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Mind, Body and Coffee

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The Noma Effect

Scandinavian Health and Wellness

Coffee – black gold or a toxic sleep killer? By Heidi Kokborg

You can imagine my disappointment, as an avid coffee drinker, when I realised that once I cut my coffee assumption in half, my sleep drastically improved.

I frantically started researching, and I made a startling discovery: caffeine has a half-life of six or seven hours, and a quarter-life of 12 hours. This means that if you drink a cup of coffee at noon, a quarter of it is still circulating around your body at midnight. That’s like chugging a quarter of a Starbucks flat white when you go to bed, expecting to fall asleep.

Nordic countries consistently have the highest coffee consumption per capita in the world; Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden are all in the top ten. Is there a link between sleep problems and our coffee culture? You’d need a very thorough study to find out, but the fact that caffeine radically decreases the quality of deep sleep has already been proven.

In my experience, the less good-quality sleep I get, the more I reach for that lovely, black drink – which only decreases the quality of my sleep even more, leading me to become increasingly dependent on my fix.

But there are, on the other hand, also an array of health benefits from drinking coffee. It’s good for the liver, it improves energy levels and reaction times, and it may decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia. Then again, doesn’t sleep provide those very same benefits?

I still love coffee. I love the taste of it, the smell of it, and the sound of my coffee machine brewing. Perhaps it’s about balance. And maybe, just maybe, if Scandinavians cut their coffee intake just a tad, they would find themselves more well-rested in the morning – and instead of depending on coffee to get through the day, it could be something simply but truly enjoyable: an actual coffee break.

Heidi Kokborg is a journalist and health coach from Denmark. She runs her own online business and writes a column for ScanMagazineabout health and wellness in Scandinavia. Web: www.heidikokborg.com

Advanced facials and skin therapies

L-Beauty is a well-established beauty salon in Helsinki, founded by cosmetologist Liina Kärmas nine years ago. It specialises in the latest facials, which help to solve different skin conditions, and always strives to achieve optimum results. In 2021, the salon was granted the Phorest Client Experience Award.

By Mari Koskinen | Photos: L-Beauty

recommends investing in your skin care. “It’s the perfect time for making use of the different skin treatments. Some of them leave the skin more sensitive to UV radiation, and right now the skin has time to heal well before the summer season,” she explains.

Kärmas works in the salon alongside two other highly skilled beauty professionals. Two of them specialise in facials and other beauty treatments, and one in nails and lashes. “We have moved to larger premises located right in the centre of Helsinki, with easy access to both parking and local and national transport services,” Kärmas explains. “The new, spacious premises make it possible for our clients to have treatments together with friends.”

L-Beauty’s most popular treatments include effective facials that help to fix potential skin problems, micro-needling, cosmetic laser treatment and chemical peels. “We are constantly upgrading our equipment and bringing in the newest and most efficient treatments for our customers,” Kärmas says. L-Beauty also imports natural and effective products by well-known brands, such as Eco Minerals, Medik8 and Elleebana.

While the clients are mostly women, more and more men are becoming interested in taking care of their skin and fixing skin problems. At this time of year, Kärmas

Cosmetic laser treatment is one of the popular treatments at L-Beauty. Web: www.l-beauty.fi Facebook: LBeautyHelsinki Instagram: @lbeautyhelsinki

Liina Kärmas (left) always aims for the optimum results for her clients.

High-end beauty treatments in the heart of Helsinki

Arbnora Aesthetic Clinic is a modern beauty brand, founded by Arbnora Bushi. The brand and techniques, developed by Bushi, have quickly become some of the most recognised among Finland’s beauty industry.

By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Arbnora Aesthetic Clinic / Alisa Ranta-aho

Located in the heart of Helsinki, Arbnora Aesthetic’s services include high-quality aesthetic treatments, special facial treatments and permanent make-up. In addition, Arbnora Aesthetic provides online training for beauty professionals.

When she was a child, Bushi loved playing with her mother’s make-up. That, along with fashion, became her channel for self-expression, and that is why, after graduating as a practical nurse, she decided to set up Arbnora Aesthetic.

The first clinic was opened in the summer of 2021 and, very quickly, it has managed to build a name for itself. As a true testament to their high quality, Arbnora Aesthetic’s treatments are now among the most recognised and respected in Finland among industry professionals, as well as customers, including numerous Finnish public figures and influencers.

Arbnora Aesthetic offers clients a number of high-end beauty treatments, including Arbnora Aesthetic’s own techniques, created by Bushi. The treatments are done using the best products and technologies in the industry. “I do not compromise on the quality of my services; I only offer the best to my customers. Before the treatments, we offer all clients a consultation with our cosmetologists to assess their skin’s needs,” Bushi explains.

Among some of the clinic’s best-known treatments are the Arbnora Signature Lip and HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound) facelift without surgery. According to Arbnora Aesthetic, HIFU is the most effective facelift without surgery, using high-frequency ultrasonic energy. Bushi’s team have created their own AAC – HIFU 5D FACELIFT machine, sold to aesthetic salons worldwide. The team also provides training for the use of the machine.

Bushi is in the process of growing her business, and there are plans to open a new Arbnora Aesthetic clinic in the near future. She has also expanded her entrepreneurship to the construction industry, and recently set up Eleven Rakennus Oy. “Success in the beauty industry requires you to stand out. My staff are highly qualified, and we strive to be the best by constantly developing our methods to provide the best for our customers. I wanted to create a business that looks like me, and my signature treatments are something I am very proud of,” Bushi concludes.

Left: Arbnora Bushi’s team has created their own AAC – HIFU 5D FACELIFT machine. HIFU (highintensity focused ultrasound) is used to achieve a facelift without surgery.

Web: www.arbnoraaesthetics.com www.elevenrakennus.fi Instagram: @arbnora.aesthetic.clinic @eleven.rakennusoy

The Angel School offers courses in healing.

Education Profile of the Month, Denmark Spiritual awakenings

Communing with the angels is not an everyday subject for most of us. While we may think of spiritualism’s heyday as belonging in the past, two believers have founded an institution that offers like-minded people an updated take on these spiritual matters.

By Karen Gilmour Kristensen | Photos: The Angel School

The Angel School in Aalborg, Denmark, welcomes everyone with an open mind and a great deal of curiosity. Founders and owners Line Rune Balling and Louise Sofia Rørbech first met at a healing education session about ten years ago. “We were doing an exercise in which we had to switch healings and tune into each other’s spirit guides,” Louise recalls. “We had a beautiful experience that enabled us to remember each other later on.”

Years later, they reconnected and agreed to set up The Angel School. It offers a healer qualification, as well as single courses and workshops that guide participants into connecting with archangels through channelled healing.

Scepticism is welcomed To those more schooled in science, this may sound rather strange. But The Angel School welcomes, even encourages, doubt. “It’s important to set out on this journey with some level of scepticism,” Louise emphasises. “We were also sceptical at the beginning, but we have had so many experiences with these energies. It has become a natural part of our daily lives that makes us feel happier and lighter.” Generally, Louise feels certain that discussion of spirituality and angels is now more accepted in society than was the case previously. “The media addresses the topic more often,” she says. “They have become more curious to ask questions such as ‘What are angels?’ and ‘Can you see them?’ In doing so, they have become more willing to accept that maybe there is more between heaven and Earth than we know of.”

Searching for meaning Ultimately, the school’s goal is to help course participants “unfold the potential of their souls to spread even more light in themselves and others,” as Louise puts it. “Many people come to us with an openness and curiosity,” she says. “They’ve had some experiences with angels in the past, and now they want to know more.”

Reported experiences include seeing contours of light in the shape of an angel and seeing coloured lights, or auras, around other people. According to Louise, the course participants come from all levels of society and all geographical parts of Denmark. Something they all have in common is the search for a meaningful connection.

The Angel School’s teaching methods differ from those of more conventional schools. “It’s not so much about us talking about angels and energies,” says Louise. “Rather, it’s about providing people with the necessary tools to open up to these experiences to be able to channel the energies. If you’re not experiencing it yourself, it won’t make sense to you,” she adds.

That it makes sense to their audience is important for Line and Louise. Their goal is not to preach their teachings to people; instead, each individual needs to figure out how they can use their new experiences or discoveries.

Finding out more To help individuals on their journeys, Line and Louise have written the book Becoming a Master – Your Soul’s Potential and Galactic Consciousness, which has now been translated into English. It’s currently available on Amazon.com and on most audiobook platforms.

The pair also created the card deck Galactic Wisdom, a deck of 44 angel cards, which comes with its own small guidebook. “When you draw a card, you can use it for guidance on that specific day,” Louise explains. “Every card contains a small energetic exercise that you can easily do, for instance meditation.”

Recently, The Angel School launched its own European web shop, in which both the book and the deck of cards are available in English. “We’re expanding, because we can tell there is interest, especially in the other Nordic countries,” Louise says. “In fact, our book has been purchased by Norwegians and Swedes. With the English translation of our book and our new web shop, we hope to reach even more people.”

Line (left) and Louise (right) founded The Angel School together.

The publication is not a guidebook as such. While it does contain explanations as to what angels and energies are, it’s mostly a tool to help the reader “wake up their soul”, Louise explains. “We believe that as well as a physical body, everyone also has a soul,” she says. “When you wake up, you start to have new experiences with the energies, and you realise that the potential of your soul is huge.”

In order not to lose potential readers along the way, Line and Louise have made the book easy to read. “Our goal with this book was to write something down-to-earth and not something holy or unintelligible,” Louise assures.

Web: www.angelschool.dk Web shop: www.angelschool.shop Facebook: Engleskolen Danmark Instagram: @the_angel_school

Experience of the Month, Denmark A special view of Denmark

Bridgewalking is an experience that combines stunning nature, history and exhilarating heights. Since the opening on 10 May 2015, more than 320,000 guests have tried the Danish Bridge Walk, which takes place 60 metres above the sea on the top of the 87-year-old Lillebælt Bridge, which connects Funen and Jutland.

By Signe Hansen | Photos: Bridgewalking

The first to complete the Bridge Walk was Crown Princess Mary, who opened the attraction in May 2015, but many years of preparation took place before that, says manager of Bridgewalking, Lone Skjoldaa. “The idea actually came from a local man from Middelfart, who had been in Sydney and crossed the bridge there. He thought it was a completely amazing experience, and so he went to the municipality and said, ‘Why don’t we do this here, in Middelfart?’. Of course, it then took years to get the relevant permissions and figure out how to put it all together. But from the very beginning, it’s been a super exciting project, an exceptional cooperation between the two municipalities on each side of the belt, Fredericia and Middelfart, and Bane Danmark. Everyone’s been working together to make it happen.”

The Bridge Walk, which sets out from Middelfart, takes you 60 metres above sea level and 20 metres above the bridge’s railway. Perched above it all, visitors can enjoy unimpeded views of Lillebælt, feel the gentle rocking from the trains running below, and admire the elaborate construction work of the bridge up close.

Maritime nature and local history While there might be more famous bridges to cross, few take walkers across a maritime nature park, as the Lillebælt Bridge does. As such, the walk

over Lillebælt is not just an exhilarating experience in that visitors get to climb the very top of the bridge, but also in that it gives them access to an exclusive way of experiencing the beautiful natural landscape. One note-worthy aspect is its population of harbour porpoises; Lillebælt is the belt in the world with the highest concentration of these charming sea creatures. “You are walking right in the middle of a maritime nature park and, of course, our guides share their knowledge about this distinctive area. In addition, on a lot of the walks, guests will see harbour porpoises. You can see them quite clearly swimming along underneath you, sometimes with their pups,” says Skjoldaa.

The trip takes two hours from when you meet up and until you are back again. The two hours include getting dressed in a characteristic Bridgewalking onesie, getting safety instructions, and walking to the bridge. On the bridge, walkers are secured with a safety line and the walk is, says Skjoldaa, accessible to everyone who can manage a normal walk and steep stairs. “It’s like a regular walk, just very high up. We have a lot of elderly visitors who really enjoy coming up here, hearing the history and enjoying the views – we’ve even had a 90-year-old, so age is definitely not an obstacle, as long as you’re not afraid of heights!”

Bridgewalking employs approximately 50 local guides, who take turns to bring guests up on the bridge. Guests are sure to be met by a dedicated guide, who will give their personal touch to the experience. “There are so many anecdotes connected to the bridge and the area, and our guides tailor every walk individually, depending on who they are taking up and their own area of interest,” says Skjoldaa and finishes: “Our guides include many pensioners and students, but also people with full-time employment elsewhere who take people up on weekends – just because they think it’s such a fantastic experience.”

Facts: Bridgewalking is open all year round. During winter, pre-arranged tours are scheduled only during weekends. The experience can be booked individually (as part of a pre-arranged tour) or as a group, and is a popular team-building event for local conference centres and organisations. The experience takes two hours. You have to be at least 140 cm tall to take part in the walk. Ticket price: Adults, 315 DKK; children under 16, 255 DKK.

For more information and tickets, please visit: www.bridgewalking.com

Vendsyssel Museum of Art. Photo: Niels Fabæk Wrecked. TheBreathofLeviathan.

Museum of the Month, Denmark Art inspired by the magnificent, unspoiled nature in Vendsyssel

If you want to see some of the most beautiful Danish nature through new eyes, you should plan a visit to Vendsyssel Museum of Art, located in the middle of Hjørring. The artists are inspired by the breathtaking nature in the area, which provides a unique opportunity to experience the local landscape and community through art.

By Heidi Kokborg | Photos: Joséphine Douet

Impressive, raw, pristine. These are all words that come to mind when thinking of Vendsyssel. The area is home to some of the most majestic, yet brutal nature in Denmark. The landscape is highly influenced by the natural elements. The area is shrinking at a disturbing pace, and villages that once lay several hundred metres from the coast are now being swallowed by the sea. The new exhibition at Vendsyssel Museum of Art, The Breath of Leviathan – The Creature of the Sea, featuring works by French photographer Joséphine Douet (b. 1972), confronts the audience with these dramatic changes and the relationship between man and nature.

Mythical creatures and a changing landscape “Joséphine Douet focuses on the people in Vendsyssel who live with and of the sea. She spends part of the year in Vendsyssel, where she has observed the changes in the landscape and is interested in showing the consequences that these changes have had on the locals,” explains Sine Kildeberg, museum director at Vendsyssel Museum of Art.

Through the exhibition, you’ll experience these changes yourself, allowing you to reflect on and ponder the consequences of climate change – for both humans and nature. The exhibition might also leave you with a feeling that humans can be powerless and small in relation to the power of nature.

“The title, The Breath of Leviathan – The Creature of the Sea, refers to the Old Testament, in which a mythical creature

Alignement. eats into the shore and foretells the doom of the world,” says Kildeberg.

There’s a clear connection between the landscape surrounding Vendsyssel Museum of Art and the collection it houses, the art very much inspired by the area’s diverse nature.

Vendsyssel Museum of Art is a museum for contemporary art that focuses on Vendsyssel. The museum is located in a former textile factory, which was turned into an art museum in 2003. Current and future exhibitions at Vendsyssel Museum of Art include: Joséphine Douet: TheBreathof Leviathan – TheCreatureoftheSea Until 6 June, 2022 Cathrine Raben Davidsen: Graphic Works1998-2022 17 June – 18 September 2022 Lisbeth Eugenie Christensen and Per Ahlmann 1 October 2022 – 8 January 2023

Web: www.vkm.dk Facebook: Vendsyssel Kunstmuseum Instagram: @vendsysselkunstmuseum

Restaurant of the Month, Sweden Vibrant, modern diner with late-night menu

Right in the middle of Stockholm, Jacqueline’s opened its doors in 2020. The modern diner takes inspiration from the buzzing gastronomic scenes in Brooklyn and Tel Aviv, noticeable in its late-night menu, colourful interiors and lively atmosphere.

By Malin Norman | Photos: Jacqueline’s

Jacqueline’s is a new diner in Sergelstan, a bustling area in the centre of Stockholm with lots of shops, theatres, cinemas, bars and restaurants, as well as busy offices. “The neighbourhood feels a bit like a small version of New York, and it’s as windy here as on Manhattan,” smiles Michelle Broman-Ek, restaurant manager.

Since October 2020, Jacqueline’s is a welcome refuge in Sergelstan from morning to late night. The colourful diner takes inspiration from Brooklyn, a borough in New York, and from Tel Aviv in Israel. The interior is a mix of pink and green, with brick walls and tiled floors. “Entering the restaurant is like coming into another world,” says Broman-Ek. “It’s vibrant and buzzing, and gives you the feeling that the night could take you anywhere.”

The owners of Jacqueline’s are an experienced trio: Christian Olsson, Kristofer Sandström and Niklas Odin from Stockholm Krogbolag, which runs renowned restaurants such as Vassa Eggen and Tako. With Jacqueline’s, they have managed to establish a modern restaurant with an international atmosphere where you can get a great meal, and also late at night.

Lobster spaghetti, duck tagine and falafel Jacqueline’s menu is generous and certainly offers something for all palates. “It’s the perfect spot when going for a night out with your friends – you can always find something that suits your mood,” ensures Broman-Ek. “If you want to stay on the healthy route, there are lots of light and fresh options such as the cobb salad with hand-peeled shrimps. And if you feel like treating yourself, this is the right place.”

The restaurant manager recommends in particular the lobster spaghetti; a whole lobster sits on top of creamy spaghetti with cognac and tarragon – tempting indeed! The duck tagine is a best-seller too, and the delicious falafel is a must, made from scratch with a nod to flavours from the Middle East.

This is a real hotspot for brunch during weekends – unsurprising considering its fabulous location and versatile menu. Moreover, the restaurant hosts Oyster Wednesday every week, serving Celine Oysters No4 for just 10 SEK (just under €1).

Jacqueline’s opening hours: Monday and Tuesday: 11am to 11pm Wednesday and Thursday: 11am to midnight Friday: 11am to 1am Saturday: 12pm to 1am Sunday: closed

Web: www.jacquelines.se Instagram: @restaurantjacquelines

HUS arkitekter AS is making a mark through their vibrant yet functional designs. Here, the exterior of Lysgården.

Architecture Profile of the Month, Norway The architecture firm transforming Trondheim

From art centres and schools to office buildings and town square features, Trondheim-based architecture firm HUS arkitekter AS has designed spaces for people to work, live and thrive in since 1993. Centring their work around four pillars – health, education, living spaces and offices – HUS designs sustainable and functional buildings and surroundings that inspire, engage and excite.

By Alyssa Nilsen | Photos: Matthias Christoph Herzog

The Trondheim district of Sluppen is currently undergoing changes through rejuvenation projects, quickly becoming a vibrant and youthful area. Here, HUS arkitekter AS, in collaboration with R Kjeldsberg AS and Veidekke Entreprenør AS, will be building the ALO office building.

BREEAM NOR Outstanding and Paris Proof certified, the 15,000-square-metre, seven-floor ALO building will be designed to have a low environmental footprint. Built as an atrium surrounding a courtyard, and with light, greenery and air as important features, ALO will be of a Gold level WELL certified building standard, a space focusing on human health and well-being.

Another office building in the same area is Lysgården, an impressive construction in glass, light and colours. A beacon of light along the motorway in Trondheim, Lysgården is made to be eye-catching as well as functional, with a changeable interior that can be easily adapted to suit different purposes. Through natural and artificial light as well as thermal and acoustic comfort, the building is designed to be a pleasant place to work. Wooden features balance out the glass and concrete. A collaboration with Veidekke Entreprenør AS and R Kjeldsberg AS, Lysgården opened in 2019 and is as much a piece of art as it is a functional office building.

Building vibrant and playful spaces The playful nature of HUS is even more evident in their other projects. HUS has also transformed an old storage hall in Sluppen, turning it into Lager 11, a hub for food, culture, experiences and social gatherings. This includes space for eight food

trucks run by immigrant entrepreneurs, allowing people without work experience within the restaurant and culinary field to create and run their own workplace – all while introducing Trondheim locals to food from all corners of the world.

In addition to the food court, Lager 11 has a stage, a bar and a black box with arrangements and activities. “Reusing and redesigning old buildings is important to us,” explains CEO Øyvind Hegvik. “It’s much more sustainable and eco-friendly than tearing down and building new, the way it was done in the past.”

Another of HUS’ latest projects is Trondheim art and culture centre K-U-K (for ‘Kjøpmannsgata Ung Kunst’, or Kjøpmannsgata Young Art), in collaboration with Key arkitekter AS and Veidekke Entreprenør AS.

Gifted to the city by artist Kjell Erik Killi-Olsen, and officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Sonja in 2021, the building is set to become an epicentre of art and culture. Bult in natural and timeless materials, the art centre contains galleries, offices, workshops and a stage, as well as a glass-roofed courtyard allowing for year-round concerts, markets, outdoor serving and other happenings.

Large windows blur the lines between indoors and outdoors, letting passersby take part in what is happening inside. Some of the facade and courtyard dates back to the 1800s and has been rehabilitated as part of the project. And to top it all off, a rooftop sculpture park creates a skyline with intriguing silhouettes against the sky and the rest of the city.

Enhancing public spaces as well as residential areas In 2012, HUS won a competition to design a stage and furniture series at Trondheim’s main square, Trondheim Torg, as a part of the square’s rejuvenation project. This resulted in a directionless stage crowned by a large, lamp-like construction made from perforated layers of metal – an eye-catching addition to the historic square. Furniture made from wood and concrete surrounds the stage and the square, making it a welcoming and vibrant public area.

In addition to the public spaces, HUS also designs and rehabilitates residential spaces. Lilleby in Trondheim is an old industrial area that has been given new life. There, HUS has built colourful and vibrant apartment buildings, adding to the area’s new identity. Built around a green courtyard, the apartment buildings make for an inviting neighbourhood with plenty of light, air and privacy for the residents. Lilleby’s popularity has grown exponentially, making several city-centre based businesses, including Michelin-star restaurant Credo, relocate there.

Web: www.husark.no Instagram: @husarkitekteras For enquiries: ohe@husark.no

HUS’ renovated offices at Nordre Gate in Trondheim. Photo: Monica Andreassen

The exterior of culture centre K-U-K.

The exterior of Lager 11.


Architecture Profile of the Month, Denmark Architecture that embraces and works with its surroundings

A summer house with soul that brings together the family – romantic and traditional, yet modern and harmonious. That is Mønhuset: a house that connects nature and humans. The architects at Lykke+Nielsen on Møn work tirelessly to create something new within the traditional, in both summer houses and old, historic buildings across Denmark. And soon, they will be laying the foundation for ‘the Maldives of Møn’, a holiday village with 500 cottages, 25 of which will be on the sea.

By Heidi Kokborg | Photos: Lykke+Nielsen Arkitekter

The tingling sensation of winter frost on your skin on a crystal clear day in a winter wonderland. Snuggling up with a fluffy blanket, a cuppa and a good book while listening to the calming sound of rain against the window and rustling leaves on a chilly autumn day. The smell of freshly cut grass on a warm summer’s day. Bring back your childhood memories from days spent in a summer house with Mønhuset, summer houses that will (re)connect you with nature.

“Mønhuset is a place to switch off – a summer house where humans, houses, and nature coexist in harmony. It is a place to get lost in thoughts, have an in-nature experience, and just be in the present moment,” says Bent Lykke, founder and owner of Lykke+Nielsen Arkitekter and Mønhuset.

Mønhuset is a summer house for warmth, cosiness and lovely experiences. The houses are designed and built to be used year round, mixing the modern and sustainable with the traditional and romantic.

“Inspired by traditional and historic farmhouses, we have designed a sum-

mer house that will fit in with any surrounding. Our summer houses are not grand houses that scream for attention; they just naturally blend into the surroundings, while being both contemporary and traditional, with high-quality materials. You will always be able to recognise Mønhuset,” explains Lykke.

A holiday village in an old sugarcane mill From summer houses to ‘the Maldives of Møn’, Lykke+Nielsen Arkitekter likes

Bent Lykke.

to keep busy with exciting projects. ‘The Maldives of Møn’ is actually a nickname for a very interesting new project, named Sukkerfabrikken Møn (‘Sugarcane Mill Møn’), an enormous project that involves designing and building a holiday village with 500 cottages, 25 of which will be on the sea. Perhaps now you might see how the project got its nickname.

“Tourism is booming on Møn; however, we don’t have enough accommodation for all our guests. Sukkerfabrikken Møn will be a holiday village with cottages, cafés, activities, gardens and much more,” says Lykke.

A pier open to the public will lead you straight to the 25 water cottages. However, they won’t start laying the foundation until late summer this year, so you may have to contain your excitement a little longer.

As a guest in the holiday village Sukkerfabrikken Møn, you’ll get an idyllic experience, and a chance to experience everything Møn has to offer. From the majestic Møns Klint to the historic town of Stege, Møn has a rich cultural history and a myriad of outdoor activities. In fact, the nature of Møn is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. And should you get the urge to go shopping, Copenhagen is a mere hour away by car.

“Møn is a very special place with spectacular nature and a vibrant local community that welcomes tourists. The buildings carry valuable stories, which we have tried to preserve when designing the holiday village,” says Lykke.

Preserving history The desire to preserve the history, culture and tradition that so many old buildings and properties contain is not exclusive to the holiday village. One of the specialities of Lykke+Nielsen Arkitekter is restoring old, historic buildings, some of which are listed buildings.

“Old buildings have patina, history and stories to tell. As humans, it makes us feel safe. We seek out historic places and buildings; no one visits the suburbs of Rome, we all gather in the historic city centre. We like all the stories and tales and the history; it gives us identity. That’s what we aim to preserve when restoring old buildings,” explains Lykke.

But doing so requires finesse, attention to detail and expertise. You need solid knowledge of craftsmanship and building techniques, as things were done quite differently 100 years ago.

“You want to maintain the old details in the buildings – they’re what gives them quality and character. But to do so, you must know how they came about, especially when it comes to listed buildings. You have to work with the building, not against it,” says Lykke.

Lykke+Nielsen Arkitekter has helped restore a tower from the Middle Ages in Stege, several hotels and Ploughs Gaard in Copenhagen, to name but a few projects.

Mønhuset is founded and owned by Lykke+Nielsen Arkitekter. Mønhuset designs and builds summer houses, while Lykke+Nielsen Arkitekter takes on architecture projects.

Web: www.lykke-nielsen.dk www.moenhuset.dk www.sukkerfabrikken-moen.dk

Mønhuset. Mønhuset.

Design Studio of the Month, Norway Childhood impressions turned design –implementing cultures, identity and roots into modern styling

When it comes to design, styling and other creative processes, inspiration and influences are essential; the ability to put unrelated elements together to make a unity, mixing the foreign with the familiar to create something that feels fresh yet recognisable. Stylist and entrepreneur Vera Eriksrød preserves the old and blends it with the new, keeping both legacy and progress alive.

By Alyssa Nilsen | Photos: Vera Eriksrød

Eriksrød’s inspiration comes from experiences most of us will never have. Moving to the village of Ngo in the Republic of the Congo with her missionary parents at the age of three, she spent her childhood among the indigenous people in their thatch and mud huts, playing with the children on the savannas and going hunting the traditional ways.

Their way of living was a simple one. There was no electricity, only kerosene lamps for light. The only potable water was distilled rainwater, and mosquito nets protected them as they slept. The light, colours and textures of Africa were forever imprinted in Eriksrød’s young mind, and when she returned to Norway at the age of 15, everything felt alien and different. Adjusting to the Norwegian culture was a process that required time, but eventually the unfamiliar became familiar.

Her background in simple living as a child, followed by years at boarding school upon returning to Norway, has resulted in a strong need for creating a proper home for her own children and family. This is reflected in her work as both a stylist and a consultant.

“Shaping what surrounds us at home is one of the most basic needs we have as humans,” Eriksrød says. “It’s about having a place where you belong – a place that just makes you feel happy and at

Vera in Congo. Private photo

home, and which shows who you are and where you’ve been.”

The light and colours of Africa “We’re always told that everything should always be new and unused,” she continues. “I’m all about making sure that homes contain elements of your culture, your identity and where you come from. It could be items you’ve inherited or even items you’ve purchased when travelling. Items that mean something to you on an emotional level.”

For Eriksrød, the elements, textures and materials she implements in her work are the natural materials surrounding her childhood. Bamboo, straw and other features remind her of sitting in a mud hut with mothers and their children. The simplicity of the rocks, embers and large cauldrons bubbling away, the smoke filling the space and the textures of the floor and walls inspire her work and her own home: the warm colours in hues of browns and terracotta, along with animal hides, fur and wood reflecting African light and nature.

In addition to her childhood on the African continent, Eriksrød has spent 18 years as an air hostess with Scandinavian Airlines, continuously drawing inspiration from the various countries, continents and cultures she visited. Still, it’s the ancient African nature that remains her foundation and her source of inspiration. In stark contrast to the Scandinavian fascination with minimalist steel, glass and concrete, her work feels warm, welcoming and soothing for the soul. These, Eriksrød says, are becoming increasingly important home features as the world is changing and adapting to an ongoing pandemic.

“More and more, people work from home,” Eriksrød says, “and the importance of having a home that is relaxing as well as functional is becoming ever more fundamental.”

Changing tides call for change of plan Also for Eriksrød, times are changing. After nine years of styling homes, new times call for new ventures. She has scaled down her stylist job and has crossed into new territories as a styling consultant. In addition to a physical shop in Skien, she has also opened up an online shop. Covid-19 has contributed to altering the path, and Eriksrød is adjusting as needed.

“Covid has had a massive impact on us all,” she says, “but I’ve always had this need to create. So going forward, I’ll be running the web shop, consulting, giving recommendations, running a blog, and writing about the environment, design, trends and interior design.” “I think it’s something that will happen all over our society. We’ll have to be flexible and choose new paths. But we’ll get there.”

Visit Vera Eriksrød and Living Villa online at: Web: livingvilla.no Instagram: @livingvillaboligstyling

Visit the Skien shop at: Living Villa, Telemarksgata 24, 3724 Skien, Norway

Aleksanderplats interior. Aleksanderplats bar design.

Design Studio of the Month, Finland Designs with creative flair

Tero Pennanen is a true multi-disciplinarian. Following a long career in the music industry as a composer and musician, Pennanen began to study architecture and, after graduating, founded his own international architecture and design studio. Having found a way to combine all his talents, he is driven by a passion for his work.

By Ndéla Faye | Photos: Pekka Mustonen

Studio Tero Pennanen has designed a number of restaurants, cafés, corporate premises, as well as holiday homes and residential apartments for private clients. Pennanen works on all aspects of a project: from concept development to project management, while paying special attention to the tiniest details – all tailored to the customers’ wishes and budgets.

He specialises in audio-visual integrations, as well as products that require the ATEX equipment directive. “I’ve spent a lot of time in recording studios, which I think has given me an advantage in assessing audio-visual factors and intricacies in a unique way,” Pennanen says, smiling.

Timeless designs In his designs, Pennanen values longevity, sustainable designs and energy efficiency. “We strive to create timeless designs, rather than following the latest trends that might go out of fashion very quickly,” he says. One of his proudest moments came with the design of Helsinki’s Aleksanderplats restaurant. The brief was to create a bistro-style restaurant with a timeless feel. Instead of something funky and new, the client wanted guests to feel like the restaurant had been there a long time. With this in mind, Pennanen carefully selected materials that would age well, and where patina would just add to the character of the place. When the restaurant opened, a newspaper review stated that it felt as if Aleksanderplats had always been there. For Pennanen, that was the ultimate compliment. “That was the exact brief the client had given, and I had fulfilled it,” he summarises.

As well as running an architecture design studio and touring with his band, Pennanen appears as a judge on the popular Finnish television competition, Suomen Kaunein Koti (Finland’s Most Beautiful Home). He has a number of design and architecture projects in the pipeline, and it’s just been announced that a new season of Suomen Kaunein Koti – in which the judges go on a quest to find the most beautiful summer cottage in the country – will air soon.

“I see this job as customer service work. My job is to help clients find their true style. To me, architecture and design are about incorporating a level of decadence –not necessarily luxury, but a kind of fulfilment and contentment – into people’s daily lives,” Pennanen explains.

Tero Pennanen. Photo: Laura Malmivaara

Web: www.teropennanen.com Facebook: Studio Tero Pennanen Instagram: @studioteropennanen

Kristin Norenberg: Painting with the soul as inspiration

Throughout the pandemic, Kristin Norenberg rekindled with an old flame: the art of painting. Combining her passion for writing and art, she has discovered how to keep in touch with her inner femininity.

Before Kristin Norenberg’s days were filled with paint, writing and meditation, her life was made up of fast-paced business, constantly chasing goals and results. “My soul spoke to me,” she explains. “I jumped off that hamster wheel in 2005 to start my own business, Universal Balance. Since then, I’ve been on a spiritual journey to help others through life alignment, coaching, as a medium, healer and author.”

Painting not only became a passion, but also a form of therapy for Norenberg. “It’s important to balance both the masculine ‘doing’ and the feminine ‘being’ aspects of our lives. Masculinity, which often takes the form of organising, rigour and chasing goals, has long dominated my life. Painting has therefore been a great way of staying in touch with my passionate, free femininity – using my creativity and intuition,” she says.

After nine years of art classes, ambitious projects, and countless tubs of oil paint, she found herself allergic to the very source of her art and therapy. With no choice but to quit, Norenberg focused her energy elsewhere, but the pandemic allowed her to pick up the paintbrush again, this time using acrylic paint and another passion of hers, writing.

“Often, I meditate first. Then my soul guides me by using vibrant colours, and I paint until my heart tells me to stop,” she explains. “When a piece is finished, I feel its energy and begin my writing process, so the words and the painting are very much connected.”

Norenberg’s newest book is MedHjertet som GPS,a book about intuition.

Artist Kristin Norenberg with her painting, Håp.

Norenberg’s new exhibition, Landskap frasjelen.Ordfrahjertet(Landscape fromthesoul.Wordsfromtheheart), takes place at Humleriet, Oslo, from January to March.

Web: kristinnorenberg.no Facebook: Kristin Norenberg BalanseCoach Instagram: @kristinnorenberg