Sunday, 30 May 2010

Things Take (a frustratingly long) Time

Since this blog is meant to be about interior design, I suppose it’s time to invite you all inside the house. (Just wished I had tidied first…) Hilltop House is a relatively large house by Norwegian standards, approximately 300 square meters (3.200 ft2). One should think that the two of us would have enough space but somehow clutter seems to be everywhere. Where does it all come from?

MEMORY OF GRANDMA. This old paraffin lamp came from my grandmother’s home. I have no idea how old it is, but it’s dear to me.

When we first moved in Husfruen was full of plans for all the things we were going to do in the first few months; redecorate the kitchen, paint over the horrible baby pink walls in the hallway, build a library from scratch in the downstairs spare room, build a patio in the backyard and tear down a part of the upstairs hallway to make space for a huge bathroom. And maybe, in my spare time, I’d do some craft; embroider a national costume or two perhaps. Oh, and (this really goes without saying but still…) loose a few kilos at the same time.

And how much have we done? You guessed it, not a lot.
After the final piece of furniture and the last box had been hauled inside and put into place, our arms felt two inches longer. (Books are heavy, so we really ought to get library cards soon. I wish shiny, lovely dust jackets were easier to resist.) All we had the energy to do was sit and stare catatonically at each other, but not for long, for we had a wedding to plan.

A MUST-HAVE. I’m sure you’ll all agree that candles are one of life’s necessities, and they obviously need pretty little lanterns to shine out of.

THE NOOK with winged chairs from Slettvoll. They’re a bit old now, but they have been reupholstered and still look ok.

All I can say about that is that the house was tidy and clean when the wedding guests arrived, though I sincerely hope none of them ventured down into the cellar when exploring the house. After all, we had to throw all the clutter someplace. To digress a little: The guests who had arrived a few days early probably felt as though they were being thrown the same way. The day before the wedding Husfruen, in a fit of cleaning frenzy, sent them, along with Hubby, out of the house and wouldn’t let them back in before the house was ship shape. They came back to find the living rooms locked and barred with a note saying: “Keep out!” They were allowed to enter the downstairs den, under strict orders that there would be no moving anything and that there under no circumstances would be any eating of crisps or other crumbly food. Hubby senior (Hubby’s dad, that is) looked a bit put off but I thought I could see a humorous glimpse of understanding in my mother in law’s eyes.
If anyone is worried: Our wedding day turned out to be fantastic - sunshine and romance all the way. And everybody admired the house.

OLDE WORLD. Husfruen has a soft spot for English reproduction furniture. The right accessories are important too.
Still, despite being tired and worn out, Husfruen’s imagination and creativity couldn’t quite be kept in check for long afterwards. There were just so many possibilities here; the house was a blank canvas. Hubby on the other hand couldn’t quite see what the heck the point was of starting to redecorate just as soon as we had got everything into place but he was gently nudged and persuaded into activity. (Perhaps not so gently, according to the man himself, but then again, are there any housewives out there who manage to get anything done around the house without nagging at all? If so, tell me the secret, please.)
Anyway, Hubby rose to the occasion and did a great job in the kitchen. We’ll show you that soon. 

By and by we’ll get around to doing everything we have planned, and sooner rather than later you will get a proper tour of the house, we promise, but today we’ll just let you have a few glimpses of it all. As you’ll be able to see, it’s a far cry from the shabby chic, white style we see so much of in Norwegian blogs. We tend to go more for the classical English style, with bits of travel memorabilia thrown in here and there.  Enjoy!

CULTURE FUSION. This frame was made by a wood carver in Ubud, Bali; a place famous for their talented craftsmen. The workmanship is just amazing and I love the art nouveau inspired flowers and curves combined with the very Indonesian bird. I did not want the frame to compete for attention with a picture, so I fitted it with a mirror.

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