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Six months ago I was pinching my arm standing in my new kitchen in the apartment I just moved into. It was filled with boxes from the moving, there were still work left both for electricians, plumbers, painters.. nevertheless I was preparing for New Years dinner and felt everything was a bit unreal. Not that renovation projects was new to me, if you have been following me since I started blogging you already know. But it was the first time I did it all by myself, for me, and this new home felt so familiar – like it had already been in my imagination for years. It felt like coming home. With all the charm that comes with an apartment from 1896, a view to one of the nicest squares here in Grünerløkka and maybe most importantly, super close to my kids school and with a huge green backyard for them to play in.

So what did I do during three months of renovation? I started out redesigning the layout of the apartment. Originally it only had one bedroom and in order to have one more I needed to make a whole new kitchen (which makes perfectly sense now that its done), redesign the hallway and how you enter the apartment and try to find the original ornaments and details that I was hoping still was underneath layers of floors, ceilings and new walls. As for so many old apartments in Oslo this one also unfortunately was ripped for original details during the 1980´s when bathrooms and toilets were installed and the general quality of homes were improved in this area of the city. It seems late right? The workers areas were not prioritized at all, but no areas like that left in town now. Just expensive, hip and family friendly areas. Doing renovations like this is like digging into history where you find so many traces from life lived many years ago.

After discovering almost none of the original details was left in my apartment I decided to recreate some of them. To me it was the obvious thing to do, I wanted it to look like an modernized apartment from 1896. Instead of the typical old herringbone floors I chose one from Dinesen in a larger dimension. Without seeing any examples of the exact floor before ordering it I was so excited to see how it would turn out. Pretty much couldn’t be more happy with my choice of floors. The fir is treated with lye and white oil and by time (and cleaning) it will lighten even a bit more.

To achieve the smooth and even surface I wanted all walls, both new and old were spackled and painted. For the living room I chose the color LADY 1016 Blek Sand both for skirting boards and walls. LADY Pure Color for walls and LADY Supreme Finish for skirting boards. Recently I also painted the window frames too in the same color. I think it looks so nice when everything has the same color instead of dividing the wall with white skirting boards or window frames. Across the street from my living room its an red brick building and choosing the color here I needed to take it into consideration. When the sun hits the brick walls in the afternoon it reflects so much into my home and to not emphasize it the wall color has no red in it. Its still a warm color, this is a north facing room after all. Important factors to consider when you choose colors for your home. The ceiling and rosettes is painted in LADY 9918 Klassisk Hvit, Lady Perfection paint for ceilings.

When I started the renovation I thought it was possible to not do the electricity, in order to stick to a tight budget.. Well, it also needed to be fixed but at least I got to choose new sockets and switches who fits the style of the apartment.

To the left the entrance and the small bedroom, to the right my bedroom and straight the bathroom.

Double doors between rooms in old apartments is one of the most beautiful details I know. No original ones in my apartment but I found some really nice ones from another old apartment for sale at Gamle Trehus here in Oslo (good tip if you’re looking for doors or other architectural details during renovations). Also see my very not straight ceilings in the photo underneath.. instead of straighten everything I kept it like this to maintain the height.

Nothing is straight in old apartments. Newly installed doors are, but I left the ceiling looking like this.

Light is flowing between the kitchen and the living room from big windows on each side. A south facing balcony outside of the kitchen is the best feature during summer. In the kitchen I chose a lighter color for the walls, LADY 1928 Sommersne to go with the dark bamboo fronts on the kitchen. In this room I also have my small work space which you can see here. The color is warm grey and looks great if you want a tiny bit of color and not white for the walls. This room used to be the dining room, but no need to keep it like that when I could fit both the kitchen and a dining area into it. And have the extra bedroom where the kitchen was before.

Kitchen from Ikea, fronts in bamboo from Ask og Eng, worktop in Silestone from Eassystone, faucet from Vola and wall lamp from Areti/Oslo Deco.

Photography © Elisabeth Heier

Dining room before renovations, now the kitchen.

Living room before. View to where the double doors and kitchen is now.

From time to time I am still pinching my arm just to see that I’m not dreaming ?
To see how the bedroom and bathroom turned out after renovations have a look  here, and here.  


  • Flo

    23. June, 2018 at 14:03 Reply

    You have really outdone yourself, the new rooms look stunning! Thanks for sharing the story behind how everything came together!

    • Elisabeth //

      Elisabeth //

      25. June, 2018 at 11:04 Reply

      Thank you so much Flo!

  • Maddie

    24. June, 2018 at 13:34 Reply

    It just looks amazing! It has a really calming soothing quality to it – I think it’s the greys and all the period features you’ve added in are just gorgeous! Would love to see your kids room and the change to the floor plans too! Xx

    • Elisabeth //

      Elisabeth //

      25. June, 2018 at 11:06 Reply

      Thank you so much Maddie! I´ll show you the childrens room when I’m done with their storage solutions :) And the floor plans too.

  • Cecilie

    26. June, 2018 at 18:52 Reply

    Heilt nydeleg heim du har fått deg (nok ein gong)! Får eg spør om det er søderhamn sofa frå Ikea, og kva trekk den er i? Har planar om denne i den nye stova, og synest denne varienten var så fin!
    Fin dag til deg!

    • Elisabeth //

      Elisabeth //

      26. June, 2018 at 20:41 Reply

      Takk Cecile, så koselig at du følger meg videre her :)
      Trekket til Søderhamn sofaen er fra Bemz og heter Panama Grey.
      Fin kveld til deg!

  • Camilla Aschehoug

    3. July, 2018 at 13:13 Reply

    Leiligheten din er blitt helt fantastisk! Det er så inspirerende å følge deg.
    Et lite spørsmål, hva heter taklampen du har i gangen?
    Ønsker deg riktig god sommer,

    • Elisabeth //

      Elisabeth //

      5. July, 2018 at 12:14 Reply

      Hei Camilla, så hyggelig å høre! Lampene i gangen er fra Menu og heter TR Bulb, Pendant.

  • Siv Merethe Hvidebergsgaard Eggen

    3. July, 2018 at 20:10 Reply

    Du har et helt rått øye for estetikk, lunhet og trivsel, Elisabeth.!

    Kan jeg spørre hvor den doble speildøren er kjøpt?

    • Elisabeth //

      Elisabeth //

      5. July, 2018 at 12:15 Reply

      Tusen takk!! Døren er kjøpt hos Gamle Trehus på Vøienvolden Gård :)

  • Marianne

    26. July, 2018 at 13:01 Reply

    Det ser så nydelig og luftig ut! Kan jeg spørre hvor stor leiligheten er? Jeg mistenker nemlig at du har fått til å skape luft og rom ut av et areal som ikke er så stort, og det er jo en kunst. Skulle ønske jeg hadde den takhøyden.

    • Elisabeth //

      Elisabeth //

      6. August, 2018 at 16:14 Reply

      Hei Marianne! Leiligheten er 75 kvadratmeter, en treroms. Har gjort mitt beste, men stadig
      en utfordring å ikke fylle opp med for mye. :)


  • louise andersson

    31. July, 2018 at 21:49 Reply

    Hej Elisabeth, superflott oppussing! Är igång med oppussing selv och lurer på hur du tänkte med det elektriske, har du lagt det skjult in i vegg? Ser du på stua har lagt kabler utanpå/ovanpå list och synes det ser fint ut hos dig. Jag har fått tillbud på att lägga det in i vegg, men hissnar av prisen. Har du eventuellt någon elektriker att rekommendera i Oslo området? Hilden, Louise

    • Elisabeth //

      Elisabeth //

      6. August, 2018 at 16:17 Reply

      Hei Louise! Jeg fikk lagt alt av el i vegg der jeg satte opp nye vegger og det var mulig. I stuedelen der det ligger utenpå måtte jeg ha foret ut veggene for å ha skult el, og det ønsket jeg jo ikke. Men glad jeg gjorde det i resten av leiligheten. Jeg hadde elektriker gjennom entreprenøren, send meg en mail så kan jeg formidle kontakt. Det koster helt klart, men på sikt er det jo gjerne det man er glad man puttet penger i. :)


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