Tuesday, 26 January 2010

our third home in Bergen

I know that quite a few of you enjoy seeing glimpses of other people's houses, so I thought I would show you some photos of our third home in Bergen. The apartment was in an apartment building from 1890s at Nordnes, and for a while Sondre Lerche was our neighbour ;-) For the record; our second apartment was exactly the same as this except that it was on the ground floor in the same building. We were still (more or less) students working (more or less) part time when we bought these apartments, so we did everything on a budget – with lots of help from our fantastic friends.

Altogether we lived 3 years in these two 30 m² (ca 323 ft²) apartments. It actually worked out very well because the floor plan was perfect and we learnt to live with few belongings. We became experts on small space/compact living! The only thing we missed was a real dining table so we could host dinner parties. There was plenty of space to have parties though! FYI: The sofa is Karlstad from IKEA.

We did quite a bit of renovation in both apartments; removing layers of old wallpaper, soundproofing the roof, installing downlights (a smart space saver as normal lamps would take up too much space), sanding and painting the floors, new kitchen and bathroom sink/cupboard, lots of painting and building furniture - for example that little white table by the sofa which hides the shoe rack. There was no hallway and we had to store our shoes somewhere (here is a photo that shows the entrance). We use to joke that the ground floor apartment was where we practiced, so that we could make everything perfect in the first floor apartment. With so little space every detail counts!

Talking about space savers - a wall hung flat screen TV would have saved lots of precious space! Instead we put the huge TV in the corner on top of IKEA kitchen cupboards where we stored CDs and other stuff. The Skurvsta swivel chair was a smart buy as it is both compact and comfortable. We should have gotten some different bar stools with less "messy" legs, but we wanted some that could be folded so that we could have two extra seats stored under the sofa. The door leads into the small bedroom.

A black shiny kitchen (from IKEA) in such a small space was a little daring, but we loved it at the time. A white shiny kitchen would have been more airy and light though. I still love round sinks.

Even though the bedroom was really small, it was just perfect. It was really nice to have a second room to quickly hide stuff when we had visitors. We built the bed (with a 120 cm wide mattress) a bit high so that there was room for storage underneath - big Slugis boxes with lids on wheels. We also had a couple of Slugis boxes on top of the wardrobes for storing bed sheets and winter jackets. Jackets and shoes were stored in the mirror wardrobe, and we had one wardrobe each for the rest of our clothes. We didn't have laptops at the time, but at least we had a flatscreen pc that Sølve built a wall hung desk for.

The bathroom tiles were not our ideal choice, but we chose to only put in a new sink and cupboards + a big mirror to hide a tiled "Roman goddess". We had to store towels on a open shelf above the toilet, so I bought new all white towels so that it would look more inviting.

Our friend Espen took these photos when we were going to sell this apartment back in 2005.

There are a few more photos in this set on Flickr, together with the photos from our first home in Bergen.


  1. Wow Astrid, you did an amazing job with that tiny space. I think it is hard for many of us here in Canada to understand tiny spaces like that, especially here in Calgary - homes tend to be pretty big here. I love what you did with it and I think the black kitchen was super cool. I think smaller spaces force you to live more efficiently - you only buy what is really important and you use your things, they don't just fill up your closets :)

  2. You did a great job with this Astrid. it's fascinating to read the commentary and put the images in that context.

  3. The space looks great without the clutter. How did you do it! I'm currently leaving in an apartment twice the size, and I'm really struggling to fit/hide all my stuff.

  4. I'm impressed Astrid. I might call you next time we buy a house, since we have never renovated anything...ever!

  5. Great job with the small space, I live in a 25sq.m. flat and it's really inspiring seeing that some peeps manage to make something out of small spaces. I'm still trying to find decent furniture to put here, nothing tickles my fancy!

  6. Hello Astrid,this is my first time visit to your blog :) Really like interior look of your home, the interior design style is completely contradict to the ages of the building.. :D

  7. Hei Astrid. så fint dere løste student/nyutdannahybel-tilværelsen! det får man si. tror ikke mine to residenser i bergen på det tidspunktet fortjener noe innlegg i Åpent hus!! :) ønsker deg ei riktig god helg!

  8. Oh Astrid, such a beautiful little place! And Sondre as a neighbour - NOW I'm really jealous! :) I've seen him live and he is quite possibly the cutest person on earth.



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