Danish homes on Oprah - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Was I the only one just in love with the Danish homes on yesterday's Oprah? Clean, clear spaces. Lots of light. Totally decluttered. Just the essentials, neatly stored away.

Someone being interviewed even said something along the lines of "less things, more life."

http://www.oprah.com/media/20091021-...tine-home-tour

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#2 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 02:33 PM
 
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I heart that house.

I can't imagine not sleeping with any blankets or pillows... maybe they stow them somewhere?

Is that house *really* typical, though? I'd love to know!

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#3 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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I saw that. That is what I want my house to look like.

Did you catch the part where they had to pay the gangs or some such $6k American to be allowed into that one lady's housekeeper's neighborhood? I knew it happened and all but that was so totally out of my norm it kind of shook me.
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#4 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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Waaaay to cold and sterile for my taste, but I'm a Country Living kinda gal. I thought Oprah's reactions were funny--"This is the kids' room? THIS is the kids' room? I can't believe this is the kids' room!" Her shower is probably bigger, lol. I imagine one of her walk-in closets is bigger than that whole apartment.
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#5 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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I just watched the link, but my laptop has no sound working.

I loved the big open windows and the lack of clutter, but it seemed so sterile in there. It almost made me uncomfortable! Where are the funky pieces of art, the random bright colored walls, or the cozy blankets and pillows? It was like the house had no charm and homey feeling, it was just very functional.

That being said, I could really used that extremely organized closet they showed with the pantry stuff in it.

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#6 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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I like that as a basis, but with different colors on the walls except for white, and a few touches of art or the like. PLANTS! If it had plants it'd be great. The bathroom I hated honestly. I like nice and cozy bathrooms.

As for the bed - where I grew up (Europe, though we weren't Danish) it was necessary to clear away any bed clothes when you woke up. You wouldn't "make it" up with pillows, you would stow all the blankets etc out of sight and "make it" in the evening, when you were going to bed. Mostly because there were no real bedrooms as such dedicated to sleeping, so the beds would double as couches and other seating. But they didn't look like BEDS per se, they were more like daybeds, or else they folded away completely into the wall or something.

My aunt and uncle had a dedicated bedroom, it was a tiny room that had space for a closet and their bed smooshed against the walls. I don't know whether they made it during the day or not because they always closed it off. Bedclothes weren't made to be seen, kind of like appearing in your nightgown to company, unless they were super close family or something. I just realized the reason I don't know how they kept it is because in all the time I spent in their apartment, I never once went in there or even saw it through an open door.

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#7 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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I it..I would need just a tad more color on the walls and some pictures. Also, I would need a seperate sleeping area for DH and myself...even it is was small...I like comfortable bedding!!! It is inspiring though.
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#8 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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. Although I wouldn't go that minimalist myself, I could move in there tomorrow and feel right at home. A home like that is about the people who live in it, not the stuff.

I think that the brief clip that I watched demonstrated strong family values -- the kids are not being shuttled off to their tiny room, the parents are spending time them during wonderfully connecting meals, etc.

I've been gradually increasing the amount of cream in my home, and reducing the amount of visual clutter. It's amazing how you see things in a different way when "stuff" isn't competing for your eye.

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#9 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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I think seeing the views, they are in a more city style neighborhood and there is no doubt a lot more for the family to do and not have to go far. Our country is really the only one that stores food as much as we do. I have heard many people from other countries say our fridge is huge (normal size for americans) thankfully they didnt see my freezer or pantry!

They also mentioned the kids spend lots of time outside which is wonderful.

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#10 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 11:02 PM
 
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I'm having a hard time believing that this is truly a "typical" home. I really could not live like that, though. It's so sterile and cold!

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#11 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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I doubt it's typical either. The typical look I imagine would be something out of an IKEA catalog. I'm not making that up, either, I've seen a lot of that style in Europe because it makes good use of small spaces. But of course there are always variations. More old-fashioned individuals, people out in the countryside, people who just don't like the look, people who don't care to "decorate" - there's all kinds of homes. I doubt there's a "typical" look. I did notice the views too, doesn't it bother them that everyone can see their whole family while they enjoy their family dinner? Unless those windows are one way I'd feel like I was on display.

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#12 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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I am totally perplexed by the "open" bathroom. Glass doors? Why not frost them? I get family togetherness but that is extreme, IMO.
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#13 of 65 Old 10-22-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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This video was inspiring to me, thanks for sharing! We live in a 30 year old cabin that really has no bedrooms. Just one big upstairs that is sort of pardoned off by a closet that was put in, but no bedrooms/doors seperate anything. Kids are young still now so it isn't a big deal but as they get older I did want to put some sort of doors in the upstairs. Too bad my house doesn't look that super clean though!

I do agree that it is suuuuuuuuper sterile and cold feeling to that house, with no personal touches -- not even kids drawings etc are up. But the mother was very nice and friendly!

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#14 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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I agree the glass bathroom is just wierd. Somethings just need to be behind closed doors. Does company use that same toilet???
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#15 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 01:58 AM
 
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She said company uses the downstairs bathroom.

I've seen other apartments like that, architecturally speaking. This one was better-maintained and better-organized than I've seen, but it didn't look so very different from where a lot of people I know live, in US urban centers. Except it was nicer with the built-ins and all.
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#16 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 06:31 AM
 
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I live in Norway and while that minimal style isn't unusual in Scandinavia taking it to that extreme is (wouldn't be surprised to hear that even they decluttered a bit for Oprah hehe). I do know people here whose decorating style does look very much like that though. I bet that apartment cost a ton and they can afford to "style" their home and probably pay someone to come in and clean.

I'm sure they use blankets for the bed at night but since their "bedroom" is part of the house they probably clean it off during the day so it's useable space. From what I have seen the norm in Denmark is about the same as here. Most double beds have two single size down comforters on them.

The fridge size (and it being "hidden") isn't unusual at all. Ours is probably about that large as well. It's uncommon to do the huge stocking up for weeks at a time trips here. When people do that (food is cheaper in Sweden so Norwegians will make border runs to buy meat) they generally have stand alone freezers somewhere else in the house. Standard grocery stores are much smaller and people tend to shop more often and buy what they need for maybe a day or two at a time.

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#17 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 04:04 PM
 
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I am totally perplexed by the "open" bathroom. Glass doors? Why not frost them? I get family togetherness but that is extreme, IMO.
Me, too. I had less of a problem with the size of the kids room and more of a problem with the fact that mom & dad didn't have a bedroom? They slept in the kitchen?
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#18 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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Me, too. I had less of a problem with the size of the kids room and more of a problem with the fact that mom & dad didn't have a bedroom? They slept in the kitchen?
Sleep in the kitchen, poop in the living room...yeah, small kids' room seem to be the least of the problems to me too!
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#19 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 04:30 PM
 
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FWIW the kids' bedroom didn't seem at all small to me - even by American standards. Actually, my mom often complained that the rooms here are ridiculously small and partitioned oddly. Where she grew up each room had a lot of functions, bedrooms that were used only for sleeping were considered wasted space if they were any larger than the actual bed itself. On the other hand, New England farmhoues had tiny bedrooms, many of them, but seperate, and that limited what you could do in them. It'd be hard to entertain guests in them, for example.

As far as food storage, yeah, the fridge is supposed to be small, but most people have some sort of pantry even if it's just a closet, but often a separate room (or nook). What I've seen commonly done is to put it in an unheated entranceway hall so it keeps cold there. But grocery stores are much closer to home, within walking distance, so getting a walk in the fresh air isn't inconvenient, whereas here I couldn't in good conscience (or affordability) take the car into town for a grocery run every day. But there's nothing like fresh baked bread and rolls, and there doesn't have to be as many preservatives in the foods either - people use them up immediately. I liked that system. Here, the only place I see local grocery stores, like in inner city neighborhoods or country markets, jack their prices WAY up because it's convenient. There things cost more in the supermarket because it was considered a luxury thing to go into the market and get things other than staples. Anyway, that was a few years ago, so I'm sure things have changed a bit, but that's how it was when I was little.

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#20 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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Sleep in the kitchen, poop in the living room...yeah, small kids' room seem to be the least of the problems to me too!


I did enjoy having a look around their home!! I'm not sure I could go that minimalist but it reminds me not to keep too much clutter around. I bet the mom and dad spend very little time picking up/putting away/cleaning.

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#21 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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I just watched that link.....I think if I lived there, I would feel like I lived in an Ikea showroom. I liked how they didn't have much stuff, but the design and color scheme (or lack thereoff) wasn't my style. So much white! How about a little splash of color, or some natural wood surfaces? Or some window treatments!

I think it would be more interesting if Oprah went into some tiny, well-organized family apartments in NYC or other American cities.

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#22 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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so every night we make the bed and in the morning we remove the linens and fold it back up into a chair. We store the linens in the closet. My son is developmentally delayed and this works great for him because it's a clear transition from sleeping to waking. Also since he shares a room with his older brother it gives them more space. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20119512

My house is very uncluttered but because of various special needs in the family we can't have lamps, knick knacks, potpurri, and most decorations.

I think this residence was especially chosen for Oprah to make a statement. It's a rare thing on tv to be ho hum and not unusual. TV magic eh?
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#23 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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I did enjoy having a look around their home!! I'm not sure I could go that minimalist but it reminds me not to keep too much clutter around. I bet the mom and dad spend very little time picking up/putting away/cleaning.
As someone else mentioned, I'd assume that they have a cleaning lady or something (hey, how come it's never "cleaning gentleman" anyway? ) but I would think that they WOULD spend a bit of time cleaning... with all that white and glass you'd think it'd get smudged really easily, even if they keep the messies contained in the kitchen or wherever.

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#24 of 65 Old 10-23-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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I didn't have the audio on to hear about the guest bathroom. However I really really don't wanna watch dh poop ya know?
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#25 of 65 Old 10-24-2009, 12:28 AM
 
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My guess is that they only use that upstairs bathroom at night, but still, did you notice the giant window across from the glass wall separating the shower-toilet-sink from the living room???

I liked the kids' bedroom/nook--but how do they sleep at night with those giant curtain-less windows and all those city lights? There was a crib at the foot of their bed off the kitchen too. I wonder if they plan to stay in that home for the duration of their child-rearing years? Doesn't seem like enough space for three bigger children; right now they are 1, 4 & 6, so don't require a lot of space.

I think their home is far from typical (the second, more modest apartment was more so, I believe; I've only been to Copenhagen once) and I would be surprised if she cleaned it herself. All of the women featured seemed to have domestic help. Why didn't Oprah interview the rest of those ladies to show "how the world lives" in reality? I applaud the woman from Rio for going to her maid's home--it seemed to be the first time, but at least she was open about her arrangements.

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#26 of 65 Old 10-24-2009, 12:34 AM
 
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Dude, that's awesome! I'm a clutter nut and totally don't belong in this forum (I hit new posts) but I loved that. For like a retreat away from the mess or something. and those windows! the eating area surrounded by windows, How wonderful.
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#27 of 65 Old 10-24-2009, 11:50 AM
 
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I didn't have the audio on to hear about the guest bathroom. However I really really don't wanna watch dh poop ya know?
I didn't have any audio either. But you know, my DH would never poop there. At our house he has to turn on the fan, run the water, and lock the door. A clear door would send him into a panic.

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#28 of 65 Old 10-24-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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I liked the kids' bedroom/nook--but how do they sleep at night with those giant curtain-less windows and all those city lights? There was a crib at the foot of their bed off the kitchen too. I wonder if they plan to stay in that home for the duration of their child-rearing years? Doesn't seem like enough space for three bigger children; right now they are 1, 4 & 6, so don't require a lot of space.
My cousins shared a room that was about, oh... 7X10" until they moved out of the family apartment, sometime in their 20's. Their whole apartment for their family of four was probably... oh... 300-400 sq feet. The Danish home was MUCH bigger, it seems.

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#29 of 65 Old 10-24-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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I noticed that there are no pictures of the kids anywhere - or maybe I missed it?
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#30 of 65 Old 10-24-2009, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There didn't seem to be any pictures or personal effects anywhere. That part was a bit too much for me.

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