You don’t have to dress your spaces in the razzle dazzle of the season – this refined Danish home proves the majesty of simple Christmas style.
Who lives here: Anita Schytte, director of her firm Note Room, which distributes Nordic brands to the world and offers design strategy; husband Jesper; and dogs Sally and Silke.
Style of house: A four-bedroom, two-bathroom 1932 former school set on half a hectare of land in the Danish port town of Korsør.
When she was a girl, Anita Schytte used to visit this house – where one of her school friends lived – and dreamt of making it her own. When it came on the market in 1994, Anita, husband Jesper (who is also from the area) and their daughter, Nini, jumped at the chance to return to their roots and enjoy this slice of countryside between the forest and the sea.
Taking on the design of a big house may seem quite a challenge for most, but having been in the interiors game for many years, Anita relished the chance to get creative in the space she had long coveted. “Some people count sheep – I decorate,” she says. “Interior decorating is everything to me. It’s what I’ve worked with for the better part of my adult life and it’s what I do well.”
A monochromatic palette gives the house sleek appeal with plenty of warmth via soft textures to balance the cooler tones. Beautiful finishing touches such as candles and eye-catching plants fill the home, both inside and out. “We have more than 40 old trees that produce plenty of fruit but also look beautiful all year, regardless of the season,” says Jesper.
Christmas time suits this home. In the oven, osso buco is slowly cooking and the scent of the pine tree fills the rooms. The tree has been hand-trimmed for six years, and the pared-back decorations – simple paper baubles and fabric cones – sit among its wonderfully thick, green foliage. Candles and cuttings from the garden and add to the traditionally festive look. “They increase the cosy feel when the days are shorter and darker,” says Anita.
In Denmark, the biggest celebration occurs on Christmas Eve when gifts are exchanged and families come together to eat, drink and be merry. Anita’s menu offers traditional roast duck and risalamande – a rice dessert served with cherry sauce. An abundance of presents is a must. “We don’t give our children gifts very often, but at Christmas we go over the top,” says Anita. “Over the past 30 years we have also celebrated December 27 here with all our old friends and their children, who now have their own families. Everyone turns up with a dish and we have a wonderful time. Our granddaughter, Luca, will be here, too, so Christmas Day is all about movies and chocolate.”