Housekeeping note: We want to thoroughly celebrate Mette-Marit’s birthday here at the Bag, so Bits and Bobs will show up on Tuesday!
We royal watchers see so many photos of royals in their homes that some of the rooms become as familiar to us as the royals themselves. This one is highlighted for our girl’s Mette-Marit’s birthday, and also for our LiL, who loves both MM and this room.
Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit live at the Skaugum Estate, in the Asker municipality southwest of Oslo. Skaugum originally belonged to the convent of Nonneseter and Mariakirken. In 1929, Crown Prince Olav married Princess Märtha, and the couple was presented with Skaugum as an official residence. The following year the main building burned down. Arnstein Arneberg was commissioned to design the new house, and it was completed in 1932. The designer did not rebuild the house in any type of homage, instead he intended to reflect the transition from the Neo-Classicism to Functionalism. The result is a beautiful, light filled residence.
King Olav V lived at Skaugum until 1968. Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja moved in that same year and remained there until summer 2001, when they moved into their newly renovated apartments at the Royal Palace. The estate went through a year of renovations, and Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were able to move in during December 2003.
The room has been photographed a lot during the last thirty years or so, and deservedly so. Although estate is large (it sits on 120 acres of agricultural lands, including 120 acres of woodlands and several additional structures), the main house has a welcoming atmosphere and the living room is particularly attractive. The room is anchored by a large fireplace, and three of the four walls contain bookshelves. There are large windows on the often unseen exterior wall that allow a lot of natural light to enter the room.
The decor of the room has evolved with each set of occupants. Harald and Sonja selected glass topped coffee and end tables, a traditional oriental style rug, and couches trimmed with thick fringe in the style of the times. The early photos of Haakon and Mette Marit’s years at Skaugum show couches covered with plush brown fabric, and a tufted light brown ottoman. Practical choices for a family with three younger children.
More recently, the room has been lightened up further by the introduction of light, almost white couches and a lovely botanical fabric covered ottoman. The ottoman is also covered with books, more proof of Mette Marit’s obsession with reading. The rug has also been lightened up considerably.
It’s obvious Mette Marit loves her living room, and it’s understandable why. It’s a beautiful spot. If you would like to learn more, Royal Central has an excellent post on the estate.
What do you think of this royal room? Is it a place you could see yourself?