Selected by Pernille, design 3

Pernille Vest

Written by Forde Visser
Portraited by Heidi Lerkenfeldt
Retouched by Thomas Cato

For the interior stylist Pernille Vest, one thing has always led to another: fashion design to interiors, commercial work and editorial projects, and now magazines presenting the interface of style and design, architecture and art: first RUM and now Ark Journal. Each move seems to be an act of expansion, not as strategic ambition, but as in breathing—slowly inflating her practice with more connections, more ideas, more platforms.

Pernille and I connected via email, as she had just begun her holiday. She had already selected the objects you see in these pages, and I imagined a chatty interview would fill out this space. But when I received her thoughtful responses to some initial questions, I decided to quietly disappear. Here, Pernille talks about senses and seduction, what guides her choices, objects she dreams about, the animating interconnectivity of her workspace, and the endlessly recombinant dynamics and ever-expanding perimetries of her personal design universe.

1PAINTINGS BY KIRSTEN SCHØDER. The small minimalistic paintings by Danish artist Kirsten Schrøder have become a part of my styling DNA – they are very inspiring to work with. I used them recently as a red thread throughout a design exhibition that I styled for the Danish brand Karakter Cph during the event 3 Days of Design in Copenhagen. CURATED BY ARK JOURNAL. STYLING BY PERNILLE VEST. THE KARAKTER EXHIBITION CO/WORK AT 3DAYSOFDESIGN 2022.

Working as an interior stylist means that you create images that stimulate people’s senses and invoke their interest.

You can think of this process as making a composition that gently seduces the viewer, making them fall in love with a single object, or the holistic experience of the image. In either case, every single element, and its composition is chosen to tempt the viewer.

1THINGS THAT GO TOGETHER. The work of my dear friend Michael Anastassiades always fascinates me. Particularly his exhibition "Things that go together", which explored his design process through his research and personal collection, was a great source of inspiration for me. The exhibition carefully presented laid-out displays of things Michael was unearthed in nature or sourced from his own collections. Together, the different objects, such as stones, formed a costelation in a special relation one to another. ARTIST: MICHAEL ANASTASSIADES, 2019.

It’s always a puzzle, and with an infinite number of pieces that have to fit together – even though it may sound easy, it’s actually very difficult as with infinite pieces comes infinite solutions, and there is no correct solution. Nothing is right, and nothing is wrong; it is up to me to create a beautiful image from the pieces that I find, that is considered perfect in its own sense.

1MOBY LAMP. In my opinion, the Moby lamp from Karakter Cph is one of the most interesting newly produced designs. DESIGNERS: BIRGITTE AND JONAS TRAMPEDACH. BRAND: KARAKTER CPH, 2015.
1STONEWARE TEA SET. I always feel drawn by objects that are handcrafted in natural materials and that are simultaneously functional and sculptural. The hand thrown tea set by artist Yoko Ozawa combines simple form with an exceptionally intricate surface. DESIGNER: YOKO OZAWA. FIND IT AT: MAUD AND MABEL LONDON
1CORBI TRIO SOFA. Betón Brut is a highly recommendable design gallery in London that carries collectable vintage pieces of twentieth century design. I especially like their rare 70’s Corbi Trio sofa where the elements can be rearranged in a wide variety of possible configurations. DESIGNER: KLAUS UREDAT. GALLERY: BETÓN BRUT, 1969.

Each image starts with a blank piece of paper and is followed by many sketches – often you are able to see the basic lines from the sketch in the final image – but it is always a creative process, and I am always open to new ideas. It is therefore important to have an interaction between me and my assistants – as well as the photographer, and the client. However, it is also important that I am allowed to complete the image.

1TREKRONER CHURCH. I often seek inspiration for my interior styling projects in architecture. One example is the Danish Trekroner Church by Rorbaek & Moeller Architects. Designed as a modern expression of organic forms, it balances the interaction between interior and exterior. The interior, filled with art works of different Danish artists, is characterized by a skylight that emulates the space: an extraordinary experience of light and tranquility. I would love to use this place as a location for my work. ARCHITECTS: RORBAEK & MOELLER ARCHITECTS, 2018
1CLOISTER CHAIR. This chair by Yuki Gray is a piece of art. Made from ash and birch, the structure is combined by more than 1000 smaller legs. I love the reference to nature and the quirkiness of the design. DESIGNER: YUKI IRIYAMA GRAY. GALLERY: CARLOTA OYARZUN, 2018

There is a huge amount of preparatory work for each image – it is important for me to include my feelings in every image such that every image contains some personality.  All the images have to radiate a universe where you are inspired, want to discover and even better, want to be a part of. Every time it’s a new challenge and this is what keeps me engaged, and the final picture is what gives me the satisfaction. The day where I get to be creative, create, and style, makes all the preparation and post-work worthwhile.

1OLE MYNSTER SCULPTURE. I have a couple of Ole Mynster’s hand cut stone sculptures in my collection at home. I love the curved and bubbly expression combined with the mat surface and heavy weight of the material. DESIGNER: OLE MYNSTER GALLERY: RUBY ATELIER, 2022
1THE PREGNANT DUCK. This is one of my favorite objects of all time. The organic curves and fluid lines of Koppel’s silver pitcher make it both functional, sculptural and a true masterpiece. Still today it is just as modern as it was in 1951, when it was designed. Unfortunately, it is no longer in production, but I’ve got the classic HK pitcher from Georg Jensen that I use every day for water at the dining table. DESIGNER: HENNING KOPPEL. BRAND: GEORG JENSEN, 1951.
1SCULPTURE, UNTITLED. The sculpture by Swedish artist Bo Arenander present organic twists and turns that bring life and movement to the piece. I love how the raw clay that is finished with a matte engobe gives the sculptures a tactile surface that softly reflects light and enhances the curves. DESIGNER: BO ARENANDER, 2015.

On the days where I’m not on a shoot, I am working from my home – here I meet with my two assistants Henriette Schou and Liv Hochmuth. We are always sitting in the kitchen, because the room dedicated as my studio is always filled with new props and objects.  Every table, daybed, chairs, etc. are filled with books, sculptures and other objects that will be included in the next shootings. I would like to be minimalist in my style at home, but the fascination for furniture, art and beautiful objects means that there is always more than there should be in our home.

1MARIE EKLUND HANDCRAFTED SPOONS. I have a thing for small objects —spoons in particular. The Marie Eklund’s handcrafted ones are small pieces of art that I would love to have in my collection. DESIGNER: MARIE EKLUND. FIND IT AT RADNOR, NYC

Most of the objects I have selected here for you are furniture and art – objects that I normally cannot get hold of in Denmark, but dream of, and should I succeed in finding one of those objects, I am sure it will be in my next case. The next step would be to own one of these objects, adding it not only to my universe, but also to my personal home, and inspiration.

1TRAVERTINE KITCHEN. The minimalistic travertine kitchen by Henry Timi is on top of my dream list, and his showroom is a must visit if you are in Milan. DESIGNER AND BRAND: HENRY TIMI, 2020
1VINTAGE STONE MORTAR. For me it’s important to combine new and old, fine and rustic, decorative and functional objects to achieve an interesting interior. I have one mortar at home which I love both its function and aesthetic – but it could easily end up with a new collection item. TIME: 17th Century
1THE WADDEN SEA CENTER. Located in the southern part of Jutland, Denmark, The Wadden Sea is Denmark’s largest national park and a UNESCO appointed World Heritage site. The roofs and facades of the striking building by Danish architect Dorte Mandrup are an interpretation of the local building tradition and the rural farmhouse typology of that area. I love how Mandrup pays homage to the traditional craftsmanship, the tactile qualities and robustness of the thatched roof. ARCHITECT: DORTE MANDRUP, 2017

Nearly every object I have sent to you can be defined as a part of my universe, or my ocean; they can all be paired together and are part of my creative imagination. Of course, I would need to add some other objects. It is difficult to define the concrete composition of my universe, in a sense it is ever expanding. If I had to describe it, it would be an organized chaos, every object doesn’t have to have a concrete purpose, but together the objects create the purpose and style. This universe very much comes to life in my own home and hopefully in my work, where different styles are matched in such a way, that they are bound together.

CHAIR 925. I love the play of proportions and contrasts in this lounge chair by the formidable husband and wife design team, Tobia and Afra Scarpa. It’s interesting how the organic shaped and voluminous seat and back meets the slim and rectangular frame. A classic chair like this will fit in in all homes. DESIGNERS: TOBIA & AFRA SCARPA BRAND: CASSINA, 1966
1ARMCHAIR 42 “SMALL PAIMIO”. I’m very fascinated by the fluidity of the designs by Alvar Aalto. The seat and back of the “Small Paimo” chair is created from one piece of form-pressed plywood that creates a soft and curvy armchair without any straight lines. To me, it’s shape almost seems like a one-line drawing. DESIGNER: ALVAR AALTO, 1931