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Article: Get this Norwegian apartment’s Scandi eclectic look


Get this Norwegian apartment’s Scandi eclectic look

Siv’s apartment in Trondheim, Norway, is a masterclass in the ‘eclectic’ look. She has cleverly mixed quiet Scandi simplicity with attention-grabbing maximalism to create a home that’s full of warmth, colour and character

With their children starting to fly the nest, Siv Forbregd and Olav Jensen, who run Medialab, a production company, decided to mark their next stage in life with a move. It made sense to leave their urban family home and downsize to an easy-to-look-after flat on the outskirts of Trondheim, Norway, close to the countryside. Ila, a popular suburb, was the perfect place to relocate. Still within easy reach of the city centre, it has streets of pretty wooden houses and the river, fjord and forest close by. The couple wanted a property they could change cosmetically but, after years of renovating family homes, steered clear of a major challenge.


The apartment they found had been used as student accommodation for many years and was crying out for some love and care. It had great bones, so the couple could simply redecorate and refit without knocking down walls. The first priority was to preserve what original features remained, such as the wooden window casements and elegantly profiled skirting and doorframes.

The couple then put back others that had been stripped out, including ceiling roses. Not wanting to create a period pastiche, they fitted them with contemporary brass and glass lights rather than the chandeliers you might expect. Next, the pair recruited a great carpenter who helped them turn the doorway between the living room and kitchen-diner into a stunning feature. Sliding pocket doors were fitted to create a broken-plan layout and shelving built around the opening for floor-to-ceiling book storage. “I tried to live without my books for a while,” says Siv, “but the living room didn’t feel whole without them. I really enjoyed pulling out boxes full of them and filling the shelves all the way up to the ceiling.”


When it came to decorating, Siv wasn’t afraid to use colour on the walls. The living room is warm and cocooning, thanks to an earthy-pink wall, while a deep grey-green shade makes the bedroom feel calm and soothing. In the living room, a pink velvet sofa is the star of the show. It blends with an ochre footstool and touches of orange on cushions to create a warm and luxurious feel – a look that has certainly raised eyebrows, according to Siv. “I am not afraid of mixing styles and like to switch between Scandinavian and boho-maximalist,” she says.


Added to the mix are vintage pieces, like the black shelving in the living room and design-classic dining chairs, plus lots of brocante. “Adding old things that have a story stop a house becoming a showhome,” says Siv. “We have hectic jobs with lots of travel, so the comfortable feeling they give is important to us.” By the living room window, the Miranda recliner by Bruno Mathsson is the perfect spot to wind down with a book. The other side of the room is a colour contrast with a dusky, terracotta-pink wall and blush velvet sofa. Black-framed shelving and touches of gold exude glamour that’s offset by raw wood finishes.


Contemporary meets classic in the kitchen. The cabinetry is from Ikea, upgraded with gold metal handles from Stockholm’s Rum21, and the table is by design store Slettvoll, while the vintage Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs were bought by the couple many years ago. Spare cabinets were turned into a shelf to house an evolving display of artwork and ornaments.


The bedroom is a feast of textures, combining rustic linens like the H&M bedspread with opulent cushions and blinds made from House of Hackney velvet.


A combination of functional and fabulous, the bathroom mixes monochrome tiling with luxe gold taps. The little wooden stool by the bath was a flea market find that adds character and quirk to this simple space.


The real secret of Siv’s eclectic style, is how she mixes old with new. “I just buy things that I find beautiful and interesting and that way, they fit with the things I already have,” she explains. “I also prefer to shop locally because you find a lot of unusual items in smaller homewares shops.” The end result is a fascinating home that reflects the couple’s history, personalities and interests. “It is personal; it is us.”

Words & styling: Beate Aune/House of Pictures. Photography: Anne-Line Bakken/House of Pictures.