interior design

reporting from copenhagen: darling clementine

by Grace Bonney

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today i’m thrilled to share a post from our summer correspondent in copenhagen, brittany watson. brittany is a graduate student studying interior design at the corcoran college of art + design and is spending her summer studying textile design in copenhagen. she’ll be checking in with us a few times over the next two months sharing home and studio tours, interviews with and reviews of great local artists and designers.

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this morning brittany is sharing a special home tour with us- ingrid of darling clementine! we’ve already visited ingrid’s partner tonje holand’s home, so i’m thrilled to check out brittany’s post about visiting ingrid’s beautiful home (and sharing a delightful norwegian lunch of meats and cheeses).

CLICK HERE for brittany’s full post and ingrid’s home tour!

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Hello DesignSpongers! Or “hej” from Denmark and a “hei” from Norway. I just back from a quick trip to the Norwegian fjords and the lakes of Sweden and am getting ready to start my textile design program here in Copenhagen. Aghhh, wish me luck! I couldn’t be more stoked to be Design*Sponge’s Copenhagen correspondent. I’ll be bringing you a weekly dose of Scandinavian love in the form of designers and the offices and homes they inhabit. Ye haw! Please leave me your comments/praise/death threats/whatever and check out my blog, The House That Lars Built. for more Scandinavian shenanigans.

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First up, you’ve seen (and no doubt fallen in love with) Darling Clementine before, and after months of admiration, I visited the talented and beautiful Tonje and Ingrid who graciously invited me over to lunch at Ingrid’s darling home overlooking the fjord of Oslo. Needless to say, it IS as picturesque as it sounds. These two started Darling Clementine, a stationery and graphics and everything else darling company, nearly five years ago after a mutual and instantaneous realization that they shared the same aesthetic and direction. They knew it would be magic. And it is! In fact, their tastes align so closely that oftentimes you can’t even distinguish the designer behind the creation.

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During the delightful and typical Norwegian lunch of meats and cheese and Ingrid’s stellar homemade rolls (and guest appearance by Ingrid’s cat, Mr. Nelson!) we talked inspirations and illustrations. They sited everyone from Paul Rand to Art Deco to Disney to Eastern European animation from their childhood, to Scandinavian ceramics, patterns, flea markets, and books. Phew! Starting out rather maxi-malist (think technicolor and Bambi) they have since simplified their work to the point where it must pass the Bauhaus standard–restrained yet colorful. And how I wish I could go with them on their adventures to the Oslo flea markets in search of fresh ideas where I’m pretty sure they have that scene down to a science (go in the morning but beware of the hard-core shop owners who are out to kill!). Too bad it’s only every few months…

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Overall, it is their humor, color, and attention to detail that entirely wins me over. And them too. Sometimes they find each other cracking up at what the other has created, like their latest Paris series with mustache motifs and little feet attached to the Eiffel Tower and simple phrases like “ooh la la!” and “c’est chic.” It’s just too “darling”… but not sickening sweet darling. There’s a difference between cotton candy pastels and colors that are just a bit off, yet so, so right. That’s how they keep their designs so new. They take the simple greeting card and transform it into a package, thinking of both the buyer and the receiver as equal recipients. Most recently they have teamed up with the British company, nineteenseventythree to produce a line of notebooks and cards like here [pic Claudettes].

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Ingrid just moved into her place a few months ago and she claims it’s not quite ready. Yeah right. In that case, I’d gladly take a home that’s “not quite ready.” The decor no doubt reflects their work: bold, contrasted colors, uncluttered, quirky, full of stories. Her living room with pictures of Darling Clementine characters, Ingrid as a young girl in a Disney costume (a-ha, that’s where the inspiration comes from!).

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The master bedroom’s light robin egg blue fits right on in with the cloud pillow from Donna Wilson and a nice contrast with the red of the drawer set. This armoire might just be for show because she has a whole room for a closet, which you can see here from the entry way. Yes, I think Ingrid is living my dream.

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Hard at work- Why go for the latest and greatest when you can go old school with records and use crates and a dash of red to hold them all…

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The pink and yellow kitchen is a baker’s dream. I think cupcakes when I’m in there, (though probably not the best for this self-proclaimed non-sugar eater). Mr. Nelson’s bowls are mixed and matched.

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In the sunroom, a typical and necessary room for every Norwegian whose sunlight is precious.

Tonje and Ingrid, I had a ball! Thanks again for a delightful afternoon.
Until next time… Hej, hej!

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About Brittany: Brittany Watson grew up teething on the seaweed of Southern California while surrounded by a musician/artist family (minus a businessman father.) Her mother’s favorite quote was “a creative mess is better than tidy idleness” and so her childhood was spent creating art work, music, and yes, lots of messes. Her father thought she should study law while her mother though she was better suited as an artist so she chose a happy median, art history. On her way to becoming a museum curator she was haunted by those creative messes and enrolled in permanent “creative mess status” otherwise known as a master’s in interior design at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC. Now in her second year she has worked with professional creative messers during her spare moments including summer gigs with Jonathan Adler and Celerie Kemble in NYC. There she designed products for Tiffany and Co., Schumacher, and Dempsey and Carroll and helped create beautiful interiors for fancy schmancy penthouses. She can currently be found earning a sore bum from miles of cycling around the city of Copenhagen while studying textile design and writing her graduate thesis on what else…design blogs!

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