Norway apartment design: Styina Nybru

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profile stian2Born and raised in Vikedal, a friendly place off the coast of Norway, Stian moved to Oslo in 2005 and lives there with his wife Gina and daughter Leonara.

The couple bought their 60 square meters flat in 2007 and have been renovating it since.

A freelance photographer, Stian’s keen eye for detail and colour has perhaps aided him in celebrating a style of interior design that caused a worldwide riot in the early 1950s and is a good example of how keeping it basic is still ‘very in’. Norway Home Design

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Stian bought most his 7 year old furniture collection on EBay and in secondhand shops in Norway, but some are self-designed and handmade—like the boomerang lounge table in the living room and the rectangular wall shelves in the bedrooms.

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What is atomic? It’s chemistry. Free movement. Uncombined particles moving at great speed to give you an explosive reaction. In the summer of 1945, the atomic bomb shook the world and wreaked the worst man-made havoc. Atomic energy symbolised, power, and strength. It graduated to being understood as a burst of expression, and in the 1950s businesses took advantage of this reputation to create a unique form of design that soon came to be known as the ‘Atomic style’. The predominant feature of this style is the bold use of colour and 50s design. After witnessing a comeback of the ‘retro style’ in the last decade, Stian’s Atomic Style home offers you a refreshing break – a cool blast from the past, with American 1950s furniture, and Scandinavian teak pieces.

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The walls, ceiling and floor of the living room and bedrooms are painted white or in pale shades of blue, pink or green. The furniture and artefacts do most of the talking— starting with the ebullient Norwegian Sofa, with its red and yellow cushions, a classic Scandinavian chair, elegant credenza and a regular round table dining set with yellow seats. The real limelight stealers are the sensible Swedish string shelf (made by Gina’s grandfather) and the funky Sputnik lamp. Another interesting piece is the secret bar in the living room corner, which has been cleverly camouflaged as a book cabinet.

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The renovated Ikea kitchen has white kitchen cabinets fitted with 50s handles and fancy kitchen faucets. Add a couple of repro diner chairs, a lovely vintage white dining table (bedecked with another one of Stian’s fancy radios), a most wonderful red high chair with steps, on a nice white dotted vinyl floor and there you have it— a kitchen that gives of an aura of roominess, calm and above all, individualistic style.

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What house is complete without home accessories? Stian possesses a wide variety of eclectic home accessories all of which seem to have been made especially for this atomic home. Starting with his crazy collection of salt and pepper shakers, the ‘big boy’ money bank, the set of German bowls from the 1950s to a vintage kitchen shelf set, Stian has gone all out to successfully bring 50s back in fashion. You’ll find a quirky Atomium souvenir on the string shelf and a set of practical, space conserving Atomic magazine racks next to a Teal cocktail table.

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Being a DJ and a member of a rockabilly band, it’s not surprising to find a vintage red record player in the living room. From his unique single piece homemaker wall plate, to his collection of 50s vases and colourful glasses, authentic Norwegian floor lamp to the pretty women curios (the latest piece by Italian Gino Manca), every corner reveals a personal touch, perseverance and innovation.

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Even the striking posters, of the Caribbean Motel Westwood in the living room and the huge ‘Boy O Boy’ garnishing the kitchen, are attractive reminders of 1950s pop culture.

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The master bedroom, which Stian proudly calls his “Tiki” bedroom, given his interesting collection of mid-century American tribal drink cups a.k.a ‘tiki cups’ that adorn the wall shelf above his master bed. Above the cups, you’ll find an equally intriguing and colourful radio collection. The corner study desk is brilliantly designed with an inbuilt open sector bookshelf giving it a very cosy and compact feel. The matching desk stool seat and the lovely leopard print bed cover are a perfect complement to the black sheets and patterned drapes in the room. Other interesting features include concentric circle lampshades on solid black bedside tables and a sober brown rug, which gives a feeling of spaciousness and also helps reinforce the striking bold colours of the room accessories. Stian has also thoughtfully made a wall inset open wardrobe for his baby girl Leonora.

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Most of the furniture and show pieces illustrate how primary colours in interiors offer great flexibility in decorating one’s home.

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Who would’ve thought Soda makers could look so good on the wall? Or that a simple Starburst clock could add so much personality to a room? It all goes to show that when it comes to creativity, don’t just limit yourself to colour mixing, and pattern matching, but go all out and venture into deeper waters. Experiment with a whole new era of design and who knows what wondrous results it might bring.