Copenhagen Must-Have Danish Design
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Copenhagen Must-Have Danish Design

Interested in discovering more about the leading design movement? Here’s the museum for inspiration and the shopping addresses the help in furnishing a home, all in Copenhagen. But, no worries, if a chair is a bit large to add to your cabin baggage, a smaller souvenir could be a timeless Georg Jensen watch – a practical keepsake for life.

Denmark established itself as somewhat of a mother ship for cutting edge design, in the middle of the last century. Giants such as Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjærholm, Finn Juhl and Poul henningsen excelled in brilliant, ground-breaking designs within the fields of architecture, furniture, lighting and homeware through the fifties and sixties.They set the standard to such an extent that the moniker ‘Danish Design’ became a bit of a cross to carry for the architects and designers that followed.To this day, the clouds of these mid-century masters hang heavy over the Danish design scene.


There are multitudes of ways to familiarize oneself with Danish design when visiting Copenhagen.The obvious place to begin is at “Kunstindustrimuseet” (The Danish Museum of Arts & Design). This impressive collection, housed downtown in a beautiful, former hospital, showcases the advent and evolution within Danish design, along with international inspiration, all in great detail. The museum also has a very nice and well-stocked shop.


As for“Must Have” Danish design, within the category of furniture, the one, iconic piece that is a‘Must Own’, is the‘PK22′ Chair, in black leather, designed by Poul Kjærholm in 1956. Sleek, simple and stunningly beautiful, it is a masterpiece, a sculpture rather than simply a chair. This brilliantly designed chair will function as the“piece de resistance” in any interior and home. Although impossible to sit in with any comfort for any length of time, it is certainly among the most beautiful in the canon of Danish designer furniture.


In the category of functional use, two great watches come to mind: The“Vivianna Silver Bangle Watch (34mm, Quarts, Mirror Dial), designed by Torun Hubbe Bulow for Georg Jensen Silver in the seventies. And for men, another Georg Jensen watch, “The Koppel Grande Date AnnualCalendar” (41mm, Auto Mechanical), designed by Henning Koppel, also in the seventies, is a brilliant, minimalist representative of the timeless style, clean lines and elegance that defines Danish design. Both watches can be found in the impressive collections of Bucherer, the fine watch shop at the ground level atIllum on Strøget.

Koppel Grande Date Annual Calendar

For funky, laid back design, check out Inspiration on the 4th floor of Illum – with top home furnishings, kitchen utensils, tableware and funny useless ornaments you can’t live without. The famous, collapsable“Rubber Washing up bowl” from Normann is a must have item, that is not only a fun souvenir, but also reflects the playfulness of contemporary Danish design perfectly: it’s practical, fun and easy on the eyes – that’s all you need!

Normann Copenhagen

Looking for the all-out retail experience, especially for that iconic piece to take home? We recommend the design shopKlassik for collectible and contemporary items of mid-century, classic furniture.For seekers of contemporary Danish Design, the all-encompassing storeIllums Bolighus is a definite must-see experience. The four-story shop is filled with all the best of Danish and Scandinavian design.For thequirky, modern, young design, the medieval part of the old city is ripe with small designer shops, selling furniture, homeware, clothes and gadgets.

The Scandinavian bazaar When strolling along Europe’s longest pedestrian street, Strøget, step inside ILLUM – the first and unmatchable department store since 1891. The staircase is a piece of art and the range of Scandinavian designers is huge.
A Strøget rooftop Make your way to the ILLUM rooftop and enjoy the view. Many dining options await you; from a lavish breakfast in the morning onto a glass of wine, steak or lobster, Italian pizza, pasta at Eataly, aperitif options and more.