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Before & After: A Century-Old Danish Thatched Cottage Is Given a Revamp!

I love a good before & after - how about you? And the beauty of today's transformation is that the century-old cottage was in pretty good nick when Danish psychologist and photographer Christina Greve found it - but needed freshening up (I couldn't believe the bit about the woodlice infestation below - UGH!). The pair were keen to put their own stamp on the house and add a simple, yet exclusive Scandinavian country feel. Christina and her husband set about working on the exterior and interior as well as carrying out a loft conversion. After 5 months of intensive work, the pair were ready to move in. Excited to see what they did? Here are the before and after pictures! 

Exterior
The pair kept the original windows on the main building and then searched for new windows to install on the attached building. They also painted the property a fresh white and brushed down the thatched roof to remove moss and algae as well as added wood decking to enjoy in summertime. 

She opted for a handcrafted kitchen with a marble top and brass sink, as well as brass doorknobs. The French vintage Jield lamps* were restored in Copenhagen. 

Christina picked up the shelves for €20 in a second-hand shop and painted them to match the cabinets. 


Wine cellar
Christina's husband had the *awesome* vision to transform the cellar (used as a fridge in the olden days) into a wine cellar. When they first found the house it was dark, cold, wet and black with woodlice.

"It was so awful, that the first time I saw it, I ran and said to my husband: "I'm never going to buy that house!" says Christina. 

Once the unwelcome guests had been cleared, the pair dug down to improve the ceiling height - even adding space for a 'bar table and chairs' (sounds like a great speakeasy to me!). They also added a bespoke glass hatch - which although sturdy, was nerve-racking to walk on at first - and something Conrad, the family dog - refuses to walk on to this day!

How awesome! Honestly, if we didn't have a communal garage beneath our home, I'd start digging! Not sure ours would be this full though! Could you imagine having a wine cellar like this in your home?  




Sitting room

Instead of changing the wood floor in the sitting room, Christina sanded it down and added a white lime wash for a lighter look (we did this in our home too and it worked a treat!). They also removed a lot of the storage at the base of the stairs.

Home office


If you work from home - which many of us do right now (I can actually hear Per holding a maths lesson online from my stepson's bedroom right now!), you'll know how important it is to find the right spot. Christina earmarked an area in the hall as somewhere she could run her online photography workshops (love the look of those!), edit photos and write - bathed in natural light (made even better by the new window). The table is a vintage find.

Sunroom / Hallway

Christina and her husband are thrilled with the transformation in the hallway - an area which also connects the old cottage with the newer black wood building. They swapped out the doors and tiles and painted the walls with a light beige chalk paint (see Kalklitir for similar). 

Note: If you're on a tight budget and don't like the look of grouting which has darkened over time, you can clean it with bicarbonate soda, water and a toothbrush. It'll come out as good as new! 

Bedroom


A tremendous amount of work went into converting the attic into a bedroom and living area - including raising the ceiling and erecting a dummy wall to hide the chimney. 

Today, the bedroom has a fresh, summery, coastal vibe! 


Check out the radiator cover - perfect for covering old, slightly unsightly or wonky radiators. Always check if it's OK to cover a radiator first though - obvs! 

Bathroom

And last but not least, the bathroom! For this room, they decided to start again from scratch (saving only the loo roll holder!). The washing machine has been concealed behind one of the drawer sections - you'd never guess, would you? So clever! 
 
Today, the family love to relax and enjoy the wonderful views out over the Danish coast. Until they start flipping their barn that is. Watch this space for another before and after in the future!

That setting! 

Such an inspiring renovation - and a truly beautiful cottage, don't you think?

The great thing about 'before & afters' is that even if you're not renovating an entire property, there are always small things you can take-away and implement in your own home - like the grouting and radiator covers. 

Did you get any ideas? 

Follow Christina's latest projects over at @christinagreve - and keep an eye out for her upcoming online photography workshops (I see there's going to be a FREE five day one soon!). 

And check out the full 'make-over' archive for some incredible transformations! 

Happy Lillördag (little Saturday!) friends!  

Niki

Photography by Christina Greve, shared with kind permission.

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A Delightful Danish Family Home Full of Art and Design

Why, hello there friends! It feels so great to be back after the holidays! We took our Christmas tree down yesterday (which may sound a bit late, but in Sweden, tradition dictates the 13th to take down Christmas decorations. And it looked so pretty, I wasn't quite ready to part with it earlier!). And now our home feels all fresh, calm and ready for 2021. Which reminds me, thank you so much for all your wonderful comments on my last post, I'm so happy you like my new ideas for My Scandinavian Home (and thank you to everyone who sent me private DMs with suggestions too - all taken to heart! Here's to a year full of Scandi inspiration! 

I thought I'd kick off a wonderful Danish home tour, so, pull up a chair and get comfy - you're in for a treat - Copenhagen style! 

Mette Helena is one inspiring woman! A Danish stylist and artist - the Mother of two is the owner of beautiful web shop Retro Villa - selling vintage wallpaper and Danish design, and co-founder of Kunstsalonen - pop-up galleries for the public in private homes. Little wonder Mette Helena's own home in Amagerbro, Copenhagen is full of vintage design and the most wonderful art! Let's take a peek inside. 



One of Mette Helene's own painting hangs beside a Flos 265 wall lamp in the family sitting room. The coffee table is vintage. 


A black and white piece by Mie Olise Studio as well as countless other designs have been hung on a calming pale blue wall in the bedroom. 

And just look at all that storage space! Be still, beating heart! I need to show this to Per! How much would you also love to have this much storage? - perhaps you already do. 


Mette Helena has gone for statement blue tiles in the bathroom. I love that her rod sometimes doubles up as a clothes dryer (see below) - I do this too (sometimes my family wonders if it's become my actual wardrobe!). 

There's so much art and design love going on in Mette Helena's hallway. The mobile is by Peter Johansen, with a piece by Line Busch behind. The pair to the right are by Matilde Duus and on the floor is a piece by Jeanette Hillig

What a beautiful, inspiring home! Thank you for inviting us on a virtual tour today Mette Helena - and thank you to Tia Borgsmidt for these fabulous photos! 

See more of Mette Helena's home over at @mettehelena and visit her online shop here. If like me, you're curious about her public pop-up galleries in private homes, you can find all the latest news here. Let's hope everything rolls again soon!

Curious about other Danish homes with a ton of art and vintage pieces? Take a peek at: 


Wishing you a wonderful start to the week. 

Niki

Styling: Metta Helena
Photography Tia Borgsmidt

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The Relaxed Danish Family Home of Dorte Bak

Wednesday huh? What have I got in store for you? The relaxed Danish home of Dorte Bak, that's what! Under normal circumstances, Dorte's, lovely home in Amager, Copenhagen would be a mere 30 minutes' drive from where I live. But there's nothing normal about 2020, is there? So the only way for us  Skåningar (southern Swedes) to visit Amager is online! Either way, Dorte's world is well worth a visit! Aside from her beautiful white washed, cosy, vintage-inspired home, which she shares with her husband, ten-year-old twin daughters and Silke the cat - Dorte has a couple of wonderful key strengths that I don't possess: she can bake (see her daily recipes here) and knit (visit her shop for pretty patterns and yarn). Liking the sound of Dorte's world? Let's take a peek at some perfectly imperfect snapshots. 











Oh, how I loved this tour - from the children in the kitchen to the balls of yarn in a basket and a curled-up cat on the sofa - this is one, relaxed and cosy home. 

Did anything stand out to you? 

You can see more lovely pics of Dorte's home over at @dortebak.dk and www.dortebak.dk. And if like me, you're not a knitter but keen to learn, keep an eye out for her 2021 workshops here

That aside, I have to confess, I have a lot to do this week. Starting with a column for a very exciting new UK magazine called Simply Scandi (launching in Jan). I've also got a ton of photoshoots coming up which I need props for (but that's just fun!) and I'm also kicking off a small side business with a very talented friend of mine (more news to follow soon!!), all the while stopping here each day (although, of course, that's just a pleasure!).

Oh, and don't even mention Christmas shopping. I haven't done a scrap, have you? I think that's why I avoided any mention of the C word in today's post! Hope you didn't mind.

And did I mention Per's teaching from home again? He has set up a massive white board in our dining area. I just went down to make myself a cup of tea and he was working on a complicated maths equation with his class and said: "Maybe my wife can solve this?" -  I was out of there in a flash! 

What's your working from home situation like these days? 

I hope this home tour has given you a little bit of a breather from the mid-week chaos. In case you're after a few more Danish tours today, you'll love: 


Ha det så bra!

Niki

Photography: Dorte Bak shared with kind permission

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Trend Alert: 5 Holly Jolly Christmas Danish Homes


Colours have been creeping into danish homes for a while now - so it makes sense that the Danish Christmas should be bursting with colour too. This is nothing new of course. Danes have been using their vibrant red and white flag as a tree decoration for hundreds of years. But there's something a little different about this Christmas - and it's all about the chintz! Think branches dripping with hand painted baubles in a riot of fuchsia, turquoise, silver and gold and green, and fun shaped ornaments featuring toadstools, snowmen, paper flowers and even avocados and skulls! Bright coloured candles with a twist (literally) and light up the darkness and there's glitter, plenty of glitter. Oh, and there's something else you should know, tinsel is back too. Naturally, the Danes carry it off beautifully with their innate sense of style, the bright colours popping against a backdrop of white, earthy pink and blue. Ready to feel inspired by a holly jolly Christmas - Danish style? Here are 5 homes that have captured my heart (snapped by Another Studio). 


1. Louise over at Mor Till Mernee is never one to shy away from colour in her home (albeit in a wonderful subtle way) - and her beautiful tree, covered in toadstools, snowman, hearts, baubles and the Danish flag, is a fine example! 


2. The Danish home of @papirkalas, purveyor of paper rosette garlands, is full of Christmas cheer. Think tinsel and alder tree branches adorned with shiny hand painted baubles, toadstools, bells and paper flowers in a riot of colours - against a serene white backdrop. 


Candle carousels have been popular in Scandinavia since World War II. Artilleriet sells a similar musical candle ornament with chiming bells! 






There's the tinsel folks. And in true Danish style, it looks fab!

Check out the finer details of her baubles and you'll spot hand painted glittery details too. 




3. In Sofie Boisen's early 20th century home it's colours a go-go with bright red candles, pastel coloured tree ornaments and a sprig of mistletoe against a dusty pink and blue backdrop. 

Whoever said all Scandinavians are minimalists?




Colourful glassware, Hay twist candles and a timeless Skultuna candleholder help the Christmas table to shine. 


4. Ida (@midtimeller) has gone for a Christmas tree with twist in her lovely danish home. These trees are not to everyone's taste, but there's something about the imperfection that intrigues me - plus they're perfect for small spaces. This one is looking resplendent with its bright coloured ornaments that catch the light. 



It wouldn't be Christmas without a wreath hanging from a glass cabinet door (see Helen's home) and I love Ida's tiny candle wreath!


5. In Tove's apartment in Frederiksborg, Copenhagen it's all about the pastels (check out her pale blue floor!) - and the tree is full of turquoise, fuchsia, yellow and pink touches. 

I love the casually draped stars too! 



Zoom in on Sofie's advent candle below and you'll spy a fabulous array of Christmas ornaments including avocado, rainbow and even a skull! 

What do you reckon? Could you imagine adding a little chintz to your home this Christmas? 

In the words of Burl Ives, it really does bring a 'holly jolly' feel, and when styled like the Danes, it doesn't need to be over the top either. 

I have to say, my kids would love it! They've got their eye on a tin of caviar, glittered unicornspink balloon pup and even a fun French set including a baguette, croissant and bottle of red! I quite fancy a set of the Hay twist candles (for the more daring among us, there's also these glittery candles on clips).

Looking for more Christmas decorating ideas this weekend? 

Check out the Christmas archive - it's full of 'jul' themed home tours, Christmas decorating ideas and cosy log cabins. 

Speaking of which we had a light snow fall in Malmö yesterday, you can imagine our excitement! 

It was perfectly timed with a birthday in the house on Sunday - MINE!!! I'm looking forward to cosying up with family and even doing a little cross-country skiing with friends - wish me luck, I'll need it! 

I hope you have some fun plans for the weekend too - stay warm and cosy! 

Niki  

Photography: Another Studio / @anotherstudio, shared with kind permission. 
First picture from the home of Sidsel Garsdal

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