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- 02/20/14--06:00: _Slow Ceramics from ...
- 02/20/14--08:00: _Danish Love: Typogr...
- 02/20/14--11:00: _Island-to-Table Din...
- 02/21/14--02:00: _Ask the Expert: An ...
- 02/21/14--04:00: _The Timeless Table:...
- 02/21/14--08:00: _5 Favorites: Garage...
- 02/21/14--09:00: _Now Debuting: The B...
- 02/21/14--10:00: _Paté Paté in Copenh...
- 02/22/14--02:00: _Current Obsessions:...
- 02/24/14--01:00: _Vitamix Giveaway—Pl...
- 02/24/14--02:00: _Follow the Sun: Vil...
- 02/24/14--04:00: _Domestic Dispatches...
- 02/24/14--06:00: _5 Favorites: Simple...
- 02/24/14--08:00: _Trend Alert: Geomet...
- 02/24/14--10:00: _Stylish Storage Sol...
- 02/25/14--02:00: _Steal This Look: An...
- 02/25/14--04:00: _Kitchen Icons: The ...
- 02/25/14--06:00: _A Slope-Side Bar In...
- 02/25/14--08:00: _Pin to Win: Danish ...
- 02/25/14--10:00: _Inside the Box: Rei...
- 02/20/14--06:00: Slow Ceramics from Tortus Copenhagen
- 02/20/14--08:00: Danish Love: Typographic City Posters
- 02/20/14--11:00: Island-to-Table Dining in Copenhagen
- 02/21/14--02:00: Ask the Expert: An Insider's Guide to Copenhagen
- 02/21/14--04:00: The Timeless Table: Glass with Heart and Soul from Holmegaard
- 02/21/14--08:00: 5 Favorites: Garage Envy on Gardenista
- 02/21/14--09:00: Now Debuting: The Best New Danish Designs from Maison et Objet
- 02/21/14--10:00: Paté Paté in Copenhagen's Meatpacking District
- 02/22/14--02:00: Current Obsessions: Long Nights
- 02/24/14--01:00: Vitamix Giveaway—Plus a Berry (and Vegetable) Smoothie for Kids
- 02/24/14--02:00: Follow the Sun: Villa Solaire in France
- 02/24/14--04:00: Domestic Dispatches: Goodbye to the Romance of the Fireplace
- 02/24/14--06:00: 5 Favorites: Simple Fire Screens
- 02/24/14--08:00: Trend Alert: Geometric Flooring, Chateau Edition
- 02/24/14--10:00: Stylish Storage Solutions from a Brooklyn Designer
- 02/25/14--02:00: Steal This Look: An English Kitchen with a Rustic-Modern Edge
- 02/25/14--04:00: Kitchen Icons: The Wooden Spoon and Other Staples from Sir/Madam
- 02/25/14--08:00: Pin to Win: Danish Flatware Winners
- 02/25/14--10:00: Inside the Box: Reinventing the Farmhouse, Canada Style
Hidden off a quiet courtyard in the heart of Copenhagen's bustling shopping district, you'll find the calm oasis of Tortus Copenhagen. Here, housed in a 19th-century truss-style building, master potters Eric Landon and Karin Blach Nielsen follow a century-old tradition of Danish ceramics, creating timeless vessels the old-fashioned way, methodically, at their own humble pace.
Above: Dramatically proportioned, yet with a clean silhouette, Tortus's bowls await the glazing process.
Above: Much like their ceramics, Eric and Karin's studio represents a marriage of rich tradition and modern design.
Above: Master potter and designer Eric Landon sits in the studio's doorway, which opens onto the sunlit courtyard. A graduate of the Danish School of Design, he's been working with ceramics since he was 16 and has received a number of awards for his work.
Above: For Landon, Tortus is as much about the process, "the love of making and a passion for the materials," as it is about the end result.
Above: Landon surveys unglazed pots in the truss-style studio.
Above: Karin Blach Nielsen, a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, is Tortus's "architect of color and surface"—in other words, she's the glaze master.
Above: Tortus's finished vessels represent "a seamless dialogue between design and process."
Above: The ceramics are for sale in a minimal showroom at one end of the studio. You can also purchase Tortus's piece at their online shop, Selected by Tortus.
Above: A detail of one of Karin's richly layered glazes.
Above: A serene and stately pot from Tortus's fluted collection, a prime example of the studio's mix of traditional craft and modern form.
Above: Unfinished pieces await Karin's glaze consideration.
Witness Tortus's creative process in action in a video shot from a very unexpected perspective.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on June 13, 2013 as part of our Nautical Notes issue.
Designer Christina Muff found herself homesick for her native Denmark while living abroad and needed a piece of familiarity to remind her of home. In response, she began making highly typographic (yet minimally designed) maps, and that led to Kortkartellet (which translates to "short cartel"), her shop specializing in graphic posters that pay homage to various European cities, especially Copenhagen. Each is printed on high-quality paper and serves as a decorative reminder of a place you've been—or would like to go.
Visiting Denmark? Kortekartellet recently opened its first brick and mortar boutique in Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen.
Above: A collection of Christina Muff's posters.
Above: A map of Denmark, printed in a limited edition of 30; 999.00 DKK ($185 USD).
Above: Denmark's capital, Copenhagen, divided into boroughs; 599.00 DKK ($110 USD).
Above: A matte copper metallic print of Frederiksberg, a district of Copenhagen; 399.00 DKK ($74 USD).
Above: The heart of Copenhagen, Indre By, printed in a color known as Petrol Blue; 399.00 DKK ($74 USD).
Above: Copenhagen's hip and trendy Nørrebro district, printed in a medium gray; 399.00 DKK ($74 USD).
For another collection of European city posters that we admire, see our post on the work of Dublin design studio Me & Him & You.
Nicolai Norregaard grew up on the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, where he learned to love wild carrots, lichen, green strawberries, and other delicacies of the New Nordic cuisine. His Copenhagen restaurant, Kadeau, is already earning accolades from the food cognoscenti (not to mention a Michelin star).
Chef and co-owner Norregaard and his business partners Rasmus Kofoed and Magnus Hoeg Kofoed started their careers in Bornholm, where they opened their first restaurant, a summer-only spot called Kadeau Bornholm. After a few years (and much praise), they moved to Copenhagen and opened their first urban outpost of Kadeau in a tiny space; it took off so quickly that they relocated to a larger space in Christianshavn, close to Noma, soon after. The spacious, airy dining room , which the partners designed themselves, is low key and casual, and an entire wall is lined with jars of pickled and preserved produce from their beloved Bornholm.
Photos by Marie Louise Munkegaard unless otherwise noted.
Above: The entrance to Kadeau; image via Tarafirma.
Above: The interior is light and airy; most of the building materials (the reclaimed wood paneling included) are from Bornholm.
Above: Locally made ceramics.
Above: Framed botanicals adorn the walls.
Above: A simple arrangement of berries.
Above: Norregaard describes the cuisine as
Above: Preserves from the island of Bornholm.
Above: An art wall reflected in the mirrors over the banquettes.
Above: A wall mural adds a graphic note.
Above: Walls are clad in reclaimed timbers from Bornholm.
Above: The Kadeau team.
We first got to know Natasha Figueroa, a former member of the design team at the Ace Hotel in Portland, OR, and co-creator of its restaurant, Clyde Common, when we stayed at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs. Natasha always seems to have her finger on the pulse wherever she is, which happens to be Copenhagen at the moment. She moved to the city a few years ago with her husband, Dan Husted, the restaurant impresario behind Pate Pate; the couple recently restored an old butcher's shed and opened Lot45, a gallery/photo studio, on the premises. Natasha is also part of the team behind Copenhagen Street Food, an incubator for food carts that will be debuting this April. Read on for her favorite haunts in Denmark's capital city.
Photography by Natasha Figueroa, except where noted.
Above: Natasha and Dan in front of their gallery, Lot 45, which features a staircase built from reclaimed pallets. Photo by Jesper Ray via Improvised Life.
Remodelista: Where do you like to eat?
Natasha Figueroa: Copenhagen is known for high-end Nordic cooking, but slowly we are getting some diversity in the dining scene, too. One of the newest and best is Il Buco, an Italian-inspired supper club open on Tuesday and Thursday nights only (reservations required). You sit family-style while big dishes are passed from one end of the huge tables to the other. It's very convivial, a great way for people to let down their guard and interact with strangers.
Above: The Il Buco dining room, courtesy of Il Buco.
RM: Other restaurant recommendations?
NF: Like many other cities, we have a glut of Thai restaurants, some good, some not so good, so what a joy to have another option! Nam Nam specializes in Singaporean street food. It's relatively new in its current state, but the owners have been on the Copenhagen food scene for some time. After teaming up with renowned restaurateur Claus Meyer, they've added some gloss to their already-great cooking.
Above: Nam Nam, Singaporean street food in Copenhagen; photo via Nam Nam.
RM: Any new additions to the culinary scene?
NF: Another recent opening is KUL, in our Meatpacking District. Kul means charcoal in Danish, and this is what their cooking focuses on. It's very meat-centric, so like many Copenhagen restaurants, not good for vegetarians.
RM: Budget-friendly options?
NF: Going out to eat is ridiculously expensive, which is why we don't do it as often as we do in the US. Grød is one of the rare places where you can get a comparatively inexpensive but delicious meal. Grød means porridge or gruel and has a number of breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices ranging from classic oatmeals to riffs on risotto and congee.
Above: Grød, Copenhagen's budget-friendly porridge shop. Photograph via Ms. Marmite Lover.
RM: Best spot for a caffeine fix?
NF: Denmark has for many years had the most coffee drinkers per capita, but up until a few years ago, getting a great cup was uncommon. Now we have, among others, Coffee Collective, whose baristas have taken home the World Barista Champion title. But if you're a freak like me who no longer drinks coffee, sitting with friends over a cup of tea and cake at Tante T soothes the sting. It is very easy to spend a few hours in their granny chairs eating homemade cakes with a pot of milky Oolong.
Above: Coffee Collective is lit with pendant lights by Muuto of Copenhagen. Photograph via Takk Travels.
RM: An evening drink?
NF: Lidkoeb serves the best cocktails, hands down, and it's set in a beautifully designed historic back house. But if you're looking for a mellow place to stop in for a glass of good wine, a perfectly poured draft beer, and some great music, go to Kind of Blue.
Above: Kind of Blue, where Natasha can be found hanging out after hours.
RM: Where do you like to shop for clothing?
NF: Of course Copenhagen has crazy good shopping—thanks to all the renowned Scandinavian designers, like Henrik Vibskov, Wood Wood, and Acne—but their clothes come at a high cost. That's why my favorite clothes shopping is at our many luksus genbrug, high-end resale shops. The best of these is O-S-V Secondhand, which has clothes and accessories for men and women. We also have a number of great vintage shops; the best of these is Decor, which is a favorite among stylists and models for one-of-a-kind vintage pieces.
Above: White paneled walls and a raw wood floor at O-S-V Secondhand.
RM: On the home front?
NF: Maritime Antiques is a fascinating mix of nautical paraphernalia and nautical fashion, including S.N.S. Herning fisherman sweaters and handmade leather bags.
Above: Maritime Antiques sells seafaring clothes as well as nautical antiques and paraphernalia.
RM: And for men?
NF: I envy the clothes at Han Kjøbenhavn, which carries mostly Scandinavian and Japanese designers.
Above: Han Kjøbenhavn, men's clothing store.
RM: Where should foodies browse?
NF: With the weather the way it is here in Scandinavia, it's great to have a place like Torvehallerne, our indoor market. It offers a mix of dining, drinking, and shopping, and has a few secondary locations of local favorites, like Coffee Collective and Grød, but also a number of unique spots.
Above: Torvehallerne indoor food market, located in Frederiksborg.
Founded by an enterprising countess in 1825, Holmegaard is Denmark's oldest and largest glassworks. It stays true to the countess's original mission—to create glass with "heart and soul and integrity"—by collaborating with the best young Danish designers. That roster includes Cecilie Manz, whose Minima carafe is spotlighted in our new book in the Remodelista 100, our roundup of all-time favorite everyday objects. Here's the Minima collection along with other Holmegaard designs at the top of our wish list.
Photographs from Holmegaard, unless noted.
Above: The Minima carafe and tumblers designed by Cecilie Manz are made of mouth-blown glass. See Holmegaard for dealers worldwide. (Sadly, the dimpled tumblers seem to be out of production.) Photograph via Latte Lisa.
Above: We love the Minima Bottle with Lid because it fits on a fridge door but looks equally good on a table. It comes in a range sizes in clear or turquoise glass and is available from Fjorn; prices start at $32.75. (Minima Turquoise Lidded Bowls, in small and large, are at Horne; $32 and $45.)
Above: The Karen Blixen Vase was inspired by African neck rings and the Africa photos of Danish author Karen Blixen (also known as Isak Dinensen). Designed by Anja Kjaer, it's part of a collection that starts at tea light size and includes a range of vases, all available in white or red glass. This one is just over 9 inches tall; $103 from Fjorn. See Holmegard to view the full collection and find more retailers.
Above: The Karen Blixen Flower Pot is a receptacle for all sorts of things; it comes in three sizes and starts at $69.95 from Fjorn.
Above: Holmegaard's Nordlys (Northern Lights) collection is entirely made of recycled marmalade jars and glass bottles. Created by Peter Svarrer, the set includes tumblers, bowls, plates, and tea lights in subtle greens and blues. The Nordlys Bowl is $23.95; the Nordlys Drinking Glass is $19.95, both from Fjorn. N.B.: Heath Ceramics and Horne both carry a range of Holmegaard wine glasses.
Above: Maria Berntsen's Design With Light series of hand-blown lanterns are designed for use indoors or out and have leather handles for portability. The Design With Light Lantern comes in clear or frosted glass in several sizes; prices range from $50 to $270 at Fjorn.
This past week Michelle and Erin delved into all things garage: a multipurpose space that lends itself to a range of uses (floral studio, gear storage, potting shed).
Above: Erin dropped in on Sarah Winward, a florist who operates out of a garage in Salt Lake City.
Above: Lots of organization options out there and Janet's got you covered: 10 Easy Pieces: Garage Storage Units.
Above: Before there were garages, there were stables; Michelle drops in on florist Lila B. at the Stable Cafe in San Francisco.
Above: Considering a colorful stain for your garage exterior? Meredith found what you need; see Palette & Paints: 8 Colorful Exterior Stains.
Above: Our resident materials expert Janet looks into garage flooring options.
The Danish Crafts Collection has been curating an annual collection of work by young and up-and-coming Danish designers since 1999. Being admitted into the showcase is akin to receiving the Danish design counsel seal of approval—and only about 30 pieces are singled out every year. Newly part of the Danish Agency for Culture, the Crafts Collection is on a mission to bring handmade Danish products to the world. Towards that end, the group recently presented its newest crop at the Paris trade show Maison et Objet. Here, our favorite discoveries:
Above: From Danish-born Japanese designer Akiko Kuwahata, the Carousel is a stackable wooden jewelry box, available in maple, cherry, and walnut hardwoods with clear or bright yellow acrylic lids; 675 DKK at Lisbeth Dauv and 625 DKK at Stilleben.
Above: Artist Mette Duedahl makes everyday modern stoneware, such as this French coffee press and set of tumblers. The coffee pot has a a stainless steel press and Plexiglas lid with a beechwood knob. The small tumbler, Kop Lille Brun, is €19.33 from Stilleben, which sells work by many Danish Crafts Collection designers.
Above: The Ellipse set is a series of four nesting serving dishes from ceramicist Helene Stockmarr whose individual ceramics can be purchased through Stilleben; the Ellipse set, however, is available directly through Helene.
Above: The Facet Chair designed by Foersom & Hiort-Lorenzen features a low backrest that enhances the elongated seat; the two halves of the chair are V-shaped and mirror each other in form. Made using traditional Danish furniture and cabinetmaking techniques, the chair is available directly through Foersom & Hiort-Lorenzen.
Above: Gurli Elbækgaard calls this design Squeeze, named for the indentation that gives the cup a comfortable grip. Her ceramics are sold at Stilleben, but the new Squeeze cups are only available through Elbækgaard directly.
Above: Textile No. 3 is a set of highly absorbent, organic linen kitchen towels by Karin Carlander. The linens are woven and sewn in Europe under sustainable working conditions; for pricing and availability contact Karin Carlander directly.
Above: Mirror Mirror by Maria Bruun is a collection of angled mirrors that question what we see. The designs are intended for installation in a corner of a room, or on a table and against a wall simultaneously. Made of high-polished stainless steel set in an oak frame, the mirrors can be ordered through Maria Bruun.
Above: The In Sight Tools cabinet is a wall-mounted wooden case created by Lene Munthe and Karen of AnonymDesign. The two describe their design as containing and organizing "all the tools you need to hang up a picture, secure the electrical cord, tighten the door handle, measure something, or check if things are level." Available in ash and oak, the cabinet is €795 through AnonymDesign.
On a trip to Copenhagen a few years back, I made a pilgrimage to Paté Paté, located in the city's once-gritty, now-fashionable Kødbyen meatpacking district. A venture started by brothers Kenn and Dan Husted (who also own the swinging wine bar Bidendum), Paté Paté focuses on rustic European cuisine and wine from around the world, served in a salvage-chic ambience. In the grand tradition of European cafes, the restaurant is open from dawn to the late hours of the night, a bonus for the jet-legged traveler.
Photography courtesy of Paté Paté, unless otherwise noted.
Above: The Husted brothers stripped the interior (a former paté factory) down to its bones, painted the interior white, and used vintage windows to create room dividers.
Above: A modernist Danish light fixture photographed by interior designer Maria Helgstrand.
Above: A wide range of cookbooks is offered for sale. Photograph by Maria Helgstrand.
Above: The moulding in the front of the restaurant is painted in a rich blue.
Above: Old maps and factory windows are seen throughout the restaurant.
Above: Wallpaper made of black-and-white magazine prints.
Above: Mismatched cafe chairs surround the communal dining tables. Photograph by Maria Helgstrand.
Above: The tables are made from salvaged wood.
Above: The Boucherie sign references the restaurant's past life as a paté factory. Photograph by Maria Helgstrand.
Above: A mounted skull leads the way.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 2, 2011 as part of our Danish Living issue.
Next week we'll be giving winter one last hoorah—while we await the arrival of spring. In the meantime, here's a look at what's on radar right now:
Above: Alexa and Julie have been admiring Brice Marden's patchwork stone pieces from a past exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York City. For a similar approach to marble, see our post on Exotic Marble in Modern Spaces.
Refinery 29 puts salary requirements for buying a home into perspective.
Above: Dalilah has been smitten with Heath Ceramic's Instagram feed: photos of glaze experiments and one-offs that are for sale in the Sausalito store.
Speaking of Instagram, Architectual Digest rounded up some of the best architecture shots posted on the photo-sharing platform.
Christine is eyeing this simple party decor DIY from a Subtle Revelry.
Above: Sarah recently discovered this wall hanging by Julie Thevenot.
Above: Sarah Winward, a Salt Lake City floral designer, took her business to a garage that opens up right onto the street.
Above: By far the most stylish lint brush —with rubber bristles—from Kaufmann Mercantile.
The real highlight of the week? We have two contests going on: a Danish flatware giveaway and $5,000 shopping spree at Terrain's flagship store in Philadelphia (trip for two included).
I can't count the number of times I've heard someone refer to a Vitamix as their "someday" blender—including Julie (see The Last Blender You'll Ever Buy). Make someday come sooner by entering our Vitamix giveaway. Just leave a comment below and tell us: What goes into your favorite smoothie?
To get you started, here's our new favorite concoction. We learned about it when I asked a friend who's a great cook how she gets her son to eat his vegetables. She revealed that she slips vegetables, like spinach, carrots, and avocado, into bright berry smoothies. She uses a Vitamix to cover her tracks, and her picky eater is none the wiser.
Photography by Liesa Johannssen.
Above: The inspiration for our kid-approved vegetable smoothie is this Black Forest Cake Smoothie, variations of which my friend swears by as a vegetable vehicle for her son. She's tried tropical fruits in vegetable smoothies, but says that berries are ideal (in color and flavor) for hiding things that are good for you.
Above: I used the Vitamix 5200 Standard Getting Started machine in red; $449 at Vitamix.com. Vitamix offers a range of Blenders starting at $399, and Certified Reconditioned machines starting at $279.
Above: The recipe's basic stock is dark red fruits that kids love: Here, I added a small handful each of frozen cherries, blueberries, and blackberries, plus mango as a thickener. (If available, you can also consider adding currents, grapes, or huckleberries.)
If you're aiming for a vegan version, adding a dense fruit like bananas or frozen mango works well to make the smoothie more substantial.
Add some cinnamon for kids who like it.
Above: Pecans lend great flavor, but use any nuts you want. Raw oats are optional and will also thicken the drink. I added a large spoonful of pecans to our drink. Had I used oats, I would have added about the same.
Use any combination of dairy or vegan milk or yogurt for a thinner or thicker consistency, and use as much as you want.
Above: Vanilla goes far in making smoothies more palatable for kids. At the insistence of the original Black Forest Cake Smoothie recipe, I used vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract, and the finished result had a great vanilla flavor without the alcohol extract taste. (Widely available in specialty or health-food grocery stores, vanilla paste is more expensive than extract, but it's far more concentrated and a little goes a long way.) Use only a tiny pinch.
Above: Next, add vegetables and lemon juice. Spinach, avocado, and carrots are wonderfully easy additions; the Vitamix decimated them all without a trace. I added a single whole carrot, a large handful of spinach, and four slices of avocado.
Adding a splash of lemon juice is critical if you're adding vegetables and want the color of your smoothie to stay bright—I learned this the hard way.
Above: Looking good enough to drink? Don't forget to enter to win a Vitamix blender by telling us about your favorite smoothie in the comments section below. We will choose a winner at random from all the comments left on this post before 10:00 am Pacific time on March 4, 2014 and will contact the winner by email via the address you leave when you register with our Disqus commenting system below. Visit our official Terms & Conditions for details.
One of the chicest rental houses we've come across? Villa Solaire, an 1826 farmhouse in the ski town of Morzine, in Haute Savoie, converted by French architecture studio Jeremie Koempgen Architecture (JKA) and designers FUGA into a glamorous—and clean-lined— alpine chalet, available by the week. Set in the historic district of Pied de La Plagne, the wood farmhouse had traditional carved wood cladding in need of replacement, and an expansive but gloomy interior. The design team responded to local building restrictions by recreating the traditional construction techniques used for the exterior—a local carpenter spent months carving the spruce planks. The resulting openings in the slats, however, aren't merely decorative: they're artfully designed to draw light into the building, and each side of the house has openings that are widest where the sun falls (to figure this out, the architects studied, among other things, the path of shadows cast by surrounding farm buildings onto the house.)
Designed to sleep 16 people, the interior is divided into four blocks, each with its own bedrooms and baths around a multi-level central living space with lofty beamed ceilings, charcoal gray walls, and a chic assemblage of modern rustic furniture. Oh, and there's a small indoor pool and billiard room, too. See below for retail details.
Photographs by Julien Lanoo via Jeremie Koempgen Architecture.
Above: The spruce exterior of the house is all new but made using traditional local construction techniques. The slats, which were attached to the frame and then carved, are reminiscent of barn openwork used to keep hay ventilated.
Above: The barn-like skeleton of the farmhouse was carefully preserved—the design team say that its charms are what made the structure worth reinventing. Shown here, the central living area, designed in a unifying palette of exposed wood against black and charcoal gray.
Above: Mesa-style small square window cutouts in the plaster walls draw light into what had originally been a very dark interior.
Above: The common rooms are linked by a series of wide wood stairs that architect Jeremie Koempgen notes were "designed as living spaces." Here, a step is used as a shelf for a pair of Arne Jacobsen AJ Lamps.
Above: Next to the kitchen, black curtains run across a windowed eating porch.
Above: A combination of rough and refined—a post and beam kitchen counter.
Above: The living room is set up as a series of hangouts with floor cushions at one end, and a sofa nestled next to steps that face a fireplace.
Above: Low windows light the halls via the exterior's openwork cladding. The design team say that the shifting levels in the interior reference the mountain terrain of the surrounding Rhones-Alpes region.
Above: Throughout the house, bright white tiled bathrooms are punctuated with Vola HV1 red faucets. See our Design Sleuth on the faucet (but note that the Danish Design Store no longer carries the design; see Vola for a source near you).
Ready to move in? Villa Solaire has seven bedrooms (some are sleeping alcoves) and holds 14 people; it's available to rent by the week; rates range from €3,500- €11,000 depending on time of year. (During the low season, it can be rented for weekends and shorter stays.) The house is located in the Haute Savoie, France, town of Morzine; it's 2.7 km from the town center and close to skiing—a ski bus stops near the house. The nearest international airport is in Geneva, an hour and 15 minutes by car.
For more mountain house inspiration, see An Alpine Retreat for Rent, A Swiss Chalet Reborn (with Rooms to Rent), and A Wabi Sabi Ski Chalet in Aspen. And if you're as enchanted by cozy winter bedrooms as we are, don't miss: 10 Space-Saving Ski Cabin Bunks.
There are many reasons I married my husband: for his salsa recipe, ability to make the modem thing work, and taste in books (if he likes an Alan Furst, so will I). But perhaps his greatest hidden talent is he can make a fire. Yes, I know your husband can make a fire too. But trust me, my husband is the son of a fireplace tool maker. His father owned a factory in the aptly named Pennsylvania town of Sinking Spring, and my husband knows his way around a fireplace tool set like a dentist knows her suction hose, sprayer, and molar probe.
These days, however, my husband's fire-making skills are obsolete. One of the sad aspects of renovating an old house—at least if you live in my Northern California town—is not being allowed to keep a wood-burning fireplace because of the pollution and health risks associated with woodsmoke. So, goodbye to the romance of the hearth?
Above: A modern fireplace in the Ten Broek Cottage by Messana O'Rourke Architects.
After the architect told me the wood burning fireplace had to go, my first reaction was predictably libertarian: Keep your laws off my living room, City of Mill Valley! The rule seemed like one more pushy intrusion into everyday life by a megalomaniacal zoning department. (These are after all the same people who have mandated fluorescent kitchen lighting, inadvertently creating an underground railroad of gently used ceiling fixtures that make the rounds one step ahead of the inspector's visit.)
What if Stone Age zoning inspectors had prevented cavemen from playing with fire? We'd still be eating raw meat and taking cold showers.
But then I started Googling. It turns out that woodsmoke is actually a pretty bad thing to breathe. Children can get asthma from it. In fact, dozens of studies link exposure to woodsmoke to a rise in both chronic and acute illnesses in all ages of humans. Citing smoke's chemical and particulate emissions as major sources of air pollution, many counties ban wood fires on days when air quality is poor. (If you're caught in my county with a fire on a no-burn day, the fine is $100.)
Above: A soulful space by the great Belgian design impresario Axel Vervoodt, roaring fire included.
So, yes, goodbye to the grand chaos of a wood fire, and the crackling sound of it, and the little missiles of burning ember that go flying out from the center, and the lovely smoky smell. Goodbye to the Boy Scouts' Campfire Building Badge, and to roasted marshmallows, and to husbands' elaborate fire-starting rituals: the carefully arranged pile of twigs and bits of wedged newspaper that looks like a spooky devil catcher from True Detectives.
When you're in the thick of a remodel, with a big chimney in the middle of the living room, you stare at it and wonder what to do with it. Leave the hearth sitting empty, a gaping black hole that's a reminder of yet another cherished ritual that has turned out to be bad for us? Board it up (how will Santa find us)? Or spend $3,000 to convert the fireplace to natural gas?
Here are your choices:
You make the fireplace inoperable. A lot of people do this. You close off the chimney, shut the damper, leave the fireplace sitting open, and fill the hearth with something decorative.
For instance, there are glass fireplace logs formed by pouring molten glass into casts of real wood (for more information, see Jeff Benroth). These logs are not meant to be heated, but you can add a few strategically placed votive candles for a firelight effect. Or, you can stack a set of white porcelain logs (their lengths range from 12 to 14 inches) in a non-operational fireplace and admire their chalky purity. "We all have a fond memory of sitting around a campfire. This sculptural set brings that memory home," notes KleinReid.
Board it up. After you seal the chimney, lay a wall of brick inside the fireplace. Cover the brick—with plaster or a grill or a decorative cover. Then treat the mantel like one more piece of furniture in the room: hang a mirror over it and put a houseplant on the mantelpiece.
Convert a woodburning fireplace to burn natural gas.
In the end, this was the option we chose because I wanted more than a fond memory of fire; I wanted fire. We couldn't afford the $3,000 to convert the fireplace to gas, of course. And it's probably ridiculous to burn natural gas just for the sake of creating atmosphere. But what's one more cost overrun (or folly) when you're renovating? So we robbed another bank and ran a gas line from the furnace in the basement all the way up into the living room. We re-bricked the chimney. We installed a vent. We bought a set of ceramic logs. And ceramic embers. And got a set of airtight glass doors.
The ceramic logs and embers are a lot of fun to play with, actually. You can stack the wood in different configurations and arrange the embers around the base.
So now we have a fire whenever we want—without ashes to sweep or soot buildup on the mantel or tiny carcinogenic particles of burned wood wafting around in the air. The flames leap and the embers glow and, on some nights, I even will allow myself the filthy indulgence of burning a little Red Cedar Incense ($7 for a box of 50 pieces from Paine's) to infuse the room with "real fire smell."
There is one problem, though. To get the natural gas flowing, you must turn a giant scary lever located inconspicuously in the bottom shelf of a bookcase next to the fireplace. But first, you have to light a long match and place it in the fake embers. Then you run over to the bookcase to turn on the gas. If you crank the lever too far, gas rushes into the fireplace and causes a whoosh, and flames leap up as if unleashed from the depths of hell. There is always a fear one or more of the dogs will get singed. On the other hand, if you don't turn the lever far enough, the lighted match in the fireplace doesn't catch fire at all, and I worry that a slow steady seepage of invisible gas will claim me as surely as if I were Sylvia Plath.
Luckily, my husband is very good at turning on the gas.
What about you? Would you give up your wood-burning fireplace for health reasons? Tell us about it in the comments section.
Read more of Michelle's Domestic Dispatches, including My Worst Design Decision Ever and Five Strategies for Covering 500 Windows—for Under a Million Dollars.
The death of the wood-burning fireplace doesn't mean the end to the flaming hearth. Wood stoves, gas fireplaces with glass doors, and even fireplaces repurposed with collections of candles still call for screens to keep household members a safe distance from burning surfaces. Here's a roundup of our favorite simple screens that do the trick.
Above: The Wire Fireplace Screen of powder-coated iron and wire is ideal for smaller fireplaces (it measures 30.25 inches square); $140 at CB2.
Above: The Industrial Fireplace Single Screen is made of iron and zinc with a blackened finish. It's available in two sizes: 38- and 44-inches wide; $159 and $199 respectively at Pottery Barn.
Above: San Francisco company Okell's Fireplace offers a wide range of fire screens (including a few models from Chesney's, a UK company); we especially like the Okell's Original Steel Gleam screen; contact Okell's for pricing.
Above: Made with graphite powder-coated wrought iron, the Minuteman Twisted Rope Fireplace Screen has folding side panels connected to a 30-by-30-inch center panel; $213.86 at Wayfair.
Above: The hand-forged and hammered Rivet Hearth Flat Panel Screen from Restoration Hardware is 39 inches wide; $299.
Considering a wood stove? A new generation offers high fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Have a look at 10 Easy Pieces: Freestanding Wood Stoves. Wondering about the best wood for a roaring fire? See The 411 on Firewood and Five Favorites: FIrewood Holders.
Wooden floors have been fully embraced for years as the material to have underfoot. Now things are starting to get fancy, with herringbone and chevron wooden floors surfacing all over, especially on Pinterest. And beyond herringbones, all manner of Escher-like geometrics are cropping up. Have a look at these designs from Atelier des Granges in Escurolles, France, that call to mind the puzzle-like parquets of yore but with a pleasingly up-to-date, clean look. No, most of us don't live in France—where Atelier des Granges offers its clients complete design and installation services—nor do most of us have budgets for custom woodwork of this sort. That said, we like seeing (and admiring) the work.
Above: Atelier des Grange's Parquet Pad Staving in a hexagonal basket-weave pattern, made from bleached solid oak cross pieces and end-grain hexagons. The floor is given a gray cast using a technique proprietary to Atelier des Granges and has a special oil and wax finish to preserve the raw look.
Above: Atelier des Grange offers photos of its floors in progress.
Above: A simpler variation of the Parquet Pad Staving, hexagons made of end-grain solid oak. To understand the workmanship, have a look at this video of the floor coming together. A floor like this is priced at €130 per square meter, not including installation costs.
Above: Parquet Wood Standing in Various Dimensions is made from blocks of oak of different lengths.
Above: A detail of Parquet d'Arenberg, made with mortise and tenon construction. This example is oak and set in a room with a brick hearth; Atelier des Grange also makes the pattern in walnut, cherry, and other woods.
Above: A staggered block design, Parquet Wood-Paved Standing plays up the grain patterns of the oak.
Considering installing a wood floor? See thousands of images of Wood Floors in our Gallery of Rooms and Spaces. Also have a look at our posts on the World's Most Beautiful Wood Floors and Reclaimed Wood Floors Made Modern.
Brooklyn-based Farrah Sit founded Life + Ladder with the goal of "providing artistic, one of a kind American-made accessories for the urban dweller."
Above: The 36-inch-long Leather Shelf in Ash with vegetable-tanned leather straps features a ledge to prevent objects from falling off; $210.
Above: Light + Ladder's hanging boxes are designed to held keys, phones, wallets. The rectangular Ash Rope Box is 12 inches wide and is $180. An ideal way to hang them is from one of Light + Ladder's brass hooks (see below).
See Light + Ladder's Self Watering Planters over on Gardenista. For another set of simple wall hooks, go to Cincinnati Storage, Golden Spikes Edition. Considering making your own shelves? See DIY: Rustic Wooden Shelves.
One of our favorite projects of all time is London architect David Kohn's conversion of a former stable into a house that seamlessly blends past and present, rustic and clean lined. Today, we're spotlighting the stable's compact eat-in kitchen, a soulful layering of wood and white bricks that also has a sense of modernism (in part thanks to a highly covetable midcentury table and set of chairs by Pierre Jeanneret). We've sourced a checklist of products—from a compact refrigerator to a Swedish broom—to achieve a similar look.
Above: Kohn's kitchen is evidence that rustic and modern can happily co-exist in a compact space. For a full tour of the project, see A Stable Reborn in Rural Norfolk.
Above: Benjamin Moore's Steam Paint is a color that appears quite yellow on a swatch, but on the wall is a very neutral white: not too yellow, not too blue. It's the white that was used at couture kitchen store March in San Francisco, and is a close match to the white paint on the stable's brick walls; $36.99 per gallon of Ben Interior Paint.
Above: The Viking Professional Series Pro-Style 30-Inch Induction Range is $7,279 from AJ Madison Appliances. For more Kitchen Range options visit our shop section.
Above: The small kitchen features a compact under-counter refrigerator; the Avanti Built-In Outdoor Refrigerator works inside and out, and has an extra-long power cord and casters for portability; $689 at Best Buy. For more ideas, see our recent post, 10 Easy Pieces: Compact Refrigerators.
Above: A highlight of the kitchen is the pair of vintage V-Type Chairs designed by Pierre Jeanneret in 1958-59. The chairs have a black- stained teak frame and a caned seat and back; they're available in the armchair version for, gulp, $10,000 each through midcentury dealer 1950 and many other sellers on 1st Dibs.
Above: We found a vastly less pricey stand-in at West Elm; the Slope Leg Dining Chair features a metal base in dark graphite and a bentwood pine seat and back; $199 each.
Above: The kitchen table is another Jeanneret teak design, the PGI University Dining Table, from 1950. It's hard to come by, and pricey, but an alternative period piece, minus the tapered legs, can easily be sourced from a flea market or vintage dealer, such as Midcentury LA, whose restored vintage Danish Teak Dining Table, shown here, is $900.
Above: Custom designed for March in San Francisco, the Medium Cherrywood Carved Wood Tray is $325.
Above: From Fern Handcrafted Furniture in New York's Hudson Valley, the Amoeba Cutting Boards are a set of three boards made from locally sourced slabs of maple, black walnut, and cherry in three different sizes; for pricing and information, contact Fern.
Above: From World Kitchen, the classic Revere 2 1/3-Quart Copper Bottom Kettle is $22.99 is Amazon.
Above: Cleaning products from Australian company Murchison-Hume are now widely available in the US. The Heirloom Dishwashing Liquid, in a large amber glass bottle, is an eco-friendly solution said to improve the condition of your wastewater as it drains; $21 from The Line.
Above: A variety of antique Wooden Serving Trays and Bowls are available at Galerie Half in LA; contact for pricing and availability.
Above: From Swedish company Iris Hantwerk, which employs visually impaired craftspeople, the Swedish Broom has a birch handle and palmyra fiber brush; £18.50 at Objects of Use.
Our Steal This Look column appears every Tuesday morning; click here to browse past posts. For another kitchen featuring white-painted bricks see An Architect-Designed Compound in Shanghai. For more rustic cutting boards, have a look at British Roots: Hampson Woods' Curvy Handled Serving Boards.
Jesse James and Kostas Anagnopoulos, creators of the new housewares line Sir/Madam, have an uncanny ability to pinpoint everyday objects that have yet to be mined from the attic and turned into 21st century must-haves. Warning: you will soon have the urge to own a hymnal. Sir/Madam—named for the email salutation used by their workshop in India—make goods inspired by Jesse's memories of his grandmother's cupboards and by their own weakness for workhorse antiques (they turn flea market wooden spoons into kitchen bouquets).
Their new line was our favorite discovery at the recent Accent on Design trade show in New York. It's debuting here, and will be available in stores starting in mid-April. For details, see Sir/Madam and its umbrella company, Aesthetic Movement. Note that all prices listed below are approximate.
Above: To be filed under why didn't we think of that: beechwood plate rack modeled after church hymnals. They can also be used for displaying books and other objects. "They look amazing mounted in long rows," says Jesse, who adds "we left them raw for a bit of a Scandinavian feel, but they can easily be painted or stained." The large is 36 inches long and $160; the small is 24 inches long and $110.
Above: Where have all the great old wooden spoons gone? Jesse and Kostas have been amassing them from flea markets and barn sales for the last 15 years. They assembled 13 of their favorites and had them hand carved from beechwood by craftsmen in southern India. No two designs in the Baker's Dozen Wooden Spoon Set, shown here, are alike; sized for cooking and serving, the collection comes in a muslin bag and retails for $140 (retailers will be free to sell the spoons as open stock as well).
Above: Sir/Madam also offers a set of 13 small wooden spoons for spices, sauces, and desserts; $90 for the group.
Above: Sir/Madam's Towel Bar & Looped Towel hangs in Jesse and Kostas's own kitchen in Queens, NY, where a sampling of their vintage wooden spoons are on display. The towel bar is inspired by a vintage piece the couple have used for years—as an alternative to paper towels and soggy dish towels; it's handmade in India of beechwood and comes with a looped linen towel for $110 (the towel can be easily removed and washed; a pair of additional towels is available for $65).
Above: Sir/Madam large and small spoon bouquets.
Above: Table linens and cafe au lait bowls are two more Sir/Madam specialities. Shown here, a Fellowship linen napkin (set of four, $75) and Vintage Deco cafe au lait bowl introduced in the fall (see Sir/Madam for sources).
Above: A sampling of bright linens napkins in subtle and bold stripes and checks.
Above: Vintage Stripe Cafe Au Lait Bowls are available from Mill Mercantile, $16 each. All Sir/Madam ceramics are dishwasher safe.
Above: Jesse and Kostas love eating oysters so much that they emblazoned a linen table runner with a list of varieties. Anthropologie offers their 72-inch-long Blue Point Table Runner for $78.
Above: An oyster feast served on Sir/Madam's Revival Tableware—modeled after British nursery china—at Mars, a new oyster bar in Astoria, Queens.
Above: First Jesse and Kostas started compiling a list of all the North American oysters they'd sampled. Soon the roster was expanded into "a full-fledge effort to compile the definitive index of these tasty little mollusks"—and applied to linen table runners and placemats.
Above: Sir/Madam's 41-inch-long Grand Aprons of linen and linen-cotton, worn by the gang at Mars oyster bar (that's Kostas on the far left).
Need to shop Sir/Madam's wares immediately? Have a look at Perfected Tableware from the Past, our post on the company's first collection, now in stores. And tour Jesse and Kostas's House in Upstate New York.
When New York-based multidisciplinary firm Reunion Goods & Services embarked on the redesign of Colorado's Wildwood Snowmass Hotel, they enlisted their friends Benjamin Luddy and Makoto Mizutani of Scout Regalia as the design architects for the adjacent New Belgium Ranger Station. The duo collaborated with Reunion on the interiors, and came up with the idea of a slope-side bar and restaurant inspired by the A-frame and the National Park aesthetic. As Makoto explains, "National parks are a huge inspiration for us. We love nature and the outdoors, and the National Park system really opens up that experience for so many people. We wanted the bar to have the same feeling of warmth and discovery—a cozy space to take a break from exploring the mountain, which is literally right next to the bar." Here, they explain how they achieved the look in such a small space.
Photography by Laure Joliet.
Above: To make the space feel cozy and warm, the designers used white oak throughout. "Our biggest challenge was working with such a small square footage," Makoto says. "We needed to design a bar/restaurant that could seat over 50 people in approximately 750 square feet and still convey our design concept inspired by cabin life, national parks, and ranger stations." The Bluff City Pendant Lights are from Roll & Hill.
Above: "Our overall design move was to create an A-frame-inspired bar as the main component of the space; it defines our concept without taking up too much space," Makoto says.
Above: The team created multi-functional pieces that serve double duty; case in point, the SR Ranger Stools feature a storage cubby under the seat to hold gear as well as a hook for hanging skiing paraphernalia.
Above: Makoto tells us, "We designed the SR Matchstick Tables to comfortably accommodate a group, with additional hooks on the underside for more storage. Every little bit counts when you're designing a small space."
Above: SR Hooks under the SR Matchstick tables for hanging gloves, helmets, and other ski gear.
Above: The herringbone wainscoting, which is meant to evoke a mountain scape, is made of beetle kill pine. "The beetle kill pine was something that we wanted to use to bring attention to the severe blight of Colorado's pine trees from the mountain pine beetle," Makoto says. "The epidemic has been catastrophic to the pine forests, but the fallen trees can be repurposed for a variety of uses. We used it for the herringbone wall treatment to demonstrate that the fallen trees can be reused in new, interesting ways."
Above: A detail shot of the repurposed beetle kill pine used as wainscoting.
Above: The exterior of the building is painted in hues of green that reference National Park colors.
Above L: The Ranger Station is located beside the ski slopes at Snowmass. Above R: One of several Belgian brews being pulled at the bar.
To celebrate last week's Danish design issue, we invited readers to create a Pinterest board of their favorite Danish-inspired living spaces for a chance to win a Kay Bojesen salad serving set and salt spoon. Many thanks to the dozens and dozens of you who participated. We selected four winners based on their standout pinboards; the four prizes go to: Shannon Russ, Maria Nash, Annie Thomas, and Dorota Dudek-Thien.
The winners' boards caught our attention thanks to memorable images that capture the nuances of Danish design. The contest inspired us to create our own board, The Great Danes. Here, the prize and images from each of the winning boards.
Above: From Maria's board: A lookbook image from Danish brand OYOY.
Above: From Annie's board: A photo from Copenhagen store, Illums Bolighus, which has been selling Danish designs in room settings since 1925.
Above: From Shannon's board: Work space accessories from Danish housewares company Ferm Living.
Above: From Dorota's board: Modern dining room furniture from BoConcept.
If you missed a chance to enter this giveaway, don't fret—we have a two other contests going. Enter here for a chance to win a $5,000 shopping spree at Terrain in Philadelphia (trip for two included). And tell us what's in your favorite smoothie for a chance to win a Vitamix blender.
Architects Jordan Allen and Ryan Trefz of Canadian firm bioi designed a deceptively simple 750-square-foot modern farmhouse in Alberta, Canada, to replace a house that could no longer meet the daily needs of a working farm. To minimize costs and environmental impact, the architects embraced the traditional form of the gabled-roof farmhouse and created a truly simple and efficient structure in a modern, all-black shell.
Inside, however, tradition no longer applies. Rather than apportion valuable square footage for each household requirement, the architects designed a single large box to house them all: the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, clothes storage, and mechanical systems all reside inside a birch cube. And the rest of the house? It feels expansive and open to possibility.
Photographs by Alison Andersen.
Above: One end of the birch wood headquarters contains the kitchen.
Above: Clothing storage is tucked into the opposite end. The architects intended for the owners to assign discrete functions to the box at will.
Above: The rest of the interior is defined by lofty beamed ceilings and a polished concrete floor with radiant heating. Windows and skylights take advantage of the southern exposure, providing both heat and light to the home.
Above: A large deck on one end of the house is a platform for work; it stands next to a refurbished log cabin used as insulated storage.
Above: A smaller deck at the other end of the farmhouse is for relaxing and taking in meadow views.
Above: The house's outermost shell is made of a humble black corrugated steel wrapped over a thick layer of insulation. The steel covers the length of the structure.
Above: Cedar façades at either end define the entryways. The house sits off the ground on screw piles—a precaution on land with a very high water table.
Above: A utilitarian material like black corrugated steel is a nod to the rural location and purpose of the structure; it's also a modern and dramatic-looking choice.
Above: The house's cedar façades provide a warm contrast to the corrugated steel shell.
If you like the look of this farmhouse, browse our Steal This Look: An Economical Scandinavian Ski Cabin and A Minimalist Ski Resort in Sweden.