Having a country home has for a very long time been a dream we’ve had and this January we finally made the jump, put in an offer for a gorgeous house in Norway. Our bid was accepted and just like that we had became house owners, of a nearly 300 sqm large wooden house built in 1890.
‘Villa Wessel’ is situated in Trysil, Norways largest ski resort, only 2 hours drive from Oslo airport. The house was originally build for a man called Halvorsen and his family. Halvorsen was the shopkeeper in the village and compared to the farmers and the forestry workers he was a prominent figure.
The house got electricity installed probably before 1917 and it had a telephone line long before anyone else. The house has a rich history, being visited by both the King of Norway, the Prime Minister as well as the famous Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Fritjof Nansen.
The house has housed a shop, post office, phone central and a dentist office. It has also changed owners since it was built for the Halvorsen family. In the 80s it ended up in the ownership of a Swedish family who did their best to transform it to a Swedish Summer house, a ‘red stuga’, so it was painted red sometime in the late 80s or beginning of the 90s.
The house is originally a traditional dark brown timber house with classic white painted ornamented entrances with a large landscaped garden with flowers and trees as well as a very useful vegetable garden. The property had an old wooden picket fence as well as two smaller houses to make and store food and wood. One of the small houses still stands (just about) as you can see in one of the photos.
There’s no water (no bathroom) and as the fittings are from the beginning of the last century we’ve chosen to uninstall the electricity too. It’s a complete house restoration project, following old techniques and traditional carpenter methods. We will use local builders and their expertise – but at the same time we will do as much as we can ourselves. Wish us luck (we will need it!) with our very own ‘Grand Design in Norway’ project!
I’ll be updating you regularly on our ‘Villa Wessel’ project here on the blog. Meanwhile, for more updates, please follow our journey on Instagram at instagram.com/villawessel
or on our house blog, villawessel.com