In one year, the family transformed a dark 1960s cabin into a light and airy navy cabin

In one year, the family transformed a dark 1960s cabin into a light and airy navy cabin

Hut on the whale

In one year, the family transformed a dark 1960s cabin into a light and airy navy cabin

Now they spend all their free time here and they constantly have new projects in the works.

– I feel like I’m home, Anne-Catherine says with a smile.

Growing up, her family had a country home on Hvaler, and she spent many summers here among coral reefs, islets, and salt water.

As an adult, she traveled abroad often during the holidays with her husband, Hans-Olav, and her children, Mathilde and Matthias.

They could have a cabin, and even in Hvaler, it was a far fetched idea for her.

– Hans-Olav was the first to start talking about this topic a few years ago, and I thought it was interesting and wonderful to have a fixed place to travel to, you say.

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View in the fog

The criteria were that it should not be too far from Fredrikstad where they lived, and they wanted a summer cottage near the sea.

Previous cabin: The cabin was painted a dark color when they took over.  Now they have painted it green and expanded the balcony.
Previous cabin: The cabin was painted a dark color when they took over. Now they have painted it green and expanded the balcony.
picture: private

The family went to several shows, before making the trip to Skjelsbutoppen on a cold and foggy March day. There were few exhibits.

– There was so much mist that we couldn’t see the view here, and inside there were yellowing pine nuts all around. But she says the cabin is well maintained and we saw it could be nice here just by being painted in the first place.

Hvaler: The cabin is located in Spjærøy on Hvaler.  The owners are happy with the large balcony.  They love the stairs that go to the sides.  This means that there will be many additional seats.
Hvaler: The cabin is located in Spjærøy on Hvaler. The owners are happy with the large balcony. They love the stairs that go to the sides. This means that there will be many additional seats.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen

The cabin soon became theirs and the family began painting almost immediately. They also demolished the kitchen wall to get a view from the galley and a more open cabin.

– The wall where we have the fireplace is gone today. It’s great to enjoy a beautiful sea view while cooking, says Anne-Catherine.

Before: This was the living room with the wall facing the kitchen.  The couple demolished this wall.  Photo: private
Before: This was the living room with the wall facing the kitchen. The couple demolished this wall. Photo: private
picture: private
BEFORE: On this side, today the family installed the large folding door.  Photo: private
BEFORE: On this side, today the family installed the large folding door. Photo: private
picture: private
After: In front of the cabin, at the exit to the porch, they removed the small windows that were here, and inserted a folding glass door.  In this way, they get a large window that overlooks the view.
After: In front of the cabin, at the exit to the porch, they removed the small windows that were here, and inserted a folding glass door. In this way, they get a large window that overlooks the view.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen

The cupboards in the living room and dining table were left over from the previous owners. Ann-Kathrin liked the blue of the cabinets and also painted the ceiling a light blue to match.

A look ahead: It's not wrong to have the option of a campfire on chilly evenings.  Sitting around a crackling fire also has its own atmosphere.
A look ahead: It’s not wrong to have the option of a campfire on chilly evenings. Sitting around a crackling fire also has its own atmosphere.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen

She painted and renovated dining tables and chairs. They chose the colors on the basis that the cabin is by the sea and they wanted it to be bright.

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– I love reusing and I love new, and I think we’ve achieved a great mix here, she says.

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Dishwasher with cistern

The cabin had no electricity or water when he took over in the spring of 2021, and for the first few months they only used the small solar system that was in there.

It was barely enough to charge a mobile phone, so they had to add electricity. Rainwater cisterns seem to work very well, and they take drinking water with them.

Open solution: Before, the wall where the fireplace is today was raised.  Then it was a narrow and small kitchen.  Now they have a nice view from the kitchen table too.
Open solution: Before, the wall where the fireplace is today was raised. Then it was a narrow and small kitchen. Now they have a nice view from the kitchen table too.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen

– We have installed a dishwasher connected to the cistern. Many may think that it uses a lot of water.

—but actually uses less water than you’d use to wash large dishes by hand, says Anne Katherine.

In the cabin, they have a short commute home and work, and can easily get out there for one night. And although it is a summer cottage, they use it all year round.

Sofa Corner: The sofa corner is bright and fun.  The only thing the couple did here was paint.  When he took over, everything was untreated pine.
Sofa Corner: The sofa corner is bright and fun. The only thing the couple did here was paint. When he took over, everything was untreated pine.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen
Areas: Even though the living room is open plan, they managed to divide it into different areas.  Here there is a sofa corner with a TV screen, and at the other end is the dining room table.
Areas: Even though the living room is open plan, they managed to divide it into different areas. Here there is a sofa corner with a TV screen, and at the other end is the dining room table.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen

The cabin isn’t that big, and with wood burning it gets hot quickly, even in winter. The whales are quieter in the winter when the tourists leave, so they enjoy the peace of the hut.

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– Many people close the cabin before winter, but we don’t. Then the cabin season will be very short.

See more photos below:

Armchairs: Two good chairs fit well here next to the kitchen counter.  Here you can enjoy a quiet moment and a beautiful view of the sea.
Armchairs: Two good chairs fit well here next to the kitchen counter. Here you can enjoy a quiet moment and a beautiful view of the sea.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen
Bedroom: Today there are two bedrooms in the cabin.  The family is in the process of applying to build the cottage a bit to get a few extra bedrooms.
Bedroom: Today there are two bedrooms in the cottage. The family is in the process of applying to build the cottage a bit to get a few extra bedrooms.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen
Laundry: Next to the patio there is a small room where the hot water tank is located.  There is a small aquarium and opportunities for personal care.
Laundry: Next to the patio there is a small room where the hot water tank is located. There is a small aquarium and opportunities for personal care.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen
Utido: The outhouse is in a separate building, with a tool shed.  Next to the outdoor toilet is an outdoor shower.
Utido: The outhouse is in a separate building, with a tool shed. Next to the outdoor toilet is an outdoor shower.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen
Bedroom: Only two bedrooms have space for a double bed.  Blue is the master bedroom.
Bedroom: Only two bedrooms have space for a double bed. Blue is the master bedroom.
picture: Lise Marie Stang Jacobsen
home before

picture: private

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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