The Scandinavian for inspiration
Dec 21, 2014

Industrial designer Thomas Lykke at OeO is very sure that good design always presumes good communications. For Danish manufacturers Dinesen, OeO came up with a showroom in downtown Copenhagen with a view of Peblinge Lake. They designed 300 square meters of store space and an a 300 sqaure meter apartment nextdoor, opting for very different takes. But the focus was always on wood as the main material. “Extraordinary by Nature” was the name they chose for the apartment, which immediately grabs you as inviting and cozy.

The designers were inspired by Vilhelm Hammershøi. The 19th-century Danish painter is renowned for his poetic, slightly melancholic interiors, pictures produced in tender gray tones. The elegant apartment thus boasts fine differences in warm tones, from the gray washed Dinesen floorboards to the medium gray walls. And not just the colors, but also the focus on natural materials is typical of high-end Nordic design. You don’t notice the quality of the floors initially, but at a second glance the coherent details catch the eye. The high-grade Dinesen boards are of a truly unusual size, up to 50 centimeters wide and laid in the Showroom as flush boards in an outsized herringbone pattern.

In the first part of the showroom, the wood is far coarser, both for the table and for the flooring, taking as the slogan “Tree of a Kind”; here the designers have toyed with the material. The length of the central table derives from the size of the floor boards and is a full 15 meters long. As Dinesen emphasizes, only about 3-7 meters of an oak trunk meet the company’s quality criteria, and with Douglas firs, which can grow to as high as 60 meters, in exceptional cases lengths of up to 15 meters meet the bill.

While the table and the flooring have a persuasively even surface, the designers have opted to highlight natural wood growth on the walls. A relief made of square wooden panels has a graphic pattern thanks to the knotholes and tears – ensuring that the material looks forever vibrant. By contrast, the less obvious knotholes in the floorboards have been filled carefully and the tears sealed.
The coarser feel of the showroom is underscored by built-in units with a temporary feel about them, be it thanks to the Pergola round the table or the reception desk, with its Japanese flair. The designers have managed throughout to communicate the wood’s marvelous properties.

The second part of the showroom is reminiscent of an elegant apartment in the classic Nordic vein. Photo © Dinesen
Wood and other natural materials set the tone of the showroom. Photo © Dinesen
The first part of the showroom is less conventional in design. Photo © Dinesen
Flooring, window reveals and stools are all made of Dinesen woods, which boast especially beautiful textures. Photo © Dinesen
Ultra-modern workstations can also be realized using that traditional material: wood. Photo © Dinesen
The designers at OeO created the Dinesen showroom for downtown Copenhagen. Photo © Dinesen
OeO had furniture and built-in units made from the especially broad and long Dinesen boards.
Photo © Dinesen
The ingenious choice of colors is also typical of Scandinavian design. Photo © Dinesen
OeO impressively demonstrates what is so special about Dinesen boards. Here they have been used for a table a full 15 meters long. Photo © Dinesen
OeO also had small tables and book shelves made using Dinesen wood. Photo © Dinesen