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Femte Til Venstre: A Danish Couple’s Thoughtfully Appointed 1927 Townhouse in Copenhagen

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Femte Til Venstre: A Danish Couple’s Thoughtfully Appointed 1927 Townhouse in Copenhagen

January 22, 2021

I can’t now remember how or when I first stumbled on the feed of @femte.til.venstre (translation, from Danish: “fifth to the left”), probably some early morning or late at night, scrolling through Instagram in search of a little visual serenity.

But I’ve returned to the feed countless times since, taken by the snapshots of a 1927 townhouse in Copenhagen where every room, every corner, feels considered: soothing but still colorful, quiet yet warm and unfussy.

The house—and Instagram feed—are the project of Johanne Landbo and Lukas Filip Fernandes—neither of them, they tell us, with a background in interiors. “But with several years in the fashion industry, we have learned a lot about materials and got a lot of inspiration from designs, interiors, and houses around the world,” Johanne says. Surely that had a hand in the just-right interiors, where simple wood floors mix with textural walls, thoughtful furnishings, and vintage finds.

The couple had been living in Århus, then New York, when they decided to settle in Copenhagen. “We fell in love immediately with this little townhouse,” Johanne wrote to me via email. “When I saw it on the listing, I remember writing to Lukas, ‘Look at this cute house; imagine if we could actually make a snowman in our own garden!’ We went to see the house, and we knew right away that this was the place we wanted to live.

“The house was very basic and quite minimalistic. The floors are the old wooden floors from 1927; [there was a] newly renovated bathroom with beautiful Jura Grau marble tiles, which was just how we like it. All rooms plain, painted white, so it was quite easy for us to make it our own and give it a touch of us. It was in great condition, actually; not much to fix except for the fun aesthetic things.”

They’ve made it their own indeed—and welcomed a baby girl and her nursery, too. Join us for a look.

Photography courtesy of Johanne Landbo and @femte.til.venstre.

The combined kitchen and dining room at the back of the house, with original s wood floors and doors out to the back garden. It&#8
Above: The combined kitchen and dining room at the back of the house, with original 1920s wood floors and doors out to the back garden. It’s the couple’s favorite room: “The light, the view to our garden, the atmosphere of a mix of cooking, coffee brewing, baking, and sun through the windows makes me feel thankful everyday for the house,” says Johanne.
Magda at the Roland Wilhelmsson dining table, a new acquisition and the couple&#8
Above: Magda at the Roland Wilhelmsson dining table, a new acquisition and the couple’s favorite piece in the house. “A vintage piece we bought on auction, it was hard to find for the right price,” says Johanne. “It is a heavy table, and it is in beautiful condition. The best part is that it is a table that you can use and use, let the children play on it, eat on it; I can use it as a creative space without having to worry about it being fragile or dirty. It is meant to be used, like the rest of our furniture.” The walls are done in chalk paint; the pleated hanging light is vintage.
&#8
Above: “We gave the kitchen a bit of life with textured paint from Jotun and put up handcrafted Moroccan tiles in beige,” writes Johanne. “It gives the room such a calm feeling. Besides that, we wanted a cabinet specific for making coffee, as we are much into that.” The coffee station is topped with a leftover piece of marble the couple found in the attic, “which fit perfectly!” Johanne says.
Into the serene living room. Among the major changes the couple has made to the house: &#8
Above: Into the serene living room. Among the major changes the couple has made to the house: “We changed the old windows, both for environmental reasons, for the heat, and also for the light. We have the sun most of the day, so we made the windows bigger, which gives the room an amazing feeling when the sun is up.”
In the living room, a Mobring chair and a glass cabinet for displaying collected ceramics. The couple stripped a pale-yellow wall to reveal the pared-back plaster, at left.
Above: In the living room, a Mobring chair and a glass cabinet for displaying collected ceramics. The couple stripped a pale-yellow wall to reveal the pared-back plaster, at left.
A cast-iron lamp with pleated shade was a vintage find online.
Above: A cast-iron lamp with pleated shade was a vintage find online.
Beside the sofa. &#8
Above: Beside the sofa. “We always use the Danish vintage page called ‘The Blue Newspaper,'” says Johanne (it’s called DBA). “We spend a lot of time going on auctions and Facebook Marketplace and make sure that the things are just right for our place before we buy it. It is very rare that we buy items from new, as we like the personality the things get from aging. It feels more alive and adds history.”
To the stairway.
Above: To the stairway.
The main bedroom on the second floor, with bedding and pillows from Silkeborg Uldspinderi and Sweden-based Midnatt. Johanne found the framed quilt above the bed via Piece by Piece by Piece, which specializes in vintage American quilts, framed.
Above: The main bedroom on the second floor, with bedding and pillows from Silkeborg Uldspinderi and Sweden-based Midnatt. Johanne found the framed quilt above the bed via Piece by Piece by Piece, which specializes in vintage American quilts, framed.
The lower portions of the walls are painted deep blue.
Above: The lower portions of the walls are painted deep blue.
A wall of closets beside the bed, for plenty of storage.
Above: A wall of closets beside the bed, for plenty of storage.

Not pictured are the baths. “There are two bathrooms, one of which we are renovating just now with beautiful Østersjøsten on the floor and walls and with a heavy sink from Kast Concrete Basins,” Johanne says.

In a small sitting room upstairs, a pink glass-front cabinet holds bed linens.
Above: In a small sitting room upstairs, a pink glass-front cabinet holds bed linens.
Magda&#8
Above: Magda’s nursery, with an ingenious take on the changing table: a fold-down version, with diapers and cloths at the ready.

As far as paints and palettes go, Johanne writes, “I love using Jotun. They have a wide palette of colors and have different varieties of paint to play with.”

The loft, &#8
Above: The loft, “which can be used as a guest room,” Johanne says, left spare and simple.
And an enviable work-from-home space, candle included.
Above: And an enviable work-from-home space, candle included.

For more Copenhagen projects we return to again and again, see:

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