Greatest Hits 2022: 16 Ideas to Steal from Iceland (and Icelandic Turf Houses)


Maybe you’ve puzzled at them on a drive round Iceland’s Ring Highway, or simply in images: dwellings seemingly constructed into the land, doorways and home windows lower right into a hillock—Icelandic turf homes, their gabled roofs coated over with inexperienced.

Turf homes are a practice that dates to over 1,000 years in the past in Iceland, to the ninth and eleventh centuries, in keeping with Nationwide Geographic. A really abbreviated historical past: The idea of turf homes was first dropped at Iceland (and different elements of Europe) by the Vikings; turf was renewable, available, in no brief provide, and further insulating—the perfect constructing materials for residing by the Arctic Circle. Early turf homes have been single constructions known as lengthy homes, the place households lived communally and one area served a number of functions, although later they advanced into gatherings of smaller peaked homes. Most had a lava stone basis, then a timber construction coated with thick turf bricks that grew lush with grasses.

Fortuitously these locations have been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Website (they’re on the “tentative checklist”)—and lots of have been preserved as open-air museums. So when photographer and photojournalist Greta Rybus emailed a couple of months again with plans to make a pilgrimage to 2 of them—Skógasafn, or Skógar Museum, within the south of Iceland and Glaumbær within the north, each with historic Icelandic homes, each turf and conventional timber—we have been desirous to make a (digital) go to.

Right here’s a take a look at a couple of singular design takeaways.

Images by Greta Rybus.

1. Look to the earth.

first, a visit to skógar. the turf house may just be the original green ar 9
Above: First, a go to to Skógar. The turf home could be the unique inexperienced structure, self-insulating and constructed from renewable sources.

the roofs at skógar are made of flat rocks covered with turf; the frame is 10
Above: The roofs at Skógar are made from flat rocks coated with turf; the body is usually driftwood.

2. Salvage constructing supplies.

another house on the property is a historic wooden house moved to skógar f 11
Above: One other home on the property is a historic picket home moved to Skógar from the Síða district of Holt. “The primary picket home within the county of West Skaftafellssýsla, the home was constructed completely of driftwood by district commissioner Árni Gíslason in 1878,” in keeping with the Skógar website. Among the wall panels have been salvaged from the wreck of the hospital ship St. Paul, “which ran aground off Meðalland in 1899.”

3. Paint colourful cupboards.

the kitchen cabinets are painted in an unexpected colorblock motif: pale blue o 12
Above: The kitchen cupboards are painted in an surprising colorblock motif: pale blue on the frames, a splash of crimson on the entrance panels.

4. And a vibrant plate rack.

a wooden wall mounted plate rack is painted in teal for a tone on tone effect i 13
Above: A picket wall-mounted plate rack is painted in teal for a tone-on-tone impact within the blue kitchen.

5. Cling from pegs.


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