Interior designer and photographer Annette Nordstrom has transformed a typical red 19th century farmhouse into a perfect country refuge. The interior is constantly changing as she adds new exciting things to the grey and blue interior. She loves to blend objects gathered during her globetrotting expeditions with antique Norwegian furniture for a mix uniquely her own.
Annette Nordstrom and Christian Thorsby are two creative souls who spend much of their time traveling around the world to find inspiration for their design and creative work. After much travel and a hectic life in the city both feel a great need to relax in the rural idyll of their Norwegian farm. There, they can connect with nature and completely enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and the beautiful scenery.
They work as photographers and stylists and often use their weekend country home as a location for fashion shoots and interior stories. They draw inspiration from nature and include motifs from the landscape into many of their photos and designs. "When I come into the country the weight falls off my shoulders and I feel a special sense of peace, ” says Annette. "I am almost breathless with joy. It does not feel like work when you are doing a production out here. That's when I realize how privileged we are to be able to work as we do, " adds Christian.
Annette loves to blend oriental accessories with Norwegian furniture for a mix uniquely her own. “I really struggled to make this interior truly mine, and I was determined to make it as cute as possible without spending a lot of money, ” says Annette. “I decorated the farm with a mix of personal things and furniture I got from my family and things I brought with me from Morocco. In the winter I often work in Morocco and wanted to have some of the designs around me here in Norway. And when all is said and done I buy a lot of furniture from Ikea and transform it into my own style by painting or adding cushions and other accessories.”
Annette’s farm is about an hour away from Oslo near the town of Vestby. It is an area with a lot of working farms. “What I love about the farm is that it is all alone in the woods and no other farms close by. It gives me a lot of freedom to work outside the whole spring, summer and autumn, ” says the attractive blond photographer.
She also wanted to give the old farm house, which had been in her family, a new twist through the interior design. She chose a palette of blues and soothing greys. The allure of owning a traditional small farm house built in 1890 inspired her to turn it into a delightful escape from city life in Oslo.
Despite the fact that she has her personal, distinctive style and a thing for subtle colour, the interior of the house is constantly changing. Annette uses it to test new ideas and decorative concepts. Annette’s trademark is an eclectic mix of design motifs. “I don’t go crazy about the colours. Somehow when I see an object, I know if the colour will be compatible or not. ”
Some of the furniture and objects were inherited; others come from India or Morocco where Annette often shops for exciting objects to mix into her interiors. She loves adding an exotic touch and great art. “My style is a kind of fusion between the Scandinavia and North Africa, with a soft feminine feeling, ” she says.
The long dining table from Ikea was perfect because Annette and Christian often entertain friends. “We have casual dinners inside when the weather is bad. In the summertime I love to eat outside in the garden.”
Her cooking style is as eclectic as her decorating. “I love local products and there is always plenty of salmon. In the summer we get fresh produce and eggs from the local farmers. The food is simple, homemade and uncomplicated. Having people over isn’t about slaving in the kitchen – but enjoying time spent with friends. ”
Annette divides her time between her city apartment and the farm. “I also have an apartment in the city but I need to be close to the nature to get creative, ” she explains. She sewed her own curtains using white linen. The living room is papered with elegant navy wallpaper over white wainscoting. Cushions in various patterns of blue fabric complement the look. They are from her collection available at Maison du Pastel. In the bedroom Annette shows that curtain rods can be used in exciting, inventive ways. She uses them to create a canopy. The fabric is from her Maison du Pastel collection. “Curtains can be used in many ways – to divide a room or hide ugly things, ” she advises.
She now works with her partner and companion Christian Thorsbye, who has a lifestyle blog called www.lifebychristian.com. Annette and Christian formed their own company so they can work with everything from complete redesign of an interior to creating unique beauty and fashion accessories.
After a long working day outdoors they are happy to continue in front of the fireplace where they draw and prepare new layouts and designs for their blogs and collections. "The job is in many ways our lifestyle and a regular part of our lives. But that's the way we like to have it, " says Christian