De­signer Heidi Hof­mann’s light-filled Dan­ish apart­ment is packed with per­sonal touches which show­case the de­signer’s dis­tinc­tive style.


– a fash­ion de­signer’s beau­ti­ful light-filled Dan­ish apart­ment

Upa bat­tered stair­well in the trendy Vester­bro dis­trict of Copenhagen, be­hind a heavy door, is an apart­ment filled with in­ter­na­tional trea­sures. The liv­ing room rug is from Mar­rakesh, the lamps are by French de­signer Jean Prouvé, the din­ing ta­ble is by Fin­nish Amer­i­can de­signer Eero Saari­nen, and the many works of art have been pur­chased from auc­tions, gal­leries, and stu­dios around the world.

Be­hind this mix of in­ter­na­tional de­sign clas­sics and ar­ti­sanal finds are fash­ion de­signer Heidi Hof­mann, founder of cloth­ing brand Hof­mann Copenhagen, and her hus­band Claus Roben­hagen, an art dealer for Lon­don-based Lis­son Gallery. The apart­ment feels cos­mopoli­tan and is clearly in­flu­enced by the cou­ple’s many trav­els to­gether, filled with de­tails which con­vey their per­sonal sto­ries.

“Our home tells a story about our jour­neys to­gether and the years we have spent in Lon­don, but it prob­a­bly also re­veals that we both work with aes­thet­ics for a liv­ing and en­joy good crafts­man­ship, be­cause it takes tal­ent and many years of ex­pe­ri­ence to cre­ate some­thing vis­ually pleas­ing,” Hof­mann says.

The five-room apart­ment has just one bed­room, which opens onto the din­ing and liv­ing rooms, the con­tin­u­ous flow of­fer­ing plenty of shared liv­ing space. A small bal­cony over­look­ing Vester­bro’s rooftops func­tions as an ex­tra room – the sunny spot a favourite for the cou­ple’s morn­ing cof­fee rit­ual.

The cou­ple’s in­ter­est in con­tem­po­rary art is clear from the many works by both Dan­ish and in­ter­na­tional artists. Ev­ery way you turn, the eye is met by dif­fer­ent works – from up­com­ing names to stars of the art world. It is not only draw­ings, prints

Above left and right: Hof­mann’s dress­ing ta­ble, a 1920s piece pur­chased at auc­tion, is home to the de­signer’s col­lec­tion of an­tique hats and her favourite ac­ces­sories. Be­low right: the apart­ment’s kitchen fit­tings were de­signed by the cou­ple and are off­set by pen­dant lights from Fin­nish de­signer Al­var Aalto. Be­low left: a dec­o­ra­tive plat­ter from Ter­ence Con­ran is filled with dried Mex­i­can corn cobs.

and pho­tos which catch your at­ten­tion, though. State­ment pieces, such as a dou­ble door by the Dan­ish duo Bank & Rau, which sep­a­rates the din­ing room from the bed­room, in­te­grate func­tional art into the apart­ment’s in­te­rior. Limited edi­tion works are also pre­sent, such as an el­e­gant sculp­ture of a bird with an egg bal­anced on its head, one of just 1,000 pieces cre­ated by Urs Fis­cher for the open­ing of the Jumex Mu­seum in Mex­ico City in 2013.

“Art plays a big part in our lives, not only be­cause Claus works in the art world, but also be­cause our so­cial cir­cle has al­ways con­sisted of artists and gallery own­ers,” Hof­mann ex­plains. “This is why I usu­ally find my in­spi­ra­tion for new cloth­ing lines in art rather than fash­ion. Trends, colours or spe­cific pieces of art in­spire me in my work with prints and cuts.” Her cre­ative process is in­spired by the likes of Richard Tut­tle and Sol Le­witt, she adds, and other 1960s artists from the United States and South Amer­ica.

The apart­ment is also in­flu­enced by Roben­hagen’s min­i­mal­ist aes­thetic and Hof­mann’s love of rare vin­tage finds and his­tor­i­cal ob­jects, such as the seashell-in­spired porce­lain set de­signed by gold­smith and sculp­tor Arje Griegst, and a set of tiny boxes from the 1920s.

“Claus prefers sim­plic­ity and min­i­mal­ist so­lu­tions while I am the col­lec­tor in our re­la­tion­ship. I have a hard time re­sist­ing a good flea mar­ket find, no mat­ter where I am in the world and how dif­fi­cult it will be to bring home. I feel the most com­fort­able in an artis­tic mess where things have not nec­es­sar­ily found their right place yet,” she says.

The cou­ple share a pas­sion for qual­ity, and they both have – flea mar­ket find or not – high stan­dards when it comes to the items they pur­chase. Even if that means it takes years to find the per­fect chair, or cur­tains that will cre­ate just the right light in the bed­room.

“You would never find a re­pro­duc­tion or – even worse – a replica of a piece of de­signer fur­ni­ture in our home. We are will­ing to make the ef­fort to source the orig­i­nal de­sign, or the ex­act piece which fits with the rest of the decor in the apart­ment. We don’t mind wait­ing un­til we can af­ford it or un­til we come across the right item. We would rather wait than com­pro­mise and set­tle for some­thing av­er­age,” Hof­mann says.

The bath­room is an ex­am­ple of the ef­fort the cou­ple is will­ing to make in or­der to achieve their de­sired look. From floor to ceil­ing, the sur­faces are cov­ered in mo­saic tiles. These are com­ple­mented with an im­ported basin by Span­ish de­signer Jaime Hayon and a mirror from a Parisian flea mar­ket.

The pair have also ded­i­cated a lot of time to per­fect­ing their kitchen. They de­signed the fit­tings them­selves and had them built by a com­pany called Won­der­wood. Pen­dant lights by Fin­nish de­signer Al­var Aalto were a house­warm­ing pre­sent from Roben­hagen’s mother.

But not all de­sign choices in the apart­ment have been made en­tirely in ac­cor­dance with the cou­ple’s taste. The liv­ing room sofa, filled with invit­ing cush­ions sourced on the cou­ple’s trav­els, was not ex­actly cho­sen.

“Our sofa is not the most fash­ion­able of its kind, and if we were to buy a new one we would most likely not choose that style again, but it has sen­ti­men­tal value as it used to be­long to my grand­par­ents. It has faith­fully fol­lowed us through­out sev­eral apart­ments and has been re­uphol­stered a num­ber of times. It car­ries a story. That is why it is so valu­able to us.”

It is per­sonal touches such as this that have trans­formed the cou­ple’s apart­ment into a home.

Op­po­site: de­signer Heidi Hof­mann in her liv­ing room. This page: the Eero Saari­nen mar­ble-topped din­ing ta­ble is paired with leather chairs by French ar­chi­tect Char­lotte Per­riand.

Be­low: Hof­mann’s sofa, which be­longed to her grand­par­ents, has been re­uphol­stered with velour from De­sign­ers Guild and is dec­o­rated with cush­ions found in Capri and Is­tan­bul.

Above: a dou­ble door by de­signer duo Bank & Rau sep­a­rates the bed­room from the din­ing room. Left: an art­work by Christoph Ruck­häberle and can­dle holder by Ilse Craw­ford for Ge­org Jensen sit atop the din­ing room cabi­net.

Be­low: a glass ta­ble by Ital­ian de­signer Vico Mag­istretti func­tions as the cou­ple’s desk, while a Hans Wegner chair – a Dan­ish de­sign clas­sic – is soft­ened with a cush­ion made from Mis­soni linen.

Be­low: the pic­tures above the bed – an Ilse Craw­ford de­sign – are by Ger­man artist Christoph Ruck­häberle. One was a wed­ding gift from the artist him­self.

Above: the cou­ple’s mir­rored bed­side ta­ble was brought home from Paris as hand lug­gage. The pink conch shell hides a bed­side lamp. Left: a chair by Hans Wegner sits in front of a Jonathan Monk art­work, which takes up most of one of the liv­ing room walls.

Top left: floor to ceil­ing tiles com­ple­ment the small bath­room; the mirror is a Parisian flea mar­ket find. Top right: cush­ions from the cou­ple’s trav­els sit on a chair from a Lon­don an­tique mar­ket. Above: this neon sign was a gift from Dan­ish artist Jeppe Hein.

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