From ruin to domestic bliss

Nadja Fischer and Thomas Krogh have spent 18 months completely renovating their home in the Aarhus suburb of Viby. On their Instagram profile, the couple has shared pictures of how the project has progressed at every step of the way. At the same time, they have participated in a TV programme which follows couples and families who have recently purchased properties in need of extensive renovation.

Troldtekt acoustic ceilings in private home
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

Enterprising spirits and good ideas were called for when the couple Nadja Fischer and Thomas Krogh were handed the keys to their new home. A solid brick house in Viby, a suburb of Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city – but with so much subsidence damage that the building could have collapsed at any time.

“We were looking for a house in need of full-scale renovation. Thomas is a carpenter, and we wanted to make our own mark on the building. We started in the basement, but it was only possible to cast new foundations one metre at a time because of the risk of the house collapsing,” recalls Nadja Fischer.

With patience and ingenuity, they finished the basement, and the couple then moved in while they continued to work on the upper floors. The basement is the size of a studio flat, which they are hoping to eventually rent out.

You can follow the project on the couple’s Instagram profile @bygoghyg, where they post before-and-after pictures and descriptions. Also, DR (the Danish Broadcasting Corporation) has been following them and five other couples who have embarked on similar renovation projects for a new TV programme.

Colours and organic materials

In floor plan, the house covers 64 square metres, and there are three floors, with sloping walls on the top floor. From the outset, the couple – who originally come from western Jutland – have made a point of choosing materials which are eco-friendly and contribute to a good indoor environment. At the same time, aesthetics have been a high priority.

“We wanted to preserve the original feel of the property as a solid brick house. But we also love colours and wanted to incorporate colourful elements in contrast to the raw concrete floor, the rustic structure of the ceiling and the plastered walls. The result is a warm, harmonious and homely feel,” says Nadja Fischer, who finds inspiration on social media where she follows the latest interior design trends.

For the ceiling in the basement, a dark grey version of the designer ceiling Troldtekt line was chosen with surface grooves running along the length of the panels. The ceiling is a wood product, which ties in well with the couple’s focus on the environment and organic materials. Nadja Fischer says they are expecting to install Troldtekt acoustic panels on the other two storeys as well.

“Thomas initially fell for the Troldtekt ceilings, but once I saw the wide range of design solutions available, I immediately liked the idea. Now that the ceiling has been installed, we’re both extremely happy with the result. In addition to contributing aesthetically to the room, it also makes a huge difference to the acoustics. Despite the many hard surfaces, the room doesn’t sound nearly as echoey at all. Everything sounds completely different to how it did before,” says Nadja Fischer.