Living the Nordic Way // Apartment Tour in Tromsø

Nordic Living
Nordic Living

I moved from Tromso Island to the mainland a little over 4 weeks ago and we had our house warming (and uni graduation) party this weekend so I guess we've officially settled in. We've also seen the Norwegian Royals this weekend in case you haven't seen my post - Bloglovin has been a total pain in the youknowwhat lately.

Anyway, pictures and nick-nacks have been spread all over the flat and we've finally also got a radio for the kitchen. I don't understand a word of it though since it plays a Sami channel that we've been too lazy to change but at least the music is good!

Housing Market in Tromso

I'm still incredibly glad to have my own place again and for not having to live in flatshares anymore. I mean, all throughout undergrad studies I had my own apartment but when I moved to Norway to do my Masters, I suddenly couldn't afford to live on my own anymore.

Rental rates in Norway are double as high as what I was used to in Germany and it's common for students to either live at the student dorms or in flatshares.

Midnight Sun in Tromso
Midnight Sun in Tromso

Now, I really don't want to get into the details of my housing experiences in Tromso in this post but just to recap in case you didn't know: I've lived at four different places before moving into my current flat now. That's basically because the housing market in Tromso is really tough and I had to take whatever was available regardless of what I think of living with other people (not much).

I've published a guide on finding housing in Tromso here and if you'd like to read more about my living situations of the past, you can do so here.

Why the mainland?

Today is all about my current flat though that I'm happily sharing with the boyfriend! We specifically searched for flats in the outskirts of Tromso simply because you get much bigger flats there for your money - and because you have nature right off your doorstep.


The average price for a 50m² big flat on Tromso Island is about 10000NOK per month ($1200) while we pay the same plus electricity for a 2-bedroom flat on 70m² on the mainland now.

Simon and I both knew that we would totally get fed up with each other in a small flat and decided to search for 2-bedroom flats in order to have a home office (and "safe haven").

Not only that though, we even have a storage room for all our luggage (seriously, we could open a luggage store) and you know, the things you don't want to throw away because you might need them one day.

Other than that we have a spacious bathroom, an okay-sized bedroom and a huge kitchen/living room combo. We both actually prefer having a separate kitchen but unfortunately that's not really common in Norway.

Scandinavian Design

The flat was unfurnished when we took it over which was something I wanted. After 2 years of sleeping on old mattresses and using other people's kitchen equipment, it feels so great to finally have your own furniture again and being able to design the flat the way you like.

If you're following me on Pinterest you might know my Scandinavian Interior Design Board and yes, I totally wanted our flat to look like that.

I just love Scandinavian design! It's clean and fresh with some hints of colour and it kinda makes you feel calm.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. In case you've never been to an Ikea (WHAT?!!), let me explain you how many Scandis design their flats.

First of all, it's all about neutral colours: white, black or grey mixed with a few popping colours like green or yellow. Also there's lots of wood and organic elements involved.

So that's basically what I was going for. Now slight setback: as newly graduates we were on a budget and even though Ikea is available in Tromso too, I didn't want the flat to look like an Ikea store.

I mean, there's something about the fact that "everyone" in my age range uses the same spherical overhead light that just makes me cringe! I don't want my flat to look like 1000 others! So Simon and I chose our furniture and nick-nacks carefully and bought everything at different places.

Design on a Budget

In total we spent about $1200 for all our interior (kitchen appliances came with the flat) and were lucky to make a few bargain buys as well.

Our sofa, bed, bedside table, coffee table, tv-bench and armchair are the only items we got from Ikea.

We got our kitchen table and 6 chairs from the previous tenants, our living room carpet from a garage sale, our tv from our landlords (yes, they're the best) and our home office desk from Jysk - a Danish low budget furniture factory.

We were lucky as a bookshelf and 2 (!) wardrobes, as well as several nick-nacks such as lamps, mirrors, clocks and a coatrack came with the flat as well, and our landlords even bought new blinds for us!

The rest of our stuff is from Nille, Skeidar, H&M Home, Europris, Clas Ohlson, Princess and Kid which basically are your cheapest options in Norway when it comes to interior equipment and decoration.

We (I) did splurge on a few things though, for example the map of Tromso by Design by Odd which hangs above our kitchen table. I just loved the idea and look of it so much! We were also lucky to get a few reindeer horns from Simon's parents to make the flat look even more Nordic.

And even though we didn't technically need a sofa AND an armchair, I'm very glad that Simon insisted on buying an armchair cause now I've got myself an incredibly cosy blogging space!

We'll only be living here for a year since our rental contract only lasts that long and we'd like to look into PhD/Job possibilites away from Tromso next year anyway. This place however definitely feels like home to us right now and we're enjoying the perks of living in a quiet neighbourhood without any flatmates so much!

How's the housing market in your town? And what's your favourite item in your flat?

Fascinated by Scandinavian Design? I'm taking you on a house tour in Tromso and give you some tips on where to buy Nordic bargains!
Fascinated by Scandinavian Design? I'm taking you on a house tour in Tromso and give you some tips on where to buy Nordic bargains!

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Welcome to Wanderful Wednesdays!

My favourite from last week was the post "Top 4 Things to do in Dubrovnik" by Jasmin Charlotte. This Norwegian summer is starting to get to me and I'd love to spend some time sun-bathing at a beach. Since that's not going to happen in Tromso anytime soon, I'll have to live through Jasmin's photos!

Thanks to Jasmin for linking up with us!

Now it's your turn: Consider yourself a wanderer?! Well then, this Blog Hop is for you!

Meet your hosts: Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World.

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Wanderful Wednesday
Wanderful Wednesday