The home of designer An-Magritt Moen in Norway blends simple rustic living with midcentury style, creating the perfect hideaway for her and her family during the cold winter months, says interiors stylist Selina Lake.
From the outside this cosy wooden farmhouse, nestled in the heart of the Norwegian countryside, looks as though it’s come straight from the pages of a book of fairytales. Head inside, however, and you’ll discover a vibrant home that’s decorated with an eclectic mix of vintage finds and modern design classics.
It’s this quirky blend of rustic and Mid-Century Modern – the design period that runs from 1933-65 – that caught the eye of author and stylist Selina Lake who was looking for homes to feature in her latest book Winter Living. The book is packed with practical ideas and inspiration to help you transform your home into a snug and welcoming haven in the cold winter months.
‘There’s something magical about winter,’ says Selina. ‘It’s the time of year that makes us want to nest – to make our homes feel cosy and snug – and welcome friends and family at festive parties and gatherings.’ In her book, she shares her tips for styling and decorating your home in order to create lovely, uplifting interiors during the winter months. ‘There’s a lot to inspire us in winter,’ she says.
Areas of An-Magritt’s home are featured throughout Selina’s beautiful book, in particular the comfortable, practical sitting and dining areas she has created. In every corner of the busy home she shares with her husband and four young children, An-Magritt successfully blends furniture from different eras with displays of her ever-changing possessions. You can keep up with the latest changes to An-Magritt’s home on her lovely blog, anmagritt.no.
A STYLIST’S EYE
An-Magritt runs her own interior design company in Norway called Pil & Bue (meaning Arrow & Bow) and her stylist’s eye is apparent throughout her relaxed, bohemian home. In the main sitting area, she has mixed botanical prints with a retroeasy chair and squishy corner sofa in earthy tones, adding interest and comfort with different textiles. In another corner, collections of artwork, photography and prints have been grouped together on the walls and cushions in vintage floral fabrics piled on the sofasto give the space a real retro feel. You get the impression it’s an ever-evolving space
In the kitchen, the family of six hang out around the huge rustic wood kitchen table. Rather than opt for a set of matching chairs, An-Magritt has pulled together a mix of mid-century Eames chairs, industrial style work chairs and second hand wooden chairs – and the overall effect works brilliantly. The retro-style brass half-globe pendant light is the perfect height for overhead soft lighting, while the family’s homemade copper-pipe candelabra adds a cool industrial touch to the set up.
A painted wooden wall provides the perfect backdrop to An-Magritt’s collection of framed prints and artworks that have been grouped together alongside a bold wall calendar. ‘Rearranging or adding new artworks is another way to make your space feel ready for winter,’ says Selina.
Other walls are left unpainted and raw, reminding you of the rustic nature of this pretty farmhouse. These walls provide a brilliant contrast to the more modern areas An-Magritt has created. A perfect example is this mid-century modern shelving unit that houses the family’s books set against a white wall and framed here by this amazing wooden wall.
OLD LIVES ALONGSIDE NEW
Colours are kept natural and neutral in the main bedroom, with texture added through a rustic wooden headboard and piles of pillows covered in linen and wool. A huge knitted blanket adds a cosy touch.
Thanks to her stylist’s magpie-eye, items found in thrift stores and around the farm soon find a new place within An-Magritt’s home. For instance, a rustic wooden ladder has been transformed into a clever place to hang blankets, ensuring they’re on hand when needed – an essential in winter.
‘Dig out the blankets and throws you tucked away during the summer and freshen them with a quick, cool spin in the washing machine,’ says Selina. ‘Once dry, drape them over the arm of your sofa, lay them on your bed and stack the rest in a pile on a shelf or in a basket, so they can be easily grabbed when needed.
An addition to the house is a charming rustic barn. Some basic repairs to the roof to prevent leaks, as well as the addition of its own power supply to provide light and warmth, have allowed the family to use it as an extra space all year round. Rustic touches like the old horse bridles left looped across a beam add to the character and history of the space.
The fact that old lives happily alongside new in this home is the secret to its style success. ‘Celebrate and be inspired by yesterday by taking old, worn and threadbare items and giving them a new lease of life in your home,’ says Selina. ‘The best thing about using old, second-hand and antique pieces is that you ca pick and choose items from different countries, cultures and eras and create your own unique style.’
BE INSPIRED BY WINTER
Winter is a good time to spend time on your home and style your space, according to Selina. Her book is packed with ideas and things to make, perfect projects to while away those dark afternoons and evenings. As well as suggestions of how to make pinecone firelighters, lampshade garlands and patchwork baubles, she suggests lots of ways to bring the scents of a winter garden inside. And she takes inspiration from An-Magritt, who brings vases of garden pickings and simple sprigs of pine into her home to add colour and scent.
‘A sprig of something green is sometimes all you need to bring your space to life,’ says Selina. ‘Next time you’re out on a country walk, look out for pinecones, fallen acorns and horse chestnuts, which look great displayed in glass jars or vases.’
‘I love the magical feeling you get when you wake up to a blanket of snow outside,’ she says. ‘The sun is lower in winter, which can create a glorious golden light in the evenings and shadows that are long and deep. There’s so much to inspire us in winter.’
Selina Lake’s Winter Living is published by Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99.