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Copenhagen Design Tour 2019 with Georg Jensen | Part One


Last week I travelled all the way to Copenhagen for a Design Tour with Georg Jensen and Garde Hvalsøe. Over the course of an inspiring and immersive two days during my week-long stay, we gained unique insight into the brands by seeing first-hand how the products are crafted. We also visited two different, but equally incredible Danish homes. Sharing the highlights over several posts, today I'm starting with our visit to the Georg Jensen headquarters. 

Staying at well-loved Copenhagen hotel SP34, we were transported to Georg Jensen and welcomed by the CEO, Francesco Pesci. This was followed by an exploration of the archives, where we were taken through a timeline of products showcasing the brand's history, spanning more than 100 years.

It was fascinating to learn about Georg Jensen, an apprentice goldsmith and sculptor, who went on to make silver his way of living. Establishing his smithy in Copenhagen in 1904 with the highest standards of fine craftsmanship, Georg Jensen has attracted some of the greatest artists and produced many iconic designs over the years. From Henning Koppel, Arne Jacobsen, to Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe and Patricia Urquiola, these partnerships helped push the boundaries and establish the brand as a place brimming with ideas. A tradition kept on after the death of Georg Jensen in 1935 to this very day, the studio has become home to a company of extraordinarily talented silversmiths and metalworkers, jewellers, designers and artists.

Beautiful pieces from the archives, including the original Bangle Watch by Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe and the iconic Henning Koppel Pitcher 

We then visited the Smithy, where all the magic happens. Watching the silversmiths at work, we experienced first-hand the incredible skill and artistry required to create the intricate pieces. I was particularly intrigued to learn about the creation of commissioned pieces that are interpreted and brought to life from the study of original archive drawings.

Details from the Smithy 

After a delicious lunch of Smørrebrød, the traditional Danish open-faced sandwiches, we were introduced to the new Georg Jensen Helix Collection, ahead of this week's exciting launch. Designed by Swedish design agency Bernadotte Kylberg, founded in 2012 by Carl Philip Bernadotte and Oscar Kylberg, the duo are known for creating timeless design from the highest quality materials. We were lucky to have Oscar travel from Sweden to give a captivating presentation about the exquisite Helix collection, which consists of a Thermo Jug, Tea Pot, Milk Jug, Bonbonnierre and Tray. Oscar explained that the collaboration began with a simple brief centred around 'coffee', however the two-year design process was anything but simple. From how much reflection the steel produces and shape of the handles to ensure little effort is required when pouring, to the thermal functionality and exact length of pour to avoid heat escaping, every detail undergoes extensive research and testing to produce the final end result. 
Product moulds, drawings and the Helix Collection 

Oscar explained that the collection is designed to be practical, rather than ornamental. An honest design that captures the essence of Georg Jensen's signature organic shapes in a modern, Scandinavian way, he says the pieces correlate to one another as a family, each with their own function and personality. And as with all Georg Jensen products, the Helix Collection is designed with permanence in mind.

Oscar Kylberg presenting the new Helix Collection

The beautiful Helix collection by Bernadotte Kylberg for Georg Jensen

Next up was our first House visit of the Design Tour, at the incredible home of Thomas Schlosser Svendsen. Owner of Copenhagen store Klassik, and an avid collector of Danish furniture, lighting and art, Thomas's home features an enviable curation of pieces. Here's a peek inside.

Photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

While enjoying afternoon tea and coffee served in the Helix Collection (of course!) we were permitted to take photos of the house and needless to say I went a little crazy. So much so, I'll be following up with a separate blog post of the house tour, before sharing the second day of the Design Tour with Garde Hvalsøe. Stay tuned! 

This post was created in collaboration with Georg Jensen. I only work with products I love and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit my About Page.

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Minimalism and Mindfulness | My Feature on the A&Co. Journal


Great to be back on the blog after my time away in Copenhagen, I'm now busy working on content from the design tour to share. Before I went away I was interviewed for the A&Co. Journal. One of my favourite brands and regularly seen here on TDC, Armadillo & Co produce luxury handcrafted rugs, infused with the rich history and artisanship of the skilled makers who create them. One of our favourite pieces at home is our Agra Knot Rug, and I have used many of more of their beautiful rugs in styling shoots, all sourced from The Ivy House, who bring the Armadillo & Co rugs to NZ.

Styling and photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

Such an honour to be featured, I talk about everything from my personal approach to styling and what makes a house a home to what excites me about the future of interiors and design. 

Now up on the A&Co. Journal, you can read the interview here. 

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Sensory Lab in Sydney by Studio 11:11


Recently completing the interior design for Sensory Lab cafe in Sydney, Studio 11:11 explored a rich, theatrical approach, aligned with the cafe group’s ongoing vision to bring unique and engaging sensory experiences. Brought to life by referencing the cabinet of curiosities — part collector’s gallery and part apothecary chamber — Studio 11:11 found a sophisticated balance between a nostalgic notion and a modern day interior.

Reflecting the studio's goal of creating calm through the use of a natural and neutral palette with permanence in mind, the interior features a muted palette and timber mouldings paired with shiny chrome fittings and sleek, square set angles. A curated selection of one-off antique silverwares adorn the shelves, conveying the story of wonder and intrigue through to the minor details. 

An artfully designed central table continues this story. Solid walnut timber is offset by the insertion of modern concrete monoliths. On top of these plinths, a landscape of glass vitrines house more of the curio, inviting people to gather around a central focus and view the collection of artifacts over a cup of coffee.

The skillful use of finishes seamlessly blends the slightly worn and familiar with the polished and contemporary, once again reflecting Studio 11:11’s considered approach to materiality. Hammered velvet, distressed timber, and tactile wall paint gives a nod back to a time full of charm and romance. The period style bar cabinet is lined internally with hyper-modern chrome and mirror. Overall, a thoughtful combination of old and new.

Photography by Nicholas John Wilkins  

Intriguing and softly lit, this beautiful space really does invite you to immerse yourself in the unique Sensory Lab experience. I look forward to visiting next time I'm in Sydney!

If you'd like to see more from Studio 11:11, take a look at the Mt Eliza Kitchen project - a favourite featured on TDC last year. 

Just on a side note, I am currently in Copenhagen on a design tour, so the blog will be quiet this week. I look forward sharing plenty of exciting content with you following my trip! 

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Outdoor Styling with COAST NZ Cushions


Earlier this week I introduced you to the COAST NZ Indoor/Outdoor Cushions, with some living room styling. For our outdoor deck, which I'm excited to share with you today, I took the same approach, looking through the extensive range of fabric swatches and choosing a few different options. Such a fun process, here's a look at how it turned out. 

If you followed last year's deck update series, you'll know that we installed some custom-made seating by Outdure. The design lends itself perfectly to the COAST cushions, which come in three different sizes. I layered the 50x50 and 60x40 sizes on the seating, with a few extras thrown on deck floor, including the larger 60x60 size. Made from Sunbrella brand fabrics, which have an unmatched international reputation for quality, durability and style, the cushions are designed for New Zealand's harsh sunlight and are guaranteed against fading and deterioration for five years, whether inside or out.

I chose the same Upholstery-Grade Sunbrella Fabric as I did for the living room, which has a lovely, soft finish. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor areas, I love that you can move them around to suit, especially when entertaining.

I decided to start with a dark fabric, which I knew would tie in nicely with the deck railing and the exterior of our home, and then layered in a couple of neutral hues. With so many colours to choose from I wanted to experiment with something different, so I took cues from the artwork in our dining area and chose a soft pink. Providing a nice sense of cohesiveness between indoors and out, I love how it has all come together. Roll on summer!  

COAST Cushions in Sailcloth in Shade (50 x 50 & 60 x 60), Chartres in Heather (50 x 50), Cast in Pumice (50 x 50) and Cast in Petal (60 x 40)

The COAST indoor/outdoor cushions can be ordered online, or at the showroom, and are made here in NZ. Worldwide shipping is also available.

Styling and photography by Michelle Halford for TDC
(With thanks to Kings Plant Barn)

This is a sponsored post. I only work with products I love and all opinions are my own. For more information please visit my About Page.

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The Touch | A New Book from Kinfolk and Norm Architects


Creative collaborators Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen of Norm Architects and Nathan Williams of Kinfolk have co-authored their first book, The Touch—Spaces Designed for the Senses, published by gestalten. Exploring architecture and design that influence all of the human senses through elements such as light, nature, materiality, color, and community, this book exemplifies how haptic design can provide a richer quality of living. The Touch welcomes readers into over 25 inspiring spaces, from the private residence of Vincenzo De Cotiis, to Le Corbusier’s student dormitory, the Pavillon Suisse—and Tomba Brion, an isolated village cemetery at the foothills of the Dolomites, composed by Carlo Scarpa.

Photography by Staffan Sundström

Thrilled to have been sent an early copy of The Touch, I was looking forward to slowly savouring this book. However once I started reading, it was hard to stop. Presenting an alternative to the age-old notion that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, The Touch explores why good design is not only visually appealing but engages all of the human senses, through stories, conversations and incredible spaces that are all beautifully captivating. Now that I've finished reading it I'm already referring back to so many parts, bookmarking pages for future reference. Most certainly a book to cherish, here's a look inside.

The striking Cover illustration is by Frederik Alexander Werner, Designer and Associate Partner at Norm Architects.  

Photography by Staffan Sundström

Presenting the five essential building blocks of human-centric design—light, materiality, color, nature and community— The Touch is the first book to emerge from the longstanding friendship and creative partnership between Kinfolk founder Nathan Williams and Jonas Bjerre Poulsen of Norm Architects— two leading design authorities who base their practices in Copenhagen, and have previously collaborated on projects including the design of The Kinfolk Gallery.

In The Touch, beautiful homes, hotels, museums, and retail stores—from contemporary designs by Ilse Crawford and Bijoy Jain to classic cases by Arne Jacobsen—open their doors and invite readers to explore how elements such as light, nature, materiality, color, and community can deliberately bring us back to our senses and imbue every day with a richer quality.

"My hope is that readers will start thinking about architecture in a more holistic and humancentric way and that this book can be a small contribution to the world of interior design that goes against he visually-driven trend of social media that is inflicted on design thinking." — Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, from an excerpted conversation with Kinfolk editor in chief John Clifford Burns.

Here's a selection of inspiring editorial images from The Touch. 

ACNE Studios in Seoul, South Korea
Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Bijuu Residence in Kyoto, Japan 
Photography by Johan Bjerre-Poulsen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

De Cotiis Residence in Milan, Italy
Photography by Christian Møller Andersen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Frama in Copenhagen, Denmark
Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Hoshinoya Kyoto in Kyoto, Japan
Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

In addition to stunning photography and interviews with design industry leaders such as John Pawson, Juhani Pallasmaa and David Thulstrup, The Touch also details philosophical and art history references that reflect the tradition of design and color theory. For a deeper understanding of the concepts explored, an appendix profiles architects such as Lina Bo Bardi and Richard Neutra; heritage design pieces that helped influence this movement are also listed in the book.

Louisiana Museum in Humblebæk, Denmark 
Photography by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakesh, Morocco
Photography by Adrien Dirand, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Tomba Brion in SanVito di Altivole, Italy
Photography by Christian Møller Andersen, The Touch by Kinfolk and Norm Architects, published by gestalten 2019.

Photography by Staffan Sundström

The Touch is now available in Europe, and will arrive in selected stores worldwide from October 10th, 2019. 

Images courtesy of Kinfolk

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