An adorable coastal cottage, north of Copenhagen, lures me with a simple style that’s typically Danish.
I’ve often wondered why I see so many black and white interiors coming out of Scandinavia — notably the stunning kitchen with glossy black cabinets that I featured in my post Dark Kitchen Drama. Then last week, I came across a modest coastal cottage in the Danish town of Gilleleje, within commuting distance to Copenhagen. All in black and white, it had a wonderfully graphic runner and curtains in a hallway near the kitchen. I included that photo in my post on Switching Up Black and White Stripes, then went back for a closer look.
What I realized after a few searches is that this black and white palette wasn’t unique. Quite the opposite! It’s a regional style in Gilleleje, where this photo of a typical street near the port clearly shows the way traditional cottages are painted.
Similarly, the outdoor deck of the cottage [top] show how great these black cottage exteriors look, especially set off by the natural wood planking. A white table and chairs, under black umbrellas, hew closely to the theme.
The summer “kitchen” is composed of a Weber-style barbecue and a folding slatted side table arranged close to a wall-mounted white salvage sink. An outdoor sink has multiple uses on a deck and the pair of high-arc pillar taps (old-fashioned separate hot and cold spigots) serve every need from cooking to gardening. Could any sink be more picturesque against the black clapboard wall?
The living room shows the modest size of the cottage and includes a daybed that doubles as additional sleeping space, with storage below. The black furniture shows why Ikea has worldwide appeal and the light-catching high-gloss white floor makes all the black pop.
A galley kitchen has white cabinets and near dollhouse proportions. But the high beamed ceilings add to the aura of space. The family dining table and four chairs coordinate well with the living room.
I’m repeating this view into the kitchen to show how a high contrast scheme boldly leads the eye. This theme happens to be black and white but it would be just as stunning if navy, dark green, brown, or eggplant were used in place of black.
Upstairs, the ceilings are low enough to create bedroom nooks instead of rooms.
The second floor hallway has wonderful natural light thanks to a round window the owner found and recycled in this space. The same simple lantern sconces are used throughout the cottage.
An extension to the cottage features a spacious bathroom done with large-scale white square tiles and black grout. The long, shallow sink is another salvage piece.
Space added to the cottage created an airy bedroom for the family’s young daughter. Bunk beds and access to the yard make this girl’s room special. Keeping the décor consistent everywhere in the house ensures that this room will grow as she does. Plus, there will be no need for redecoration — an attitude as traditional and sensible as this Danish coastal cottage style.
(Source: danskkulturarv.dk, femina.dk)
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