Design:

2 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Every Design Decision, Says Signe

Nicole Franzen
Nicole Franzen

Before you approach any design project, there’s one thing you need to consider: intention. Just like the verse from Solange’s lyrics, “Do nothing without intention. Do nothing without intention”—every part of your home should be carefully considered. This applies to the color palette, each piece of furniture you invest in, every artwork, right down to the materials and surface textures you choose. If you’re struggling with this process and need help getting clarity, follow Signe Bindslev Henriksen‘s lead. The architect and designer says there are two design questions to ask yourself with every decision: Does this piece move me? Do I absolutely have to live with it?

It’s evident from the thoughtful design and art choices in Henriksen’s Copenhagen apartment that she only chooses pieces that speak to her viscerally.  “You should be able to say in a split second whether you like something or not,” she tells Athena for Live Beautiful. This is an interesting sentiment to consider when thinking about the dialogue in your home—choose pieces that have a voice and then imagine them in conversation with each other in the space. Let there be tension, juxtaposition, and contrast, too but overall the pieces should sing in harmony, providing layers of visual interest and intrigue. 

In celebration of Live Beautiful’s one year anniversary, this week we continue our unveiling of unpublished pages from the celebrated tome. Read on for a special rapid fire interview and curated collage designed by Henriksen for the book and be inspired by her dramatic tonal contrast and thoughtful restraint. 

Nicole Franzen
Nicole Franzen
Nicole Franzen
Nicole Franzen
WHAT DOES HOME MEAN TO YOU?
Contemplation, family, and friends
 
DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETIC / DESIGN PHILOSOPHY IN THREE WORDS.
Curiosity, poetry, and resonance
 
UNEXPECTED DESIGN SOLUTION IN YOUR HOME YOU ARE PROUD OF?
I love my floor to ceiling mirror cabinets in the bedroom. I was not happy about having to place a huge, but very needed wardrobe in my bedroom… but it turned out to feel so light and open since the cabinet doors reflect the beautiful green park outside.
 
I HATE TO ADMIT IT BUT MY BIGGEST DESIGN FAUX-PAS WAS _____.
That I did not do the same in my smallest boy Nicolas’ room … every day I want to change his huge dark solid oak cabinets into mirrored ones too.
 
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED IN DESIGNING THIS HOME?
Just as much as I love my dark grey floors, I (also) hate to admit that they demand daily cleaning—everything shows on a dark surface.
 
FAVORITE ROOM AND WHY?
Although I love cooking and hang- ing out in my kitchen with family and friends, my living room is really magic at certain hours of the day — the dreamy light bounces on surfaces and art pieces. This is where I can refuel and think new thoughts.
 
YOU SAW ____ AND IT INSPIRED ____.
The way my grandmother (who was also an architect) would always just collect things or furniture that, she intuitively found beautiful and believed would have long lasting qualities;
me to believe in my personal intuition and good quality rather than the trend.
 
WHAT SHOULD BE ON EVERYONE’S COFFEE TABLE?
Lots of books.
 
I HAVE FAR TOO MANY ____ IN OUR HOME. BUT I CONTINUE TO COLLECT THEM! 
Books, lamps, lights, pendants, and chandeliers
 
WHAT ARE YOU ENDLESSLY CURIOUS ABOUT?
Japan

Necessary Objects

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