Copenhagen is the capital city of Denmark and is now referred to as one of the fastest growing metropolitan destinations in Europe. It’s such a fascinating place with a global recognition for being a pioneer in the world of urban planning and design as well as being recognised for it’s cleanliness, presence of green space and sustainability. Walking along the streets of Copenhagen there is an essence of Scandi style and fashion oozes from every person and every building. There is no real surprise that Danish design has become so prevalent as the city ranks so highly for quality of life and the laid back lifestyle encourages creativity and freedom.
We visited Copenhagen on the last weekend before Christmas and I have to recommend going at this time of year, as it is just so magical. We were looking to visit a Christmas market and I’d heard that Tivoli Gardens was a great place to visit for the markets, plus, I thought I could squeeze in some interiors sourcing as well! We stayed in a hotel just outside of the city as we wanted somewhere with a spa to relax in at the end of a cold day, if you are thinking of visiting Copenhagen then the Bella Sky Hotel is wonderful. We spent the long weekend exploring the city on bikes, drinking lots of gløgg (mulled wine with soaked raisins and almonds at the bottom) and wondering through the different Christmas markets.
We’ve pulled together this blog post to give you a taste of this wonderful country as well as our top tips for the best interior design shops in Copenhagen. I can’t recommend this city enough!
Danish style is such a massive inspiration and influence in the interior design industry globally. With the core attributes of this style heavily emphasising high quality, durable designs with a strong sense of purpose, this trend can be easily identified. The sleek, minimalistic, clean cut shapes make for furniture that is contemporary and modern. However the furniture is never over complicated or over designed, everything feels functional.
This isn’t to say that the designs aren’t eye catching or beautiful in their own way. As well as functionality another key principal os Danish design is adding value to the customer’s home so style and finesse are still an essential consideration. There is also a strong connection to nature with unfinished woods being a popular material choice.
Ultimately Danish designs were and still are intended to appeal to the masses with styles that are accessible and affordable. But this does not translate into designs that feel mass produced, each piece still maintains a uniqueness and handmade quality.
The beauty of the designs born in Denmark are a testament to the creatives that adorn the streets of their incredibly aesthetically pleasing cities. Every building feels worthy of a photograph and the urban architecture is another feature to marvel at.
HAY is a beautiful Copenhagen interior design shop specialising in contemporary furniture with a focus on modern living and industrial manufacturing. Noticeably their products are very functional, ergonomic and durable, however simultaneously the designs are still very aesthetically pleasing with a strong sense of style. The shapes are very sleek and modern with the use of clean cut lines creating a very streamlined aesthetic. Their website also showcases their portfolio of where they have supplied their furniture to such as this cafe (see the second picture below).
Stilleben specialises in handmade ceramics, bespoke one off products, textiles and more which are all hand picked by the founders. The creators of this homeware shop were passionate about creating a space where the could showcase the very best handmade designs. It is now accredited by Forbes as one of the top design stores to visit in Copenhagen.
Designer Zoo is a renowned interiors shops recognised as Denmark’s largest supplier of Danish handicrafts and design. It is often referred to as being an exhibition of what is going on at the time in society.
Illums Boligus is at the higher end of these stores, it’s trendsetting window displays and statement fashion label this brand as the flagship of modern living, design and furnishings. The window displays and beautiful store layout make this shop much more than the products alone with a real emphasis on a sensory shopping experience.
Paustian is a Danish furniture design house, they focus on the importance of design and function and have a reputable knowledge of materials and a an eye for detail. Their furniture designs are a combination of a homage to traditional designs but also a sense of forward thinking and innovation.
Danish architecture has such a massive influence in design all over the world today. With key characteristics focusing on sustainability and the use of modernist materials such as wood, glass, steel, natural stone and brick, these clean cut and purposeful designs are recognised globally. The 1960’s saw rise to Danish functionalism where designers in their hay day focused on function over aesthetics and produced buildings with straight angles and flat roofs. Iconic buildings include Isbjerget (seen in the picture below was designed to give every apartment the optimum sea view creating this ice-berg style design.
Copenhagen is in a new golden age of design with the core principles of architecture pivoting around the focus on water, space, sustainability and light. Architects such as Henning Larsen are the face of this new era. They created The University of Southern Denmark Campus Kolding, this spectacular building can be seen below. The solar screening around the building consists of 1,600 triangular shutters of perforated steel that can move depending on the direction and amount of daylight. The buildings energy consumption is so low its classified in energy class 1 making it one of the world’s first low-energy universities.
For more architecture inspiration I’ve pinned some of my favourite Danish designs to my Architecture Pinterest board so be sure to check that out.
The popularity of the term ‘Hygge’ has taken the world by storm leaving us with an over arching desire to strive for a hygge whatever that may really look like. Originating from a Danish way of life this comes naturally to them and is more of a way of life rather than a pair of cashmere socks and a smelly candle.
Hygge is a really interesting link to the Scandinavian design with the focus being on creating furniture that adds value to the home but is also accessible to everyone. This heavy emphasis on home life and quality of life is perhaps a good explanation for the high ranking for liveability in Copenhagen.
Whether you know exactly what is is to create Hygge or not there is definitely a special feeling when visiting this place. A combination of very friendly locals, beautiful scenery and cosy dimly lit cafes make it for a perfect winter excursion and definitely make you feel cosy and comfortable which I’m guessing is a successful achievement of Hygge.
I really hope this post has helped you whether you are planning an upcoming trip to Copenhagen or just looking for some weekend getaway inspiration. I’ve loved exploring European cities this year and would really like to know your recommendations for where we should visit in 2018. Either comment below or come along and find us on Instagram.
As we begin our first week of 2018, I want to say a big thank you to you for reading the blog and following along with us on social media. We love hearing from people who read our posts and comment, and we really love meeting you all at our workshops! Wishing you all the very best for this new year ahead, Lauren xx