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A Peek Behind the Facade of 'Hyggelig' Hellerup Manor, Denmark

MSH Partnership*
Last week I paid a very exciting visit to Hellerup Manor on Funen, Denmark. The very fact that I was leaving the country at all was cause for major excitement, but to be headed to this historical gem was a true honour. Once the home of prominent Danish noblemen, the beautiful Neo-classic manor dates back to 1670 and is the home of Knud Erik Hansen, the CEO and grandson of the founder of Carl Hansen & Søn. I was there to record a film with Knud Erik about The Danish Concept of Hygge for our live session at the Carl Hansen & Søn digital Open House event next week (sign up here if you're curious - I promise it'll be fun, insightful and it's open to all!). 

When Knud Erik and his wife Inger acquired the L-shaped building, it required extensive renovation. They employed the help of conservation architects Bue Beck and later Thomas Hillerup - who peeled back the layers and helped preserve the manor to its former glory.  Standing in front of the 40-room manor, I was eager to discover if a home of this size could contain the famous 'hygge' (cosy, comfortable and feeling of general contentment) that Danes are so famous for. Ready to take a peek?

I felt immediately at ease with Knud Erik Hansen. He was a true gentleman and I delighted in his stories about the manor and the objects within, as well as his numerous encounters with some of world's most highly revered designers. 


The conservation architects scraped back the paint on the walls in search of the original colour. In the library (seen above and below) the walls feature a warm orange-yellow tone, reminiscent of the 'golden hour' - that magical hour after sunrise and the last hour of light before sunset where the sun emits a delightful glow. 

The homely tone set the scene for a room that could be considered the epitome of 'hygge' - from the circle of handcrafted CH25 Lounge Chairs, arranged beside a traditional masonry tiled oven and the vast library of well-thumbed books to the cosy array of blankets, sheepskins and rugs. After dark, the room is lit with a warm, soft glow from a PH lamp and an array of candles. 

The library is also dotted with playful elements such as the famous wooden apes (also seen in many other places around the home) and colourful song birds by Kay Bojesen as well as a vintage abacus - giving the sense that everyone's welcome - young or old! 

The great big windows slip in an abundance of natural light and the surrounding nature, while the deep windowsills provide a perfect spot for treasures collected during Knud Erik's time working abroad. Elsewhere in the room, a vase bought in Morocco on a wedding anniversary, a Korean medical cabinet and silk embroidery from Vietnam help to create a relaxed, eclectic vibe - while the muted, earth colours and natural materials help to bring the entire look together. 

Above: a Colonial Chair by Olle Wanscher, designed in 1959 awaits, blanket at the ready! 


Stately homes often lend themselves to large floral displays, so I was immediately intrigued (and delighted) by the understated floral arrangements. Rosemary, apple blossom, lilac and wisteria from the garden had been placed on every surface, helping to harness the relaxing power nature while ensuring a  homely, lived-in vibe. 

Knud Erik represents the third generation of the family-owned furniture company, and the manor is the perfect backdrop for many fine examples of exclusive Danish designer furniture, much of it original or an early prototype from the Carl Hansen & Søn collection (such as the Wing Chair above). The carefully edited selection bear all the hallmarks of great Danish design: simplicity, aesthetics, and functionality, skilfully made from the highest quality natural materials. Such iconic, sought after pieces, could well belong in a museum, but Knud Erik is adamant that they remain a functional part of the house - and guests are invited to enjoy them as if they would any other piece of furniture. After all, they are designed to be used as well as handcrafted to withstand the test of time! 

The rooms are connected by long hallways which run the length of the L-shaped manor. The incredible original wood floor squeaks affectionately underfoot and lean, along with the walls towards the rooms, pulled by the weight of immense chimneys. The stairs also bear evidence of centuries of use! 

The attic has been converted to form a vast L-shaped room, where the magnificent, original axe-cut beams take centre stage. Although Knud Erik also has an office elsewhere in the house, he likes to sit here in the quiet of the attic on an iconic Red Chair designed by Kaare Klint. An animal skin has been casually draped over it for warmth. The magnificent desk has been decorated with treasured pieces including an engraved cigar box, a gift from former Carl Hansen & Søn employee. 

"I love the atmosphere of the 500-square-metre attic room. It's cosy and welcoming and one of my favourite places to spend time."
Knud Erik Hansen.

A pair of Propeller Stools by Kaare Klint have been placed to one side in case of extra guests - and a blanket is ready to unfurl on colder days. 

A social area beside the guest kitchen features a pair of Colonial Chairs and the popular classic KK47000 Safari Chair opposite an Addition Sofa. I love how you can see the patina on the leather - it's a material that ages so gracefully over time! 

A guest bedroom lies at the far end of the attic. Formerly the maids quarters (imagine how cold it must have been several centuries ago!), it's the only room in the house with windows looking out over the graveyard. Today a pair of dragons have been placed on the windowsill to ward off evil spirits. Knud Erik joked that when the dragons disappear, it's your cue to leave! 

Knud Erik, Inger and their young German Shepard spend most of their time in the kitchen - a warm and inviting room with a door out to the garden. I enjoyed some delicious Smørrebrød (open sandwiches) and Danish pastries during my time at their house - but most of all I loved the warm and inviting atmosphere and all the wonderful stories that Knud Erik had to tell! 

I hope you've enjoyed this peek behind the scenes of Hellerup Manor! 

If you'd like to see more of the manor and hear about The Danish Concept of Hygge (including tips and tricks on how to bring a hyggelig vibe to your home), come and join our online Live Session at the digital Open House event on 2nd June at 7pm GMT+1. There are plenty of other inspiring talks taking place over the two days too. I can't wait to show the film during the session too! Sign-up here

Wishing you all a great day! 

Niki

*This blog post is part of a paid partnership with Carl Hansen & Søn. All words and pictures are my own and I only ever work with brands that I love and think you will too. 

LATEST COMMENTS:

  1. Thank you for the tour of this beautiful house! Your host looks so gracious and happy. I love the attic space and the furniture, particularly the Propeller Stools.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A beautiful home! Love the old floorboards and stairs

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, what a treat! This is a great house and they did an amazing job showcasing all of its features. But the furniture and lighting and all the little details are truly what makes this house. I am ready to move into that attic. So good. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. thank you for sharing
    brings life to see people love their environs
    always a pleasure to peruse and study your site
    -c

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful, thank you!

    What are the ornamental iron pieces on the exterior? I have seen those on other buildings in Denmark.

    ReplyDelete

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