The painted palace

The painted palace


The painted palace

Lamptey’s Copenhagen home is far from typical of Danish apartments.
The ornate
ceilings – a different design in every room – are worthy of Versailles, while
the elaborate doorframes and dark wood paneling wouldn’t look out of place in a
Tudor palace. To add a finishing flourish, Ditte, who owns socially conscious
clothing brands Solidary People and Skin, has painted the walls in shades of
everything from the palest green to the brightest red. This is a home of bold


‘I wanted
to resist painting the whole place white.
Instead, I have picked out colors
from the amazing ceilings for the walls and the decoration,’ Ditte says. The
living room has amint-green and baby-pink scheme, and the magnificent dining
space is an elegant eau de nil. In Ditte’s panelled office, a pink wall adjoins
one painted in tomato-soup red; in the bedroom, she has used many kinds of
blue. Ditte says that this striking palette ‘adds humour to the apartment’s
heavy carpentry’.


Ditte has
lived here for ayear and a half with her partner Heikki and her son Louis, ten.
The corner apartment, datingfrom 1890, is situated in Norrebro, a colorful neighborhood
filled with coffee shops and populated by design-conscious Danes. Buried in
nearby Assistens cemetery – a beauty spot where locals go for picnics – are two
Danish icons: Hans Christian Andersen and Soren Kierkegaard.


To provide
a contrast with the property’s extraordinarily ornate features, the furnishings
have been kept simple. The tables and chairs are pared-back mid-century pieces,
and the vast walls are broken up by modern artworks. Ditte’s style is
uncomplicated and natural: tabletops are decorated with rustic vases containing
twigs and foliage or candles in simple holders, while books are piled high on


‘The rooms
are so special that I knew I’d have to work with the apartment
on its own
terms, and not be tempted to make it typically Scandinavian and minimalist,’
says Ditte. ‘I wanted it to be functional and inspiring, a place where there is
room to be quiet and creative.’ Nordic
touches aren’t completely absent from Ditte’s home, though.


There’s a
selection of Danish design classics on display, from Louis Poulsen lamps to
Arne Jacobsen chairs and a grand, traditional tiled stove – the sort that you
only find in Scandinavian houses.


apartment is still a work in progress
, with the next big project being to
tackle the dilapidated kitchen and bathroom, but it’s all worth the effort. ‘I
feel blessed to live in a home that has the beauty of a museum,’ says Ditte. ‘I
always get that \”aahh” feeling when I arrive home – the sense of being in

The painted palace

Dining room.This corner area houses a small table that Ditte repainted to complement the

Living room.Arne Jacobsen’s ‘Swan’ chair is among the classic furniture in this space,
which leads through to the dining room.

The painted palace

Kitchen.This room is still awaiting renovation. For now, the table is a classic
American diner model surrounded by Arne
Jacobsen’s ‘Ant’ chairs.

Hallway. Here, dark wood paneling is offset by bubblegum-pink paintwork.

The painted palace

Office.Clashing walls bring an element of playfulness to this wood-paneled room, which
contains a traditional Scandinavian tiled stove. On the teak desk, designed by
Borje Mogensen table lamp. The folding
partition is a vintage find and sits next to a ‘Cone’ chair by Verner Panton.

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