Upcycled Homes – the Norwegian way

oliver Fabrics, Furniture, General, Materials, Recycling / upcycling, Vintage

Last September I was asked by Norway’s TV 2 to take part in their prime time interiors show Tid For Hjim (Time For Home)- it’s a popular makeover show where designers are asked to refurbish the interiors of viewers homes. Nice and simple – just good design, a good build . . . no jeopardy. The show was recently aired so I thought I’d share my designs and approach with you.

It turned out to be my dream job – re designing the interior of a log cabin set beside a beautiful Fjord . . . heaven!

It seems that that lots of people own cabins like this across Norway, left to them by family during the migration from countryside to city dwellings. As a result many of them are filled with old hand me down furniture pieces and an assortment of fixtures and fittings. What could be beautiful ends up feeling a little lost and unloved.

My approach was to create a Modern Norwegian Rustic style – a combination of upcycled old furniture, weathered materials and traditional Norwegian patterns and design. The team were fantastic – really talented carpenters, painters and electricians – they really got on board with the ideas to create the open plan space comprising of the new kitchen, dining area and lounge.

This table was made from a section of the old wooden kitchen wall. I sanded then scorched the table top before wire brushing it to create a lovely natural texture. The base was sourced from a local second hand shop and painted up. The chairs were simply painted and reupholstered.

I love these traditional Norwegian tiles – simple organic geometric shapes with a lovely matt finish.

The timber for the cabinet fronts was sourced from a delapidated boat house. The leather handles feel just right- simple yet elegant.

What  surprised me most was that upcycling and the use of recycled materials was an unusual activity in Norway so I was delighted to show them the benefits that it could bring to design in the home – imagine that – me showing the Norwegians a thing or two about design! Brought a little smile to my face.


We upcycled this classic mid century sofa and arm chair in an ethnic Norwegian pattern fabric by Zoffany- Orissan Wedgewood Red. The display cabinet table in the foreground was made from an old upcycled window – which adds a sense of delight!

These super tactile cushions are made from traditional Norwegian wool jumpers which i sourced for almost nothing in local junk shops. They were boiled, then sewn into really soft cushion covers – perfect for cuddling up to at night

I brought out the history of the cabin by sanding back a small section of the timber walls and highlighting it with an ornate vintage frame – very tactile.

These vintage plates bought for almost nothing highlighted the beauty and simplicity of traditional Norwegian pattern design

It wouldn’t be a log cabin without a wood burning stove – how could i resist.

The end result I feel created a  contemporary yet comfortable rustic space- offering a sense of Norwegian culture, combined with the calmness of natural materials but with a modern approach.

Oh and if you thought it was all work and no play, don’t forget that Norway IS the land of the open sandwich – I may have put on a pound or two……. Entirely worth it though!