Daily life: housing throughout the ages


From single room to suburb

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The ideal house and home has changed significantly over the past 1,000 years. Communal living has been replaced by a single-family culture. Homes have gone from being a single room where a family ate, slept and worked to having a separate room for every activity. Home and work have been separated, and smoke and fire have been replaced by modern technology for heating and cooking.

A millennium of country living

During the Iron Age and the Viking Age people ate, slept and worked in a single, large room. Starting in the 13th century, houses began to include rooms that could be closed off and heated more easily. Farmhouses in the 17th and 18th century were built with new types of rooms: day rooms, complete with alcoves for the family's beds; great rooms for entertaining and storage furniture (chests and cabinets); sculleries and extra rooms. On the island of Zealand, the mistress of the house prepared food in the open chimney, on Funen and in Jutland homes had a fireplace in the day room, Homes were heated with peat in rear-fed stoves. Few were wealthy enough to have a third stove – and a third chimney on the main house. In the 19th century, farmhouses added new rooms as well – sleeping rooms, parlour, sunroom, guest room, and for some even a children's nursery. With the introduction of new types of cookers, day …

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