Three black stools line up outside the odd fellows mansion in Copenhagen at 3daysofdesign

A striking contrast between light and shadow at the Framing Exhibition at the Odd Fellows Mansion. Photo © Tiffany Grant-Riley.

We’re back in Copenhagen today to explore some of my highlights from last month’s visit to 3daysofdesign. The festival which is open to the public takes place every year, celebrating the best in Nordic design. With so many showrooms full of the most exquisite, minimal design its impossible not to feel overwhelmed by it all. In fact, you really need five days in the city to gear yourself up and wind down afterwards!

With this, my very first visit to Copenhagen, the stakes were high. I landed the night before, checked into design hotel SP34 and headed out to dinner with friends ahead of a jam-packed day. And just as well I packed decent walking shoes because after a full day of 9am-10:30pm studio visits and meetings, I was done! By Friday mid-afternoon I was already flying back to London with a head full of inspiration.

A moody and minimal grey bedroom at Copenhagen design hotel SP34 during 3daysofdesign

Texture and mood in our room at Hotel SP34. Photo © Tiffany Grant-Riley.

Soothing interiors and calm, muted spaces offset the feeling of chaos as we made our way around the city. Not surprisingly, textured lime and chalk painted walls provided the backdrop for many collections with shades of light grey and subtle beige proving to be most popular. Darker palettes also came through, presenting a moodier, sophisticated aesthetic such as the New Works showroom. Among the many topics of conversation during the festival, the most common thread throughout was sustainability, mindfulness and collaboration.

Senses by Louisa Grey & Frama

Inside the Frama Studio apothecary space with grey lime washed walls at 3daysofdesign.

Farmhouse Trestles table and Shelf Library showcase lifestyle pieces from the Frama collection. Photo © Tiffany Grant-Riley.

You just can’t come to 3daysofdesign and not see the Frama Studio. Set inside a former 19th Century apothecary, the ‘Senses’ collaboration between London interior designer Louisa Grey and Frama’s founder Niels Strøyer Christophersen takes you on a sensory journey. With influences of Japanese culture, the studio aimed to push back against our busy lifestyles, presenting a remedy for overload with restorative spaces in which to reconnect with nature and our inner selves. You were encouraged to slow your pace as you make your way around. It was impossible not to feel affected by the experience, as you take in the sounds, scents and textures.

Niels and Louisa talked about their common ground with a shared focus on wellbeing and natural, sustainable materials. The beautiful, old bones of the building are left raw and exposed in contrast to Frama’s contemporary collection. There is a room for meditation featuring a Japanese Zen garden in miniature with carefully selected quarry stones. Another room explores sound alongside the latest scent from the St Paul’s Apothecary collection. Beyond this, a room to bathe and relax with a Japanese wooden bath as its crowning glory.

With glimpses of beautifully arranged grasses and a curated selection of Frama’s ceramics, this was a place I’d have happily stayed in all day.

A wood bench in a minimal room at Frama Studio with a highly textured grey lime washed wall at 3daysofdesign.

A place to watch the world go by – bench from the Atelier collection and brass Ventus pendant light. Photo © Tiffany Grant-Riley.

A stack of grasses styled against grey lime washed walls at 3daysofdesign

Photo © Tiffany Grant-Riley

Black ceramics on a round coffee table throw stark shadows across the concrete floor at Frama Studio during 3daysofdesign

Photo © Tiffany Grant-Riley

A Japanese wooden bath tub and a simple daybed in a minimalist room to relax at Frama Studio at 3daysofdesign

The Japanese bathing tub and daybed reserve space for quiet relaxation. Photo © Tiffany Grant-Riley.

Adam stool, designed by Frama against a textured grey wall at 3daysofdesign Copenhagen

A Frama staple – the Adam stool. Photo © Tiffany Grant-Riley

Frama Studio | Fredericiagade 57, 1310 Københaven. 

Karimoku Case Study at Kinfolk Gallery

A white canvas chair sits in a corner in a light grey room at Kinfolk Gallery during 3daysofdesign

Soothing tones and honest materials – the Karimoku Case Study collection.

I think the word ‘Kinfolk’ would be enough of a highlight to leave it there, but then I think this new launch absolutely deserves an explanation.

The Japanese thread continues with the launch of a new collaborative collection, Karimoku Case Study. This contemporary lifestyle brand unites both Nordic and Japanese design sensibilities. Showcased within the sanctuary of the Kinfolk Gallery, the collection is the result of a partnership between Japanese furniture manufacturers Karimoku and architectural studios Norm Architects and Keiji Ashizawa Design.

In short, it was a dream. Inspired by shrines, temples and gardens of Japan, the interiors were cocooning and warm. You got a sense of the space both in the layout and in the way Norm Architects and Keiji Ashizawa have explored and used negative space within the collection. The large, open rooms had been treated with DetaleCPH lime paint to introduce a quiet texture on which to present the collection. Respective values connected through nature and traditional craft come through in the furniture which is elegant and understated. Woven veneer wall art highlighted those connections and the importance of craft.

The gallery was also dressed with pieces from like-minded co-exhibitors including Kvadrat upholstery, Sørensen Leather and floral design boutique Tableau. Keep your eyes peeled for slightly left-field floral design folks, tonal coloured displays are leading on from dried grasses…

A Scandinavian dining table and chairs in a pale grey room at Kinfolk Gallery, as part of 3daysofdesign

The Kinuta N-DC01 dining table and dining chair, designed by Norm Architects in collaboration with Karimoku.

A light filled dining room with Japanese inspired shelves at Kinfolk Gallery at 3daysofdesign

Kinuta shelves, designed by Norm Architects were inspired by shoe and umbrella racks left outside Japanese temples.

A corner of the Kinfolk Gallery in Copenhagen, showcasing the Karimoku Case Study collection at 3daysofdesign

Functional Danish design crossed with Japanese architectural practice – a glimpse of the Kinuta N SO1 sofa.

A dark wood and pale beige office setting at Kinfolk Gallery during 3daysofdesign.

The dark and sophisticated Kinuta chair with a paperyarn seat combines both Nordic and Japanese aesthetic.

*all photography © Monica Grue Steffensen.

Kinfolk | Amagertorv 14, 1160 Københaven.

Form & Refine Launch at Hotel Charlottenborg

A future classic? The Origin Lounge chair, made from Danish ash. Photo © Form & Refine.

Having discovered Form & Refine on Instagram a few months before their official launch (you may have seen their Alcoa vases in my feed) I was excited to see them as part of the Hotel Charlottenborg installation. Set inside the Kunsthal Charlottenborg (not pictured) the halls were turned into a hotel experience using a collective of design brands.

Visually New Nordic in style, sustainable practices guide the collection by the use of materials and in supporting the smaller communities that produce them. Form & Refine aim to reduce their C02 footprint whilst celebrating time honoured materials from around the world. Be it Scandinavian wood or Bolivian wool. With a focus on craft and traditional skills, they employ local workshops to produce their designs.

The Alcoa vases (a favourite of mine for their graphic shape and matte surface) are produced in the ancient clay region of Alcobaça in Portugal where I made a visit to a family-owned ceramics factory last summer. I’d put money on the Origin lounge chair becoming a future classic too. Made in Danish ash from the forest of Damsbo, the backrest and seat almost float on its frame. Isn’t it beautiful?

A white and light wood Scandinavian dining room created by Form & Refine at 3daysofdesign

Woven in tradition – the Motif armchair, designed by Hermann Studio with the Alcoa pitcher and vase. Photo © Form & Refine.

Sustainable Nordic design by Form & Refine, a highlight from 3daysofdesign

Photo © Form & Refine.

The A Line storage bench by Form & Refine makes ideal hallway storage, a highlight from 3daysofdesign

A Line Storage bench, designed by Hermann Studio, made from Polish oak in Poland. Photo © Form & Refine,

The &Tradition Village

Looking into a contemporary Nordic dining room at the &Tradition showroom at 3daysofdesign

Nordic luxe – the Loafer chair by Space Copenhagen and Asian inspired Formakami JH5 lamp designed by Jaime Hayon. Photo © Tiffany Grant-Riley.

I’ve noticed lately how showrooms are evolving into more immersive and relaxed spaces. The new home of &Tradition is a gorgeous example, nestled inside a historic mansion dating back to 1913. Named ‘The Village’, it encompasses a showroom, gallery space and The Courtyard cafe, an oasis of lush, informal planting in which to meet for lunch or coffee. Visitors can experience new and classic designs pieces from the collection at their leisure within ‘The Home of a Collector’ and take in all the period features of the building. What more could you want?! The ‘Novelties’ exhibition in the upstairs gallery space showcased the popular classics, including my favourite – the 1968 Flowerpot lamp designed by Verner Panton. A new release, the Elefy chair from Spanish designer Jamie Hayon was also on display, inspired by the large, curved form of the elephant.

Verner Panton's 1968 classic design The Flowerpot lamp, framed in the doorway of the &Tradition gallery at 3daysofdesign.

A symbol of The Flower Power movement – Verner Panton’s 1968 classic, the Flowerpot lamp. Photo © &Tradition.

Bright white dining room with wooden floors in the &Tradition showroom at 3daysofdesign.

A new addition to the collection from Spanish designer Jaime Hayon, the Elefy chair. Photo © &Tradition.

Black two-tiered desk in a bright, white workspace at 3daysofdesign

Inspired by kinetic motion – the Palette desk. Photo © &Tradition.

&Tradition | Kronprinsessegade 4, 1306 Københaven.

Take me back already! Have my highlights left you feeling a little more zen now? Perhaps it’s giving you food for thought with your own home? It definitely has for me – I’ll be dipping my hands into lime painting my office in the coming weeks and I’ll be working on a ‘how to’ piece if you fancy trying it for yourself. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for more on The Audo, an incredible residential workspace and restaurant created in collaboration with Menu Design. You. Will. Love.

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