At Home With… Berner Kühl
We could all take a little more inspiration from the Hygge lifestyle. So recently, we decided to swap the madness of London for the slower pace of life in Scandinavia, taking a trip to Copenhagen to see some fashionable friends. The first meeting on our whistle-stop tour? Catching up with fashion industry veteran Frederik Berner Kühl. The namesake designer opened the doors of his apartment to catch up with us about his home life, the Berner Kühl brand and his favourite things about living in Copenhagen.
Hello Frederik! Where do you live and how long have you lived here?
I have been living in the area of Vesterbro in Copenhagen for the last year and a half. I almost lived in all areas of Copenhagen, and we will be moving again soon. Never stop exploring!
How would you describe your home?
It feels very safe.
Do you share it with anyone - including pets?
It’s my girlfriend Emma’s apartment, she has been living here since 2018. I sort of invaded the space and never left…
How did you go about furnishing the space?
When I moved in it was already fully equipped, with lots of nice stuff, so it was a matter of agreeing to change bits and pieces to make it ours, instead of just Emma’s. Luckily our taste is quite similar. And if we disagree, Emma ends up deciding! [Laughs].
What’s your favourite detail about your home?
Sitting in the kitchen facing the backyard is the best view of the apartment. We have our own little secret park back there. It’s very tranquil.
What was the last piece of art you bought, or ogled?
For my 30th birthday back in March, my sister gave me an Anton Funck lithography. I love the mono blue colour, even on the frame. He has become our go-to artist in the family. I love everything he does.
Would you say your interior aesthetic and your design aesthetic are the same?
Yes and no. The values are similar. It’s about craft, comfort and effortlessness. But I think my design aesthetic is more restrained. In our home we allow it to be a bit more cosy, more warm. Also more colour. The clothing is more stripped-back and a bit more straight on.
What was your route into design and how did you begin the Berner Kühl brand?
I actually started business school after high school. It lasted three months, then I dropped out. I worked part time in a clothing store in Copenhagen at the same time, and it led me onto my first job in production, which later on became design.
After working for other brands for several years, I was fed up with how the commercial side of our business works. I quit my job as a design manager, and moved to Florence to do my Master’s in Creative Direction. My school thesis became the foundation for Berner Kühl.
What’s the vision behind Berner Kühl and how would you describe the brand?
Berner Kühl is my personal megaphone, shouting out quality to a world dominated by noise. We are trying to push the limits of ultimate materiality. Pure, sophisticated clothing blurring the lines between luxury and performance.
In your opinion, what makes a house a home?
I moved around a lot, and it wasn’t until I moved in with Emma - who really appreciates what a home can be - that I realised how much it means. It’s the objects we surround ourselves with, full of memories and joy. Along with great art.
What is your favourite home away from home?
I have to say Florence. Wandering around in that city is the best feeling ever. I spent so much time just walking around alone when I lived there, and in those streets Berner Kühl was basically born.
What’s the most surprising thing we’d find if we looked in your closet?
A pair of mustard yellow Gucci trousers. I guess I had an Italian moment, and I did wear them for an entire summer. Along with a vintage orange Prada sports jacket. They’re probably the only colourful pieces you’ll find in there.
What three people (living or passed) would be your dream dinner party guests?
I would have loved to have met Franca Sozzani. There was something about her that frightened me a bit, while also being hugely admirable. Next up would be the late Massimo Osti. A true innovator, he is the main reason for me ending up where I am. Lastly would be Mario Merz - it blew me away to see his Igloos. In general, people who devoted their lives to work on just one thing is something that I love to hear about.
What books do you have on your bookshelves? Any favourites?
One of the best I have is Margiela; The Hermes Years. It’s the ultimate exploration of the best luxury clothing ever made. I also recently bought a book called Trix + Robert Haussmann: A Life With Art and Artists. It’s a portrait of the Swiss couple that reveals their intimate universe and their relationship to art. You feel like you’re reading a pixie book, but instead of reading a kid’s story, you’re looking at great interiors where art takes centre stage.
What do you always have in your fridge?
Butter and pecorino.
Favourite thing about your neighbourhood/where you live?
We are close to all of our favourite places, and we can walk almost everywhere we need to go.
What’s your favourite restaurant and what do you eat there?
Wherever I live, I find my go-to Italian place. At the moment it’s Mangia. We always try to sit in the bar if possible. First we order Pane Burro + Acciughe, then Plin al Burro + Timo or Tortelli. I am not much of a Secondi guy, so we normally go straight to the cheese platter, accompanied by the best honey ever. Don’t forget the wine!
Last thing you had delivered to your house/apartment?
Berner Kühl samples. Before moving to a proper office, I had everything sent to the apartment and somehow parcels still end up here.
Photography: Jonathan Middleton
Words: Sophy Davis Russell
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