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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. 

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Warm Tones and Texture In An Elegant Copenhagen Apartment

Hej (pronounced 'hi' in Danish) friends! It's a crazy world we live in when we can see a country across the water, but not able to visit! I was contemplating this over my coffee this morning while sitting by the sea looking out over Copenhagen. It's one of my favourite cities - one that buzzes with creativity and oozes a relaxed, boho vibe. If you've never been, it's definitely one for the bucket list! In the meantime, I hope you'll join me on a virtual visit today. Ellen Dixdotter and her family reside in the danish capital for much of the year, and head to their rural retreat in Southern Sweden in summertime (I showed their dreamy country kitchen a couple of weeks back). You might recognise Ellen's home from a post back in 2019, but so much has happened since then, I felt it was time to re-visit. 

Ellen is CEO of the fabulous Danish brand Malene Birger (after years of pronouncing it 'Birger' - like 'burger', I recently learnt from my Danish neighbour that it's actually pronounced 'be-or'! Never knew!) and has a natural eye for design and the latest trends. Her home is full of beautiful, sculpted shapes and raw textures as well as a fabulous collection of designer pieces as well as rugs from her own handmade rug brand Cappelen Dimyr

Above: A Pacha Lounge Chair by Gubi and an Arctander chair from Paustian have been placed either side of the door. 

The incredible sofa was bought at auction. Sofas with a bulbous form are making huge waves in the interior world right now -with the Mario Bellini Camaleonda Sofa from B&B Italia being the most popular (I love it in Classic Boucle - pearl). A classic Zettel' Z lamp hangs overhead. 

It's always interesting to see what sources of inspiration people enjoy. From this picture, I gather Ellen is an avid reader of The World Of Interiors and Milk - although, I'm sure she reads countless other great magazines too (both decor and fashion!) as part of her work.

A large no.6 rug from Cappelen Dimyr hangs on the wall in the hallway - adding drama (and sound proofing) to an otherwise white space. 

The children's room is made up of furniture from Studio Mini, Oliver furniture and Solhem Inredning

Beautiful! I particularly love the curved shapes and soft, earthy tones. 

I'd love to see the kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom too (does that make me sound really nosey? - I guess you know me by now!) - hopefully they'll pop on Ellen's instagram feed soon! 

And just how incredible are the handmade rugs? Cappelen Dimyr is a new favourite of mine. 

Fancy seeing a few other Copenhagen homes today? Check out: 


Tomorrow I'm planning on sharing one of my latest DIY projects from home. It's just a simple hallway solution, but I thought it might inspire anyone with a narrow hallway or landing I hope you're going to like it! 

Have a lovely day!

Niki

All photography by Ellen Dixdotter except 4. & 6. by Mike Karlsson Lundgren  

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A Small-ish Danish Home With a Vibrant, Sunny Feel!

Hejsan! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! It was really sunny here, but wow was there a vicious northerly wind blowing - brrrrrrr! Even so, midsummer is a mere 8 weeks away and we're loving the long hours of sunlight up here in the North! It's at this time of year when smallish spaces and 'attic' apartments without balconies can start to feel a little closed in and removed from the vibrant spring / summer outside. But, if you're smart like 26-year-old nursery teacher Louise, who lives in a beautiful 46 square metre (495 sq. ft) apartment on the top floor of an old building in Aarhus, Denmark, it's easy to add a summer vibe. Louise has decorated her two-room apartment (made up of an open-plan kitchen / dining area and bedroom which also doubles up as her living room) with pastel coloured art, accessories, pretty summer dresses and vibrant plants and flowers - all of which help to bring a ray of sunshine to the space, even on a grey day! 


Louise has opted for mainly whitewashed walls which help to bounce the light around and give the illusion of space. while an accent wall adds a great focal point and creates contrast. 

Kitchenware in fresh pastel hues also add a summery vibe, while a canvas director chair adds a beachy touch. 


Sunny yellow tulips and daffodils brighten up a dark corner around the sink. 

A lemon tree brings an instant touch of the med to the windowsill and a white table helps to add the bounce around. The print on the back wall is from Copenhagen-based By Garmi

FYI I also have a lemon tree in my home which I bought last spring. I'm proud to announce that it's survived the winter but there are no lemons to be seen - what have I done wrong? Honestly though, I'm just proud it's still alive!

Notice how wall to wall storage units double up as seating in the dining area - a smarty small space solution. 


Art with pastel tones by the likes of local Danish artists Lotte Neupart and Pernille Bitsch adds a soft, summery touch to the bedroom wall while  lemon yellow under bed storage crates from Hay add a fresh touch to the room. 


Some summer dresses are way too pretty to be kept hidden in a wardrobe - put them on display like Louise has done - so even if it's too cold to wear them you can still appreciate them each and every day! These ones are from Boii Studios. 

Linen bedding in pale yellow and pink from H&M Home add a pretty touch to the bed. Just add a coffee and a croissant (and maybe a fresh glass of orange juice!). 

A lit candle - because, well, hygge. 

The pretty town of Aarhus is a must visit if you're in Denmark - and a walk by the coast his perfect for blowing away the cobwebs, or a dip if you dare! 

What a lovely home - and such great inspiration for spring / summer too, don't you think? 

You can see more pics of Louise's charming home here

Shall we take a look at a few other lovely attic spaces today? here are a few of my favourites: 


Wishing you all a great start to the week - I hope the sun is shining where you are too! 

Photography: Louise / @_lisebise

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Snapshots From a Playful Copenhagen Home

Good morning! How are you today? A simple question, but an important one, particularly right now! If you're in need of a bit of a lift today, I've got some interior shots to share with you that I hope will put a smile on your face - just like they did with me. yay! Welcome inside the former Copenhagen home of Linea Maria also known as @guest.studio. Well, I wish this was a guest studio, I'd be there in a flash - how about you?! The delightful space is awash with subtle colour and pattern against a backdrop of white, pale blue (some might call it green) and lavender. Look closely and you'll also spot an eclectic blend of furniture and accessories which might just tempt you to get the paintbrush out! Ready to take a peek?

Gorgeous! 

I love how effortless and natural this home looks - it's also calm and yet subtly playful. Fab! 

Are there any ideas here you'd like to apply to your home? 

I'm tempted (as always) to go to flea markets and find some beautifully shaped furniture to paint. Remember this bed frame?

You know what's coming, don't you? Yep, some more danish homes to drool over of course! Here are some other colour happy living spaces I love: 


Gotta love Danish style! I love the use of colour! Are you a fan too? 

Niki

Photography: Another Studio - shared with kind permission

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A Pared Back Copenhagen Home With a Hint of Rock 'n Roll!

Hello! I hope you had a lovely Easter break! I'm feeling revived after a really wonderful week with my family - despite the distinct lack of spring here (snow today - really weather gods, REALLY?!). Luckily there's always music to keep us going. And there's nothing like a great tune to create spring / summer vibes (fake it 'til you make it!). There's a reason to my rambling, I promise. I thought I'd jump straight into the blog week with the Danish home of two musicians! Trine and Torben are the creative duo behind JØRCK a band which prides itself on dark dream pop. Their 19th century 83 m2 / 893 f2 apartment is a stone's throw from Kongens Nytorv in the heart of Copenhagen and doubles up as a recording studio from where Trine writes the lyrics and the pair experiment with sounds. The pared back space is peppered with design classics and interspersed with musical instruments - resulting in a harmonic bohemian space with a hint of rock n' roll! So friends, tune into their sounds on Spotify or YouTube and step this way for the tour!




A vintage leather 'The Spanish Chair' by Børge Mogensen is one of Trine's favourite pieces. 


A vintage type writer (source similar here*), iconic 7-series chair and a classic Gubi semi pendant lamp* can be seen by the window in the music room. 


A shirt hangs as art in the window behind a perfume collection. 



Can we also just take a moment to appreciate the floor? I bet is makes the most wonderful sound when you walk across it. Beautiful! 

Is there anything that stands out to you about Trine and Torben's home?

The shots were captured by photographer Anna Malmberg, whose Stockholm home I once featured here and styled by Swedish set designer Emma Wallmén (who also happens to have a beautiful home!). 

Fancy a peek inside another Scandinavian musician's home? Check out the former Malmö home of Nina Persson from the Cardigans

Ahhh, I'm so happy to be back on the blog again - is it strange that I miss it a little when I'm on holiday (the word 'holiday' is to be taken with a major pinch of salt in current times!!). It helps that I'm super excited about some of the homes and interior inspiration I have planned for the coming week. Stay tuned!

Wishing you a happy Tuesday!

Niki

Photography: Anna Malmberg
*This post contains affiliate links

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