Danish Light: 8 Ideas to Steal from a New Restaurant in Copenhagen by a Studio on the Rise


Midway through a particularly bleak New York City winter, I’ve been fantasizing about a potential escape—most recently, to Copenhagen. A few weeks ago I was planning an imaginary/hopeful trip, looking at airfares, and poking around the Internet for new hotels and wine bars to try when I stumbled upon Hverdagen—a new restaurant in the city’s industrial-cool Kødbyen neighborhood with warm, clean-lined interiors, paper lanterns, and terra cotta-colored details—and added it to my wish-list itinerary.

A little more digging revealed that the restaurant interiors are by Danish studio Vermland, founded by cabinet maker Joakim Tolf Vulpius and young architect Anton Bak—the very same Anton Bak behind a scrappy two-week, $1000 renovation in Brooklyn we featured a couple of years ago, when he was a spacial designer at the Royal Danish Academy and his partner, Kristina Line, was interning at Søren Rose Studio in New York. The design world is small.

Back to the restaurant: It’s full of lovely, subtle design details to take note of—and looks well worth a visit should you find yourself in Copenhagen.

Photography by Jannick Boerlum, courtesy of Vermland.

1. Hang the table.

To encourage shared, family-style meals, the dining room is designed around a long communal table, which also serves to create separate spaces within the single room. (Take a close look: The table is suspended from the ceiling—without any screws or nails, thanks to clever joinery.)
Above: To encourage shared, family-style meals, the dining room is designed around a long communal table, which also serves to create separate spaces within the single room. (Take a close look: The table is suspended from the ceiling—without any screws or nails, thanks to clever joinery.)

2. Keep to a tight color palette.

The serene, clean-lined interiors feel warm and fresh thanks to a two-tone color palette: rusty terra cottas and pinks (on the crockery, banquettes, stool tops) and minty greens (the mugs and glassware holding flatware and salt and pepper on every table).
Above: The serene, clean-lined interiors feel warm and fresh thanks to a two-tone color palette: rusty terra cottas and pinks (on the crockery, banquettes, stool tops) and minty greens (the mugs and glassware holding flatware and salt and pepper on every table).

3. Disguise the W.C.

Behind a statement-making pink curtain (from Kvadrat)? The door to the washroom.
Above: Behind a statement-making pink curtain (from Kvadrat)? The door to the washroom.

4. And keep materials of a piece.

Above: Every piece of furniture in the restaurant is made from a single Douglas fir tree and inspired by Japanese joinery.

5. Add texture with dried branches.

Our latest favorite example of dried branches as decor: cloud-like bunches hung above the banquettes.
Above: Our latest favorite example of dried branches as decor: cloud-like bunches hung above the banquettes.

6. Employ the subtlest of checks.

The banquettes feature leather seat cushions (from Sorensen Leather) and back cushions covered in checkered fabric, a play on a kitchen dishtowel and a nod to everyday, casual dining, Bak and Vulpius say.
Above: The banquettes feature leather seat cushions (from Sorensen Leather) and back cushions covered in checkered fabric, a play on a kitchen dishtowel and a nod to everyday, casual dining, Bak and Vulpius say.

7. Hang lanterns.

Simple paper lanterns add a bit of buoyancy. (For more, see data-src=
Above: Simple paper lanterns add a bit of buoyancy. (For more, see 11 Times Noguchi Lamps Stole the Spotlight.)

8. Use food as decor.

And, in custom shelves behind the bar, bundles of chilis, heads of garlic, and bunches of herbs make for an impromptu garland.
Above: And, in custom shelves behind the bar, bundles of chilis, heads of garlic, and bunches of herbs make for an impromptu garland.

More Copenhagen restaurants and restaurants on my someday-itinerary:



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Staying In: How to Set a Valentine’s Table for Two, Courtesy of Ajiri Aki


Instead of dining out on Valentine’s Day—in a restaurant packed with strangers and dripping with paper hearts—wouldn’t it be more intimate, in every sense of the word, to stay in? That’s always been our preference: candles, a table set for two, and perhaps pajamas over crowds and cold.

When we emailed recently with Ajiri Aki, the France-based doyenne of stylish, effortless table settings (she runs the vintage tableware shop and linen purveyor Madame de la Maison), we were happy to hear that she feels the same, all the way over in Paris. Here’s how she sets the table for a simple Valentine’s dinner for two—plus her tips for making it just a bit romantic, never fussy.

Photography by Ajiri Aki.

1. Resist the urge to go pink.

Just because it&#8
Above: Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you should drape the table with all the pink things you can find. “As much as I love pink everything, I wanted to go with a simple, soft, romantic look using the orage tablecloth and sable napkins,” Ajiri says. “The orage linen is grey-ish blue, kind of like a storm. Orage means storm in French. It’s a soft color palette without going full-on pink.”

2. Choose petite flowers over big bouquets.

In lieu of a big (quite possibly overpriced) bouquet or centerpiece, tuck just a few small stems into mix-and-match glass jars. This is an intimate dinner at home, remember; the scale should be small. Ajiri used vintage apothecary bottles and vanity jars; simple jam jars work, too.
Above: In lieu of a big (quite possibly overpriced) bouquet or centerpiece, tuck just a few small stems into mix-and-match glass jars. This is an intimate dinner at home, remember; the scale should be small. Ajiri used vintage apothecary bottles and vanity jars; simple jam jars work, too.

3. Sprinkle some roses.

Above: “I always add one little stereotypical element that connects to the holiday,” Ajiri says. For a romantic touch, she scattered a handful of dry rose buds down the center of the table.

4. Use the good china.

Keep the meal simple, but serve it with favorite pieces. &#8
Above: Keep the meal simple, but serve it with favorite pieces. “These mussels in white wine sauce take a whopping 20 minutes to make, but they are always served in beautiful antique finds,” Ajiri says.

5. Embrace imperfection.

Let the table be a little beautifully imperfect, not prim or overdone.  &#8
Above: Let the table be a little beautifully imperfect, not prim or overdone.  “I rarely iron my linens because I find the texture beautiful,” Ajiri says.

6. Sit kitty-corner.

Set two places kitty-corner from one another. It&#8
Above: Set two places kitty-corner from one another. It’s more casual than facing each other—and you won’t have a table between you.

P.S. See more of Ajiri’s entertaining tips in Joyeux Noël: How to Throw a Holiday Party the French Way. And here’s our original feature on her work: Vintage French Style You Can Rent: Madame de la Maison in Paris.



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Blush in the Bedroom: 9 Unexpectedly Unfussy Pink Boudoirs


Up ’til now, I admit, I’ve much preferred earthier colors—for wearing and for interiors—than what I’ve always thought of as somewhat frilly, not-me pink. But lately I’ve surprised myself by being rather drawn to it: There’s a slew of pinks out there to love—not all of them bubblegum or tutu—from dusty mauve to soft salmon to just barely barely pink. And, contrary to my previous (maybe popular) belief, pink in interiors needn’t be fussy, or young-looking: It can be bold, romantic, playful, unexpected, even a little cheeky.

Proof? Just take a look at these bedrooms—some with just a touch of pink, others dressed head to toe—that I’m seeing in new light.

A lush salmon-colored canopy frames the bed (and dark-blue velvet headboard) at the Grands Boulevards Hotel in Paris. See more of the dramatic guest rooms (each with a touch of pink) in Beds Take a Bow.
Above: A lush salmon-colored canopy frames the bed (and dark-blue velvet headboard) at the Grands Boulevards Hotel in Paris. See more of the dramatic guest rooms (each with a touch of pink) in Beds Take a Bow.
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Above: There’s a dreaminess to all of the rooms in costume designer Céline Sathal’s country house near Tolouse, France, and this blush bedroom is no exception. Sathal sews the mix-and-match pillow cases herself; “every sheepskin was bought for the birth of my children,” she told us. See more in La Vie en Rose: Inside a Costumier’s Dreamlike, DIY Maison in France.
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Above: I’m into the whimsical hotel rooms at the aptly named Quirk Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. Opened in the 1916 J.B. Mosby and Co. department store building, each playful room is done with various swaths of pink.
Another pinkish hotel guest room, at data-src=
Above: Another pinkish hotel guest room, at 11 Howard: A Scandi Paradise in SoHo, New York.
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Above: I’ve been enamored of Twig Hutchinson’s bedroom since we featured it almost exactly two years ago. How did she manage to make a bedroom with lots of pink feel sophisticated and balanced? With, she told us, a neutral backdrop and dashes of black. For more of Twig’s tips, see Tips for a Softly Moody Bedroom from a London Stylist.
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Above: Julie’s daughter’s room on Cape Cod, awash in almost lilac-pink (it’s Farrow & Ball’s Peignoir) with a patterned quilt.
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Above: If you’re like me, this bedroom at Baixa House in Portugal didn’t even register as pink at first glance. But that’s what works: white linens and earthy tiles make up a neutral, spare backdrop, and a vintage pink textile-as-blanket adds softness. (Want to recreate it? See Steal This Look: A Portuguese Bedroom with Vintage Charm.)
At this inventively colorful English inn, walls painted a deep Rhubarb by Paint & Paper Library pairs with black floors and velvet fabric in a floral pattern by Liberty London. “I really pushed for this color,” the stylist told us. “Everyone was against it, but I got quite obsessed.&#8
Above: At this inventively colorful English inn, walls painted a deep Rhubarb by Paint & Paper Library pairs with black floors and velvet fabric in a floral pattern by Liberty London. “I really pushed for this color,” the stylist told us. “Everyone was against it, but I got quite obsessed.” Take a look at the full color treatment in The Rose: A Singular Seaside Inn on the English Coast, Color Edition.
And, last but not least, this monochrome pink bedroom in Brooklyn is a longtime favorite of the Remodelista team—the first time we realized all-over pink could look sophisticated and serene. See more in The Sentimental Minimalist: A Young Architect’s Bed-Stuy Townhouse Makeover.
Above: And, last but not least, this monochrome pink bedroom in Brooklyn is a longtime favorite of the Remodelista team—the first time we realized all-over pink could look sophisticated and serene. See more in The Sentimental Minimalist: A Young Architect’s Bed-Stuy Townhouse Makeover.

Psst: We’ve rounded up our favorite pink rooms elsewhere in the house—and paints, too—here:



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Trend Alert: Piped Pillows of All Hues (Plus Nine to Buy)


Noticed the past few weeks: throw pillows with pretty, prominent piping, both two-tone and monochrome. From Zara Home to CB2, every design shop and retailer out there seems to have its own version; then I spotted on Instagram that Remodelista fave Evangeline Linens debuted their new collection at NY Now this week. Among the new wares? Velvet pillows with contrasting piping.

Here are a handful of piped pillows I’ve been admiring, eager to add to my couch, and bed, and armchair…

Velvet Throw Pillow from Zara Home Above: Zara Home’s Velvet Throw Pillow comes in two mirror colorways: cream with camel piping and camel with cream piping; both are $29.90.
Blu Dot Duck Duck Wool Feathers Throw Pillow from Perigold Above: A favorite by Blu Dot: The Duck Duck Wool Feathers Throw Pillow is available in a multitude of three-tone color ways (in addition to having contrasting piping, the two sides are also different colors). This one is light grey with “tomato” piping (and a surprise blue on the back); $119 from Perigold.
Anthropologie Adelina Slub Velvet Pillow Above: The Adelina Slub Velvet Pillow from Anthropologie comes in a variety of velvet hues, many—like silver with plum, emerald with lime, pink with ochre, and the two-tone blue shown here—with contrasting piping. They’re $48 for the 18 by 18 size.
H&M Cotton Velvet Cushion Cover Above: I recently purchased a dusty rouge-colored velvet cushion cover with black piping from H&M Home; that color is sadly sold out, but I’ve also been eyeing the same Cotton Velvet Cushion Cover in white and black; $17.99.
ABC Carpet & Home Maison de Vacances Royal Velvet Pillow in Clay Above: The Maison de Vacances Royal Velvet Pillow in Clay is made in France and features dark rust piping (and a metallic zipper pull); $195 from ABC Carpet & Home
Copper Crushed Velvet Pillow from CB2 Above: CB2’s Crushed Velvet Pillow, shown here in copper, comes also in navy and emerald, all with black piping and cotton backs. Each is $39.95.

Above: Two-tone Linen Throw Pillows from Zara Home in soft blue and sage green; $35.90 each.

Blu Dot Duck Duck Wool Feathers Throw Pillow from Perigold Above: And another of Blu Dot’s colorways I love: the Duck Duck Wool Feathers Throw Pillow in olive and peach; $119 from Perigold.

And, stay tuned for Evangeline Linens’ new velvet pillows, including one with the promising description “Thunder Cloud with Gold Lichen Piping.”

More in the way of pillows and throws:

  • High/Low: Jewel-Toned Velvet/Linen Pillows
  • 10 Easy Pieces: Round Velvet Cushions
  • Colorful Pillows Inspired by Portuguese Tiles from Lusitano Studio



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Luxe on a Dime: 15 High/Low Hacks for Using Marble Scraps, from the Remodelista Archives


Lately one high/low hack has been popping up everywhere we look: using bits and pieces of discarded or leftover marble around the house for a luxe look on a budget. Case in point: When we wrote about this Two-Week, $1,000, 500-Square-Foot Rental Overhaul in Bushwick, Brooklyn, design student Kristina Line revealed that she scoured nearby marble scrap yards for unwanted pieces to create shelving and backsplashes in her DIY apartment; the restauranteurs behind the design-forward Portuguese wine bar Cervo’s did the same for the restaurant’s statement-making front counter. And when we looked back over the archives for more ideas for using marble odds and ends we found, among many ideas, some expert encouragement from Anthony D’Argenzio of New York City creative agency Zio & Sons: “Marble can be turned into trim around backsplashes, thresholds, door saddles. It can be cut, so it’s more versatile than tile,” he told us in Expert Advice: What to Source from Salvage.

Head to your local marble yard or retailer and see if they’ll give you discarded pieces for free or at a discount, or use the odds and ends left over from a remodeling project. Even the smallest, scrappiest pieces can be repurposed. Here are 14 ways of using marble scraps to great effect—from small, simple hacks to architectural ideas.

1. Prop up bookends.

Clarisse-Lucile-Demory-House-Call-08 Above: Marble scraps as bookends in Done/Undone with Clarisse Demory in Paris.

2. Turn a radiator into a sideboard.

Jacky Parker Paris Apartment Above: Top radiators with thin marble pieces to create an instant sideboard or place for display, as seen in An Artfully Appointed Parisian Flat.

3. Create an ad-hoc backsplash.

Kristina Line and Anton Bak Bushwick Apartment Kitchen Above: In her Two-Week, $1,000, 500-Square-Foot Rental Overhaul in Bushwick, Brooklyn, design student Kristina Line sourced discarded marble scraps from a nearby stonemason. Among them: a jagged piece repurposed as a sculptural backsplash in the kitchen. “They don’t see the beauty in the broken leftovers, or what in their eyes is trash,” says her partner, Anton Bak.

4. Frame a sink.

Kitchen in Fabr Studio Kitchen in Williamsburg, Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista, Cropped Cover Image Above: Here’s an example of a marble-remnant backsplash that has a more finished look. In Fabr Studio’s office kitchen, a slab of marble, left over from a kitchen project, serves as oversized backsplash. See Kitchen of the Week: An Architecture Firm’s Own DIY Kitchen in Williamsburg, Ikea Hacks Included.

5. Mount open shelving.

Red Chair_Hudson home_copper_Marili Forastieri Above: A practical use for multiple small scraps: open kitchen shelving (supported by sturdy brackets), as seen in A Historical Hudson, NY, Home Reimagined (European Antiques Included).

6. Install a scrap-marble ledge.

Interior of Cervo's NYC, Photo by Erin Little for Remodelista Above: Another artful shelf/counter: The statement marble ledge in the front window of NYC wine bar Cervo’s started as a discarded piece at a marble yard in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “They have lots of scrap pieces left over from bigger jobs,” the owners say. “We spent a couple days going through all these marble scrap yards looking for one that would work with the rest of the color palette.” For a full tour of the interiors, see Cervo’s: 15 Design Ideas to Steal from a Tiny Portuguese Wine Bar in Manhattan.

7. Lay a tiny kitchenette counter.

Kitchen at Passer Domesticus in Greece by 157 173 Designers Above: Add sophistication to even the tiniest kitchen with a small piece of marble as countertop, as seen in Passer Domesticus: 12 Ideas to Steal from an Idiosyncratic Urban Getaway in Greece.

8. Hack an instant kitchen station.

Barbara Chambers Coffee and Tea Station Above: Architect Barbara Chambers topped a metal slatted shelf in her kitchen with a small piece of marble to create a functional surface, which she uses as a coffee and tea station. See the rest of her house at An Exercise in Order with Architect Barbara Chambers.

9. Build a DIY table.

Kristina Line and Anton Bak Bushwick Apartment Main Room Detail Above: Another of the marble scrap hacks in Kristina Line’s Bushwick apartment: a two-legged marble table that rests on the windowsill. File this under Don’t Try This at Home (or call a professional): Line and her partner built it out of plumbing pipes and a length of discarded marble.

10. Line an architectural niche.

Bedromo in Fala Atelier Lisbon Apartment with Marble Details Above: A small wall niche makes an impact when lined in small marble pieces; photograph from A Narrow but Glamorous Marble-Clad Apartment in Lisbon.

11. Design changeable shelves.

Kristina Line Bushwick Apartment Shelf Detail Above: Another marble hack in Kristina Line’s DIY Bushwick apartment: Discarded marble pieces fit onto a simple timber frame to create an ever-changeable, multipurpose shelving system (that looks more expensive than it is).

12. Transform the washing machine.

Karin Montgomery Spath New Zealand Studio Bathroom, Photo by Matthew Williams Above: In a small-space bath in an Auckland studio apartment, designer Karin Montgomery Spath topped the washing machine with a piece of marble from an old table that the client owned. Now, it’s a functional countertop for folding clothes and storing laundry and bath accessories. See A Glamorous Studio Apartment in Auckland that Feels Like a One-Bedroom, Hack Edition; photograph by Matthew Williams.

13. Hang a deconstructed bathroom vanity.

Tom Givone Floating Farmhouse Upstate New York Above: A workaround for a bathroom counter fully clad in marble: a small slab anchored to the wall forms a deconstructed vanity, as seen in The Country Rental: A Floating Farmhouse in Upstate New York.

14. Install luxe room trim.

Remodelista Mimi Seating Area, Photo by Alison Engstrom Above: The idea that started it all: using marble as trim, as seen lining the banquettes at Mimi in New York City. Instead of maxing out the budget for the small bistro, the team used marble as an accent: “We found a lot of images from Vienna and France where marble was used instead of wood. This gave us the general concept of using marble as an outline, because we couldn’t afford to have the entire bar or floor be marble.” Read on in French Glam on a Budget: 15 Ideas to Steal from Mimi, New York’s Sexiest Bistro.

15. Create a striking fireplace surround.

Simmons Living Room Above: For a hack that makes a big impact, make like Remodelista contributing editor Izabella Simmons, who used Carrara marble scraps left over from her kitchen countertops to surround the fireplace. See the full house in Before & After: Remodelista Contributing Editor Izabella Simmons Shares Her Scandi-Inspired Remodel.

N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published on April 2, 2018.

More high/low remodeling ideas and hacks:

  • Expert Advice: 23 Genius, Reversible, Budget-Friendly Hacks to Transform a Rental Apartment
  • Remodeling 101: 6 Budget Backsplash Hacks
  • 11 Zero-Cost Room-Changing Ideas



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