Major Henrik on Danish California House Design

where do I live

Home tours and the elegant residences of the women we admire to discover their style of design—and how they created a sanctuary at home that nourishes their soul every day. Show all

Major Henrik and her family have moved in Santa Barbara area From Copenhagen just a few years ago. But in the short time they’ve found themselves in the States, the family has already managed to live in two enviable homes just a short stroll from the beach. Both had quite distinct settings and a gift of life. The first was surrounded by wild grassy meadows, overgrown with oaks and nasturtiums. The second – their current home – sits atop the hamlet of Summerland, commanding a 180-degree view of the Pacific Ocean, the distant Channel Islands, and the surrounding hills and mountains.

Each space it occupies reflects Mag’s inherent allure in nature and its subtle ability to bring calming energy and color to nature. The prevailing Mediterranean climate Inside.

Major Henrik shares her sunny home in Summerland, California

The creative atmosphere that hangs over this stunning, sunny home should come as no surprise. As Creative Director of her multidisciplinary design and branding agency, Creative Notes, Mag brings her skills to every aspect of her life. She transformed the space into a place that looked and felt like her family’s own, even with the limited constraints of the property rental.

Mag’s approach always prioritizes personal pieces, choosing pieces that reflect a strong point of view and can boldly stand on their own in any setting, while still feeling accessible and warm. She seamlessly blended a mix of European designers, old and new, that at once convey a timeless, elegant feel with little of the need to follow the trends of the day.

In Mag’s words, the goal is compassionate. As much as she can’t make any drastic changes to the home, she says, “Being a renter is an exercise in creating a homey, beautiful space that reflects your personality—without renovating.” With cozy angles to immerse yourself in, strikingly pared-down visual moments, and bright pops of color throughout, we think you’ll agree that it manages to do just that.

Who do you share your space with?

I share my home with my family. My husband, Frederick, and two children – Magne, 16, and Hannah, 13.

What was your goal in decorating your home?

On the inside, I like simplicity. I tend to decorate sparingly with statement pieces that can look good anywhere. The pieces I bring into my home must be worth the resources spent on them, and therefore must age well. I love adding personal and unexpected items, as well as contemporary and vintage items.

At the same time, I fully understand that my home should feel comfortable and inviting. It must fit the flow and needs of everyone who lives in it. My home is where I recalibrate. I love the daily life I have here.

A house works well when it is easy to move from task to task and moment to moment. The goal is for the space to be emotional.

I work from home, so I spend a lot of time at home. Morning coffee, soaking up the sun on the deck, reading, watching movies, an evening glass of wine, cooking, catching up with my husband and kids, and checking in on them are regular routines that I savor. Sometimes we have small, intimate, informal dinners with friends. More and more, I prefer settings that are casual and relaxed—and this space is perfect for creating those kinds of moments.

You have so many exceptional designers – mostly European – featured throughout your home. Can you tell us about some of your brands and pieces?

My house is full of contemporary brands like E15And Magneburgvarious pieces of collective design Valerie objects. The blue table and stools in the living room and the blue chair in my bedroom are all from Sweden’s Magniberg. Lots of my own lighting, the stunning double stool in my entryway, and the multicolored chairs on the patio are from the Belgian duo Mueller van Severen, working under the Valerie Objects design label. In my opinion, these are the brands that will be the classics of tomorrow.

I’ve also collected pieces from designers already considered classics, like Rietveld, Gio Ponti, and Le Corbusier. The only danish furniture i use is overseas brands like Skagerrak And Carl HansenAnd I have some rugs from Designed by Linie. The beautiful woven rug in the living room is from a wonderful Danish line called Kaplan Demir.

Are there ambiance or aesthetics that define the look of your home?

California beach town meets Copenhagen – what I refer to as CoCal.

How would you describe your style in three words?

Simple, sculptural and personal.

How have you changed your sense of design—if any—to reflect your new surroundings in California, versus how would you decorate in Copenhagen?

Here, of course, we have more focus on our outdoor spaces and the flow from the inside out. Along with that, I’ve become very conscious of surrounding myself with high-quality pieces that will last. I prefer when the furniture has a sculptural quality, so that every piece looks amazing from all angles and in many different spaces. This is an important component when you’re moving around a lot.

How did you discover your home for the first time? What did he tell you about space?

A dear friend made this magical place happen for us after we had to move out of our last rental.

I love our view of the ocean! I wake up and go to sleep surrounded by the calm ocean, in hues of rose gold. It is incredibly beautiful and I would compromise almost everything else for this view.

What role did color play in the decorating process?

I love earthy, muted colors, but I also enjoy a touch of unexpected splashes of color for contrast. For example, Magniberg’s little blue pieces bring something special and amazing to every room.

Do you have a favorite design feature or room?

I love love love The dining table my son made for me (in Woodshop Prep class!) and the Rietveld armchairs.

What are some of the ways you have worked creatively to overcome the inevitable limitations of living in a rental?

My technique is to have a few really cool pieces of furniture, which tend to draw attention away from some of the less pretty details in a rental home.

What are some of your major design influences, both in your home and in your business?

I was very much shaped and rooted in Copenhagen’s design scene. I like to look at Danish magazines such as Rum And Ark Magazine.

Here are some of the places and people I look to most for design inspiration:

Any decorating wisdom that helped you along the way? In light of this, what wisdom would you like to impart?

Slowly build your house so it reflects your life and personality. Take the time to source quality pieces, and always add vintage pieces.

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