An Elegant Danish Home

The sitting room has been furnished with a mix of classic and modern pieces

A soothing palette is the perfect backdrop to this Danish cottage, says NIKI BRANTMARK in her new book, THE SCANDINAVIAN HOME

Situated on the beautiful Danish Riviera, the Grut family home is inspired by magnificent viewsof the Öresund Strait on one side and lush forests on the other. A soothing grey colour scheme forms the backdrop for rich patterns and textures, iconic design pieces, modern items and family heirlooms, creating an awe-inspiring home that is both calm and inviting.

You arrive by a road that snakes up the eastern coast of Zealand from Copenhagen. The buzzing city streets lined with rows of houses and apartment buildings slowly fall away to make room for hedgerows studded with wisteria and hollyhocks, and eventually morph into small fishing villages similar to the one that Cille, an interior stylist, Peter, a CEO, and their three children – Frederik,
Agnes and Martha – call home.

Built in 1875, the house was formerly a summer cottage enjoyed by Copenhagen city folk. The couple first went to see the house in 2003, and they were immediately drawn to its incredible views over the Öresund Strait, the body of water that separates Zealand from southern Sweden.

Cille and her husband have spent years meticulously renovating their house. ‘When we renovated, we did it with full respect for the house’s architecture and style. All the fabulous stucco ceilings are original, as are the wooden floors,’ notes Cille.


The ground floor is made up of a hallway, dining room, kitchen, study and sitting room – all incredibly spacious, airy rooms, emphasised by the light pouring through the large windows and the magnificent high ceilings. Each room has been painted in a different nuance of grey-beige (or ‘greige’) depending on which direction the room faces, how the light falls, and how the family intends to use the room.

This abbreviated colour scheme and the carefully edited choice of furniture allow the beautiful architecture of the house and the crisp Scandinavian light to do the job of creating a striking, yet irresistible, sense of calm. This is evident in the large dining/drawing room where the furniture has been dramatically scaled back, with just a cabinet and sofa at one end and a side table and simple wooden bench at the other.

The focal point of the room is the large, round dining table, which is bathed in ‘the most magnificent light’ from the bay window. A set of modern Danish design Beetle chairs by GamFratesi for GUBI make this a comfortable spot for family meals and entertaining between two floor-to-ceiling pillars.

Cille describes the overall style of the house as ‘classic and functional’. The kitchen is perhaps the most prominent example of this. Open shelves line the back wall, which has been painted in Farrow & Ball ‘Strong White’. Bespoke base cabinets are painted several shades darker and have  a traditional look and feel, right down to the brass knobs. A simple ash countertop adds
natural warmth to the space.

The rest of the house is similarly pared back, yet it still achieves a charmingly lived-in feel thanks to the thoughtful mixture of furniture. A striking example of this is in the sitting room, which contains classic mid-century Danish designs, such as the PK22 chair and a pair of PK33 stools by Danish designer Poul Kjærholm, which Cille received as a birthday present from Peter.

A fully functioning Swedish masonry oven, which came with the house and must have originally been shipped over from Sweden, creates a warm atmosphere in winter. In the back corner, a fantastic glass-fronted cabinet, inherited from Cille’s grandfather and painted by Cille, is brimming with treasures, such as antique silverware, a bust and glass bell jars.

At the far end of the room, an eye-catching gallery wall has been painted in Farrow & Ball ‘Mole’s Breath’. The darker shade helps frame the pictures, but also defines the separate zone – an alcove used as a study from which Cille runs her interior styling business. As with all areas of the home, this one is functional and fluid, doubling up as a space for the children to do their homework.

A sweeping white staircase leads up to a long corridor, a junction for the bedrooms and family bathroom. Just like the rest of the house, the master bedroom has been decorated in different nuances of neutral grey, creating a wonderfully calm feeling. Cille favours high-quality materials, such as linen and wool, to generate a warm, inviting feel, while double silk curtains are the one factor that Cille describes as ‘not typically Scandinavian’.

The Gruts’ home is constantly evolving. ‘Our lives keep changing a little bit at a time, and I keep being inspired in new ways,’ explains Cille. One thing that remains the same, though, is the proximity to the Öresund Strait, off ering cool daily dips and fishing excursions in the summertime, and to the lush forests of the adjacent park. Both are a constant source of inspiration for Cille Grut and her forever changing family country home.


The Scandinavian Home by Niki Brantmark, CICO Books, £19.99, photographer James Gardiner

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