Nordic Moods

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MOODS A G U I D E T O S U C C E S S F U L I N T E R I O R D E C O R AT I O N

Katrine Martensen-Larsen PHO T O GRA PHY B Y K IRA B RA NDT


N

O

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MOODS A G U I D E T O S U C C E S S F U L I N T E R I O R D E C O R AT I O N

Katrine Martensen-Larsen PHO T O GRA PHY B Y K IRA B RA NDT


CONTENTS PREFACE 6 CREATIVE PROCESS YOUR STYLE How to find it?

9 10

MOODBOARDS What and how?

13

NOTICEBOARDS How to do it

15

MATERIALS What do you need?

16

GET STARTED But how?

19

NEW PROJECT When starting from scratch

20

RENEWAL When you want a change BEFORE AND AFTER Living room Bedroom Kitchen Bathroom

23 25 26 28 30 32

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NINE NORDIC HOMES AND NINE INTERIOR THEMES

35

NORDIC FUNCTIONALISM No.1 Curtains

37 62

MASCULINE FURNITURE MECCA No.2 Furniture

65 88

SOULFUL IDYLL No.3 Lighting

91 110

COOL ELEGANCE No.4 Flooring and Carpets

113 136

QUIRKY URBAN No.5 Arts and Crafts

139 158

MONOCHROME TRANQUILLITY No.6 The art of restraint

161 184

BOHEMIAN PASTELS No.7 Colours and Paint

187 204

ART AND COLOUR EXTRAVAGANZA No.8 Patterns and Wallpapers

207 228

BOTANICAL OASIS No.9 Built-in inventory

231 254

INFO 257

Directory and Sourcing Author and Photographer

258 262


CONTENTS PREFACE 6 CREATIVE PROCESS YOUR STYLE How to find it?

9 10

MOODBOARDS What and how?

13

NOTICEBOARDS How to do it

15

MATERIALS What do you need?

16

GET STARTED But how?

19

NEW PROJECT When starting from scratch

20

RENEWAL When you want a change BEFORE AND AFTER Living room Bedroom Kitchen Bathroom

23 25 26 28 30 32

-4-

NINE NORDIC HOMES AND NINE INTERIOR THEMES

35

NORDIC FUNCTIONALISM No.1 Curtains

37 62

MASCULINE FURNITURE MECCA No.2 Furniture

65 88

SOULFUL IDYLL No.3 Lighting

91 110

COOL ELEGANCE No.4 Flooring and Carpets

113 136

QUIRKY URBAN No.5 Arts and Crafts

139 158

MONOCHROME TRANQUILLITY No.6 The art of restraint

161 184

BOHEMIAN PASTELS No.7 Colours and Paint

187 204

ART AND COLOUR EXTRAVAGANZA No.8 Patterns and Wallpapers

207 228

BOTANICAL OASIS No.9 Built-in inventory

231 254

INFO 257

Directory and Sourcing Author and Photographer

258 262


YOUR STYLE How to find it?

Before starting a renovation or decoration project, it’s a good idea to have a confident hold on your style. This way, you avoid an impersonal, boring, lacklustre or messy outcome. But how do you discover your own interior style? A good place to start is considering where you live. Is it a functionalist property? Is it classic? Is it listed? Draw lines from the surrounding architecture into your interior. If you live somewhere with special characteristics, use these as your starting point. Look at the time period your property is from, and let yourself be inspired by that era’s typical style elements. Let’s say that you live in a house from the 1950s, for example. Choose furniture that either was designed in this time period or has strong references to the decade. For instance, it could be Børge Mogensen and Hans J. Wegner’s democratic design furniture. Many of these models have been put back into production. If you live in a house with functionalist characteristics it is worth looking for lamps and furniture designs of the period. Functionalism can be described as an architectural direction from the Netherlands and

Germany, which emerged in the 1920s and 1930s and can best be described as architecture without superfluous decoration, and where all elements are guided by function - often whitewashed houses, with clear lines, flat roofs and windows placed according to natural light. Functionalism is particularly linked to the well-known architecture and craft school Bauhaus in Germany. The school was founded by Walther Gropius and a number of prominent architects such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Le Corbusier taught at the school. Many were inspired by the Bauhaus movement in the Nordic countries. If you live in a Nordic funkis home, it may well be worth sourcing Bauhaus style interior pieces, such as Kaiser-Idell lamps or furniture designed by Marcel Breuer or Mies Van der Rohe. Or look more closely at designs from the Nordic architects of contemporary furniture, who were in turn strongly inspired by the Bauhaus — Denmark’s Arne Jacobsen, Sweden’s Gunnar Asplund and Finland’s Eero Saarinen.

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Once you have fallen in love with a style, embodied by a piece of furniture, colour palette or print that suits you, you can now continue along this path. Do try to avoid being tempted by possible detours. Just as one should be careful not to transform a 1950s house into a palatial-styled villa, or add black glazed roof tiles to a 1970s bungalow, I also recommend that you avoid purchasing too much furniture or accessories all at once, or from the same homefurnishing store. A personal home, exuding soul and a lifestyle, cannot be created from a single shopping weekend. It takes time, and requires being open to change. Whilst enjoying a wonderful trip or experience, buy something which you feel will make you happy every time you see it in your home. Enhancing your interior space little by little, with heirlooms or holiday or flea market pieces, your home becomes more you. Decorating and creating a home is a lifelong journey in itself. Allow yourself to be inspired by what you see, inhale, and experience. This may mean that your style alters gradually along the way. Read magazines,

soak up what you see in lookbooks, or go on missions of discovery in interior design boutiques. There’s always so much to be inspired by when visiting trendy restaurants, hotels and showrooms. They are after all often the first movers in design. Auction houses too are a treasure trove of inspiration. And it’s well worth the effort to delve more into the fascinating world of Danish design. All the while, consider what works for you. Before investing in key pieces, you can even try to borrow items to take home. One good tip is to stick to more conservative materials when investing in larger more costly pieces such as sofas, dining room tables, kitchens and bathrooms. Another is to be conscious of the more temporary fads. Should brass or marble suddenly be on trend, these accents can be included by adding a lamp, candlesticks, or other accessories. You don’t need to cover your kitchen cabinets with them. Should velour suddenly be the must-have in a home, just apply it as a bed head or cushions, as opposed to a large sofa

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YOUR STYLE How to find it?

Before starting a renovation or decoration project, it’s a good idea to have a confident hold on your style. This way, you avoid an impersonal, boring, lacklustre or messy outcome. But how do you discover your own interior style? A good place to start is considering where you live. Is it a functionalist property? Is it classic? Is it listed? Draw lines from the surrounding architecture into your interior. If you live somewhere with special characteristics, use these as your starting point. Look at the time period your property is from, and let yourself be inspired by that era’s typical style elements. Let’s say that you live in a house from the 1950s, for example. Choose furniture that either was designed in this time period or has strong references to the decade. For instance, it could be Børge Mogensen and Hans J. Wegner’s democratic design furniture. Many of these models have been put back into production. If you live in a house with functionalist characteristics it is worth looking for lamps and furniture designs of the period. Functionalism can be described as an architectural direction from the Netherlands and

Germany, which emerged in the 1920s and 1930s and can best be described as architecture without superfluous decoration, and where all elements are guided by function - often whitewashed houses, with clear lines, flat roofs and windows placed according to natural light. Functionalism is particularly linked to the well-known architecture and craft school Bauhaus in Germany. The school was founded by Walther Gropius and a number of prominent architects such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Le Corbusier taught at the school. Many were inspired by the Bauhaus movement in the Nordic countries. If you live in a Nordic funkis home, it may well be worth sourcing Bauhaus style interior pieces, such as Kaiser-Idell lamps or furniture designed by Marcel Breuer or Mies Van der Rohe. Or look more closely at designs from the Nordic architects of contemporary furniture, who were in turn strongly inspired by the Bauhaus — Denmark’s Arne Jacobsen, Sweden’s Gunnar Asplund and Finland’s Eero Saarinen.

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Once you have fallen in love with a style, embodied by a piece of furniture, colour palette or print that suits you, you can now continue along this path. Do try to avoid being tempted by possible detours. Just as one should be careful not to transform a 1950s house into a palatial-styled villa, or add black glazed roof tiles to a 1970s bungalow, I also recommend that you avoid purchasing too much furniture or accessories all at once, or from the same homefurnishing store. A personal home, exuding soul and a lifestyle, cannot be created from a single shopping weekend. It takes time, and requires being open to change. Whilst enjoying a wonderful trip or experience, buy something which you feel will make you happy every time you see it in your home. Enhancing your interior space little by little, with heirlooms or holiday or flea market pieces, your home becomes more you. Decorating and creating a home is a lifelong journey in itself. Allow yourself to be inspired by what you see, inhale, and experience. This may mean that your style alters gradually along the way. Read magazines,

soak up what you see in lookbooks, or go on missions of discovery in interior design boutiques. There’s always so much to be inspired by when visiting trendy restaurants, hotels and showrooms. They are after all often the first movers in design. Auction houses too are a treasure trove of inspiration. And it’s well worth the effort to delve more into the fascinating world of Danish design. All the while, consider what works for you. Before investing in key pieces, you can even try to borrow items to take home. One good tip is to stick to more conservative materials when investing in larger more costly pieces such as sofas, dining room tables, kitchens and bathrooms. Another is to be conscious of the more temporary fads. Should brass or marble suddenly be on trend, these accents can be included by adding a lamp, candlesticks, or other accessories. You don’t need to cover your kitchen cabinets with them. Should velour suddenly be the must-have in a home, just apply it as a bed head or cushions, as opposed to a large sofa

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GET STARTED But how?

Bring to mind a thought which exudes an ambience and a feeling — perhaps something as intangible as a memory or recollection, a scent, a flower, a picture, a place, a room, a person, a piece of clothing — it can be anything. Find the material and colour combinations that you think capture that particular feeling, and put them on your moodboard. Feel free to mix material samples with your own personal items — pictures, jewellery, flowers or magazine clippings. As long as they are things you care about and give you pleasant and warm feelings. Now you can sense what you’re after.

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Refer to this moodboard every time you are to make decisions about what to include in your home. This way you avoid mistakes. Remember that a moodboard is alive. It takes a little time to perfect, and your style does alter a little along the way. To decorate successfully, it’s a good idea for your moodboards to be close at hand if possible, so that you can go back and refer to them for a longer period of time. This will optimize your décor when it all comes together.

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GET STARTED But how?

Bring to mind a thought which exudes an ambience and a feeling — perhaps something as intangible as a memory or recollection, a scent, a flower, a picture, a place, a room, a person, a piece of clothing — it can be anything. Find the material and colour combinations that you think capture that particular feeling, and put them on your moodboard. Feel free to mix material samples with your own personal items — pictures, jewellery, flowers or magazine clippings. As long as they are things you care about and give you pleasant and warm feelings. Now you can sense what you’re after.

- 18 -

Refer to this moodboard every time you are to make decisions about what to include in your home. This way you avoid mistakes. Remember that a moodboard is alive. It takes a little time to perfect, and your style does alter a little along the way. To decorate successfully, it’s a good idea for your moodboards to be close at hand if possible, so that you can go back and refer to them for a longer period of time. This will optimize your décor when it all comes together.

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BATHROOM A rescue mission

This example is my own bathroom, in a functionalist house built in 1933. When we took over the house, it had just been renovated. Whilst I was not keen on the floor or wall tiles, the layout of the room really worked well, and all the plumbing installation was completely new. So somehow it was fundamentally against my principles to discard it all and start over again.

For most people this is not a do-it-yourself job but it is an affordable solution instead of ripping out all the tiles and reconstructing the walls. Another advantage is that it avoids having to create a new wet room membrane, and the final result is a bathroom without seams. A practical and visually smooth option.

The solution was to cover both floor and wall tiles with micro cement, similar to those in Turkish hammam spas. First, the tiles are sanded and then three to four coats of putty are applied between sandings. Finally, a top coat is applied. Seven days later the bathroom can be used. I chose a colourless product and whitewashed the walls to get a clean and delicate expression. However, this option is unfortunately not the cheapest solution, and is rather labour intensive.

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BATHROOM A rescue mission

This example is my own bathroom, in a functionalist house built in 1933. When we took over the house, it had just been renovated. Whilst I was not keen on the floor or wall tiles, the layout of the room really worked well, and all the plumbing installation was completely new. So somehow it was fundamentally against my principles to discard it all and start over again.

For most people this is not a do-it-yourself job but it is an affordable solution instead of ripping out all the tiles and reconstructing the walls. Another advantage is that it avoids having to create a new wet room membrane, and the final result is a bathroom without seams. A practical and visually smooth option.

The solution was to cover both floor and wall tiles with micro cement, similar to those in Turkish hammam spas. First, the tiles are sanded and then three to four coats of putty are applied between sandings. Finally, a top coat is applied. Seven days later the bathroom can be used. I chose a colourless product and whitewashed the walls to get a clean and delicate expression. However, this option is unfortunately not the cheapest solution, and is rather labour intensive.

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Our way of solving the ever-present problem as to where to place the TV was by choosing a model that can be set to display a framed image when not in use, so that it resembles an ordinary picture — or photo art. On the wall is an industrial wall lamp, and if you are able to be in control of the interior project in advance, routing the electricity underneath before finishing and painting the walls is an elegant solution. We have several of this robust French industrial lighting in the living and dining space, because we like the repetitive flow.

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Our way of solving the ever-present problem as to where to place the TV was by choosing a model that can be set to display a framed image when not in use, so that it resembles an ordinary picture — or photo art. On the wall is an industrial wall lamp, and if you are able to be in control of the interior project in advance, routing the electricity underneath before finishing and painting the walls is an elegant solution. We have several of this robust French industrial lighting in the living and dining space, because we like the repetitive flow.

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The top layer of concrete on our house floors is new, and fits well into the style. Originally, the floors would have been covered with cork, and undoubtedly beautiful. It would have been stained completely dark, and extremely delicate. When we took over the house it had been hidden away and nailed under several layers of newsprint and masonite boards. Had it been possible to save, we would have done so, re-treating it with varnish. Instead, we chose to lay concrete on all floors, with underfloor heating. So the original cast iron radiators and deep window sills became superfluous. When I saw the house for the first time, it was those very deep window sills which I fell in love with. Just thinking of all the nice things you could put on them, such as piles of books and small seating spaces, made me happy.

When we decided on having underfloor heating, it took me a while to discover that they made no sense anymore. Instead, we had the advantage of more floor space and the possibility for long hanging curtains, not getting in the way of the window sills. To heal our wounds, we invested in new counters for the sills — so there was uniformity throughout the house. After extensive research as to what would have been used in functionalist houses, our choice settled on the honed Belgian granite. The painting on our dining room wall is by Kehnet Nielsen, and was the first painting I ever bought.

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The top layer of concrete on our house floors is new, and fits well into the style. Originally, the floors would have been covered with cork, and undoubtedly beautiful. It would have been stained completely dark, and extremely delicate. When we took over the house it had been hidden away and nailed under several layers of newsprint and masonite boards. Had it been possible to save, we would have done so, re-treating it with varnish. Instead, we chose to lay concrete on all floors, with underfloor heating. So the original cast iron radiators and deep window sills became superfluous. When I saw the house for the first time, it was those very deep window sills which I fell in love with. Just thinking of all the nice things you could put on them, such as piles of books and small seating spaces, made me happy.

When we decided on having underfloor heating, it took me a while to discover that they made no sense anymore. Instead, we had the advantage of more floor space and the possibility for long hanging curtains, not getting in the way of the window sills. To heal our wounds, we invested in new counters for the sills — so there was uniformity throughout the house. After extensive research as to what would have been used in functionalist houses, our choice settled on the honed Belgian granite. The painting on our dining room wall is by Kehnet Nielsen, and was the first painting I ever bought.

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Kira loves great Danish design and being surrounded by lots of plants. She does not have a photo studio in the city, so her entire business is also in the apartment. Kira’s work, life and spirit – quite literally – is here. You can feel it the second you enter. It is ultra personal. The inbuilt floor to ceiling shelving is in appealing order, all items having their place whether in boxes, containers, crates or files. The greyish natural tones make all the difference. Where all these items could feel stressful, the matching hues provide calm and a natural curiosity to explore the shelves on display. If you do not have a tremendous amount of space, remember to consider multi-purpose in your interior design solutions. For example, do what Kira has done and integrate a small workplace within a large built-in bookcase.

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Also, remember to invest a little more and have your inbuilt furniture specially made by a skilled carpenter. If you lack space, every centimetre counts. This cannot always be solved with prefabricated furniture. It never truly fits. Bear in mind that if you get things done properly, the investment will be worth it further down the line should you one day wish to sell your home. An experienced estate agent once told me that you can be lucky enough to get a threefold return on your investment with well-considered storage solutions, provided the work is carried out tastefully and in quality materials. Half-hearted work, on the other hand may be risky, or in the worst case scenario may involve you having to pay extra to get it put right.

- 245 -


Kira loves great Danish design and being surrounded by lots of plants. She does not have a photo studio in the city, so her entire business is also in the apartment. Kira’s work, life and spirit – quite literally – is here. You can feel it the second you enter. It is ultra personal. The inbuilt floor to ceiling shelving is in appealing order, all items having their place whether in boxes, containers, crates or files. The greyish natural tones make all the difference. Where all these items could feel stressful, the matching hues provide calm and a natural curiosity to explore the shelves on display. If you do not have a tremendous amount of space, remember to consider multi-purpose in your interior design solutions. For example, do what Kira has done and integrate a small workplace within a large built-in bookcase.

- 244 -

Also, remember to invest a little more and have your inbuilt furniture specially made by a skilled carpenter. If you lack space, every centimetre counts. This cannot always be solved with prefabricated furniture. It never truly fits. Bear in mind that if you get things done properly, the investment will be worth it further down the line should you one day wish to sell your home. An experienced estate agent once told me that you can be lucky enough to get a threefold return on your investment with well-considered storage solutions, provided the work is carried out tastefully and in quality materials. Half-hearted work, on the other hand may be risky, or in the worst case scenario may involve you having to pay extra to get it put right.

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Kira Brandt

Kira has a keen eye for design, composition, shape and colour, which is expressed both in her work and in her interior design style. “Greenery and plants on the whole make me feel alive and add fluidity. I live in the middle of the city, so need to sense a connection with nature in a way. I love coordinating colours in varying tones of petrol, grey, blue, brown and green – one can call them colours inspired by Nordic nature.

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”The wall behind my sofa is constantly being repainted. I use it as a backdrop for various photo assignments, and enjoy having the opportunity to alter the expression of the room easily and quickly. There are also décor arrangements at home which I can change depending on how I feel and the time of seasons. These grouped pieces may be very intense – almost crowded with visual expressions. However, having good storage options is extremely important to me, and they must be aesthetically pleasing and practical.”

- 253 -


Kira Brandt

Kira has a keen eye for design, composition, shape and colour, which is expressed both in her work and in her interior design style. “Greenery and plants on the whole make me feel alive and add fluidity. I live in the middle of the city, so need to sense a connection with nature in a way. I love coordinating colours in varying tones of petrol, grey, blue, brown and green – one can call them colours inspired by Nordic nature.

- 252 -

”The wall behind my sofa is constantly being repainted. I use it as a backdrop for various photo assignments, and enjoy having the opportunity to alter the expression of the room easily and quickly. There are also décor arrangements at home which I can change depending on how I feel and the time of seasons. These grouped pieces may be very intense – almost crowded with visual expressions. However, having good storage options is extremely important to me, and they must be aesthetically pleasing and practical.”

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NORDIC MOODS

A GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL INTERIOR DECORATION by Katrine Martensen-Larsen © Katrine Martensen-Larsen, 2019 © Lannoo Publishers, Belgium, 2019 D/2019/45/377 – NUR 454 ISBN: 978 94 014 6183 2 Photography Kira Brandt Translation: Becca Shaw Frandsen KML Design Emanuel Olsens Vej 7 DK-2000 Frederiksberg katrine@kmldesign.dk www.kmldesign.dk www.lannoo.com Go to our website and sign up for our regular newsletter with news about new and forthcoming publications as well as exclusive offers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any other information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

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