Highlights from Three Days of Design
I feel like I’ve been away for longer than a week and have so much to share - so bear with me! I’m going to begin filling you in on my trip at the most logical of places: the beginning.
I joined my friend Abi in Copenhagen last Thursday evening, not at all fresh and quite flustered off a late night flight. That evening, we sipped wine in our hotel room, laying out plans for two hectic days of rushing around the city, trying to see as much as possible.
I don’t talk about interiors as much as I’d like to on this blog, but some of my readers will know that I work part-time as the Creative Manager for a local furniture & home-wares store and that I have a real passion for design. When Abi invited me to attend 3 days of design with her, I jumped at the chance to visit the showrooms and see exhibitions of many of my favourite brands. I only spent a whirlwind two days in Copenhagen, rushing around the city from one brand to the next, but this was the perfect amount of time to get sucked into the festival. As well as meeting and admiring some of the brands that I’ve only ever seen on a screen before, it was the perfect opportunity to meet and hang out with some of my fellow bloggers, such as Cate and Hannah.
3 days of design is an annual event, showcasing a curated selection of work by designers, architects and artisans - many of which I already knew and admired, but plenty more I had yet to stumble upon. There are 150 exhibitors spread all across Copenhagen, and it’s impossible to see everything in one trip. Over two days, we walked an impressive 30,000 steps and managed to visit 12 brands. Here are my highlights from the festival.
I’m a big fan of Frama’s simplicity, their use of natural materials and their approach to slow interiors. I’ve wanted to visit their studio/store for years, and was thrilled to book onto the exclusive tour that allowed a sneak peek into their new upstairs space. The tour began downstairs, in the exquisite store housed in an old apothecary, complete with the original drawers and cupboards. House of Grey founder, Louisa Grey gave a short talk about her curation of the spaces, entitled ‘Senses’ before we were led upstairs to admire what was basically my ideal interior set-up. Large windows, raw plaster walls, minimal yet thoughtful decor and a pleasing juxtaposition of soft grey shades and warm woods.
My ideal interiors may be calm and muted, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate colour. One of my favourite parts of the festival was a tour of Muuto’s newly re-designed offices, admiring pastel pairings that beckoned you to think outside the box. I loved their ethos of ‘New perspectives on Scandinavian design’, reminding me that there’s much more to the Nordic aesthetic than the pared-back look that we’re used to. Soft beige, citrus yellow, sea foam blue and mint green appeared throughout the office and showroom spaces, often shown on streamlined furniture. The net curtains that divided each space and tactile paneled wood wall (each individual piece of wood had to be made specifically for the wall) tied everything together.
While we’re on the subject of clashing pastel hues, Hay was another highlight for me. I loved the juxtaposition of contemporary furniture and bright pops of colour with a grand mansion decorated in simple light wooden floors and white paneled walls. The use of colour was especially clever in that it added pops of personality without completely taking over from the surroundings. I loved how the built-in shelves of the rooms were used to display tableware and accessories, showing how Hay’s products fit effortlessly into any style of home. While large pieces of colourful furniture wouldn’t tempt me, I fell in love with their ocher bowls, amber glass mugs and green patio furniture.
Skagerak’s showroom was the perfect start to my time at the festival, with its bright and airy space. The light in here was beautiful, showing everything off to its very best. I’ve admired the brand from afar for some time now, and was pleased to see their simple and functional designs looked just as stylish in person. Everything from coat racks to kettles was impeccably designed with a strong focus on durability, usability and sleek silhouettes. I loved the unexpected details here, such as the hand-painted mural in the sun room and the large copper till upstairs.
Although I was looking forward to seeing Menu’s products, their new space, The Audo definitely took the limelight at 3 days of design. Revitalising a historic building in an up-and-coming area of the city, it was more than worth the long walk to check out the brands new headquarters/concept store/hotel. Created in partnership with the legendary Norm Architects, The Audo combines impeccable architecture with beautifully designed furniture and accessories. Upstairs, the hotel rooms feature beamed ceilings, minimalist bathrooms and design-focused accessories - while guests can amble down to the store to take a little piece of the decor home with them. There’s also an elegant restaurant and an innovative co-working space to discover.
I’ve known and loved Ferm for several years now, and love how they make well designed furniture and accessories more accessible. I’ve always wanted to visit their showroom apartment, so 3 days of design was the perfect opportunity to pop in. We attended a drinks reception, so it was incredibly crowded, but I managed to spend some time taking photos and creeping around, admiring the interiors. I particularly loved the Copenhagen map they’d commissioned for the festival, available on cushions and tote bags. It was also great to see my favourite Ferm pieces in situ, styled as they would be in an actual home. There are several rooms in the apartment, styled as a real home would be, showcasing how their products look together in one space.
We enjoyed a light brunch in & Tradition’s small restaurant on the Saturday; a chance to catch up with other bloggers and chat all things interiors. Following the food, we headed inside the showroom itself for a wander around. Elegant designs, streamlined silhouettes and bursts of warm colours filled the showroom, and although these aren’t pieces that I see working in my own home, I fell in love with a cream wool sofa and a mustard chair that would be perfect for a desk. I particularly liked how the pops of colour instantly warmed up a space that could otherwise have felt quite cold.
Another of my favourite exhibitions, I adored the collaboration between Japanese furniture brand Karimoku Case Study and Norm Architects. Presented in the Kinfolk Gallery space, a soothing spot nestled above a busy high street, I felt instantly calmed as soon as I entered. The soft grey walls perfectly complemented the pale wooden furniture, displayed among large vases filled with statement displays of wild and dried flowers. Everything was made from natural materials, and felt soft and tactile. I instantly regretted my white walls and teak furniture back home, dreaming of redecorating with grey Kabe walls and light woods.
Our very last stop of the festival was Stelton - conveniently planned so that we could enjoy a refreshing gin, courtesy of Nordic Gin House who had set up residency in the showroom that day. There are four gins, one for each of the Scandinavian capitals, and their award-winning Copenhagen bottle has made its way onto my birthday list. Gin in hand, we wandered around the showroom (another space benefiting from incredible natural light) and admired the collection. Their ‘Emma’ toaster and kettle have been on my wish-list for a while, but I now have a bit of a thing for their ‘Theo’ collection after viewing it in person.