Sil­ver lin­ing

Shades of grey are grace­fully com­bined to cre­ate a gen­tle, gleam­ing ap­pear­ance in this el­e­gant Nor­we­gian apart­ment

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents - Words KARA O’REILLY Pho­tog­ra­phy ANNE BRÅTVEIT/HOUSE OF PIC­TURES Styling CATHRINE BÆKKEN

Shades of grey cre­ate a gen­tle, grace­ful and gleam­ing Nor­we­gian apart­ment

Think of the muted shades of char­coal, dove and rose that you as­so­ciate with Scan­di­na­vian brands such as Menu or Mu­uto. They’re serene, soft and tex­tu­ral, and it’s this same palette that Cathrine Bækken, in­te­rior ar­chi­tect at Heem, has used to great ef­fect in the two-bed­room apart­ment she shares with her fi­ancé, Ole An­ders, and their four-year-old daugh­ter Ella.

Sit­u­ated in the Nordnes area of Ber­gen in Nor­way – all cob­bled streets and Hamp­tons-style clap­per­board houses – this third­floor apart­ment, which is lo­cated in a 19th-cen­tury build­ing, is a lesson in how to use tone-on-tone colour in a co­her­ent way.

Start­ing with an off-white shade in the en­trance hall, the rooms get pro­gres­sively darker as you move deeper into the flat, with the bed­room painted a rich, en­velop­ing near-black. ‘I wanted to dec­o­rate each of the rooms in a dif­fer­ent colour so they have their own iden­tity and feel­ing,’ ex­plains Cathrine. Her ap­proach is the start of a new way of look­ing at dark tones. Char­coal, navy and fir green are in­creas­ingly be­ing used as al­ter­na­tives to tra­di­tional neu­tral colours. While at first glance they seem chal­leng­ing, they are sur­pris­ingly flex­i­ble, part­ner­ing well with other, more muted hues. Cathrine has paired the dark­est room in the apart­ment with a white ceil­ing and lime­washed floor, bright­en­ing its drama.

When Cathrine and Ole bought their home two years ago, they stripped it back to its bare bones, un­mask­ing orig­i­nal floor­ing, skirt­ings and ar­chi­traves in the process. ‘ We were thrilled about all the old de­tails, so our am­bi­tion was to re­turn them to their for­mer glory,’ says Cathrine. This process took just five months – a speedy project made nec­es­sary by the cou­ple sell­ing their pre­vi­ous home and need­ing to move in quickly. ‘I re­mem­ber sit­ting up at night draw­ing plans as we both had full-time jobs,’ she adds. ‘It was a very ex­cit­ing – and ex­haust­ing – time.’

There may have been some long nights, but the fin­ished space is a great suc­cess, with Cathrine’s con­cise edit of time­less de­signs per­fectly com­ple­ment­ing her colour choices. ‘I’m af­fected by the Scan­di­na­vian style, with nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als such as wood and leather,’ she says. ‘It feels calm and it feels like home.’

Liv­ing room The ‘Tiki’ sofa is by Nor­we­gian de­signer An­dreas Engesvik for Fo­gia, avail­able at Twen­tytwen­ty­one. Above it hangs a ‘265’ wall light by Paolo Riz­zatto for Flos and a mir­ror from House Doc­tor. The cof­fee ta­ble is the ‘Hoof’ by Sa­muel Wilkin­son for &Tra­di­tion and the rug is by Linie De­sign Stock­ist de­tails on p167 ➤

Above, left The charm­ing cob­bled streets of Ber­gen, Nor­way Por­trait Home­own­ers Cathrine Bækken and Ole An­ders Liv­ing room A vin­tage chair by Børge Mo­gensen and a ‘DLM’ side ta­ble by Hay cre­ate a cosy read­ing spot in front of the shelv­ing unit by String Stock­ist de­tails on p167 ➤

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