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    MARIE HESSELDAHL

    INVITING NATURE IN

    Muuto’s Design Manager Marie Hesseldahl finds a quiet contrast to metropolitan life in a Modernist summer house from the late 60s. Being completely immersed in the surrounding nature brings her calm and a shift in focus, the result of a compelling exercise in blurring the lines between interior and exterior.

    Encountering the minimalist one-story house on a hike through a pine forest in North Zealand, a mere 45 minutes outside of Copenhagen, Hesseldahl and her partner felt it was love at first sight. The dark brown exterior, with its panoramic windows, turned towards south making the most of natural light, is emblematic to the heydays of Danish Modernism – sleek yet straightforward, deeply rooted in a holistic approach to architecture and design.

     

    — The architectural concept was what really caught our eye – how the house appears to naturally blend with its surroundings. Through the large windows, an uninterrupted view of the enveloping pine forest is welcomed inside. Following the pace of nature and the passing of the seasons intimately is so inspiring and definitely gives me a lot of energy.

    Bridging inside and outside

    Throughout the year, the house is ground for weekend getaways with friends and family, almost relocating there during the summer months. In the winter, they gather around the fireplace, looking out on the frozen scenery. As the weather warms up, dinners spill out onto the terrace, fully eradicating the border between indoors and outdoors as dining chairs move outside to accommodate unexpected guests around the Linear Steel Table.

     

    — Being surrounded by strong aesthetics is calming and inspiring to me.
    We were influenced by both Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics and tradition, with natural materials and the site’s inherent qualities as a driving force.

     

    Drawn by renowned Danish architects Knud Friis & Elmar Moltke Nielsen in 1969, many of the original details of the house remain uniquely intact, among them bespoke furniture, black beams and honeyed pine veneer paneling. The surrounding landscape is echoed in the choice of materials inside through a distinct penchant for natural materials. Different types of woods, often marked by a time-earned patina, are disarmingly mixed throughout the space, creating a sense of connectedness and ease.

    Marie Hesseldahl I simply love the power of light—whether it being artificial or natural light
    Uncluttered focus

    Organization and functionality are key pillars in Hesseldahl’s interiors, both elevated by the minimalistic and straightforward original built-in furniture still in place. Following this ethos, she wanted the space to speak for itself by avoiding the clutter of too many objects, allowing the intended architectural thoughts to shine through. As the house has a clear sightline towards the woods, the barren space allows one to enjoy the view from as many angles as possible.

     

    — Our house performs the perfect scene, as it demonstrates functionality at its very best. The Workshop Chair was a natural choice for the space as it is quite like the house, profoundly uncompromising in its function and appearance.

    Power of light

    Perhaps the most influential feature of the house is light. Hesseldahl believes it is the most vital element of any interior, certainly the case for the summer house. As the day passes, the light and its soft shadowplay greatly influence the atmosphere of the space. In the summer, it bathes in light throughout the day, while the dark-er months allow for more playfulness in choosing the right lighting for every function or mood – for creeping in with a book or gathering around the dining table under the light of the Ambit Pendant Lamp.

     

    — Light plays such an important part in the summerhouse, as the sunbeams dance across the floor, when the warm orange light spreads from the fireplace or in the cozy atmosphere from a dimmed bedside lamp. I have selected lighting for the house that emphasizes and cements the right mood and function even on the darkest winter day.

     

    For example, the Rime Wall Lamp in the east-facing bedroom creates a relaxed and cozy atmosphere when it is dimmed low. Hesseldahl explains that it calms one down gradually at night and wakes you up slowly in the morning – if the natural light is absent. In this meticulous manner, every room is lit with intention, setting the scene for being lost in a good book, working on a craft project or simply choosing the next record to play.

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