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Create a cosy outdoor area at your cottage with slate

Are you dreaming of a new outdoor area at your cabin? Interior expert Halvor Bakke thinks slate is a good choice – whether the cabin lies close to the fjord or up in the mountains.

Halvor Bakke is an interior expert and designer who is well-known in Norway from his TV3 programme Amazing Refurbishments”. When Halvor Bakke and his team magically refurbish tired-out old cabins, slate is often in the picture. But he doesn’t just prefer natural stone in his professional capacity.

– I’m building my own cabin at the moment and I’m thinking of using slate in the outdoor area and on the building itself, he says

– I think cladding the outside walls with slate tiles is an exciting way to use the material. And it doesn’t matter if they don’t cover the entire cabin. Whether you use slate on the outside of the building, in an entrance area or on a storage shed, it’s a lovely detail that also has an original look, he explains.

An outdoor entrance to a log cabin with a bench with pillows outside and light Oppdal flagstones as paving.
– I love using large, generous flagstones on terraces and in gardens.
A wooden patio with bench and table outside a cottage with slate facade od Oppdal quartzite.
An “extreme makeover” with light Oppdal slate! The stone façade is installed over the existing wood facade. It is maintenance-free and provides lovely warmth to your back sitting by the dining table.

Big, generous flagstones

Whether you use broken slate slabs or rectangular stones depends on the overall design.

– I prefer to use irregularly shaped flagstones for a traditional cabin, but for more modern cabins, I’ll probably go for straight lines and rectangular-cut slate slabs.

A patio outside a log cabin with a set dining table. The terrace is covered with light Oppdal quartzite crazy paving.

The size of the slabs used depends on where they are to be used. Bakke also thinks paving stones should have a certain size.

– I love large, generous paving stones on terraces, patios and gardens. Especially if they are a little countersunk. That is something that you often find in mountain cabins, which I think is really attractive.

A patio with a rocking chair paved with crazy paving of Oppdal slate. The joints are filled with grass.
A closeup of a tray with coffee and a bun on a terrace paved with crazy paving slate of Oppdal quartzite.

Using the same stone indoors and outdoors

Do you already have slate indoors in your cabin? In that case, it’s fine to lay it outdoors, too. By using slate outdoors and also in the hallway, you’re not just bringing the indoors and outdoors together, but also doing something that is very practical.

– I think it’s fine to lay slate paving in indoor corridors, Bakke says.

As a very durable material, slate can also withstand snow and water brought in from outside, as well as the hard soles of ski and slalom boots.

Once you’ve decided on slate for some parts of the cabin, you might as well continue.

– It’s naturally great to use slate at the fireplace, but you can also continue with the bathroom. In a mountain cabin you can also use slate to create a bench in the kitchen, which works really well with stained wooden panelling, Bakke suggests.

Slate on a terrace by the sea

Even though many people associate slate with the traditional Norwegian mountain cabins, Bakke believes that it is just as attractive for a summer seaside cabin.

– For a seaside cabin, I would primarily use slate for the terrace. Sea and saltwater are harmful for wooden decking, but slate is robust and maintenance-free. Furthermore, slate absorbs heat from the sun in a particular way that makes it pleasant to sit on.

A large terrace paved with crazy paving slate of Oppdal quartzite and with white wooden chairs and fence.
light Oppdal crazy paving – the classic above all classics.
A pier area covered with slate crazy pavings. A slate stairway goes up to a white cottage with a patio paved with the same slate of Oppdal quartzite.
Sea and salt are harmful to the wood, while slate is durable and maintenance-free.
A staircase with slate steps going up from a terrace paved with crazy paving outside a white cottage.
Hand-hewn slate steps has a beautiful and natural edge. And furthermore – they are non-slippery.

Contrasts

Slate will also work well as a contrast for a wooden cabin.

– Again, this is all about the overall impression. Since our cabins are predominantly made from wood, we need slate as a contrast, concludes Bakke.

Interiørdesigner og programleder Halvor Bakke står på en steintrapp

Halvor Bakke’s top tip

– Slate is durable and maintenance-free. Slate also absorbs heat from the sun in a very special way, which makes it very comfortable to walk and sit on. The slate will also fit well as a contrast, should your cabin be clad in wood.

Halvor Bakke, Interior- and furniture designer

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