Dinesen: Old meets new

Over the past few years, much has been made of the “New Nordic” movement in both food and design. But for the innovators actually living there, it’s old news. More interesting is a growing movement to combine the heritage of the past with the opportunities of the present and the possibilities of the future. Sometimes this culminates in unexpected ways – case in point, family-run Danish wooden flooring company Dinesen, and New Nordic cuisine creator, René Redzepi – who recently closed Noma in order to open a new restaurant early next year and write the next chapter in New Nordic history.

Redzepi’s home, created together with his wife, fellow chef Nadine Levy Redzepi, is a former blacksmith’s in the historic Chistianshavn neighbourhood of Copenhagen – and like Noma and his culinary plans, it is an evolving space. “I don’t know where we find inspiration, but we like craftsmanship and natural materials like wood and iron,” says Nadine. The couple chose to work directly with renowned local cabinetmaker and joiner Malte Gormsen to create their own vision for the space, preserving some of the original features, like the blacksmith’s fireplace in the combined kitchen and living room. “There is no concept other than if we like it and it fits somehow,” Nadine adds. Heart Oak flooring by Dinesen runs throughout the space, as it did in Noma, and the company worked with the couple to find a custom-made solution that reflects the hands-on approach they take with each unique space, and each project.

Like the Redzepis, Dinesen specialises in finding something new in the traditional, with a respect for raw materials imbued throughout. For four generations, the company has been focused on wood. It’s a family passion, one rooted in a respect for nature, quality and craftsmanship that is helping prove there are still new possibilities for this ancient material. For Heart Oak, Dinesen responds to each tree’s unique properties, retaining the natural cracks and knots as part of the history of the wood. “Oak trees have a uniquely rich personality,” says Thomas Dinesen, the co-owner with wife Heidi of Dinesen, and a qualified forester. “With Heart Oak we make the best possible use of the large trees. Anything else would be disrespectful to the huge oak trees, which are normally between 150 and 200 years old, and to all the foresters who have tended them for centuries.” Dinesen’s conscious approach plays out in the Redzepis’ home as well. “All the planks are different with different knots and different widths, it is the most beautiful wooden floor,” says Nadine. “The feel of the wood is so lovely that we always have bare feet.”

This story was created in partnership with Dinesen.

Continue reading in Oak volume Eight