send to printer

Denmark Shopping

By Malene Birger
Antonigade 6
Denmark 1106
Tel: 45 35 43 22 33

Anchoring the new midtown design mall Gallery K, this eponymous boutique is a showcase for one of Denmark's favorite designers, and suggests why she dominates the local fashion week. Updated Empire dresses hang next to Moroccan-inspired cotton tunics, though simplicity isn't always the keynote. Among the most popular recent designs: a hippie redux cotton shirtdress—printed with yellow and purple flowers and ending in a ruffled bottom—that doesn't need any accessorizing, beyond bare feet and a guitar.

Closed Sundays.

Dansk Møbelkunst
Bredgade 32
Denmark 1260
Tel: 45 33 32 38 37

Probably the best source for beautiful, vintage (1920-1975) Scandinavian furniture, this shop in the city center pays homage to a conga line of Nordic maestros—Arne Jacobsen and Hans J. Wegner to Ole Wanscher and Finn Juhl. You might find a Jens Nielsen folding chair, made of two crossing, streamlined slivers of beechwood, but, whatever's in stock, browsing is a lesson in effortless beauty and effervescent simplicity.

Closed Sundays.

Laederstraede 5
Denmark 1201
Tel: 45 33 13 00 81

One of the exuberant shops lining Laedertraede, a boutique- and gallery-filled street that runs parallel to Strøget, Grønlykke exemplifies one camp of the recent Danish backlash against minimalism. The small two-story shop carries Polish, Chinese, and Indian pillows, ceramics, and quilts that read like a globalist manifesto. Most shocking to the Scandinavian eye: the riot of floral chintz that typifies so many of the shop's imported textiles. Next door, a sister shop sells kitchenware in the same colorful style (45-33-32-26-79).

Hay Cph
Pilestraede 29-31
Denmark 1112
Tel: 45 99 42 44 00

A modern furniture boutique sitting a block off Strøget, Hay sells its own in-house designs. Breaking with the Danish Modern style, its current line splashes candy colors everywhere from felt pillows to leather string bags. Don't expect old-school geometric minimalism either; Hay's pillowy, pneumatic lounge chairs, in pastel tones, curl in on themselves, and look as doughy as a cinnamon roll. The company's Prince Chair, a soft rubber-and-felt butterfly design, was acquired by New York's Museum of Modern Art in 2007.

Closed Sundays.

Illums Bolighus
Amagertorv 10
Denmark 1160
Tel: 45 33 14 19 41

One of the flagship shops that save Strøget from turning into one long souvenir counter, Illums Bolighus is a casbah of contemporary Scandinavian design. You can pick up Georg Jensen silver and Rosendahl vases on the ground floor and bed linens upstairs. Just try leaving without buying one of the shop's own line of duck or goose down comforters.

Lot 29
Gothersgade 29
Denmark 1123
Tel: 45 33 14 14 29

Lying a few blocks off the central Kongens Nytorv square, this clothing boutique edits its inventory down to a few real design contenders (Missoni and Etro make the cut). But it's the shop's own line of cashmere sweaters, produced in Italy, that win pride of place in a wood armoire, where they come stacked in pupil-dilating colors (sea blue, tangerine, soft lavender) behind locked glass doors, like a tease.

Closed Sundays.

Kalkbraenderiløbskaj 2
Denmark 2100
Tel: 45 39 16 65 65

More subdued than the sometimes-manic downtown housewares boutiques, this showcase of Scandinavian designer furniture, located in the Nordhavn district, is a lesson in style itself. The building is designed by Jørn Utzon, famous for the Sydney Opera House, and the selection of furniture, carpets, and lighting delicately updates—and pays homage to—Danish Modern style. If you'd rather splurge on lunch, though, Restaurant Paustian is as tasteful as the shop's pared-down sofas (45-39-18-55-01).

Closed Sundays.

St. Strandstraede 3
Denmark 1255
Tel: 45 33 11 32 42

Lying just off Nyhavn, this jammed cabinet of curiosities exemplifies Copenhagen's sudden taste for the kind of antique tchotchkes that mid-century classicists would have kept padlocked in the attic. There are antique Danish, French, and English silver tureens and candlesticks, neoclassical busts and urns, and stuffed waterfowl. Arne Jacobsen would never have made it past the first display of mercury glass, though he might have been more forgiving of the neighboring Basaltindretning, where the relatively restrained selection of quality, pale-gray Gustavian settees and farmhouse cupboards look like stripped-down forerunners of modernity (St. Strandstraede 21; 45-33-14-13-16;; closed Sun and Mon).

Royal Copenhagen
6 Amagertorv
Denmark 1160
Tel: 45 33 13 71 81

One more reason to brave the constantly packed Strøget is this flagship. You'll find Royal Copenhagen's classic blue-and-white service, of course, but more intriguing is the Flora Danica tableware: Based on the 3,000 engravings of a historic horticultural survey of Denmark, it's one of only two 18th-century services Royal Copenhagen still produces today (the other is the Blue Fluted pattern). Hand-painted blossoms and plants, some still trailing their roots, are an ode to the stark elegance of the organic—and the antithesis of those sentimentalized wreaths of overripe Victorian flowers that clutter too much tableware. The Flora Danica Fungi collection, which locates the beauty in puffballs, woolly milkcaps, and toadstools, almost exudes a woody whiff. If all that tableware makes you hungry, make a beeline for the in-house Royal Café, where Flora Danica patterns are blown up as murals and smørrebrød sandwiches are rolled into a "smushi," the Danish form of maki (

Open Mondays through Thursdays 10 am to 6 pm, Fridays 10 am to 7 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm, and the first Sunday only of each month noon to 5 pm.

Tage andersen
Ny Adelgade 12
Denmark 1104
Tel: 45 33 93 09 13

As much art installation as boutique (especially given the 40 DKK—about $7—admission fee), and quite possibly the world's most ethereal flower shop, this eponymous gallery showcases the work of Denmark's best-known garden designer. When he isn't staging horticultural happenings (everything from a recent exhibition at the Nordic Gardens Fair in Stockholm to theater set designs and museum exhibitions), Andersen can be glimpsed working on the shop's constantly changing tableaux. A stage set in itself, the boutique is a fall-out of domed birdcages, metal eggs, conical vases, and freak-show tropical flowers—perhaps a primordial, four-foot-high amorphophallus bloom from Borneo that makes any bird-of-paradise look simply prosaic.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.