Milieu is a series that explores the unique ways in which we breathe life into our homes. From coastal towns to city living, our homes are a celebration of small, simple moments. They’re a reflection of our lives. Our stories. Our milieu.
Our next feature brings us to Denmark to visit Kamilla Heick in the rolling hills of North Zealand. Kamilla lives with her husband and three children in a striking red brick house, built in the early 1930s. Over the last several years, they have been dedicated to renovating and restoring the space and despite their renovation journey being “far from over”, we are absolutely taken with every inch of their abode at this stage.
A harmony of Scandinavian minimalism and country core fills Kamilla’s family home; her intentional approach to adorning and furnishing each room invites a sense of calm and tranquillity. We can’t wait for you to step inside!
Please, introduce yourself!
My name is Kamilla, I am 33 years old, I am married to Claus who works as an engineer and together we have three children; Theodor 5, Martha 2 & Esther 1. We live in Fredensborg in Northen Zealand. Denmark. Formerly I have a degree in fashion and recently I quit my job as a Visual Merchandiser in order to live more “slow” and with 100% focus on my little family.
What sparked your love of design and interiors?
Since I was a child, I have always had a strong visual opinion about what things I liked, what I wore and how my rooms looked like. I guess it’s probably because I am a very sensitive character and therefore it’s very important for me that I feel a 100% comfortable and at home in the clothes I wear and the home I live in. My love for interiors has only grown throughout the years.
Can you tell us a bit about the home you’re living in now?
Our home is a Danish classic red brickhouse from 1932 in 3 storeys. It has a full basement, with utility room, a little bathroom, wine cellar and a multi room that we are renovating at the moment, which will be a mix of a guest room, play area and office/workspace. The ground floor is very common in the layout, it consists of an entry way with access to our back terrace, a powder room, living room, dining room and the kitchen. The 1st floor consists of another powder room, a bathroom and 3 bedrooms. When we get the time, the biggest room – our room, will be divided into two children’s rooms, so that all of the children will get their own room eventually.
The wooden floors in the house are the original from when the house was built and when we moved in, I remember we were discussing whether if we should replace them with new wooden planks, but I am so happy that we didn’t. Both because they add so much charm and soul to the house, and with its old plumping holes and small cracks it’s like the house is telling a story. And then there is the sustainable approach, why take out old floors that works perfectly? That is a general approach I try to use very much when renovating and decorating. To a certain point I try to use what I got, if its old floors or old furniture’s inherited from relatives. I think we owe that to the histories of the homes, furniture and people and our own story.
Have you been enjoying the process of renovating and restoring an older home?
Yes, very much indeed! I find it extremely fun and satisfying renovating an old house, especially because we are doing almost everything ourself. My husband formerly worked as a carpenter and I am not afraid of getting my hands dirty so to speak.
We have now lived in the house for around five years and our renovation journey is far from over. When we moved in, we lived and slept in the living room while we were renovating the other rooms. We had a temporary kitchen in the utility room down in the basement, until the biggest renovation part to date was done, the kitchen. My absolute dream kitchen designed together and made by the Swedish kitchen firm Kvänum.
From there we renovated and still are, room by room. But with 3 small children we also have to pause the renovation many times in order to make the everyday wheel spin around and also because we don’t want to miss out while the children are little. We enjoy going on adventures outside our home especially on the weekends and therefore, I can get a little inpatient sometimes running a renovation like this, but when that is said I think you gain a lot of while living in a house before deciding on a renovation plan. In that way you are able to learn how you “use” the house and see what your actual needs are before tearing the wrong wall down.
How would you describe the aesthetic style of your home?
I would describe it as a mix of warm Scandinavian minimalism and country core. It’s a home where functional solutions and room for children, go hand in hand with the overall aesthetic style and expression of home.
We love how you have described yourself as “an aesthetician by heart”. Can you talk a bit about that?
Referring to my sensitive character again. For me some things, makes unpleasant noise, everything I surround myself with, has to trigger a good and warm feeling inside me. For instance to me a laundry basket is not just a laundry basket. Of course, it should have a good handle and be functional, but first it has to provide an aesthetic expression that trigger those emotions in me. It may sound a bit superficial, but I truly believe that this point of view, makes a home more personal and authentic. For me it’s all about balance and contrasts and in my opinion a beautiful home is a mix of old, new, fine, raw etc.
What is something that people might be surprised to see in your home?
Ha-ha that will have to be my CD collection and VHS tapes from when I was a child and young adult. My husband and I still buy DVDs, and we have a whole storage unit in the living room with DVDs only. Very old school I know, but we really enjoy the “hygge” part of taking them out and selecting the perfect movie for the evening.
You don’t necessarily refer to yourself as an artist, but we beg to differ! Everything you make is so captivating. Have you always loved doing DIY art projects?
As a child I loved to draw and used drawing as meditation. With the years my passion for textures and mixing materials started to grow and while being a student not having enough money for art, I started to experiment with my own DIY art projects.
I love how tone-tone textures and materials in suitable colors provides warmth and serenity to a room.
We’d love to hear a bit about your children! Are they as creative as their mama?
Theodor has within the last couple of months begun to draw a lot, and it’s clear that he has gotten the same eye for details as I do. He always remembers what a person or character is wearing down to the smallest details. Martha and Esther, especially Esther is still a bit too young to tell from, but with Martha I can tell that she has the same kind of structured creativity as I do, lining up all of our shoes on the staircase and building towers out of everything.
What is Northern Zealand like in May?
Northern Zealand has the most beautiful hilly nature, with lots of lakes and old forests and when Spring arrives everything just comes alive in a very lush and magical a way. It’s my favorite time of the year, loving the light green colors of the leaves, the bees buzzing and the birds singing. You meet more people on the streets and in the nature. You smell the flowers from the trees and the freshly cut grass. May and Spring in general is like receiving a big warm hug after month of grey coldness.
What is one of your favourite ways to invite and celebrate the season of spring in your home every year?
Firstly, by opening up the windows and letting go of the enclosed winter atmosphere. Like for many others Spring for me means “the season of cleaning and sorting out”. After a winter season with less hours of natural daylight Spring now provides the perfect amount of light for a thorough cleaning and so this is where I roll out my “heavy” cleaning tools. For instant, I have a special duster that goes into the narrowest places, like behind the radiators.
Spring is where, I bring the lush season inside with fresh cut branches with green leaves or flower buds. Its where we start to enjoy coffee breaks and small meals in the garden and it’s where we light up the barbeque again. I see for my eyes that the house is finally able to breathe again.
Which piece in your home do you feel has the most unique story?
That would have to be the big oak sideboard in the living room. It used to be part of a whole dining room collection, where chairs, the dining table and furniture’s around it was made to match in the same material and with the same details. It was made bespoken for my great-grandparents, then my grandparents lived with it and then I happily got in my early twenties. So, the history itself is pretty unique but also the design and look of it, I think.
I have to add an extra/ some extra pieces, my beloved late mother’s ceramics like my bedside lamp. I have repainted it myself but to think her hands once formed and made this make her feel so present in a way.
Who or what are your biggest design inspirations?
I get inspired by so many places and by so many different people. But If I have to name a few it would be interior architects like Danielle Siggerud, Phoebe Nicol, Rose Uniacke, Axel Vervoordt and belgian and british interiors in general. Similar to them all is that they design spaces that is honest, warm and elegant – spaces that balance the perfect amount of “Beauty in simplicity”.
Browse a few of Kamilla’s seasonal favourites: