Yesterday was the first day that actually felt like spring, and the first day this year that allowed me to pull out my sunglasses. The day itself was beautiful, with fresh air, clear blue skies and non-stop sunshine. We spent it with a family brunch and birthday in Frederikssund in Northern Sjælland (Zealand), and after a downright food orgy with brunch, coffee, cake and sweets, we took a walk on the beautiful Roskilde Fjord. One thing I love so much about Denmark is that, no matter where you are, you’re never far away from the ocean. I’ve always wanted to live near the water, so this is absolute heaven for me. And the walk along Roskilde Fjord was stunning, with the sun in the blue sky, the clearest, freshest air, and the calm water as far as the eye could see… on the way back, we passed through a small, idyllic residential area, where every couple of houses, you’d see a “dannebrog” flying in the soft ocean breeze. I forgot to bring my phone or camera to the walk, so no pictures, unfortunately.
But this amazing day in Nordsjælland made me think of Rørvig, where my boyfriend’s parents have a “sommerhus”, a typical Danish summer cottage, near the beach, and where we’ve spent some time last summer. We’ll probably go up there again for the traditional family Easter lunch this year, and hunt for chocolate in the garden.
Danish summer houses have a very unique style. The classic “sommerhus” is usually a one-story building made of black wood, with white windows, surrounded by a small garden area with bushes and trees. Many sumer cottages have a flagpole as well, and usually you will see some bikes leaning against the house or standing in a shed. The interior is cozy and homely, the famous “hygge” is as important as ever. The traditional “sommerhusstil”, or summer house style, is very romantic. As opposed to the stylish, clear and modern interiors you find in fancy Copenhagen and Frederiksberg apartments and houses, summer houses will have plushy couches, fluffy pillows, carpets and curtains. Many summer houses have wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, because evenings and nights in the Danish early or late summer can be chilly. (When we arrived for our vacation last summer, we almost smoked out the entire house when trying to get a little fire going to warm us up…) As for the colors, furniture will often be white or of light wood, and color schemes range from romantic pastels to nautical-themed blue and navy tones. I’ve really fallen in love with the Danish summer house, and we’ll probably be spending some time there again this summer. For me, summer cottages mean long, wam nights, cycling to the beach, barbecue on the porch, and drinking a cold Carlsberg. They mean “hygge” and relaxation. They are the epitome of Danish summer.
Some interior brands capture the essence of the Danish summer house:
Greengate: Romantic designs, floral patterns and soft pastels are the trademark of Danish company Greengate, and you’ll probably be able to find many a Greengate product in Danish summer houses. www.greengate.dk
Cath Kidston: Similar to Greengate, this UK brand is also focusing on playful patters, romantic flowers and pretty colors. If you like the “shabby chic” trend, you’ll also be right at home here! They also have clothes and accessories available in the online shop. www.cathkidston.com
Lene Bjerre: I’ve written about this brand before, but if I had a sommerhus, I’d be sure to put a ton of their products in there! They are less playful but no less girly and pretty, with more natural colors and high quality materials. www.lenebjerre.com
There are some blogs I’ve found that are dedicated to the Danish sommerhus:
- http://betina-sommerhusstil.blogspot.dk/ (in Danish)
- http://sommerhusliv.blogspot.dk/ (Danish as well)
Further, I’ve found some great posts here: