“Creating a home is extremely personal and the objects we surround ourselves with should not only be beautiful but inspire us on every level.”
Rudi Wulff is a product designer and creative director at Northern, as well as a DJ at events and clubs in Oslo. We recently caught up with him at home in Oslo to find out more about his own interior style, what home means to him, and how where he lives inspires and influences the timeless and functional pieces he creates.
Can you start by telling us a little about where you live, how long you have lived there and what ‘home’ means to you?
My growing family and I have lived in our apartment North of Grünerløkka in the Torshov district for almost four years. The building dates back to the 1930s, so we enjoy lots of original features, light and spacious rooms as well as high ceilings. The apartments are also surrounded by a large park with a playground and garden, so we really feel part of a small community here which has proven invaluable over this past year.
People in Norway, and throughout the Nordic countries, have always spent a lot of time in their homes because of the cold climate and dark winters, and that’s why ‘home’ to me means ‘life’. As well as being a place of safety for me, my family and my treasured record collection, my home is a place for fun, creativity and making memories.
How would you describe your own personal interior style and how does it inspire and influence what you do, as well as the designs you make?
For me a home should be used and enjoyed to the fullest by all those living there. That’s why it’s really important to furnish and decorate from the heart. I always have ideas and outline plans in my head, but if a room doesn’t feel right, I’m never afraid to repaint a wall or swap furniture around.
My own personal style is a mix of comfort and character. Pieces I’ve designed for Northern, such as the Hifive Storage System and the Granny Candle Holder, sit happily alongside flea market finds, items I’ve inherited or must-have basics. Every object within my home has its own history, about how I acquired it, who made it and what it is made from.
I like old things with soul, and new things with a story, so when designing my own pieces, I often base an idea, a form or a detail on something I’ve picked up from something I like, and then take that feature further, improving and renewing it to reflect how we live now.
“For me a home should be used and enjoyed to the fullest by all those living there. That’s why it’s really important to furnish and decorate from the heart.”
With us all now spending much more time at home, and what we want and need from the spaces we live in changing; what for you are the key considerations for living in a modern way?
Our everyday lives have certainly changed a lot this last year and it has certainly given me a lot to think about and consider, in terms of the demands and functions placed on ‘modern living’.
Whole families working and schooling together, eating, relaxing and socializing in a limited space has made each and every one of us more aware of how our homes are configured, and the impact the way they are designed and the objects within them have on our relationships and well-being.
Personally, I need lots of natural light and task lighting, different zones I can be either alone in or with others, ergonomic furniture and storage, lots of art, plants and somewhere for a quick dance.
“No matter where you live or how much you own, your home should reflect who you are, what you love and what you need.”
What are your top tips for styling a small space and creating a home that is joyful to live, work and entertain in?
No matter where you live or how much you own, your home, whatever its size, should reflect who you are, what you love and what you need.
This was the starting point for my Hifive storage system. Firstly, mess makes me really uneasy, and finding a flexible system to hold and hideaway my growing record collection, as well as the sheer number of toys in our home was proving very difficult.
With that in mind I actually designed it to fit old-school vinyl LPs perfectly. They can then be concealed, along with other media equipment and household items, behind scrolling wooden doors. There are also open units for displaying treasured personal objects and a removable metal base so it can be either wall-mounted or freestanding.
Creating a home is extremely personal and whether it’s music, ceramics or photographs the objects we surround ourselves with should not only be beautiful but inspire us on every level.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and what type of home would you choose?
When I was a young child, say 7 or 8 years old, I designed a ‘dreamhouse’ with a friend that looked like a giant disco ball. The drawing included a discotheque, a living space with swimming pool and everything else a kid could dream of.
I think it would be fantastic to someday bring part of this long-held dream to life and live in a self-designed house. To translate those thoughts into reality and live in my own creation would be an extraordinary experience.
“People in Norway, and throughout the Nordic countries, have always spent a lot of time in their homes because of the cold climate and dark winters, and that’s why ‘home’ to me means ‘life’.”