— Please tell us a bit about the history and how Stokkøya came about.
The idea was really to build small summer houses that were also inexpensive. We wanted all of our friends to be able to have a summer house here. As people who like the urban lifestyle, we wanted to bring the city to us.”
— Stokkøya Sjøsenter Sub-houses
— How did the local people react?
After that, we sold 18 projects just from word of mouth. We were confident then that we were moving in the right direction, building smart architecture in this beautiful landscape.”
— Stokkøya Sjøsenter bedroom
— Tell us about the beach bar at Stokkøya Sjøsenter.
My husband used to be a scallop and sea urchin diver, and he exported them to Japan in the ’90s. He has worked with top quality seafood for many years. He is friends with many chefs and restaurant owners in Norway and other countries as well, so he had a lot of knowledge about it and the connections to run the kitchen. It’s not an expensive restaurant yet it’s very high quality with good wines. Everyone can afford to eat there, and it’s casual.”
— What did you do before running these vacation rentals?
My husband got really interested in architecture and after these 10 years we have learned a lot about design and architecture. We also have lots of friends who are artists and designers, as well as chefs, waiters and waitresses. When you spend a lot of time drinking nice wine at bars, you run into many interesting people.”
— Tell us a little bit about the architecture and the design of Stokkøya Sjøsenter
After a couple of years, we saw we needed more beds and built the sub-house. The message to the architects was to create something that the Wallpaper journalists would cry to write about. And they did. In 2009, there was a Wallpaper article about us.
We had a very small budget, so it was important for us to keep costs low. We spent some money on the Eames chairs and some other items of really good design, bought at auctions. We started to cooperate with an artist who was working on her Master’s degree at art school and hired her and some of her designer classmates. We gave them food and the equipment and tools to work with.”
— And what about the rooms? They are all different?
One of them, he was 84, looked into his beach house and found some old lamps they used out on the boats fishing for herring. They are huge lamps that produce a lot of light. We collected about 10 of those and rebuilt them for normal lighting and painted them. They are now in the reception area.”