Interiorssneak peeks

An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway

by Garrett Fleming

“Lightning struck us when we met at a bar in 2012. We immediately fell in love, moved in together, and a year later we owned [this] apartment… and I had a ring on my finger.” Needless to say, it’s been a whirlwind romance for Pia and Jeppe. While they were certain of their love for one another from the beginning, they weren’t exactly sure what they were looking for in a new home. Original wood floors, natural light and a gorgeous ceiling, however, immediately hooked the two when they stepped inside this 1890s apartment. It was the first one they toured in Oslo, Norway and one of those moments when you can’t quite describe what you’re after until you see it and, “Eureka!” — it’s crystal clear what you want.

While the apartment hunt was a quick and painless process, decorating has proven to be a bit trickier. With a goal of creating a “dark and dusty place of calmness and serenity,” the couple set out to only fill their home with pieces that they absolutely loved. Determined to not fall into the trap of just buying for utility, they stuck to two simple rules: they both had to instinctually love an item, and if they couldn’t picture still having it after their 20th anniversary, it was a no-go. They admit to growing a bit anxious to reach the finish line, but the process taught them something in the end. “In the beginning, we looked forward to everything being done, but after a while, we understood that we really loved the process of decorating. Our style really was made by putting two pretty different minds together. No compromises in our home, just ideas melting together and creating new ones! We love each other, and we love creating our style together,” the two say.

Pia is most thankful that she gets to share her lovely home with “a person who can make every boring day into an adventure.” This fall, that adventure will get even more exciting when they welcome home a little bundle of joy – their first child! It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful place for her to grow up. Take a peek inside her newly-completed nursery and the rest of what friends call Pia and Jeppe’s “curiously designed museum,” after the jump. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Pia Martine Gautier Bjerke

An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"The ceiling was a big part of our crush when we decided on buying the apartment. The previous owners tore down the wall between the living room and the dining room – in with the light! We love to combine the old with the new, and what better way to underline the contrast than the Matrix Otto Light from Lumina?" The sofa is from Christian's in Norway while the mirror is by Jonathan Adler.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"One of the few pieces of furniture that came from our earlier apartment, this Barcelona chair has its natural place in our living room. Unfortunately we don't sit on it very often. The lounge couch is far too comfortable." The vintage carpet is from Carpet Vista, and the living room's tables are from Slettvoll.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"We won the online auction [for this dresser] from a café in Paris this spring. It was raining, but we were shining! We had to drive for six hours to Sweden to get it when we got home to Norway, but who cares. The color and the details are so unique." The black bird was a gift from Jeppe to Pia for her 30th birthday, and the portrait from the 1800s is by an unknown artist.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"Jeppe is a sucker for the Guaxs candleholders."
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
The Barcelona chair was a lucky eBay find, and the study's sofa (below the artwork) is from Slettvoll.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"Probably our favorite piece of art [is this] photo taken by Jeppe's artist-friend Herman West." A 70-year-old vintage carpet from Copenhagan enhances the inky colors of the library. The concrete table was bought from a clothing store that was going out of business, and the shelving system is from Paustian. The floor lamp is by Louis Poulsen, and the ceiling lamp is vintage.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
Contrast is something Pia and Jeppe love playing around with. "[The vintage dining table] didn't pop out like it should before we exchanged our old Eames chairs with the new ones from GUBI. Maybe a bold choice picking blue velvet, but what the heck! You only live once!" The vintage carpet is from Iwan Maktabi, and the ceiling lamp was found at Moooi.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"Our Anna – a Swedish maiden who came from a rich family and never got married. That's all we have been able to find out about the lady in the painting we bought on the online auction Bukowskis Market." The candelabra is an antique.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
The couple bought this sideboard online while sipping drinks on the beach and honeymooning in the Maldives. Where better to store the generous gifts from family and friends than in this 84-year-old beauty? A new coat of paint was all it needed to perfectly fit into their home. It came together so well that the couple couldn't believe the private seller would ever part with it. The art is part of Herman West's series "Perspectives."
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"We both love green. It was Jeppe who insisted on buying this chair, that in my opinion was far too expensive and impractial with a little one joining us soon. Since we got it, however, he has been sitting there so I think it was a good investment." The couple picked up the branch on a walk in the park, and the reading light is from GUBI.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"Our kitchen is the room we are the least satisfied with. It's a difficult room because of the long and narrow shape and with a lot of doors that ruin the wall space and make it difficult to hang pictures. Sadly there is little to do with it, but my long-term dream is [to move] the kitchen to the dining room and to make the kitchen a walk-in closet."
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"...but one thing we love about it [is] eating breakfast together on our little French antique table in the corner with our backyard tree keeping [us company] outside the window." The poster was bought at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013, and the small bird, like the rest of the apartment's taxidermy, is from Rydeng in Oslo.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
Pia and Jeppe are huge fans of their Dux bed covered in linens from Slettvoll. Their dramatic and dark bedroom was no accident. The cool tones help make it "a place to calm down and... as much of a nest as possible." Pia's mom gave the couple the James Dean photo by their bedside. "It used to hang in the apartment she rented when Pia was a baby, so she likes to think he is some sort of a family guardian." The chandelier is French and from the 1930s.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
Pia gained a great appreciation for animals and the beauty of nature on her many hikes as a child. "To me, all our animals remind me of being a curious kid, and in some strange way they make good company," she says. The couple name all of their taxidermy because they feel "it is important to acknowledge that they were living creatures once."
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"Mr. Statue still hasn't gotten a name. He arrived from our favorite shop, Rydeng, last week and we plan to keep him." Getting the antlers – seen in the mirror – through customs was quite the ordeal, "so now (they) have to hang there for eternity to make it all worth it." The dresser is from the 1700s.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"Our home office is a room we both love using. Sometimes one of us sits here working late night, and the other one enjoys a Netflix marathon on the sofa in the same room. We like that all (of) our rooms have their own functions and activities. The room is for inspiration. The man in the frame is Jeppe's French forefather Leonard Gautier. They kind of look alike..." Pia says. A vintage Laura Ashley desk, antlers from Wingaard, and a drawing by Pia round out this corner of their home.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
Pia has made one of these picture walls in every home she has lived in. "It helps you remember what's important in life: the people you love and the good times you share." They always come together organically. She never plans where each frame will go before starting.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
Pia and Jeppe have until October to make the nursery perfect for their little one, but it's looking fantastic already. The vintage dresser was such a great find that the two drove three hours to pick it up. The mounted animals are from Sprell Kids, and the badger rug is from Selfridges & Co. in London.
An Ornate Nest for Three in Norway, Design*Sponge
"All the quirky stuff has its own history. Never a dull moment."

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    • Thank you for the compliment, Laura! The grey color in the living/dining room is called “kalkgrå” and is from Jotun. Color code is S 2903 -Y30R:) good luck painting!

    • Hi Anna! Of course! Happy to help:)
      Nursery and kitchen: 1902-Y42R
      Study: black – S8500N and “greige”: 1603-Y31R
      Bedroom: 5302-Y32R

      Dining/livingroom color code in answer above! Good luck:)

  • I love the mix of period and eclectic. May I ask where the green lounge chair is from?

  • Hipster gothic? Pretty cool. I’m not normally a fan of dark grey walls but it looks great in this place.

    • haha – maybe that is the name of our style:-D Thanks for commenting! I agree with you on the fact that grey is a demanding color and not always a success. Hopefully we did ut right:)

    • Hi Jenica:-) Herman is a friend of ours, and in the beginning of his career as an artist. Let me check with him If his pics are online somewhere, If not try contacting him on his Insta account hermanwest:)

  • I love everything in this apartment. I’m already trying to track down a few similar pieces online! Who knew I needed Parisian dressers and black birds with crowns on them?
    A link to the photography of Herman West would be swell :)

    • Hi Stephen! So nice of you to comment:) we’re a couple of nerds about our interior mixing, so we get so happy when others actually like it too! Copenhagen is great for vintage shopping, but in general one can find the most incredible stuff on Ebay and similar sites. Wish you the best of luck decorating your place, -Pia and Jeppe

  • Really interesting mix of colors and pieces. I love the “inky” library!!!

    Hope they check in with an update on how living with a little one changes their space! I can’t keep anything breakable on surfaces anymore.

    • Thanks so much! Yeah, we are a bit curious ourselves to find out what happens when the little one starts walking around..:-) follow us on Instagram to find out! @lesgautiers

  • Hi Jenica,

    I had a hard time tracking down his work from the States. If anyone can find him, will you post it for us?

    Thanks in advance, friends!

  • This house is gorgeous! The couple seems unbearably self-obsessed and pretentious. My favorite part of the house is the blue dresser from the cafe in Paris – what a lovely color!

    • Hi Jill! Sofa is from Christians in Oslo, I think the brand is italian – Minotti.

  • i love that this couple had such a specific vision/feeling they wanted for their home when they started…such a great idea! and, they achieved their vision so nicely. gorgeous work!

    • Your welcome! Thanks for your complement! Remember to follow us on instgram for more photos! (@lesgautiers)

  • What is the specific color of that couch from slettvoll underneath the portrait?

    • Haha, I like that name! Mr. Statue is has just become Mr. Winston. Thanks for a great name!

    • Thanks for a nice complement Kelly! Hugely appreciated! Hope we have giving you some inspiration! Remember to follow us on Instgram for more photos! (@lesgautiers)

  • such a lovely, eclectic home – truely so inspiring…thank you so much for sharing! Would you share with me where your dining chairs came from? merci!

  • Just love the photograph but can’t find Herman west online anywhere ? does anyone have a contact for him? Thanks!

  • Hi there, thanks for sharing ;) I just wondered if you treated your floors with anything? They don’t have the Orange pine look and work beautifully with the colour of the walls – a look I’m trying very hard to achieve and failing dismally! Any hints gratefully received… Karen

  • Does anyone have an update for purchasing prints of Herman West’s work in the United States? I’d love to own that print of the swimmers!

  • I would love the print too, but like others, can’t find the artist or his work anywhere online. What a shame :(