a local soul

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when i was in copenhagen a few weeks ago i spent the night at ibsens, a boutique hotel furnished with quintessential danish design located in the artsy nansensgade neighbourhood known for its cafés, galleries, vintage shops and secondhand bookstores,

easily identifiable by the original red neon HOTEL sign, ibsens has a slightly downtrodden façade in keeping with the ambience of the surrounding neighbourhood, which it strives to blend seamlessly into. during it’s most recent transformation in 2011 local artisans and vendors were invited to contribute, meaning the interior décor is now a happy mish-mash of locally found objects, from the french industrial pendants sourced at local vintage store nansensgade no. 40, to the robust, wooden tables for communal dining (dubbed “mingle tables”) from nearby cabinet workshop jul. moller & son. at the back of the communal lounge area, behind wrought iron doors, a small library is stocked with books from a neighbouring antiquarian bookstore.

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i would have passed a very pleasant wednesday night in my spacious junior suite had it not been for the raging techno music blasting out from the club across the street until 2am, as part of the city’s distortion festival which had taken over the area that night (the following day was a public holiday in denmark).

but despite my troubled night’s sleep, i was very much taken with the room’s sparse décor with it’s distinctly scandic flair; dot quilt and cushions by haycoatrack dots by muuto, and beautiful lean floor lamp by swedish designer jenny bäck for örsjö belysning. i also loved the quirky “do not disturb” sign for the door with the perfect reasoning option: i am writing my blog (hells, yes!)

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the breakfast at ibsens certainly made up for any night-time traumas, and i loved the quirky “breakfast in a glass” concept offering fresh healthy alternatives to the standard pastry options, with ingredients sourced from the local covered food market at isreals plads just up the street (which is well worth a visit if you’re in town).

the little entranceway lobby doubles up as the morning dining room – with the reception desk transforming into a breakfast bar – and the laid-back area is further enhanced by an array of colourful design furniture and eclectic artwork. the art and high quality handicraft throughout the building are championed as one of it’s defining characteristics;  the hotel is the first in the world to accept the alternative currency of ‘artmoney’ meaning their doors are always open to upcoming artists short of money looking for an inspiring stay.

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artmoney is an art project first initiated in 1998 by danish artists lars kræmmer and flemming vincent; 18x12cm sized “bills” created by registered artmoney artists which can be used as an alternative means of payment for goods or services all over the world. at ibsens they decorate several walls with different art bills that have been used to pay for nights spent at the hotel, these can be purchased (DKK 200) by any guests who fall in love with a particular note.

a lovely and inspiring idea, don’t you agree?

ibsens, vendersgade 23, dk-1363 copenhagen


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