A sunny spot next to a cornfield was exactly the rural setting this young couple were looking for. Then all they had to do was build a house…
When Mille Holm Rasmussen and her partner Morten were looking for a weekend retreat, their initial thoughts turned to something that floated. Morten had been dreaming about a boat ever since their apartment in central Copenhagen had started to feel a bit too small, but in the end Mille thought a rural home would be more practical, especially if they started a family in the next few years.
She convinced Morten to cycle out to Hvidovre, a leafy area in the city’s southwest, to look at a communal-garden development where they might be able to buy a small house adjoining some farmland.
“We took a look around and talked to some people, but there were no properties available at the time,” says Mille. However, the determined couple didn’t let that deter them; they simply went home and created 50 flyers to drop into mailboxes in the area. Within a week, a resident called to say she had a house they could buy.
As soon as they could, the couple returned to Hvidovre to see the house, but came away a little disappointed. However, they liked its sunny aspect and picturesque view of the neighbouring cornfields. Four days later, the property was theirs.
Despite neither of them having any construction or DIY experience, Mille and Morten threw themselves into designing a new home and ripping down the old one. “We rented a car and trailer and worked hard from morning to evening,” says Mille. “On day five, we drove the old house to the recycling centre!” A few weeks later, the skeleton of their new house arrived in two pieces and was assembled on site.
As well as fitting out their home in a simple palette of wood and white, the couple built an outdoor kitchen on their terrace by constructing a wooden bench with a homemade concrete top. They also added a glass-roofed annexe to the outside of their home, which serves as a sunroom, outdoor dining room and guest accommodation.
“It’s the best room in the house,” says Mille. “It’s fantastic to lie down and look up at the starry sky, and to be woken up the next morning by the sun’s rays.”
Now their home is complete, Mille and Morten – and their newly arrived little daughter – live here throughout the summer as well as on weekends and public holidays. The Hvidovre community has a mixture of older and younger families and there’s an active social scene including a local flea market and juice press.
“We look at it as a huge plus,” Mille says. “We can always choose to participate in what we have the time and interest for.”
Words by: Rikke Graff Juel. Photography by: Christina Kayser Onsgaard/Living Inside.