My Houzz: A Scandi-chic Home Simply Decorated for Christmas
Natural winter decorations embellish a white-and-wood Scandi palette in this revamped Danish home
By 2009, subsequent owners had torn down almost all of the interior and begun a long renovation process that teh current owners, Janni Mellemgaard Hansen and her boyfriend, Peter Dahl Nielsen, have keenly continued. Among other things, Janni and Peter have created a beautiful garden where there had once only been weeds and a large motorcycle parking area.
The pair’s love of nature extends to their Christmas decorations, with dried flowers, spruce cuttings in jars or branches artfully decorated with baubles in nearly every room.
Who lives here? Janni Mellemgaard Hansen, 32, and her boyfriend, Peter Dahl Nielsen, both teachers
Location In the old working-class district of Horsens, 30 miles southwest of Aarhus, Denmark
Size About 1,830 sq ft (170 sq m), including the basement, on a quarter of an acre of land
The couple share an interest in interior design. “It’s a good project to work on together – you get to know each other better. I’m good at visualising the final results, while Peter has become more and more skilled as a handyman. When we first met, my toolbox was bigger, but that’s no longer the case.”
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Some of ceramicist Bjørn Wiinblad’s Four Seasons plates, in various sizes, hang on the hallway wall. “My grandmother used to collect the small ones, so I developed a love for them early on,” Janni says.
It’s not just hardware stores that Janni and Peter frequented throughout the renovation: they’re also diligent flea-market hunters. She describes their interior style as retro with a touch of new.
“Many of our things are heirlooms from my family and flea-market finds,” she says. “I prefer things with a story. I grew up on a farm where there was room to keep heirlooms from generations past. These things were then passed on to me, so it took quite a few truck loads to get them here.”
Bulbs decorate the branches hanging from the ceiling. It looks like classic Christmas décor, but Janni sees it as winter decoration that livens up the space during the dark Scandinavian winters. The real fox fur on the coat rack is a flea-market find that Janni wore around her neck for just one party. Now it has its definitive place in the hall as a decorative feature.
“There are two exits to the terrace, and we chose to block one with crates. It’s an easy solution that provides space for books, pictures and plants while still allowing us to enjoy the daylight and the view,” Janni says.
Star on top, Søstrene Grene. Candle holders, the Karen Blixen Jul collection by Rosendahl.
This natural advent wreath is from last year. It’s been embellished with pine cones and new advent candles.
Chandelier, Lisbeth Dahl.
Kitchen, Kreum (formerly known as Biga). Granite worktop, Kuma.
Dining table and oak chairs, Woud.
Janni decorated the table with pine cones and dried Dutch garlic from the garden. They are easy to cut when dry and keep well, so the bouquet grows from year to year.
The candle holders are from a car-boot sale. “We were there almost every Sunday when we moved in. We love hunting around flea markets – it’s something fun to do together,” Janni says.
The Aduro 9 stove comes with an app that monitors the temperature and sends a notification when more wood is needed, among other things. All of the firewood for this and a second stove in the basement comes from Janni’s father’s nursery.
The old radio is fully functioning. It features a drinks cabinet on one side and a turntable on the other. The couple found it at a flea market when they were on holiday. They agreed that Peter would try to make it work, and Janni would clean it. “Peter finished in half an hour – I took 20 hours,” Janni says.
The footstool was another flea-market find. The couple reupholstered it in fabric from Kvadrat.
“The coffee table is a drop-leaf table by Ikea. We just shortened the legs so it fits like a coffee table,” she says.
Chair; rug, both Hay.
Shop mirrors on Houzz.
They found the old basin pictured here on dba.dk. The taps provide hot and cold water, despite the fact they’re both marked ‘hot’.
The lichen-covered branch was conceived as winter décor, but the couple might just keep it there all year long.
The ceiling on the landing opens all the way up to the roof ridge. “You have a beautiful view from here, so we set up a place where you can sit and enjoy it,” she says.
A picture of a walrus decorates the wall. The old beer crates are flea-market finds, and the guitar is standing ready for when Janni starts learning how to play.
The ceiling fixture was once a heat lamp for calves and piglets. The Nisse – a creature not unlike a Christmas elf – and archive boxes were found at flea markets.
The garden chairs were found on Lauritz.com, an online auction site similar to eBay; they were painted to suit the room’s romantic feel.
Janni and Peter built the base and the floor of this Vitavia Sirius conservatory. “Unfortunately, we’ve been quite unlucky with storms, so this is our third greenhouse of this kind,” Janni says.
“It required a lot of prep work, advice and tons of research,” Janni says. The materials for the about 97 sq ft (9 sq m) greenhouse came from dba.dk and its windows were taken from the rectory in Janni’s home town, Thyregod.
“The windows start almost at ground level, and the greenhouse floor is below the outdoor soil level; 90cm below ground level, there’s no frost, so our summer flowers can overwinter here,” Janni says.
“Part of the paint chipped off accidentally,” she says, “but it was a blessing in disguise because we love the worn look.” Over winter, the empty plant boxes are covered with larch planks and are used for ornamental purposes or as benches. Mason jars with small trees and stars add a festive touch.
The wreath on the door and the larch branch with pine cones are further examples of the natural winter décor Janni likes to surround herself with. “I grew up in the countryside with a lot of nature around me, so the garden is important to me, as are winter decorations that can last until March, when the garden comes alive again.”
What do you think of this home with natural decorations? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.