30 Sep, 2021

Transforming an old beauty into a modern home

We travelled to Denmark, just North of Copenhagen to visit the home of the Director of Vario by VELUX, Frederik Gierding, his wife Kathrine and their two daughters Lucca and Rosa. We were delighted to see first-hand how they have transformed their home over the course of several months and enhanced it with natural daylight that elevates the home to a whole new level.

The story of a building from 1935 transformed into a modern home

The tale of this house and the work involved is a captivating story. “We bought this house a year ago.” Frederik explained, “it's a 1935 house designed by a Danish architect and we instantaneously fell in love with the house because it has so many levels in the floorplan.”

While the house is now almost 100 years old, it was renovated in the 1970s, however, over 40 years have now passed since then and the building has had some considerable wear and tear, despite this, it was perfect for Frederik and Kathrine to undertake a project that would turn it into their ideal home for them and their two daughters.

To start with, the building and structure have a fascinating design, with the front door opening to reveal two separate staircases leading to lower and higher floors, giving the home multiple levels to work with.

The plan was to create a home that maintained the detail of the original building while also adding modern features to make sure it met the needs of the family. The project to transform this impressive structure began in December 2020 and was finished eight months later in August 2021. During this time the building received a full remodelling with two structural walls removed and new removable walls built-in.

“We had to remove walls to create open living-dining spaces to accommodate a modern family. And the new kitchen dining area had to be bright and uplifting.“ In addition, two bathrooms, three living areas, a wine room, a playroom and other areas were created to help cultivate a home that was right for the entire family.

Shining a light on ‘the heart of the home’

Two of the centrepieces of the project were the Vario by VELUX rooflights installed in the open kitchen & dining area, and in the hallway, both of which have added character to the building. For the kitchen and dining area, Frederik explains how important it was to get it right: “It's the heart of the home. And it's where we spend all our time.”

Kathrine also shared how important it was to the family to have an area that allowed them to be together. “It's nice that the girls can be here and they can sit at the kitchen counter and do their homework or drawings, and I'm still a part of whatever they're doing.”

In fact, one of the more thoughtful parts of the project was the position of the rooflight itself, Frederik and Kathrine wanted to take advantage of northern orientated daylight as it provides a number of advantages. To start with, it doesn’t have the glare that’s associated with daylight emanating from the south, it provides daylight in a different context, illuminating rooms and creating a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Kathrine explained the reason for the decision. “We knew that the kitchen would be situated towards the North. So we knew that we needed to get some additional daylight into this part of the room in order to make it a nice space to stay in.” The final outcome is simply stunning.

The incredible hallway bathed in natural daylight

It wasn’t just the open plan kitchen and dining area that received the rooflight treatment, with natural daylight playing a big part of the home’s impressive hallway behind the front door that opens to reveal access to various levels of the property.

“Walking in the front door you see that magnificent hallway, which is quite astonishing. We wanted to create a kind of a light well,” Frederik explains, “ that penetrated all three storeys of the building with natural daylight.”

This amazing effect, created by natural daylight, was enhanced by an interior design decision that embellished the beauty of the rooflight even further. Kathrine explained what they did: “We decided to paint the ceiling light blue because we wanted to pull in the sky into the house and I think it gives an amazing effect when looking up.”, Frederik adds, "Actually, we did the same in the living room by choosing a light green colour on the walls towards the garden, in order to resemble the colours we see when looking through the windows." This simple design choice elevates the look of the home and creates a truly magnificent first impression when arriving through the front door and a relaxed feeling in the living room.  

The importance and impact of the fifth wall

Incorporating the fifth wall as part of your home aesthetic is important, as a well-designed roof or ceiling completely changes the atmosphere of a space in an effortless way. This is something that Frederik and Kathrine wanted to achieve with their renovation by using the calming daylight and utilising its beauty inside their new home.

Kathrine commented, “I think this house would be a completely different house if we hadn't implemented the rooflights. The fifth wall that you have in the ceiling is as important as any other wall in the house. Looking at it today, it’s probably one of the best decisions we have made. The natural daylight, you simply can’t compete with that.”

The fifth wall can help your home to use light and shade to complement the interior decoration you already have or as is the case here, to elevate a look and craft a wonderfully inviting homely atmosphere. On the surface, light is an abstract addition to the home but its natural beauty is unparalleled. As you can see from the images, it offers an incredible benefit to any property.

Contact a Daylight Expert today

Are you inspired by the story of this simple stunning Danish home that has used daylight to create an aura and atmosphere that is difficult to achieve without this natural element? Whether you want to replicate Frederik and Kathrine’s idea or have one of your own, why not get in touch with one of our Daylight Experts today and discover the potential of beautiful natural daylight in your home. 

Vario by VELUX replacement Skovshoved Denmark
Vario by VELUX replacement Skovshoved Denmark
Vario by VELUX replacement Skovshoved Denmark
Vario by VELUX replacement Skovshoved Denmark
Vario by VELUX replacement Skovshoved Denmark
Vario by VELUX replacement Skovshoved Denmark
Vario by VELUX replacement Skovshoved Denmark
Vario by VELUX replacement Skovshoved Denmark
Vario by VELUX replacement Skovshoved Denmark

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