Scandinavian interior trends have been on the rise for many years and it is not surprising because of the welcoming, wellness factors that are incorporated into the minimalist and earthy designs. Hygge (pronounced Hoogie) is a Danish word meaning ‘a sense of contentment and cosiness” and this forms part of the name of Carlie’s business name, Hygee Space and Design.
The Hygge lifestyle is a major part of Danish culture which is close to Carlie’s heart. She lived there for a year when she was just sixteen years old on a student exchange program and then returned not long after to study her degree at The International School of Business in Copenhagen. She returned a third time in 2018 with her family during a house swap and felt “very lucky to live and breathe all things design and ride my bike around exploring”. Carlie speaks fluent Danish and is still very close with her Danish host family from her teen years.
Originally from Corowa near Albury in NSW, Carlie grew up in this country town with her family and it is also where she met her husband. Perceived as too risky, neither having a job in a creative industry nor running your own business was encouraged when she was at school. Her husband, Marcus, is a professional golfer who travels extensively around the globe playing against the world’s top sportspeople and Carlie managed her household and supported her husband’s demanding career, whilst dreaming of one day being brave and taking her design ideas to the next level.
Like many mothers returning to work, setting up her own business felt like a daunting task yet now it seems entrepreneurialism and creativity thrive for her and her siblings. Her sister owns food business Meraki Produce, make mouthwatering home delivered meals, catering and cooking classes, and her brother is a builder whom she has been able to work with on some of her design projects. Another collaborator is architectural business Arkiform and they are about to embark on their first larger-scale residential project together.
Carlie believes that good design incorporates functional spaces, ample lighting, and the use of natural materials. She explains that the Danes spend a lot of time indoors, but they also ‘bring the outside in’ as much as they can so the use of plants, key furniture pieces and natural materials are essential ingredients.
Her business goal? “ I want people’s houses to look good but ultimately I want to make people feel happy because their homes represent them and their journey of life”. We asked the lovely and friendly Carlie a few frivolous questions and also her tips on surviving Covid-19.
If you were an animal what would it be and why?
Right now, I would love to be a dog! I think every dog in the world is very happy to be out walking more than usual. Our George is always a happy pup, life is pretty simple and he just wants some love and attention with his family, I am all for that right now.
What is the most important ‘value’ you base your work on?
Trust, honesty, and transparency are core values reflected in my work and personal life too. Building strong relationships with clients will come naturally if these foundational values are consistently there. To work in design with a client that trusts your vision/ideas and gives you a ‘free-range’ is a dream come true. I have been very fortunate to have had this experience with many of my clients.
What are your tips for surviving Covid-19?
I am looking at the many positives this time allows me to work ‘on’ the business, not just ‘in’ it if that makes sense. It has made me adjust and because of this I am focusing more on digital design, in particular 3D drawing. It is also a chance to press a reset button within myself and reflect back to why I love what I do and how I can be better at it. I am using this time to further study render design software; to actually write in my big ideas journal and review my business plan for where I want to be in 12 months time.
On the home front, we are used to my husband being away for some 30 weeks a year, so it is certainly a big change to be together so much! I have some work on so Marcus has now taken on the house husband role and is nailing it! We are embracing the slow down, allowing us to reflect on what really matters most which is our little family. It has also given us a chance to de-clutter and for once, work on our own house, to make our home cosy and all things ‘Hygge’. Taking it day by day, staying positive and healthy are our focus for now, knowing that this difficult time will pass.
If you could choose 1 place to visit in the next 12 months, where would it be and why?
It would have to be my beloved Denmark- it holds a special place in my heart and as my son says, I can’t help but smile and light up when I’m talking about anything or anyone Danish. It is an amazingly cool place to visit and immerse oneself culturally. Every corner is filled with design goodness, inspiration, and innovative ideas, in particular with regards to climate change. I can’t wait to head back for ‘research’ and to see my friends and family again soon. I was meant to be heading there in May for Design week, but sadly that’s been postponed. Forever the optimist, we are now planning on heading over in September instead.
Carlie is the owner of Hygge Spaces and Design in Bayside. She provides design planning and documentation for renovations, alterations, and new builds. This includes materials, fixtures and furnishings and 3D Rendering, and much more. Visit her website at www.hyggespacesanddesign.com.au, check out her cosy and calm Instagram feed here or you can call her directly on 0438 812 135 for all design queries.