Scandinavian design seems to fit Hong Kong apartments like a glove. Known for its simplicity, use of natural materials, flexibility and modest scale, it has a clean and uncluttered look that is ideal for small spaces. Danish furniture and lifestyle company Normann Copenhagen has partnered with Hong Kong based Homeless for the past eight years, as the two companies have similar philosophies and approaches when it comes to living well.
Founded in 1999 by Poul Madsen and Jan Andersen as a merger of their two previous companies, Normann Copenhagen has evolved with the market while staying true to its Nordic roots. “At first we concentrated on lighting and accessories,” says Madsen, in Hong Kong late August to officiate the launch of The Nordic Room and Normann Copenhagen’s stationery collection Daily Fiction. “Our first product was the 69 Lamp, a fixture that people could put together themselves. It was an overnight success. We began to experiment with furniture in 2009. At first, they didn’t sell well because they were considered too expensive. We adjusted that, and now 60 percent of our turnover is furniture.” Normann Copenhagen’s in-house design team handles some of the concepts, while the company also collaborates with many Danish names. Furniture is predominantly manufactured in Poland and Denmark while accessories are made in China and Turkey.
Born in Poland, Madsen moved to Copenhagen when he was a toddler. He developed a passion for Nordic design, and recently renovated his home in a traditional northern European style. “It is very Scandinavian—white with pine furniture,” Madsen admits. The interiors of The Nordic Room in Hong Kong also reflect its line of Scandinavian products. With 2,000 square feet and more than 30 brands from Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, it is a one stop shop for lifestyle items with a northern appeal. The corner shop’s exterior is outfitted with stacked shipping palettes painted white, while interior walls are white and blue wooden clapboard mixed with palettes for a light and bright cottage feel.
“We knew that we needed products at a different price point than our furniture,” says Madsen. “We wanted to reach out to young people who have no need for a sofa since they lived at home with their parents. In Hong Kong, they would be products in the HK$15 to HK$250 range. Daily Fiction is our response to this market. We see the collection as a candy store for grown ups. Like children with sweets, they just can’t control themselves when they encounter Daily Fiction—they want to have it all. We’ve already launched the collection across 20 shops in Europe and this is our launch in Hong Kong.”
With more than 200 small scale designer items, Daily Fiction is a collection of colourfully playful everyday items. Notebooks, gift wrapping, scissors, stickers, writing instruments and much more make up the products that Normann Copenhagen conceived with Danish design agency Femmes Regionales. With their background in fashion, designers Mie Albaek Nielsen and Caroline Hansen created a collection with a glamorous flair, giving attention to the smallest detail. “The fashion industry moves faster than the furniture one,” notes Madsen. “We have noticed that women between the ages of 25 to 37 are the biggest market group for these products.”