Fashion designer Katrine Binné turns a Copenhagen factory into her family home - Friends of Friends / Freunde von Freunden (FvF)

Fashion designer Katrine Binné turns a Copenhagen factory into her family home

Katrine Binné knows what she likes. The Copenhagen based designer, and founder of eponymous womenswear brand Binné, leans towards decorative textiles, family heirlooms, and Danish design. But across clothing and interior design, everything she chooses needs to work hard for her—whether it’s a timeless garment she can wear again and again, or a piece of furniture that can be passed on or traded for a new one. It’s a long-established approach to sustainability, and one which is modern, pragmatic, and highly effective.

Katrine lives in a former factory with her husband, Jonas, and their two children—three-year-old Hubert and eight-month-old Teddy. They’ve made a few changes to it since they moved in, and now it’s a space for light, comfort, and ease—full of her favorite things, and her boys’ books and toys. All of which is inspiring her next creative venture—a childrenswear brand called Cosmo 1996.

This interview is part of “Inside with…” a series of home stories and studio visits produced in collaboration with the Scandinavian design brand Muuto. Through dialogue with different creatives, the series explores the ever-evolving concept of personal space.

  • Tell me about the building you live in.

    We moved here five years ago. It’s an old factory, and we have lots of little details from that time, such as the ceiling beams, which I love. We renovated the house two years ago and added the second floor, to make room for a kid’s room, plus a 20 square-meter terrace.

  • How do you choose the pieces you live with?

    The way I build my home, it’s always very personal to me. Everything you see is memories—something I’ve chosen with my heart. The painting, the decorations. It’s not necessarily trendy, it’s more just who we are as a family. I love the English cottage style, that’s a rich inspiration for me. Everything floral, the more the merrier. Lots of books, pictures, pillows and blankets. Natural materials. Little details. I love it when furniture tells a story. I love antiques, and old, inherited pieces. My style is to mix my choices with traditional Danish design.

  • Has your home changed much since your children came along?

    Not really. I’m just looking around now and there are more blankets, more pillows. But almost all of our furniture is pieces we bought before the kids.

  • Where do you go when you want to relax?

    I love my kids’ room. My favorite thing in the whole world is an afternoon sleeping with my boys. My big boy still takes naps, and taking a nap with him in his bed, looking around at all of his small little things, toys, prints, and pictures—I just love it. It’s my favorite thing. I also love British fabric designers such as Laura Ashley and Liberty of London, so we have lots of prints in the kids’ room, actually. The wallpaper is a vintage print I sourced online, before the kids, even. And everything that’s in there is also inspiring my new brand, Cosmo.

“Everything you see is memories—something I’ve chosen with my heart. The painting, the decorations, it’s all very personal.”

  • You also have a big, open kitchen.

    When we bought the house they had this white, shiny, all new kitchen. We were like, we can’t throw this out. Instead, we just had it repainted in a greenish, grayish color, and added a new pink table top, made by a friend who’s a carpenter, and some vintage towels. I used to live in Paris and I love everything French so I have a lot of French ceramics. We drink a lot of coffee, so there are lots of mugs.

“I never come home with stuff for the house that I wouldn’t like to look at and use everyday.”

  • Has your approach to interiors been this way all your life?

    Yes. Above all, it has to be pretty practical, pragmatic. My couch needs to be comfortable, and it should be somewhere that can get messy. Things are supposed to be used here. That’s how my parents did things, too, you could always walk in with your shoes on. It’s not a dirty home, but we live here.

  • How does this reflect your approach to styling yourself, and starting Binné?

    I worked in the fashion industry, and at one point, I just felt nauseous. It was like, can we keep going like this? When do we stop this overconsumption? For my womenswear brand, I wanted to make a collection of wardrobe favorites, so I only made and produced what I wear every day. I really wanted to see if I could do it differently. We made pieces out of leftover fabrics, created here in Denmark by a tailor. It has been a great passion for me. It’s the same as my attitude to interiors. I never come home with stuff for the house that I wouldn’t like to look at and use every day.

“Things are supposed to be used here… It’s not a dirty home, but we live here.”

  • In a few days time, you’re embarking on a new adventure.

    We’re spending three months in a motorhome, traveling around Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, and perhaps France.

  • How do you feel about reconfiguring your idea of home for such a small space?

    Well my kids sleep in Liberty duvets, and I’m for sure going to bring those. Our blankets, a cute little light. That’s home to me.

Katrine Binné is a fashion designer based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the founder of eponymous womenswear brand, Binné. Her approach to creating new clothing hinges around sustainability—she works with deadstock fabrics to make timeless, tried-and-tested wardrobe classics.

Text: Maisie Skidmore

Photography: Benjamin Lund