A Boys' House, Øystein & Hans Christian

WHO: Øystein F. Hovland, Interior designer and lecturer & Hans Christian E. Thomassen, Interiorarchitect at RISS design.

On living easy.
Where do I start? I could talk about the curtains I once saw in a French magazine, and ended up buying fabric for on a trip to Istanbul. I could write about battling nuances of colour, the effect of textured walls, or the sense of joy that comes from living with antiques. I would have loved to write about my passion for fabrics, or drapery design. Books, I love books. I would love to write about living with books. It would have been interesting to dive into why we live in a building that was built just in between neo classism, functionalism and Nordic neo baroque. The easiest, perhaps would have been to start off by stating that interiors are the scenography of life.

What I intend to do however, is to shed some dark pixeled points on the motifs of how we live, what it’s all about, our pursuit of easiness.
In our case, easiness begins when two professionals allow themselves to be amateurs, to do what we love with the only constraints being our own. There’s an ambivalence to being a professional.
It certainly supports the ego, and it feels good to own a title. However, first and foremost, a profession depends on the fact of it being your source of income. The notion of being an amateur however, supports the heart. I love that. An amateur, from French amateur - "lover of", is generally considered a person who pursues a particular activity simply because he or she likes, or loves to do so. This is contrary to the professional, who does something in order to maintain a source of income. In our boys` house, the idea of home is parallel to the concept of life- of being alive, it is a process. At home, we play with our objects, constantly curating our evolving states of being, letting them manifest our moods at very turn. This, we love.

We are indeed preoccupied with unique objects of all kinds. Most of the things we decide to keep are somehow trophies of a never-ending search for soul and lyricism. However, our main concern is to retain a sense of freedom. This sense of freedom is a vital part of the quest for that state of easiness. Living grand doesn`t necessarily mean living large, but sadly It never means cheap either. Good spaces should have scale, but they should evoke a sense of being manageable unless you keep ‘staff’. We love to be informal, but at the same time radiate our fascination for the carriages of Napoleon. So how do you combine a home, stuffed with antiques, artisan fabrics and unique objects, with easy living? And How to make these surroundings the comfortable home of a big and playful dog?

 Contrast is a strong tool, and for us, where the fun begins. A guy wearing a hoodie and sneakers may become even more attractive, when paired with a nice piece of period furniture. A gilded, Gustavian fauteuil covered in silk velvet becomes chic when you have breakfast in it every day. In order to generate some drama, or nerve, the grotesque and the sublime must mix. In our universe the unexpected is best friends with beauty, inviting you to experience something on its own terms, rather than you prejudices about the concept of it. When you approach something of value with easiness, the objects lose their armour, appearing both warm and welcoming.

 In the boys` house, the quest for easiness is the game we play every day. For the sake of our souls, we draw up and redefine the lines of where it’s all becoming quite simply too bourgeois; when is it too cosy, boring, or predictable? Somewhere within this game we find the generative momentum of amateurism I guess, that ever-lasting search for easiness, among furniture and objects that in most instances evoke everything but ease. And when we touch upon that state of easiness, we’re in heaven. Those moments when candles are burning in gilded wall appliques, when there’s chilled Cremant to be had, the lights dimmed in every room to our own standard of perfection, lovely music is playing and there’s still just enough books, magazines and sketch books flowing on the dining table. That’s when we climb onto the sofa, dressed in our pyjamas, while Burger the Labradoodle falls asleep in front of the fireplace.

WORDS: Øystein F. Hovland
PHOTOS: The Chromarty