In today's delightful Show & Tell Home Tour, media student, photographer, and creative mama Hanne Rismyhr introduces us to baby Åsmund Olai and shows us a bit of "everyday life with new baby" in their Norway home.
Come on inside...
I came across Hanne's home via Flickr while she was pregnant with Åsmund. I loved her colorful, creative style and was curious how she would make a place for baby. I just knew it would be wonderful. Hanne was so open (and brave!) and agreed to photograph the evolution of her home in the months after Åsmund's arrival. As a small house dweller myself with no room for the "onslaught of mass kid stuff," I could really appreciate Hanne's minimalist inclination toward a slower, more naturally progressing housewarming for baby. The outcome is just what you might think: a home scattered with a few much-used baby necessities, some much-loved handmade gifts, and a lot of creativity and love. What a great place to kick off a brand new life. Come and see...
1. Tell us a little about your family and your home and its location.
I live in Bergen, a city on the west coast of Norway, with my husband Jon Andreas (a safety engineer and dreamer) and our quite fresh, two-month old son Åsmund Olai. We live in a apartment from the late 50s with two bedrooms, a tiny, ugly bathroom, and a living room and kitchen with a wonderful view over Bergen (I LOVE that view, more than the apartment itself, but it also means we have to climb plenty of stairs for coming to our house from the street..).
The view from the sofa
Sun in the living room
Åsmund's favorite corner with his friends
2. How do you approach decorating in your home? What's the most important thing?
I love things with a history, things people I know have made, and things that give room for light and dreaming. The former place I lived was quite dark, so now it’s all about giving room for the light. Besides that, I don’t have any kind of strategy when decorating, and I still feel there is a lot to do in this home of ours to make it the way I’d like. But at the same time, this isn’t where we’re planning to stay for several years, so it’s limited how much work we want to put in it. In the mean while, I love being surrounded by art and books and music and plants. I want my home to be a place where people visiting us can feel at home too.
Artwork on one living room wall
The kitchen view of Bergen
3. Great design can be expensive. How do you get the most bang for your buck?
My husband finished his master in statistics and began working two years ago, and I’m still a student—so there’s not an awful lot of money left for buying any expensive, great design! But shopping at flea markets and thrift stores gives plenty back. I love thinking about all the places the different things have been before, in other people’s homes. I also find that great design isn’t always just about the things but how you arrange them together.
Book and music collection
4. You just had your first baby in January. Congratulations! You didn't prepare a nursery in advance. How has your home evolved to make room for baby?
We had the thought that a baby, strictly speaking, only needs a place to sleep and some clothes. And then we could buy more things when the baby came and we saw what was needed. When he came, all our lovely friends were even more generous than we could dream! So now he has lots of clothes and knitted blankets and stuffed animals—everything with a “this gift was made by …”-history attached to it.
Åsmund doesn’t have his own room; he sleeps in a hammock above our bed. Something he loves! It’s very convenient when I’m breastfeeding during the night, and we love hearing his snoring and funny sounds from above!
Åsmund's sleeping nest
Pretty light in the bedroom
Our bathroom is so tiny that we don’t have room for changing diapers. In the beginning, we did it on the bathroom floor, but that made our backs exhausted—so we bought a folding changing table at IKEA and put it in the hall, just outside the bathroom door. Åsmund has some cows and sheep hanging above him, and they keep him happy while we do the hard work. :)
The baby changing station
5. How has baby STUFF influenced the look and feel of your home?
Well, there are small signs of him everywhere! His tiny clothes and diapers are always drying somewhere in the apartment, softies and small wool blankets laying in the sofa, the wooden baby gym on the floor etc., etc. And I always smile when I find one of his tiny socks dropped somewhere. They look so extra tiny and funny on their own. But I like it, all the baby mess; it makes it look even more like a home.
Ever present signs of baby
Åsmund exhausted in his wooden baby gym
Signs of baby in the kitchen
Baby clothes and blankets take over workspace
6. Tell us about one DIY project you have taken on recently and love.
Åsmund’s arrival came almost two weeks past his due date, and during that extra waiting time, I started sewing. I made him a blanket, and he came right after I managed to finish it. After that, I have started on some new dress projects for some of Åsmund’s tiny girlfriends. And although I’m a bit impatient and not very clever, I love it. It always feels so good to create something with your hands.
7. Do you have a favorite piece of furniture or decorative item in your home? Tell us about this item.
My favourite furniture is a dresser that my grandfather Dagfinn made for me. He was a carpenter and made one for me and each of my sisters when we moved away from home. The wood in the drawers make the clothes smell like him (he smelled like sawdust and grandpa magic).
My favourite decorative items are my books, two paintings by a friend, and the old maps from early 1900 that cover one wall.
Dresser made by Hanne's grandfather
Old and new things and vintage maps as wallpaper
Two paintings by friend Siri J. Egeland
8. What household chore do you tend to back burner most so you can tend to your creative life?
Cleaning. Yes. And often tidying too... But I find it's more important to be able to see the surfaces and the air in a tiny home such as ours. Those surfaces don't necessarily have to be clean too. :)
9. What is your most important everyday ritual at home?
These days it’s breakfast in bed with Åsmund by my side and the evenings with my husband. And a daily walk with Åsmund is essential, either in his moby wrap or in the pram.
10. In your home, what is one indulgence you give into?
One? Fresh flowers! And light (no curtains, if not necessary), chocolate, books, music, and good food.
11. What are your favorite stores to shop for home?
We don’t prioritize many expensive things now, so it’s mostly IKEA and thrift stores (and objects inherited from family). But I long to invest in some Norwegian design one day!
12. What Home & Garden blogs or websites inspire you the most?
I usually don’t read any specific home & garden blogs, but I seek inspiration through the beauty in other people's everyday lives. Like on Flickr (I love it and the friends I’ve made there!) and through blogs like 3191, happy silly, and fine little day.
Thank you so much, Hanne, for documenting these first months at home with Åsmund in such a beautiful way. He is so dear.
Hanne Rismyhr is a 27-year old mama, wife, and media student on maternity leave from writing her master thesis. Visit Hanne's Flickr to see more of her everyday life. Curious how to pronounce adorable Åsmund Olai's name? Listen here for the pronunciation and a lovely lullabye from his mama.
Don't miss our previous Show & Tell Home Tours:
- hula seventy
- fine little day
- Bling on My Sewing Machine
- Hannah Huffman
- design is mine
- Uniform Studio
- Tess B.
- Mary Tsao (nursery)