I LIVE HERE
This cottage dating to 1875 is the setting for one family’s summer holidays.
“I LIKE TO MIX STYLES AND I LOVE TO MIX TEXTILES.”
When spring arrives, the Olsen family know it is time to get their 200m2 holiday house ready for summer. They bought the house 14 years ago and have been coming there since the boys were young. In the intervening years, the family’s needs have grown – the boys are now almost adults – so a large, open family room with kitchen, dining room and living room was created.
“The old kitchen was really cosy but tiny,” says Ivalo Olsen. “You could actually stand in it and reach everything next to you – that’s how small it was. With the new, large, open kitchen, we can all be together and everyone can help cook.”
Recently Olsen and her husband, Torben decided to add some extra rooms as the family often has guests visiting. The extra rooms are small cabins in the garden, right next to the pool, where the young people like to spend time on sunny days.
Located in a small village, the aim was to create a simple, country-like interior for the home. The main house has white painted floors. Winters are long and dark in Denmark, so light is important: these walls and ceilings add a ‘summer feel’ all year round.
Olsen previously owned an interior design store and many of the things from the house are from her own store, mixed with antiques and treasures brought home from travels.
“THE OLD KITCHEN WAS REALLY COSY BUT TINY.”
“I like to mix different styles and I love to mix different textiles, as in the living room with linen cushions on the sofa and antique rugs on the floor. The rugs also add a colourful contrast to the otherwise bright room.”
The rooms feature many finds from nearby antique shops. Gilded gold mirrors and crystal chandeliers blend easily with the ethnic touches. Life is lived differently than in the family home in Copenhagen. Here there is more time to be with each other.
“We have deliberately arranged it so that you have different places and oases both in and outside, where you can be at peace,” says Olsen.
“And then there are also areas where we all gather for meals. We enjoy shopping locally, picking up country eggs and fresh salad picked in the morning. It feels like real life and I just love feeling the wind in my face or the fresh seawater.”
The tables are laid with white tablecloths, wildflowers are set in vases and the meals are homemade. It is like the countryside invites everybody to do their part. Every day the adults swim in the sea, while the young often prefer to just cool by the pool.
The house stores many wonderful memories – which the family recall every time they return.
IVALO OLSEN “I JUST LOVE THE FEELING OF WIND ON MY FACE.”