It’s been 15 years since Trine Halseth Berg and her family built their cabin at Nesbyen in Norway. There weren’t many things they wanted to change for the final project, but one thing they did know: they wanted Otta slate in the hallway.
– My father was a mason who specialized in tiles, so this was important to him. He laid the floor himself, with my husband’s help. It was incredibly beautiful, Trine says.
When she thinks back, it’s clear that her father had a particular love for slate. In the house where she grew up, there was slate in every room, and everywhere outdoors.
– He was definitely a big fan of slate. And because he knew his stuff, we always trusted him. It’s gradually got to us as well. Personally, I love that interplay of colour between dark shades of grey and golden rust, she says.
This love of slate was so strong that when the family decided to extend the cabin in autumn 2020, there was no doubt as to what the flooring should be.
The question was: would the difference between old and new be too obvious? And would anyone be able to lay it as well as her father had done?
– My dad had all these rules: never cross against cross, round lines everywhere, and so on. He was also a perfectionist, so I was a bit sceptical about letting anyone continue his work, Trine says.
When Trine’s father died two days before the new floor was to be laid, the floor project became even more important for her and the family. Laying the slate tiles suddenly became symbolic. It had to be something her father would have approved of.
– So I think the craftsman we used probably felt a bit of pressure. But the result turned out beautifully. The join is barely visible and it looks exactly the same.
She attributes much of the credit to the craftsman, originally a cabinetmaker by trade. He was concerned about accuracy — just like Trine’s father. The rest of the credit goes to the timelessness of the slate.
– Slate is so beautiful that it’s easy to preserve the old. It’s also so robust and easy to care for that we can waltz in with slalom boots or mucky shoes, she says.
Today, both the family and visitors are completely amazed at how well it has turned out. The large Otta flagstones create an unusual sense of space in the entrance hall.
– We haven’t got a particularly majestic cabin, but we’ve managed to create a pretty majestic hallway.
– My father was definitely a big fan of slate. It’s gradually got to us as well. Personally, I love that interplay of colour between dark shades of grey and golden rust. It’s also so robust and easy to care for that we can waltz in with slalom boots or mucky shoes.