The Home of
Amanda Betz at Christmas
A warm and smiling Amanda welcomes us inside her home, which for her and her family is relatively new. Together with her husband, music producer Fridolin, and their two sons Charlie and Eddie, Amanda used to live in a stately apartment in the middle of Frederiksberg. But the family harboured a dream of finding of a more spacious place with the freedom of a garden. A few Christmases ago, their dream turned into reality when they found the two-story red brick villa from 1935 for sale. Since moving in, Amanda and her family have renovated large parts of the house with an emphasis on respecting the building’s historical and architectural integrity. It is especially important for Amanda that charming old details, such as the arches that divide the kitchen and living room, remain, so that the house exudes soul and originality. One of the many joys of now living a house, Amanda explains, is that there is space enough to gather friends and family. That, and the Christmas tree can now have its very own special place.
According to Amanda, the first traces of Christmas begin to appear when it gets cold and dark outside, and the home becomes a cozy and relaxing place to return to after a long day away: “I enjoy coming home in the winter and being sheltered from the dark, candles flickering in the windowsills while being I’m tucked in under a warm blanket.”
Amanda is an Architecture graduate from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and creates unique works of art in paper, having won the prestigious VOLA -award and curated various exhibitions with her incredible designs. When it comes to decorating her house for Christmas, it is therefore natural for Amanda to turn to homemade paper cuttings: “What I love about using paper as the core material in both my work and for Christmas, is that paper allows everyone to be creative with its potential. Paper is accessible for most people and is a natural material that allows you to shape, cut, fold and do anything you like with it,” Amanda explains.
This has also formed the basis for the collaboration between ferm LIVING and Amanda, a partnership that has resulted in a collection of delicately hand-folded paper ornaments that can be used to decorate the Christmas tree as well as throughout the rest of the home.
In addition to her paper cuttings, each year both Amanda’s home and her Christmas tree are decorated with a mix homemade, new and old ornaments, where most of them have a story. Some are made by her two sons, others she has received from her mother or grandparents or made herself. According to Amanda, the tree does not need to be perfect in any way – the most important thing is that it must feel personal and evoke memories. That’s why their Christmas tree is never decorated in the same the way: “The tree creates its own look each year.” She explains that, “I like my Christmas decorations and my home to feel personal, light and inspired by nature. I love to use red, white, and green nuances for Christmas and incorporate elements like fir wood, pinecones and branches, and then I aways choose decorations and ornaments with my heart rather than following what the current trend is.”
In the days leading up to Christmas, Amanda’s family has a set of traditions that they like to follow. The first is to hang up Christmas stockings, something their youngest especially looks forward to. They gather to make homemade chocolate and Christmas cookies together, and each Advent Sunday carries its own little ritual: “We eat rice porridge for dinner and light a candle together,” Amanda tells us. “Christmas for me is more about appreciating family time, being around friends, and enjoying some relaxing days and a pause from the everyday hustle and bustle.” Christmas Eve is usually celebrated quite traditionally, Amanda tells us, but with small revisions in relation to the menu, as there are multiple vegetarians. When talking about traditions, Amanda points out that even though they have several rituals in their family, it isn’t vital that they maintain them every year. Amanda believes that, “for everyone to feel comfortable, each individual must be open to accepting new traditions and be able to leave others behind. Christmas is the season of togetherness.”
When asked, Amanda is not in doubt about what she love the most about Christmas: “The togetherness with family and friends that is upheld by Christmas traditions” is one of the things she looks forward to the most. She also mentions how Christmas decorations and traditions allow children, in particular, to tap into their fantasy and imagination. The mythology of elves and Santa Claus create a magical atmosphere that even allows adults to tap into their inner child.
Buying and wrapping Christmas presents is a highlight for Amanda as well. “I love to go out and find gifts that I hope others will be happy with. Sometimes I might be able to find something they need and that they haven't discovered themselves yet, or maybe it’s something they have completely forgotten they have an interest in.” Amanda takes great care in choosing the right gifts for each person, which she sincerely believes they will be happy to receive, and she enjoys every bit of the wrapping process where she is able to personalize her gifts with her artistic creativity.