Haven't we all played around with the thought of building a house in our image. A place to raise a family, to invite guests and have barbeques. With a baby in her arms and another little girl on the way, Emilie and her husband Stefan, embarked on a two year DIY journey to transform their dream house from its original 1950's look, to a light and contemporary family home.
Name : Emilie Fie Monefeldt
Age : 29
Lives : Outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark
Pernille ; Emilie, it’s obviously gorgeous and I know that a lot of other young couples out there would be interested in knowing a bit about how you financed this. Was it all just sweat equity, savings or the more traditional loans ?
Emilie ; Prior to buying the house, we had a fantastic apartment in Frederiksberg in Copenhagen, which we had renovated. When we sold it after 3 years, the profit we made allowed us to make the down payment, and some extra for renovation. The rest of the money we borrowed through the bank.
Pernille ; Notwithstanding your rock-solid decision to do it most yourself, how and who managed the work crews ? any tips to keep them on their toes.
Emilie ; My husband Stefan is electrician by education, and actually did everything himself, the only thing we had help with was the plumber for the first floor bathrooms and a guy who did the grouting on the outside frame of the windows. Stefan taught himself along the way using YouTube for DIY on laying the herringbone floor or tiles in the bathroom. The fact that we did most of the work ourselves saved us the headache of when, how and which craftsmen should come.
Pernille ; Home remodelling and in your case a complete structural transformation seems designed to drain your piggy bank as fast as possible. You got any tried and true ways you managed to save on the costs ?
Emilie ; Although you want to have everything fulfilled, we had to compromise on certain things. Eg. We opted for an Ikea kitchen but insisted on the best appliances. The herringbone floor which was a must for me was a challenge. Stefan said I could have it if I could find it below 80$ per square meter. A couple of days of online searching paid off and I found the most beautiful flooring at just below 40$, the only thing we needed was to grind it ourselves.
Pernille ; You lived in the house from the get go, how did you manage that. Was it a room by room endeavour or did you have the entire plot laid out before you got into it ?
Emilie ; We focused on one floor at a time. The children’s bedrooms were a priority, together with our bedroom and bathroom. It permitted us to live somewhat normal while renovating the ground floor.
Baby bed from Zebra Killi, changing table Cam Cam Copenhagen.
Pernille ; What was your working process ?
Emilie ; Our working process consisted of Stefan having two full time jobs! He would come home and then start on the house, every single night, and every weekend. I would pitch in, when Isolde (my oldest) was away at her grandparents but adding to this the pregnancy hormones it definitely was two challenging years.
Pernille ; Any Do's and Dont's ?
Emilie ; Take your time, in doubt..? sleep on it, even if it takes a week more, the final results will be so much more gratifying. Don’ts – If you are not 100 percent invested and ready to see it through, do not initiate a DIY house project. Eg, I insisted on painting the staircase handle black, but it took a couple of days to convince Stefan. Today it's one of our favourite features in terms of contrast paint.
Pernille ; What's your favorite place in the house ?
Emilie ; Hands down, the open kitchen. The big dimensions, the light and airy appearances is my heaven of peace. It invites to “Hygge” ( the unique word used by Danes to describe a feeling of bliss and coziness)
Pernille ; with a toddler and a new born the choice of so much cream and white is a daring one. Any thoughts on this ?
Emilie ; It's funny I get that question all the time. I feel that although you should respect the pieces you have, at the end of the day it’s just materialistic, and can be changed. A home is for living and living with children will always be a messy affair, and that’s ok! Aim for furniture with fabrics that can easily be washed.
Pernille ; When we first spoke you said you never agreed to any collab's, however we ended up working together, please tell me what made you change your mind ?
Emilie ; You have a passion towards your brand and such a clear vision which I found really compelling. Besides that I loved the idea of products that stimulate the baby’s senses, which is the case of the Bubble bunny or the Sensory blanket My degree and training in early childhood education means that I know just how important this stimulation is. Lastly I found the products ecstatically beautiful and incredibly soft. The fact that they are environmentally friendly baby products is a huge bonus
Pernille ; Any favorite websites in Denmark ?
Emilie ; My absolute favorites for clothes and gear are;
For toys and accessories I go to;
Follow Emilie at @_emiliefie