From city buzz to countryside. Discover an untraditional home that embraces natural materials and thoughtful finishes that is worked around integrating the barns history —

Tell us about your thoughts on moving out of the city and into an old barn?

Best decision ever made. I know many people are hesitant about moving out of the city, but as with everything in life it is a matter of priorities. For us nature, peace and fresh air are more important than the city vibe. We moved from an apartment in central Copenhagen and into the renovated barn. We had been renovating it for 3 years, so by the time it was finish we were definitely ready to leave the city and move to the countryside. We still both work in Copenhagen, so we still get to enjoy the city buzz, but when the work day ends and we approach our home in the countryside, it feels like we can breathe a little deeper.

" Creating a home takes years and I look forward to all the treasures we are going to find "

What have been your values when restoring the barn?

Respect for the building and the use it had in the past. We have tried to integrate the barns history and make respectful choices. Every detail and material are picked with the old barn in mind – the floors, the windows, the paint that has been used. 

Even though the barn has been completely renovated, from the road it looks more or less exactly as it used to – just with a “little” brush up. 

How did you choose the materials you use?

We talked to people who new a thing or two about restorations and who, like us, shared an interest in respecting “the old”. We have used materials that where normally used in the countryside of Denmark in the past. For us it didn’t make much sense to fill the barn with materials that wasn’t accessible in Denmark in the early 1900s. However, using a barn as a home is not natural so especially when it came to kitchen and bathrooms we struggles a bit, because how does a barn bathroom looks like? No one knows. 

What is your favorite room in the barn? And why?

Difficult – each room has its own charm. But if I have to pick one, I guess it is the big living room with the huge window. I love that it feels as if you are sitting in the middle of a field. You can see very far and I like when the eye is able to wonder. The room is very spacious and with around 8 meters from floor to ceiling there are plenty of space for big dreams. 

What do you look most forward to living in the barn?

With such a big project, we have come to terms with the fact that it will take time to decorate it. We look forward to spend time creating a home. Creating a home takes years and I look forward to all the treasures we are going to find. And we look so much forward to creating a garden. 

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Constructing Architect, Freja Bak opens the door to her and her boyfriends apartment, where calm colors and high quality furniture is surrounded by colorful art and books —

Tell us about your apartment.

We bought our small two-room apartment about three years ago. Magnus’ parents live in the building-complex, and therefore he had been on the waiting list since his birth. I went to see the apartment while Magnus was on a business trip to London. We had to answer right away if we would buy it or not – literally in the staircase on the way down from seeing it. It was quite nerve wrecking because Magnus had not seen it, but I went with my gut and said we would buy it, and so we did. The building is drawn by danish architect Kay Fisker in 1922 and is listed.

" I surround myself with objects that I find beautiful or objects that are close to my heart and for me that makes the home. "

How do you play with materials, colors and different surfaces?

It took us a while to figure out what kind of people we were interior-wise and it’s a battle we still struggle with today. We love the minimalist and functionalist approach to interior design but at the same time we own a lot of art and books that create a different atmosphere. Calm colors and high-quality furniture became our base, which in the end left room for colorful art and books. Most of our furniture is made of wood which gives a certain warmth that we both enjoy. But I move stuff around all the time, depending on what kind of energy I long for in the interior. I really like that our furniture can be dynamic in that way. It is the same reason we don’t have a lot of art hanging on the walls at the moment. It is standing on the floors and shelves instead and therefore I can shift between the artworks, depending on moods.

Which qualities do you appreciate most about the apartment?

The light. No doubt. It pours through our apartment and creates the most beautiful setting. The building is typical neoclassicism, with characteristics such as simplicity, pure forms and lines, and symmetry. Every meter, all the way around the building there is a window. The rhythm is unbroken, window, pillar, window, pillar, window, pillar etc. it is amazing. Today it might seem a bit boring and monotonous to the people passing by, but if you have a closer look, it is so well thought and there is so much attention to detail. Which is exactly why it is listed. The building is a part of our cultural heritage.

Where do you seek inspiration for home decor and interior design?

I find inspiration in many places! I love to look for inspiration in interior design books from the 70-80-90-ties, and of course Instagram and Pinterest. My workplace is also very inspiring. I work at an architectural firm in the inner city, Rønnow Arkitekter, who specialize in restoring listed buildings as well as buildings marked worth preserving. Some of the spaces I see in my job are just amazing.

What creates a homely feeling to you?

I find this question difficult to answer. I guess it is a combination of several things for me. I surround myself with objects that I find beautiful or objects that are close to my heart and for me that makes the home. It is important to me that our personality and interests are present in our spaces, and that it does not get impersonal. I like when our dining table is full of things we use throughout the week. Newspapers, chargers, sunglasses, and headphones. All those small messes create a homely feeling for me as well. I like our stuff to have a history or a meaning as well. It could be art bought on a vacation to southern France or a gift from a friend. The stories attached to the items makes all the difference to me.

How would you describe the interior of your home?

Our interior is ever-changing, calm, and dynamic. It is full of objects that make our life. Books, papers, tennis-rackets, yoga mats and coffee mugs. Our apartment is small, and therefore we carefully select our furniture. We do not have a lot of it, but the pieces we have are curated carefully. When we bring a piece in, another one goes out. In that way we make sure not crowd our spaces.

" I move stuff around all the time, depending on what kind of energy I long for in the interior. I really like that our furniture can be dynamic in that way. "

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