sticking to a neutral and light color scheme makes the space feel bigger, airier, and calm. I would also say to not settle for furniture pieces that don’t work well for your space. Don’t be afraid to bring out some tools to alter off-the-shelf furniture to fit your needs.

I think what’s most important though is to question what you really need in terms of space, furniture, and things. This makes room for the things that really matter to you.

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity. 
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