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    Photographer annettechristian.com, Interior Designer: Elisabeth Grindheim, Author © living4media / Mariana Schroeder

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    Photographer annettechristian.com, Interior Designer: Elisabeth Grindheim, Author © living4media / Mariana Schroeder

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    Photographer annettechristian.com, Interior Designer: Elisabeth Grindheim, Author © living4media / Mariana Schroeder

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    Photographer annettechristian.com, Interior Designer: Elisabeth Grindheim, Author © living4media / Mariana Schroeder

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    Photographer annettechristian.com, Interior Designer: Elisabeth Grindheim, Author © living4media / Mariana Schroeder

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    Photographer annettechristian.com, Interior Designer: Elisabeth Grindheim, Author © living4media / Mariana Schroeder

Scandinavian Home Tour

8th August 2014

From the moment she saw it Elisabeth Grindheim knew it was the perfect home for her family. It needed a lot of renovation, but for the energetic mother of eight, that was not a problem. Now that both the interior and exterior have been restored and filled with the possessions of several life times – the dream is complete.

Elisabeth Grindheim and her husband first saw the property on a rainy day in October, 2008. The property was dilapidated and bore the clear signs of passing time. The garden was overgrown and the trees totally obscured the view of the sea. But as Elisabeth says, "it was love at first sight. "

She felt the charm and saw the potential of the beautiful old house built in the late 1800s. Deer still live in the woods and there is abundant bird life. The family was enthralled and decided right then and there to buy the house for themselves and their eight children. Elisabeth named it Elle Villa and loved it from that day on.

She is an energetic and creative woman who ran her own company manufacturing clothing. When she sold that company, she opened a gift shop that instantly became a success. The philosophy behind the store's assortment was to offer classic yet trendy gift items in all price categories. The shop sells everything from small gifts to antique chandeliers. "It's great fun to be working professionally with something that has always been my passion and hobby, " says Elisabeth.

It took Elisabeth more than two years to bring the Elle Villa up to her standard. She wanted to bring the house back to its former glory but was also determined to have all the modern technology and comfort that the 21st century offers. She tried to preserve and recycle whenever possible to retain the original charm of the property.

The first stage of work involved restoring the original timber walls that had to be cleaned many layers of paint. There were also several wood-burning ovens and a charming original fireplace that had to be restored.

The main room still had remnants of the original patterned wallpaper from 1880. Some rooms had linoleum floor covering and original glass windows that give distorted views through handmade glass.
Elisabeth contacted a company that specializes in producing replicas of historic wallpaper from the 1800s and had the original wallpaper reproduced.

The wallpaper was hung the old-fashioned way with overlapping seams. Because of the dominant pattern, Elisabeth kept the walls in the adjoining rooms simple. The dining room retains its original timber walls painted pale grey. The antique table and chandelier are from an antique shop. The kitchen is done in pearl grey and harmonizes with the adjoining dining room. An open shelf contains part of Elisabeth’s collection of antique crystal and silver.

She personally selected the colours for all rooms. They are based on the sophisticated, soft pastels that
were found under the many layers of old paint. It was also important that there should be a nice balance and harmony when moving from room to room.

In the hall she kept the original historic linoleum and added antique chairs purchased at auction. A
contemporary painting by Stine Skjelberg, creates a nice contrast to the antique cabinet. The living room is dominated by the reproduction 19th century wallpaper. The fireplace has been restored and adds warmth in the winter months. The Chandelier was made in 1880 and comes from Denmark.

Elizabeth loves chandeliers and uses one in almost every room. "I can never get enough chandeliers, " she declares and explains that she often travels far afield in search of the right chandelier for a room.
Elle Villa has five bedrooms. The master bedroom is pale yellow with chairs from late 1800 upholstered in grey and cream brocade. The table and the Venetian chandelier from the 1940s were purchased at auction. One guest room is themed in delicate blue shades with a floral bedspread. The chandelier is a modern reproduction with Swarovski crystals.

The mix of antique furniture and modern conveniences lends Elle Villa its unique character. Elisabeth’s decorating philosophy is based on balance, harmonious colour and functionality. The garden is now groomed and once again provides a view of the sea and deer often come out of the forest to graze on the lawn.

She changed the simple glass door for an imposing double entrance portal custom-made by a carpenter. Its dull green paint contrasts with the white gingerbread trim on the house and pronounces a wordless welcome into Elisabeth’s unique world.

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