Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tour of our (rented) house

Living room #1 and #2
And now for a tour of our home. 

I want you to make note of a few things before we get started here. 

  1. We are renting this home for one year. We have not bought it. We could not afford to buy it. We can barely afford to rent it!
  2. This is not a typical "rental", nor, in my limited experience, is it a typical Norwegian home. 
  3. Whatever home we buy will in no way be able to match this home in space, view, bedrooms, storage, etc.

aka "playroom" or "TV room"
As we were making our preparations to move to Norway, finding suitable housing was a huge challenge. Erik’s employer doesn’t typically hire ex-pats, so they were not accustomed to finding housing for their new employees. We were on our own.

We didn’t feel like our housing needs were that unreasonable: minimum 2 bedrooms, storage for outdoor gear, and dog-friendly. As it turns out, Lillehammer has a very tight rental market, in part due to the college in town and students filling every available rental. Or what is left is college-student grade rentals. In other words: bleech.
View from playroom into living room

In May we had verbally committed to renting a 2 bedroom home across the river/lake in Vingnes that we had found on the internet. It was very clean, modern, efficient, dog friendly. . . with NO storage. Not even a covered parking spot to store bikes. As the contents of our home were loaded into a 40ft. shipping container, we became more and more nervous about where our belongings would actually go once they arrived in Norway.

Fireplace room, where pioneer action happens
The day after our life’s possessions disappeared in the shipping container we saw THIS house on the internet. We knew we had to rent it. Erik immediately called the owner, and within 10 minutes it was “ours”. 

We feel soooo fortunate for so many reasons.
  1.        FIVE bedrooms. We use two. But have room for guests!
  2.          Owners are lending us their spare car! We didn’t have to buy a car when we arrived!
  3.          Our dog has space to run and sniff and explore and lounge and survey.
  4.          So much storage—closets galore, two barns and a garage, a basement.
  5.         Tremendous views of the valley and Lillehammer.
  6.          Darling home, cozy, warm, inviting. Feels homey. Our stuff blends in perfectly.
  7.      Can walk/run/bike to Greta’s barnehage on maintained dirt roads in under 10 minutes. And we randomly got placed at this barnehage before we knew where we were living—and it’s the closest one. Amazing luck.
  8.         Property backs up against the lighted ski trails, which connect to the Olympic Birkebeiner ski trails.
  9.     The owners had apparently had inquiries from dozens and dozens of people wanting to rent it, and he turned them away (college students, athletes). But we were a family, with a kid going to his kids’ school, and he knew people who worked with Erik, and. . .  here we are!

Dining room (with landlord's hutch  

Hallway of doors and mirrors
(and closets)

View of kitchen from dining room

Kitchen, with enormous fridge in the corner

Greta's cozy room

Lovely bathroom (with
heated floors)

Our bedroom, with door to back deck

Heavenly walk-in closet
and view into hallway

Stairs to upstairs, door to right into
front hall, door to left into kitchen
Front hall (also with heated floors) and too many
hooks for people like us who have too many coats

Front hall, view into laundry room


  1. I have to say I love that house!! I have always been fond of the wood floors with white woodwork look, anyway, but it is very well done in your house. That is the look and style that I look for in the blogs I follow, too, and I find that Scandinavian style is so clear and bright. Thanks for sharing!
    One more thing, did you buy your terrific blue and white striped rugs in the states? Love them!!

  2. Hi Emily! Thank you for stopping by my blog. Velkommen til Norge (belated)! I'm making my way through your entire blog and have fallen completely in love with your daughter, your dog, and your house. :-) You sound like you're transitioning very well into your new life here, and that's not easy! I hope the winter isn't a harsh one for you. I'll be a frequent visitor here and look forward to seeing what you're up to. Take care.