Bigger rooms, sleeker decor, more light, less clutter: This mantra for minimal living is what inspired Danish wallpaper designer Trine Andersen to buy a ramshackle 1960’s house and transform it into the dream home she shares with her partner, Martin. When the couple first saw the house, which is situated in a leafy lakeside neighborhood outside Aarhus in Denmark, they saw the potential to create the spacious open-plan interior that they had longed for. Originally built as a country retreat for a city-dweller, the house’s streamlined architecture, wide windows, natural textures, and lush surroundings provided the perfect ingredients for a laid-back lifestyle.
"When we first saw the house, it felt like going back in time half a century," explained Trine, who realized immediately that there was scope to renovate it in a contemporary style. "The owner had done little to the house since he built it in 1965, and the original light fittings and kitchen units were still here. It also felt dark and depressing since little natural light traveled through to the core of the house." To create sleeker spaces and maximize the passage of ambient light, the couple replaced old windows, fitted skylights, smoothed plaster over exposed brick surfaces, and tore down interior walls. The construction work eliminated dark alcoves and murky corners, transforming what was a warren of small rooms into a spacious living area that opened into the dining room, and interconnected a new kitchen with the main room. The original ash wood flooring was stripped and sanded, while the living room floor was replaced with oak. Storage closets at the entrance were eliminated to widen the hallway and channel more light down to the lower level. Downstairs, the bathroom doubled in size and adjoined to the couple’s dressing room, and unused spaces were converted into efficient storage areas.
Once the construction work was finished, the couple coated the walls and ceilings with white paint to make the interior as light as possible. "It created a feeling of weightlessness and gave us a blank backdrop to work with," Trine explained. For a wallpaper designer, a house full of pristine white surfaces provided the perfect palette for large-scale patterns. "Initially I was against the idea of using wallpaper at all," Trine said. "I used to regard wallpaper as something that belonged to my parent’s generation, something that didn’t fit in with contemporary style." Recognizing the value of using wallpaper as a feature rather than a backdrop, Trine designed motifs that could provide a rich accent in a room or take centre stage as a focal point. By drawing upon some of the couple’s favorite symbols and shapes, Trine created a uniquely personal palette of graphic expressions. Peacock feathers, summer flowers, and black-and-white symbols peeled off the printed page and papered the hallway, home studio, and master bedroom.
Against a backdrop dominated by earth tones, pale tints and light-colored wood grains, the use of bold prints added vibrant elements to an otherwise unadorned interior. Trine’s wallpaper charged the house with a sense of vitality that counteracted the feeling of emptiness that minimalism sometimes evokes. "When I realized what a big demand there is for graphic wallpaper I decided to manufacture my designs and sell them commercially. That means I can share my style with homeowners around the world."
Written by Bradley Quinn
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