Christmas isn’t the only big celebration this year for Pernille Hell. She’s also toasting the 20th anniversary of her much-loved design store and creative studio, Sacrecoeur, which is based in Charlottenlund, just north of Copenhagen.
Combining vintage furniture and modern art, largely originating from France and Italy, it reflects its owner’s style and is a step away from the pared-back Scandinavian norm.
Nowhere is that more obvious than the apartment that Pernille shares with her daughter, Josefine, and their dog, Selma. Located in Frederiksstaden, with views of the Danish capital’s famous Marble Church, her home resembles a set from a Federico Fellini film – all glitz and glamour, yet marvellously monochrome.
Contemporary sculptures and vintage pieces in glass and brushed steel clamour for attention beneath the traditionally high ceilings. And, during the festive season, the luxury is dialled up even further.
Pernille’s December traditions are very much centred around telling a story and creating ambience. She finds joy in surprising people. This year, guests will be greeted by a magical candlelit scene with a space-age twist, courtesy of neon and tube lights.
‘My fascination with neon and light art made it an obvious choice for this Christmas theme. It is like a snow-white design fairy tale,’ she explains.
The effect of the lights is heightened by the collection of 20th- and 21st-century furniture that decorates this festive scene like decadent ornaments. Each item – whether a three-metre-long ‘Doge’ table by Carlo Scarpa, a revolving ‘TGR’ coffee table by Willy Rizzo or a Serge Mouille floor lamp – has been handpicked by Pernille.
Alongside these gem-like discoveries, she adds her studio’s own sculptural designs, including the ‘Piano’ screen and ‘Loop’ clothes hanger, as well as its classically inspired The Blues sculptures.
‘My passion for vintage design, art and history keeps me innovative and inspired, and I translate that into my shop and home,’ says Pernille. ‘It is more about capturing an atmosphere than finding a specific style.’ For her, that means hunting out pieces that speak to your heart so that you will cherish them forever.
‘Imagine throwing all of your furniture, lamps – everything – up in the air, and allowing them to land randomly,’ she challenges. ‘If you have carefully selected every object, it should still work.’
‘The world, in many ways, seems smaller than ever, but it is eternally full of new and old designs waiting to be discovered, dusted off and used again,’ she adds. ‘I think our time is ground-breaking in terms of the diversity of aesthetics and eras expressed in our homes – everything is allowed as long as it is done in style.’ sacrecouer.dk
This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration December 2020
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