Long Europe’s design capital, Copenhagen is the source of some of the world’s most innovative and beautiful design objects. We asked eight of the city’s creative leaders to share the stories behind their most precious possessions, from a teapot designed by Henning Koppel to a wooden bowl from Germany and a Spanish guitar.
Silas Adler (Image 1) — Co-founder and creative director of Danish fashion brand Soulland Silas Adler lusted after Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair long before his girlfriend gave it to him as a housewarming gift. In Silas’ home, the chair not only serves as an iconic Bauhaus piece but has also become a refuge. “Our home isn’t full of clutter so it feels like everything really has its place and gets a lot of attention. For me, the chair has become a spot where you can reflect because you can’t see the TV from it. Obviously, you can sit on it and look at your phone, but it’s more of a place where you take a book, sit down and try to focus. That’s really what I love about it.”
Kwamie Liv (Images 2 and 3) — Musician Kwamie Liv’s belongings are reflective of the two constants in her life—travel and music—so it comes as no surprise that her instruments are some of her most prized possessions. She has two guitars—a Spanish guitar that she has owned since childhood and a western guitar gifted to her by a close friend. “They both carry their own stories and have followed me all over the place. The thing that I like about them is that they move. I like the fact that even though where I live or the space I’m in might change, I can carry them with me and still use them to create, which is the essence of what makes me happy.”
Malene Malling (Image 4) — Publisher Malene Malling doesn’t believe in saving precious belongings, such as her Henning Koppel teapot, for special occasions. “I think you should bring the beauty into your everyday life and treasure it. Even though it’s a bit of a pricey piece, it gives me pleasure every day.” The teapot, designed for Georg Jensen, also emphasizes the brightness of her home. “When you grow up in Scandinavia, light is important because you have so little of it. I think one of the most beautiful things is when you have windows on both sides of a building and get a lot of light in a room. The silver teapot has the effect of reflecting light beautifully.”
Dorte Mandrup (Image 5) — Architect Dorte Mandrup rarely feels a deep connection to any of her possessions, but a turquoise Saxbo vase designed by Eva Stæhr Nielsen in the ’50s is an exception. “It’s part of Danish design history but it’s also a part of who I am. I’m not so attached to objects. I don’t care when I move from one apartment to another, but I really like to have this object with me.” The vase was originally a wedding present for Dorte’s parents, but her mother gave it to her when she moved away from her childhood home. It has followed her ever since. “It’s a really lovely piece because it’s timeless. It’s classic, yet still very modern.”
Kristoffer Sakurai (Images 6 and 7) — In his previous home, the founder of Sakurai Creative Vision typically stayed away from furniture made of light wood. Now, one of his most treasured belongings is an oak bench made in collaboration with Belgian producer St-Paul Home. “It’s sandy colored with tones of gray and beige. It goes perfectly with the surroundings of our house, which is very close to the beach and to the forest.” It is paramount that the objects in his home reflect their setting. “I think it’s very important that when you create a home, you create that home out of who you are, the personalities that you have and your own personal taste and style. But it’s also very important that you look at your surroundings, that you look at where you are.”
Joachim Kornbek Hansen (Image 8) — As the design and brand manager of Danish interiors company Menu, it’s natural that Joachim Kornbek Hansen’s furniture would take center stage in his home. “I want my apartment to be a frame so that the furniture is like the painting.” A particularly iconic item in his home is Menu’s red Afteroom chair. “I think it shows the simplicity and sophisticated elegance that I often appreciate in furniture.” When he ordered it in red, he didn’t predict what would follow. “I wanted it for my new home, but one of the women who puts things into the system at Menu thought it was part of the collection. It was meant as a personal customized item for me, but it ended up as part of Menu’s collection.”
Eric Landon (Image 9) — Ceramicist and cofounder of Danish ceramics studio Tortus, Eric Landon seeks objects that, just like his own work, are a labor of love. A favorite of his is a bowl by German woodworker Hendrick Hendricks. “It’s absolutely perfect in the forming and in the finish. I like objects that really show the dedication and the heart of the craftsman. I think it’s easy to spot things that are made in that spirit.” Eric is intrigued by more than just appearance, however. “That’s one of the rules we have in our home. We don’t have anything that we don’t use. It’s important that the things we have, even if they’re decorative, still play a functional role. I think that’s where aesthetics and living really fit together.”
Yvonne Koné (Images 10 and 11) — Accessories designer Yvonne Koné prefers simplicity in her home, frequently getting rid of unnecessary belongings. When she reflects on her favorite items, two West African hairdresser signs come to mind. “They are simple and very honest. They say, ‘This is what you’ll get. There are not many options.’” Though the signs are among her oldest possessions, she did once try to throw them away. Unbeknownst to Yvonne, her husband saved them. “We’ve only moved twice since then, but I don’t feel like throwing them out anymore. Sometimes they are given a new space, but they are little signs that this is my home. At the moment, one of them is hanging in my youngest son’s room.”
This is one of three free promotional stories from Issue Twenty-One. You’re welcome to choose three more stories from each print issue of Kinfolk to read for free.
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Styling Assistant:Emma Nyboe
Hair and Makeup:Marie Thomsen