Shades of grey, blue and lilac en­hance the serene feel of this stylish house on the Dan­ish Riviera

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - NEWS -

A serene Scandi-chic home on the Dan­ish Riviera

The Dan­ish con­cept of hygge may have been en­thu­si­as­ti­cally em­braced by us Brits (whether we have ac­tu­ally grasped what it’s all about is an­other mat­ter). But while we try and buy our­selves a cosy slice of the Scandi good life, the Danes are fock­ing to the sunny Dan­ish Riviera, an idyl­lic spot that they would rather keep to them­selves.

Lo­cated just above Copen­hagen, the ruggedly beau­ti­ful coast­line of North Zealand is dot­ted with fish­ing vil­lages, pris­tine lakes and an­cient forests. Sum­mer tem­per­a­tures might not be balmy, but some con­sider the shel­tered beaches to be the most beau­ti­ful in Europe.

Af­ter spend­ing week­ends and school hol­i­days here for many years, the in­te­ri­ors stylist Cille Grut de­cided to make a year-round home in a 19th-cen­tury sum­mer cottage for her­self, her hus­band, Peter, and their young chil­dren, Fred­erik, Agnes and Martha.

In days gone by, towns­folk focked to the sea­side, trav­el­ling by horse-drawn car­riages to es­cape the smog. Now, Cille of­ten does a re­verse com­mute, cy­cling into the city through small vil­lages with wild-fow­er­stud­ded hedgerows.

‘ We en­joy the fact that Copen­hagen is only a few miles away, since it gives us the op­por­tu­nity to bike to the city,’ ex­plains Cille, ‘and you get the most mag­nif­i­cent views along the way.’

The en­vi­able vista across the Öre­sund strait, the body of wa­ter that sep­a­rates Zealand from south­ern Swe­den, was what con­vinced Cille and Peter to buy the charm­ing but run-down house in 2003. They have grad­u­ally re­stored

pe­riod fea­tures such as stucco ceil­ings and the tra­di­tional ma­sonry stove, and dec­o­rated through­out in sooth­ing tones, in­spired by the grey-blue of the sea.

‘I al­ways think it’s best to choose colours that re­flect the area you look out on, whether it’s an ur­ban, coun­try or coastal set­ting,’ says Cille. ‘Here, it’s the sea and the for­est, so we’ve used green, grey-blue and shades of white. There’s a spe­cial kind of light that comes through the win­dows.’

On the ground floor, one hand­some, lofty room leads into the next in a cir­cu­lar fash­ion, through large dou­ble doors. The care­fully edited colour scheme and fur­ni­ture (a mix of Scandi de­sign clas­sics, hand-me-downs and things that came with the house) add to the sense of flu­id­ity and calm.

Cille de­scribes the over­all style of the place as ‘clas­sic and func­tional’ but there are a few flashes of dec­o­ra­tion, al­beit done in a re­strained, Scan­di­na­vian way. The bed­room, for ex­am­ple, has sump­tu­ous laven­der silk cur­tains, and in the liv­ing room a glass-fronted cab­i­net, in­her­ited from Cille’s grand­fa­ther, is filled with an­tique sil­ver­ware, fig­urines and glass bell jars.

Out­side, the court­yard at the back of the house has been cov­ered with a large awning made by a lo­cal sail­maker to cre­ate a cosy al­fresco room. The blue-grey colour scheme of the plant­ing (wis­te­ria, laven­der, aga­pan­thus) has been cho­sen to mimic the in­te­rior of the cottage.

The fam­ily spend as much time out­doors as pos­si­ble, ex­plor­ing the forested deer park be­hind the house and go­ing on fish­ing trips on the Öre­sund strait, as well as tak­ing daily dips in the warmer months. ‘There’s so much beauty here and al­ways some­thing new to dis­cover,’ says Cille. ‘I keep be­ing in­spired in new ways.’

Ex­tracted and adapted from ‘The Scan­di­na­vian Home: In­te­ri­ors In­spired by Light’ by Niki Brant­mark (Cico, £19.99)

Right The sit­ting room con­tains clas­sic Dan­ish de­signs such as the PK22 chair and PK33 stools by Poul Kjaer­holm for Fritz Hansen (skandium. com). The tra­di­tional ma­sonry oven came with the house. A wall at one end has been painted in Far­row & Ball’s...

words: niki brant­mark pho­tog­ra­phy: james gar­diner

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