Anna's Danish Haven

Anna's Danish Haven

Name: Anna + absentee roommate
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Size of home: 875 square feet
Years lived in home: 2+

On August 11 we introduced you to Anna Yust's quaint home in St. Paul, Minnesota. Anna's home is a joyful one, filled with childhood mementos, and smart purchases while living in Copenhagen, Denmark. The House Call was a popular one, and many asked for a full House Tour. So here it is — we hope you enjoy it!

Anna's quaint home epitomizes "hygge." "Hygge" explains Anna "is distinctly Danish." There is no translation in English, but it can be best described as a feeling of warmth and coziness; usually the result of candlelight, flowing wine, great company, and delicious food. And that cozy, warm feeling envelops you like a mother's hug upon entering Anna's beautiful home. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Anna decided to move to Copenhagen, Denmark as an architecture and design intern for the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. The time that she has spent in Denmark has very much influenced her style. From her framed Danish posters, to her Marimekko textiles, to her Iittala votives, to her many Danish prints, Anna's place embraces Scandinavian design. In addition to owing quite a bit of her style aesthetic to Scandinavia, Anna also owes a lot to stylish parents. Anna's architect father has bestowed upon her both beautiful mid century furniture (i.e Herman Miller chairs) and amazing one-of-a-kind items, like her grandfather's Big Horn Sheep head. Her design savvy mother has handed down child hood mementos, like the heart stamped piggy bank, and heart stamped pitcher.

By keeping the majority of her windows curtain free, Anna allows her home to be showered in light — quite a treat during Minnesota's winter months. All the light shining in breathes new life to Anna's already cheery and colorful home. "I really like to look outside, especially during the summer. We don't get to spend much time outdoors in Minnesota, so being to able to look out is quite a treat." After spending a couple hours in Anna's place, I was left feeling very content and relaxed. I couldn't explain how I felt. "That's hygge for you." Explains Anna. "It's nice, no?" Yes. Yes, it is.

Apartment Therapy Survey

My Style: Local Artist/Scandinavian Design — I lived in Denmark for a over a year and a half and it has greatly influenced how I live and what design trends I lean towards…essentially, if it is Scandinavian, it has a good chance of ending up in my home. I also love buying things from local artists, not just in the Twin Cities but everywhere I travel, I don't mind paying a bit extra to support a small business.

Favorite element: The dining room, I love to cook and to host dinner parties and brunch parties. I have city chickens so the brunch parties have become the most frequent form of entertainment. In the evening it can get very cozy, the pendant light moves up and down to fit any mood. I recently installed a dimmer switch so it is even better suited for all dining occasions. And who doesn't love the big horn sheep? My grandpa rescued it from an antique shop. The sheep's profile is the first thing you see when you enter the dining room, and then he just peers from above.

Biggest Challenge: Lack of storage — the silver lining though is that I am constantly purging unnecessary items from the house. This is good in thought but not always practiced — notice how there are no photos of the closets…

What friends say: Friend: "That's cool, where did you get that?" Me: "Denmark."

Biggest design/home embarrassment: Well I dog sit for friends a lot and one chewed up the couch. It happened 6 months ago and I have been collecting things to fix it ever since, but it wasn't until last night, pre-photo shoot, that I finally fixed it! Other than that, the creeping charlie and chicken poop in the back yard.

Proudest DIY project: It is a toss up between the chicken coops and the stairs. But I think the stairs win. They were so much work, and I didn't even have a banister to deal with. I started one tread with a heat gun but the smoke detector started to go off so much that I quit for a year. Finally I got up the effort to finish the job but instead used the really harsh paint remover gel. I removed 15+ coats of paint and a coat of stain. Had one call to the utility company because the CO2 detectors were going off (from the fumes of the remover) but you never know in an old house. I then sanded each stair with 3 different grades of sand paper. Applied 2 coats of sealer. I was only going to do 3 coats of polyurethane, but I got carried away on the last coat and it ended up crackling. I had to sand it down again and add 2 more coats of poly. I then painted the risers and was finally done. It was well worth the effort!

Biggest Indulgence: New tires for the bike hanging up. It is my mom's old Motobecane, and two years ago I finally brought it out of the basement and took it to the shop to get the disintegrating sewn tires off and new top-of-the-line tires on. I have to admit I haven't taken it out much because it makes me nervous, (1) that I might get in a crash, I am very prone to this, and (2) that it might get stolen…guess I need a less sentimental bike for my daily use.

Best Advice: Quality over quantity.

Dream Sources Illums Bolighus, Designer Zoo, Finnstyle, St. Paul's yearly Craftstravaganza

Resources of Note:


    • Dining Room: Benjamin Moore, 2131-60 Silver Gray
    • Kitchen: Benjamin Moore 2146-30 Split Pea
    • Trim & Ceilings: Benjamin Moore White Dove (semi-gloss for trim and flat for ceilings)


    • Grandparent's hand-me down couch


    • Danish Antiques
    • Iittala Votives from Finnstyle
    • Antique Big Horn Sheep (gift from Anna's grandfather)


    • Vintage Kitchen Made Mixer
    • Le Creuset French Oven

Thanks, Anna!

Images: Jose Gonzalez-Maciel

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