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Interview - Majbritt Johansen


Every month an interview with interior design enthusiasts, from interior stylists to interior photographers. This time: Majbritt Johansen, interior stylist and owner of DesignUnit, a creative hub.


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My name is Majbritt Johansen, interior stylist and owner of DesignUnit, a creative hub (based in Aarhus) where my passion for interior design and styling comes to life. My primary focus is on creating crafting aesthetic design for homes and office spaces. We deal with every facet of a project, from initial concept to flawless execution. We make sure that each element fits together seamlessly to bring our client's vision to life. What makes each project unique is the variety of clients we work with. Some clients actively participate in the creative process and bring their ideas into the process, while others give us the freedom to bring their dreams to reality. This dynamic interaction is what drives us and makes each project unique.

Away from the world of design, I find my happiness in the cozy embrace of my family. My husband, two sons aged 11 and 15, and I live in a house next to the forest and the sea. This location provides inspiration every day. The sea with its beautiful light and the forest with the changing colors of the season, while still keeping us connected to the city - just a 5-minute bike ride away. We love good food and wine and spending time with family and friends; I find great pleasure in the culinary arts. We also love to travel. Among our favorite destinations are the island of Ibiza and New York. These places serve as limitless sources of inspiration, from the stylish hotels to the restaurants, from small interior design stores with unique treasures to the markets bursting with color and culture.

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How did your love of design come about?- My affection for design and beautiful furniture, paintings and objects is a common thread in my life. Being from Denmark, a country almost synonymous with beautiful design, it seems like the fascination for everything beautifully made is in our DNA. This love for design has its roots in my childhood, where I was fortunate to be surrounded by iconic design pieces. Hans J Wegner's Wishbone chair was a testament to the elegance and craftsmanship that design can imply.

The roots of my passion for design lie even deeper, influenced by the architecture that shaped the landscape of my hometown, for example, Arne Jacobsen's City Hall. The fusion of clean lines, functional minimalism and a harmonious blend with the environment showed the power of design to shape and create landmarks that will live on for generations. I was drawn to the stories that design could tell, and my passion for design has only grown stronger over the years.

How would you describe your style? - My style can be described as a fusion of Scandinavian simplicity and mid-Century allure. Within this style, I create spaces characterized by a natural color palette that exudes tranquility. Textiles play an essential role, embracing coziness and depth through the use of textured fabrics. The overall atmosphere I like to create is one of lightness and airiness, contributing to an organic and inviting atmosphere. An important principle in my work is the delicate balance between form and function. It is not only about aesthetics, but also about creating spaces where functionality and beauty blend seamlessly. Ultimately, my design philosophy is rooted in the belief that a space should tell a story and reflect the personality and aspirations of its inhabitants. It's all about creating spaces that stand the test of time.

What piece of furniture or accessory do you think should not be missing from a good design? - When it comes to interior styling, certain elements are classics for me: sculptures, books, art and handmade ceramics. They give spaces personality and provide that crucial finishing touch that makes a house a home and defines a room or space. The right accessories can transform the aesthetic landscape and add layers of depth and character. Achieving this harmony, however, takes time and effort. It involves arranging things so that they not only harmonize beautifully, but also fit the identity of the occupants.

When the pieces fall into place, it is perfect. The space comes alive and tells its own story. The synergy of sculptures, books, art and ceramics elevates the environment above the ordinary and gives it a sense of belonging and authenticity.

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When is an interior design successful for you? And how do you proceed? - When is an interior design successful for you? And how do you go about it? - Our design philosophy is a commitment to creating spaces that resonate with our clients, and each project is a journey together. While our style is a cornerstone of our work, we always listen to our clients. Their preferences, desires and dreams carpet the project, and we understand that their vision is essential to the end result. Ultimately, our success is determined by our clients' happiness.

Do you have a preference for vintage or new furniture? - One aspect I love to explore is the art of combining vintage furniture with contemporary pieces. I think this interplay of contrasting styles adds depth and character to the overall styling. However, I don't consider this approach an absolute requirement for every project. Rather, it is an option that I selectively explore when the context is right.

What is your biggest dream in terms of work? - To be given carte blanche for a hospitality project would be a privilege where you can throw yourself fully into the creative process. To balance creativity with practicality, down to the smallest detail, and ensure that the end result not only reflects the client's identity, but also provides an exceptional experience for guests.

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What designer(s) do you get inspired by? - What designer(s) do you get inspired by? - I am very inspired by Danish mid-century designers such as Hans J Wegner, Finn Juhl and Børge Mogensen for their timeless principles of Scandinavian design. I admire their ability to seamlessly blend functionality and aesthetics while emphasizing simplicity and practicality. But I also find inspiration outside of Scandinavia; I am also a big fan of Serge Mouille, Pierre Jeanneret and Tobia Scarpa. I think Serge Mouille pushed the boundaries of lightning design with his organic forms and aesthetics, and Pierre Jeanneret made an important contribution to last century's modernism with his functional yet visual furniture. And Tobia Scarpa who designed my dream lounge chair Sorianna, for me a masterpiece of craftsmanship, beautiful shapes and clean lines.

What do you expect to see a lot of next season? - I'm not too familiar with the latest trends, but there are some areas that I think will become more and more influential in the world of design and interior styling, such as sustainable design and multifunctional spaces.

Do you have any styling tips? - Interior styling is a creative process and there are no strict rules. Trust your instincts and have fun with it because your personal style and preferences should shine through in your home. It's all about trial and error until you are happy with the results, and remember that it takes time.

Which Detjer furniture is your favorite?- My favorite Detjer furniture is the easy lounge chair, the chair is timeless and beautiful. I think the combination of form and function makes it perfect and easy to integrate into different rooms.

photo credit: @jesper____johansen / @majbritt_johansen