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nursery Julia

Michala Cowan

Stylist • 3 Children • Hellerup/ Copenhagen, Denmark

Michala lives with her husband and their 3 children Villads (12 years), Sofia (9 years) and little Julia (2 years) in an old townhouse just outside of Copenhagen. Their home is simple yet full of nostalgic touches. Here she talks about their (enviable) evening routine and her favorite places in Copenhagen.

hometour Copenhagen entry
Dear Michala, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?
Michala: We are a family of 5, with 3 kids, at the age of 12, 9, and 2. I have a BA in design and business, and have worked with children's fashion for many years, from buying to styling... My husband is an art director and architect.
You used to live in the center of Copenhagen and decided to move out of the city a few years ago. What were the reasons behind your decision?
Michala:  We had the most amazing apartment in the city, and really loved all the cultural experiences the city of Copenhagen has to offer. But as our family grew, we felt the need for a garden and a little more peace around our kids. We wanted to get away from all the city stress. To get closer to our family and the sea. We both grew up having the sea nearby and loved it. So we left our city life(style) and moved a little north of Copenhagen - but still only a short drive away - we can even bicycle to the city, so we still do go to Copenhagen whenever we long for the city vibe. Our kids love their new surroundings. Our new home is a townhouse from the 1930s, and the street is full of children playing and having fun.
kidsroom bed kidsroom desk CopenhagenJulia flowers kidsroom details Copenhagenkidsroom gray label dress girlsroomJulia leaf wreath Sofia braidskidsroom tipi Copenhagen
Your husband is an architect. Did the two of you plan the house together? What were your priorities?
Michala: We wanted/want to keep our house very simple - our priorities are our kids, so both the garden and house should not take too much of our time. We both have a love for design but feel that we want to have furniture with a special story or from the same time period as our house - the dining table for example is from my husband's childhood home, the chairs are from our first flat together and so on... We have a build-in bench made especially for the house. It is important that we can feel relaxed and not be afraid that the furniture will break. All marks made by us ad story and life to the house and furniture. You will find a lot of wood, linen and stone in our home. And we love having the house full of children :-).
How would you describe the aesthetic of your home?
Michala: We have the same philosophy 'keep it simple'. Simple materials with history, wood, linen and function - and the light is very important. Living in the North, we don't have many hours of sunlight and this is why we really appreciate everything that ads light.
skandinavian kitchen Copenhagen hometourdining table detailshousetour Copenhagen dining roomalvar aalto stool sunlightliving room CopenhagenCopenhagen kitchenMichala Cowan muse Copenhagen
Julia, your 3rd one, was born 10 years after your first and 6 years after your second child. How has this changed your family life?
Michala: We were so surprised when we found out that we were expecting one more. Little Julia has brought so much joy into our family - and some chaos.  We are much more easy-going parents but after 2 years, we still look at her and can't believe how lucky we are. Both me and my husband work, so time is little, that´s why we try to spend all our spare time together.
What do you love to do as a family? Do you have any special family traditions or routines?
Michala: We go for a swim in the ocean every night just before bedtime, from May to August. Besides being a brilliant way to enjoy summer, it is such a good stress relief. All our children love it, it is our daily bliss. And they sleep like babies afterwards.
Juliabedroom CopenhagenSofia moumout ParisJulia moumout bathrobeDanish home detailSofia moumout bathrobe
For a family visiting Copenhagen, what would you recommend them to see and do?
Michala: Go on a canal tour, and discover Copenhagen from the waterfront, children from 5 and up will love it. The National Gallery of Denmark, has some very good workshops for children. In summer the park Kongens Haven has a marionette theatre for children. It`s outside in the park, it´s free and great fun. The park also has a beautiful little playground. I also have to mention Louisiana museum of modern art, it is one of our favorite places, it is located 25 miles outside of Copenhagen, but so worth the drive.
Copenhagen has so many amazing restaurants and cafes. What are your favorite ones?
Michala: I love Atelier September for their matcha tea and cafe Granola for french toast or oatmeal. As for restaurants our favorites are Höst, they have such lovely surroundings, and  Italo Disco at Vesterbro, since we just have a passion for Italian food which is heavenly there. And one more: L'éducation Nationale, a very authentic French bistro with a wonderful atmosphere and it's were my husband and I went on our first date 17 years ago - a very sweet memory.
brother&sisterVillads Julia Copenhagen familyCopenhagen family home detailblankets
What is important for you when choosing clothing and toys for your children? Do your kids agree?
Michala: I love knits, in light colors - otherwise I always go for soft materials, sweet details and clothes that complement the child wearing it. I love wooden toys and Waldorf dolls - toys that stimulates the creativity and fantasy. I must say, because we bought quality toys for Villads over 10 years ago, Julia is now playing with exactly the same.
Julia Cowan
You have worked in children fashion for several years. What would be a dream project for you?
Michala: To design my own kids wear line. It is so much fun to dress children - if it does not feel good to them they won't wear it - no compromise, which I think is so great.
Thank you Michala!
Julia wears the tocoto Body Swiss Embroidery and the green jacket , the light gray Ani blouse from Merci Marie and the bathrobe pepin in faded pink.
Sofia wears the gray label collar dress, tocoto's green jacket and the moumout bathrobe in color little fog. On her desk: wooden toys by Eperfa.
Villads wears shirt Paul from Buho.
All photos by Michala for Over The Ocean.