Discovering Danish design in Copenhagen

Nobody does design like the Danes! Interior stylist and blogger Hege Morris shares the highlights from her recent trip to Copenhagen, to help you get a touch of Nordic style.

If you were following my recent Facebook takeover for Velux, you’ll have noticed that I was in the beautiful city of Copenhagen, attending its yearly design festival. If you’re looking for an authentic fix of Scandinavian design then this is the place to be. Open to the public, 3daysofdesign takes place in May, with Spring in full swing. All of the design studios open up their doors to share new and current collections and places of historic interest are transformed into temporary installations.

Take a look at some of my highlights from my stay here as I look at the ways in which the city of Copenhagen celebrate light and design.

Hotel SP34 in Copenhagen

It’s impossible to come to Copenhagen and not stay in a stylish hotel - I’m here at Hotel SP34 which is full of minimal Danish design.

If you’re eating here at the hotel you’re accompanied by a room full of plants spilling over zinc and terracotta pots hanging from the ceiling.

It’s no secret that plants are beneficial to our wellbeing, so why not introduce houseplants into your home? There are plants to suit all light levels and they needn’t take up space either - try hanging a cluster of trailing varieties near a window as they’ve done at the hotel.

A skylight runs the full length of the room in the lounge area, Hotel SP34 in Copenhagen
A skylight runs the full length of the room in the lounge area, under which sits a bank of comfy sofas. Guests can make the most of the light later into the evenings, art installations from local artists in front of a large wood burner.

Atelier September, Copenhagen
You’ll see potted plants and mini gardens everywhere in the city, like these outside a popular cafe spot, Atelier September. They soften the look of bricks and cobbles, making the most of the daylight and sea breezes from that come across from the Baltic. I love how they can become impromptu garden space with the addition of stylish bistro seating, like the green Palissade chairs from Hay.

Tall windows in Copenhagen
Embracing the nuances of light is an intrinsic part of Scandinavian culture. Tall windows flood living spaces with as much natural light as possible, opening out onto the streets below. There’s a certain quality of light here that’s unlike any other and it sets off all that Danish design perfectly. I couldn’t resist these full height windows at the flagship store of Danish heritage brand Georg Jensen. Curtains are certainly enjoying a revival here too - and not just windows. The latest trend is to use them to cover the length of a wall, a sophisticated look you might be more familiar with in a hotel setting. Look for a crumpled linen style or soft voile and hang them as close to the ceiling as possible, making sure they fully reach the floor. They’ll instantly add height to your room and a contemporary twist on the classic curtain.

Frama Studio, Copenhagen
The Frama studio is a particular favourite of mine. Set inside the former home of a 19th-century apothecary in the district of Nyboder, the historic building creates a contrast between the old architectural features and Frama’s contemporary, minimalist design. Painting the walls in chalk and lime paint plays with the way in which light and shadow exaggerate texture in the same way the aluminium ‘Rivet shelf ‘ reflects it.

If you like the idea of textured walls, lime paint is a great way to introduce it and add character to both new and older properties. The best thing about it is not only does it allow the walls to breathe, but it’s also 100% eco too, made from only natural ingredients. No fumes or paint smells.

Bedroom at The Audo
If there’s one thing Copenhagen does so well as a city, it’s the way in which it marries its historic architecture with contemporary design. I was so excited to visit The Audo, a new residential and creative space that launched during 3daysofdesign. Now the new home of Danish design brand Menu, this converted Neo-Baroque building boasts a concept store, cafe, library and restaurant as well as ten beautifully appointed loft bedrooms. Fitted out with a curated selection of Menu pieces and beds designed by Dux, each room is bathed in a soft, diffused light which picks out the original beams in the roof. It’s a beautiful example of how contemporary furniture and styling can complement a period property.

Copenhagen bicycles
When you’re looking for the best way to get to know a city, do as the locals do! Here in Copenhagen, everyone travels by bike. Whether you’re on your way for a dip in the Kastrup sea baths or nipping out to sit outside a cafe in the sun, it’s safe and easy to stop and nose around the little nooks and crannies you discover on your journey.

Every time I leave this city, I always return home feeling refreshed by the relaxed pace of life here. I hope I’ve given you a small insight into this bright and open city, proud of its design heritage.

Visit Hege at her blog Hege In France. She's also on Instagram.

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