Brick by Brick | Fight for your right to be…distasteful

April 18th, 2014

This article is more than 9 years old.

I try not to Dane-bash, but nonetheless I’m lamenting the tyranny of Danish interior design to a friend.

“It’s all just so damn tasteful I can’t stand it sometimes,” I rant. “Don’t you ever just want to plonk something really floral right in the middle of it all?”

I realise the look of bemusement on her face has turned to horror and remember that almost everything in her house is white, her ‘adventurous side’ being a cheeky note of charcoal. In her house, objects and furniture are considered and then placed carefully in logical, relevant positions.

Somehow I have never been able to aspire to anything that intentional in my house.

Danelaw design
I suppose I like the Danish design thing sometimes. Kastrup’s charms as a tasteful airport are not lost on me and I can’t help but notice when I go back to the UK that Manchester airport looks a bit like a bus station with an amusement arcade in the middle.

A few years ago I would have told you a tasteful fairground was an oxymoron, until I experienced Tivoli.

But tasteful Christmas trees, tasteful Easter eggs…are these not crimes against the inner child? It’s not that colour is forbidden but there are rules here: unwritten, unspoken rules that must be learned and observed.

Under the Danelaw of design it has to be one note of bright colour in the midst of a riot of beige – this is acceptable. You can’t have every colour in the rainbow rampaging around in your living space – where would it end?

Planning a revolt
I wonder what would happen if I went into Normann and asked if they didn’t have anything a bit chintzier. Suddenly I feel alone, I search online typing in the words “I hate Danish” wondering if “design’ will come up.

It yields ‘I hate Nora Danish’ (an actress I hadn’t heard of), ‘how to say I hate you in Danish’ and ‘I hate Danish subtitles’.

I can’t even find someone to interview on the topic, it seems I’m the only one in a state of revolt, I plan to form a support group of one and have my meetings in a branch of Jysk – there’s not much that’s tasteful in there.

Gradually perhaps people will join me until there are enough of us to have our own pride parade with garish floats stacked with clutter and unfashionable chairs.

Tiger and gnomes
And so, in this rebellious state of mind, it was with great pleasure that I welcomed a new addition to our family when our daughter came home from Tiger (I LOVE that shop, even if half the stuff does fall apart shortly after purchase) with a splendid garden gnome.

He has got a broad grin, a red hat and a little green jacket. He’s even sitting on a spotty toadstool.

“We’ll call him Gnoma,” I say, placing him reverently on the window sill.


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