I recently started watching a Lilyhammer, a TV show about an American mobster who enters the witness protection program in Lillehammer, Norway. While part of the humour lies in the fact that he chose to hide in some snowy mountains instead of a beach somewhere, it's also easy to see the appeal of the area: everyone races around on skis, dons chunky sweaters and lives in cosy wooden farmhouses with sprawling views of the hills and lakes. Personally, I wouldn't mind hiding out in this charming retreat just west of Lillehammer in the town of Heggenes. Let's take a look inside.
Nine traditional buildings are tucked into the hills on nearly three acres of land. Part of the property is currently being used as, charmingly, a Christmas tree farm, so I'm guessing some of the buildings are used for equipment storage. When you tire of paddling the canoe around that tiny pond, portage over to the dock on a much larger fjord.
This angle gives a better (and gorgeous) idea of the setting. I love the use of the exposed rock as a terrace, which makes it look like the house has been here forever. (And it may well have — the first building on the property dates from 1770.)
The current owners are decidedly unafraid of colour, and even brought in Norwegian artist Sigmund Årseth to paint the rooms. (I'd love to get just a bit closer and read what it says on the back of the door.) The combination of the unabashedly cheerful pink, blue and red with a fussy gold console and chandelier is intriguing; you might say mismatched, I'd say... spirited.
This panelled and painted dining room really drew me to the house; tidy cupboards and red chairs make the room seem tended, but unpretentious. For even more relaxed dining, there's a breakfast nook off the brightly painted kitchen (which may or may not have a wood-burning fireplace; I can't tell from the photos).
There's only one photo of the four bedrooms (and none of the one full bath or one half bath), but it's enough to convince me. As a kid, I would have loved tucking in to one of these bunks; as an adult, I could lounge on the couch and look out the window for hours. And with 2,600 square feet, there's probably a quiet corner for everyone.
What do you think? Would this charming country home inspire you to pay the $1.5 million asking price and start a new Scandinavian life?
1–5. Regent Eiendomsmegling, via Christie's.