My mother told me that “If you want to know someone’s real personality, you should take a look at their homes”. Based on my experiences in Iceland homes, I’d have to say that these people are artsy and eccentric in a good way. Icelandic homes seemed to fit into two types – either the eclectic folk or modern minimalist concepts. Almost every home had a vinyl player with an impressive collection of records, usually tucked at a corner with literary books and art pieces. Some guesthouses were an upgrade from tiny old traditional Icelandic homes, fitted with modern furnishings and infrastructure – hacked for a better flow in the house and for privacy.
As most spaces are tiny in Iceland, owners have to adjust their decor to fit whatever space there are and I have to admit that they are very good at this. Organised mess was the theme and hoarding is an art form that one needs to possess in order to have a knack for this concept. Mismatched chairs, books and photo frames are just a part of the deliberate mess. Just have a look at these three real homes we stayed in and let us know which one is your favourite.
1. Auður’s Iceland Home Loft
Auður’s home is situated at the right part of the neighbourhood – walking distance from the main street in Reykjavik but also quiet enough for some me time. The pet cat, Skotta is the most adorable addition to the already lovely home, a 100 year old archetypal wooden Icelandic home. Her place is decorated with an insane amount of knick knacks, possibly things you’d find at a great garage sale and they’re placed in the right spots giving the house a personality of its own. We derived that Auður is someone who works in media or arts, hence the hip vibe of her clothes and also her choice of vinyls.
2. Áróra’s Downtown Iceland Home Studio
Áróra’s home is located just a few steps away from the main Laugavegur street. She welcomes guests at the lower apartment, where her children used to stay before they moved out. It was the cosiest space I’ve ever been in with a comfortable double bed for two, her place would totally be my favourite. We were honoured to be invited into her family home above the rented space as her husband, a well-known Icelandic photographer cooked some vegan dinner for her friends and us. Inside the house, there were posters of their exhibitions, beautiful photographs and art pieces made by their friends. One thing that struck my interest was the absence of curtains in their main hall – a reason for them to light up the place so their friends would know when they are at home and drop by! What a wonderful idea when you live in a country with little to no crime cases, something I wish I could do back home.
3. Jórunn’s Hilltop Iceland Home
Jórunn’s home is a dream vacation home situated on a hilltop residence area facing the town of Akureyri in North Iceland. It might not be your classic Iceland home but the architecture and design is still expected of the Icelandic norm – small, cosy and practical. The facade is huge but don’t be fooled, there are three lofts side by side on one property. The interior is clean and simple with everything you’d need but the amazing view is something that is worth paying. We were stuck in the house during an overnight snowstorm but waking up to fresh, white snow overlooking the town while having home cooked breakfast is not something I would forget for the rest of my life.