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20 | Despite the narrow size, there is still ample counter space for daily rituals.
8 | A skylight just above the work space is perfectly inspiring.
The gold-painted border that frames the wallpaper is an example of the quirky ideas that emerged along the way.“Here I just thought, ‘What goes well with the dark colours?’ Well, gold does!” the owner says, pointing out that, as a whole, the renovation has not turned out very differently from what he originally had in mind.
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17 | Even the entryway has its contributions to clever storage with a wall-mounted shoe rack.
In this project there was no standard Danish minimalism, no mainstream branded furniture and no simple fixes. Rather, Jeppe Bjørnberg Hansen’s 4th- and 5th-floor attic apartment in the center of Copenhagen is packed with quirky, surprising and unique features like gold-coloured radiator pipes, rafters augmented with flower-filled gutters and a custom-enhanced egg chair.
The wall and door are made of the same repurposed scaffold boards that are in the living room, and the door is not easy to spot if you don’t already know it’s there. “Many have been surprised to find that there is a space behind the wall,” Bjørnberg Hansen says.
“There is no visible handle at all, so when the door is closed, you have to know which board to press in order to open the bedroom.”
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“In my previous apartment, which was also a do-it-yourself project, I ended up not getting enough light, so from the outset I thought about the lighting here a lot,” Bjørnberg Hansen says.The apartment is therefore fitted with two “layers” of lighting: the powerful, built-in spotlights in the ceiling on the one hand and on the other the cosier black cube wall lamps, an LED strip in the guitar niche and other indirect lighting.
6 | The coffee table prevents the futon from opening up for sleep…
This photo from Jeppe Bjørnberg HansenHouzz at a GlanceWho lives here: Jeppe Bjørnberg Hansen, 28More on the owner: Bjørnberg Hansen works at the guitar shop Copenhagen Guitars. Originally a trained auto body painter, he has been an artist and graffiti artist, among other things.
He describes himself as a “handy and not-so-handy” man.Location: Stræderne, downtown Copenhagen, DenmarkSize: 860 square feet (80 square meters)Year built: 1777Year renovated: 2016
9 | A small round dining table is nestled into one corner of the main room, but it can be expanded with a leaf for guests.
12 | Tall closets and modern bookshelves complete this kid’s retreat.
In keeping with the other rooms of the home, the bathroom also offers small surprises. Neither the floor nor the shower are lined with wood as it would appear, but rather with Italian tile that not only resembles but also feels like wooden boards and, according to Bjørnberg Hansen, looks particularly beautiful when wet.
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Bjørnberg Hansen, who has no professional background in construction or interior design, mostly relied on his innate flair for the project. “But in some places I was able to employ my experience in auto body painting.
For example, all the electrical outlets are spray-painted to match the wall colours,” says the former auto body painting champion. He also used his talents to spray the hot water pipes that lead to the radiators gold.
The 28-year-old self-proclaimed handyman bought the apartment in the summer of 2015. It is part of an 18th-century building that overlooks Thorvaldsens Museum, a gallery devoted to Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, which was Denmark’s first public museum.
The neighborhood is sandwiched between Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish parliament, on one side, and the Strøget shopping area on the other.At the time the apartment appeared quite run down, and thanks to this, Bjørnberg Hansen says, it was a bargain.
The whole house has undergone a huge makeover.
Bjørnberg Hansen thinks the raw brick wall in the living room came off especially well. The light frame illuminates without being blinding, and the wall serves as a kind of “wall of fame” for precious rock ‘n’ roll keepsakes, including Kurt Cobain’s autograph, framed in gold.
The raw, multicoloured wood panels on the neighbouring wall are from old scaffolds from Copenhagen, purchased from Genbyg.
Bjørnberg Hansen says he set aside all of 2016 for the renovation. He was personally involved in every single detail, though he hired professionals to carry out the plumbing, electrical work and carpentry.
“I took care of the finishing,” he says. “I’ve filled with putty, painted, done some carpentry and decorated. My strength definitely lies in aesthetics and creating the final look.”
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The kitchen is a mix of expensive materials and bargains. The kitchen cabinets are from Ikea, while the countertop is made of Corian with a built-in sink and flush hotplate; the backsplash is made of copper.
The refrigerator is hidden behind a cabinet door.“Overall, I think I’m good at combining materials that are not necessarily costly and spicing them up with expensive details, so the finished result is gorgeous and unique,” Bjørnberg Hansen says.
The dining table is made of old Indonesian ship planks, purchased in the Dutch store One World Interiors, while the dark, leather-textured wallpaper was purchased at Rue Verte in Copenhagen.
3 | With futons, you always have the danger of giving off a dorm room vibe, but this one is simple and clean, which goes a long way towards making it look grown up.
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19 | Rough stone floors have a really interesting look in the incoming sunlight from another skylight.
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5 | By creating a long desk area underneath the slanted attic windows, the designers also deliberately make more storage space.
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Despite the fact that Bjørnberg Hansen only had his own needs and tastes in mind while renovating and decorating the apartment — and even though he has owned it for less than two years — he says it is now time to move on.
“Now that it’s done, I’ll soon get restless and search for other projects and a new apartment, where I can enjoy similar work,” he says.That’s why he has signed a contract for a new apartment — another bargain itching to be renovated — just a few hundred meters away.
“I think I’ve already happily forgotten how hard and demanding such renovation work is. The next thing I’m doing is going to be even wilder. Among other things, I’m dreaming of creating a library with a secret door,” Bjørnberg Hansen says.
What do you think of this Danish home? Let us know in the Comments.
11 | Electric green accents give this room a youthful feel but an overall white and gray palette ensure it meshes easily with the rest of the home.
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The beautiful, bright plank flooring, made of American Douglas fir and free from knots, is a good example of how the original elements play a key role. “It was already in the apartment when I bought it, and it looked very old and brown, so I was afraid that it would never look good.
But once it was polished and treated with lye, I think it turned out gorgeous,” Bjørnberg Hansen says.The original beams have been stained to give off a warm, golden glow. “I was born in Bogø [an island in the Baltic sea] and grew up on a farm there, so I didn’t want to get rid of the rustic ambience of the framing,” he says with a smile.
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1 | This overall view shows us most of the main living area, including the small dining nook, modern gray futon and narrow study area.
Bjørnberg Hansen’s takeaways from the project? “First, it always takes longer than you think.” Bjørnberg Hansen suggests that homeowners embarking on a renovation estimate the required time and then double it, so they don’t get stressed and annoyed along the way.
Second, he says “you must dare to put your thoughts and ideas into practice without fearing that everything must be white and minimalist. And without being anxious about whether you will be able to resell the space: Individual charm is highly rated.
13 | Due to the minimal square footage and the slated ceilings, the pale blue kitchen actually had to be split into two parts.
14 | One side includes a white brick accent wall and small stove.
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The wall on the other side of the living room — the “Western Wall” as the owner correctly calls it — is also covered with old scaffolding boards, while the adjacent one is papered with wallpaper that resembles old metal plates.
It was bought from Rue Verte in Copenhagen.In front of it stands another one-of-a-kind piece. “I’ve lined the back of Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair with a cowhide that matches the cognac colour of the front.
It’s one of the many unique touches in the house. I think it’s something special to know that things are unique and that no one’s got the same thing,” Bjørnberg Hansen says. He made the painting with the American flag and the guitar himself.
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16 | A mobile storage unit can also double as seating for guests.
One of the apartment’s most original details are the exposed beams in the kitchen. After having stored various building materials up there during the renovation, the space suddenly seemed a little empty to Bjørnberg Hansen when it was cleaned up.
So, he came up with the idea of installing gutters with ivy planted inside on top of the beams.“The attic is almost 4.5 meters [about 15 feet] high and large Velux windows are installed in the sloping walls, so the three gutters with greenery contribute to making the kitchen seem cosier and lusher,” Bjørnberg Hansen says.
He also made special feet for the gutters at the guitar shop he works in.
The home is dominated by natural materials and metallic accents. Bjørnberg Hansen describes the style as “rustic with a flair for contrasts.” Raw brick walls are juxtaposed against 200-year-old timber framing, whitewashed walls and ceilings and gold-coloured radiator pipes.
“I’ve turned up the charm of the old apartment, while taking its former look — with its irregularities and timber frames — and respect for this old style as starting points,” he says.
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Above the kitchen is the bedroom, which can be accessed through a hatch in the ceiling.
7 | …until it rolls away underneath that desk along the wall.
15 | While the other half of the kitchen includes a portable a built-in wine cabinet.
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10 | In the child’s room we see even more evidence of clever storage, starting with the way the bed is tucked under the wall-to-wall desk. The creative map decal is also worth mentioning.
4 | A small coffee table houses books underneath to maximize space further.