Iconic interiors: Finn Juhl’s House
There’s just something about the house that Finn Juhl built.
This is one of those spaces which you enjoy being in, but struggle to explain why. It’s a space which instantly puts you at ease with its perfect proportions, open spaces and sense of light. There’s nothing flashy about this house but boy is it beautiful.
Nestled within an idyllic woodland setting in Ordrup, just outside of Copenhagen – to say that Finn Juhl’s house is understated is an understatement. Deceivingly simple, this is a masterpiece of modernism that combines architecture, art and industrial design to create a comfortable family home.
Who was Finn Juhl?
Best known for his iconic modernist furniture designs, Finn Juhl was a Danish architect, interior and industrial designer. Unlike many of his fellow designers at the time, he rejected the clean straight lines of conventional modernism to create a more organic style, focused around the human form. Many of his best-known designs, including the Chieftain Chair, the Pelican Chair and the Poet Sofa feature flowing lines, designed to envelop and support exactly where needed.
You can discover more about Finn Juhl in our spotlight on the story behind his iconic Chieftain chair.
For Finn Juhl, every element in a design was deliberately placed, it had a reason for being there – a concept that translates from his furniture to the architecture of his house also.
A space for living
An L-shaped bungalow, Finn Juhl built his house in 1942 after inheriting some money from his father. On one side there is a large living room and a small study, while the second part of the L houses the kitchen, dining room, bedrooms and bathroom. The two blocks are joined by an entrance hall which opens to the garden. Named by the NY Times as one of their most influential spaces ever, Finn Juhl’s house is a 1,700 square metre masterclass in modernism.
Designing from the inside out, Finn Juhl based his spaces around his furniture with the building fabric coming second – so although it has a relatively small footprint, this house feels generous with space and light. In a world where our living spaces are becoming ever smaller, Finn Juhl’s compact but generous take on the idea of home resonate with us as a timeless ideal. This house shows that small doesn’t have to mean cheap.
Adopting the rational ideals of modernist design, windows are perfectly placed to optimise natural daylight and there is little ornamentation to the architecture. However, it’s in the thoughtful details where this house really shines...
A clever use of colour
In 1962, Finn Juhl gave this quote to Danish newspaper Politiken…
"Have you ever noticed these fancy homes designed by architects? Everything is so pure and clean, they only dare use the colours white, black and grey. They don't even risk hanging art on the walls, and when they do it's some small abstract piece. It can't be necessary to reduce our surroundings to something so boring when we have so many exciting opportunities."
Subtle but deliberate, Finn Juhl’s use of colour in the house is intended to evoke an emotional response. The original beige ceiling in the living room gave a feeling of being under canvas, whilst the bold red outline around the living room bookcase frames it almost like a work of art.
But this use of colour wasn’t just reserved for the fabric of the building, bright pieces of art are carefully dotted around the house and of course, the colour stands out in the furniture too. Although bold, there is a careful rhythm to Juhl’s colour choices which make them feel a natural part of this home. Just like the placement of the windows and doors – Finn Juhl places colour exactly where it is needed, and never in excess. It’s this which make this house such a clever and successful piece of modernist design.
Experience the space for yourself
Since 2008, this beautiful home has been open to the public as part of the Odrupgaard Museum. Situated just around the corner from the property, the Odrupgaard Museum showcases art from the likes of Monet, Zaha Hadid and Gaugin, among many others.
Inspired by Finn Juhl? Visit our designer page to discover the full range of Finn Juhl designs and to find out more information about the products. To talk to one of the Nest team, please email email@example.com, call 0114 243 3000 or send us a message on LiveChat.