Anders Debel Hansen

More of us are choosing small city apartments over bigger suburban spaces. With his over 20 years’ experience, we asked Product Manager, Anders Debel Hansen, to tell us about the challenges of developing products for compact living, advice if you’re making the transition, and the new products you should add to your wish list.

Tell us about your background and journey to BoConcept.

Furniture is in my genes. I started my career in my father’s manufacturing company and later moved to the Danish kitchen manufacturer, HTH. After years in different positions, I eventually became a director on the Danish board of HTH’s parent company, Nobia. I was enjoying an amazing career and a lot of success. But in summer 2016, I was lying on a beach, and heard myself ask the question, “Are you satisfied?” The answer was “no.” After twenty years in the same company, I was bored and unchallenged. I decided to make a change. My plan was to resign, move out of my comfort zone, and away from the material benefits that my position afforded. I had to return to getting my hands dirty and developing incredible products from initial brief to launch. BoConcept was first on my wish list of brands, and here I am.

How do you approach developing for compact living?

I remind myself that consumers don’t want to compromise. Yes, they have less space, but they still want beautiful design, high-quality materials and well-developed functionality. However, it’s important not to equip products with an overabundance of features. In a small apartment, you just want simple and elegant functionality that helps you get the most out of your space.

What compact living products are we releasing this season?

We’ve developed a small version of our popular Milano table in a choice of colours. It’s intimate, seating two to four diners. Slide open the top, pull out its concealed extension leaf, and it becomes a six seater for dinner parties. Osaka is a favourite among our compact-living customers. This season we launch a chaise lounge version for those wanting a little more space to relax. We kept it down to Osaka’s original 198cm length, so it’s small without losing its presence. And Melo 2, our space-saving reclining sofa bed, gets a new fabric option in two colour choices.

Which is your favourite design in the segment?

There are some exciting new products in the pipeline but my favourite, to date, would have to be the New York table. We used colour, surface gloss and an organic shape to create a light expression that uses only a small amount of floor space.

What advice would you give to anyone who is downsizing?

Think cubic metres, not square metres. Your floor space might be small, but remember all that space at and above eye level. I would also suggest using lighter colours and a minimalistic style to create a feeling of space. Lastly, choose furniture with integrated storage. A lack of storage will be your biggest frustration.

In a tight spot? Create calmness while optimizing your space with the round New York table. With an elegant table top and a minimalistic base, the table adds a spacious felling to your room while allowing for a small dinner party.

Cultural shaper. Artist. Nonconformist. Just some of the tags of world-famous designer Karim Rashid. As we release updates to his award-winning Ottawa collection, we spoke to the world-famous designer.