Lars Kruse Thomsen and Steven Tynan are the two creators behind Danish Loft Design – a new furniture concept to Bangkok. In less than two months, the two Danes have turned an old villa at Sukhumvit, originally used for yoga, into a modern showroom.
It was a yearlong dream speeding into reality when two Danes met to a shared business project in Thailand, approximately one year ago. Both arrived too early, and what started as a random small talk proved to be the beginning of a serious partnership.
“We quickly figured out that we shared the exact same thoughts, and that we both had entrepreneurial dreams,” Lars says.
Not only their appearance but also their choices of words reveal two men with different personalities – Lars being more the businessperson while Steven the artist. And the distinction between the two of them is held with gratitude.
“Steven is an amazing designer. You push a button and he produces art at the drop of a hat. I can not do that,” Lars says with a fascinated look at Steven.
“I admire Lars for always knowing how we solve difficult situations. He is also better at tackling my Latino temper than I am myself. If we are not working, we are good friends. And I think that if we were man and woman, we would be married by now,” Steven laughs.
“We are one organism,” Lars adds.
Not long after the meeting, Lars and Steven turned ideas into strategy, which earlier this year resulted in the opening of a modern and creative showroom at Sukhumvit Soi 31. Together they believe they are creating an international brand: Danish Loft Design. A brand with three fundamental principles: urban, solid and simple.
Recognition of a mindset
Red, black, white and orange lines recurs in the design and surrounds Steven and a dresser next to him.
“Some people say that this specific furniture piece has a Chinese touch, while others feel it is more Italian. Our furniture is inspired by the world, and people with an international mindset recognize these lines,” Steven says, when we talk about their target group.
Whether the perception is Chinese, Italian, French or something else, the design is after all rooted in Denmark, where Steven and Lars grew up. Danish design, whether it is furniture or fashion, is worldwide known for its clean, simple lines, good and robust materials and classic creations that never goes out of fashion.
Originally, Danish design was a product of the time in the 1950s: The post-war period was marked by a shortage of materials, resulting in requirements for durability as well as high quality. Danish design was therefore characterized by simplicity, functionality and minimalism.
“Danish design is a strong brand, and the designers are known worldwide. It is not a Scandinavian design, it is specifically Danish,” Steven explains.
The concept of Danish Loft Design comes out of the original loft design, which is inspired by big industrial halls with raw and rustic surfaces. They combine metal and wood, but design the furniture so they can fit into normal homes.
“The idea is to put in a few things and then build upon it with your own personal style. A room full of these furniture would be too much,” Steven explains and looks around in the showroom.
A melting point
Coming from the main road and walking all the way down Soi 31, the big villa suddenly appears around two small side streets. And even if the place seems a bit hidden, the location could not be better, Steven and Lars agree.
“There is a lot of traffic around the house, and here they drive slower. If the shop was located on the main road, we would need a much wider showroom to get the same exposure,” Steven says.
Behind one of the big glass walls next to the garden, an architect peacefully works at an urban table. The garden buzzes and solid craftsmanship sprouts up between the green. The place is not just a house with furniture, just as much a creative work environment, and a melting point for external events. The life that surrounds it provides a feeling of home.
“We share the facilities, and it brings more people and life to the place. People will visit us for various reasons, and at the same time they will pass by our furniture and see our design”.
“Furthermore, we cannot attract people by saying; ‘hey, we have created a new lamp – come and look’ – it is simply too boring,” Steven laughs.
Their plan is to host events every month, mainly arranged by others. According to Lars, ideal events could be anything from a business networking night, a Scandinavian get-together or a food competition between restaurants. It does not necessarily have to do with design.
“Furniture and design are just great surroundings for an enjoyable time,” Lars explains.
Excels at creating
Danish Loft Design is already flourishing in the vibrant city. Earlier this year, Steven and Lars landed a partnership with the Danish kitchen company: KVIK, who exhibits their items in their 600 square meters flagship store in Thonglor, Bangkok.
In the Spanish tapas bar and restaurant: Taberna JAMON JAMON at Soi 20, Danish Loft Design has shaped the full concept, and in other gourmet food shops and bakeries, they have provided single items.
“My dream order is the type of order that promotes our design and concept very clearly to our target group. And it would be a dream to design one of the greatest restaurants in Bangkok or one of the high-end hotels,” Lars says.
“I would love to design a whole loft style apartment, where 50 per cent of the furniture is Danish Loft Design,” Steven says.
Up to now, the focal spot is in Thailand, but the vision is to reach 15 countries within three years. And they are already represented in Singapore and soon in Malaysia.
“Looking at what we have already done in six month – a lot of things can happen in three years. And we have a lot of new ideas that we have not yet brought to the table,” Lars says.
“We trust this furniture design and believe that we are looking into an upcoming trend that can last for years,” Steven says.