9 reasons why Aarhus is awesome!

Aros Museum Aarhus

We love Copenhagen and in the future we promise we will share tons of inspiration from the Danish capital. But we want to start somewhere very different. After a weekend with foreign friends and questions like “what goes on in the rest of your country?” we started thinking, what is actually going on? Originating from a part of Denmark quite far from Copenhagen we thought we would have good answers, but to be honest we’ve lost touch of what is happening. Therefore we sat down and tried to find out.

First we thought we would do a complete blog post about cute countryside get-aways, the popular seaside hotel experiences and the beautiful nature. But instead we came across a rather provocative headline “Move Over Copenhagen: In Denmark, It’s All About Aarhus”**. Living in Copenhagen we didn’t believe that to be true, but we can just say that we highly recommend reading this article from Travel & Leisure** and visit Aarhus. At least it made us plan a trip back home and rediscover Denmark’s second biggest city.

We couldn’t have done a better article, so instead we thought we would share what we do know about Aarhus and give you a peek into all the New Nordic design originating from here.

01. Thorning Astrup Aarhus, behind this unique jewelry brand you find Maja Thorning Kristensen and Niels Astrup. The duo deliberately work with imperfection and alternative materials in their production. With master degrees in Architecture and Digital design respectively they challenge the traditions of creating feminine jewelry by combining traditional materials like silver with an odd material like concrete.By using concrete as their material their starting point is raw and industrial, but through continous processing the jewelry becomes smooth and exclusive. Their mantra is “always to design using only one defining detail in a specific product with a constructivist, modernist approach”.

Link to shop:

Thorning Astrup

Thorning Astrup Aarhus  – Acorn Jade Necklace

02. The Oak Men, are Anders Buchtrup Jensen and Peter Hensberg, and they simply just love wood and cool stuff. Their mantra is to “design and manufacture products for use in life, for real and for fun”. You find many fine home accessories out there, but most are made for women. The two men only design stuff which they, as The Oak Men, can relate to. Stuff that men themselves will buy, women can love and buy for their men, but surely also for themselves.

The Oak Men design all their prototypes in their workshop just outside Aarhus, where they play with most materials, wood, metal, leather, linoleum and many more. Each product is designed on the traditions of traditional cabinet makers with focus on quality, simplicity, aesthetics and a good deal of humor.

They mainly design for the kitchen, basher, mortar, trays and storage. But you can also find lighting, candle holders, notice board and a funny decorative thing or two.

Link to shop:

The Oak Men

The Oak Men – boxes, trays, kitchen tools and much more…

03. Piece of Denmark is the collaboration between architect Dorte Kjettrup and designer Susanne Holmvang. Heavily inspired by their backgrounds the design duo seek to “share a great fascination of light and shadow, a universe reflecting beautiful retrospectives and modern graphic styles.

The bowls / vases are designed in their studio just outside Aarhus and handmade by a small pottery on the Danish island of Langeland. They were earlier in 2016 honored with the coveted Danish award “Best Design” at Formland. They stay unique by only producing 500 pieces of each of their designs that today count 4 pieces.

Link to shop:

Piece of Denmark - Gubel

Piece of Denmark – Gubels

04. dot aarhus is driven by creativity and a desire to create functional designs that helps us with our small challenges in our everyday. The design duo behind, Pia and Ulrik Brøndum Mathiassen create quality by focusing on using the best and sustainable materials. We love dot aarhus for the humor they add to their products, for instance meet Nosey, the eyewear holder or Time-Off you can use for storage of bracelets and watches when you don’t wear them.

Link to shop:

dot aarhus New Nordic interior design

dot aarhus – Keeper, Nosey, Time-Off

05. Design by Dane is founded by designer Mikkel Vandborg. Mikkel’s passion is furniture, and has been since he build his first piece at the age of 14. With a background as cabinetmaker Mikkel has a thorough understanding of materials, which his designs reflects. But Design by Dane is much more than a furniture design company. Mikkel has founded the company to unite emerging as well as established designers to offer a wide range of high quality interior.

Today the company offer designs from Mikkel himself as well as ceramic from Trine Rytter and a mirror from NordicLeather designer Annemette Kjølby. The vision of the company is “to offer products that are expressions of good, functional design and high quality, yet we believe that innovative design should also be affordable.”

Link to shop:

Design by Denmark Danish Furniture

Design by Dane  – Make-up table

06. Ham & Lerche or Alexander Kristensen (ham) and Line Lerche. A passionate couple that started the company with focus on simplicity and quality. They observe and discover the city and people of Aarhus and seek out the beautiful nature surrounding their home city to find inspiration for their innovative storage accessories and hand-made bags and purses. They created Ham & Lerche in 2015 when they decided to combine their academic skills. Alexander has brought in his experiences from his Master in Finance from Aarhus University and Line is the creative mastermind with her background as tailor and design graduate from Design School of Kolding.

Link to shop:

Ham & Lerche - Leather Pen Holder

Ham & Lerche – Leather Pen Holder

07. Noir Desire, a universe created to inspire women to express their individuality. This is why founder Christina Desiree Petersen focus on designing unique and modern bags that you can customize to your likes. The designs are of the highest quality but priced to be affordable so you can own more than one bag for more stylings. Furthermore many of the bags are designed with detachable straps so you can wear the bag as a clutch or change the strap for another look. We think it is pretty cool.

Link to shop:

Noir Desire - ND Belt Bag Suede

Noir Desire – ND Belt Bag Suede

08. meng studiois my dream, and a personal brand for me, because meng is my middle name. In Chinese meng means dream. However, it is also a personal brand because my goal is that meng studio will become personal for a broad range of people”. – Founder, Yoyo Meng Olesen.

Yoyo seeks to reinterpret the classics and create contemporary designs, with a simple and timeless touch. This results in designs with a unique twist, making life sightly more lovely, without sacrificing the comfortable aspect for garments.

Link to shop:

meng studio fashion design

Meng Studio – Chloe Sweat | Antracite

09. Bella Bella Denmark, is owned by Bella Laurine Elmborg. We admire her ability to create unique and beautiful jewelry founded in the traditional crafts of jewelry production. She designs minimalistic jewelry in silver and gold with different types of gemstones. Each piece is made with the vision of removing all unnecessary to emphasize the person wearing the piece. An approach that takes time and sacrifice but makes each piece timeless.

Link to shop:

Bella Bella Denmark Jewelry

Bella Bella Denmark – Julie black diamond ring


**Move Over Copenhagen: In Denmark, It’s All About Aarhus – Travel & Leisure