Almost 10 years ago we sold all our garden tools and said good bye to living in a house as we prepared to move to a new life of apartment living in Copenhagen. As I have written before, this suited us for many years until a year ago when we decided that it was time for a change and a move to a house.
If I am honest I found the first few weeks living in our new house something of an adjustment – it was a lot quieter than I was used to and I was constantly finding I was at the opposite end of the house to the thing I needed so spent a lot of time going up and down stairs, which was great for my step count on my Fitbit. But within a month I was settled and starting to love living here, so I thought I’d share the reasons why in case you are also thinking of making the transition.
1 The quiet
One of the biggest reasons why we wanted to move was the lack of control we had about the noise around us. With a neighbours who enjoyed a ‘social life’ at 4am at the weekend on far too frequent a basis and when they weren’t doing this they were stamping around. As the weekends rolled around, a time when we wanted to relax and sleep, I would start to feel tense and nervous about whether this weekend would be our neighbour’s turn to host the ‘social life’. The flipside of this was the noise we made. I don’t think our family noise was in anyway extreme but it is nice to think we can be noisy if we wish now. Living in our own house, the noise we hear is our own. It is also lovely not to hear traffic noise but beautiful bird song instead.
2 A garden
We are lucky enough to have gained a mature garden which the previous owners had spent time thinking about and planting in. They have chosen shrubs that are pretty self sufficient and yet beautiful. They have also staggered the times of the season when the shrubs bloom so we have had wonderful colour in stages and there is still more to come. We are delighted that their choices are also some of our favourites including hydrangea, red maple, peonies and lilac. Oh, and a whole bed of strawberry plants! This we are are just seeing what is coming out before we decided what to add next year. It is wonderful to have a garden that people turn to look in admiringly as they walk past.
Plus it is wonderful to have your own space outside to enjoy the summer weather and also the snow in the winter.
3 A laundry room
Living in an apartment, if you are lucky enough to have your own washing machine, means that you hear the washing machine all the time if it is located in your kitchen. If you don’t have your own and share the communal one, you are dictated by when the machine is available to use. Living in a house we are now lucky enough to have our machines in the basement on a solid tiled floor so the noise is very minimal. Plus I can hang my washing outside on a warm day.
4 A basement
Whilst the actual floor space of our house is not that much bigger than the largest apartment we have lived in over the last nine years, it is spread over three floors. This means we are really lucky to have a large basement room perfect to use as a play room cum office space plus a storage room for all our junk. No more traipsing up to the cold attic to find things stored there.
5 A feature wall
Now this is specific to our place but I have coveted an exposed brick wall for years and years. In our previous apartment this wasn’t possible but here we have one, which I adore. Even if we hadn’t it would have been a hundred times more possible to make our own.
6 History and variety
Although our house was built in the 1930’s and not the 1890’s ( as our previous ones were), it still comes with a lot of history. It is a muremester house and as such the exterior is protected. It is fascinating to look at all the houses in our street and not see one that looks the same, even the other muremester ones. I shall write some more about this style of house soon.
I thought that one of the things I liked about living in an apartment was a sense of community but in our last place this seemed to be lacking. In the first few months of living in our new street we have found neighbours coming up to introduce themselves when we have been outside in the front garden (thankfully, for me, the Danish way of not calling on your neighbours is the same here as in an apartment), when they have been passing walking dogs or as we walked past people’s gardens. We in turn have also introduced ourselves and everyone has been friendly. Our opposite neighbour was collecting for Doctors without Borders at the weekend and took the opportunity to introduce herself.
8 Encouragement for healthy living
I no longer walk past tempting bakeries on my way home from dropping off my son at school and added to the extra walking which is now part of my day, I have been feeling and looking a lot healthier. We live close to a place where I can pop and sauna in the evening and the beach is just a short walk away.
9 Easy transport access
Although we are living on the very edge of Copenhagen and Tårnby, it is surprisingly easy to get into the city from here. In less than 15 minutes I can be at Kongens Nytorv and the journey to my son’s school takes half the time it used to and is one easy bus journey and a healthy walk. This gives me and us a lot more time to spend doing what we love, such as sleeping later in the morning and having more family time in the afternoons.
Two years ago I wouldn’t have thought this would have been for me but I wouldn’t change it at all now. With Copenhagen being such as small city, if you are thinking of buying your own place here then don’t discount exploring the option of a house instead of an apartment.
I definitely miss having a garden! And a laundry room and proper basement would be great too.
Having a house sounds incredible. I love your lilacs. Is there anything you miss about living in an apartment?