An old fam­ily home is now a com­fort­able re­treat, thanks to one imag­i­na­tive home­owner.


FAM­ILY IS WEAVED into the very fab­ric of Jette Witzke’s hol­i­day home. Built in 1955, the house orig­i­nally be­longed to her par­ents be­fore Jette bought it from her fa­ther in 2015 and em­barked on a fairly ma­jor ren­o­va­tion. Lo­cated on Bornholm, an is­land in the Baltic Sea off the east coast of Denmark, the house is po­si­tioned high up on the cliffs with panoramic views of the ocean. The is­land is a per­fect hol­i­day re­treat that Jette and her fam­ily, in­clud­ing chil­dren Mads, 15, and twins Julius and To­bias, 12, have been vis­it­ing ev­ery year since the chil­dren were small. While the beloved old house had served the fam­ily well, it needed up­dat­ing and re­work­ing to suit their life­style. Jette, an in­te­rior de­signer who also owns a home­wares and fashion store called Le Metiér just north of Copen­hagen, had no doubt about how she wanted the house to func­tion; it needed to have enough space for fam­ily and friends to visit and be easy to main­tain. “We opened up the house, con­nect­ing the kitchen and liv­ing room and mak­ing it one large open-plan space,” she says. Jette also wanted the house to re­flect her fam­ily’s per­son­al­ity but not to be a car­bon copy of their main home. The ren­o­va­tion saw walls re­moved and the flow of light im­proved through­out the space. Out­side, a 45-square me­tre guest­house was built on the prop­erty, con­nected to the orig­i­nal house by a large deck. The new an­nexe in­cludes two bed­rooms and a bath­room, and was built as a teenagers’ haven, with the chil­dren and their friends in mind. Also added was an ex­ten­sive out­door pa­tio and a new kitchen — in short, nearly ev­ery cor­ner of the home was re­worked to ac­com­mo­date the fam­ily, with plenty of room to en­ter­tain larger num­bers on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. To­day, be­hind the ex­te­rior’s black cladding, the light-filled house is a com­fort­able fam­ily es­cape that Jette has styled to feel fresh and airy. The white walls and floor­boards make the per­fect back­drop for the sub­tle splashes of colour she has added in the form of soft fur­nish­ings, framed art­work, rugs and ac­ces­sories. The in­te­ri­ors are a won­der­ful blend of old and new, with trea­sured fam­ily heir­looms adding char­ac­ter to the mix. “I’m usu­ally a fan of more muted colours, but when it comes to a sum­mer house, it’s OK to crank up the colours and have a bit of fun with it,” says Jette. The pa­tio area was ex­panded and flows from the main house onto the grassy back­yard. “It’s one of the as­pects we paid a lot of at­ten­tion to in or­der to make sure the en­tire prop­erty was put to good use,” she says. “It’s im­por­tant to us that the en­tire prop­erty gets used and not just the bit in front of the house fac­ing the wa­ter.” >

The light-filled house is a com­fort­able fam­ily es­cape that Jette has styled to feel fresh and airy.

The house is full of peo­ple ev­ery sum­mer dur­ing school hol­i­days, as well as on week­ends through­out the rest of the year. The fam­ily are keen sailors and love spend­ing time on the wa­ter wa­ter­ski­ing and surf­ing — there’s al­ways wa­ter­re­lated gear packed into the car and boat as they set off on hol­i­days. The prop­erty’s out­door shower comes in es­pe­cially handy af­ter a day at the beach. Lo­cated at the end of the new an­nexe, be­hind the orig­i­nal house, it’s where they wash off the sand from the day’s ad­ven­ture. “One of the best things we’ve done to the place is open it up and cre­ate more fluid tran­si­tions be­tween the var­i­ous func­tions of the house,” says Jette. “I’ve also tried to get as much light into the house as pos­si­ble, which is some­thing I aim for in ev­ery project I un­der­take.” One way that Jette achieves this is by us­ing mir­rors to help re­flect light and spread it through­out the liv­ing ar­eas. Art­work and colour are also im­por­tant el­e­ments when she dec­o­rates. “To me art can also be some­thing you find at a flea mar­ket. It doesn’t need to be ex­pen­sive paint­ings — items with a bit of per­son­al­ity can get you a long way.”

KABLOURNND­HBORLGMDEN­MARK POST­CARDJette ren­o­vated the kitchen, in­stalling a cabi­net she bought at auc­tion and an is­land with a gran­ite work­top. The Reluma in­dus­trial pen­dant lights are avail­able in Aus­tralia from Pa­mono. FAC­ING PAGE, FROM TOP A peb­ble path­way lead­ing to a side en­trance. The pa­tio fence can be seen above; home owner and in­te­rior de­signer Jette Witzke. For stock­ist de­tails, see page 143.

The mas­ter bed­room fea­tures light blue bed linen from So­ci­ety Li­monta. The chest of draw­ers and rug are from Le Metiér.

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