A genuine DIY-couple
Read about a genuine DIY-couple sharing their project
Read time: 3-4 min.
A genuine DIY-couple is sharing their experiences of the renovation of Obdrupgård. Get inspired and start your own DIY-projects with STOFF & STIL
We asked Josefine and Michael, the owners of Obdrupgård, five questions
Obdrupgård Farm was originally built in 1925. The colourful interiors in this idea book are from Josefine and Michael’s manor house in scenic Djursland. Three years ago, the owners, Josefine and Michael Gørup Jacobsen, exchanged their 150 m2, self-renovated townhouse for the 802 m2, three-storey manor house. Inspired by a dream to completely refurbish the manor house and create a home-base for family and friends, the couple embarked on a huge project, in which both played a role. Michael, a 36-year-old carpenter, also runs his own construction and assembly company. Josefine (29) is a self-taught bricklayer, who trained as a hairdresser. She takes care of the administration of Michael’s company. They will soon have completed the ground and first floor of the farmhouse. The top floor is still to come. We asked this very determined young couple to explain what drives them forward in this huge DIY project.
WHY ON EARTH DID YOU DECIDE TO TAKE ON SUCH A MAMMOTH PROJECT?
Josefine: “We wanted to move into something larger in the country and we had decided that we could take on a major refurbishment. I contacted the estate agent just on the off-chance but we ended up among the lucky few that got to see the house and farm. We soon realised that this was a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.”
Michael: ”We loved the architecture and realised that the garden had great potential. It was all laid out for us, a gift just waiting to be unpacked. Here we can give ourselves free rein. We don’t necessarily have to focus on everything being practical. For example, we plan to have a hunting lodge, an art studio and a 100 m2 bedroom on the top floor.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU HAVE DONE ALL THE WORK YOURSELVES?
Josefine: ”Doing it, all on our own, means we get exactly what we want and we don’t have to compromise in any way. Many of the things we have done here were things neither of us had done before – we try our luck and most of the time we succeed.”
Michael: ”We work well as a team. We appreciate each other’s ideas and we enjoy planning our projects. If we didn’t, this wouldn’t work out.”
WHAT CREATIVE SKILLS DO YOU EACH HAVE?
Michael: ”Josefine is good with colours, interior design... and she sees the big picture. She goes for daring colour schemes, whereas I am far too conservative. On the other hand, she’s good at keeping me grounded when I try to introduce too many “special effects” into a room. We pick out the most important things together instead.”
Josefine: ”Michael is a very skilled and creative carpenter. He turns cheap solutions into something that looks exclusive. The stuff we do usually starts off as an idea in my head. Once I have described an idea to him, Michael comes up with a specific solution, invariably exactly what I had imagined.”
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
Josefine: ”Right now, Michael is working on the banquet hall and wine cellar and I am working on a small orangery.”
Michael: ”And we always have the list of minor jobs that needs to be done on the two lower floors before we get started on the top floor.”
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE PLANNING MAJOR DIY REFURBISHMENTS?
Michael: ”Don’t be intimidated by the overall size of the project. Break it down into smaller projects. Take one small project at a time. You can see an end to your work and won’t feel that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.”
Josefine: ”Yes, plan the process, enjoy the things you have completed and don’t be afraid to try something new. Even if you aren’t a trained artisan, you can do far more than you imagine.”
Michael: ”Exactly. Don’t aim for perfection. Ask for advice from someone you trust and watch DIY videos on the internet – there are plenty of great options out there.”