We saved 2 tons of CO2 when furnishing Vegard’s home

Environmentally friendly, stylish and functional: Vegard’s dream home was decorated with secondhand treasures.

Is it possible to get a nice and low funded home with the Finn.no market site? No problem, interior architect Trond Ramsøskar states.

He accepted the challenge when we asked him to decorate an empty apartment with secondhand furniture, interior and decorative ornaments – within a budget of 10,000 Norwegian kroner, or approximately 1,000 Euros, in less than two weeks.

According to Schibsted´s CSR consultant the experiment potentially saved two tons of greenhouse gasses. This amount of CO2 is equivalent to driving 9,000 kilometers in a Volvo V70 or four return flights to New York from Oslo.

Together with the interior architect we searched Finn.no for used treasures, approached several private dealers and negotiated our way to prices and pick up times.

“To me markets like Finn.no are auction houses, flea markets and dumpsters – you can find all kinds of things here. If you´ve got enough time it´s no problem at all to decorate a home with secondhand furniture, Ramsøskar – who is both owner and CEO at the decorating firm Ramsøskar – says”.

According to him, it´s easy to ”fill” a house or an apartment with furniture, whether it´s new or old. The challenge is to create a home. A functional, stylish and personal home, where you enjoy living.

“Decorating with secondhand goods demands a certain eye for details and quality, and also the ability to create a style as a whole. Maybe even more so than when you are decorating it with new stuff. But the joy of reading the ads, collecting the furniture and eventually finding a place for them, is so much bigger than if you´re buying everything new.

Sold everything to get a fresh start

Vegard Dokken, 30, sold all of his old furniture when he this spring bought an apartment in Majorstua in Oslo. The 30-year-old, an advisor and partner in an IT firm right outside the Norwegian capital, planned to buy new furniture for his new place.

When we got in touch with him, he was restoring the apartment full throttle, and about to go away on holiday. He planned to use the rest of the summer to fill up his new home, but had very few thoughts on how he wanted it to look.

“I thought this corner might be a small office and over there´s the outlet for the TV”, Vegard explains while showing us around what now looks more like a construction site.

He leaves the key with us and ensures us that the carpenters will be finished in about a week. The apartment will then be ready.

“I trust your level of expertise, so I´ll let you do whatever you want”, he says and leaves.

In other words, we are in charge, and Vegard is fully aware of the tight budget and the fact that we may encounter problems decorating an entire apartment with secondhand goods.

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Above all expectations

Almost two weeks later a very excited man meets us in the staircase outside the apartment. He´s not sure what to expect on the other side of the door but is anxious to see the results.

In the meantime we´ve spent many hours on Finn.no, met more than 20 private dealers to collect all the items and rented help with transportation through the ”small jobs” section on Finn.

Except for a few plants and a bed Vegard already had ordered, the whole place is decorated with used goods. The only thing that now remains, is to see if this is a place he can call home.

The first thing he notices when entering the apartment, is the signal green sideboard in the living room. His eyes move from one item to the next but always returns to the sideboard.

”This is above all my expectations. I could never have done this on my own”, he says.

He´s obviously surprised – and luckily very pleased.

“It´s now clear to me how narrow my horizon is when it comes to decorating. I probably never would have bought any of this myself”, he says and points to the green sideboard:

“And actually I´ve already gotten used to that. It´s fantastic.”

Contributes to a sustainable development

Trond gives Vegard a tour of the apartment and explains their thoughts while choosing the different furniture and details.

He tells him about the dining room chairs, that probably was in use already in the 50s or 60s, the yellow designer chair that catches the eye in the living room and that the 500 kroner couch from IKEA almost looks exclusive compared with the rest.

Ramsøskar has written a book about decorating homes, and dedicated a whole chapter to the topic of reusing.

“The most important thing whilst buying and selling, is contributing to a sustainable development. In addition to the environmental aspect, there are several good reasons for re-using”, he explains.

Easier to find something special: According to the interior architect it´s easier to locate furniture out of the ordinary when searching markets like Finn.no. A personal style on the interior and pieces ”with soul” are harder to come across at the big retail chains.

See the potential and give old pieces new life: If you keep your eyes open and look for furniture that can be fixed up or painted, you can find something unique.

Make good deals: Look at the time for publishing on the ads. If it was put up for sale a while ago, there´s a good chance you can negotiate the price down or even get it for free, is Ramsøskars tip.

Combine new and old: Interior can be compared to clothes. A mix of new and old, cheap and expensive, increases the impression. Even furniture from IKEA can look exclusive with the right accessories.

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