THE GIN­GER­BREAD HOUSE

Christ­mas bak­ing is a much-loved fes­tive tra­di­tion for the own­ers of this Dan­ish villa

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - FEA­TURE ME­LANIE WHITE­HOUSE & PIA OLSEN/LIV­ING IN­SIDE

For jew­ellery de­signer Julie Wet­ter­gren, the fes­tive sea­son be­gins in Oc­to­ber. ‘I put raisins and nuts to soak in rum for the Christ­mas bis­cuits that we al­ways bake,’ she says. ‘The chil­dren, Con­rad, 10, and Telma, seven, and I go hik­ing in the woods where we col­lect cones, moss and branches for our dec­o­ra­tions. We can’t wait for Christ­mas to start but we do this in se­cret be­cause we al­ways prom­ise my hus­band Christo­pher that we won’t be­gin prepa­ra­tions be­fore the end of Novem­ber.’

Julie starts on her bak­ing projects early, be­cause each year the fam­ily makes a beau­ti­ful gin­ger­bread house to cel­e­brate Christ­mas. ‘ We bake one week­end, do the ic­ing the next and as­sem­ble ev­ery­thing on the third week­end,’ she says. ‘It takes weeks to get a gin­ger­bread house built.

‘Christ­mas bak­ing is a tra­di­tion I grew up with, and I love shar­ing it with my chil­dren. It cre­ates an ex­pec­ta­tion of what’s to come and gives me qual­ity time with my fam­ily, away from all the technology and screens.’

It’s no won­der, then, that the kitchen is a key room in this el­e­gant villa. It was also the only one that needed an en­tire ren­o­va­tion. ‘ We loved the charm and soul of the house when we first saw it, but the kitchen was com­pletely worn out,’ says Julie.

Re­plac­ing it with low-level units painted black kept it in line with the decor in the rest of the house. ‘I love dec­o­rat­ing with black and grey be­cause it gives the rooms some depth,’ she says. ‘I’m not a big fan of lots of bright colours, but I love con­trasts, and nat­u­ral light.’ There are no cur­tains through­out the house, which al­lows light to

Favourite room ‘ I love the sit­ting room, where we spend qual­ity time to­gether’

flood in. ‘since we have trees and na­ture all around the place, we never use any­thing to cover our win­dows,’ says Julie. ‘ We like light, and al­though we have blinds we never use them so i’m ac­tu­ally think­ing of tak­ing them down.

‘i’m very much into de­tail and like to think that i’ve dec­o­rated the whole house with per­son­al­ity and charm. i’d de­scribe my style as vin­tage with a touch of nos­tal­gia and some mod­ern twists, and i en­joy un­earthing an­tiques in flea mar­kets all over the world.’

at Christ­mas, the dra­matic decor here comes into its own and pro­vides a chic back­ground to the sparkly pas­tel baubles that Julie dec­o­rates the tree with. ‘When i bring out the dec­o­ra­tions it re­minds me of my child­hood,’ she says. ‘the things i’ve in­her­ited from my fam­ily have soul, and to me that means cosi­ness and se­cu­rity. Ev­ery year, the chil­dren and i buy a slightly more ex­pen­sive bauble to hang on the tree, cre­at­ing new mem­o­ries for the fu­ture. We buy a new tree each year – one with roots, so it can be planted in the gar­den af­ter­wards. Grad­u­ally we are cre­at­ing our own small for­est in the back gar­den.

De­cem­ber is a time for spe­cial gath­er­ings in this house­hold. Christ­mas Eve is spent with Julie’s ex­tended fam­ily – they eat duck, dance around the Christ­mas tree, and ex­change presents. Christ­mas morn­ing in Den­mark is quiet and spent with the chil­dren.

the fam­ily love their home, but with two grow­ing chil­dren and a dog, they are keen to have more space. ‘We may cre­ate an ex­ten­sion in the next year or so,’ says Julie. ‘ We love liv­ing here, sur­rounded by beau­ti­ful coun­try­side, so we cer­tainly don’t want to move.’

My in­spi­ra­tion ‘I look up to my dad, a fur­ni­ture de­signer, who made our ta­ble’

PHO­TOG­RA­PHY ANITTA BEHRENDT/LIV­ING IN­SIDE

stairs The di­a­mond wall­pa­per on the stairs is a strik­ing fo­cal point. he­lene blanche har­lequin raw gold tcw wall­pa­per, ap­prox £123 a roll, tapet Café, achieves this ef­fect

sit­ting ROOM Helped by the chil­dren, Julie cre­ated the in­tri­cate gin­ger­bread house, as well as cook­ies, meringues and home­made choco­late truf­fles. ‘I do all the bak­ing with my kids,’ says Julie. try the bis­cuiteers DIY gin­ger­bread house kit, £34.99, Sel­f­ridges

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.