amy azzaritointerior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: gunilla and eivind platou

by Amy Azzarito

Artist Gunilla Holm Platou and her husband, movie poster designer Eivind Stoud Platou, live with their two children, Pelle and Thelma, and two cats, Shampi and Geisha, in Sande, Norway — just 40 minutes south of Oslo. Their home was originally the town’s train station, telegraph and post office (yes! All in one building!). The station master lived with his family above the “shop,” but the building had been vacant since the 1980s when Gunilla and Eivind set to work on a massive renovation project. They’ve replaced the roof, all the water and sewage pipes, insulated the house, built two new bathrooms and a new kitchen and removed one of the chimney’s — whew! Literally every inch of the home has been touched in some way by the couple. As Gunilla says, you can never be bored if you live in an old house! In this bright, cheerful home, things are certainly anything but boring! Thanks to Gunilla, Eivind, Pelle and Thelma! And many thanks to Erik Jæger, for the kitchen photos and Mette Møller, for the family photo!Amy A.

We have an effortless approach to decorating, and we like to use what we have or things we can find at flea markets or in our parents’ attics (eco friendly and cheap!). Our place is constantly changing. Our wish is that the house stays vibrant and that it tells a story. We want a playful atmosphere and that visitors and the ones who live here feel relaxed and joyful. We hope the house reflects us. We love colorful objects with a history and, of course, great design.

Image above: The old bed was bought by my parents and restored by my father when I was a child. It is from 1814, which is the year Norway got its constitution. The toy stroller is from the ’60s and we made the pillows using old T-shirts. The paintings are by Panayotopoulos.

Image above: The living room area was originally the post office here in Galleberg, Sande. The ’30s chairs were gifts from my parents — they found them in a Salvation Army shop last year (almost unused!). I made the mint silk pillow from an antique obi (kimono-belt) that was given to me on a trip to Japan. The shark photo [is] by our friend Pål Laukli, a well-known photographer here in Norway — he loves diving, and shot this photo when he was under the shark. It is printed on aluminum. We adore the shark! The Montana shelves are a great Danish design. The big black lamp over the dining table is by Ikea. The knitted popsicle is by artist Thomas Chung. The Femme Fatale is by our artist-friend Ronny Bank. The small chalkboard was a gift from my husband. The table chairs were from my parents attic and are paired with Eivind’s parents’ old dining table.

Image above: Our design and art books and magazines fill the book shelves. My father and husband made the shelves and we are really happy with the result. My cow paintings are hung behind the sofa with a couple of my husband’s movie posters above the CDs. He works a lot for the Norwegian movie industry.

CLICK HERE for more of Gunilla and Eivind’s Norwegian peek!

Image above: We have toys everywhere! My hubby collects Lego, Playmo — you name it. Our place is extremely popular among kids. These jars are not made anymore — they were originally intended to be jam jars. They are called Norgesglasset (the Norwegian glass). Very few people make jam these days, but my mother-in-law and mother still do it — and my husband!

Image above: The kitchen cupboards are from Sigdal Kitchen in Norway. The bowls are from Holmegaard and Emalox. The stove by Ikea. I love my new kitchen — it is a happy place. The old one had a bucket under the sink, and it had to be emptied every day, but we had a good time there, too.

Image above: The cow painting is by me and is from a series of cow portraits painted on wooden boxes. I am continuously working on these. (This space used to be the post-office waiting room and the ticket counter.) The mint color on the door is original, just restored. I just fell in love with that mint color and used variations of it in several rooms. The black lamp over cupboards from Italian Artimide. The fridge from Bosch.

Image above: Thelma — my daughter — in the bedroom! The yellow plastic chair is from a flea market, blankets made by my late grandmother, painting by me, pillows with Che and dolphin made from my hubby’s old T-shirts, ’80s phone from Siemens. In the background you can see a little bit of the Thelma and Louise movie poster in Thelma’s room. Pelle has the poster for Pelle the Conqueror in his room. Everything else is from Ikea.

Image above: My husband’s movie posters and my cow paintings. The old door to the storage room is kept as it was when we bought the house. The Norwegian railway was going to tear down the building, but we saved it in the last minute! It is the oldest building in our area, built around 1870.

Image above: Here we are on the old platform. Our studio in the background. You can also see some of the old oak tree in the garden, planted at the same time they built the train station. The train staition ran until the mid ’70s.

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  • I love the decorations in the living area, as well as the wood floors. Wood floors are the classiest. Absolutely love your blog.

  • That mint color is gorgeous. I love the use of white…the space is stunning. I also love the way you present collections and knick-knacks, not overdone and kept orderly…very nice!

  • Love Scandinavia, love this house and even better I love that they named their daughter Thelma. That was my grandmother’s name and we always joked that this was the one old vintage name that would never come back in fashion. Maybe it will…. :)

  • Love the toys in the glass jars. I’ve been putting off giving my son’s room a good clean and sort out for ages, this is just the inspiration I need!

  • I love the fact that they preserved a building with such history. Their decor is so fun and I love the recurring cows. My dream is to “rescue” a building one day.

  • Norwegians are so good with colour and not afraid how they use it. I’m inspired everytime. In runs in the veins I reckon – love of colour that is. thanks for a fantastic article. cheers kari

  • Hi, I love the woord surfacein your kitchen. what wood varnish shall I buy that shows a scandinavian look?

  • WOW! I love this! The fact that they were able to save such an historical piece of their towns history is wonderful. There is one thing that I really love, it’s Gunilla’s cuff bracelet that she is wearing in the family photo! It’s just beautiful!

  • Hi and thanks for all the lovely comments!

    The wall color in my kitchen is:
    4010 Y30R

    And the bracelet is made by my friend, the wonderful Camilla Prytz: http://camillaprytz.no/index3.html

    For a Scandinavian look I would go for opaque and quite glossy paint. Muted colors like light blue-greys, green-greys are often used in old houses here. Wooden floors painted in light grey and white glossy frames on doors etc. would also make it quite Norwegian.


  • Cute young family! This is one of the best sneak peaks I have seen. I loved all of it. It is good to see other people that want to save old buildings/houses. It is totally worth it. The marriage of old and new is such a great thing. She is also an awesome artist.
    Lovies, Kim.

  • Definately a fun home.. which is what your home should be like when you have kids.. not stuffy. I love the space themed art above the bed and i am totally stealing the small toys in the jar storage idea.

  • That poster – the woman in the red top. What is it? Wehre is it from?
    Lovely house!

  • Beautiful – especially love the big, rainbow-ish circle pillows on the couch in the living room. Where are they from? Lovely home, lovely family!