ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Content - Words ALI MOR­RIS Pho­tog­ra­phy NICOLINE OLSEN/HOUSE OF PIC­TURES Styling HANNE VIND

This stacked con­tainer house in Roskilde, Den­mark, was de­signed to make the most of the in­cred­i­ble vis­tas: on one side are tran­quil views of a fjord, and on the other a mag­nif­i­cent cathe­dral. ‘It’s the most beau­ti­ful plot in Roskilde,’ says owner Helle Thage­sen, who shares the home with her hus­band Ole Gredal ( both are doc­tors). ‘ We live in the cen­tre of this his­tor­i­cal city, but are sur­rounded by na­ture.’

The cou­ple’s four grown-up chil­dren have moved away, and Helle and Ole en­joy an ac­tive out­door life­style. This in­flu­enced the de­sign of their new home, which feels con­nected with the land­scape: ex­ter­nally, it re­sem­bles a Mod­ernist tree­house perched on stilts, while the re­fined in­te­rior is warmed by a tex­tu­ral pal­ette of nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and plenty of win­dows to let in light. your­ way


The home was de­signed and man­u­fac­tured by Dan­ish con­tainer hous­ing com­pany Your House, which has a base in Latvia. It is es­sen­tially a pre­fab prop­erty, made up of four con­tain­ers that were shipped from Latvia to Den­mark and lifted onto the site by crane. ‘It’s an easy and af­ford­able way to build,’ says Helle, who worked with Your House’s ar­chi­tect, Hans La De­gaaro on the prop­erty. Stacked at right an­gles in a cross-shape, the con­tain­ers cre­ate two floors spread over 182 square me­tres. In­side, they are ar­ranged al­most as if they were two apart­ments, with two open-plan liv­ing ar­eas, two bed­rooms and two bath­rooms. Their po­si­tion­ing not only frames the views, but pro­vides shel­tered ar­eas in the gar­den.


Home­owner Helle Thage­sen ex­plains why in­cor­po­rat­ing el­e­ments of na­ture is key to the lux­u­ri­ous aes­thetic of her Dan­ish home It’s im­por­tant to dec­o­rate us­ing nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als and ob­jects that have mean­ing and his­tory – es­pe­cially if, as in this house, it’s new and min­i­mal­ist with white walls and lots of glass. If I had filled this space with de­signer pieces, it would have felt cold rather than cosy. It would have been beau­ti­ful, but not par­tic­u­larly invit­ing. Nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als like leather last a life­time, and of­ten be­come even more beau­ti­ful as time goes on. I like the things around me to be prac­ti­cal – I don’t want to change the decor ev­ery other year. My home is easy to main­tain. I think a space is most ap­peal­ing when the ma­te­ri­als within it age and gain the patina of use. Wood lends warmth to a home. Too much steel, glass or stone can feel quite harsh. We used wood wher­ever we could, and we were cre­ative with how we sourced it – for in­stance, we found the tim­ber for our large din­ing ta­ble by call­ing around lo­cal lum­ber yards and ask­ing if they had any spare lengths we could use. We found the legs on an­other old ta­ble and used those for the base. We al­ways keep an eye out for pieces at flea mar­kets, on our trav­els abroad, or even just when walk­ing out­doors: for ex­am­ple, there’s a tree root in one room that we found while strolling along the beach, as well as a carved wooden tent peg from Morocco. We also have a whale­bone that my hus­band dis­cov­ered in Green­land. We have no rules when it comes to mix­ing dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als. If we see some­thing that we think is beau­ti­ful, we just go straight ahead and buy it – we al­ways find a space for it. The colour pal­ette through­out my home is muted. Bright hues are of­ten fash­ion-led, and date quickly. My walls are white and the fur­nish­ings and sur­faces pro­vide ac­cents of nat­u­ral tones in­spired by our sur­round­ings. This cre­ates a scheme that is time­less. ➤

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