I am Allan, 30 something Copenhagen Dweller interiors friend, Car loving self-confessed shoe addict, Crossfit fanatic and world traveller. And this is my platform for my simple, bright and Scandinavian world.
Let the music play! Growing up I could spend hours and hours listening to music, back in the 90s there was no Spotify, no streaming, no Internet. We listening to music on CDs. I think I got my first stereo with built-in CD player shortly after I turned 12, I bought it with my hard-earned paperboy money. In my late teenage years, I started collecting singles, you know those single-track CDs with the same song playing over and over again, maybe mixed in different ways.
So, it definitely brought back so many memories when I found my CD collection, or what’s left of it, a few weeks ago. When streaming became a thing, I got rid of most of my CDs, but saved about 100 of them, because you never know… flipping through certainly is fun. I have teamed up with Denon, so I could start going through my collection one by one reminiscing about the good old days – and be reminded how weird my taste in music was (is!). I am not going to lie; I do like my pop/dance music.
What I really love about Denon’s CEOL with the Definitive Technology speakers is that it not only looks super sleek and cool, it plays both CDs, stream music from you streaming accounts, internet radio via TuneIn – and even good old FM and AM radio. In other words, pretty much everything. Another cool feature of the CEOL is the built-in wireless multiroom sound. That means that I can listen to the same Spice Girls (I told you it was/is kind of weird) track both on my CEOL stereo and on my wireless Denon HEOS 1 speaker that I have in my kitchen (or wherever). Or I could stream one track to my CEOL and a different one to my HEOS 3. All controlled by the cool Denon HEOS app on my phone. Super easy and convenient. I couldn’t do back in 1996 when I was 16.
It is always a though choice when it comes to sound and music I think, which aspect do you want to compromise. Sound? Appearance? Accessibility? For me, with the CEOL stereo I get something I’ve been missing – the CD player. And yes, I know, I can probably find most via streaming, but certainly not all, some of the artists is just not known enough. And quite frankly there is something very cool about actual putting on a CD and listening to the entire thing, from start to finish. I’ve grown so accustom to just skip if I don’t like the song. Appearance is of course always a matter of taste, but I really like the look of this one – and maybe even more so, the speakers.
If you are interested, you can get your own Denon CEOL stereo with speakers in your local HiFi Klubben.
I am really so excited to just play all my favorite tracks from the 90ies all summer – and just dance like nobody’s is watching.
Paid partnership with Denon. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations that I am excited about and that have kept Bungalow5’s doors open.
At the old house I had my own tiny office cabin, now I have my own office in the new house with a door I can close and windows facing the garden. I loved the tiny cabin in the garden, but I really love that now I can jump out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and get started right away, basically without getting dressed and I am not going to miss jumping through the garden on rainy days. Even though I only had the pleasure of the old office for just a year, I don’t just want to make the new one an exact replica. For one, I had to leave the wall-hanging cupboards anyway, so I only have the table and chair now anyway, but I also want to make it fit the new surroundings.
My dream is really to have a room that’s mind, where I can spend hours on end, a place I want to use.
Today’s big decision: Should I let my old table move across the hallway to Mr. LA’s office, update it, or keep it? Also, I need a new lamp and a rug. I am also really in two minds about shelving, do I go for the same as before? A new credenza? Or maybe some open more graphical shelving? But let’s stick with one item at the time, today I am going to focus on the most important one, the desk.
As a reminder, here’s how it was before we moved in:
Obviously, I am NOT keeping either the pink walls or the chandelier. I started with painting all walls white and sanded the floors, just to have clean canvas to work with.
I am having new, bigger windows installed in a few months, my idea is that I can sit facing the window overlooking the garden. I had the same setup at the old cabin office, and really enjoyed seeing birds etc. playing around. But what style of table? Do I keep what I have? Update it? Or change it all together?
Just to remind you guys, this was the setup at the cabin office I keep referring too:
There is nothing wrong with either table or chair, and I am tempted to keep the chair, because it is so comfy. It’s the table I am second guessing, I like the trestle idea, but I am really not so keen on the table top anymore, so that’s got to go in any case. I am thinking either a glass top or a glossy white top, I obviously want something cool and interesting? Something stylish and photogenic, but also something that actually works as a desk. But I am really inspired by the below:
// Photo by Ragnar Ómarsson //
I mean how handsome is that? My concern is, can I keep it clean enough to not be annoyed with my sticky finger marks all over. I think I can, but Mr. LA says no. Also, I tend to be bit of a disorganized when it comes to my desk situation, I do not suffer from any kind of OCD, which might actually be kind of bad when it comes to keeping a glass top tidy and clean enough.
My other idea for the update version is to do a glossy white top. So cool, but it might be a bit to 90s glam. But with the right styling I think it could work, and if you guys are all like, “GO FOR IT”, I might really consider. But it might also just look a bit to girly and Ellen Woods dormitory like and is that the office feel I want. Don’t think so. It’s super cool here because of that shininess the gloss surface comes with, and certainly lesser maintenance than a glass table.
I could also let Mr. LA just take it all and look for something new. Could I get something custom-made? I wouldn’t mind one big built-in wall-to-wall table with storage underneath. I would just have to figure out how it would work in front of a larger window as it would probably end up covering half of the window. It looks so cool here when the table aligns with the bottom of the window.
I could also go the find-a-table-already-made road. But am I wowed by that idea? Right now, not so much. But when I scroll through all my favorite brands, I do like them all. Just to give you an idea of what I am looking at, here my picks for a cool, modern, contemporary Scandi style desk:
What do you think? Any comments? Please weigh-in, so I can convince myself on which direction to go. I am sure you guys have some thoughts or experiences from your desk situation that I haven’t thought of. Can I have some HELP here please.
The more I see and read about the state of this planet, the more depressed I get. In this design world where the majority of my focus is with this blog, it is certainly not easy to figure out what’s right and wrong, what to look for if you want to make the conscious choice when buying furniture.
To make it a little bit easier for you to make better choices next time you shop for your home, I have created a guide to bring your home and the planet in a more sustainable direction.
Bamboo is an evergreen perennial flowering plants in the grass family, which grows fast, is super sturdy, and really beautiful. This natural material has a soothing aesthetic, which makes bamboo furniture great in the interior without compromising the environment. To obtain the most effective bamboo production all parts should be used, including the darker parts, which normally is discarded. That’s really a shame, as it gives a unique and natural play of colors when used properly, like Ikea’s Knixhult lamps (shown above).
Wool is a real sustainable material, because of its longevity, being durable and resistant to stains. Wool also doesn’t need to be washed often, if ever, so the environmental consumer impact is pretty low. When shopping for wool products, you need to make sure that the manufacturer knows where their wool comes from. Look for the Responsible Wool Standard, a global standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and of the land they graze on.
Like bamboo Rattan is one of nature’s most sustainable products to use in the interior, because of its really longevity. Rattan is a fast-growing natural fiber, which needs to be boiled and sundried before use. This process gives it endless potential, as it can be bend and formed in all directions. One of my favorite brands using rattan is Spanish Expormim, who creates so many stunning, almost artsy, pieces for the interior.
Cotton is of course very important raw material in the interior, its used in everything from couches and pillows to bedding and mattresses. Cotton production is pretty harmful for the nature, as it is often linked to pesticides, fertilizer, and a lot of water. Cotton is only sustainable when its reused and grown with consideration for the environment. Big fashion brands are leading the way and together with WWF they are signing up for the Better Cotton Initiative. Among interior brands that have already sign up is Ikea, H&M, and Marimekko. I would love to see MANY more. The BCI ensures that brands only used recycled cotton or cotton grown with less water, fertilizer, and pesticides – they even make sure that the farmers get a bigger cut. Keep an eye out for recycled cotton items next time you shop for your home – and needless to say, but I am going to anyway, make sure to recycle your old pillows, sheets, and beds.
Wood is a material with endless possibilities. It is durable, recyclable, and there is so many different types and qualities. All homes have some furniture in wood, my guess is the majority of what you own is wood. We are uniquely reliant on forests – without them, life as we know it would not exist. We’ve exploited our forests through the ages, but if we give them the chance, they will bounce back. Trees are our allies against climate change, because they help absorb and store carbon, always look for sustainable labels like FSC certifies or recycled. Interior brands who doesn’t use FSC certified or recycled wood already need to start NOW.
Plastic is probably the material we talk most about these days. It is basically inevitable to live an everyday life without getting in touch with plastic. Luckily, I guess, experts predict that our oil- and gas supplies will be exhausted in just 50 years, and hereby also the sources for plastic. Obviously, we need to start looking for other materials for the many plastic products we use every day. The easy one, is of course to start reusing all the plastic we have produced and leave on landfills around the globe. Many brands have started already, creating products in either recycled PET-bottles, ferm living some pretty cool rugs last year, or bioplastics, which is made from sugar beets, corn, and straw. However, not all bioplastic is good, as it won’t dissolve itself if left in nature. Oxo-degradable plastics might be sold as a good thing with some brands, reality is, it might be broken down in nature, but it won’t disappear, just made into very small pieces. Another Danish brand, who I’ve talked a lot about on this blog in the past is Mater, they reproduced one of Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel’s chairs from 1955 in recycled plastic made by fishing nets and plastic waste from the oceans.
Always think recycle and eco-friendly alternatives if you want a more sustainable home and lifestyle – at least do it for future generations and the health of our planet. Always make sure your old furniture is recycled or sold/given away to someone else, when you buy new pieces. It is so important that we don’t keep overuse the limited resources we have on this planet, especially if we want humanity to survive for the next many generations.
and, I am really looking forward to 3 days of Design where so many new brands and collabs are being launched, including The Table Project – a unique collaboration between Skagerak, All the way to Paris and the renowned Japanese porcelain brand 1616/AJ.
I am probably not alone in finding myself spending hours scrolling through Instagram liking endless pictures of perfect interiors that very often seem so unobtainable anyway. A while back I read a very interesting article on how many people are getting feed up with everything being presented so perfect all the time. While the focus of the article was mostly about the fashion influncers, I wonder if it will translate to interior as well. I at least find it more and more uninspiring to look at peoples perfect homes with clean white surfaces, white marble kitchens and very often no personality. I am not saying that I want to see people dirty laundry lying on the bed or yesterdays dishes still on the counter, I just want more of the people behind the camera. I want to know how they actually live, the thought process why they live as they live and some human-like content as well – if that even make any sense?
Anyway. Luckily there are people Nick Glimenakis. A New York based photographer, who shoots many of those unobtainable interiors for magazines, but also shares pictures from his own super cool 500-square-foot (47 sqm). His space is perfectly balanced with contemporary design and while it is of course styled for the photos, I still firmly believe that this is how he actually lives.
I really enjoy his style, a very neutral color palette, but still with enough warmth to make it real cozy, like that gorgeous burnt sienna couch. I also really love how he has managed to layout the smaller apartment, especially with that corner wall-hanging desk – and I have no other words for the chair that WOW. How he even managed to fit in the three-armed floor Serge Mouille lamp in the corner is beyond.
Nick’s home really reflects how I want to see interior pictures these days, perfectly livable. Pictures where you feel like it’s a proper home. If you don’t already follow Nick on Instagram, go… now! Make sure to also keep up with his stories, once a week he shares a bunch of his saved photos from other peoples feed, so inspirational.
It seems like forever ago I visited Stockholm with Mr. LA, but in fact it was only beginning of last month. Even though I’ve been to the Swedish capital many times, this time was different since it was Mr. LA’s first time and because we also had some pretty spectacular hotel visit planned. We didn’t have many plans other than visit Hans Hjelmqvist and Tove Regnander, the owners of the PR agency Grand Relations.
Not only did I basically drag Mr. LA across town… on foot (the weather was pretty good, so that my excuse), but because of the extra time spent walking, instead of grabbing a taxi, the whole Grand Relation office sat waiting for us on a late Friday afternoon. They had champagne, so not all that bad! I made quick work and shot every corner of the new showroom designed by Louise Liljencrantz.
Together with KFK snickeri they created the stunning centerpiece, the lounge table in massive walnut. All shelving units are by Kasthall, textiles by Astrid, the long room divider is also by KFK snedkeri, and all other pieces are by the many great brands Grand Relations represent.
I have seen a lot of PR showrooms in my time in this business, and this one certainly takes top price. I really think it is important that a showroom needs to reflect the company, and when you work and represent some very well-known brands, your showroom has to be on point.
I wont saying moving is the best, but I actually like the process. Packing, unpacking, sorting and figuring out where what goes, both Mr. LA and I were on the same page when it came to getting everything out of the boxes as soon as possible. And as we both hate too much stuff around, we might have just put some things in drawers and cupboards that we will have to come back to later. One week in, no more boxes to unpack, the garage has been emptied and we have a pretty good idea of what we need to fill up the house.
The one room we wont do anything with for a while is the kitchen. The layout is ok, not ideal, but usable. I don’t want to put all Americans in the same box, but my experience tells me that not many actually use their kitchen much. I am used to cooking pretty much all my meals at home and grown up that way. Eating out was a treat. Eating out is certainly become more and more frequent in Denmark too, but in LA at least, people eat out very often. I am trying to make sure we cook our own meals as often as possible. My point is, most kitchen are made to look nice, not laid out to be used that much. Our new kitchen has all the appliances we need, so as I said, we can get around and it’s usable. First priority is most certainly getting the bathrooms fixes, so for now, we will make use of the kitchen as is.
Well almost as is at least. Because, we gave it a little quick revamp. The kitchen is a pretty standard kitchen with yellow’ish wooden fronts, a white stone top and steal appliances. With everything else repainted, we decided the best thing to do, was simply to just get all fronts painted. Here’s a little reminder of how the kitchen did look.
I am so happy with the result. The dark blue and the black knobs makes it so much more sophisticated and modern – and the stone top really come alive. It really is amazing how paint can transform a tired 70ies like kitchen to a modern trendy kitchen. Painting a kitchen is not an easy task, not impossible to do yourself. Just make sure to take your time. The kitchen is painted by hand, so we can see still see the wooden structure.
With keeping the kitchen, it also allows us to live in it for a while, which is always a good idea. You get a better sense of what works, what you use and don’t use, how you move around. A new house doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll need everything like it was in your old kitchen. So if possible, I would always recommend living with the kitchen for a while, unless it’s totally unusable or very old of course.
Deciding on color was relatively easy. We knew that we wanted a blue kitchen, finding the right blue wasn’t all that easy. I have been living with white kitchens pretty much all my life, it is the go-to for most Danes. Mr. LA had a more greyish kitchen before. The color we went is called Infinity Blue, and we saw it in Superfront at our visit to Stockholm. We bought a sample and got it color matched in LA. It reads a little bit to the dusty side. It really makes the kitchen stand out and with the new black knobs West Slope we picked up from Rejuvenation (as you can see we still have a few to change!!) fits perfectly. Plus, it really complements the white stone top and the oak floors.
Now we just need to add the finishing touches. For now I added the vintage rack that Mr. LA already had and our beloved Nespresso coffeemaker. I am desperate to add a few new hanging lamps, the spots are making me insane. I love the quick revamp result – it really doesn’t look like the same kitchen AT ALL!
Lately, it’s been very important to me to make more sustainable choices, especially with a new house that had to be cleaned. I find buying the conscious choice when it comes to cleaning products fairly easy.
// Affiliate links all marked with *//
Obviously the best thing would be start making your own products, but I am not at that level yet. I am really not going to be all zero waste, clean with lemons and baking power or whatever it is.
I am taking the conscious choice to pick as eco-friendly as I can, buy refills or containers made in 100% recyclable plastics. And of course, buy more in bulk. I am not going to lie, it is more expensive, but in my opinion one of the biggest issues we face as humans right now, is taking way better care of our planet. I am sure you’ve all heard we are basically steering straight towards the abyss, with 1000s (if not millions) of species dying, literally, right in front of us and massive icebergs melting a lot quicker than anticipated. And if the new generation* is starting to take this very serious, I think it’s about time we do too.
*If you haven’t already, check out Greta Thunberg. A 16-year old Swedish environmental activist, who started fighting for climate justice and got 1000s of school kids world wide to protest too. Watch her TEDex or a few of her speeches at UN climate conferences etc. She is a hero.
I am not going to point fingers at people who isn’t making the same choices as me, this is meant as a guide, so you might pick up some of the better products, or start looking for them, out there.
You should also take a look at my friend Hannah Trickett’s post on the same topic. She touches on the cleanifluencers out there with extremely good points on why you should really worry and not just believe and do whatever some of these so called influencers tells you to.
It has been, even more time spent in the US, to find eco-cleaning products, because it hasn’t been super easy to be honest. In most supermarkets you have a choice of 100s of cleaning products full of artificial scents and extreme ingredients. For years, at least in Denmark, products without scents have been widely accessible, but finding laundry detergent has been quite the quest. But I found it. Finally.
Humdakin: a Danish company, started in 2016 by Camilla, mom to three kids btw, is one of my faves. All products are allergy friendly and made from natural ingredients you’ll find in the Nordic nature. All products are also vegan and cruelty-free.
Available pretty much worldwide. And best of all, they have a pretty nice sale right now, up to 75% off.
Public Goods: Is a membership based online store making healthy clean eco-friendly products very affordable. After the initial yearly fee of $59, first 30 days are a free trial period; you have access to very low cost products all sustainably sourced and non-toxic.
Only available in the US. Via this link*, you get $20 off your first order.
Seventh Generation: Not only is it one of the only brands I’ve come across that makes their packaging from recycled plastics, and some even come in 100% recycled XX, but its no dyes, optical brighteners or fragrances (they have some with natural fragrances too).
Available worldwide, including Denmark. I’ve seen it in Bilka.
Again, I haven’t jumped the zero waste cleaning bandwagon, but I try to buy unnecessary products, buy in bulk if it makes sense and buy refills if possible, saving on packaging waste and save money. I am sure you are able to find cheaper options or products you prefer using. But please make sure to look out for certifications that guarantee the product you’re buying is sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and cruelty-free.
Happy conscious cleaning. And do share your best eco-friendly conscious cleaning advise in the comments.
H&M has announced that they will be a lot more transparent with their products, which means you’ll be able to see where it’s produced, who made it, and much more. Speaking of… living for this round wooden coffee table.
In Milan, &tradition exhibited new pieces by Jamie Hayon including the new Elefy chair. Apparently inspired by an elephant, this emblematic chair mirrors its muse’s large physical form.
Last weekend, I went downtown to Los Angeles Downtown Modernism, a flea market with more than 80 vintage dealers. My expectations were, needless to say, pretty high. With moving into the new house (make sure to follow my new blog Thursday series) I have many things on the list of things we need.
We got there real early, making sure to be some of the first pickers at all good vintage we expected to see. We took a quick run through the dealers, shouting for stuff we really liked and then started our quest to get what we had eyed. I quickly found out, nothing is cheap here. While it might be cheaper than you find in stores, very often, things were so high priced that it seemed almost ridiculous to start bargain. Tbh my mood got a little booted, as I was kind of expecting something else. It’s probably because this particular flea market is so curated that prices are a bit high.
Right as we walked in, I saw an original Greta Grossman desk in perfect condition and next to it, was a vintage Bruno Mathsson Pernilla easy chair. Both over my budget. The desk was going for $2500 and the chair $2300. The desk price seems fine, but the chair was very worn out, not in that cool vintage way though. So we passed on both.
It was definitely possible to find smaller pieces of ceramic that wasn’t too high priced, but even vintage posters from some random gallery were crazy priced in my opinion. Some dealers even pointed out they were signed, and I was like: “by who? The art director?”. But of course we did find something that we just could leave, even if the prices were a bit too high maybe. So today, I wanted to take you through what we picked up – and be prepared, we only got a bunch of cool art pieces and no furniture.
Our first pick was this framed print signed Weichmann, no. 175/240. We circled it a few times and just could not LET IT GO. Something about the greens and shapes, which is just so compelling, and as we have basically no art for the new house, we just had to have it. It was priced at $500, which seemed a bit pricey, but as none of us knew of the artist, we just went on our fascination. At our second visit to the vendor we got her to $450, and as we got cash out of the ATM, we came up with a story that the machine would only give us $400. We ended up getting it for $410. I am still not sure if we did a good buy or not, but we were stopped three times after buying it by other visitors who had also admired it.
Next up it these FOUR prints that I think used to be one big print. At least the do connect and tell some story I guess. It was by far Mr. LA’s favorite buy of the day. I really like the one with the cross-armed dude, but there is just something about the other faces that seems a bit fresco to me. With the right set of frames, I do think it will look amazing. We might split them up and put two in the new house and two in the Big Bear cabin. They weren’t cheap either ($500), but the vendor took credit card so we just went for it. And since Mr. LA liked them so much, I really couldn’t veto them. I thought, I’ll use it against him if I find something I like that he doesn’t (that didn’t happen… this time!).
At the same vendor, we found a big suitcase full of smaller prints, kind of throw in for people to just flip through. My eye caught the stripy one with the four silhouettes, where one of them is actually a cut out which is then glue on. I really like it. The other one, maybe it was just the spur of the moment, that we had to have a naked lady in the house. They were $40, which I just thought was a score. They might just be some art projects from a evening art class, but who cares.
Last but not least, we came across this wooden Jesus monkey head. Probably my FAVORITE buy. It really is INSANE. Maybe because it’s so unusual, so special and so not something I would normally go for, I just had to have it. I really am obsessed. It’s really not Jesus, but that’s what we call it right now. It might seem a little of brand for me, but I really like it for some reason, Mr. LA wasn’t too convinced, but he might have been easier to persuade after my objection against the four posters. It was $200, which might seem pretty high, but it’s such a unique piece and I think it will bring some coolness to our Scandi interior vibes.
There you go, our loot – mostly splurges, but really all things that WE LIKE and will find room for in our new home. It wasn’t exactly was I had hope for heading downtown, I really would have liked to find some cool vintage wishbone chair like chair or a super cool table lamp for my new office, but this haul makes up for it I think.
What do you think? Would you have splurged on some of these art pieces too? I think these pieces will be a great mix with all our more modern Scandi furniture. Come back for a first look of the new house later this week.