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Copenhagen Design Tour 2019 with Garde Hvalsøe | Part One


Recently I shared highlights from the the first day of the Copenhagen Design Tour with Georg Jensen. On the second day we delved into the inspiring world of Danish brand Garde Hvalsøe. Founded in 1993 with a vision to create unique furniture and interiors with an ever-present focus on pure and honest design, Garde Hvalsøe build high-end kitchens, furniture and bespoke interior solutions in Denmark and abroad. I first experienced the beauty of this brand two years ago at the Dinesen showroom, where a Garde Hvalsøe kitchen graces the beautiful space. Just one of many incredible projects they have worked on, I couldn't wait to see behind the scenes and learn more about the materials, processes and craftsmanship that go into producing such exquisite kitchens, furniture and more.

The Garde Hvalsøe Showroom in Copenhagen

After a delicious breakfast at SP34, we boarded the bus and headed to Garde Hvalsøe's workshop. Located in the Gribskov forest, about an hour north of Copenhagen, here we were shown the production process from start to finish. Following the saw mill cutting, and drying out (for 3 years) the highly skilled carpenters work to a kitchen design like the one shown below. Because no two pieces of wood are ever the same, they use one single plank to ensure that there is continuity in the wood grain. Step by step, we watched how the wood is carefully marked with chalk and cut, the pieces numbered, glued - sometimes with the addition of veneer (not because it's cheaper but because it's technically better) - scraped to smooth out the joins, sanded and oiled.

The Garde Hvalsøe workshop in Gribskov

Sustainably grown and harvested wood is used, with European Pine and Oak grown in Denmark, Germany and France being popular choices. Incredibly dedicated to ensuring a high level of quality, the carpenters truly value the craft and materials. And it's no easy feat - they must embark on a four-year apprenticeship, where they learn how to cut, dry wood and use the machines. Knowledge is handed down from the masters, and those that succeed are awarded a medal from the queen. I came away from this visit seeing first hand how the professional pride rooted deeply in the Nordic design tradition unites the Garde Hvalsøe company.

The Garde Hvalsøe workshop in Gribskov

Following our visit to the workshop and a delicious lunch, we then headed back to Copenhagen for our second House Visit of the tour. The gorgeous home of designer Suzanne Rützou, and the former headquarters of Garde Hvalsøe, I'll be sharing this in the next blog post! We then finished off the day at the beautiful new Garde Hvalsøe showroom. I was really looking forward to spending some more time exploring (we'd had an incredible three-course dinner here the night prior!) and needless to say, I also took lots of photos to share.

The Garde Hvalsøe showroom in Copenhagen

From the coat room and walk-in wardrobe, to the bathroom, wine room and several different kitchen designs, the inspiring showroom, designed by Studio David Thulstrup, invites you to fully discover the Garde Hvalsøe universe. The kitchen above is one of my favourites. I love the pale wood (look at that woodgrain!) paired with a sleek steel benchtop. A gallery within the showroom (pictured below) showcases the different types of wood and materials that can be combined for bespoke projects.

The Garde Hvalsøe showroom in Copenhagen

The kitchen below features a versatile open-shelving design which allows you to move the shelves around to create your own personalised configuration. The black marble looks so striking against the warm timber.

Garde Hvalsøe showroom in Copenhagen

Such a refined yet calming space, what a dream it would be to work with Garde Hvalsøe for your personal home or project. Offering shipping of their cabinetry and furniture worldwide, they had created a kitchen for a client in Australia the week I was there. 

I feel very lucky to have experienced this incredible tour, and I'm glad I still have more to share... keep an eye out for the home visit coming soon.

Photography by Michelle Halford for TDC

This post was created in collaboration with Georg Jensen and Garde Hvalsøe. 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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