Today we have access and freedom that are early forefathers couldn’t even have imagined, even my own parents had a fairly limited scope of travel in their lives and were often astonished at the travel I did. Now in a truly western way of living, we pretty much have access to the whole world and with that our horizons have been broadened. This
freedom isn’t just about being able to get on a plane but also views formed via the media and the internet about far away shores. I feel very lucky indeed that my work has taken me around the globe and in doing so, has made me want to explore further and see more. Travel has helped me to build opinions, refine my critique and also discover new and exciting things to cherish. It really is a privilege that I often take for granted. So here’s my design Tourist Copenhagen snapshot.
Recently I had the chance to be a design tourist in Copenhagen and if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know it was love at first sight. It seems outlandish to state that great design can be found on just about every corner in Copenhagen. But it really can. So here are my (by no means exhaustive) thoughts on the best design hunting spots in town.
First stop has to be llums Bolighus and this was nearly my only stop! This four-floor homeware paradise is an essential visit for design lovers. It sits on the pedestrianised shopping route of Strøget and is in spitting distance of
Hay, George Jenson and Royal Copenhagen. Under one illustrious roof, you can view (and purchase – yay!) all the iconic Danish brands including the likes of Arne Jacobsen and KayBojesen. Just beware one quick visit is probably
Just a few doors down from llums Bolighus is Georg Jensen. The gleaming flagship store (conveniently
located next to the Royal Copenhagen store) is definitely worth a visit if for nothing else other than the wonderful Christmas decorations they make (Yes I am aware it is May). With everything from candlesticks and cutlery to clocks
and cufflinks, there is a gift for everyone you know. With a history of over 100 years, George Jensen has a timeless aesthetic drawn from the very principles of Danish design values.
Design Tourist Copenhagen is a walk in the park to be honest, as around every corner, you’ll find a great design find whether it’s a store, restaurant or some architectural detailing. HAY House is just a short walk from Illums Bolighus and a trip to Copenhagen wouldn’t be complete without a visit. Yes you can now find their products all over the world but it’s a colourful fun space and here you can view the full range styled in livable room sets and vignettes. I brought home some trays to add to my hay collection in colourways I haven’t seen other than at the show in Milan.
Normann Copenhagen is worth getting on the metro to see the whole collection. The Flagship Normann Copenhagen store is in the heart of “Østerbro” which is on the eastern side of Copenhagen. You can find some of their collection at llums Bolighus if your time is limited. Housed in an old cinema I think its worth the quick hop out of the centre of town as the architecture is almost as lovely as the product.
The design shop Stilleben was one of my favourite stores as in addition to carrying a broad selection of textiles, ceramics and stationery (think bold geometric shapes & prints), they also carry loads of prints and posters by artists like Berit Mogensen Lopez and graphic designers like Playtime.
All design lovers will think it a worthwhile visit to Oliver Gustav’s Studio carefully curated boutique and exhibition space in Nyhavn. If you’re a fan of Instagram you are bound to be in the area taking pictures anyhow and his space is just so Instagrammable. Spare and beautiful, it’s like walking into a stylists set it’s just so impeccable.
I stayed in Vesterbro’s which has some really great places to eat but also a few really lovely shops. It was also a fun place to stay with my family – being a design tourist isn’t mutually exclusive to family travel. One such lovely place was the interior design shop Dora filled with vintage knick-knacks and a few design pieces, all reasonably priced and easy to fit in your suitcase. It’s directly opposite Granola a brilliant brunch spot that was recommended to me by Instagrammer Nicole Young.
I got the days wrong on our trip and missed the opening hours for BW Loppemarked, a flea market of the very best trawling kind apparently. As you know I’m rather fond of a vintage hunt as you never know what you’ll turn up. The weekend after my trip was the infamous Jægersborggade Loppemarked an event that sees the Nørrebro neighbourhood opens its street to become a vast jumble sale/car boot fair and from all accounts, it’s a friendly fun day.
I am also gutted to have missed The Apartment but I just ran out of time. It’s in a restored 18th-century flat in Copenhagen’s Christianshavn and offers a curated selection of vintage and new furniture, art, and accessories all styled in a home-like environment. It sounds wonderful and will definitely be on my next trip.
Also saved for next time is a visit to Roxy Klassik, a Vintage Danish design showroom of sorts. It wasn’t on the agenda for this visit but maybe I’ll keep it up my sleeve for my next trip.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my top Design Tourist Copenhagen stops, if you have any other Copenhagen design hotspots please let me know. To see more of this series take a look here.