Everything From the Couch to the Kitchen Was Designed By the Architect-Owner of This Copenhagen Home

Plenty of designers we know prefer not to live with their work at all, so it was a rather bold step for Danish architect and designer David Thulstrup to dispose of virtually everything he owned before gut renovating a 1920s Copenhagen apartment to make a new home for himself and his partner. “We got rid of almost everything to start out with the possibility of living super minimally,” says Thulstrup. “It was a test of sorts and also a chance for me to live 100 percent with my products, from the kitchen to the chairs, the sofa, and the tables. By doing that, you find out what works and what doesn’t, so that was a big part of this project.”

Thulstrup is something of a master, in our minds, at using just the right dollop of color, and in this project he hewed to that philosophy, painting the walls a matte white, upholstering in neutral fabrics like mocha sheepskin and tobacco wool, and deploying a single fire-engine red frame for his Mooner sofa for Common Seating (a much more interesting combination than any of the off-the-shelf options, as is typically the case with sofas). One of the biggest visual elements in the home is a series of brushed aluminum cabinet fronts, which are part of Thulstrup’s kitchen design for the Danish company Reform; here, they’re also used along the hallway as facades or to house cupboards.

When Thulstrup bought the apartment in 2018, the previous owner had lived there for 40 years, and the home was in disrepair. “Looking at it now, it’s hard to imagine what it was like, with stucco everywhere,” says Thulstrup. “This was a big exercise in considering, how do we live our life? As well as a desire for serenity we wanted to be social, to be connected with someone sitting at the dining table when we are cooking or hosting guests in the kitchen.” In keeping with apartments of the same era, this one had a long dark corridor with many smaller rooms opening off of it. Thulstrup knocked down walls to create a sight line from the bedroom to the living room and combined two rooms to make the kitchen; the original pine floors were retained complete with gaps between the planks and inserts where walls had been removed. Floor-to-ceiling aluminum blinds and a custom-designed kitchen table complete the picture. We’ve been thinking about escaping to Copenhagen one day; it’s only too bad this serene spot is already taken.