Coming from a small, picturesque village in Scandinavia, married couple Rasmus Fuglsig (43) and Rikke Herskind (47) and their two children enjoyed living a life of hygge - a Danish concept that encourages enjoying the simple things in life, such as quality family time and cosy contentment. But, after Rasmus was offered a new job in Central London, the family moved over 600 miles from Denmark, and relocated to the UK. After searching far and wide for a property with a feeling of home just like the one they had left behind, it was at Berkeley Homes' development Highwood Village in Horsham, West Sussex, that they discovered they felt most at home.
Rasmus, a Director of Financial Services in the city, and Rikke, a Pharmaceutical Product Specialist, moved into their new four-bedroom detached house at Highwood Village in July. Prior to finding their dream home at Highwood Village, they rented a four-bedroom house for just over a year in Wickhurst Green. Rikke comments: "When we first moved to the UK, we decided to rent somewhere while we house-hunted for a home that was exactly what we were looking for. We used to own our home in Scandinavia, so we were very particular in our demands for the type of house we wanted to buy in the UK. I would definitely say we were picky buyers!"
Rasmus explains: "Scandinavian living is very much about 'hygge' - open-plan living and big, open white spaces with a minimalistic approach. We really wanted to buy a similar type of house, so it took a lot of searching to find one that was right for us. Over eight months we looked on property websites and viewed about 20 properties in total, both new builds and older houses. We both agreed on the fact that we would prefer a new build - in an older house we would have to do a lot of renovating for it to meet our criteria and, with a busy family life and work, we just wouldn't have the time! The house at Highwood Village was the first one we viewed that we felt met all of our criteria and, as it was a new build, we could get all the specifications that we wanted without having to do a thing ourselves!"
Rikke continues: "Being a typical Scandinavian family, we really wanted to incorporate hygge into our new home. We wanted a house that would bring togetherness for the whole family, with open space where the children can do their homework and we can do the cooking whilst still spending time together. This was difficult to find in a typical English house, but we found it with Berkeley Homes. We found a home that has a big open space in the kitchen area where we can come together as a family, which is very special for us."
Rasmus comments: "We loved the open-plan feel of the house when we viewed it, and, due to the stage of the building process when we bought it, Berkeley gave us the freedom to have an input on the final product. We were able to have double doors installed between the living room and kitchen area, making it even more open-plan and giving us a flow throughout the ground floor of the house. Berkeley were so accommodating in listening to how we wanted our home to look; they listened to our wishes and made it happen."
Highwood Village is located within walking distance of the market town of Horsham, offering a range of high-street amenities. On why they chose the area, Rasmus comments: "We moved to the UK because I had got a new job in Central London, and we had two main criteria when choosing an area, we wanted to live in. Firstly, we wanted a direct line into Victoria as we are highly dependent on our commute to London each day, and we also wanted good schools for our children. We compared lots of different areas in suburbs of London, but Horsham came out on top. It has the best of both worlds - it's close to the city but isn't as cramped as living in an inner city, and has a lovely open-feel. It's also really close to Gatwick Airport, which is convenient when I have to travel for work."
Rikke continues: "Horsham has a really great village feel, with lots of peaceful countryside in the surrounding areas. The South Downs are in walking distance from our house, and we are also not too far from the coast which is great for the summer months! The secondary schools in Horsham are outstanding, and both children have settled in well. It's comforting to know that you don't have to worry about them walking to school on their own through the town centre - it's a really safe place to be."
Rasmus comments: "We would highly recommend buying a property with Berkeley. They've been so accommodating in helping us find the perfect home and went above and beyond to make sure it was just right for us."
Rikke concludes: "We love our new home - it has the dimensions of a typical British house but with a touch of Scandinavian flare. We're really looking forward to getting the last bits of furniture into the house, and we can't wait to show our family members the house when they visit!"
Comprising of stylish one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as beautiful three, four and five-bedroom family houses, Highwood Village creates a vibrant new community with its own identity, all within walking distance of Horsham town centre. Offering the benefits of a modern village lifestyle within a safe and welcoming neighbourhood, here residents can enjoy a new way of life, surrounded by meticulously designed green spaces and natural facilities including allotments, a wildlife corridor and natural play areas.