North­ern ex­po­sure

A jour­ney to the mod­ern cab­ins on this re­mote Nor­we­gian is­land prom­ises to rein­vig­o­rate both body and mind

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents - Words NELL CARD Pho­tog­ra­phy NADIA NORSKOTT/HOUSE OF PICTURES Styling KIRSTEN VISDAL

A jour­ney to the mod­ern cab­ins on this re­mote Nor­we­gian is­land prom­ises to rein­vig­o­rate both body and mind

‘ Own­ing an is­land is quite some­thing. I be­gan this jour­ney sim­ply look­ing to buy a cabin by the sea, but ended up with an en­tire king­dom,’ says pro­fes­sional po­lar ex­plorer Børge Ous­land of Man­shausen, his 55-acre idyll lo­cated in the heart of the Grøtøya strait, north of Nor­way.

Børge feels at home in this rugged land­scape, hav­ing spent many child­hood hol­i­days in the re­gion. It was this sense of fa­mil­iar­ity that con­vinced him to buy the is­land, even though he knew noth­ing of its ex­is­tence be­fore it was put up for sale in 2010. Then, the is­land was host to noth­ing more than a ram­shackle farm­house and cabin. Now, thanks to the as­sis­tance of ar­chi­tect Snorre Sti­nessen, there are four cab­ins, each served by the ren­o­vated farm­house, which now con­tains a com­mu­nal kitchen, din­ing room and li­brary. Guests can ex­plore na­ture by hik­ing, climb­ing and fish­ing. ‘It is a place that al­lows you to dis­con­nect from ev­ery­day life,’ says Børge. There is also an out­door sauna, hot tub and salt-wa­ter dam (to cool off in).

Yet it is the cab­ins, perched on the edge of an old stone pier, that pro­vide most of the feel-good fac­tor that this re­mote is­land pro­motes. Once in­side, the ex­pe­ri­ence is akin to stand­ing at the helm of a boat. In fact, the com­pact 32-square-me­tre homes are de­signed in much the same way as a sea­far­ing ves­sel. They are stylish but func­tional, ar­ranged with built-in fur­ni­ture and stor­age – noth­ing in them is su­per­flu­ous. Con­se­quently, the views, cap­tured by the vast floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows, are the only fo­cus.

‘The cab­ins are places of pure re­lax­ation,’ Børge says. Each one con­sists of a ply­wood-clad liv­ing area con­tain­ing a bed­room, kitchen and bath­room, plus a small sep­a­rate gue­stroom. ‘ We spent two years plan­ning the small de­tails,’ says Børge. ‘Three years later, there is noth­ing I would change.’ man­shausen.no; ous­land.no; snor­resti­nessen.com

The cab­ins are made from un­treated Siberian larch, which can with­stand harsh weather. The liv­ing space is fur­nished with a pair of ‘Scan­dia Se­nior’ chairs from Nor­we­gian de­sign stu­dio Fjord Fi­esta. The ‘Stock­holm’ cof­fee ta­ble is from Ikea and dis­plays a ‘Corky’ carafe by Mu­uto (avail­able from Made in De­sign). The in­te­rior light fit­tings are the ‘Bega Ar­ma­turer’ from AKB Light­ing Stock­ist de­tails on p150 ➤

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