The Darling is a very appealing concept – an impeccably designed space which merges the cozy ambience of a residence with the high level of service of an event space or hotel. You call this concept a “design guest house”, can you explain this a little bit?
We want our guests to experience the best that Danish design and contemporary art has to offer. Danish design is a world renowned concept, but up until now, if a design lover came to Copenhagen as a tourist, there wasn’t a place to stay where they could experience living with the great masters of Danish design – like Arne Jacobsen, Børge Mogensen, Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner and Poul Kjærholm. We feel a strong commitment to Danish art and design both past and present, because if you only focus on its historical legacy you lose a big part of the story. As we see it, Danish design is about the embodiment of modern values – quality, craftmanship and sustainability. Therefore, it was important for us to include Denmark’s exciting contemporary art scene and up-and-coming designers in our curation as well.
Where did the inspiration for The Darling come from and how did you begin?
We have always been hotel freaks, traveling the world to experience the coolest hotel concepts on the planet. We have even been known to make travel plans around a specific hotel we want to stay at instead of a destination. Our travels and hotel experiences have long inspired our design practice and would often inform our work with our interior and design clients. Quite early on, we talked about opening our own little hotel one day, but we were always too busy working with our clients from our creative agency – Darling Creative Studio. However, when Covid-19 hit the county we realized that we would finally have a bit of time on our hands to actually make this old dream come true. And here we are…
The space is a beautiful homage to Danish art and design, how did that inform your choice of brand partners for the furniture, art, and decor?
We naturally wanted to showcase the very best of iconic Danish art and design, so to start with we curated the heritage brands that both of us love and decorate our own private homes with. It was critical to us that The Darling is an honest place, so there is nothing in there that we would not put in our own homes. It was also important to include the brands which are foundational to the Danish design story – so heritage silver from Georg Jensen, china from Royal Copenhagen and glassware from Holmegaard. But as we mentioned earlier, we also felt that all these icons needed some contrast from progressive modern art and younger brands to push the aesthetic boundaries. This combination of the heritage and the new has become part of our philosophy for The Darling.
How does The Darling approach sustainability?
For us, sustainability is a natural extension of Danish design, which is already built upon the tenants of quality and long–lasting style. Sustainability has always been part of the story, but for this project we really wanted to make it clear to our guests that you can live luxuriously and without compromise while taking sustainability to new levels. So wherever we could, we went for the most sustainable choice. We did this for everything from the slippers, to beauty products in the bathrooms, and the food products we serve. Included in this is, of course, is our beautiful range of Aiayu towels, bathrobes, and bedlinens. For us, the modern Danish lifestyle has a very important sustainable side to it that we hope will inspire others.
What is the biggest thing you want your guests to take away from their experience at The Darling?
We want our guests to leave The Darling inspired. Inspired on an aesthetic level, of course, but also in a deeper way. Ultimately, we hope guests are inspired to integrate the values of simplicity, conscientiousness, and intentionality that they experienced at The Darling into their own spaces and lives.
Lastly, where can we follow you?
You can check out our website, thedarling.dk, for more information. On our website you can also shop for some of the Aiayu products made for the guest house and some of our favorite art objects currently for sale. You can also follow the daily life at The Darling our Instagram account, @thedarlingcph.