Sneak Peek: Anders Arhoj


Anders Arhoj is an illustrator and interior designer working with ceramics, prints and other visual projects with a wonderful sense of humor (make sure you read his handwriting and text below). For the past ten years, with the exception of one year spent in Japan, Anders has called the lakes in the middle of Copenhagen home. Danes are well known for the art of “hygge,” making interior spaces feel cozy, homey and embracing, which is something very important to Anders when it comes to his guests and clients (and himself). This means having lots of discreet bottom and corner lighting (no top-down ceiling light), as well as incorporating plants, books, soft textiles and natural materials like wood or wool. The rooms in Anders’ home are different styles, as he likes to invoke different feelings from room to room. However, he has a general affinity for 1950s modern Scandinavian styles mixed with lots of textiles, ethnic objects and vintage collector’s items, and he enjoys buying old stuff with history and personality. Many thanks to Anders and to Andreas Stenmann for the lovely photos! — Anne

Image above: I made the patchwork quilt last summer by myself. It took ages to sew. But it was fun collecting all the scraps from friends around the world and designing and printing a lot of the patterns myself. The lamp is vintage with my own design on the screen, and the pillow is by my friends of Danish label LuckyBoySunday. The hanging kimono is a really old Japanese vintage from Kyoto.

Image above: I love my wall bookcase that my dad built for me — there’s nothing better to decorate and surround yourself with than books! The ceramic masks on the wall are an art piece by Danish artist Jan S. Hansen. I love his approach to stoneware and glazes. The old vintage safari chair is by Swedish designer Arne Norell, and the table is from the now-extinct IKEA Stockholm collection from the 2000s. The brown patterned rug on the chair is by my friend Tina Ratzer. The pillow is my own design.

See more inside Anders’ Danish abode after the jump . . .

Image above: Paintings from my first solo exhibition in Copenhagen, which was super hard and super fun to paint. I did 150 individual canvases that were all 25 x 25 cm. The different objects on top of the bookcase are either my own designs or found at flea markets or made by artist friends. I love to swap and exchange stuff made by friends.

Image above: The tree is a great vintage print on canvas that I spotted at a big flea market and had an immediate eyegasm right there on the dirty floor. It symbolizes the four changing seasons, and I look at it every day. I never found out who made it but probably some stoned-out hippies in 1973 wearing funny hats and dropping acid while screenprinting. I hope so.

Image above: My living room has lots of light coming in through the wide windows, which is perfect for product shots. Also, you need plants in your windows for a healthy and cozy environment. They look great and clean the air at the same time! The dinner table is also from IKEA’s Stockholm collection. The dinnerware is a mixture of my ceramics and Japanese items bought on travels. It’s important never to mix and match on a Japanese table. You must convey humbleness by having many different plates, cups and bowls — a philosophy called wabi-sabi, which is pure genius. A great excuse for never being able to save up enough money to buy matching plates, ha! I actually prefer it, as I’m not a fan of suburban perfection.

Image above: A collection of my own designs and found objects. The small mask is from Africa and has apparently been used in rituals; you can still smell the smoke from the bonfires. Also, I love the Carpenters.

Image above: The design studio featuring my Crazy Person wall. I like to hang up stuff I’m working on or have finished. I’m not very good at throwing out.

Image above: Products by my studio — ceramics, prints and art pieces. The furniture piece is by Danish label HAY. White triangular lamp from IKEA.

Image above: I sometimes have breakfast with my niece in the kitchen nook or on the balcony outside during summer. My home is old and heating was never installed in this room, so I cook in woolen sweaters and bunny slippers during winter. The chair pillows are by LuckyBoySunday, and the wall fabric print is some old Danish vintage I found in a thrift shop. The vintage chairs are the famous old Danish FDB chairs designed by Børge Mogensen in 1947.

Image above: Ghosts — an army of small hand-thrown ceramic figurines in many different clays and glazes designed in collaboration with Danish ceramicist Louise Gaarmann. They are available in the States from the Danish webshop Hurra! in Los Angeles.

Image above: One of my new designs: the Orb, a stoneware moneybank for grownups. Currently in pre-production.

Image above: A one-off art piece I did in collaboration with Danish ceramicist Louise Gaarmann for a show in Copenhagen this fall. We call it “The Layer Cake.” We didn’t sell it, as it was too expensive for anyone during these times of crisis. I hope that’s why. It’s resting on an old stool covered with a blanket by LuckyBoySunday.

Image above: In my hallway, I place my keys next to this still life in yellow. Most of the ceramic pieces are homemade. The tiki skull mug is from Cheeky Tiki in London, and the watercolor painting is homemade.

  1. Pip Lincolne says:

    I can’t TELL you how much I love this house! It’s amazing and beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I really love these quotes – consider them pinned!

  3. Cat says:

    I love full wall bookshelves!

  4. Catherine says:

    I want to be his friend so I can visit his home. :) So beautiful.

  5. Bobbi says:

    This was so enjoyable to read! Such a lovely and cheerful home:)

  6. Eva says:

    Wow, I really love this Sneak Peak – such a fun and homey place with great style. I adore this combination of 50s style furniture, ceramics, plants and tons of books. Oh, and a fellow Moomin fan! Thanx for sharing this D*S

    On a sidenote; the first link isn’t working, it should simply be

  7. Anne says:

    BEST LINE: I never found out who made it [the poster] but probably some stoned-out hippies in 1973 wearing funny hats and dropping acid while screenprinting. I hope so.

  8. the house full of positive energy – love it!!:)

  9. INDAY HAMI says:


  10. Karen says:

    This is a beautiful home…and reading the quote about cooking and costume dramas, I think we could definitely be friends! :-)

  11. hoarding + style = Anders Arhoj’s home … I love it!

  12. evie says:

    love this home! so many happy : ) characters.
    oh and thanks for the eyegasms anders!

  13. anthony says:

    looking at this home brought my so much joy.

  14. Preeti says:

    lovely post. loved the natural light and colorful articles all over the corners.

  15. Catherine says:

    How a propos that this was posted today — the 30th anniversary of Karen Carpenter’s death. I love them, too!

  16. Jaqpot says:

    OMFG I’ve been reading Design Sponge online for over 5 years…can I say this is one of the best sneak peeks ever!!!

    Happy, happy. Joy, joy!

  17. Celia says:

    Best sneak peek in forever. Thank you!!

  18. Sejal says:

    Lovely home full of calm earthy neutral colours and furnishings. X

  19. mareike says:

    whoa, the tree canvas? I believe my parents have the exact same thing as a window blind in our attic. I always thought it was cool. Will have to ask my mom where she got it from although I hope you are right about the acid-dropping hippies;)

  20. Rose says:

    Oh my goodness gracious! The crazy person wall is my favorite :) What a happy place!

  21. Aline says:

    So many colours and beauty… I’m breathless!

  22. amy says:

    I want that blanket by LuckyBoySunday!

  23. Deganit Gannon says:

    I love your paintings and the whole wall arrangement with the low shelve! Great home!

  24. What a cheerly house! Different cultural items are wonderfully mixed with her art. No time to be feeling bored and down. Very inspiring:)

  25. Dana says:

    Seriously – you had me at the framed Carpenters album and that entire wall of awesome art! I didn’t recognize the name, but then I recognized his small ghost figures as something I have been coveting for a while now. What a fabulous home!

  26. Rachel says:

    This was great! So happy! It made me feel nostalgic, as I recognized some elements from my childhood. He seems like the kind of person you’d want as a dear friend-quietly fun, creative and warm. Thank you for sharing!

  27. Laura says:

    Love this home and especially the fun ceramics! I disagree that the best decoration is books. It is plants. But you have those, too!

  28. Emilia says:

    Love the feature wall created from the paintings. Very funky paintings and just a great feature.

  29. blkbrrry says:

    the IKEA STOCKHOLM collection is alive and well, it never left. the dining table and chairs are gone, but the coffee tables are not, and also come in black. additions and subtractions are always made, but it is a permanent collection. The new collection launches launches soon in the US.

  30. Theresa says:

    I have that bird and tree wall hanging too. :) It was made by Swedish designer Toni Hermansson in the 70s, for Almedahls. She made 4 of these, representing summer, spring, winter and autumn. She made similiar bedding too. The design is fabulous.

  31. Courtney says:

    This was so amazing, I just want to read more of his writing!!!

  32. PhillyLass says:

    Those little ghosts are adorable! And I wouldn’t mind a grown-up piggy bank as well!

  33. Eden says:

    I also have the canvas tree print! Got it from Salvation Army years ago.

  34. Hanna Thoren says:

    All time favorite! Thanks for sharing!

  35. Stephanie says:

    best blog post I have read in a while, love this picture, text and all=inspiration x 1000


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