Within the walls of an old watchmaker's shop, the duo have created a home in Copenhagen that has a modern vision
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Wooden chair antique. Wooden table, €3,000. Wooden plinth, €1,600. Both Frama . Lunar bowl, €215. Franca Christophersen . Photo: Mathias Mentze
“There is something about nothingness and empty spaces,” muses Niels Strøyer Christophersen as he sits with his wife Franca-Christina in the living room of their Copenhagen home.
“When you have stuffed spaces it doesn’t release the same imagination.”
Located in Copenhagen’s stylish Østerbro district, the building, which dates back to 1905, wasn’t always so sparsely decorated. It was once crammed full of springs and dials, when it housed a watchmaker and his shop. Its residents today, however, are ceramicist Franca-Christina and her husband Niels, founder and owner of multi-disciplinary design practice Frama.
Once a maker of minimalist wooden furniture and lighting, Frama is now an internationally established design studio offering skincare products, perfumes and even a charming cafe. Meanwhile Franca, who moved from New Zealand for an apprenticeship with ceramicist Eric Landon of Tortus Copenhagen, has successfully launched her own ceramics studio.
The couple’s personality permeates their home. While their creative careers run parallel, their home is collaborative. Currently, this plays out in the kitchen, where they are cooking together.
Entering their apartment, light softly settles through the floor-to-ceiling shop-style windows. You feel an immediate calm. Niels and Franca’s home presents their own perspective, and, in a greater sense, expresses a modern Scandinavian aesthetic.
The Nordic design mantra evokes form following function. It values the importance of humanity, emotional warmth and socially-minded inclusivity – all threads that run through this home and the practices of its owners.
Linen bedspread, €270. Tekla. Wooden plinth, €1,600. Frama. Photo: Mathias Mentze
Over a cup of coffee, Niels notes that his journey with Frama has been completely organic. “That is also the beauty of it, as it goes by intuition and passion, then when you meet people it takes you in different directions,” he explains. “ Although an item might be produced using very high tech methods, the end results are still very human.”
Looking at the elegant bowl cup I am drinking my coffee from, Niels nods at Franca – who made it by hand. “I think all pieces are reflections of people, and it’s the same for Franca’s work – it’s basically Franca standing there. I think that is so beautiful: that people are able to express themselves into other objects.”
It is this level of humanity that shines through this apartment. The long table in the dining room yearns to host friends, chatting around flickering candles, long into the night. The smaller circular design in the living room could be spread with jams, fresh bread and newspapers for brunch on a Sunday morning.
The absence of doors allows the spaces to flow into each other, the energy from one room seeping into the next. Even the bathroom, with its rolling door, has no lock. Just a low rumble as it slides to and fro indicates its occupancy.
A simple pane of glass divides the bedroom and dining room, with a linen curtain for those in need of further privacy. Without traditional identities, the rooms become multipurpose, creating an interaction throughout the property.
Otto Shallow Bowl
Warm Brown Wood Chair