MY ROOM FROM THE 70s

The 1970s were an interesting time for style and design. I was a teenager at that time, and remember with joy my new decorated room. A brown corduroy sofa and chair, a green table next to a couple of orange plastic furniture. From the ceiling a macramé with a green plant, and on the brown shelves my tape recorder.

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Photo and edition by Kristin Bae Mysen

This weekend I visited my mother and spent the night in my old room. The furniture are all gone, but the hessian wallpaper in yellow and brown is still there, and an orange spotlight and striking green curtains echoe the decade.

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Yesterday I had fun playing around with my iPhone and the app “Fotoautomat” and making these memory boards. And while being in a 1970 state of mind, I had to make a playlist on Spotify with my favorites from that time. Sit back and enjoy the songs here !

And more of the colourful patterns of the 70s here !

THE NORWEGIAN FURNITURE DESIGNER INGMAR RELLING

Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

I am the proud owner of this beautiful chair “Siesta” from 1965 made by the Norwegian designer Ingmar Relling (1920 – 2002). Relling was an impassioned designer, who created a series of functional furniture designs during his long career. Today he is considered as one of the greatest contributors to the Scandinavian Design, and fifty years later his chair stands out as an internationally recognized classic icon.

The factory Hjelle  in Norway has taken up the production of the Siesta chair with its different designs, which means that it once again can be purchased on the market.

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

For a long time now I have been searching for this book “The life and work of Ingmar Relling” from 1991, and I was ever so happy when I got hold of a nice copy. At the moment it is the king in my bookcase.

THE LADY OF CAMELLIAS AND LA TRAVIATA

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

This week I really enjoyed the opera La Traviata (Italian for the fallen women) by Verdi at The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo.

Before the performance I dug out my old, Norwegian copy of the novel “The Lady of the Camellias” and read it, because La Traviata is adapted from this French novel  (“La Dame aux Camélias” ) written by Alexandre Dumas the younger.

The book was published in 1848 and is about the beautiful Marguerite (in the opera she is called Violetta), a famed courtesan or a luxury prostitute. She is named the Lady of the Camellias because she wears white camellia flowers when she is available to her lover(s) and red ones when she is occupied.

The plot is filled with agony and heartache. The gentleman Armand falls in love with Marguerite and ultimately becomes her lover, convincing her to leave the city and the life as a “courtisane” and move with him out into the countryside. This idyllic life is broken when Armand’s father who is concerned that this scandalous relationship will destroy his daughter’s (Armand’s sister’s) chances of marriage, and secretly convinces Marguerite to leave Armand, who believes, up until Marguerite’s death, that she has left him for another man. Marguerite’s dies of tuberculosis abandoned by everyone.

This story is more or less based on Dumas’ real life. Marguerite’s name was actually Maria Duplessis, and she was his mistress for a year. She died 23 years old.

“The Lady of the Camellias” premiered at the Théâtre  du Vaudeville in Paris in 1852 was an instant success. Giuseppe Verdi immediately made the story into a opera. Later it became ballet and also the novel has inspired many film adaptions. The most famous ones are “Camille”  (1936) starring the Swedish actress Greta Garbo and the luxury prostitute of them all “Pretty Woman” (1990) starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. A famous scene in the latter is when Pretty woman is flown into San Francisco Opera House to see La Traviata. Watch the nice scene here.

FALL ‘EN IN LOVE

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

I am in love with this time of the year. Picking red, juicy apples from the trees and mushroom from the forests. Planting tulip bulbs and spending the whole afternoon stacking woods.   

For more inspiration, watch this! Or buy the great book by Lars Mytting  
“Hel ved” (Norwegian version) from here  Or the English version “Norwegian Wood, Chipping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way” from here.

TIME FOR A GOURMET PARTY WITH MY KARL-JOHAN KNIFE

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Finally it is time for mushroom picking and for bringing the cooking up to a higher level. For two days now I have enjoyed searching “the gold of the forest”. It is ever so fun, specially returning home with a basket filled with delicacies.

The other day a colleague of mine showed me his Swedish Mora mushroom’s knife, and I immediately fell in love and had to order one right away. And that was not only because the handle was very pleasant to hold, but just as much because I loved the design and that the brush was made of real horsehair. Besides the knife had a funny story. It is actually named after former king Karl-Johan of Sweden-Norway (in English Carl III Johan) who was French and reigned from 1818 -1844. Read more about him here.

Up to 1800 mushrooms were only used for lighting fires in Scandinavia, however in French cuisine they used the fungus for cooking, and therefore Karl-Johan did all of us a favor by bringing the tradition to Norway and Sweden. According to him the most noble and delicious of all fungus  was the Boletus edulis (Steinsopp in Norwegian) which he meant had the taste of hazlenut. The monarch did even cultivate the mushrooms around his residence. All this of course lead to the fact that this mushroom is called Karljohan in Swedish. And so is my knife which can be be purchased from here !

LATE SEPTEMBER THERAPY

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

I do love this time of the year. To work in the garden with the smell of autumn in the air, and little by little preparing my garden for the change of season. In Scandinavia at the moment the flowers have their last blooming, and all the leaves are turning red, orange and green.

On my feet are my old, favorite Italian “Arno” garden shoes that I have worn for years and years. They are really solid and a updated design with the same brand can be purchased from here !

LET US GO BY THIS !

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The Cardamom Law

You shall never bother others

you shall be both fair and kind,

and whatever else you do 

I shall not mind.

In this complicated world I tend to believe in simple truths like this law written by the constable Bastian in the town of Cardamom from the famous children’s book When the Robbers Came to Cardamom Town. The cheerful constable Bastian’s only concern is making sure that everyone in his town is happy.

This children’s book with the Norwegian title Folk og røvere fra Kardemommeby from 1955 is written and illustrated by Thorbjørn Egner and is considered one of the most important Norwegian children’s books.

HUNG UP ON PHONES!

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Hung up on phones! The turquoise from student life way back in time, and the red one found at a market in Sweden this summer. Now one is seated in my office and the other one in my living room.

TURI-DESIGN RETRO FROM FIGGJO

I am very proud to finally have these three vintage Granada tv plates for decoration in my kitchen. They are designed by Turi Gramstad Oliver, known as Turi-design, who started to work for Figgjo in 1960 and was in charge of some of its most iconic designs.

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Photos: Kristin Bae Mysen

After searching for a long time they’re finally mine. The plates are from the 60s from the time when television was launched and people tended to watch television a lot. What could be more handy than a sandwich and a cup of tea on a tv plate placed right in your lap? There are actually three cups that belong to the plates, but so far I haven’t found them.

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Photos: Kristin Bae Mysen

FIGGJO AS, Norway was founded in 1941 near a local clay source and is located at Figgjo, a place near Stavanger on the west coast of Norway. In 1968 Figgjo took over STAVANGERFLINT – another Scandinavian favorite.

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Photos: Kristin Bae Mysen

Read and watch more from her and from here. Norwegian only.