Country Style - - POST­CARD DEN­MARK -

“We eat when we are hun­gry and sleep when we are tired — we cul­ti­vate the sim­ple life to the fullest.”

“How­ever, we don’t use the in­ter­net much when we are here on hol­i­day or on the week­ends, when it is all about get­ting grounded with sand and grass un­der our feet, and re­set­ting our in­ter­nal clocks,” says Helle. “We eat when we are hun­gry and sleep when we are tired — we cul­ti­vate the sim­ple life to the fullest. The en­tire fam­ily also man­ages to pack in a lot of so­cial­is­ing when we are here.”

The nearly 100-year-old cot­tage, over­look­ing sandy Ve­jby Strand beach, also has a colour­ful past, as the for­mer owner, Ørum, knew French Post-im­pres­sion­ist artist Paul Gau­guin’s son, sculp­tor Jean René, who made two beau­ti­ful mo­saics and a fab­u­lous wood-burn­ing stove es­pe­cially for the house. The fire­place is adorned with an­gels wear­ing pi­lot hel­mets, a whim­si­cal ref­er­ence to Ørum’s past as an air force pi­lot. The two had met in Paris and, when Gau­guin ju­nior came to the Dan­ish sea­side, ser­vants were sent in ad­vance to re­move the fur­ni­ture cov­ers and pre­pare the house for the sum­mer sea­son.

When the Hol­stein fam­ily moved in, the house had been so well main­tained that they only needed to re-stain the ex­te­rior, give the in­te­rior walls a fresh coat of paint and then white­wash the floors for a re­laxed sea­side am­bi­ence. >

CLOCK­WISE, FROM ABOVE In the liv­ing room, fur­ni­ture was cho­sen with com­fort in mind. The chair and sofa with prac­ti­cal with loose cov­ers are both by Ger­va­soni. Cof­fee ta­ble from on­line re­tailer Casa Shop. Oars from Green­square in Copenhagen; floors were white­washed to suit the coastal set­ting. The IKEA kitchen leads out to the gar­den; the fam­ily like to en­ter­tain and the rus­tic din­ing ta­ble is usu­ally full of friends. FAC­ING PAGE Large win­dows over­look­ing the sea lure you into the liv­ing room. Framed art­works from Gal­leri Bo Bjerggaard in Copenhagen.

They chose an eclec­tic mix of sec­ond­hand fur­ni­ture and older pieces with a his­tory, to cre­ate the re­laxed, laid-back look they pre­fer. The white walls and drift­wood tones, to­gether with the odd or­na­men­tal oar or two, all per­fectly re­flect the set­ting. In a sim­i­lar vein, so­fas are fitted with loose cov­ers, mak­ing them a breeze to change and wash.

Hov­er­ing 45 me­tres above the Kat­te­gat, the straits be­tween the North and Baltic Seas sep­a­rat­ing Den­mark and Swe­den, the property of­fers spec­tac­u­lar sun­sets and stun­ning views. “Our favourite place is right on the edge of the wa­ter, where we can sit and en­joy the sea or watch the ever-chang­ing weather,” says Helle. “With a 20-kilo­me­tre view over the sea, you can spot a storm ap­proach­ing 20 min­utes be­fore it hits the coast.” There they of­ten spend hours gaz­ing over the sea, let­ting their minds wan­der or day-dream­ing about the de­li­cious fish they are go­ing to grill in the twi­light.

In the sum­mer, the fam­ily fill their days with swim­ming and long walks — when they are not work­ing, of course — en­joy­ing the fresh air and that won­der­ful tired feel­ing that comes from long, lazy hours of do­ing noth­ing much at all.

“Our favourite place is right on the edge of the wa­ter, where we can sit and en­joy the sea or watch the ever-chang­ing weather.”

The large tim­ber deck fac­ing the sea has been bleached by the harsh coastal con­di­tions over the years. Pots of gently sway­ing grass suit the ex­posed po­si­tion, with its salt-laden air and brisk sea breezes.

CLOCK­WISE, FROM BE­LOW Helle never tires of that view; show­er­ing un­der the open sky is a treat and it’s also prac­ti­cal for wash­ing off sand; Postim­pres­sion­ist artist Paul Gau­guin’s son, sculp­tor Jean René, knew the pre­vi­ous owner and cre­ated the mo­saics on two steps of the house.

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