Tuesday, 7 July 2015

My Copenhagen Design hunters guide, Part 2

The history and legacy of Danish Design

It feels like light-years ago now, as I am back to normality and knee-deep in projects again, but a couple of weekends ago I treated myself to a research trip to the design capitol of the world, Copenhagen.
I wanted to find out why the Danish are so into interiors and design.
I had the BEST time, and have come home with my notebook full of inspiration and new found knowledge of design...for me ,anyway.
Not to mention some seriously design focused, credible must-visit shop-addresses.....and today I am sharing part 2 of My guide to shopping for design in Copenhagen.

In part one I shared my experience from visiting perhaps, the biggest and most known Modern Design and interior shops in Central Copenhagen...today I am delving a bit deeper into the history of Danish design and sharing pictures from 4 shops I visited that is continuing the Ethos and craftsmanship that was the driving force behind the Danish Modern golden era of design.


Klassik Moderne Møbelkunst is Denmark’s leading specialty shop for used Danish furniture classics.
 They stock an impressive array of exclusive cabinetmaker furniture and high-quality mass-produced furniture, and  have a wide selection of furniture by the best Danish designers, such as  Poul Kjærholm, Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner  and Finn Juhl .

Situated at Bredgade 3, in central Copenhagen, the first thing that strikes you as you enter the shop is the vast array of classic Danish design lamps and lighting....

Here hangs original lamps by Serge Mouille and Louis Poulsen next to each other over vintage furniture with a price-tag to match the makers design pedigree...

Modern Danish design is perhaps best known for quality furniture craftsmanship coupled with careful research into materials, proportions and the functional requirements of the human body and daily life. The result being that Danish furniture stands the test of time, and the designs are equally applicable now as when they were first made, making the iconic pieces that inspires and influences current designers and makers to this day. The Klassik showroom is like a celebration of beautiful vintage furniture icons from the biggest names of the Modern Danish golden era of design.

 Their carefully selected and meticulously restored  classic Danish furniture shows respect for their history and craftsmanship, and is mirrored in the architecture of the showroom- building.

Alongside iconic furniture from the who's who of the height of the Danish Modern era, sits pieces from other world known mid century modern designers, such as Eames.

I also have to mention their large collection of paintings, watercolours and lithographic prints by renowned artists from Denmark and abroad from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, such as the Georg Ernst painting, pictured above with the Ray and Charles Eames lounger.

There is no doubt that the Danish designers from this period was influenced by, or influencing, their American counterparts.

Klassik has them all...from the familiar and iconic Arne Jacobsen Egg chair to lesser known designs, like the the Scimitar Chair  by Preben Fabricius & Jørgen Kastholm, pictured above in front of that stunning oil on canvas by  William Scharff.

So if you ever find yourself strolling around in Copenhagen, maybe getting caught in the rain, like I did....pop into Klassik for a visual lesson in the premier of Danish Design.

Carl Hansen & Søn

Just a few doors down from Klassik, you can find the Carl Hansen & son flagship store.

Preserving the heritage of Danish craftsmanship , this family run business epitomizes the ethos of Danish design.
Carl Hansen & son is not just a shop, it's one of the most renowned furniture manufacturers in the world .
They produce some of the most iconic furniture designs in the world, signature pieces such as Hans J. Wegner's  shell chair, pictured below, or the CH88, above.

"Craftsmanship can be a lot of things. To us, it is everything and it has been so ever since 1908 when Carl Hansen founded his company in Odense, Denmark."

Wing chair by Hans J. Wegner

Most of the furniture they produce today was designed by leading Danish architects back in the 1930s and up to the 1960s, such as Hans J.Wegner and Kaare Klint, whose iconic lighting you can see pictured below:

In the flagship store the company showcases the Understated beauty and function of its signature pieces of exceptional quality by globally celebrated designers and cabinet makers.

Sustainable, timeless and beautiful carpentry, these masterpieces don't come cheap, but they speak of the heritage of Danish design. And Carl Hansen & son is a big part of preserving the danish passion of Craftsmanship and taking these historic designs into the future.


Stilleben is a small interior shop situated smack , bang in the center of Copenhagen.
Unlike  Klassik and Carl Hansen and son, this shop doesn't sell or make Danish Modern design classics, but is equally instrumental in promoting the quality of Danish design.

Their selective range focuses on smaller unique  productions and young, up-and-coming talents, makers and brands.
They sell design, ceramics, interior decor, jewelry and graphic prints by Danish and international designers, and has been mentioned in international press for being a must-see-destination for modern design and style. 
With such a reputation, they are at the forefront of showcasing future classics, such as the lamp, pictured above ,by

Quality seems to be a key word when describing Danish design, and the owners of Stilleben Ditte Reckweg og Jelena Nordentoft, sets the benchmark when it comes to spotting new talent ...or even trends.


Danish design is not all chairs and furniture.
there is a rich heritage of Pottery making and ceramics, spearheaded by Royal Copenhagen, Stilleben is supporting the future of these traditional art-forms by stocking young, Danish ceramicists , like Ditte Fischer and Studio Arhoj, whose pretty and quirky sip-cups can be seen , below:

But they also stock international brands, like the french label paris au mois d'aout, whose lamp you can see, pictured below.

...Or these beautiful metallic boxes from japanese label Syuro 

Upstairs at Stilleben, there is an artgallery....

Stuffed full of one-off's, limited edition prints and posters by some of the most current Danish artists and graphic designers today...

In the picture ,above, you can see:
moon print by Anne Nowak ,
"Maze" litography print by  Vibeke Rohland and "Pear" print by Monika Petersen amongst others.
The Mobile in the foreground is by Kasper Kjeldgaard.

I would wholeheartedly recommend that you visit Stilleben if you're ever in Copenhagen for a dose of eye-candy and inspiration.

For anyone interested in Interiors and design, both modern or vintage, Copenhagen is certainly one of those destinations that just keeps giving...
And I think one of the reasons why the Danish is so stylish when it comes to interiors and design, must be that it is such a big part of their heritage....
As a people of a nation, put on the world map by internationally acclaimed architects and designers , like Arne Jacobsen, it is, as they say, in their blood!

Next week I will be telling you all about my visit to one of the pillars of the Danish Modern design movement, Finn Juhl's house.
If you love the retro look, you really must not miss it!

I'll be back later this week with an update on my Spare bedroom makeover and a beautiful DIY light shade!

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