(Advertisement – this post is a collaboration with ACC Art Books but, as always, words and opinions are my own)
Please forgive me for mentioning the ‘C’ word so early, but I promise I only have your best interests at heart. That’s because this week I have had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Danish interior designer, stylist and TV personality, Katrine Martensen-Larsen, as she prepares for the launch of her latest book, ‘The Christmas Season – Created by Scandinavian Artists.’
Dedicated to creating a festive season that is packed with Scandinavian traditions, recipes and style, this beautiful publication gives us a glimpse behind the front door of twelve incredible homes from across the Nordic region.
So, if you are looking for inspiration and ideas to make this year’s celebrations super special, then this book is all you’ll need.
Over to Katrine to tell us more:
Can you start by telling us a little about, ‘The Christmas Season – Created by Scandinavian Artists’ and what readers can expect from your latest book?
My intention with this book has been to show the world how to create an authentic and aesthetically inspiring Christmas without having to spend a fortune on tons of tacky high street products.
A simple, beautiful Christmas where long-held traditions, much-loved family recipes and imaginative crafts and ideas come together to make your home décor, as well as your personal experience of the festive season, more fulfilling and distinctively Nordic.
How did you choose the twelve Scandinavian homes you showcase in the book, what were you looking for from them, and how did you make the final selection?
As the final idea for the book started to take shape, I began thinking of people I knew that truly love Christmas and the many beautiful and creative homes I’d visited over the years.
Thankfully when I asked them to take part, they all said yes, even though they had to decorate their entire home, cook something for us and come up with a creative project they could share with readers.
I knew it was a lot to ask and therefore we tried to schedule all the photoshoots in December so that the magical feeling of Christmas was already there.
If you had to choose just one of the DIY projects or have-a-go Christmas recipes from the book, which would be your favourite and why?
It is so hard to choose as we share so many, but I absolutely love the traditional rice pudding we eat on Christmas Eve, so I recommend every reader to try it, especially with either the classic cherry sauce or the raspberry variant. It is simply wonderful.
I would also recommend they try and decorate the ginger biscuits, or ‘pepperkaker’, artist and boutique owner Cathrine Borge from Norway shares with us. They look and taste amazing and are a fun way to get all the family involved in Christmas preparations.
How do you bring the feeling of a truly Scandinavian Christmas to your own home, and when do festive celebrations really get underway for you?
Normally Christmas starts sneaking into my own home from early December, slowly gathering pace and blossoming into life in those final days leading up to the 24th.
Our Christmas tree comes inside on the 22nd or 23rd for a week where it takes pride of place in our living room, before and after that it sits right outside the window on the terrace covered with fairy lights so we can enjoy it all December and most of January.
I also love creating and decorating a cosy Christmas table for my family as we have our celebrations on the evening of the 24th in traditional Scandinavian style. Every year I use lots of faded winter flowers and branches from my garden and the streets of Frederiksberg where I live, adding a little spray of silver to catch the candlelight, but just a little as I don’t want it too shiny.
Finally, once Christmas season is over, what can we look forward to reading from you next?
The new year is already filled with excitement for me as I am proud to say I am publishing another book. ‘Living with Art – From Creator to Collector’, is due to be published in October, and in it we visit the homes of ten Danish contemporary artists and ten Danish art collectors.
Art, whether creating it, choosing it, or displaying it on the walls of your home is such a unique and personal experience and one I am very much looking forward to sharing with others.
Thank you so much to Katrine for chatting with me, I am very much looking forward to decorating ginger biscuits with my son very soon.
The Christmas Season: Created by Scandinavian Artists is on sale now priced £45, and is published by ACC Art Books, with photographs by Mikkel Adsbøl and illustrations by Sofia Lynggaard Normann.
To celebrate the publication of The Christmas Season – Created by Scandinavian Artists, I’ve teamed up with Katrine Martensen-Larsen to create an Instagram competition. One lucky Nordic Notes follower will win their very own copy of the book, worth £45.
To enter: Just follow both Nordic Notes and Katrine Martensen-Larsen on Instagram. Like the competition photo and tag a friend who you think would like to win. You can tag as many people as you like, and each tag counts as one entry.
Disclaimer: The giveaway is open to those in the UK only and ends at midnight on Monday 11th October. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on my Instagram account afterwards. Good luck!
Please note this competition is in no way associated with or endorsed by Instagram.
Image two courtesy of Katrine Martensen-Larsen, all other images by Nicola Capper.
Enjoyed this post? Then why not read more about Katrine’s book Nordic Moods.