At Dane Studio, it’s about interior innovation that extends throughout the home and beyond.
With a proud Danish heritage, the team at Dane Studio BELIEVE in great design (and yes, that’s BELIEVE in all caps for a reason). With quality-focused, visionary products at the core of their mission, the family-owned business boosts “The Best of Scandinavian Style and Danish Design” within the Australian and New Zealand marketplace.
After growing up in Denmark, Christine, the studio’s founder, has called Melbourne home for the past 12 years. Minimalist interior design has long been popular (especially in Danish/Scandinavia) but Christine has garnered a distinguished knack for curating a less-is-more selection that’s committed to creativity, craftsmanship and superior materials. Dane Studio offers an exclusive approach to furniture, homewares and children’s products that provide refreshing new looks to any home. For instance, they’re the proud distributor of the Danish designed and Scandinavian styled TOWER Chair and Changing TOWER — the first shop to bring this amazing item to shoppers across Australia and New Zealand. We look to Dane Studio for unique, savvy designs that cannot be found anywhere else! Plus, they spark our love for sleek essentials with brands such as BZBX and Cam Cam Copenhagen. Below, we chatted with the lovely Christine on what makes a design great, cultural influences and the importance of authenticity.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT HOW THE IDEA FOR DANE STUDIO CAME ABOUT. HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE BRAND NAME?
I grew up in Denmark and settled in Melbourne about 12 years ago, with my husband Claus. I’ve always been passionate about great design and I remain super close to my family in Denmark — we’re always chatting on the phone about new designs and products from Denmark or Australia. My father is an entrepreneur and businessman, and I guess Dane Studio evolved from his inspiring influence, and my own love for authentic Scandinavian design.
As for the brand name…[laughs]! I wish I had a glamorous story to tell, but the truth is we’re all working mums here at Dane Studio, so we’re experts at multi-tasking. We started by texting each other different name suggestions. Then we got on speakerphone and had a “mini-working-mums-conference” while we were all driving. We had Dane Studio picked within five to 10 minutes!
On a more serious note, we hope Dane Studio will become known for its strong focus on Scandinavian Design and we hope the name embodies that.
YOU BRING THE BEST OF SCANDINAVIAN STYLE AND DANISH DESIGN TO AUSTRALIA! SINCE THIS STYLE HAS BECOME A TOP TREND AS OF LATE, A LOT OF MEGA LABELS ARE NOW MASS PRODUCING THE LOOK AND MAKING IT READILY AVAILABLE. AS AN EXPERT, WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THIS AND WHY DO YOU FEEL IT’S IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE TO REMEMBER THE VALUE OF AUTHENTICITY?
I was at an industry event recently where this was the hot topic of discussion. Quite a lot of people were getting quite heated and upset that so many big brands were making exact copies of original Scandinavian or Danish designs. I find myself in two minds about this. On one hand I think it’s wonderful that the Scandinavian aesthetic is so incredibly popular across Australia and other parts of the world, on the other hand, I think stealing another person’s hard work and creativity is completely unethical.
It is one thing to be inspired by a design, or to create something with the Scandinavian aesthetic as inspiration… This I think is very positive, but producing or mass-producing an exact copy of another designer’s work is not something I will support or excuse.
As for the consumer, I don’t think it’s our place to lecture people. For the most part, Aussie consumers are super savvy. Often, they know that something is a copy of something else. However, I do think it’s important to regularly remind people about the beauty and merits of authentic and original design.
In our home for example, we have a Danish designed sofa that my husband inherited from his grandmother. He has the most amazing memories of jumping and playing on this sofa when he was a child, and to see his own kids now jumping on the same sofa is both crazy and awesome at the same time. Often with authentic design comes great craftsmanship, longevity and designs made with incredible love.
Our team believes that great design is an investment. An investment, which will benefit everything from a transient experience to one shared over a lifetime.
WHAT PART OF YOUR JOB EXCITES YOU THE MOST?
I know a lot of people say this, but nothing beats getting great feedback from a happy customer. Really truly, a nice phone call or a lovely email is just the biggest perk. It’s so surprising when people make the effort to track you down and say, Thank you for bringing this awesome high chair to Australia, my family just loves it and everyone who visits comments on how beautiful it is.
WHAT TRAITS OR CHARACTERISTICS MAKE A DESIGN BRILLIANT, AS OPPOSED TO AVERAGE?
Definitely that elusive combination of beauty and function. A lot of designs are either incredibly beautiful or incredibly clever, but it’s rare that you will find both qualities within the one design. We think the BZBX Tower Chair absolutely nails this brief. It’s a high chair that you can fold, wall mount and keep using and adapting until your child is seven years old.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST POPULAR ITEM AT THE MOMENT?
Just recently the BZBX Changing Tower overtook the Tower Chair in both orders and sales. To be honest, this came as a huge surprise! We thought the Tower Chair would be a super easy fit into the Australian and NZ lifestyles, and that the Changing Tower would be more of an investment piece — but Aussie parents have absolutely embraced the Changing Tower. We get feedback all the time that it is so stylish, and they love that in converts into a cubby house!
WHAT DO YOU REGARD AS YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS IN THE DANE STUDIO JOURNEY THUS FAR?
Gosh, we’re not even 12 months old yet, so I feel a bit weird trying to answer this question! But some definite highlights have been having our products stocked in amazing design stores like Design Twins, Simple Form, Norsu, Designstuff and A Cup of Chic.
And then having the Tower Chair range photographed in the home of “Scandi-Queen” stylist Simone Haag was beyond our wildest dreams. The photos by Annette O’Brien were amazing and have been seen and shared all over the world.
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Trust your gut.
…Your intuition is your greatest gift in life and in business. Put a good team in place, back yourself and trust your instincts.