In The Kinfolk Home, Yvonne Koné and Rasmus Juul take readers inside the Copenhagen apartment they redesign every year.
Yvonne Koné and Rasmus Juul moved to the Copenhagen suburb of Vesterbro a decade ago because they were inspired by its rich history and historic atmosphere. The apartment building they currently live in with their children—Johanna, Bror and Hasse—was built in the 19th century by the Art Nouveau–inspired architect Anton Rosen and offers a welcomed respite from the rest of the city. “This is where I relax completely with no filters,” Yvonne says. She and her husband, a children’s book illustrator, have watched their neighborhood shift over the years (a recent influx of residents has brought a new mix of families, professionals and young newcomers), and Yvonne feels like both she and their home are changing along with it. “I like things in movement and the feeling that nothing is static,” she says. With half of her brain leaning toward perfectionism and the other half toward what she describes as complete disorganization, the couple’s home is usually redecorated at least once a year. “Painting the walls has always given me the feeling of a fresh start—it’s like a clean canvas,” she says. “I’m not very attached to physical things, and when I’m redecorating as often as I do, I see it more as a form of exchanging rather than consuming—I sell some items and then find a few more.”
Whenever she redecorates, Yvonne tries to make the decor minimal and manageable, as having three children and a time-consuming job as a designer keeps her busy as it is. She and Rasmus are fans of their home’s foundation of smooth, clean walls combined with pinewood floors, but she says, “The perfectionist in me has accepted that it’s OK for there to be a little—or sometimes a very big—mess.” The duo also believes that a resident’s personality should be clearly visible in their space. “After looking at a few items in a home, you can tell that someone selected a particular piece for a reason—not necessarily because it was beautiful, but simply because someone liked it,” she says. A possession that speaks to this notion is a set of warm, plush bathrobes that Yvonne gave to the family members for Christmas a few years ago. Along with lighting some flickering candles, wearing the robes has become a household tradition during the dark Danish winters when they function as the family’s around-the-clock loungewear. While the robes aren’t fancy (“Rasmus thinks they’re kind of sloppy,” she says, laughing), they exemplify a sense of comfort that she hopes to keep throughout her home.