In their apartment in an old Munich building, Form & Refine founder Lasse Lund Lauridsen and his wife Sarah have made themselves comfortable with Scandinavian design, light walls and natural materials.
Lasse Lund Lauridsen, the founder and CEO of the Danish brand Form & Refine, lives in Munich’s Haidhausen district, Germany, with his wife Sarah and children Freja (b. 2017) and Luca (b. 2019). Their almost 80-square-meter apartment has two bedrooms.
LASSE LUND LAURIDSEN’S love of wood is no accident. His father was a master carpenter in West Jutland on the Danish North Sea coast. In his father’s workshop, there was always a slightly spicy smell of wood and resin, which he liked already back then.
As a teenager, every once in a while Lasse helped to build the summer houses so typical of Denmark. The experience with the “most sustainable material in the world” never left him. After training as a marketing economist in Aarhus, he studied international management at Cambridge. He then worked as an international director for the Danish furniture brand Skagerak. He met his wife Sarah in Munich, and both lived in London for several years.
In 2015, the couple quit their jobs, traveled around the world for half a year, and then moved to Munich into a rented apartment so that they could take their time to look for a domicile of their own. Sarah was born in Munich, and Lasse loves the southern flair in the Bavarian capital.
At the end of 2016, it all worked out. At six o’clock in the evening on a Friday, Sarah went to see an almost 80-square-meter apartment on the third floor of an old building in a traffic-calmed street.
“I gave her the go-ahead without having seen the apartment,” Lasse recalls. Just three hours later, the sales contract was signed and sealed.
The two were determined to live in Munich’s sought-after Haidhausen district. It’s only a few minutes walk to the Isar river. Not everything here is gentrified yet. It’s more of a family atmosphere. Butchers, bakers, restaurants, vintage stores and interior stores are just around the corner, and Sarah’s company is easy to reach by bike.
The condition of the rooms, however, was catastrophic. Woodchip wallpaper was stuck to all the walls, the pipes were laid in front of them, and there was carpeting everywhere. The renovation work took more than seven months. Sarah’s parents, who live nearby, lent a helping hand. A sustainable interior and a healthy, atmospheric environment were at the top of the priority list.
A sustainable interior and a healthy, atmospheric environment were at the top of the priority list.
The linchpin of the renovation work became the hallway. Over two meters wide, it appears particularly spacious and offers plenty of room. The long pine floorboards are the eye-catcher – the solid wood planks were only sanded down and treated with white pigmented oil. Lasse was glad that they could be preserved.
In the living-dining room facing the street, Sarah and Lasse laid classic oak floorboards in a herringbone pattern. From the very beginning, it was clear that double-leaf doors were to be installed in the living and dining areas and in the adjacent children’s room.
“Preferably French ones with coffered fronts. They take up less space when opening and closing,” explains Lasse.
Since the historical models were only available in widths of one meter or more, the couple searched for narrower doors throughout Germany and finally found what they were looking for in Leipzig. The models from the Wilhelminian period – the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries – were a bit too narrow for the door frame, so they had a carpenter add strips of wood. Then the door leaves were elaborately sanded and painted several times.
Most of the furniture in the apartment is from Form & Refine. Lasse founded the Danish interior brand in 2018 together with designers Helle Herman Mortensen and Jonas Herman Pedersen from Herman Studio. They had a clear vision: with their brand, they want to help preserve the world’s raw materials and traditional craft techniques. The label sources wood only from sustainable forestry.
“We want to tell the story about the material and not about designers who have long since died,” says Lasse. Form & Refine founders believe that sustainable natural beauties with their sensual aesthetics should be unmistakable – and the planet should be spared during production.
“We want to tell the story about the material and not about designers who have long since died.”
Their soft spot for wood is visible and tangible in every detail. And their success proves them right: the company was nominated for the Danish Design Award 2019 and named “upcoming brand of the year”. Later, the Blueprint chair won the Gold category of the German Design Award 2022.
Travels to South America have also left their mark in the Form & Refine catalog. The high-quality alpaca wool and the handicraft skills of the indigenous Andean people inspired Lasse so much that he now has pillows and plaids made in Bolivia.
• Read the story: Form & Refine relies on the power of authenticity, origin and alpacas >
For the bathroom, the owners had the wall to the kitchen torn down and replaced with a thinner plasterboard wall. Thanks to the new round window, the small shower room now benefits from natural daylight. Despite the small dimensions, it looks bright and friendly.
A narrow corridor leads to the guest toilet. Here, brass sets the tone. Lasse and Sarah liked an arched single-hole faucet made of chrome so much that they had the model coated with brass.
Sarah planned the adjoining kitchen according to her own wishes. With the small footprint, she insisted on an L-shape so that the portafilter espresso machine wouldn’t occupy valuable workspace next to the stove or sink.
The kitchen is light and bright, thanks to a floor-to-ceiling glass door that leads to the balcony. The balcony is now the kids’ outdoor playroom and has a lovely view of the leafy backyards. The fig tree in the pot next to it is already bearing its first fruit.
As the apartment is rather small, who knows where the couple will end up as the children grow bigger.
Favorites from Form & Refine
• Form & Refine products at Finnish Design Shop >
Text and styling: Claudia Durian Photos: Christoph Theurer