To me, Denmark means Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair, and a whole lot of people happy to be living in one of the happiest countries in the world according to Forbes nearly every year. So it should come as no surprise that Mia-Louise is happily designing and illustrating the most darling collection of whimsical prints, memorable textiles, and even covetable lingerie in a corner of Copenhagen. There must be a little magic in the water!
In between running MisseMai Prints, she and her husband, Mark, are also raising a little guy named Herbert and waiting anxiously for the April arrival of their already-named son, Huxi. Welcome to their home. It’s quite a lovely mix of calm and graphically-charged elements, don’t you think?
Q: How would you describe your design aesthetic?
A: I love the clean look of black and white. I never thought I would introduce colors into my work, but after having Herbert I realized that a soft color works very well in a child’s room.
Q: What are the pieces in your home that truly make it feel like home to you?
A: Being a textile designer, I obviously love patterned textiles, and some of my favorite pieces in my home are the beautiful screen-printed Florence Broadhurst textiles I bought when I moved back to Denmark from London. Apart from that, I love the smell of coffee and scented Diptyque candles. But what really makes me feel at home is my husband, our little son, and our two fluffy dogs, Arthur & Freddie.
Q: You seem to choose a lot of black and white and neutral for furnishings and your own designs, but infuse each room with at least one super-bold piece that really packs a punch.
A: I’m a very visual person, and I tend to get fed up with over-designed objects. All of my interiors are purchased purely because they are well-made and beautiful, not because they fit into a particular style.
The painting in the dining room is by a not-so-famous Dutch painter whose name I’ve forgotten; it’s called 83 Rainy Days, and I love it more every time I see it.
Q: How do you feed your creativity?
A: I have a great admiration of H.C. Andersen’s beautiful old paper cuts. The poetic way they tell a story without the usage of words is an ongoing inspiration for me. Paper cuts have the greatest influence on all of my work.
Q: Give us your best advice for making your style work, no matter what changes are thrown at you in life.
A: Save your money and wait to buy the things you really love and want.
My home’s color scheme is from the UK painting company Farrow & Ball, and is a blend of classic and calm colors. The paint is expensive, but the matte look and the sophisticated shades of the colors are worth every penny. I’m right now saving up to have the living room painted in one of the new Farrow & Ball colors. I can’t wait!
Q: What was your goal for your son’s room? Are there changes in store as he grows?
A: When Herbert first had his own room, I made an effort to make it very child-friendly. I bought little boxes from IKEA, stuffed all his favorite things in them, and hung them as close to the floor as possible so that it was easy for him to grab his toys. I also bought the CD player from Muji that you can switch on and off by pulling a string; he spends hours playing his music.
One of my newest illustrations is called The World of… and is inspired by Herbert’s little world. He loves finding his favorite animals and the little magic creatures within the illustrations. I’ve placed the illustration above his bed and sometimes in the morning when he wakes up, I watch him from the doorway without him noticing me, and I can hear him say “Where is my tiger?” Then he points his little finger at the tiger in the illustration saying “Here is my tiger.” It makes me very happy to see him enjoy the illustration.
In a few months, he will have a little brother and they will someday share the room. I’m currently looking into having some sort of functional bunk bed made that can accommodate both children, and maybe work as a storage box for clothes and toys, as well.
Huxi will spend his first few months in the cot hanging above our bed. While we wait for his arrival, it holds all the little bits and bobs I have started collecting for him, like some Japanese baby bed linen and a pretty cashmere blanket.
Q: Do you have a studio space at home for your art?
A: My studio is ten minutes away from home, thank God! I have tried working from home, and it doesn’t work for me; I can’t keep my focus.
I do have a lot of my own artwork in our home. I love each and every illustration I have ever made — not in a narcissistic way, but because they are each happy memories! Each illustration is inspired by a beautiful fairy tale or a person close to me.
Q: What’s your favorite way to spend time in your home?
A: At the moment I’m very much into the TV drama The Good Wife, by Ridley and Tony Scott.
I love the dark Scandinavian winter nights, when all the candles in the flat are lit, Herbert is asleep and snoring in his little bed, the dogs are splashed out on the sofa, my husband and I are drinking great coffee — my husband is obsessed with good quality coffee! — and watching The Good Wife.
Q: Tell us what’s on your wish list, either for your home or for you personally.
A: A romantic trip to Paris with my love, Mark, and textiles from the web shop Fabricworm to create bed linen for our new baby.
Thank you so much, Mia-Louise, for sharing your space with us. Your work does remind me of fairy tales, so I’m sending many wishes for your own happily ever after!
I love that little baby cot hanging from the ceiling above Mia-Louise and Mark’s bed. It’s such a brilliant and stylish space-saver, isn’t it? Tell me, friends: Did you ever think black and white could feel so warm?
P.S. — If you’d like to share your home with us in my Living With Kids series, drop me a note. I’d love to hear from you!