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Friday, January 26, 2018

Danish furniture brand BoConcept brings Hygge Style to New York City

Credit Photo: Leandro Justen

BoConcept, a Danish furniture brand celebrated their opening in Manhattan last week. I was mingling among a high profile crowd. A number of the brand executives, world-renowned designer Karim Rashid, HGTV's John Gidding, fashion designer Asher Levine and friends from Lifestyle brand AphroChic. Scroll down for my interview with Karim Rashid. (OMG!)

Designing a bathroom space for the luxury brand DXV, I am on the pulse of what is Hygge, the Scandinavian word meaning well-being and happiness. BoConcept is a Danish furniture brand that is growing in the U.S. and the brand integrates the Hygge style with a fashionable connection to home comfort and coziness. Look in any magazine right now, Scandinavian design is becoming more mainstream and BoConcept hits the trend of clean lines, seductive curves, muted colors for high end materials. For an urban dweller living in smaller spaces, BoConcept's functional furniture and lighting would work seamlessly for city living.

Credit Photo: Leandro Justen

Scandinavian design focuses on the human experience and it only makes sense that Karim Rashid is connected to the brand. I was able to speak to Rashid and he told me that "Design shapes human experiences and most importantly shapes new behaviors or we address existing behaviors. When we make an experience, use is critical."

Karim Rashid
Credit Photo: Leandro Justen

What an opportunity to get some insights and sit on one of the comfortable BoConcept couches with design icon, Karim Rashid!

What is Home to you?

Home is when I can be in a space where I feel completely at peace. Where I feel very very at peace.

I live right now in an apartment that is 50 square meters which converts to 538 sq feet. I have spent a lot of time in hotels over the past 20 years, I got used to living in small spaces and I realized that I love it. When I come home from a trip, the minute I open the door it feels peaceful.

Living in small spaces, have you designed spaces that transform?

No but everything is really efficient. I have worked with my students with this idea of reconfiguration but essentially no. People think that spaces that move will enhance space but most of the time it just sits there. I like to design space where everything is very efficient, fixed and does its job instead of complicating it with things that move or don't work.

I am seeing a movement of Minimalism with Humanism, do you agree?

Yes exactly. Minimalism is when there is nothing extraneous and is based off of pure geometry. Minimalism of today is not only about form. For example, see the chair with the leg angled back. The leg should never go beyond the back or stick out. Your foot will hit it. Sticking out is more visual and is a product of design from the 50's. Designers tend to think about form. Form doesn't necessarily mean experience.

My hotel designs for example there is no physical corner anywhere. Always rounded corners.

No angled corners ever?


Which hotels?

I just finished a 500 room hotel Tel Aviv and in Amsterdam.

Great, I will have to visit! Before I go, can we take a selfie together?

Karim Rasid and Michele Alfano

More party images!:

GM BoConcept Ben Paciello with BoConcept Team
Credit Photo: Leandro Justen

Jeanine Hays of AphroChicand Michele Alfano

CEO BoConcept Anton van der Putte, HGTV John Gidding, Asher Levine
Credit Photo: Leandro Justen

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