“If not now, then when?” For many years, this mantra has worked as a guidance for making both proffesional and personal choices for Allan Torp, founder of the Danish interior blog Bungalow5. This week, his latest project `Feast` premiered in Copenhagen. We sat down with him for a chat about the daily life of a blogger, the Feast concept, and where he accumulates inspiration for his own home.
Feast #1 dishes
What are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work?
I am very fascinated by the whole sharing community. I have made home exchange a few times, which have taken me to a huge upper west side apartment in New York and a beachside condo on the 24th floor in Honolulu. This year, I am going to Los Angeles for three weeks and will stay in the most amazing down town industrial garage building transformed into an apartment. Living somewhat as a local, I find very fascinating and it gives me so many great ideas. I also meet many amazing people along the way. The best part about it is also the fact that I have a local to ask all sorts of questions prior to the trip.
Has anything you have seen recently changed your views on design?
Modern Scandinavian design is evolving – fast! The new generation of designers have taken the inspiration from their surroundings and taken ownership of their national customs. The ambitions towards a global success are obtainable through promotion of ones heritage – something that they really understand. This might not be something that have changed my views on design, but it has definitely made me see things differently. I love that after 15 years of mostly seeing re-launched furniture pieces from mid century designers, we are seeing many new ones blossom.
Allan Torp, founder of Bungalow5
What originally made you want to work in the design industry?
I have always been fascinated by design in general, be it fashion, furniture, decor etc. I just like surrounding myself with new things.
How – and to what extent – do other creative fields influence your work and the projects you engage in?
I get a lot of inspiration from other creative fields, especially Instagram, which is my go-to place for getting ideas. I follow a bunch of very creative people taking pictures all over the world, which triggers my own ideas. I am good at taking action on ideas.
What does a typical day look like for a professional blogger?
Obviously, I spend a great deal of time researching and writing blog posts. I have this rule that I need to upload a post a day – that almost happens. I tend to get the blogging done while having my breakfast and coffee. If I do not have meetings or other press things I have to attend, then I spend the day Instagramming, planning the next project, exploring the city, Pinteresting, Tweeting and so on. However, at least half of my day goes with planning for new projects!
What brings you energy?
Getting other people engaged in my ideas! I just love “selling” an idea to other bloggers, brands or whoever I want to involve. Getting them on board gives me so much energy! In addition, of course, I do Crossfit at least 5 times a week – that is my break away from design!
Shopping groceries for Feast
Can you describe the `Feast` concept? What ideas lay behind?
Through shared meals and the act of cooking communally, I want to celebrate the traditions of food and community. The food is seasonally focused and market fresh. We work with food blogger Mira Arkin and recent South African transplant, François Botha from +simple – to create monthly dinners in our space.
Feast will take place in my private home. The dinner will be for a small group only and everyone will go home with a bag of all the recipes from the dinner. We cook, dine, and make a toast. From there our dinners should just evolve into whatever the night brings. The concept centers on simplicity and a love of food and great design.
Mira Arkin presenting the dishes
It seems the project is very much about sharing. Where did you find the inspiration for the project?
The last couple of years people have been enjoying sharing all sorts of stuff, their homes, and their cars, so why not share a meal. We have also seen many pop-up restaurants recently and we have seen similar dinner arrangements in other big cities, but nothing in Copenhagen, as far as I know. I read an article recently, that one of the trends this year would actually be in-house, pop-up, restaurants.
What are your goals with the ´Feast´ project?
My goal is to host one Feast every month for at least a year. All with different themes celebrating the seasons’ ingredients. We have many ideas for the coming Feasts. We are already talking with various magazines, TV shows about features, we want to do a cookbook, make Feast products, such as nice aprons, napkins and so on. We even want to create some feast-inspired soundtracks with DJs from Copenhagen and further afield.
You recently moved into your new apartment in Copenhagen. Can you tell more about how you went from empty room to a fully furnished home? Did you go for a certain style, atmosphere or color theme? What elements are important when you create your interior?
It has been awesome to move. I started with a clear canvas, as the apartment was recently transformed from an office building into apartments. Already before moving, I had a clear vision of what I was looking for. As I work mostly from home, I would need a place with room enough for a home office. As I found this apartment, which has a huge kitchen and living room space I came up with the idea for Feast. I am very much into the clean Scandinavian simple way of living but also the quirky colorful kind of chaos-like inspiration from the South. I am trying to combine those two – as of now, I pretty much have the base down, with all the bigger pieces of furniture – now the fun part, finding colorful accessories! Obviously, for Feast, I needed a large dining table with lots of chairs and one of the best suppliers for this in Denmark, in my opinion, is Normann Copenhagen.
How often do you move around or redecorate – and why? What triggers your need for rearranging?
The base I do not change often. I try to find bigger pieces that work and then decorate with lamps and accessories, which is easier to change and move around, something I do often. I change the setting in bookshelves and the windows often; it is a very easy way to change the overall décor of your apartment. I find it fun and challenging to do – and of course, I have something new to show on @Bungalow5dk.
How do you balance aesthetics versus functionality in your décor?
I like when things have a purpose, especially the fundamental items. I do not have many arty pieces of furniture. If I get a lounge chair, it needs to be both aesthetic and functional, not just one of them.
Slice tables, Form chairs and Bell lamps creating the right mood for Feast
Why did you pick our Slice table, Form chairs and Bell lamps for your dining room?
I needed tables that would seat at least 16 people for Feast. Not many tables do that. I also wanted something made in lighter wood. I love the Slice table and I decided to get two of them. I have placed them next to each other creating one big table, where everyone around the table can see each other and in theory speak to each other. I chose the new Form chairs because they are very comfortable and the design is amazing. I chose two different colors, white and green, to mix it up a bit. Finally, with a large table you need some statement lamps too, so I came up with the idea of hanging a cluster of Bell lamps.
The next Feast is already in the making. Visit Bungalow5 or @FeastCopenhagen on Instagram to get yourself a seat.