copenhagen chronicles: clara zangenberg

[this post is the eighth in a series of guest posts from our summer correspondent in copenhagen, brittany watson. thank you again to brittany for her beautiful posts this summer!]

I’ve been soaking in the beautiful, school-less life here in Denmark before another semester starts back up (boo hoo!). But first…one of my most exciting visits this whole summer…I visited graphic designer Clara Zangenberg at her stellar home just outside Copenhagen. The house was built by the famous Danish architect Vilhelm Lauritzen as his private residence in 1956 (more images of his work after the jump). Lauritzen also designed the Danish Embassy in Washington, DC and he took many of the same elements from his house and placed them into the embassy. So closely do they resemble each other that a movie set in the embassy in DC was filmed in their house. Not shabby huh? Clara was kind enough to show me pictures of the house as it was being built in Lauritzen’s retrospective.

It takes a discerning eye to recognize the low, cinder-block modern beauty and I’m glad it fell into Clara’s hands. She took the basic skeleton and enhanced it through carefully chosen pieces. The first striking feature is the bookcase cube placed right in the middle of the living room (above). She put four small-ish book cases together in the form of a square and sealed off the middle hole with a piece of wood from a desk found at the school where her husband worked. That with Zettel’z ceiling lamp placed above = brilliance.


CLICK HERE for the full post (and all 15 images on one page) after the jump!

Her art collection seemed destined to occupy the space. She began collecting works by artist Svend Johansen long before moving into the home, only to find out from her new next-door neighbor that Lauritzen and and Johansen were friends. Destiny! Johansen’s works along with works by Helge Refn and Ib Andersen complete the salon-style wall hangings.

Clara tried to keep as much of the original kitchen as possible but they had to update just a bit (like a modern stove!) and then added stainless steel countertops and appliances.

In my home visits I’ve noticed that Danes love to have not only white sparse walls, but white sparse, uncluttered beds. Isn’t it just asking to be jumped on? I found the drapery-hung closet a great solution to an ever-expanding wardrobe problem.

The sizable backyard was quite an oasis from the busy street-front location, especially the cozy little den they created with a white tarp. She supports her friend Tina Christensen by displaying two of her swinging chairs she made for Ikea.

Well, that’s it for now. I have a bunch to do before I take off (still one more house visit, yay! and tons of packing, boo!) -b.


Alissa Wheeler

Such great design–such a breezy review. Good luck with your travels home.


I absolutely adore the lamp. And now I’m trying to think of ways to recreate it myself. Of course, I will never get around to doing it, but always nice to get a sprinkle of inspiration in the morning.


i love it when someone moves into an already wonderful home and makes it outstanding. this gives me lots to ponder. thanks!


The bookcase island is genious…I wish I had space for something like that. Other favorites…the blue chair with the buckeled straps and the white lockers used as bedside tables…fun!


LOVE the bookshelf cube! You could do it in a dining room using the low hanging light/chandelier in a similar manner. It turns your dining room into a library, but we’re all probably eating out more than we should anyway!


I’m loving those pretty wooden chairs around the dining room table – can anyone tell me where they’re from?


does anyone know where to source those blue ‘safari’ chairs?


Love the drama added by the placement of artwork–the living room collection, the ceiling lamp over the wonderful bookcase table, and the three paintings spaced broadly over the bed.


The boat painting caught my eye as well! I think it just sets the room. Love the colors in this home!


All I can say is jealous jealous jealous! I lived there for a year and well… it makes me want to move back ummm now!


It’s lovely to see such a stylish home look so effortless, comfortable and most importantly lived in. Even the garden looks like it just happend that way. One of my favourites.


Please please please someone let us know who the artist of the boat painting is!!!!!!!!!


Great home! And to think everyone wants to stucco their block or brick now! Midcentury modern architects understood the beauty of letting simple honest materials, such as concrete block, speak for themselves. Ah, the forgotten lessons of MCM design.


How was the tarp hung? They look suspended in air. That’s so cool!