05 April 2013

art and design: auður skúladóttir

Of all the stunning homes I´ve had the privilege to visit, my favorite one is probably an incredibly beautiful apartment, located on the second floor of an unassuming ex-industrial property in Akureyri, Iceland´s second-largest urban area, lovingly spoken of domestically as the Capital of the North. Together, husband and wife team Audur Skula and Hjortur Fjeldsted, have created a home, a hidden gem that is simply exquisite. This is a home that in no way reflects what one would call a traditional Icelandic home. This particular home is, shall we say, a bit more, je ne sais quoi, French perhaps? The apartment was featured in the first issue of Home and Delicious, has been in interior magazines domestically and abroad and for a jolly good reason, this is a home that is utterly inspiring and unforgettable to those lucky enough to visit. 

–Gerður Harðardóttir / koolandkreativ

On the ground floor, a spacious atelier is crammed with furniture, bowls, lamps, mirror frames, textiles and various objects of different shapes and sizes, waiting to be magically transformed into something extraordinarily beautiful by Audur who studied decorative painting in Denmark few years ago. Trompe l´oeil, gilding, fresco- and marble painting plus découpe, a decorative technique, popular in the era of Marie Antoinette, have all been mastered by Audur. Audur creates jewelry, paints textiles and God knows how, blends her own eco-friendly paint where eggs or milk are the key ingredients.
Audur is probably best known for her eco-friendly collection of lime paints which she and Hjortur have produced and sold for the last few years, not only here in Iceland but also in carefully selected shops in Scandinavia, under the label Kalklitir. For centuries, lime paint has been used on the exteriors and interiors of houses in countries where the climate is a bit warmer than what we are used to here in Iceland. What makes it stand apart from most other types of paint is the fact that because of its high pH level, lime paint acts as a fungicide, the ideal type of paint to use in bathrooms for instance. Audur blends together a selection of colors, using a recipe which is a closely-guarded family secret and new colors are constantly being added to the collection. Recently Audur and Hjortur launched a line of lime paint powder, available in paper sacks, which can easily be mixed together with water and painted on surfaces, following instructions, in English, on their website, Kalklitir.com.

Audur and Hjortur have for the last few years been busy marketing their line of lime paint abroad and are currently looking for collaborators, particularly in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Next August, Kalklitir will participate in the Formland tradeshow in Denmark, where the paint will be introduced to prospective clients. Around the same time, a range of eco-friendly paint where milk is the key ingredient will be available from Kalklitir but according to Audur, milk paint is ideal for use on furniture and wood surfaces. Audur´s blog is Whendecorating.blogspot.com and a new website, Whendecorating.com is about to be launched, offering online courses and a range of products made by Audur. 


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