Design

This Cozy Copenhagen Home Is a Book Lover’s Paradise

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

Postdoctoral researcher Miriam McKenna lives with her husband, Morten, and their two kids on a small island in Copenhagen. “We’re a 15-minute bike ride from the beach, and weirdly close to the airport,” she laughs. “Our kids are total plane spotters.” Here Miriam shares the importance of indirect lighting, her argument for daybeds and how to make any space feel cozy…

LIVING ROOM

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

On family names: My husband took my last name when we got married. It was important for me to have a shared family name, but I wasn’t sure about taking his name. So, we were in this conundrum. We thought, ‘Okay, let’s hyphenate,’ but our names were funny hyphenated. Now we’re the McKennas. I’m proud of my last name. McKenna is a rare name — just eight of us in all of Denmark, and I produced two — or technically three — of them. As an Australian living in Denmark, I like that our names stand out.

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

Daybed base: vintage, similar. Daybed fabric: Jobs Handtrycks, similar. Throw pillows: Donna Wilson, similar; Beau Marche, similar. Rug: Danish vintage. Floor lamp: Muuto. Pendant: Le Klint.

On pick-me-up lighting: When I moved here from Australia, I struggled with the long winters. But after a couple years, I realized that embracing it was the only way to survive six months of dark and cold. Lighting is a huge part of a Scandinavian home. Here, there isn’t usually much overhead lighting. Instead, lamps are dispersed through the room, so the feeling is much softer. Corner lighting is big. Plus, of course, lots of candles.

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

Coffee table, sofa and rug: vintage. Rattan chairs: Carl Hansen. Throw pillows: Utopia Goods; SCP.

On arranging furniture: The sofa is a centerpiece of any Danish home. Ironically, ours is super uncomfortable. It’s a vintage Josef Frank one that I found online for a steal, but it’s stuffed with horse hair. You get a numb butt after an hour. I guess it’s good because it prevents me from falling into a Netflix black hole. I’m like, ‘Can’t feel my butt, time to turn off the TV!’

Copenhagen Living Room Bookshelves: homemade. Daybed base: vintage, similar. Daybed fabric: Jobs Handtrycks, similar. Throw pillows: Donna Wilson, similar; Beau Marche, similar.

On the pleasures of daybeds: When I was pregnant with my second, I had a hard time sleeping in our hot bedroom, so I put a mattress in the living room. It was a revelation. I thought, how can I make this legitimate furniture? So, I brought fabric from Svenskt Tenn , made a cover and then found a daybed base. I was like, ‘There you go, a bed in the living room.’

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

On making the first move: My husband and I met at a design awards show. As an art director, he was there for a legitimate reason. I was there for the free alcohol. We were flirting, but he seemed a little reserved, so I took charge of the situation. I asked him out, and we went bowling and ate Chinese food. That’s how you gotta do it!

On language mix-ups: One of the biggest differences between my husband and me is the way we use humor. Australians can have a dark sense of humor, and so do the Danes, but we have a way of giving people a bit of a hard time. My family teases my husband constantly. He takes it personally, and I have to say, ‘No, that’s just how we do it if we like you!’ And we use SO. MUCH. SLANG. When I’m with my friends and family, we get into a mode of speaking that’s incomprehensible to anyone else. We cannot say a word in full — avocado is ‘avo,’ sandwich is ‘sanga.’ And our kids speak a strange hybrid language of Danish and English. I don’t really understand what they’re saying, and my husband doesn’t really understand what I’m saying. We’re all just talking.

ENTRYWAY

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

Paint color: Farrow & Ball Pale Powder. Hooks: antique, similar. Prints: Maeght.

On kids’ backpacks: Every little kid has these Fjallraven backpacks — if you don’t wear them, they might revoke your citizenship. Babies basically come out wearing them. I especially love the mini size.

DINING ROOM

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family Table and chairs: antique J.L. Møller. Armchair: antique Arne Norell Sirocco.

On bare windows: Much to my mother’s chagrin, we have no curtains or drapes. It’s a Scandinavian thing, and it helps let in the light year round. We have an overgrown garden, so most of our house is shaded from the street, but people can look directly into our kitchen, which I kind of like. It makes me feel like part of the neighborhood.

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

Credenza: antique, similar. Pendant lamp: George Nelson. Globe lamp: Santa & Cole. Art: Daniel Garlngarr. Mugs and plates: Lolo Kokochaka.

On cooking for guests: We love having friends over now and again and cooking lots of food. I once had a pie-themed party, so I made galettes and quiche for the appetizers, and then a chicken pot pie for the main course, and then pecan pie for dessert. You have to be committed to the amount of butter and pastry you’re going to consume.

KITCHEN:

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family Paint: Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue.

On blue paint: I saw a French stylist’s home on Pinterest in this paint shade, and I was like, that’s our kitchen color! It’s a small space, so our friends were trying to dissuade us from doing it, but as soon as we painted, we thought it looked very cool. And this sounds unsexy, but the color hides grease stains. The hue changes throughout the day — in the mornings, it’s bright but then it looks grayer later. It’s a really, really nice color.

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family Plates: Soh Ceramics. Cups: Damon Moon for Jam Factory. Teapot: Marimekko.

On open shelving: My husband calls these shelves ‘dust collectors,’ but it’s nice to show off our stoneware pottery. The style is popular in both Australia and Denmark, so I like that it’s two traditions combined.

PLAYROOM

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family Table: Ikea. Chair: Studio Mini. Rug: vintage.

On household friendships: Abi and Eli are total little buddies. It was touch and go there for a while, since they’re only 15 months apart. And the jealousy phase hit when Abi turned two. But now they go to the same daycare, and they have a good time. Their go-to game at the moment is just running in circles through the house.

Copenhagen Playroom

Life is Fantastic tea towel: David Shrigley. Play kitchen: Ikea. Toy piano: Vilac.

On controlling chaos: The playroom off the dining room is my favorite part of the house. I love the big window and parquet floors. The kids can make a mess there. If stuff creeps out, I just sweep the lego bricks back into the playroom. It’s the designated Crap Area.

Bench: Ercol Originals. Pendant: Le Klint.

MASTER BEDROOM

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

Bed: Ikea, similar. Headboard: homemade; fabric: Tapet Cafe. Bed linens: Georg Jensen Damask.

On natural light: We have skylights in the bedrooms. They make make the rooms feel much brighter and bigger. Surprisingly, the light doesn’t wake us up. I was nervous in the beginning, but I sleep through it, I’m that tired.

Copenhagen Master Bedroom Desk: Ikea. Chair: Ikea. Lamp: Ikea. Print: Maeght.

On balancing life and work: This is our little desk. I’m a postdoctoral researcher, and I focus on the theory and history of international law. I actually work at a university in Sweden. My commute is a 45-minute drive, and I have to bring my passport every day when I cross the bridge. I listen to a lot of podcasts — I’m going through the archives of Strangers, which I’m completely in love with.

ABI’S ROOM

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

Copenhagen Children's Bedroom

Wallpaper: Josef Frank. Bed: Oliver Furniture. Bed linens: Cam Cam Copenhagen. Chair: Alvar Aalto. Book bin: Ikea. Dresser: vintage. Shelving: Ikea. Pear print: Enzo Mari. Miffy lamp: Mr. Maria.

On wallpaper: When I saw this goldfish wallpaper in a café in Sweden, it was love at first sight. As soon as we bought the house, I ordered it. It’s so nice and cheerful but not overly childish.

ELIJAH’S ROOM

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family Wallpaper: Farrow & Ball.

On choosing color schemes: I didn’t mean to make the dominant color of Eli’s room blue, but it became it. Dammit, gender norms! Creeping in again. A least I’ve managed to keep pink at bay in Abi’s room.

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

Crib: Sebra. Quilt: Cam Cam Copenhagen. Bookshelf: String. Book bin: Ikea.

On great children’s books: I hope Abi and Eli will love books, so I thought it made sense to have as many within their reach as possible. When I found out I was pregnant, the first thing I started buying were copies of my beloved childhood books. We read a lot of William Steig. And Julia Donaldson. They’re really into her.

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

Changing table: Sebra. Rocking chair: Hans J. Wegner. Rug: vintage.

On books for mothers: I read a lot of non-fiction for work, but I just finished The Mothers and After Birth. I recommend them to all my friends who are having kids and having a hard time. I had problems with postpartum depression, and when you read it in novel form, you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m not alone.’ I also love Rebecca Solnit — all of her books.

OUTSIDE

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

Book-Filled Copenhagen Home Tour Family

On family adventures: We go for trips to the beach and the farm up the road with goats, sheep, horses and cows. We have a cargo bike. It took two weeks to get used to, you have to turn with your arms versus your body. For a while there, I was like, ‘We’re all going to die, it’s all over. In the slowest possible way, we’re all going to die.’ Thankfully, now I can do it! Denmark is beautiful, I really love it here.

Danish Home Tour

Thank you so much, Miriam!

P.S. More house tours, including an airy loft in Toronto and a house in the Japanese countryside.

(Photos by Freya McOmish and Miriam.)

  1. Stephanie says...

    Her home and style are beautiful, but what really stuck out to me were the cute outfits her kids are in! Any sources she could share for those? I swear if they made an adult version of her daughter’s outfit, I would buy it instantly!

  2. Cassie says...

    Okay, she is absolutely hilarious and I’m obsessed with her home! Possibly my favorite tour ever.

  3. Goals <3

  4. Oh, this might be my favorite tour yet! Maybe it’s because I’m expecting my first and am also hoarding books but I can’t help but feel connected to this home, these people, this style. Thanks, Cup of Jo, for always making me feel at home.

  5. This is a beautiful house.I love sense of humor, such a happy family and awesome home. :)

  6. Asha says...

    What a delightful outlook on design, family and life. Miriam has a wonderful sense of humour ! Really enjoyed seeing how she (and her husband) interpreted Scandinavian minimalism. And, to be honest, it was nice to see how she used IKEA furniture with style. My husband is from Europe and holds IKEA up as his paragon of affordable furniture. This post has helped me to look at our IKEA furniture with new inspiration. Would love to see more posts about her :) maybe a “Motherhood Around the World” post. Her insights cracked me up!

  7. Bianca says...

    Another Aussie here! Lovely tour and even if we didn’t know where she was from you could pick it a mile away once you started reading! Me and my family are total slang experts too, add to that loud voices and conversations jumping around from topic to topic and everyone interrupting eachother – no one else has a hope in understanding us!

  8. Eileen says...

    Loved everything about Miriam and her home! Good pick, Joanna!
    Now, I’m just wondering how long do we have to wait for her “Beauty Uniform” or “A Week of Outfits”… Would love to see more of her style and I bet she has some killer tricks up her sleeves.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her for sure! :)

    • Here, here!

  9. ann.e says...

    I loved the whole post, but in terms of style, especially the wallpaper! I have such fond memories of the wallpaper in my childhood room. I’ve tried and tried to google it to find a copy with no luck. I just love the thought of little minds imagining the scenes and the stories on their walls : )

  10. I *love* her sense of humor.

  11. Christy says...

    I love this house and I love this lady. “Designated crap area” 😍

  12. Lauren says...

    Where is that gorgeous blue/purple large ceramic bowl on the bookshelf from? My dream color!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, it’s so pretty! says miriam: “the blue bowl is also from a massive Danish antique warehouse.”

  13. Heather says...

    I want to live in her house and be her best friend!

    • ann.e says...

      : )

    • CP says...

      Lol Same!

  14. Lauren says...

    What whites/off-whites did she use in her home – especially the living room and bedrooms? They seem glowy!

  15. Looks like dream home for slow living lifestyle. Simple, yet beautiful and cozy!

  16. Bridget says...

    Curious if they really have the same print in the stairwell and master or if it was just for photos.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her! :)

  17. I loved this for the style, for nostalgia for the year I spent in Norway, and also for Miriam’s dry humor. The part about dying in the slowest possible way on the cargo bike…hahahaha. LOVE IT!!

  18. kate says...

    This house is beautiful, but I kept thinking it needs more rugs! Maybe it’s my Midwestern upbringing, but a nice, thick rug warms up a winter room so much.

    • Some houses in Scandinavia have heated floors…maybe that’s what’s going on here!

  19. Oh my, this is so beautiful! I absolutely love every room of this house and Miriam is so great! There is so much inspiration in this post xx

  20. Kim says...

    I really love the backyard with the swing and garden and little shed- how it’s not manicured to within an inch of its life. Looks like such a fun place to grow up.

  21. Miruska says...

    Scandinavian style is so amazing to me. Every time I see a space like this (white floors and walls, big windows with no curtains, sparse furniture, and that amazing northern light), I feel myself relax immediately. it looks so relaxed, like they don’t care at all, yet every piece of furniture is a piece of art in itself. Even though there are not that many things in the space, there is a lot to see. So much care is given to selecting appropriate furniture and art, even the smallest things. I guess if you have fewer things in the house, it’s important for them to be great looking, sustainable, vintage. Miriam nailed it. It is a great home, with great vibe. Lovely family.

  22. Bec says...

    Very Australian except when she said “butt” referring to sitting on the couch. Aussies say ‘bum’.

  23. Emma says...

    As a Dane living in Australia I just adored this post! Reminds me of how lovely home can be, and funny to see the Danish-Aussie relationship in reverse;-) Thank you.

  24. jan says...

    After reading all the comments, who knew there were so many Aussie’s in Denmark, lol??

  25. steph says...

    So where do I sign up to be Miriam’s friend? She comes across as so confident, insightful and funny. And it is very hot that your husband took your last name. What a sweet house tour.

  26. KJG says...

    I love this house, the bookcases, her humor, and the last quote. Dying!

  27. Julie says...

    I love everything about this house. So bright and airy. And those bookshelves in the living room are the bomb!

  28. Ingrid says...

    Love the way she thinks!

  29. Kellie P says...

    You are so funny, Miriam! Thanks for the lolz!

  30. Lorange says...

    Miriam’s sense of humor and her down-to-earthness in this interview were a breath of fresh air!

  31. Carol says...

    So nice to see a fellow Aussie on CoJ, and she is hilarious!
    Also, I totally agree on being able to see in windows sometimes, in a totally non-creepy way. It’s just nice to feel connected to the people living around you a little.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      same. it makes the neighborhood feel cozy and intimate.

  32. Jackie says...

    What a beautiful, happy home!

  33. Sasha says...

    Such a lovely home and last and family. My gosh, those children are adorable.
    The white just cheers me and makes the whole place feel calm and soothing. I can relate to letting the light in and having lots of lamps and corner lighting, esp in the winter. We love hanging paper star lanterns in our home.

    Did anyone else’s obsessive straightening tendencies go off over those shelves and pottery? Just the bit of bowl hanging over the edge….. Couldn’t live with that lol. Even with such nice shelves and pretty pottery.

  34. So beautiful! I adore their home.

  35. Kara says...

    I immediately followed her on Instagram after reading this, I love her voice! And can I please move my family in? Looks like such a dreamy place to live for children.

  36. Mary says...

    So much space and light. Beautiful, just beautiful.

  37. This place is incredibly beautiful. The white, the light, the simplicity and open spaces, the wood floors, and especially yes the built in bookshelves. What a great vibe!

  38. I would absolutely love that bookshelf! It’s such a great centrepiece as well!

  39. Erica says...

    Cool-ass lady with a cool-ass house! Love this one!

  40. Leah says...

    I’m always so impressed with how you can capture the whole of a person through you’re writing, Joanna! Xoxo

  41. Maggie says...

    Anyone else dash out to IKEA right after reading this post? Just me? Cool. What a dreamy home! Love the way that they worked with oddly slanted ceilings and the fun wallpaper. Definitely lots of inspiration in this post for how to decorate my future kid’s rooms.

  42. Courtney says...

    Just lovely. Best house tour yet. More minimalism! More Scandinavian design!

  43. Anita says...

    Oh wow. Just wow.

  44. Brittany says...

    Oh my gosh, this tour left me wanting more. How does Miriam have it so together with two kids, a beautiful home, AND a postdoc? I only have one of those things (a postdoc) and am in awe! How long did it take her to find postdoc funding when they were stuck in one place? Did she have children between PhD and postdoc, or…? How does she balance motherhood and academic life? Why didn’t COJ introduce her as Dr. Miriam McKenna or Miriam McKenna, PhD? She earned it, dammit! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, she’s SO amazing!!!!

      here are my interview notes about her timeline: “i came here as an exchange student originally, and i really fell in love with denmark. i got a scholarship to do my LLM at University of Ccopenhagen, then i met my husband, and i did my Ph.D. here, and finished that a month before i had my first kid. then i got the job in sweden, and found out i was pregnant with my second. it has been a busy few years.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she also said she got obsessed with decorating during her two maternity leaves, which were essentially back to back. she went down a rabbit hole of swedish online auctions! :)

    • Mary says...

      Adding Dr or PhD in this scenario would make her seem insecure and snobbish. This article has nothing to do with her job.

    • Sasha says...

      Brittany, agreed, she’s earned the Dr. Miriam, or Miriam, PhD. Perhaps she didn’t want it added for some reason? I think it’s totally appropriate, she’s worked very hard for that and it’s admirable.

    • Cait says...

      It drives me crazy when people view addressing someone as Dr. when they have a Ph.D. as “snobbish.” It is their correct title and they worked their butts off for it. I think equating “well-educated” with “snobbery” is part of the political problems the US is facing right now.

      I have had female colleagues be discouraged from using “Dr.” in their email signature blocks at work because it comes across as “snobby.” And that directly relates to their jobs. To me, I think that is reflective of others’ insecurities, not theirs.

    • Julie Wheeler says...

      The title is implied when using the postdoc qualifier seen in the first sentence.
      “Postdoctoral researcher Miriam McKenna….”
      If you were to write, “Postdoctoral researcher Dr. Miriam McKenna” that would be redundant.

      also loved dust collector shelf reference. she is too funny.

    • Jen says...

      I agree! I’m just contemplating a PhD but the early career researcher life looks so bloody gruelling that I’m struggling to find it tempting. So Miriam seems awe-inspiringly chill! I reckon a ‘How I structure my week’ series on CoJ would be awesome, to give insight into what things people outsource, prioritise, give up, etc in order to create their very full and fulfilling lives.

    • Sara says...

      In Denmark we don’t use the term ‘dr.’ for PhDs, and we don’t really use our job-title :)

    • Christina says...

      Joanna – Did she mention the online Swedish auction sites? I also love to go down a good design/ auction rabbit hole!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her!

  45. Kristen says...

    Love this so much. These always end up being my favorite posts. Such a beautiful family and home.

  46. i like that the maeght print turns up in the bedroom AND along the staircase; if you love something, why not double down on it?

  47. Such a beautiful home, thank you for sharing it with us! I recently visited Copenhagen for the first time and immediately fell in love. The city has such a warm and friendly vibe and it seems like the perfect place to raise a family. I may have started looking up the cost of living while on my vacation there…looks like an amazing lifestyle!

  48. Beautiful, simple design that’s well done! It’s nice that her husband took her last name to they could share it. So thoughtful!

    Eva

  49. Amanda says...

    I love these home tours. Mostly because all of the women seem like such lovely people.

  50. Nina says...

    I love the floor.color. and the whole home. And I can’t stop laughing at the “we’re all going to die. In the slowest way possible. We’re all going to die.”

    • Catherine says...

      We also have a cargo bike and totally related to that thought!!

    • April says...

      This also made me laugh. I’m laughing again now reading it! :)

  51. Rebecca says...

    Favorite house tour EVER!! More international house tours please Joanna!

    • Yes please!

  52. DIANA says...

    Barely being able to understand what your husband and children are saying seems ideal, honestly.

    • Sandra says...

      LOL!

    • JG says...

      HAHAHAAAA

    • dana says...

      This made me laugh! Too funny (and true!). =)

    • Claire says...

      I love this comment too much.

    • Deborah says...

      Ha!

    • Kara says...

      Laughing out loud, for real!

    • KylieO says...

      Hahahahahahahaha!

    • Miruska says...

      I don’t have kids or a husband and I am totally with you. Too true! hahah.

  53. Sylvie says...

    Love the humour!

  54. Hannah says...

    Loved this. Especially how their bookshelves look lived in and not crazy styled with all the books color coordinated (kind of tired of this trend). Also, in the last photo of Eli’s room, I love that there are shoes and toys on the floor and it doesn’t look perfectly styled. Now I want to move to Denmark!

  55. Denise says...

    Is that an armadillo print in pic 1? I think it is and I love it. I also really like the shapes and color of all the furniture but really dislike the overwhelming sterile whiteness of all the white. I’ll be pleased when the trends swing back to lots of color on the walls. I’m glad they like it though! I don’t know why I always want everyone to like what I like. If they love the white, then it’s fantastic. :)

    • Jane says...

      The all-white in this instance is less about following trends and more about reflecting any available light. In Scandinavian countries, most homes are painted in all whites for this very reason. It is quite warm and cozy with lamplight and candlelight in the evenings.

  56. Cynthia says...

    I really like the playroom because of all of the light and the toy kitchen even has a microwave. I like the idea of papering just one wall, as it makes a nice accent. It’s nice that the house is brick.

  57. Chelsey says...

    Favourite house tour to date. I want the house or just to be her new best friend. Did I miss the name of the blue paint colour?

  58. Becca says...

    Oh how I laughed at this:
    For a while there, I was like, ‘We’re all going to die, it’s all over. In the slowest possible way, we’re all going to die.’

  59. courtney says...

    shes funny. i like her and would totally hang with her if i loved in denmark. also, that bunny moon lamp is the sweetest thing ever.

  60. Vicki says...

    So much light! and the kids’ wallpaper <3 but mostly – I love her attitude! I didn't take my husband's last name either, the whole concept always felt weird to me like losing a part of my identity – my husband had no qualms about me keeping my name, BUT real desire was for him to take mine! He felt the same about losing part of his identity in giving up his name (are we the only ones? maybe because we were both athletes so there is a lot of calling you by your last name) But her point is killer- I too have put in the lions share of producing our two beautiful boys so maybe we should all have my last name!

    • Vicki says...

      Also, can you do a week of outfits with Mariam?! again thought she was so witty and also I love her sweater!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a great idea, i’ll ask her!

  61. This home is beautiful and definitely a reflection of Miriam! Loved it! Loved her! I dreamt of International Law and ended up In employment law—time to shake things up! My daughter is the only one at her school with a mini backpack. We love it. Some days though she’ll point out the fugly ones at Target with Shopkins or Frozen and I’m like please No. Let’s all move to Copenhagen haha!

    Xo Lendy

  62. Lindsay says...

    Lovely home, even better interview! I need more color and comfy furniture in my own home, but I now have plans to hit up IKEA for some of the kids furniture she has. Wish I had the gorgeous playroom/crap area!

  63. justine says...

    Love the house, but more so her humor! She is funny and real! Also, pinned those IKEA book bins – love.

  64. This is such a beautiful home! It’s inviting. Every piece seems to have been chosen with care. Lovely.

  65. Bethany says...

    Where are the shelves from, the ones in the kitchen with the ceramics stacked up and the little hooks from the bottom shelf?

  66. Claire says...

    funny lady! also I love the wallpaper.

  67. Amber says...

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this. I am so inspired. My home is all-white paint — which is just what I wanted, but sometimes I worry that I’m keeping it too bland. These photos inspire me to keep it fresh. Thank you!

  68. This is BEAUTIFUL! I’m obsessed. :)

  69. TJPea says...

    Love this. And so timely, since I am headed to Copenhagen next Saturday. YAY

    Side note: maybe this is an American perspective, but it seems like comfortable furniture (beds, couches, chairs) isn’t as much of a priority over form in other countries. I crave the cush!

  70. Maryann says...

    Loved everything about this tour, but particularly Miriam’s sense of humor. We also have a designated crap area and I don’t know what I would do without it. I totally agree re: lighting. I walk around my house turning off overhead lights and turning on lights in the corners and my kids are like “what the heck, Mom, I can’t see anything now!”. It’s called ambiance, kids.

    • Lisa says...

      I do the same exact thing! How can anyone enjoy hanging out, reading or watching TV under overhead bright lights? Well, i guess my whole family other than me does as the bright overhead lights are the first thing they put on in the family room!

    • April says...

      My mother banned overhead lighting when we were children (unflattering! harsh! turn them off!) and now that I’m a grownup, I ban it, too! :)

  71. Emily M. says...

    Okay Miriam, you are so funny! Your home is lovely, your attitude is delightful, and you are a badass.

    I too adore Strangers — I used to listen to it while out jogging and I would be running and crying and totally embracing that.

    xo

  72. Lauren E. says...

    This house just makes me feel good. I can’t even explain it. Thank you for this.

    • jan says...

      hygge…

  73. Tania says...

    I adore this, and Miriam! She seems like so much fun. And now I kinda want to move to Denmark, too.

  74. Lisa says...

    Miriam: you are hilarious and I would like to be your friend. I also have a designated crap area. Ha.

    Thoroughly enjoyed this house tour and this family. Now to google how to stop being a lawyer and be a researcher of the law … sounds freeing.

  75. Kate says...

    I feel the same way about curtains in my kitchen! My husband so badly wants to add blinds but I keep holding off. I love being able to see out, and I don’t mind if someone sees my shoulders and head standing at the sink while I do dishes. Her explanation of “i feel like part of the neighborhood” is spot on!

    • lynn says...

      Agree. My husband convinced me years ago to not cover and close up our living room and street-facing windows. When we walk the dog at night, all the houses in our neighborhood are dark and closed up, no sign of life. Barely even a porch light. Then you get to ours, and you can see a warm glow and the high ceilings and books on the wall and I love it. Also I joke that potential robbers can plainly see our small, store-brand tv and lack of fancy things (and our large dog!) so there’s no reason to want to break in!

    • Katie says...

      Same! We don’t have any window treatments on non-bedroom windows to get as much light as possible (we’re a first floor condo so don’t get as much light as an upstairs unit would). I love that I feel a part of the community and know the comings and goings of people around the neighborhood. It makes me feel safer, somehow. When we were in the Netherlands a few years ago one of my favorite things was that everyone had their outdoor dining table in their front yard–even if it was basically on the sidewalk. It felt so welcoming and open! I loved it. I feel like untreated windows achieves a similar effect.

    • Kile says...

      Amen to no curtains! I like looking out—and don’t care who looks in. Surprise, People Live Here!
      Lovely house tour. Lovely lady.

  76. also, i need a throw pillow that says “can’t feel my butt, it’s time to turn off the tv!”

  77. Kelly says...

    This may sound strange, but I think this is the first house tour I’ve seen that has a minimalist/Scandinavian aesthetic, yet there is still “stuff.” You can see the kids toys and all of the kitchen utensils (not just one $80 wood spoon), etc. It made me feel like you can achieve comfy, realistic, minimalism. Thanks for these excellent profiles!

  78. Melanie says...

    This so so beautiful, and light, and lovely that my heart actually physically tugged – both visually and her words

  79. i absolutely adore miriam’s voice! i’d love to know more (or everything) about her :)

    there are so many things to love about this house, from the beautiful floors and simple white walls to the awesome under-window storage bins in the playroom (NEED). thanks so much for sharing!

    • Flora says...

      Yes, I was also very curious about the window bins in the play area and would love to know what they were exactly. I loved this home tour!

    • Louisa says...

      ditto! what are these magical bins??

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good question! she says that the storage bins are actually old plant boxes that are built into the window. hope that helps!

  80. You did such a good job capturing her personality through this interview! I love all the details and thoughtfulness of their home. Thank you so much for sharing!

  81. best best best best best house tour yet!!!

  82. Rachel says...

    So beautiful!!

  83. karen says...

    Absolutely stunning! Now I need to rearrange our flat.

  84. oks says...

    Loved this read. Hilarious!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, i was laughing sooooo much during our phone interview. i walked out of the phone booth at work and was like, my new life plan is to move to denmark and make her my best friend :)

    • Claire says...

      Yes to moving to Denmark and befriending her! She sounds like she has such a light and approachable, but also realistic, way of looking at life, and her home reflects that sentiment too. I now want to get rid of all my extra stuff and have my rooms just filled with books and fabulous wallpaper.

    • Agreed! “I don’t really understand what they’re saying, and my husband doesn’t really understand what I’m saying. We’re all just talking.”

  85. Sarah says...

    OH my! I love their home and her personality!

  86. Bee Hogan says...

    Lovely house! I wonder if you have seen The Let Down on Netflix? I powered through it over two nights and it was great! Aussie comedy / drama about a new mum and how she just deals with all the … hardness?… of those first few months.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this sounds so great! i love the punny title, too :)

    • KL says...

      OMG it’s such a great show!

    • China says...

      I just binge watched The Letdown and can’t believe how good it was and that no one had told me about it! I could not stop laughing.

    • Bianca says...

      Just watched this too, and loved it! Been telling everyone I know about it!

    • Sasha says...

      We love it too, watched the whole season in just a few days, been waiting for it to pop up here 😊

      Such a funny, sweet and in many ways real look at new parenthood. With awesome Aussie humor. Plenty of slang!

  87. Victoria says...

    What an incredibly gorgeous house! I love her style. Thank you for showing!

  88. sarah says...

    Not sure why I am the first to comment on this but it doesn’t matter because HOLY CREAM-AND-EVERYTHING-THAT-IS-SWEET-FILLED-CANNOLI! I love everything about this. Miriam – you have a beautiful home and excellent taste and can we please be friends? I’ll even water your plants and feed your potential cat/goldfish/sloth.

  89. Keira says...

    Ahh, the dry aussie humour sprinkled throughout the story made me giggle. Love how the house tours on CoJ go beyond ‘i bought this and found that’.

  90. LBintheBK says...

    Where do they watch TV by the way?? Miriam refers to watching TV on the couch, but I don’t see a set. Maybe Netflix on a laptop ? Or is there a hidden TV set somewhere not shown?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, a laptop! they got rid of their TV recently because the kids were begging for it too much and she said it’s made them way calmer. but she still loves her shows!!!

    • Kim says...

      Ha. Nicely played Miriam. I reminds me of when I canceled cable when my kids were little because it was making them watch too much TV. We’ve since lost the screen-time battle BIGTIME (thanks, streaming) but it’s nice to see another mom fighting the good fight.

  91. Hannah says...

    love this! is there a typo in the daybed section? svenskt tenn i believe should be the link name, only know that bc i studied abroad in sweden! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you!!

  92. Sarah says...

    Was so funny reading this – the Australian “voice” is so distinctive even when written! Made me smile as I could imagine myself saying everything I read. It’s such a weird thing when you’re reading English and you realise you’re reading it in your own accent vs an American accent (or vice versa). Does anyone else do this?!!
    Beautiful home, Miriam! Thanks for sharing.

    • Janelle says...

      Yes!! I do this too. I am an American living in England with a British husband. When I read books or articles that take place in America, I read them in my own voice in my head, but if I am reading anything written by a Brit, my husband’s accent infiltrates my mind! It’s kind of nice though because I like when he reads to me haha

    • KylieO says...

      Yes I did this too! I’m Australian and as soon as I read Miriam was too, I changed the accent in my head lol!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha that is so cute, kylie!

    • Asha says...

      Too funny! Same for me… My husband is half Aussie, so the accent crept right in once I read she was Aussie as well.

  93. LBintheBK says...

    Ooh I love the small red pot in the open shelves (dust collectors haha) photo. Is it vintage or where did Miriam find it? I have a similar yellow one that’s vintage but I love it so much I’d like to find more other colors and sizes, either new or vintage.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask!

    • E says...

      it’s a Dansk butterwarmer!

  94. Becky says...

    Love open shelving in a kitchen. We are looking to buy and renovate a home and that is a must for me, beautiful wood shelves with metal brackets. Also love those herringbone wood floors! And the wall of books. I love it all!

  95. Emma says...

    Dear Miriam, thank you so much for this wonderful post! I am an Australian who lived in Copenhagen the last 6 years, but recently had to return to Australia due to my husband’s work commitments. Whilst I don’t miss the winters, I do miss Copenhagen so much! Your home is so beautiful and typical of family life there. I love no curtains on windows and being part of the neighbourhood :). The way of life is wonderful, and our two small children had the most wonderful start to life there. I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had to live there, and thank you for reminding me :)

  96. Juultje says...

    She is so funny! Now I want to go to Denmark…

  97. Anna Cohen says...

    As an Australian who lived in Denmark for three years with two young children, so much of this resonates with me and makes me miss our time there. Thanks for sharing! So much of Danish and Australian design, culture and humour had similarities – it’s lovely to see someone else share this! I’d love to know – where are the two jugs from that live on the living room bookshelves?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your note! miriam says: “the two jugs are vintage enamelware by Quistgaard but you can find tons of the stuff on Etsy.” hope that helps!

  98. What a beautiful house. The library is amazing, having a room like that is my house goal. Thank you for sharing your home Miriam!
    Also the sentiment “we’re all just talking”apples to every family I think. I’m going to remember that.
    Have a wonderful day,
    xAllie

  99. Liz says...

    Miriam, you are such a delight! Your family is darling and your home is charming in every way.

    Cup of Jo, thank you for all the sunshine you bring my day!

  100. Beckxoxo says...

    As Aussie I want to know how you got such effortless Scandi interior decorating down pat? The place looks amazing!!!

    Bonza job Mate!!! (Just kidding. No one says that!)

  101. KylieO says...

    So lovely to read about a fellow Australian, and the house is gorgeous!

  102. Ceridwen says...

    What an amazing house! Beautiful photography too and I just love her voice. Nice hearing from a fellow Australian :)

  103. Abby says...

    This got to be the most Swedish/Danish home!
    Love the Joseph Frank everywhere!
    Also the Swedish homeware institution is called Svenskt Tenn ;)

    • Abby says...

      I mean *Josef Frank* obviously
      This got to be Karma, I guess :)

  104. Sarah says...

    Where is the Miffy on the crescent moon lamp from please?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she says it’s vintage from Holland. xo

  105. meg says...

    I love her house – but also, the owner is so charming and FUNNY! What a joy to read. Love it. Thanks!

    • Lottie says...

      Please have Miriam guest write a post! She has a great voice – would love to hear more from her!

  106. Oh this house makes my heart sing! So beautiful and homey!

  107. Jess says...

    Fellow Australian living in Denmark – love this! Totally agree with the no curtain thing. One night / early morning (maybe 3am) our baby wouldn’t sleep, so I was up walking her around the apartment. I could see the TV light from the apartment across the street and it was so comforting to know other people were awake at that ungodly hour. And you are so right about Aussie slang – my partner still can’t get used to it when I say ‘avo on toast’ or ‘Later this arvo’. Haha!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a cute scene that sounds like, jess :)

  108. Rachel says...

    I am an American living in Germany and I loved/totally related to this post. My husband is German and this sort of Scandi style is all over Europe. I love it! Loved the parts about the language differences too.

    Also, loved the mix of high/low. Everyone in europe has IKEA in their houses! It is not a bad thing!

  109. Elizabeth says...

    Your home is lovely. It is everything I love and miss about Denmark. The light, the size, the colors. I can see and smell it now too- the crocuses and flowering trees in the spring, hot bread coming from the oven at the local bakery. Denmark was my home for only a few years but it will always be in my mind and heart. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into your beautiful home and life. Mange tak.

  110. Joss says...

    All the Josef Frank in this home is spectacular. A wonderful Scandinavian home with warmth!

  111. Anna Baker says...

    Miriam, you sound AWESOME. Loving hearing about other Aussies making their home overseas. Just reading this post made me feel as if I was back in Melbourne chatting with my BFFs. Yes to using slang! Love it! Thanks for this post.

  112. Jill says...

    Gorgeous home and beautiful people – inside and out. Thank you!

  113. Sarah says...

    Best house tour of all time! Thank you! I can’t wait to read The Mothers, which I just downloaded after reading this.

  114. C.C. says...

    I love her sense of humor!