Homestory with designer Ditte Buus Nilsen

Not only does Ditte Buus have an intuition for durable and stylish design in her role as design director at Skagerak, you can also see the combination of classical and sustainable design in her 1930s apartment which she decorated with accessories from all over the world.

We visited the young designer in her apartment to chat about design role models, the meaning of social media for her work and interior faux pas.

Ditte Buus - Portrait

Describe you and your design style in a few sentences:
I live in the Northern part of Denmark together with Anders in an old apartment we have been renovating on for the last 3 years – we are both designers so making decisions always takes ages. I work as Design Director for the Danish Design Company Skagerak and I also work as a Designer where I work with product design with focus on quality of the materials I work with should influence the form and usability of the design. I try to let the materials speak through simple aesthetics and functionality and interesting details.

What do you like most about being a designer?
To experience how my designs are being used and interpreted by others.

What would you have become, if you weren´t a designer?
In some way I have always known that I wanted to work with something where I could built things or create ideas. I don’t come from a family with any design history but my parents inspired me to be creative in the projects I worked with and made sure I drew a lot when I was younger and they still inspire me in their own way and their small projects they do.

Is there something you like to better at?
Time management – I always wants to use the last hour before a deadline to finish my projects.

Do you have a design idol?
For many years I have enjoyed the work of Alvar and Aino Aalto and visited many of their buildings. I find the way they worked with form and innovative construction in architecture, furniture and product design very inspiring.

What does beauty mean to you?
With product and furniture design for me it is all about the detail. It is those little thoughts and clever solutions in a detail, which makes the design complete.

How would you describe your interior style?
I believe we have a very personal style. The apartment we are renovating is from the 30’s and we are trying to use materials and colors that fit into this architecture. We travel a lot and have collected many objects that makes our home feel a little bit like a museum, which I like. For others it may feel a bit to much but for us it is inspiring and makes us feel at home.

What is your favorite room in your home and why?
It changes but at the moment it is our hallway. The hallway connects all the rooms in the apartment and we found an inexpensive solution with terrazzo floor tiles, which makes the room an experience to walk through each time.

Is there a current interior style or trend you like?
We have colored walls and the urban jungle in our living room but we have selected it because it fits to our personal style and not because it is a trend. Our interior style is based on personal choices and long-lasting design.

What was your biggest mispurchase when it comes to furniture?
When you are young and needs to start your own home you buy furniture that are cheap and functional for the moment. I didn’t think in long-lasting design when I started my first home, but today I don’t have any of the furniture I started with because they were not designed to last for a long time. I wish I had another mindset 10 years ago.

What does “Home” mean to you?
It is the feeling of presence and comfort which makes me feel at home.

Ditte Buus Homestory - Spanish ChairWhat is your favorite piece of furniture in your home and why?
It is the Spanish Chair by Børge Mogensen. I bought it second hand because of the patina. We don’t use it that often but when we do, it is just perfect for reading a book with a cup of coffee. I could have bought any other chair but for me it is a Danish icon using the best materials and have high functionality.

If you could time travel once. To which year would you go to and why?
I would like to travel into the future and hopefully experience a future were we reuse more of the resources we have and global warming is a topic from the past. I hope people and governments will act more carefully and responsibly to the nature.

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How would you describe the importance of social media for your work?
I use Instagram to show my work and things from my daily life I find interesting. I also use it to be updated about the design industry. It is a great tool but also very addictive. I also use Pinterest which is a great platform to make mood boards for our renovation.

Which misconception of Denmark do you find funny or interesting?
That we forget the top layer of bread on our sandwiches – the famous ‘smørrebrød’. :)

What´s the first thing on your bucket list for 2018?
To spend more time with my family and friends.


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Article from the 2018-06-06, by Sabrina Pflüger

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