Designer Living: Trine Andersen on old finds and fresh looks

The Danish designer Trine Andersen of Ferm Living talks about her love of second-hand furniture and the power of wallpaper.

‘Geometry is a huge influence right now,’ says Trine.
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Where do you live and how long have you lived there?

I moved to Copenhagen a year ago with my husband, Martin, and our son to live and work in a converted pencil factory. We have two apartments, opposite one another - one is our Ferm Living showroom and design studio; the other is our home.

What made you choose the property?

We love the industrial building - the exposed pipes, the high windows, the bare concrete floors. Our son is almost three, so it's handy to have a flexible arrangement, where we work from home. The commute is great - we just open a door and we're in the office! It can also be a bit dangerous, because we never really leave work.

What does your home say about you?

That I am a big fan of classic and vintage furniture. My style is retro-meets-modern - I often look to the 1950s and 1960s for ideas, then incorporate the designs into something new.

What is the key to creating a happy home?

I love having one main spacious living space where we eat, work and play - everyone all together. It's good to rearrange your belongings regularly, too. Sometime I gather up all of our possessions - all the accessories, everything - and put them all in the middle of the room on the dining table. Then, I clean everywhere and start rearranging things from scratch with a blank canvas, to give the whole room a fresh look. It's very cathartic.

Which item could no home of yours be without?

My B&B Italia sofa by Patricia Urquiola. It's huge and heavy, but I adore it. It's a sandy colour with a grape-purple section and it's my pride and joy.

Where do you like to shop for pieces for your home?

In the famous Strøget area of Copenhagen, there's a shop called Illums Bolighus. It's three heavenly floors of Danish designer furniture and accessories. I'm obsessed with second-hand buys, too. We've bought a lot of our vintage furniture from an online auction site called We recently did a photo shoot in a small town where there were lots of cheap junk shops and I picked up four wonderful 1960s chairs.

Do you incorporate elements of your work into your home, or do you like to keep your domestic environment separate?

We have lots of our own products at home. In fact, we have an unwritten rule that we shouldn't sell anything we wouldn't buy ourselves. Often, the reason we design something is because we can't find it anywhere else. That's how the whole company started, actually: in 2005, I wanted some wallpaper for a bedroom and just couldn't find the right pattern, so I decided to make my own.

What are you working on right now?

We've just finished our Autumn/Winter 2011 collection - the catalogue is being printed right now.

What are you inspired by?

Geometry is a huge influence at the moment. Also, Scandinavian nature always inspires us - the raw landscapes and natural materials. I always choose wood over plastic and I'm really into graphic prints, too. We're lucky to have inherited a great history of furniture design in Denmark - we're very proud of that tradition and we want to carry it on in our own way.

Who are your favourite designers?

It changes from season to season. I like Donna Wilson's designs - although she's Scottish, her style is very Danish in feel, and I love her humour.

How would you describe your interior style?

We have a very Scandinavian look, which is best described as old-meets-new.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

The dream scenario would be to have houses in two or three places. I love Denmark in the summer, but we have long periods of greyness and rain in the winter so it's quite bleak. A lot of Danish people have houses in Majorca and go there for the winter. That would be nice.

How do you like to relax?

My parents have a house on the west coast. It's a wild and rugged area and so quiet - I can enjoy the fresh air, switch my phone off and completely unwind.

What is the best way to simply and instantly update a room?

Wallpaper. You can make a huge change even on a small budget. Just papering one wall with one roll will totally alter your space in an afternoon.