Not far from Skørping in Northern Jutland, there is a village surrounded by fields and old farms, where, in the 1970s, a neighbourhood of detached homes was built. Most of the 40-50 year old detached homes are showing signs of age, but one of them has changed appearance completely. It is unrecognisable.
The house belongs to Morten Nielsen, who bought it five years ago. The house used to belong to his maternal grandparents. Morten had settled on a different plot in the town, where he intended to build a new home, but then he thought about buying his grandparents’ detached house and modernising it instead. “This allowed me to bring some soul into my home, which I feared would not have been the case in a newbuild,” explains Morten Nielsen. He also found it to be an enjoyable challenge to work on transforming a detached home typical of its period into a modern residence.
Two architect’s sketches
The first step was to tear down a glass conservatory and gut the interior. This work was carried out by Morten and his family using hired machinery. “It was incredibly hard work. Also because we dug half a metre down into the soil below the house to make room for underfloor heating,” he explains. When the first stage was done, only three exterior walls remained. “Some might say that I excavated and cleared the soul of the old house away, but it is still here because the house still sits at the same location on the plot. This means, for example, that my bedroom is situated in the same place that my grandparents’ bedroom was,” says Morten.
After gutting, Morten asked two different architects to present sketches of what would happen next. This resulted in two very different offers.
“I chose the most innovative architect, who had practically turned the layout upside down compared to the original layout. Among other things, this meant that the new kitchen from Multiform Aalborg would be situated in the middle of a large open-plan kitchen and living space and that the extension was clad in wood to stand out from the rest of the house, which is built from brick,” says Morten.
Besides an overall sketch on a piece of A4 paper showing a floor plan and indication of the kitchen placement, neither Morten nor the tradesmen had any other drawings from which to build.
“This was completely deliberate as I thought it could be interesting to decide, during the process, which solutions to go for in the various rooms and therefore to have completely free rein. In retrospect, this decision most certainly did not make it easier to complete the project,” Morten says. It quickly transpired that it was more costly, in terms of both time and money, to not have considered every detail in advance. The tradesmen had to ask Morten about everything, as they did not have any drawings to work from. “This meant that I constantly had to be present at the site. I have absolutely no idea how I would have managed if it wasn’t for the fact that I could, being self-employed, adjust my working hours around it,” Morten explains.
“I have now gained experience of a major building task and I would approach another redevelopment in a different way, but sometimes you need to learn from your mistakes. Let me just say that I have learned a lot,” says Morten with a smile. He can still smile, in spite of the additional costs, because the result is nothing less than his dream house and he has no plans to sell. His parents, sister and friends all live in the village. An essential network that Morten always knew he would benefit from being closer to.
I thought it was an interesting task to not only change the appearance but also to add more contemporary comfort to the house.
Close collaboration with Multiform Aalborg
Despite his young age, Morten has always had big dreams and he had no doubts about what he wanted. He was still unsure whether it would be possible to have a Multiform kitchen in his new home. But, in close collaboration with Jannie Kjær, Multiform Aalborg, Morten ended up with exactly the kitchen he had been dreaming of. “We had an incredibly good collaboration and it is all about working together with the customer so that they get what they are dreaming of so that they are not left with the sales representative’s dream becoming reality in the house when the work is complete,” says Jannie Kjær. Together with Morten, she designed a kitchen using Multiform’s design classic Form 1 in smoked oak with tall black cabinets and an ultra-matt finish that doesn’t stain too quickly from greasy fingers. The bronzed lamp above the kitchen island is from Anour.
One of the things that took most time during the construction was Morten’s desire to investigate the entire market to look at products every time he needed to consider e.g. which kitchen fitting to invest in. “I became obsessed with not wanting to make random choices. This meant that I spent endless hours, every evening, surfing company websites and reading catalogues and product specifications. It ended up getting a bit nerdy. On the other hand, I now know everything I could ever need to know about the various taps available on the market and which ones are the best,” says Morten.