A playful tribute to Danish design history

Through The Darling, Jens Løkke and Uffe Buchard have created an apartment in Copenhagen's oldest houses serving as a tribute to classic Danish design and modern progressive Danish art.

A playful tribute to Danish design history

Through The Darling, Jens Løkke and Uffe Buchard have created an apartment in Copenhagen's oldest houses serving as a tribute to classic Danish design and modern progressive Danish art.

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A playful tribute to Danish design history

Through The Darling, Jens Løkke and Uffe Buchard have created an apartment in Copenhagen's oldest houses serving as a tribute to classic Danish design and modern progressive Danish art.

The Darling serves as the exclusive hotel room for design aficionados worldwide and everything in the apartment is for sale. During 3daysofdesign 2022, the doors opened for everyone to take a peek inside.

About five years ago, Uffe Buchard and Jens Løkke got the idea for The Darling. The Copenhagen creative duo runs Darling Creative Studio, which works with innovative solutions and concepts for customers such as Bang & Olufsen and IKEA. The team, known for their work in the fashion industry and the now-closed magazine DANSK, also have a great love for furniture design. After much travelling abroad, the concept for The Darling emerged.

The Darling Living Room

Uffe Buchard explains: “In Copenhagen, you can stay in a Verner Panton suite, in a Poul Kjærholm suite and an Arne Jacobsen suite, but there is no place that mixes the great Danish designers and combines it with a hospitality solution. No one had grabbed that idea, and it surprised us a lot. We are known for Danish design worldwide across brands and designers. So, we started with the development of the concept, which opened in 2020. The Darling is an apartment where we mix the designers across brands and operate in a field of mid-century design, combined with things by Kjærholm, for example, which is designed a bit later.”

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The dream is to create a place where guests can live with the most excellent Danish design in what is referred to as the golden age in Danish design history.

“There are many Danes who live with that furniture, but if you come from abroad, then it is something extraordinary. The problem with collecting all the old honoured classics, however, is that it can quickly get a slightly granny-like look when SO much is gathered in so little space, so we showed from the start that it should be spiced up with something modern and full of contrast. Therefore, there are changing exhibitions with modern progressive Danish art. We change the art about once a month,” says Jens Løkke.

Everything is for sale

In The Darling, everything in the apartment can be taken home afterwards. So, if you fall in love with a piece of furniture, a coffee cup or one of the works of art, you can purchase it upon check out and bring the piece into your life.  

There are about 50 Danish artists represented at The Darling, which has become a platform not just for Danish design but also for the new Danish art scene.

 

Finn Juhl, PH, Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mogensen and modern art at The Darling

A diverse clientele

Those who book one or more nights in The Darling range from those who want to be themselves and shop and cook in the kitchen to those who wish for the same services as in a five-star hotel.

“We operate at a flat rate, and then we have many services to choose from. You can get your own driver, and we have a butler service and chefs who can come and cook. You can book massages or facials. But it is much more personal than in a regular hotel. We also typically spend an hour checking in the guests because they want to hear the story about the designers and the artists and works,” says Jens Løkke.

Why not new Danish design?

One may ask why The Darling is so retrospective when there are now many talented Danish design producers living today. Uffe provides a good explanation for that:

“Danish design is based on what we are sitting on here. They were the ones who laid the foundation for what Danish design is known for abroad. There have since been a lot of fantastic brands that have built on that heritage - Muuto, Hay, Ferm Living, Normann Copenhagen, etc. But that's not what we want. We could easily have made a great guest house with the new ones, but that's not the story we want to tell. We cater a lot to foreigners, and we like to tell the story of the original designs. There is something special about icons. The new brands are doing wildly well, but they have not created icons yet. There are certainly many icons, but to become an icon, it takes many years.”

The Darling during 3daysofdesign

On June 15th of the 2022 festival, The Darling opened to all business professionals in town and on June 17th, everyone was invited to The Darling open house event at Niels Hemmingsens Gade 1, 2nd floor, 1153 Copenhagen.

 

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We also typically spend an hour checking in the guests because they want to hear the story about the designers and the artists and works.
Jens Løkke
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