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Down-Home in Denmark: Designer Rose Hermansen’s Copenhagen Family Apartment

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Down-Home in Denmark: Designer Rose Hermansen’s Copenhagen Family Apartment

July 8, 2024

If Rose Hermansen looks familiar, that might be because she’s been a model for 17 years now. “Crazy!” says the 30 year old. In Copenhagen, where she lives, Rose is even better known these days as as a designer specializing in interiors and furniture. She’s one half of Atelier Axo, the firm she and architect Caroline Sillesen, a childhood friend, established in 2019.

We recently featured Restaurant Bobe, the composed Copenhagen hotspot designed by the duo. Today, we’re dropping in on Rose at home in the 958-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment she shares with her partner, Loke Rahbek, a musician and graphic designer, and their toddler, Jakob. Eager to trade up from their rental, Rose found their place via some blurry photos: “we were both self-employed and I had a new company, so we looked online at cheap co-op apartments. This one had a tiny kitchen, no bath, and dark floors, but I could see it had good spatial qualities and wonderful light. We planned a meeting and quickly bought it.”

That was before Jakob was born, and Rose and Loke embarked on, in her words, “a huge renovation on a very tight budget: we tore down a wall, lifted up old floor tiles, removed wallpaper, planed the floors, and built a shower.” They did the work themselves with help from family and friends, whitewashed the walls, and staged picnics on their shored up living room floor. Here are the results.

Photographs by and courtesy of Rasmus Weng Karlsen (@rasmuswengkarlesn) for Sixtysix, unless noted.

a vintage hans wegner inherited from rose&#8\2\17;s uncle stands near the e 17
Above: A vintage Hans Wegner inherited from Rose’s uncle stands near the entry. The ceiling moldings and wood floors are original with help: as was, the floors had a dark orange varnish that Rose and Loke sanded off and bleached with lye. The flooring is maintained with a twice-a-month natural lye soap.
rose grew up in skovshoved, a harbor town outside of copenhagen, immersed in ha 18
Above: Rose grew up in Skovshoved, a harbor town outside of Copenhagen, immersed in hands-on design: her mother is an architect and  her father is a teacher and weekend carpenter—”they build everything themselves.” Rose has been playing the cello since she was little and even brought her instrument with her to Berlin, where she lived between college and graduate school—and met Loke.
the couple loosely organize their books by color. the posters are a souvenir fr 19
Above: The couple loosely organize their books by color. The posters are a souvenir from a flea market in Mallorca—”an old Mallorcan man sold them to us along with some very beautiful ceramic pieces.”
loke mans the family hangout purchased on the danish resale site dba. &#8\2 20
Above: Loke mans the family hangout purchased on the Danish resale site DBA. “Our daybed is a Swedish design, but that’s the only info I got,” says Rose. “The mattress is in yellow checkered wool—pretty sweet actually, but we put a linen sheet over it and sewed some big pillows for comfort.” Photograph by Rose Hermansen.
atelier axo&#8\2\17;s jakob chair, named for rose&#8\2\17;s son, was de 21
Above: Atelier Axo’s Jakob Chair, named for Rose’s son, was designed in collaboration with Copenhagen artist Lulu Kaalund who works with crochet. An edition of three were made, each in a different finish.
the living room opens to a newly combined dining room and kitchen. rose and lok 22
Above: The living room opens to a newly combined dining room and kitchen. Rose and Loke built the wraparound bookshelves with help from her parents.
the eat in kitchen has a gallery wall of work by artist friends of rose and lok 23
Above: The eat-in kitchen has a gallery wall of work by artist friends of Rose and Loke’s. Here, the floor is painted: “it was very damaged and many floor types, so painting was the best solution.” The square stool is an Atelier Axo Lazy Objects design available to order.
the couple built their dining table out of birch with store bought metal legs.  24
Above: The couple built their dining table out of birch with store-bought metal legs. It’s surrounded by vintage Italian chairs: “I found them for a project we did for gallery and bought some myself,” says Rose.
the kitchen components are a homemade mix: cabinets and drawers with stainless  25
Above: The kitchen components are a homemade mix: cabinets and drawers with stainless steel fronts from Ikea and Douglas Fir counters that they stained and oiled themselves. Photograph by Rose Hermansen.
a down home display. note the cookbook by bo bech—he&#8\2\17;s the c 26
Above: A down-home display. Note the cookbook by Bo Bech—he’s the chef/owner of Restaurant Bobe.
alongside the stainless steel sink is jakob&#8\2\17;s toy stove, a flea mar 27
Above: Alongside the stainless steel sink is Jakob’s toy stove, a flea market purchase.
the pale wood floor and period moldings continue in the bedroom. rose&#8\2\ 28
Above: The pale wood floor and period moldings continue in the bedroom. Rose’s mother made the patchwork quilt. The painting is another flea market find, artist unknown, and the overhead light is Ingo Maurer’s 1980 Floatation.
a haptic lab sailing ship kite hangs in the window. the oak and washi paper uno 29
Above: A Haptic Lab Sailing Ship Kite hangs in the window. The oak and washi paper Uno Lamp at Rose’s feet is an Atelier Axo design handmade in the firm’s own wood shop and available on request.
before jakob was born, rose added the built in drawers and the extended windows 30
Above: Before Jakob was born, Rose added the built-in drawers and the extended windowsill: “It’s an Ikea hack/self design—I had the tabletop laser cut and added the ends. It’s in a pure light green from Auro, a natural paint company (you’re allow to use their paint while pregnant).”
rose sits in a chair by furniture designer søren betak, a fellow graduate  31
Above: Rose sits in a chair by furniture designer Søren Betak, a fellow graduate of the Royal Danish Academy. The Matisse poster was passed down by her grandparents.

Follow Atelier Axo @atelieraxo.

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Frequently asked questions

Who is Rose Hermansen?

Rose Hermansen is a 30-year-old model turned designer specializing in interiors and furniture, currently living in Copenhagen.

What is the name of the design firm founded by Rose Hermansen?

Rose Hermansen co-founded Atelier Axo with architect Caroline Sillesen in 2019.

With whom does Rose Hermansen share her Copenhagen apartment?

Rose Hermansen shares her 958-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment with her partner, Loke Rahbek, a musician and graphic designer, and their toddler, Jakob.

How did Rose Hermansen and Loke Rahbek renovate their apartment?

Rose and Loke did a huge renovation on a very tight budget, involving tasks like tearing down a wall, lifting up old floor tiles, removing wallpaper, planing the floors, and building a shower.

What is the name of the chair designed by Atelier Axo in collaboration with Copenhagen artist Lulu Kaalund?

The chair is named the Jakob Chair, after Rose's son, and was produced in an edition of three, each in a different finish.

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