New House!

After three wonderful months in our temporary apartment, we’ve finally moved into our permanent home here in Billund! Rental houses are extremely hard to come by in town – LEGO is hiring like mad and lots of families are arriving from all over – so we’re very happy to have found something that meets our needs and is a convenient distance to school and work.

We’ve been in the house for two weeks now, and have settled into a nice groove. Family dinners, bedtime, all of the normal stuff that you can’t do when you’re stuck in box hell. B bravely fought through the chaos and has managed to arrange our remaining possessions and furniture (after the Great California Purge of 2014) into a lovely home. Girl’s got skills! (Anyone in town need some staging help, you know who to ask.)

I won’t post pics of the whole house just yet, because we’re still finding a place for everything (and going through another mini-purge), but here are some of the quirks and details of our new Danish digs in case you’re home-curious.

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Yep that’s a white wall. All of the walls here are white. The walls in our last place were white too. Very Danish, very clean. There’s a good reason for it – during those dark winter months, when it’s all about the hygge – that uniquely cozy Danish feeling – the candlelight makes those white walls glow. Very hygge indeed.

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The ceilings in many Danish homes are wood, painted with a pale white stain to give them a cool and frosty look. Pairs well with the white walls, and keeps the rooms from feeling too stark or cold.

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Denmark doesn’t just have the happiest people on Earth, it also has the happiest outlets too! Omg plugs!

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These are the vertical blinds in our bedroom and living room. All white, but two of them are black. At first I thought they were mismatched, but nope, that’s the way it is. I keep thinking that a blind is missing and it’s pitch black outside.

Apparently this is a common design here – a co-worker told me that it comes from an old tradition where craftsmen would always include one mistake or mismatched element in their designs, because “only God can create things perfectly.” (Interesting sentiment given how secular Denmark has become.) So for instance, a mason laying out a patterned tile floor might purposely turn one tile in the corner the wrong way. Rebels!

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This one’s new. There are these round vents in most of the rooms. You screw them open and they let some fresh air in. I screwed open this one and it seems like so far, it’s mostly good for letting spiders in.

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We’ll probably use the windows instead since there’s no AC here (and hopefully very few bugs). Turn the handle upwards, and the window opens downward to let in some air. Turn the handle to the center, and the window opens inward like a door. Neato. No screen either. Now I know how I will sneak out of the house at night.

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Okay, this one just baffles us. This is one of many large wardrobe units that our landlord was kind enough to leave in all of the bedrooms. That’s because there are no built-in closets! There weren’t any in some of the other homes we looked at before either. Not sure if this is a common Danish thing. Maybe it’s a subtle deterrent to the endless accumulation of stuff, the way that a 180% tax on car purchases and $9 gas are supposed to deter you from driving. Or maybe it’s just a national plot to sell more IKEA furniture.

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The fridges are smaller as well. That might be because people here seem to shop every few days, preferring to buy things fresh. The food here has less preservatives anyway, so we’re not complaining. You’ll also notice there’s no freezer – we had to buy one last week for the house. I don’t think you can buy a fridge without a freezer attached in the States. Folks gotta have them pizza rolls and popsicles!

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No garbage disposal in the kitchen sink. Also probably common here, since you have two kinds of garbage:  a green bin for food waste, and a black bin for other stuff. (There’s recycling too). Have to get used to not having a drain or trap to collect the bits and scraps – you have to scrape it all off into a brown bag under the sink, and use your fingers or a sponge to collect anything else that washes off your plates.

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We are lucky to have this super fancy range top and oven. It’s conductive heat, which means it’s very safe – no risk of the kids burning themselves – but we also had to buy new pots and pans that would work with it. Our beloved Whirley-Pop won’t work here… we’ll have to look for another. (If you don’t have a Whirley-Pop, get one. You’ll never make microwave popcorn again).

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Speaking of gadgets, this is my new buddy – a step up-step down transformer. Bought it on Amazon (after some advice and coaching by a more tech-minded friend than me) and shipped it with our big-screen TV (which I couldn’t bear to part with and which only runs 110v). So far, works great and has enough juice to handle the TV and a game console (can probably take more but I don’t want to try). If you’re moving overseas and want to bring a few of your bigger electronics, you’ll need one of these bad boys.

Hej hej!

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2 comments

  1. Michael Landbo · January 20, 2015

    Hi.
    A lot of electronic devices can handle both 110V/60Hz and 230V/50Hz (Danish/and lot of other European).
    If so you can just change the plug, and don’t need the up/down converter (I’m sure Becca would like to get rid of it). Be aware if there is a small switch that has to be flicked before you connect…

    Keep posting – love the way you wonder about Danish things/life stile

    Like

  2. Mary · January 22, 2015

    A lot of what you describe is very european and UK. Your wardrobe comments made me laugh… built ins are not common at all. Although houses built in the 70’s onwards did do built ins but not walk-ins (american style). All white goods are smaller on the whole and while it has become more american to have big freezer sections it used to be a small ice box in the top of the fridge that was basically big enough to hold your ice cube tray! The bathroom mirror is just whacky… keep em’ coming… love reading your adventures.

    Like

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