The Handmade Home of a Danish Architect and Carpenter

Yesterday I was wondering around a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) store in search of a tool and I found myself mulling over how good Scandinavians tend to be at fixing things around the home - and how this has inspired me over the years. The truth is, a lot of things that require attention are relatively simple to fix - and it can feel really empowering to get out a tool box - saving yourself time and money in the process. 

But architect Mette Kirk (@kirkarkitektur)and her husband Henrik Balle - a carpenter at Silkeborg Byg go design, have taken DIY to a whole new level. The talented pair have renovated their 1935 house in Aarhus entirely by themselves - even creating the kitchen cabinets, bathroom storage and other units from scratch. Ready to feel inspired? 

The entirely unique kitchen cabinets in white and wood were designed by Mette to capitalise on space.

Wall units like this wooden one designed by Mette and built by Henrik have become increasingly popular in Denmark lately. My Copenhagen-based friend Caroline Bahrenscheer recently launched a beautiful version for cups, available here

The dining space is filled with fab Danish design pieces including wishbone chairs, BT001 pendant lamp, and a Formikami table lamp.

A beautiful parquet floor from Hørning Parket has been laid throughout the house. 

This style of built-in cabinetry (made by Henrik) is ideal for small bedrooms as it makes use of every inch.

I love the built-in bedside table nook - such a clever addition! The lamp is the Louis Poulsen Ring Crown.

Henrik also built the wooden bathroom cabinets (look at the detail!) - which add a wonderful warmth to the space as well as gallons of open and closed storage space! The loo is from Ifö and the floor was found at Flisegalleriet

What an inspiring home. 

It would be so useful to be able to whip up incredible cabinets and storage units at whim, don't you think? And of course, Mette's eye for design is simply wonderful too! 

Do you have enough storage in your home, or has Mette and Henrik's house inspired you to add more? 

Perhaps more importantly, how much do DIY do you do? Are you the type to get out a toolbox if something needs fixing or do you prefer to call a handyman? I've learnt to dabble (although Per does the majority!) - but we're on nowhere near the level of building incredible units like the ones in this home!

Would you like to feel inspired by other architect's homes today? Here are some lovely ones: 

Have a great start to the week friends!


Photography: Mette Kirk, shared with kind permission

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A French Photographer's Earthy Home on The Vendée Coast

Kicking off the week with snapshots from the beautiful home of French photographer and director Aurelie Lecuyer, husband Jean-Christophe and their three children in a forest on the Vendée coast. The 1970s house exudes calm thanks to the wonderful warm wood, layers of texture and earthy tones. Think surfaces dotted with lamps and foraged pieces, contemporary lighting, sculpted built-in furniture and shelves laden with artefacts, books and magazines. All the while, the look is clean, calm and relatively contemporary.  Be still my beating heart! 

Simply wonderful!

A perfect home with which to kick off the week, do you agree? 

See more snapshots over at @aurelie_lecuyer - and recently commissioned work from Aurelie's photography portfolio here

If you're loving the wood, you're also bound to feel inspired by: 

And of course - the magnificently crafted 'tiny mobile house' I featured on Thursday! 

Wishing you all a wonderful, calm start to the week!


Photography: Aurelie Lecuyer - shared with kind permission 

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A Beautiful, Relaxed Family Home With Sky High Beams!

One of my favourite houses lately - that of Jessica Reed Kraus. Located in San Clemente, California, Jessica and her husband renovated it a few years back and have transformed it into a wonderful family home. I love the exposed beams, wood panelling, relaxed vintage touches, built-in bunkbed and all the wonderful natural light. Also, the space is proof that sometimes it doesn't need to be more complicated than white with wood. The rich variations, texture and patina in the timber add so much! Oh, and the beams and nooks are a perfect opportunity to add a playful touch for their four children (check out the swing!). Enjoy the tour! 

Every time I look through the pictures, I spot a new detail to love! So inspiring!

I hope you've enjoyed this tour and got some nice ideas for your home too! Is there anything that caught your eye in particular? 

See more of Jessica's home on her very cool instagram feed @houseinhabit

Fancy taking a peek inside a few other homes today? How about these fine specimens (with a 'beam theme')?

Oh, and Per and I are going to view a house her win Malmö this weekend. It looks like a total renovation job but has a lot of potential - do we take on the challenge or will it totally stress us out? I'd love to hear from anyone who has carried out a renovation or is in the midst of one! We'd need to know what we were getting ourselves in for if we go for it! 


Photography: @houseinhabit

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20 Ways To Add Warmth To Your Home With Wood - Sanne Hop Style

What would a home be without wood? It adds instant warmth, texture and, when beautifully crafted - a wonderful timeless appeal. The grain means every piece is unique, and solid wood always ages gracefully, while telling the story of its past. This is why I'm so excited to see wood being celebrated in homes in increasingly new and wonderful ways. 

Take the Hop family home in Holland as a fine example. Sanne Hop is the founder of the maker collective 'Atelier Hop' which celebrates the beauty and craftsmanship of handmade pieces. When she's not selling  tableware, art, textiles, lighting and self-care items, she's relaxing with her husband and their five children in their stunning home. The living space is shaped by natural materials such as stone, wood and rattan as well as vintage finds and artisanal pieces. But above all else, the presiding material is wood - which makes the space unique and truly inspiring! 

Here are 20 ways to incorporate wood into the home, Sanne Hop style: 

1. Wooden kitchen cabinets - one of the biggest trends this year - and a lovely way to bring warmth to the kitchen, particularly if you have a tiled or concrete floor. These beautiful ones are made by the Norwegian company Ask og Eng. You might prefer to make your own, like the DIY fronts in Jacqueline and Klemens' apartment. Or keep it sustainable by opting for recycled wood. I'm still dreaming about the kitchen units in the Norwegian mountain cabin, fashioned out of upcycled barn wood!  

2. Kitchen shelves - whether simple units or more sophisticated hand-built wall structures like this one by Woodchuck, wood shelving is a perfect, quick and easy way to add the material to an existing kitchen. 

3. Drawer inlays - I'm guilty of having plastic cutlery inlays in my kitchen drawers - but I'd much rather have a smart wooden solution like the one above (which I believe, was handcrafted by Ask go Äng)! 

4. Chopping boards and utensils - I remember when my Mother finished her kitchen renovation and was really worried by the lack of soul (and echo) in her white and stone kitchen. I told her not to worry: simply placing wood chopping boards*, wooden spoons and other lovely utensils on display rather than hiding them away in drawers helps to add instant character. 

4 & 5: Tables and chairs -  the simplest way to update a space and add warmth. I love the way Sanne has mixed and matched her chairs. Solid wood is a material that ages gracefully, which means vintage and antique pieces can really add to a space and become a valued member of the family. The high chair, for example, will no doubt be used for the next generation of Hops! 

6. Lamps - there is a huge variety of wooden lighting available. The golden colour helps to add a warm glow while designs with pattern cast beautiful shadows on the wall after dark.

7. Bookshelves and cabinets: the dark wood seen in the shelves above help to add contrast to a simple, monochrome space. I also love mid-century teak side cabinets* (see below) - which are widely available on the second-hand market.

Tip: don't be afraid to mix light and dark, old and new wood. It will all add character and charm to a space. 

8. Sofas: Wood might be considered a rather hard material and not synonymous with comfort - but throw on some plump cushions and you'll quickly have somewhere cosy to sit.

Tip: For a simple update, swap out metal sofa legs for wooden ones 

9. Book / Magazine stands: keep good reads to hand with a lovely wooden book stand. I love that the one in Sanne's sitting room is made from lighter wood which adds a contemporary touch to the space. 

10. Pegs and hooks: A current favourite in homes right now (including my own) - wooden peg rails* are pretty, practical and add a lovely touch to a room. 

11 & 12. Little stools and benches: Wooden stools* are so versatile and can be used as bedside tables (as seen above), for somewhere to sit while reading a bedtime story, or for extra seating at
round the table. I'm also a huge fan of wooden benches (not seen here but speaking from personal experience). I use my workman's bench* as a coffee table, extra seating at the dining table and at the end of the bed

13 & 14. Bedroom wardrobes and chest-of-drawers: I'm such a big fan of vintage wardrobes - especially ones that are painted in pretty pastel shades for children's bedrooms. In my childhood bedroom I had an antique chest-of-drawers. I have to admit, the drawers can be a little stiff at times (cue: a fight just to get my socks out!) but nothing that a little sanding can't fix. It's worth the effort as, IMHO bedrooms look a whole lot more personal and relaxed when you add some old-school charm!

15. Toy storage: the key to a neat and tidy children's room (although I do wonder at times...) is great storage. Buckets, boxes and cabinets all help a child to keep their rooms clean, and they look lovely too! 

16. Toys: I've always been slightly allergic to big, bright plastic, all singing all dancing toys (although, naturally, children love them!). There's something beautiful about simple wooden toys (like this eco-friendly Victorian Dollhouse), plus I think they last way longer (my children used to play with their grandparent's toys!), don't you think? Thankfully, there are more and more online stores selling lovely, functional toys made from sustainable wood which children love - and there are always plenty on the second-hand market! Hurrah (as they say in Sweden)

17. Wood picture frames: Five or so years ago, it was all about the black and white frames, but these days people are embracing natural wood picture frames which add to the earthy vibe of a home. 

18. Bathroom storage: Another wonderful handmade piece by Woodchuck with a built-in rail provides storage for bath and shower items. Combine with rattan and leather accessories to add a warm touch to a pared down room. 

19. Clothes rail: there's something beautiful about a simple wooden clothes rail*, plus they're a really handy place to temporarily hang clothes in the bathroom and bedroom. 

20. Wooden accessories: There's no quicker way to add warm wood to your home than opting for wooden accessories. Think brooms and brushes (see below), fly swatters, shoehorns, toothbrushes... they'll add an immediate organic touch to your living space and, if nicely crafted, they'll stand the test of time. Except of course, a toothbrush, you might want to swap that one out from time to time!  

I'm sure I've missed countless other ways to bring wood into the home - please do add your own tips and tricks in the comment section below, I'd love to hear them! 

Sanne's home was such a fine example of how much warmth this material can add. I noticed the family have recently moved home. If you'd like to follow their new journey, check out Sanne's instagram here. Her online store Atelier Hop also has a beautiful selection of items.

I've always been a big fan of Dutch style. I particularly love Delft-based interior designer Holly Marder's work, she always incorporates plenty of wood into her spaces: 

So lovely, don't you think? 

I hope you're celebrating Lillördag (little Saturday) in style today. My Mother-in-law is coming down to see us from Helsingborg. She's had both of her vaccinations now, which means we all get a hug! :)


Photography: 1,6,7,8,9,10, 14 - Holly Marder. Remaining images: Sanne Hop

This post contains affiliate links marked with * - which means I make a tiny little bit of money if you click on the link and buy an item, at no extra cost to you. 

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