Danish interior designer Christina Palm Svaneeng Mertz and her husband Brian decided to take advantage of the period that their house in Denmark was under construction and try a different living experience. The couple visited the southern coast of Turkey and after seeing the surrounding green palm trees, rolling hills and breath-taking sea views they were convinced to buy the property as their second home. It was an exciting adventure for the Danes, along with their two young sons, to live in a beautiful villa along the Mediterranean coast. As they both work from home and the boys could go to an international Turkish school, the transition was surprisingly smooth.
The villa is part of the exclusive Oasis Sky Club Resort, located on the hillside in Bektas, just outside Alanya, and right in the heart of the area popularly called the Hollywood Hills.
The complex is close to the flora of the mountains with small waterfalls and natural lakes, olive groves and local goat herders, while the high position of the property provides panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, Alanya’s twinkling coastal skyline and a beautiful cliffside citadel and castle wall. While Christina is behind the interior design, all the properties in the resort were designed by architects Steen Søndergaard Christensen and Cengiz Ulusoy, who emphasised comfort and quality. The exterior details draw on Oriental palaces for inspiration and the interiors feature Scandinavian simplicity.
Windows and doors are hand-carved in wood by Danish craftsmen, while the floors and bathrooms are tiled with beautiful, natural-coloured Turkish travertine stone from the area around Alanya. The property extends over three floors and has a total of six bedrooms and four bathrooms.
The main entrance to the house is on the first floor, where there is a formal living room, an office and two guest rooms.
The second floor features a large master bedroom with walk-in closet and en suite, as well as a children’s room and another guest room. However, the ground floor is the most social area, where an open kitchen extends into the living room and dining room. The property also has another lounge area and a large guesthouse.
The villa’s contemporary architecture is impressive with several terraces on different levels, creating comfortable fluidity between indoor spaces and outdoor settings, with stunning views of the rolling countryside and the sea.
‘Every day, we open up the entire kitchen towards the garden and the pool. We spend all our time outside,’ says Christina, who appreciates the functional solutions and airy space.
The interior is a mix of elegant furniture, vintage design and lots of textiles, which represents Christina’s decorating style. Embroidered cushions, leather rugs, unfinished wood furniture, patterned wallpaper, glass top tables and a collection of stone, coral and shell ornaments and sculptures exemplify the combination of textures applied in the interiors. The emphasis is on personal flair and craftsmanship, creating a modern and timeless style. Since every room has a view, Christina has made the landscape a central part of the story with a colour palette that mirrors the sky and soft beachy tones; accents of blue, grey, sand and white are consistent in all of the rooms.
‘I’ve tried to furnish the house in an ethnic, bohemian way, with modern fabrics and wallpapers and Turkish antiques, a style reflective of this region,’ she says. The result is a beautiful, eclectic mix of modern and rustic furniture, warm textures, and a sandy colour palette with subtle colour splashes.
Christina also embraces symmetry in her décor, leaving space and air around the furnishings. ‘I cannot relax in a room if there is no balance on both sides of the couch or sideboard. I always decorate in neutral colours and then add a fun colour, which can be repeated throughout the property,’ she says. She also enjoys updating old antiques with a fresh coat of paint. ‘Antiques provide a home with soul and give it a more unique feel,’ she explains.
‘We love living here. We now have many new Turkish friends and when we go to the local market everyone knows us. Our fishmonger often calls to offer us the fresh catch of the day. It is difficult to find this same atmosphere in Denmark, except in the remote countryside.’ For this Danish family, the villa has become the perfect home-from-home, to enjoy nature, a warm climate, sandy beaches and inimitable Turkish hospitality.
The Owner Interior designer and founder of Swanfield Living Christina Palm Svaneeng Mertz lives in this charming villa with her husband Brian and their sons, Constantin (3) and Conrad (5), along with their two dogs, Louis and Cookie.
The Home This six-bedroom property, designed by Danish architect Steen Søndergaard Christensen and Turkish architect Cengiz Ulusoy, overlooks the scenic Alanya coast of Turkey.
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Photography by Maria Vous/Sisters Agency