I’m a devotee of Scandinavian design – that is no secret – but through my extensive travels and 14 years of living in Australia, I have been drawn to more eclectic styles. Make no mistake, I will always respect the graphic elements and black-and-white styling that characterise Scandinavian design, but when it’s combined with tribal soft furnishings, for instance, well, to me that is just perfect, minimal or not.
I love styling that incorporates ‘found’ items – eclectic pieces picked up on travels overseas, items inherited from family and friends. Anything that evokes special memories or brings a personal touch is, to me, what transforms a display house into a home.
So you can imagine my excitement at discovering that Danish-born designer and artist Malene Birger is not only launching a new studio project (Birger1962 in Copenhagen), but also a new book! What a treat to see inside her three homes and discover her design secrets.Malene Birger manages to get the balance of old and new just right – just look at how she’s used Arne Jacobsen’s classic black swan chairs alongside tribal pieces and contemporary furniture.
I love the classic composition of furniture in the left setting; the tribal components juxtaposed with the sleek industrial and deluxe. The earthy palette of warm reds and ochres soften the strong lines of the furniture and makes the space feel inviting and liveable. In the right setting, the classic black-and-white striped carpet beloved by Scandinavians is perfectly offset with an incredibly detailed and ornate antique dresser. It shouldn’t work, but it does!
What I love about Malene Birger is the way she handpicks beautiful pieces with so much character. For example, these intricate and mismatched lamps add so much beauty to this space. This bedroom epitomises Malene Birger’s eclectic Scandinavian style: strong black-and-white graphics, tribal art, and a classic portrait. What a perfect setting to kick back and enjoy her book. I wish it were mine!