Today’s home tour comes to you courtesy of Ask og Eng – a Norwegian design studio which makes beautiful kitchens and other fitted furniture using sustainably sourced materials. It was founded by environmental geographer Kine Ask Stenersen and architect Kristoffer Eng in 2016 after they struggled to find an eco-friendly kitchen solution when renovating their first apartment together. So, they set about creating their own, repeating the process again when they moved to a bigger property a few years later.
Working from a dedicated space in Oslo, the couple now offer a range of handmade fronts to fit standard IKEA ‘METOD’ cabinets, as well as bespoke pieces. Their latest project involved designing and producing furniture for the kitchen, dressing room, home office, laundry room and bathroom of a newly built house in Ålesund on Norway’s west coast, and the results are stunning.
Like many of Ask og Eng’s designs, the kitchen is made from bamboo – one of Kine and Kristoffer’s favourite materials. It’s beautiful and durable, and it’s also a very sustainable choice – it grows quickly without the need for any pesticides or fertilisers, and it absorbs more CO2 during growth than is used during production of the finished units. I love the contrast between the clean lines and the rich grain, and the way the dark stain offsets the paler wood-clad walls and grey mineral paint. The space is finished off wonderfully with black fittings, a freestanding black-metal shelving unit, a black table and natural oak chairs, while a peachy-pink pendant light adds a perfectly judged pop of colour.
Bamboo is also used in the home office, where a desk has been fitted in front of the window, and in the dressing area, which encompasses wall-hung drawer units and shelves that double as hanging rails. Both spaces feature the same contrast between light and dark as the kitchen, creating a cohesive thread that runs through much of the house. In the dressing area, a few brass accents and an upholstered bench give a sophisticated, gently luxurious twist.
In the bathroom and laundry room, bamboo is swapped for wheat – a material with a more delicate, Scandinavian aesthetic. The paler finish highlights the unusual horizontal grain and sits beautifully with the polished concrete floor, textured grey walls and white fittings, while the integrated circular finger pulls add subtle detail. The bathroom is particularly stylish, with a floating vanity unit, large mirror and understated VIPP wall lights combining to create a simple yet striking look.
The overall effect is a house that’s minimalist and functional yet full of warmth, elegance and texture. And, with sustainability playing such an important role throughout, it’s definitely one to be inspired by.
Styling by Maria Hove Vestre; photography by Anne Bråtveit for Ask og Eng
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