September 22, 2011

Fjeldborg is a cozy timber home located in the small city of Sandefjord on Norway’s Southern coast. The name loosely translates “Mountain Castle,” and the lords of this particular keep are Ingrid and Vidar Aune Westrum. When they purchased the historic home in 2008, much of its period charm had been obscured by bad sheet rock and ugly linoleum. But the couple could see that Fjeldborg had good bones. In her lovely and inspiring blog, Ingrid documents the couple’s ongoing journey to restore Fjeldborg to its original splendor, and records their daily lives within (and outside) its walls. It’s a celebration of a home unlike any other.

the living room

The first thing the couple did upon acquiring the 1925 home was to strip all the wall and floor coverings to reveal the panelling throughout. This they then painted Jotun’s white “Chi,” which Ingrid describes as whiter than white. The effect is like a Norwegian winter landscape, all brilliant with snow. Standing in stark contrast are the couple’s signature black accents which serve as focal points in what might otherwise be a blizzard of white. Finally, rounding out the couples’ one, two, three design punch is the explosion of pastel hues – not everywhere, but concentrated here and there. Like Easter eggs, colorful quilts and cushions – Ingrid’s own handiwork – as well as her vintage glassware collection, suggest the promise of spring in the winter wonderland. The effect is sophisticated and masculine, while at the same time charming and feminine.

Furthermore, you will also notice that with no window treatments and minimal rugs, the couple let the paneling be the main architectural/decorative feature of the room. The perspective illusion this creates, makes the room seem bigger than it actually is. A mixture of diminutive modern furniture and antiques are a perfect complement to the cozy scale of the space.

life’s details around the living room

above and below: the kitchen

In the kitchen we again see Ingrid and Vidar’s signature style: white and black with concentrated colors in a mixture of modern and vintage. The couple completely redid this room with a combination of two Ikea cabinets Nexus (the black) and white Solär. The countertop they fashioned themselves from bathroom boards and glass tiles. Vidar also made the open shelving for Ingrid’s vintage glassware. One of my favorite details are the concrete pendant lamps from Tove Adman that hang over the counter. They’re a wonderfully rough, industrial touch in a otherwise pretty and polished room.

above and below: kitchen details including mid-century glass chandelier and Tove Adman pendants. The bunting and letter “K” were made by Ingrid. The plastic floor mat is by Rice.

above and below: the dining room

In the dining area Ingrid and Vidar took a basic Ikea table, painted it white, and surrounded it with bits of wonder: cool retro pieces and flashes of color from Ingrid’s cushions and culinary creations. Food and flowers are an important part of Ingrid’s life and style and her blog is ripe with inspiring images of both. The white table creates a blank canvas for these more temporal arts. The pillows on the couple’s custom, built-in bench near the window also change to complement the various festivities. The neutral black chairs, an ecclectic mix of French Tolix, Eames molded plastic and Norvald from IKEA, as well as vintage Louis Poulsen lighting, provide interest and depth, while not competing with more florid accents.

a festive table at Fjeldborg

above and below: details in the master bedroom

Part of what makes Fjeldborg so special is the extent to which Ingrid and Vidar are so evident in their home. This is in large part due to all the DIY projects they’ve undertaken, in particular Ingrid’s own creations which make up much of the decorative details in the house. In the bedroom, the couple demonstrates the variety of their creative flare in touches such as the branch hanger. (You can also see that they’ve employed branches as curtain rods in the dining room.) This and the adjoining ladder are an artful way to display some of your favorite accessories out in the open, rather than tucked in a drawer.

In this room the couple opted for a more restful shade of gray for the walls, while lilac accents still give the room a fresh, fun feel. Once again Ingrid’s quilt seamlessly blends the two color schemes and adds her signature warmth and charm to the space.

the exterior of Fjeldborg with panelling and colors that match the interior

above and below: good food, flowers and lively textiles are enjoyed as much outside as in (Chairs below are Ikea.)

Ingrid’s studio where she makes her creations for home and shop

the front hall with salvaged door that the couple installed themselves

top of the stairs

Here Ingrid carried the wallpaper from the hall below up to the small storage area at the head of the stairs. The original 70´s wallpaper from Retro Villa is a perfect complement to Ingrid’s textiles. (And clothes!)

in the guest room, more colorful wallpaper and paint employed in unexpected ways

All photos copyright Ingrid Aune Westrum. Used with her permission.

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