Everything neat and tidy.

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Everything neat and tidy.
Kitchen clean. Bathroom clean.
Bookshelf in alphabetical order.
Piano polished to a mirror-like surface.

The noise of classy shoes covered in blue plastic socks.
The smell of cleaning soap in the background.

Entering someone’s personal paradise, his or her or their lifework, the masterpiece, on which was carefully built and worked for years.
Entering a space that was made sharp and clinically clean for the public.
Entering this very personal habitat, which for one day, for this one single exception, was made extremely impersonal.

Or almost. Because not all tracks were obliterated. Not every detail was carefully hidden in that one mysterious room that is well sealed from the prying eyes of the vultures who want to penetrate in the lives of the inhabitants of this Shangri-la of personality.

Not talking about the seemingly nonchalant toothbrush left on the edge of the sink, not resting an eye on the equally apparently irrelevant presence of the empty pan on the fire, nor the electronic photo frame that seeks to give every minute some glimpse of real life.

The house is alive.
The red spots on the wooden floor reveal the event of an undoubtedly memorable evening. The scratches in the sink are the sign of intensive activity in the kitchen, the wooden ladder to the bed in the attic of the living space on the upper floor – creaking under its own weight – shows notches of names and words.

One by one the symptoms of life. Indications that the house is alive.
One by one indications that the house has been lived. Indelible evidence of character and charm, proof of the input of human presence of all kinds.

It makes the house feel warm. It makes the house say welcome.
It makes this clean environment a realistic dream.
None of the visitors have to feel like an intruder.
None of them must feel like a thief in the night who enters a crystal palace.

A warm welcome of blue plastic socks and the smell of cleaning soap in the background when heading to the bed in the attic of the living space on the upper floor, passing the bathroom and kitchen (clean, of course), lying on the bed with view on the bookshelf in alphabetical order hearing the sound of someone playing the piano – polished to a mirror-like surface.

Oslo åpne hus – Villa Halvorsen – Stein Halvorsen – 1988

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All pictures are taken by the author