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Article: Join us in this simple yet warm Norwegian apartment


Join us in this simple yet warm Norwegian apartment

Step inside Mette and Andrzej’s Oslo apartment for a lesson in elegant Scandi style; look closer and you’ll find a home that’s family-friendly and full of warmth too

For Mette Tangen and her husband Andrzej, it wasn’t exactly a case of love at first sight when they saw their apartment in Majorstuen, Oslo, but then both had their own top-floor apartments, newly refurbished with exposed beams and clever solutions. “We wanted to find a home with soul,” remembers Mette, “and while this place had plenty, it just wasn’t quite our style.” The apartment, with its views of Vestkanttorget park, had original floors and high ceilings with original plasterwork and dates back to 1896. It was also close to the city centre. The couple were expecting their first child together, so they bought the place as a potential investment.


“After a year of living here, we decided to rent it out for three years,” says Mette, with baby Aksel joined by Anton in that time. The couple then decided to remodel the apartment and make it their family home. “We finally understood what we had got,” says Mette. “The apartment is bathed in natural light which, combined with the ceiling height, gives a real ‘wow’ feeling.”

Mette and Andrzej also moved the kitchen and bathroom, helping them make the most of the space. “The apartment’s best qualities also presented us with some of our biggest challenges – we were loath to obscure any of the original details, such as the kitchen panelling.” They opted for a kitchen island instead, with floor-to-ceiling units blocking up the door to the old kitchen.


The couple did enlist the help of an interior designer for the finishing touches. The old parquet floors were sanded and limed, and now look like new. Mette and Andrzej wanted to look after the apartment’s classic and elegant feel, “but at the same time, I wanted it to be cosy,” explains Mette.


“Two children live here – it’s their home too. The sofa bears the marks of family life and that’s okay. Yes, I want it to look nice, but it also has to be functional and user-friendly. This place is our base and where we relax; it’s where we gather strength after hectic days at work and school.” The modular sofa is from Bolia, with the hand-woven rug and coffee table bought in South Africa.


To avoid the apartment looking sterile and impersonal, Mette has mixed old with new. “For a while I bought lots at the flea market – there’s a fabulous one on our doorstep,” she shares.


“Our dining chairs are a wonderfully eclectic mix and the bench in the kitchen was bought on for just one kroner. But since the apartment is so old in itself, using only vintage might have been overwhelming, so we bought some items new too.” In the hallway, the tiles are from Norfloor, while the bench came from South Africa, where the couple once lived.


Mette’s limited colour, too. “I think the lack of colour contributes to the harmonious and consistent character of the place,” she explains, “and although Andrzej would like more colour, he does appreciate the apartment’s classic timelessness.


Mette and Andrzej’s bedroom walls are painted in Tåkedis by Jotun. The mirrors are from South Africa, while the bed linen is from Halvor Bakke. She’s tried to invest in pieces that are high quality and will last. “I do think my style has become more mature,” she says.

Words: Mai Eckhoff Morseth/House of Pictures. Styling: Kine Jarholm/House of Pictures. Photography: Filippa Tredal/House of Pictures.