Cover The dining room is furnished with a Gubi table, chairs from Normann Copenhagen, a Murano glass chandelier from Venice and a painting by Martin Paaskesen

The home of Normann Copenhagen co-founder Poul Madsen is a cornucopia of art and colour that is constantly evolving with his family’s prized finds

Additional reporting by Kissa Castañeda


With its perfectly preserved heritage buildings interspersed with trendy boutiques and cosy cafes, Østerbro is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas of Copenhagen. The main street of this district is Østerbrogade, which overlooks Lake Sortedam, and it is located a stone’s throw away from Fælledparken, the city’s largest municipal park with playgrounds and sports fields.

It is in this charming, verdant area that Poul Madsen, CEO and co-founder of Normann Copenhagen, decided to put down roots. At the helm of one of the world’s top Scandinavian design brands—Normann Copenhagen has won multiple awards and is available in over 80 countries—Madsen knows how to wield the power of design.

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For him, to live in this part of Copenhagen and in a building dating back to 1893 was extremely appealing. With a typical brick façade, ornate details, and a spectacular tower that stands on the highest point of the roof, the building is an elegant find and a fine place to call home.

“I have always loved the architectural style of these buildings. Also, the area has a peaceful mood suitable for families and has nature everywhere—all of this just a few minutes from the centre of Copenhagen,” says Madsen.

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Located on the second floor, the home spans a generous 3,670sqft and occupies an entire floor of the building. Large, bright and inviting, it was conceived as an ideal space in which to live with his family, and also to host the many friends that he and his wife Karen often invite over. The sizeable windows that bring in natural light make the apartment look even bigger; the careful way they designed it perpetuates the feeling of spaciousness as well. 

“When we renovated this house, we wanted to make it even more welcoming, which we did by enlarging the kitchen, adding a bathroom, and changing the floors and walls,” he says. “After seven months of renovation, following strict rules since it’s an old building, we finally have the home we’ve dreamed of: a place where our daughter Wilma can grow up and a practical space where we can have friends and relatives over.”

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Upon entering the apartment, one is greeted by a hallway with walls featuring eye-catching paintings by various artists. Walking through the hall leads you to a dining room, kitchen and the bedrooms, while the other path brings you to a home office. 

The home office leads to a succession of other spaces, including three distinct living rooms with varying moods. The first living area has expansive windows that frame a lovely view of Lake Sortedam; this serves as a place for relaxation. 

The second space is more like a reading room, and has an entire wall lined with shelves holding art books, vases and decorative objects. Both rooms feature sofas, armchairs and coffee tables from Normann Copenhagen, as well as a smattering of art sourced from various galleries and auctions. The third sitting room is smaller than the others and slightly more minimal in style, featuring custom-made furniture pieces.

At the heart of the apartment is the dining room and kitchen, anchored by a long black table from Gubi. It is here that the couple spend time with their daughter every morning, as well as organise their many dinner parties.

Illuminating the space is a special chandelier bought in Murano on a holiday, while a pair of twin consoles—made to measure by a Danish company—leans on the two walls. The kitchen is the last communal space before you reach the three bedrooms, all of which are furnished in a simpler, calming style that helps the couple and their daughter relax.

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Two elements that tie every room in the apartment together are the flooring, which is in a light wood, and the clean white walls, which serve as a canvas for the striking artwork and eclectic furniture and accessories that the homeowners enjoy collecting. This neutral shell is not only a Scandinavian hallmark, but also a solid foundation to accommodate the ever-evolving decorating style of the couple. 

Overall, the apartment has a contemporary spirit filled with bursts of colour and choice design pieces. This is best illustrated in the study, where a desk by Finn Juhl is paired with a chair by Normann Copenhagen, and a leather armchair by Maarten Van Severen holds court nearby.

Look up and you’ll see the iconic Bell chandelier, while on the floor is a rug with striking motifs. Peppered throughout are small sculptures and modern art, the latter a particular passion of Madsen. 

“We didn’t need an architect or an interior designer to help us with our home—we had clear ideas regarding the division of the spaces,” says Madsen.

While the couple were decisive with the layout, he laughingly admits that they shift or add things all the time, so much so that their home is always in a creative flux. “I would say that we change something around once a month: we order a new piece of furniture, we move another one, or we buy new accessories or pieces of art. Our apartment is constantly changing, and that’s exactly the way we want it to be.”

  • PhotographyJohanna Lehtinen/August Agency
  • ProductionMaria Chiara Antonini/August Agency
  • StylingMaria Chiara Antonini/August Agency
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