All Things Colour and Rice
Danish design, like that of its other Scandinavian counterparts, is often associated with natural tones and functional, uncomplicated interiors. This minimalist aesthetic can invoke a calming, simple beauty. But what if you love this style but prefer a lot of colour in your life? Charlotte Hedeman Gueniau, founder of the ethical Danish homeware company RICE, thinks there is more than enough room for colour and pattern in Danish design. In fact, she views them as key elements in the enjoyment of informal living. RICE is known for its playful melamine kitchenware, and has also added a line of Italian- and Portuguese-inspired ceramics.
No more than two steps into Charlotte’s home will reveal her love affair with colour, the subject of her new book, Happy Home. Despite the house’s white exterior, which today blends right into the mini snowstorm sweeping Odense, Denmark, the interior is brimming with brightness. Colour is incorporated in furniture, in accessories, on the walls, and in her extensive collection of RICE homewares (of course)! It is no surprise that a few of Charlotte’s colour influences include interior designer, Tricia Guild and fashion maven, Kate Spade. While some people shy away from bold colours, Charlotte makes having a colour-filled home look effortless among a few natural-toned Danish design elements.
Chatting with Charlotte about her latest book over a cup of tea in her living room, she offered a few valuable tips on bringing warmth into the home. She underlined the importance of decorating in a personal and authentic way, explained what it means to create a welcoming table, and charmingly tipped her hat to her two previously authored cookbooks (Funky Favourites: Happy Food for Everyday Guests, and Funky Style Cooking). As part of creating that personal touch, Charlotte recommends starting collections of low-investment items, such as bowls, plates, or cups. Happy Home teaches how to use colour by example, and is photographed in Charlotte’s home as well as the homes of her friends and RICE employees. The book, whose forward is written by another familiar name, Holly Becker of Decor8 design blog, is an eclectic collection of inspiration, vivid photography, and practical tips on how to experiment with colour and pattern. Published by Jacqui Small. Available on Amazon
NOTE: I like people who walk the talk and I get that feeling every time I meet Charlotte, the owner of homeware company, Rice and author of Happy Home, Everyday Magic for a Colourful Life. What I like about Charlotte is that she imbues colour, her home imbues colour and her company imbues colour.
I’ve been a fan of Rice products for some time, as a self-professed tableware collector and general home entertainer who likes selection when she sets the table, so it was a real treat to meet and interview her in person for Issue 03 of Countlan Magazine. This is a woman who makes use of her house and entertains at home, she cooks a lot and has authored a few cookbooks along the way. When I met with her she commented how recently she was in a Lebanese/Middle Eastern food phase-
When she sets the table, she rarely uses one colour or material. She will mix melamine with ceramic, different colours and her house has an open table where spontaneous dinners for 20 people occur (it’s a good thing she has a long dining room table).
Here is one, as an example, I simply adore: She shares “This is my kitchen/dining room- and my favourite area in our house. Lots of laughter and chatting go on in here. This table screams for more people (she has a very long dining room table)- a long table with extra chairs makes it easy to be spontaneous and just invite a few extra people to stay for dinner.”
To me, this is a person who is passionate about having people in her home and around her table- the more the merrier.
Likewise, her tips on how to add colour into a house are written in a fun and functional perspective. In the ‘DINING IN STYLE’ section of the book she recommends:
1. Introduce colour on movable objects such as tableware, lampshades, cushions and place mats.
2. Happy diners love flowers at the table. Make individual arrangements for each guest using their favourite colour.
Photo Source: Rice