Right get your coat (and your passport) we’re off to Norway to this colourful period flat, which not only features in one of the country’s most popular dramas (EXIT – can’t get it here I’ve tried) but is also the cover of the hugely successful Rockett St George Extraordinary Interiors In Colour book.
Einar Rønning contacted me earlier in the week to ask if I would like to feature their apartment on the blog as they are selling it and would I like to “look around”…. Well, come on in with me…. And actually you don’t need your passport because he has also sent me the most incredible 3D tour so we can literally walk around and see it properly. It takes a minute to orientate yourself but then it’s just amazing. So real that it’s then slightly disconcerting to peer in the mirror and not see your reflection. Then you see a camera on a tripod and realise. But given that many of us have barely left the house for year it’s quite exciting to feel that you are walking up to someone else’s window and looking out (as opposed to the other way round).
Here is the kitchen (without the colour effect from the book) and I’ve almost run out of words (give me a minute). I mean yes it’s big with tall ceilings so you don’t have to fill the island with storage and while, at first, it looks very minima,l let’s assume the fridge is the tall cupboard on the right and the induction hob is next to the sink (and why didn’t I do that?) which leaves the island free for chatting and wining (as opposed to whining which at this stage of lockdown is what happens more and more).
But we should probably get the details out of the way first. The apartment is on for £2,500,000 and bidding officially opens on 22 March (although you can put yours in before that). It’s 170sq m (nearly 1900sq ft) but one of the neighbours sold three months ago for £2.4m so it’s in the neighbourhood – more of which later.
So it’s expensive but as Einar points out: “It’s rare to find apartments in the area with this particular attention to detail, quality of building materials and smart solutions – Dornbrach spa shower, hidden dryer cabinet, a bookshelf on wheels that can give the attached studio apartment an extra room etc.”
And, he says, while the pandemic has caused the real estate market to plummet all over the world in Oslo – one of the cities with the highest population growth in Europe – the opposite has happened. “Over the last year the real estate price in Oslo has skyrocketed by more than 15 per cent. So an investment in Oslo [where interests are also low] is quite a safe investment.”
Real estate growth is also expected to rise 20 per cent too so if you’re looking for your cheque book better hurry up.
In terms of location, which we always talk about as an excuse – not a reason – for London prices – Einar said: “The apartment is famous because it’s the main location in the most streamed TV-drama in Norway called EXIT. It’s a drama with so far two seasons, based on true stories from the financial elite in Oslo with a lot of craziness going on… The drama has been sold to over 50 countries and was also awarded gold in Series Mania in France in 2019.”
So to the interiors. You can, of course, read more in the book, where it has a whole chapter (eight pages) devoted to the bold use of colour and innovative kitchen design. Einar also told me a little more; the kitchen was relocated to the front of the building where there was limited wall space, which is why the cupboards are almost Tetris-like in the way they sit at differing widths. The oven is in the island.
“The idea behind this renovation project was to preserve the historic charm of the apartment, while introducing modern and contemporary lifestyle solutions. One of the key steps in modernising it was the use of bold and edgy colours. To get the right palette we called Heidi Pettersvold Nygaard and Andreas Nygaard, an architect couple working in the firm Snøhetta (which has been involved in the creation of buildings including the Oslo Opera House and Ground Zero, New York).”
But what about the decor? Aren’t we all taught that Scandinavians live in a sea of pale grey and birch ply? Well to clear that up first (and I wrote about this extensively for The Financial Times some years back) when we refer to Scandinavian style we are usually talking about Denmark, which is more pared back and architectural than her Nordic cousins.
Pale floorboards and walls – the winters are long and dark, pops of muted colour and lots of candles for atmosphere (the famous hygge) along with a lack of curtains all contribute to this minimal look. Classic Swedish, on the other hand, tends to be either Gustavian with its ornate painted furniture (King Gustav wanted to create his own Versailles of the North) as well as lots of soft red. Falun Red, is it is known from the copper mine where it is produced and which started making paint in 1764, sits along side a soft navy blue and ochre yellow. This is a more rustic look, popularised by the arts and craft painter Carl Larsson.
As Einar says: “Our style of decor was very rare when we started the project seven years ago. The use of colours was a no-go. Everyone told us we were crazy when we told them about using colours in every room. But late the Norwegians have braved up and started to turn their back on the all-white walls that have been the style for over two decades.”
So why are they moving? Well they’ve been bitten by that pesky renovation bug: “This project has been incredibly demanding but fun and educational. Now we want to combine the knowledge and experience of this project with another one.
“We absolutely love it here. The area is next to the the Royal Castle, a lot of embassies and the Prime Minister’s residency is almost next door. The are is quiet, clean and beautiful with front gardens and everything you need is within a couple of minutes. The location provides buzzing city life close to the international airport, only 20 minutes away.
“The buildings in this area were made in the late 1800s/early 1900s with high ceilings. This is a feature we want to include in our next project. You get so much more air and room with high ceilings, not the low ceilings which has become the standard in modern buildings.”
So if you fancy a move (race you) contact the agency Boa Eiendom for details. Or you can just keep running up and down the virtual corridor and see all the details you missed first time round.
Very nice blog!!!
Gorgeous building. The apartment (and especially the millennial pink kitchen) is definitely not my style (I am truly in the white/grey minimalist camp) but the space itself has great bones. But too may colors and too traditional for me. But the building itself is amazing.
Smashing! Love those colours and the kitchen is gorgeous with the almost-malachite island. I could live in the maid’s flat!
Flippin heck, I’m never moving out now I’ve virtually snuck in. Hope the new owners won’t mind me rattling round the corridors 👻
I love the colours, especially that aubergine brown. Not so keen on the light blue bedroom which might make me feel freezing in a Norwegian winter. Really nice idea to run the colour across the ceiling and plasterwork too. It makes me wonder why we all seem to paint our ceilings white without even thinking about it!
Thank goodness for the beautiful wood burner in the kitchen/diner! It is a lovely apartment with some interesting features, but too, errrr, masculine for me decor-wise.
Stunning. This is basically the exact palette I was planning for my next house, and I am drinking it in and noting all the details I can. For anyone else who wants more, this place has also been on Curbed and a few other places, and they seem to have moved art and other details around, which is interesting to see. Lots of clever built-in storage too.
One question – I have seen brass sheeting in a couple of places recently. Has anyone here ever done this or have any intel on it?
Have a look at Metal Sheets, I have ordered their samples before and know of several people who have used them so this might be the place for you x
Oh wow, I am all over this! Thank you. I find “no job too small” very reassuring on this kind of supplier website!
Love the use of darker colours and clever storage. At the price though, I wouldn’t expect to have to walk through the living area from the bedroom, in order to access the bathroom.
Absolutely beautiful apartment, incredible. I love how they’ve pretty much thought of everything you might need (except where was the hob in the kitchen?!). Amazing to be able to “walk” through it. Thanks for showing it to us Kate. I didn’t quite understand about the picture hanging system set behind the ceiling , is it magnetic? I love the colours tho’ I think I might find the bathroom a little claustrophobic
Einar is a man’s name. Gorgeous apartment though.
Once a typo? Two – carelessness…. apologies and edited. And thanks for catching!