My Danish Home in Barcelona

Barcelona
on 20 July 2021
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3 COMMENTS

When people visit me for the first time, many spontaneously express: “This is a home - not only a house”.

During last year, where we all spend so much time inside, I think the home got a new meaning for many people.

This inspired me to think about what a home is to me?

Home, Hygge & Danish Culture

I guess most Danes create a “home” without thinking so much about it. Here in Spain where I live now, people don’t pay the same attention to their house, because life takes place mostly outside. The sun is shining so why hide away inside.

In Denmark, the home is the turning point of our life. Due to climate and culture, we spend a lot of time at home. We invite our family, friends and relations to visit us at home and therefore we invest a lot of time, energy and money, not only in making it a comfortable place to be but also in making it “ours” in a way that reflects our personal identity.

In 2017, when Denmark was announced to be the happiest country in the world it was much related to the Danish concept hygge.

Hygge, best translated as “cosy”, describes a warm atmosphere, a sensation, a way of being together and enjoying the simple and good parts of life alone or with the people we care about.

Hygge can take place home or out, but it is definitely an atmosphere we intend to create in our home. Here on the blog I will continue elaborating on and give examples of what hygge is.

 

Feels Like Me

I say thank you every time I enter my home, because I feel so good here.

My home is the center of my world from where my life evolves. It is my base, where I can truly be myself and live a life that reflects who I am.

Perhaps I also appreciate my home even more because it took me two years to find a place I really felt was me. It was worth the waiting. I like everything about my home in Sarriá in Barcelona where I live. I am in love with my neighborhood, but this is a chapter in itself, so I will leave this for another time.

When I am sharing what makes me feel good in my home, it is not because you need to feel the same. It is simply because I want to share why I think my apartment feels like a real home. A place that reflects who I am, where I can live the life I desire.

I also share some references to some of my favorite things that I think give my home a personal atmosphere and style.

Luckily we are all different! So you can take my home as an example and think about how your home can reflect who you are and support your lifestyle.

Back to My Roots

From my living room, I have a view of the mountain Tibidabo with the church on top, from where I see the light and colors changing during the day. At night the church is illuminated. It looks so magic! When I entered my flat for the first time and saw the view I knew this was my home.

As I grew up in the middle of the Danish nature where I could see the wide horizon and follow the seasons change on the leaves of the trees, the presence of nature and daylight is essential for me. It gives me peace in mind that connects me with who I am and allows me to think creatively.

My Oasis

In my home the view and the terrace form part of the space inside right from the entrance.

I wanted the terrace to be an oasis that brings a cosy atmosphere and the calming rythm of nature into my home.

I put many plants in different sizes to create a Mediterranean atmosphere that makes the terrace cosy and lively. The big plants like the olive tree really give a lot of character to the space.

I got all the plants at Flores Flores Navarro at one time, so I was sure they matched well.

A big table is a really Scandinavian style, because we Danes love to gather around the table at home with friends and family.

I wanted a big table in the center of the terrace that really invites to settle down. I love the rustic style. It’s perfect for everything, dinners, work, meetings.

It is made of recycled wood and comes in custom sizes with a water-resistant varnish that, apart from making it fit for every kind of weather, gives it a casual vintage look.

I found both the table and the chairs in Catalina House on Formentera. So it’s not really Scandinavian. They also have a shop in Barcelona. It is a really nice shop with a modern Nordic style. They have a website. You can’t shop online but the shops are worth a visit!

Rugs are like interior accessories. The icing that gives the final touch and style to a room.

The rug gives the terrace a bohemian casual style. It visually brings everything together and makes the whole setting more calm and organised.

It took me long time to find an outdoor style I liked. I was so happy when I found this rug on Westwing.

Westwing  is a home and living e-commerce headquartered in Germany. The service is so efficient and shipping and returns work smoothly. If you don’t like the product they come a pick it up, no costs! The online shops run by country. Westwing is the sales club with temporary offers while Westwing NOW is the permanent stock.

 

Working With a View of the Sky

Because I spend most of my time working at home, I wanted my office to be in the best place the flat. It’s in the glazed corner of the living room facing the mountain and the terrace. It is like working outside.

Looking up from the screen I see the ever-changing sky and the horizon. It’s such a calming feeling and relaxing for the eyes to look at something at a distance to balance the close-up perspective in front of the screen.

My apartment is an open space so I have a dining table, a sofa table and a work table in the same room. Further more, the terrace table is also visible from the living room. I had the sofa table and the dining table already, so for the office, I wanted something minimalist and quiet. Hay’s Loop Stand table was exactly this. Beautifully minimalist in a way that hardly looks like a furniture. Hay is a Danish design company established with the vision that that good design is everyone’s right and known for a simple and functional Nordic style.

On the desk I have Verner Panton’s Flower Pot. Verner Panton is considered one of Denmark’s most influential 20th-century furniture and interior designers. He is best known for his “1960s” style designs especially in plastic materials in vibrant and exotic colors. I like the simple yet playful shape of this lamp. The Flower Pot comes in many variations and colors.

Art is My History

Art brings a sense of “magic” and spirit into my home. The pictures I have reflect moments of my life that have a special meaning to me and create a special atmosphere.

The big photography of the oak forest in the dining room reminds me of my childhood in the countryside. We had a small oak forest and my dad told me the trees should be respected because they had and old spirit.

I like the spirit this picture brings to dining, because I think enjoying good food is a sacred act of life that can’t be appreciated enough.

The photo is shot in the forest Dyrehaven (The Deer Park) located close to where I lived before, where some of the oldest Danish oak trees are. In all aspects it reminds me of my Danish roots.

The artist Søren Aagaard is a friend of mine. He is actually an architect and we were colleges for many years when I worked in the building industry.

All the pictures in my home are created by artists who are friends and family and a few are my own.

I think the art in my home creates a personal atmosphere because I know the artists and because all the pictures mean something special to me.

I look forward to showing a gallery with the art of my friends here on the blog soon.

Hygge Around the Table

Most of all, my home is a place where I enjoy time with the people I love. I want my home to be hyggelig (cosy). A warm place that creates an informal way of being together, where everyone feels welcome and free to be who they are. I like inviting people home because I think it creates an intimate and easy-going atmosphere that opens up for a deeper connection and dialogue.

I love cooking for my friends at home. I think a good dinner at home can bring people together on a soul level.

I enjoy preparing the dinner and setting a nice table. My dining table is Piet Hein’s Superellipse, one of the Danish design icons. I love its’ elegant elipe shape that creates a sense of uniting people like a round table does, although it’s more rectangular, because of the rounded corners.

The dining chairs have a more Mediterranean style, which I like in combination with the table’s Nordic style. I think they make the complete dining room style more casual and welcoming. I found the chairs at Cado Interior. The owner Jeanette Trensig is Danish. She has a nice selection of brands with a Nordic cosy style. Her office in Turo Parc in Barcelona is a small showroom for customized interior services.

As I wanted the picture above the table to be visually undisturbed, I wanted discrete but stylish lamps. The Diamond Lights lightbulbs have a unique and subtle design at the same time. The shape is so elegant and the halogen light is beautiful. They throw some incredible shadows on the ceiling and walls in the evening that create a really cosy atmosphere. Both one single light bulb or several together look great, which make them suitable for many situations.

The Diamond Lights are designed by the Swedish designer Eric Therner. There are different colors of lamp holder and cord. There is a ton of light bulbs on the market, but these are unique.

Classics on The Table

I have some basic classic tableware that I use over and over and combine with everything.

For me good design is stylish always and is something I like to use everyday.

The porcelain from Royal Copenhagen is a classic tableware with a timeless beauty that will literally last forever, since it is a high quality porcelain which is almost impossible to break. I am a fan of the big dinner plates of the collection White Elements designed by Louise Campbell. The jug is from the White Fluted collection.

My cutlery is from Georg Jensen, also a Danish design icon, which can be found in many Danish homes. I don’t know what’s wrong with us Danes, but we just love our own design! Anyway, the style I have unfortunately went out of production, but there are so many other elegant alternatives in the cutlery collection. The New York style is perhaps the most popular in Denmark. Again this is quality design with a classic style that you will have for life!

The wine glasses are from Holmegaard. The Cocoon model has gone out of production, but Holmegaard constantly launches new beautiful collections. The history of the classic Danish renowned glassworks goes back to 1825 and Holmegaard has made it part of their brand to collaborate with the best Danish artists.

The flagship stores of Royal Copenhagen, Georg Jensen and Homegaard are next to each other in Copenhagen centre, se on maps below. They are sold also in the two department stores Illums Bolighus and Magasin du Nord. If you are visiting Copenhagen and want to learn about Danish culture, pass by these design brands, because they represent a lot of the essence of our lifestyle.

I fell in love with the the Spiegelau Crystal long drink glasses immediately when I saw them. I drink water all day long so my water glasses are always visible in my home.

I was looking for water glasses and I wanted them to not only look but also feel stylish.

The Spigelau glasses are heavy so they feel “stylish” and the crystal decoration sparkles up any place – day and night. They come in different models.

I got the glasses in the design store Sacre Coeur in my old neighborhood Charlottenlund a little North of Copenhagen.

The owner Pernille is a friend of my friend Morten. She is a true design lover and has a sharp eye which clearly shows in the unique international selection in her small cool store. Her picks have so much edge and style and are classic at the same time. If you love design you must go and visit Sacre Coeur! See locations below.

If you are not around there, you can get the Spiegelau glasses online.

My Small Functional Kitchen

My small kitchen is an active space in my home. I spend a lot of time here and am surprised that the size of the room hasn’t limited my passion for cooking. I love good quality food. Eating well makes me feel happy and is essential for my well being.

I like my kitchen to be a functional work space, so the kitchen machines I use frequently are out all the time. To balance functional and aesthetics I have things I like looking at everyday.

I like to buy good quality bread, which normally comes in a full size which I can’t eat alone before it gets dry. So I freeze it and toast it. It’s not ideal, but I prefer this instead of buying industrial bread that last longer, so I use my toaster a lot.

I got a Russell Hobbs toaster which is quite compact so it doesn’t take up a lot of space and has a nice retro design. It’s available on Amazon.es and Amazon.de.

Fresh juices and smoothies are are a basic part of my wellbeing. I always make smoothies either to drink or eat as a bowl. I just started juicing again after a long break. It just makes me feel so much better.

For smoothies I have a Warren Pro blender. I bought it many years ago.  It is a super beautiful design, but there are more effective models on the market. This model is not sold anymore.

For juicing, I have an old Hurom slow juicer, which now is a bit outdated. I think Hurom is one of the best juicer brands with the nicest designs on the market. It’s a complicated topic as these machines are not exactly pretty! I’ve got a slow juicer because it’s more efficient and the juice is more nutritious.

 

Every Home is Unique

My home is pretty simple and apart from plants, I don’t have a lot of stuff. I prefer few things with character that reflect me and my lifestyle. This makes me feel really at home and I think this is what makes other people feel at home here too.

It’s not about the stuff in itself. It’s more that the atmosphere and style we create with the things should truly resonate with who we are.

All the areas and things I have mentioned only illustrate my style. You can just take it as an inspiration.

I have put my personal style and spirit into my home, which makes it feel like my place – not any place. You can do the same.

First thing is getting clear on what is really you, so you can make your home reflect you and your lifestyle.

Every home is unique from person to person and that’s wonderful. I love visiting people to see how they make their home personal. It tells so much about who they are and how they live their life.

I am delighted to invite you into my home and look forward to sharing more details and updates about it here on the blog.

Also I will be inviting you to visit other homes that have a unique personal style, hoping it might inspire you as they inspire me.

I often find inspiration in looking at other peoples’ style. It inspires me to get ideas to how I can express mine, although it’s not the same.

We all have a personal style. It is simply an expression of our spirit. We just have to find a way to give it shape.

SHOPPING ONLINE

Danish Design

Denmark: andtradition
Spain: Nordic Nest

SHOPPING LOCATIONS

Barcelona

Catalina House, Barcelona

Cado Interiors

Flores Navarro

Formentera

Catalina House, Formentera

Barcelona

Holmegaard

Royal Copenhagen

Georg Jensen

Charlottenlund

Sacre Coeur Design Store

3 Comments

  1. Iolanda Triviño

    I feel very proud to be a barcelonian and have friends as Maja Asaa. She is a great changemaker and inspirational personal. Her way of seeing life style inspires many people in our country. Even though our culture is not so “homy” I must admit we have learned the importance of work and live balance, specially during this pandemic situation. The need to have a great place to live and to enjoy with family and friends is fundamental to keep our body and soul in peace.

    Reply
    • Maja Asaa

      Iolanda, never replied sorry. It’s my pleasure to be able to contribute in my current country with something from my original culture:-)

      Reply
  2. Dianne Poole

    Exceptional post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Cheers!

    Reply
  3. MDTECH Appliance Repair
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this topic here on your website.

    Reply

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