Kristina grew up on a small island outside of Oslo. Even as a child, she was fascinated with how people build homes within nature. And so, after building a tiny house in the vast forests of upstate New York, Kristina and her architect partner Anton decided to move back to Copenhagen, where they initially met. Here, they worked together designing and building a unique, personal home right by the waterfront of the Copenhagen Harbour.
In a small, almost hidden area in Copenhagen, you will find a row of boathouses situated side by side, right by the waterfront of the Copenhagen Harbour. The area is the home of many different personalities, and it is only with the help of various homemade signs that you get an indication of who lives where. One of the signs bears the name "Kahytten" (ship's cabin in Danish) – this is the home of Kristina Line.
When asked why they have named their home "Kahytten", Kristina smiles. She was brought up in Norway on an island outside of Oslo, where home meant being right in the middle of nature. She explains that in Norway, there is a proud tradition for building "hytter" (cabin in Danish) since living or having a place in nature means the world to many Norwegians. So, being fascinated with drawing houses and spatial thinking from a very early age, Kristina actually wanted to be a "hytte architect" when she was a child. "To me, the ultimate dream is to live close to nature. It drives me how one can achieve this while respecting the surroundings. So Kahytten's name is a tribute to the characteristics of a hytte – a small building within nature. And Kahytten, in Danish, is the word for a ship's cabin – so the name just seemed so fitting when we are right by the water".
Kristina works as a small-scale architect and designs villas and cottages for private clients while also working on interior design projects for commercial clients. "My work is quite versatile. I work with renovating and transforming already existing structures, and with projects where I start from scratch". With a Master's in Art and Architecture, she has been taught to use her intuition and to incorporate art, philosophy and poetics into her projects: "I always seek to read my surroundings and respect the history of any given space. I believe that the architecture always decides - meaning that you should respect the architectural style and let the interior echo this".
The road to acquiring the boathouse was far from easy. Anton's father worked in the area, and Anton had quickly grown fond of the quirky neighbourhood. Since the houses had been passed down from generation to generation, it took perseverance and resilience until they were finally offered the opportunity to buy one. "The people that live here are so kind, and the community is weaved closely together, but they are protective of the area and do not wish for it to be transformed into something new and fancy. The place has its own soul, and the people here want to protect it at all costs. But this is also why we love the area and why we were so respectful in the entire renovation process".
With wooden details, natural materials and soft shapes, it is evident that Kristina's approach to small-scale architecture and interior design is reflected in her and Anton's boathouse. The home is somehow traditional but also experimental. The main lines of the house blend into the context of the neighbourhood houses, but Kristina experimented with the layout and the detailing inside the house. Being a small house of only 60 square meters, they wanted to create an open functional plan to avoid crammed spaces using only natural materials to respect the boathouse's soul and create a warm atmosphere.
Kristina believes that inspiration comes in many shapes, and she sees her home as very important to her creative process. When approaching the interior decoration of the boathouse, she decided to add layers of different textures and mix new and carefully curated pieces with beloved heirlooms. When asked about her interior design reflections, Kristina explains: "I think it is a matter of picking a few pieces that truly speak to you. And then, when you place them together, you have a collection of treasures that means something. I think Maria Kondo has got a point when she says to only surround yourself with things that spark joy".
“Home to me is a place where I can feel comfortable, protected and disconnect from the world outside. It is a place for calmness, warmth and serenity”
This perfectly captures Kristina’s approach to decorating her home. The boathouse is a warm, welcoming space with a neutral, understated colour palette, where every little item and object has both purpose and a story to tell. Kristina proudly shows a small wooden bowl that belonged to her grandparents and was made in their hometown in Sweden. The living room also contains a large sofa with a clean, minimalistic expression, which, Kristina explains, she and Anton have designed and built themselves.
From the living room, which is also her favourite spot in the home, Kristina can look out onto the water while the afternoon sun filters through the curtains: "Me and Anton both grew up close to the water and have always had a dream of living by the water again". She explains that their entire home is bathed in a magical, glowing light just before the sun sets over the Copenhagen skyline. "Home to me is a place where I can feel comfortable, protected and disconnect from the world outside. It is a place for calmness, warmth and serenity. It also functions as a base for my everyday adventures, and it is a place where I feel inspired. Here, I can create. Most importantly, home is a place to invite friends and family and neighbours over to share a good meal, make memories and plans for the future".