Photographer and writer Nana Hagel and her boyfriend Esben live together in Copenhagen. We always love catching a glimpse of their beautiful, airy home on Instagram and were thrilled when Nana agreed to give us a tour. Here’s a peek inside…
On a great location: Our apartment is in an area called Nørrebro. It’s my favorite area, because you can easily get to the lakes and the town hall square. You can bike anywhere in the city within 10 minutes.
On sofa dinners: When we first moved in, we promised ourselves we wouldn’t eat dinner on the couch, but we definitely do! Sometimes it’s nice to sit with your legs up and talk about what happened that day, and we don’t watch TV while we eat. We’re both kind of workaholics, so after dinner we’ll sit together on the couch with our computers. At least it’s nice that we’re together! It can be hard to turn my mind off at night. Someday — someday — I’m going to find that balance.
On decorating together: Esben actually has a lot of opinions when it comes to decorating — which I sometimes find annoying, ha! But I appreciate that he cares. For a long time, I wanted a marble surface for a coffee table, so I could take photos against it. He was very much against the idea, but he finally agreed because it meant a lot to me.
Wooden chair: Erik Ole Jørgensen. Marble coffee table: vintage.
On personal style: I really like the Danish/Scandinavian aesthetic — white, somewhat minimalist, with pops of color. We have so many great designers here — some of my favorites are Muuto, Menu, by Lassen and HAY.
On go-to meals: Esben is a great chef. We get fresh vegetables from an organic farm outside the city and he always does something great with those. On other days, he’ll just look into the fridge, see what we have and make something delicious. I’m the opposite — I’m the type who will research and plan a dish and go shopping for one specific recipe.
On an offbeat table: We found the old floor boards in a vintage shop near our home, bought them right away and carried them home. I then painted it a few times and we added the IKEA legs. It’s a bit shaky but it works!
On an open floorplan: I love how most of our space is one big room, where you can see straight through from the dining table to the couch. We can see each other, so it’s like we’re spending time together, but we can still be doing our own thing.
On seeing girlfriends: I have seven girlfriends from high school, and we’ll regularly have each other over for dinner. We rotate apartments. It’s a good way of making sure we see each other, even if we’re busy. Some will put hours into making a roast, some will cook up a quick spaghetti bolognese or even grab some take out for everyone on the way home from work — and that’s completely ok!
Sideboard from by Lassen.
On visiting Copenhagen: Dine at Bæst for wood-fired pizza, Hija de Sanchez for delicious tacos or Osteria 16 for a fresh and authentic Italian food. Take a stroll through the beautiful and semi-secret Royal Library Gardens, or around Torvehallerne, a food market in the city center, with everything from fresh fish and to gourmet chocolate.
Wall dot hooks: Muuto.
On surviving the winter: During the colder months, we have the Danish concept of hygge, which means making things extra cozy. In the winter, everything feels nice and slow, and the city has lots of cultural events happen so that people won’t stay inside and grow depressed. This year, I bought an alarm clock that wakes you up with light. It actually helps a lot.
On a home office: I probably spend the most amount of time in the office space. I go to a co-working space as well, but I really appreciate that I have a good chair where I can work comfortably from home. It’s not my favorite spot decoration-wise, but I love sitting there with a cup of coffee and getting work done.
Black desk: homemade. Desk chair: Eames/Herman Miller.
On biking everywhere: I love my green bike. Bikes in Copenhagen get stolen every once in a while, but you just get a new one and get over it. People from other places think we’re crazy, because we’ll bike in snowstorms and heavy rains. But that’s pretty normal here. You just wear a winter coat and gloves.
On finding nature in the city: There is plenty of nature right outside the city. And in Copenhagen, the harbors are all clean, so in the summer, you can just jump in!
On Copenhagen pride: I was born and raised in Copenhagen. My family is just a 15-minute bike ride away from my apartment. I love the food, architecture, side streets and canals. My favorite and least favorite thing is that it’s a very small capital. If you’ve lived here for a while, exploring gets difficult because you’ve seen it all. But it’s a beautiful place with a wonderful culture. No matter where I go, Copenhagen will always be my home.
Thank you so much, Nana!