Unpolished kind of home
It is not a surprise that scandinavians, and danes especially, have a particularly great taste for design and a skill to create aesthetically looking spaces. As home is a very important place in their lives, they invest a lot of time, patience and creativity in making it look and feel cozy, nice and welcoming; a place where they want to come after day’s works and roll in a fluffy blanket during long rainy grey evenings, that seem to last forever in Denmark.
A couple of years ago I discovered a stunning furniture store in Copenhagen called “Nova Furniture”. Since then I visit it every time I get home sick and need a space that reminds me of true home. An atmosphere and expositions are so convincing that you feel like you have just entered someone’s home and feel pity that you did not bring a cake to share with ‘inhabitants’ of the place. A few steps from the entrance you meet an open kitchenette with Nespresso coffee in the centre offering you a cup of coffee while you browse in the store or have a chat with an owner. Open workshop area, where the pieces of furniture are being finished, is incorporated in the whole store space and add a very personal feeling to the furniture you see here – as if it was custom made specially for you.
I decided to talk to Jonathan, who creates interiors and furniture, and Naha, the owner, about their creative road that leads to this impressively looking store.
How and when was the shop opened?
Originally, Naha, a present owner, was employed at the former furniture store. Since 2003 he took it over and slowly transformed into the way it looks today. However, we must admit, it is a project of constant development. New initiatives are being introduced and slowly we are opening new shops in other parts of the city. But each has a different angle and unique spirit that we allow to be formed as it goes.
Art on the walls is a quite big part of your shop. How do you find the artists for works to be exhibited? What criteria their works have to meet?
It is very random. Like some that we have now are from a neighbour of a friend. He showed us his art, we liked it, so why not we decided. Some artists exhibit their works here for years. So they are regular suppliers of art pieces and their artistic expression is constantly present there.
I got an impression that in NOVA store you do not follow standards and it is sort of ‘unpolished’ in the way it looks. A kind of disorder can be seen; it is not completely united in terms of colours and materials used, and that adds a lot of charm and catches an eye. Perhaps you create very consciously this impression of disorder?
We love a contrast between the raw and rustic furniture and fine round shapes from the 60s inspired furniture, that’s what we see as Nova’s spirit. Nova Furniture loves contrasts. The contrast of old and new, raw and fine, light and dark. That is why we are beginning to buy up old classic design furniture, restore them, finish them just here in the shop and sell side by side with the other products in our stores. We use a lot of recycled wood for our furniture, making each piece of furniture unique. The recycled wood we use is often from old houses or boats, which sometimes provide us also some raw and rustic furniture. For us it is just very natural and organic to bring that edgy, rustic, feeling of ‘old’ to store atmosphere, experiment and play with materials. Be brave and choose standing out colours and original natural surfaces that sometimes are not perfectly polished.
Do you believe this kind of aesthetics inspires or maybe sorts out guests of the shop? Do they choose more traditionally looking furniture or actually dare to try something non-ordinary in terms of shapes, fabrics, and colours?
On one hand, we seek to provoke them with slightly disordered settings, evoke a different approach to space, home and furniture; make them improvize and motivate to introduce some playful elements in their daily surroundings. We help them to imagine how their homes may look like. Often they just come, see a combination of furniture, carpet, interior details assembled by us and want all ‘set‘ straight to their homes. We are happy to contribute to a vision of their home. However, we also notice cases when people admire an orange sofa, but eventually choose grey fabric for the one they buy. And that is fine, too. As long as we still manage to inspire and provoke them in one or the other way.
Was there a purpose to make a kitchen open? It feels truly like home and is very inviting.
We have nothing to hide. Simply as that. As you see, there is a part of our office next to the kitchen that is open as well, together with a little mess which is normal in men’s work place. And why not. It is true. It is authentic. As our approach to furniture and true raw materials that we use creating them.