Secreted away in a residential pocket of Copenhagen, on the first floor of a private building with no store front or signage, The Apartment doesn’t rely on footfall. Yet this exquisite emporium of mostly midcentury furniture and lighting is well known within Scandi-cool and international design circles.
Founder Tina Seidenfaden Busck, who worked at Sotheby’s in London and Copenhagen for 10 years, was living in the apartment upstairs when this one came up for sale. “The previous owners hadn’t touched the place in 40 years,” she says. “I restored it completely, right down to the original 1780s oak flooring.” The result is a coolly stylish home that every visitor clamours to live in. But while moving in is not an option, taking a piece of it home is; everything in the three Georgian panelled living rooms, kitchen and bedroom is for sale, whether that’s the elegant 1950s black-tinted glass console table (€4,000) with coiled metal legs, or the contemporary brass mobile chandelier (€16,800) by Michael Anastassiades.
Busck travels monthly to scout for pieces – many from Italy, France and Sweden, most dating from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s – and showcases her vintage finds alongside contemporary classics; a 1960s Piero Fornasetti floral tray (€2,070) atop a McCollin Bryan mirrored emerald resin side table (€3,140), for example. The items are rotated constantly and she redecorates the entire place every six months. “I change the wall colours summer and winter, or to complement the furniture. It has a huge impact.” There are colours she regularly comes back to, “like a favourite jumper”, such as Farrow & Ball’s Mere Green and Setting Plaster, while wallpaper is often by British artist Marthe Armitage – “she’s 86 and block-prints her papers by hand. The patterns and textures are incredible” – and Danish textile designer Helene Blanche, whose peach microdots currently scatter the hallway.
This magnetic mix attracts many a design guru. Two years ago she joined forces with Ilse Crawford: “She took over the place and completely redid it. There were George Smith sofas and Jack Trench brass cabinets.” The pair even installed a pop-up restaurant in the kitchen, where local chef Frederik Bille Brahe (one of Nordic cuisine’s most buzzed-about wunderkinds) cooked dinner twice a week. And what became of Crawford’s design scheme? “After a few months we redecorated the whole place as usual.”
Upcoming special events include selling exhibitions of Cora Sheibani’s playful jewellery and Austrian Carl Auböck’s midcentury brass pieces. But for the moment, Busck counts a sculptural 1940s sofa (€20,300) re-covered in sheepskin, and a magnificent Murano glass chandelier (€7,500) among her favourites. “I find a few key items and work around them. I buy something because I like it – it’s all intuitive – and somehow the pieces work together. Even when I’m on holiday I find inspiration. It’s the nature of a collector – I can’t switch off.”