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Copenhagen Cool: Yvonne Koné at Work and Home


Copenhagen Cool: Yvonne Koné at Work and Home

January 1, 2015

Pale pink is our new favorite wall color: Take a look at Danish accessories designer Yvonne Koné’s just-opened Copenhagen boutique, where the shade assumes a sophisticated–and decidedly ungirly–guise that serves as the perfect backdrop for Koné’s dark leather shoes and bags. 

A fashion graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Koné launched her business in 2011, and has since become known for her pared-down, architectural approach to Italian-made leather goods, including a signature “bum bag” that has us reconsidering the fanny pack. She applies the same tantalizingly simple, well-orchestrated look to the Copenhagen apartment that she shares with her husband, an illustrator, and their three kids (the Legos, scooters, and skateboards were swept out of sight on the day of the shoot, she admits). Of her work, she says, “I’m very good at leaving out that last unnecessary detail.” 

Boutique photography by Line Klein via Yvonne Koné. Apartment photography by Line Klein for Elle Decoration Denmark via Est Magazine; styling by Stine Langvad.

The Boutique

Above: Located in what had been an antiques shop in a landmarked building, the boutique was designed by Oliver Gustav, whose own interior design shop and studio is just a few doors away. He’s the one who suggested the color: “Oliver and I are both big fans of gray,” says Koné, “but this time I wanted something softer. Oliver presented me with an environmentally friendly, water-based, chalk paint made from natural pigments. He showed me this exact dusty, powdery pink, and I fell in love. It’s called Skin Powder.”

Above: Koné’s satchels, wallets, and bum bags hang from hooks on an iron bar. The rusty lamp came from a Paris flea market.

Above: The shelves are painted with the same dusty pink as the walls, and both are finished with two layers of environmentally friendly sealer–the paint is custom blended and is available, like many of the shop accessories, via Studio Oliver Gustav. The floor lamp, detailed with brushed brass and matte mirror glass, is from an edition of 18 made by Danish designer Kevin Josias.

Above: For trying on Koné’s plum pumps: an Oak Stool by German carpenter and film director Fritz Baumann

Above: Display blocks made of terracotta stand in front of one of the original arched windows.

Above: Evidently we like a lot of the same things that Koné does–such as fiddle leaf fig trees and Industrial Chandeliers by Brooklyn firm Workstead (a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory).

The floors are pine and were installed by the previous tenant. “They didn’t wash or treat the floors for many years,” Koné says. “When I moved in, I decided to emphasize the patina, but I wanted a less yellow tone, and I like the smell of newly washed pine. So we scrubbed with soap and water, and then treated the floor with two coats of gray stain and alcohol, followed by another soap wash. Now, they’re easy to maintain, and we clean them every evening with soap flakes.” Intrigued? There are a lot of ways to create a pale wood effect. See Izabella’s solution in our Remodeling 101 post: Easy Whitewashed Scandi Floors and go to page 221 of the Remodelista book for a soap-washed approach similar to Koné’s. Note the inset doormat, another Remodelista favorite.

Above: The boutique is located at 3 Store Strandstraede, next to Nyhavn, Copenhagen’s 17th-century waterfront.

The Apartment

Above: Several years ago, Koné and her family lucked into their apartment in the middle of Vesterbro, in a 1910 art-nouveau-style building designed by architect Anton Rosen. Like the shop, it has tall ceilings and period details that are paired with clean-lined furnishings, such as the Mags Module Sofa, shown here, by Danish company Hay. The low tables are from eBay–”I think they were used in factories to stack,” Koné says. “I bought them for a very low cost.” For a long time, Koné kept the windows uncovered; they now have “very discrete white blinds.”

Above: “We had the bookcases built and treated the pine floor with white oil; that’s it,” Koné says. She singles out the shelving as one of her favorite things in the apartment: “It was custom-made by Danish firm Kobenhavns Mobelsnedkeri. The design is so simple and timeless, and brings some personality.” The next room is Koné’s home office.

Above L: Dried poppy pods and a photo mural. Above R: An outsized industrial light found by a collector friend hangs from the living room’s original plasterwork.

Above: Brass vases that were props from a theater are paired with an African hairdresser sign, a perfect addition to the apartment’s black-and-white palette.

 Above L: There’s even a balcony. Above R: The scrap-wood table was once used in a photo studio.

Above: A hallway leads to the kitchen and a shared kids’ room. The runner is Tine K Home’s Jute Kit. The hanging light–”very cheap and old”–was purchased on eBay Germany.

Above: In the kitchen a white Ikea cabinet supplies essential storage and replaces existing white wood cabinets that were new but made to look old: “I don’t like fake vintage,” Koné says. The table by Kobenhavns Mobelsnedkeri is smoked oak and was designed to fit the room. The odd lot of chairs are all inexpensive vintage finds.

Above L: A kitchen tableau on a lacquered wood counter: “I didn’t like the reddish color, so I stained it black and after that lacquered it many, many times to make it durable and easy to keep.” Above R: A vintage cupboard holds some of the kids’ artwork.

Above: The master bedroom’s platform bed frame came long ago from a futon shop. An old wall cupboard, newly painted black and white, is mounted over an old set of wooden file drawers from a doctor’s office.

Above L and R: The black-and-white theme extends to the bathroom. For more, go to Yvonne Koné.

Have a look at Black & White Interiors in our archive. Ready to go pink? See 5 Favorites: The Power of Pink by color expert Eve Ashcraft, and Expert Advice: The 10 Best Pink Paints. And for more of our favorite Scandi Designs, peruse our Photo Gallery. On Gardenista, take a look at the Most Beautiful Flower Shop in Denmark.

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