ISSUE 7  |  Great Danes

House Call: Clean Meets Cozy in Denmark

February 17, 2014 10:00 AM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

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On the suburban outskirts of Aarhus, Denmark, Danish architects Mette and Martin Wienberg combine warm, modern rusticity with a cool, minimalist Scandi aesthetic to transform what was originally a 1940’s summer cottage into their family home. It’s an unlikely pairing of styles perhaps, but the ease in which the two coexist is what makes this design so memorable.  

Photography by Mikkel Mortensen with styling by Gitte Kjaer via Yatzer and Dezeen

Above: The kitchen is the classic white setup we’ve come to associate with Scandi design—but here it’s linked to a family room lined with stained plywood more typically seen in cabins. Polished concrete floors visually unify the two spaces, while a rough concrete block provides a bridge—and a step—between the two. 

Above: In the kitchen, floor-to-ceiling curtains and painted wood baffle ceilings (useful for hiding electrical wire while providing sound insulation) add texture while maintaining the cool and calm of the white kitchen. 

Above: A Noguchi Akari Ceiling Lamp diffuses the light over the dining room table. Catifa 60 Chairs by Arper in a natural leather keep the palette neutral. 

Above: For a brief moment, the built-in wood bench in the family room becomes an extension of the concrete floor in the kitchen. Concrete block steps are as sculptural as they are practical.

Above: A built-in wooden bench with leather-covered cushions wraps around three sides of the sunken family room for informal and casual seating. Large cut-out windows provide unfettered views to the outside.

Above: In the family room, a set of bookshelves runs under the stair riser. 

Above: The built-in bench becomes a three-riser step that leads to the master bedroom. Natural daylight washes down the stairs from a large window above.

Above: A cool minimalism pervades in the all-white master bedroom, while a glimpse of the wood-paneled family room is visible beyond. 

Above: A wood stair connects the upstairs study to the downstairs family room.

Above: In the study upstairs, the natural rustic wood from the family room downstairs continues to be the predominant material even on the floor. The Noguchi Akari Ceiling Lamp above the stairwell provides a visual reference and connection to the kitchen. 

Above: The upstairs study provides expansive views  outside. With its built-in wood desk and bookshelves, the space is suggestive of a tree house, albeit one with heating. The architects keep things consistent and connected by introducing the same Catifa 60 Chair by Arper that they used in the kitchen. 

Above: In the large hallway behind the kitchen, the Wienbergs reference the wood in their family room and study by using a natural jute carpet on the floor.

Above: A simple desk has been built-in to run the length of the office, while open metal Metro Shelves provide useful and flexible storage. The same Catifa 60 Chairs by Arper that have been used throughout the house are here used in white. (N.B.: The flexibility of Metro Shelves makes them an architect favorite. Go to Living Small in London to see how the set I bought when I was a newlywed is the best $1,000 my husband and I ever spent.)

Above: In the private back hall, everything is white including the painted floors.  Worried about keeping those white floors clean? See how the Scandinavians do it in the Great Slipper Debate.

Above L: The same neutral palette established throughout the house stays on course even in the bedroom of the Wienbergs’ young son. Above Rt: The bathroom is lined with large-scale black ceramic tiles. 

Above: The exterior of the house is clad in black-painted wood panels and screened with a green slatted fence.

Above: The ground floor plan of Danish architects Mette and Martin Wienbergs’ home

It’s no secret that we’re predisposed toward the simplicity of cabin living. See 10 Summer Cabins for more sources of inspiration from our Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory.

Planning a trip to Scandinavia soon? Some design-worthy cabins to stay in include this Remote Retreat Designed by Swedish Survivalists and The Little Red Treehouse