“I like the idea of your home taking on the properties of a ship,” says Tomas Cenius. “You board the vessel, loose the moorings and set sail towards new adventures with your family. Oh, and there’s no going back.” He laughs as he pours us coffee. He points out the maritime elements scattered around the house with precision. The lower part of the house features dark woods and ships’ lamps in the ceiling, while the first floor resembles the deck of a ship with its light blue colours serving as the horizon and the high wooden panels as the railing.
“Everything in the house has been built, found or purchased specifically for this place,” says Cenius, showing some of the details. “Take the bathroom, for instance. It’s from the Regent Palace Hotel in London. I stayed there and found out they were about to renovate the room, so I made a deal with the owner and got the tiles and bathtub. It was a real hassle getting it all back to Denmark, but it’s cool when things have a story to them – and I guess most of the stuff here has some kind of past.”
Almost all construction work has been done by Cenius himself, and before he could start he had to carry out more than 33 tons of rubble, scrap and garbage. “The cleaning up took almost half a year, but I got to have it exactly how I wanted it,” he says. “And now it takes on a personality of its own because there’s a meaning and anecdote to every element we have decided to bring inside.”
“I’ve always been fascinated with Bang & Olufsen, drawn by the design that seems larger than life. You know how you can sense there are no compromises? That’s the thing!” Cenius takes us on a trip back to his childhood, as he recollects: “All my family worked at Danmarks Radio (the Danish national television and radio broadcaster), so I have been surrounded with Bang & Olufsen since I was a child. And looking back I think the visual direction of the company can be linked to the atmosphere of sound studios, and I love that. The use of wood and lamellas is magnificent – and timeless.”
As we walk round the house music is playing softly from the record player. “We’ve got five different systems playing music in the house. The one we’re listening to right now, the BeoGram 1000, sets the atmosphere when we’re having guests over, it has a pretty mellow vibe to it. And then there’s another system for when we really want to party and dance, and smaller setups for when we just want to keep it more personal and not disturb.”
“I prefer a record player because there’s a physical dimension to it, which is wonderful,” says Tomas. “It brings you closer to the music, as simple as that!”
“Music has a terrific ability to pick up your mood, and we have always got some smooth tunes flowing through the house,” he tells me with enthusiasm as he shows the vintage Bang & Olufsen paired with a set of BeoLab 18s, but when it comes to TVs it’s a whole other matter to him. “We don’t have a television, and that is an aesthetic choice - not because we don’t like to watch movies. I just think it is very uninspiring to look at them when they’re turned off. It’s as if they drain the room of energy. I want to choose when the screen is there and so for me it has to be movable. I have tried to find solutions to the TV problem, but have not cracked it yet; we use our laptops instead.”