The KG Bookshelf from in oiled oak and black steel made by circular design furniture brand ENKL.

[Advertisement – this post includes gifted product from Enkl, Woud, Cooee Design and Massa Design Studio*, chosen by me and lovingly used in my home.]

During my visit to 3 Days of Design in Copenhagen earlier this year, I was lucky enough to meet ENKL, a new sustainable furniture brand whose DNA is built on a circular design model. Their collection of raw and functional pieces combine traditional craftsmanship with a minimal aesthetic.

Who Is ENKL and What Is Circular Design?

Based in Aarhus, ENKL was founded by Kristian Gatten and Lasse Tamberg in 2016. With backgrounds in architecture and carpentry, the friends began designing a capsule collection that would by-pass the traditional “take-make-dispose” production model, exploring ways in which materials could be utilised over and over again. You can see the architectural influences in the structure of ENKL’s designs. What I love most is that all the joints, nuts and bolts are clearly visible. Honest and open design with nothing to hide. Each piece of furniture has been designed for easy disassembly so that if and when a piece reaches the end of its life, all the components can be separated, reused and recycled.

To help reduce waste and pollution, production is kept as local as possible with steel and brass elements made in Galten and Lystrup. Oak is sourced from the Czech Republic by a family-run carpentry business and finished at their studio in Denmark.

Enkl also offer to buy back their designs at 10% of the sales price in order to return their materials back into the production cycle. Over time they plan to add to their collection with designs made from the newly recycled materials. How’s that for dedication?

A collection of sculptural pieces and  the Cooee Design Pillar vase in muted oatmeal tones on an oak and steel bookshelf, designed by ENKL.
A soothing corner of our living room with sculptural treasures from Sweden and Israel.
ENKL's KG1 bookshelf styled in my bright, white Edwardian living room is a beautiful example of circular design.

The KG1 Bookshelf

In my eyes, the real stand-out piece from the collection is the KG1 bookshelf. So much so that it now has pride of place in our living room. Although I have absolutely zero intention of recycling it, ever, its environmentally conscious, circular design was a huge plus. I want to continue to make conscious choices as to what I bring into my home and its impact on the environment, so choosing brands who share those values is important. Constructed from three solid oiled oak shelves, its held in a delicate balance with four flat steel legs. I love how its industrial appearance compliments the Edwardian features in this room.

A detailed close-up of the flat, black steel legs of circular design brand ENKL's KG1 Bookshelf.
The flat, black steel legs of the KG1 Bookshelf are given a layer of natural beeswax to bring out the patina.

The beauty is in the details – from the brass screws to the highly unusual beeswax finish on the steel which both intensifies the black of the metal and prevents corrosion over time. It smells wonderful up close, a mix of beeswax and linseed oil.

Styled with a few select treasures, the muted, sandy tones add warmth to this corner, elevated with a touch of black. Among them is the Olufemi sculpture from the new collaboration between artist Kristiina Haataja and Cooee Design. Haataja calls her unique approach to sculpting ‘Ancient Cubism’, combining ancient Greek sculpture with Post Modern Cubist form. I find it soothing to look at, the way the shadows form in the furrows of the concrete.

The little black Elephant pot was an Etsy find, all the way from Israel and made by Massa Design Studio. I love the contrast between the raw stoneware on the outside and glazed interior. See how its shape echoes the Pump lamp? Designed by Kutarq Studio for Woud, the soft light through its opal glass shade gives the impression of lifting off and levitating on its thin metal frame.

The Pump Lamp from Woud looks like its floating when the opal glass shade is turned on.
The opal glass in Woud’s Pump Lamp gives off a soft, diffused glow.
A sweet little handmade black stoneware pot, created by Massa Design Studio in Israel.
Handmade ‘Elephant Pot’ with its glossy interior, Massa Design Studio.

I’ve since dried the deep pink alliums that were growing happily in pots at the front of our house and they’ve taken on a much softer blush now. Their little bulbous heads are a sweet memory leftover from summer, bobbing around in their vase.

I’ll be sharing tips on drying and styling flowers next month – I’ve grown loads! In the meantime, I’m off to the London Design Festival this week to see if I can’t discover another design gem. Watch this space…

Blush pink dried alliums from my garden and displayed in a vase in my living room.
A beautiful example of circular design in my white living room, the KG1 Bookshelf, styled with books and treasures.

*Gifted items – KG1 Bookshelf, Enkl | Pump table lamp, Woud | Olufemi sculpture and Pillar vase in ‘Sand’, Cooee Design | Elephant pot, Massa Design Studio.

Styling and photography © Tiffany Grant-Riley.

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