A Bright Apartment in Copenhagen

Nana Hagel's Copenhagen

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…


Nana Hagel's Copenhagen Apartment

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.

Sofa: IKEA. Blue vases: Lucie Kaas.

Nana Hagel's Copenhagen Apartment

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.

Nana Hagel's Copenhagen Apartment

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.

Nana Hagel's Copenhagen Apartment

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.

Floor lamp: Muuto. Art prints: Silke Bonde.


Nana Hagel's Copenhagen Apartment

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!

Dining chairs: Hans J. Wegner. Pendant: Menu. Blue rug: Muuto.

Nana Hagel's Copenhagen Apartment

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.

Concrete table lamp: Menu. Square wooden shelves: Muuto .

Nana Hagel's Copenhagen Apartment

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.

Nana Hagel's Copenhagen Apartment

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.


Nana Hagel's Copenhagen Apartment

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.

Bed linens: Høie. Pillows: Menu. Wooden lamp: Le Klint. Plant posters: By Garmi. Rug: Broste Copenhagen. Bedside table: Lucie Kaas. Porcelain vase: Lyngby.


Nana Hagel's Copenhagen Apartment

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.


Nana Hagel's Copenhagen apartment

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.

Nana Hagel's Copenhagen apartment

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!

Nana Hagel's Copenhagen apartment

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.

Nana Hagel's Copenhagen apartment

Thank you so much, Nana!

(Apartment photos by Sarah Coghill. Other photos by Nana Hagel. Tall vase pictured in top photo by Ditte Fischer. Interview by Caroline Donofrio.)

  1. Love all these simplistic products! Copenhagen sure does have great taste!

  2. Asie says...

    Gorgeous! What kind of wood are your floors? I love the clean yet organic feel

  3. I never though an all white apartament would look as cozy as yours! I love that is kind of minimal but it doesn’t look simple or anything, I think it’s amazing the way it turned out and I would love to live in a place like this and in a city like Copenhagen.

    xx Cecil //

  4. OMG what an awesome beautiful place to live in!

  5. Mari says...

    I studied abroad in Copenhagen, and this post makes me nostalgic to return! Beautiful.

  6. Laurie says...

    Everything… Beautiful! Hope I get to Copenhagen someday. In the last photo… Love her sandals. Source? Thanks for this great feature :)

    • Hi Laurie,

      My sandals are Lacoste, but from a few summers ago. Hope you manage to find them!

  7. Sofia says...

    <3 amazing
    this is my dream city

  8. Timely! We are in Denmark for our niece’s wedding in mid July!

  9. Judith N. says...

    So fun to see yet another beautiful apartment featured on my long-time favorite blog, especially this one situated in my adopted ‘home’ country – in my own neighborhood even :) Keep the good work going dear ladies at CupofJo!
    HejHej from this Copenhagen-based Dutchwomen

  10. To be honest, I just appreciate hearing that other people come home and sometimes sit on their separate computers, together. We do that sometimes and I kind of feel guilty…like we should just be together and talk – it just doesn’t always happen. Thanks for the honesty!

  11. I bet if you add a plant or 2 to your work space, you would enjoy it more. Maybe a hanging planter so you wouldn’t lose any works space?

  12. I love the bright white too. The clean minimalist but comfy look is very beautiful and inspiring…and makes me want to do another declutter.

  13. Hello from the Catskills Nana! So great to see your smiling face here on one of my favorite blogs. What a gorgeous spot you have! Come on back for another visit to the Spruceton Inn aaaaany time! I’ve got a cousin by marriage in Copenhagen now, so maybe it’ll actually be me knocking on your door this time…! :)

  14. Sarah says...

    Thanks so much for this! I love the art prints.

  15. Leah says...

    so many clean lines and so much white space. love it!

  16. Laura says...

    i got a kick out of the food recommendations- pizza, tacos and Italian!!

  17. katie says...

    I LOVE that big tea infuser! Where did she get it??

    • Susanne says...

      It is called Kettle teapot from the Danish brand Menu.

  18. shopgirl says...

    Beautiful, calm, friendly, bright. I find that the Scandinavian style is experiencing a real boom in recent years . Don’t know whether this is a matter of the Instagram, Pinterest, bloggers or just the IKEA phenomenon. :-)

  19. I love Copenhagen! I’ve been 11 times and counting! This apartment pretty sums up its aesthetic, so I love it too! I have to admit that Copenhagen is the only city where I use Airbnb, the apartments are too cool not to!

  20. I love Nana’s outfit, bottom pic. Interested to know where her jacket is from :)

    • Miriam says...

      It looks like a Stine goya jacket from a few years back:)

  21. Tawni says...

    I would like to know more about her bed frame. It looks like a covered box spring perhaps? But I am not sure! Lovely home, so light and airy.

  22. Such an endearing apartment and description of Copenhagen. It makes me want to buy a plane ticket right now and take a visit there!

  23. Wowww so beautiful!!! Hour tour and beauty uniform are my favorite column on Cup of Jo. So many inspiring ideas here!!!

    • oops I meant house tour

    • Cait says...

      Great slip though, I’d love to see a beauty uniform from Nana! It’d be very interesting to see beauty uniforms from women in other countries.

  24. jeannie says...

    What a lovely home tour. The decor is so clean and simple, but yet inviting. I especially like the dining room. I always wanted to be able to throw something delicious together off the cuff like Esben, but I am more like Nana: I find a recipe and shop for the ingredients. That harbor looks so beautiful!

  25. woow! I’d love to have more windows for a brighter place.
    looks comfy :)

  26. Jess says...

    Does anyone know what sofa that is? Thanks :)

    • Pernille says...

      Hi Jess,
      The sofa is IKEA Karlstad :)

  27. Emma says...

    Oh, this has added a little drop of homesickness to my day – nowhere quite like Copenhagen at this time of year…
    A Sydney-dwelling Dane… ;-)

  28. Alice Quin says...

    What a pretty space! Her descriptions of the city make me want to visit Copenhagen.

  29. I love the dining room table, especially since you picked out the wood and put it together yourself!

  30. Katrina says...

    Stunning! I loved visiting Copenhagen and would move there in a heartbeat.

  31. Thanks – now I have to visit Copenhagen! :P

  32. Ack, correction, Danish.

  33. God, those Wegner chairs, I love them so much. I must have been born to Swedish parents and then stolen as a baby. I have a rule, if I see any photo on Pinterest with them, I MUST pin it. It’s ridiculous. Thanks Joanna!

    • Your love for those chairs is shared! I absolutely love them! They are like artwork seating :) You have great taste!

  34. Megan says...

    I’m actually visiting Copenhagen in September so the recommendations are great!

  35. Anitra says...

    You always find the coolest people to interview.

  36. I’ll be in Copenhagen for the first time next month! Thanks for the store and restaurant recommendations.

  37. Finn says...

    I’m nordic and scrolling through this I kept thinking “wow, this looks like my place.” When I got to the dining table I laughed out loud. We have the exact same thing! Same IKEA legs, and old floorboards as the top, only our board is a bit smaller and the legs thus closer together. Loved seeing a style of living I could relate to :)

  38. I am so drawn to Copenhagen based on everything I have read and seen (although I have yet to visit)! The lifestyle seems so healthy and happy and simple, but still cosmopolitan. I almost feel as though I could just up and move and be happy there, and then someone mentions the winters and all hope is lost! I barely survived five years in Chicago! Scandinavian winters might just do me in!

    Nana seems wonderful, and I love her hair!

    • Lisbet says...

      I was born and raised in Copenhagen (still living here) and I’m pretty sure Chicago winters are colder :) In the winter it’s around 23°F and not much snow.

  39. Such a beautiful apartment! I’m having a hard time getting over that bike though, it’s adorable. Is it by any chance, an Achielle?

  40. Wow, I love the girlfriends getting together tradition!

    • I have a lot of Danish friends, and one of the things I admire about them is that they are incredibly tight knit. It’s a small country, so they’re often all friends from childhood. And dining in each other’s homes is incredibly common, which is so much cozier!

  41. MJ says...

    lovely! i would love to know more about the glass tea pot :))

  42. Natalie Brennan says...

    Nana, your artwork is beautiful! They look like the ocean. I love how spare your apartment is, while not being cold at all. Thank you for sharing your space with us!

  43. Tyler says...

    welp, now I want to go to Copenhagen.