Photo: Pernille Greve / Contact Copenhagen & Jeppe Bjørn / Royal Copenhagen
CILLE GRUT, INTERIOR STYLIST
Each December the Christmas Table exhibition at Royal Copenhagen gives joy to visitors of all ages. Each year, a handful of cultural personalities will decorate each their table, and behind the scenes, interior stylist Cille Grut is helping them make their dream tables a reality.
Meet Cille Grut; interior stylist, porcelain connoisseur and visual creator. For the past 9 years, Cille has been the curator of Royal Copenhagen’s Christmas tables and thereby helped a lot of famous Danes stage their Christmas stories based on a universe of porcelain. A long process which starts already in the spring before the beautiful Christmas tables are finally displayed.
When Cille Grut helped style Cecilie Haugaard’s Christmas table in 2021, she chose one of Stilling’s brass deco tracks. We took the opportunity to have a talk about Christmas tables, home decor – and of course about curtain tracks.
Portræt af Cille Grut: Pernille Greve
A UNIQUE INVITATION
After a creative brainstorming process by a special team at Royal Copenhagen, the theme of the year will be decided and the chosen cultural personalities will be presented with a very unique invitation. Namely the invitation to decorate their completely personalized Christmas table, which is exhibited in Royal Copenhagen’s iconic flagship store in Copenhagen. The Christmas table exhibition is without a doubt one of the city’s most visited Christmas attractions. And the invitation to set the table is an honour that stretches back many decades.
SOME POLITITELY DECLINED THE INVITATION
But in 2021, Cille experienced something new and unusual: A couple of the invited table setters politely declined the invitation. But the reason is not what one might think:
– Everyone invited usually says yes, but this year several people from the creative industry have actually felt that they did not have time because their industry was reopened after a long period of Corona closure. Suddenly they could work again, says Cille Grut.
– Most people, however, think it is a huge honour, and it is a fantastic cultural event, right in the middle of Copenhagen. Many families have a tradition that Christmas starts when the Christmas tables are revealed.”
NEW TRADITIONS AND NEW GENERATIONS
The theme for the Christmas tables 2021 was “New traditions and new generations”. It is about the Christmas traditions that are passed on from generation to generation. But also, about the new traditions that arise when you have to establish your own Christmas, with your own style.
– We have more younger table-setters this year, but also a few, who are a little older. The youngest, Isabella Stockholm is 27, while the oldest, Lotte Tegner Freddie, is 86 years old. But what they all have in common, is that they are fond of their Christmas traditions and feel that it is valuable to carry them on.
– Through their Christmas stories and dreams, we create a visual universe together, says Cille Grut.
A DAUGHTER CALLED CHRISTMAS
Someone who loves Christmas is model, influencer and TV host Cecilie Haugaard (also called Cillemouse after her Instagram handle). She has set the table in the pictures here, with Cille Grut as assistant and creative sparring partner.
Cecilie Haugaard is married to musician and singer Christopher, with whom she likes to have a big traditional Christmas with the family. The year 2021, Christmas was very special, as it was the first Christmas for their daughter Noelle, whose name is inspired by the French word for Christmas, “Noël”.
In Cecilie and Christopher’s private home, there is a bright and warm atmosphere according to Cille Grut. This atmosphere is reflected in Cecilie Haugaards very authentic Christmas table.
– Cecilie needs calm surroundings as she has a high energy level. Therefore, we decided to create a soft, calm Christmas oasis. A hiding place. It became a bright, tonal and tactile space with texture added by the fabric on the chairs, the sisal rug – and the curtains. ”
CURTAINS DRESS THE ROOM
– Curtains have always been a part of interior design, but different forms have been in and out of fashion, says Cille Grut. To me, fabric curtains dress a room. Just like you put on a nice scarf and then you are properly dressed.
A LOVE OF EVERYTHING FRENCH
Cecilie Haugaard loves France, where many of her childhood vacations and later studies took place. Her Christmas oasis has therefore added French references such as the Virgin Mary statue, the French macarons and the sumptuous Christmas decorations combined with vintage. It’s all tied together by a red thread of brass tones on cutlery, lamp and curtain track.
– I had actually originally found another lamp, but when I saw it together with the curtain tracks in brass, it suddenly seemed too heavy, says Cille Grut. So I replaced it with the lamp from Nuura, where the brass is repeated in the crown.
For any task, Cille Grut always starts by making a material mood board to ensure that something is repeated in the interior styling, e.g., in colour tones and material choices.
– For me, it’s the details that count. There must be a frame of reference with things that repeat themselves in the home. A shared history, something to continuously look at and feel. Some recognition.
A WHITE ROD WOULD SPOIL THE LOOK
An important detail is also the choice of curtain rod according to Cille Grut:
– We have gradually moved away from the dull, white curtain rods. When the walls like here have a warm, beige color, a white rod would just spoil the look. The curtain track in beautiful, brushed brass is very modern and elegant and blends nicely with the calm setting. That way, it becomes part of the decor,” explains Cille Grut. “Curtain rods are increasingly becoming a conscious choice. Whether you choose a rod in black, chrome or brass, it becomes the detail, which completes the interior, she concludes.
Cille Grut is 52 years old and has for the last 16 years worked as an independent interior stylist – 10 of these years for Royal Copenhagen. She has previously been employed by an commercial photographer and initially thought she wanted to be a photographer, but found out that she was more interested in everything that happens before pressing the button.
Cille Grut lives in Tårbæk with her family and two dogs. She is married and has 3 children, the two oldest have already left the nest.
Cille’s favorite piece on the Christmas table is, by the way, the adorable depiction of the Virgin Mary. She is the epitome of Frenchness and stands in a wreath of flax, wreaths which are repeated in the window.
Cecilie Haugaard (b. 1990). Master’s degree in psychology and economics from CBS in Copenhagen and student stays in Paris. Model, Influencer and TV host. Has graced the covers of many Danish magazines and been the face of international brands. Married to musician and singer Christopher with whom she has daughter Noelle.
ABOUT ROYAL COPENHAGENS CHRISTMAS TABLES 2021
For the 58th year in a row, you can experience the beloved Christmas table exhibition in Royal Copenhagen’s flagship store on Amagertorv 6 in the heart of Copenhagen. Over the years, the exhibition has become a permanent Christmas tradition for thousands of visitors and now it has also come in a digital version, so that everyone can enjoy it. Royal Copenhagen has invited seven strong personalities to set this year’s five Christmas tables.
• Nanna Øland Fabricius (Oh Land) (b. 1985) – singer, composer
and TV host
• Cecilie Haugaard (b. 1990) – Influencer, model and TV host
• Nikolaj Stokholm (b. 1990) – comedian and TV host – and his wife Isabella Stokholm (b. 1993), who is an influencer and graduate student
• Christina Meyer Bengtsson (b. 1964) – owner of Heartwork Design, and her husband Claus Meyer (b. 1963), who is an international gastronomic entrepreneur and cookbook author.
• Lotte Tegner Freddie (b. 1935), who is a journalist, author and lecturer as well as a former model and fashion editor. Current writer for ELLE and Fashionforum. Knight of the French order Légion d’honneur.