Sven Engholm in Karasjok has a closer relationship to his cabins than most hosts — he actually built them himself. You can't stay in many places that are as original as Engholm Husky Design Lodge.

Warm design

Pine heartwood log walls, turf roofs, chunky timber tables, decorations of bone, horn and pelts — you can't get more natural than Engholm Design Lodge in Karasjok. The word "design" might make us think of rigid white minimalism, but here it means rustic and solid, with materials from the mountains and forests, and a warm, inviting atmosphere.

In the forest

Engholm Design Lodge is in the middle of the pine forest just outside the village of Karasjok. The owner Sven Engholm has gradually been building the six log cabins himself, and no two are alike. All they have in common are log walls, floors of Alta slate and hand-made rustic furniture.

Smart solutions

What really gives Engholm Design Lodge its character are the unusual touches. Eggcups of reindeer antlers. Door handles made from birch burrs. Beds built with planks of birch, edged with twisting birch branches. In one of the cabins, the table and chairs hang from the ceiling, so there's nothing on the floor. Shelves, lamps, benches, table and chairs — everything is made by hand.

Food by Mother Nature

Dinner in the evening is served at the big communal table; home-made food that could be elk, reindeer, char, trout, salmon or whitefish — whatever is in season. Herbs come from Engholm's own garden, and in late summer there are cloudberries from the plain. It's all washed down by crowberry and willowherb juice, and there's always a great group atmosphere.

What to do

There's no TV in the rooms, just an iPod loaded with local music. There are books in many languages on the home-made bookshelves. Guests can relax, go for walks around the area on marked trails, take the puppies for walks in the huge dog yard, and visit Karasjok, 6 km (4 miles) away. And children love it — they have free run of the place, and can play with the dogs and entertain themselves.

Read more is the Engholm Design Lodge website, showing the many activities available in both summer and winter.