The White Room: Susanne Rutzou’s Østerbro Apartment

Danish interior designer Susanne Rutzou moved into her two storey apartment in an Østerbro villa in 2014, the same year she closed down her fashion brand of 25 years, Rützou. She says it was a moment of reinvention for herself. Having recently divorced and decided to change careers, she was staring into the the unknown.

“I had been looking for a new place for a long time, and I think my realtor was just exhausted. I wanted something unique – really special – and I just wasn’t finding it. So one day he said to me, ‘there’s this apartment I think you should see. It’s not technically for sale, but it might be one day.’ So I took a look,” Susanne explains.

The rest, of course, is architectural history. Susanne immediately fell in love with the place – one of four apartments cut out of a large villa and offered to buy it. The owner, who had been considering moving, agreed.

That owner happened to be Søren Garde, founder of Danish fittings company Garde Hvalsøe. Crafted in a Danish workshop, all Garde Hvalsøe fittings are made by hand by highly-skilled carpenters. The kitchen, bathroom, and large walk-in closet are all custom-made by the company.


“There were so many parts of the apartment that I instantly loved, like the windows and the garden, but the kitchen and bathroom are rooms that grows on me more and more over time. Now that the cabinets are nearly 20 years old, I can see how special they are; they really just get better with age!” Susanne explains.

Although she changed a few parts of the kitchen, she has mostly left them untouched, only occasionally oiling them to maintain the look and quality.

The vila, built in 1932, was designed by and as the home of celebrated Danish architect Vilhelm Lauritzen. The highly functional and modernist interior is complemented by large, square, steel frame windows offer a unique, almost clinical light to the space.



The rest of the interior is anything but; Rutzou has filled the rooms with textures, colors, and momentos of her travels. There is classic Danish design found throughout, further highlighted by the juxtaposition with her art and international decor.

Susanne Rutzou’s home is the work of a lifetime; artistic and homey, telling the story of a life lived fully. The fact that it’s a garden oasis hidden away in the city makes it all the more special.

Take a home tour of Susanne Rutzou’s Danish design-filled, eclectic and inspiring apartment:

Photography by Freya McOmish.

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Rebecca Thandi Norman

Rebecca Thandi Norman is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief at Scandinavia Standard.