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Marianne Kleis Jensen - BoConcept

Marianne

As an interior designer in the Aarhus store, Marianne Kleis Jensen works closely with the people of the city. More than that, the city has always played a great part of her life. From a place to go for events, big city vibes and shopping to now also being a backdrop of interior projects of different shapes and sizes, the city informs, inspires and shapes her work. Below, Marianne offers glimpses into the Aarhus lifestyle, offers advice on places to go in the city and talk about the intimate relationship with the Aarhus citizens.

Talk about your relationship with Aarhus

"I’m originally from a smaller city about half an hour away from Aarhus, but Aarhus has always been the place to go when we wanted to really “Hygge”. Whether it was for shopping, events or to just hang out, the city really offers it all. Aarhus is kind of a small big city, with a great number of small cosy streets and cafés. At the same time, it’s a really young city with many students so it has this cool vibe. This comes together in a city with a great energy and with many spots for inspiration and contemplation." 

What places would you recommend for first time visitors to get up close with the city?

"I’ve always been enamoured with the Aros art museum. It has the great mix of interesting art and architecture that combines for complete experiences. And the colourful panorama at the top of the building creates beautiful and interesting looks at the city skyline.

But to really understand Aarhus, I’ll recommend you get up close with its people. I just had this discussion with some of my co-workers here in the BoConcept store and we agreed that the Latin quarter of the city should be on the visit list. Our store is located at the outskirts of this area of old buildings, cafés, restaurants and bars and when you walk the cobbled streets and enter the buildings you quickly get an understanding of the city atmosphere and its people." 

See our recommended bars and restaurants in Aarhus

Getting up close to people must be something that is very important in your work. How do you go about that aspect of an interior design project?

"The human aspect of interior design is one of the things that I love the most about my job. It’s about getting close to the customer and through dialogue and deep conversations create a relationship. A great interior project is something created together. It is in the shaping of a relationship that we also shape solutions that match wants, wishes and dreams.

In that way, my job is very much about feelings. You get really close to people, their private life and their everyday challenges and obstacles. It is important to create solutions that in every detail works with the way people live their lives and in that way ensure the perfect match between looks and functionality."

That match between looks and functionality is really at the core of interior design isn’t it?

"It really is. My main goal is always to help create creative solutions that look great and that is integrated with the functionality of a room. Every room has its purpose and that purpose must always be an integral part of the solution. I always take great pleasure in rooms that are personal, beautiful and functional."

See our tips on designing a room

How do you create that unity and ensure that the finished project is something complete and personal?

"Projects work from big lines and then progresses towards the details. It’s my job to understand the complete process and help the customers toward their personal expressions. I find it best to often break this into steps to ensure a continued dialogue and a process where the customer always has a voice.

For me the finishing details are very important. I often discuss the importance of for instance a rug to complete the expression and other accessories that can help tie together the overall room expression.  One thing that is very important to understand is the interplay of colours and surfaces. Something as simple as a cushion can work together with wall colours and art to create meaning and cohesiveness in a room and help infuse it with personality." 

See our tips on infusing your home with personality

Talking of colours, Aarhus is a very colourful and diverse city – is that something you also see in your interior projects?

"It’s something that is gaining ground. I still see a lot of safe choices and greys and blacks are still popular, but more and more, I find that our customers seek to infuse a bit more of their personality in their furniture. People are coming to us with wishes of making their design furniture personal and integrated parts of their home. Often this wish includes toned down colours and certain materials that we then work to integrate in the home." 

How do you like that part of the job – making the large catalogue of customisable designer furniture personal and individual?

"It’s part of a creative process that I really like. Every new project comes with a new challenge. Even though it is the same collection, every home and every person brings a new element to project. A young couple, a family with children, empty nesters and so on all have different requirements. People are always different and always bring their own history and taste to the equation. 

It’s a great drive for me to get up close with these people and utilise our collection to create personal, lasting expressions. It’s what I love about my job - the human touch, the relationships and the great designs."

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