Behind the scenes at the HAY Vintage pop-up

After our recent post about opening up our London showroom, we’re excited to share with you another project that has given our rugs another beautiful – if temporary – home. Neighbours in our London showroom, HAY is well known for its contemporary furniture and accessories. However HAY showrooms also feature HAY Vintage pieces, including rugs from Emily’s House. HAY are currently hosting a pop-up shop in one of the most spectacular buildings in Copenhagen, and it’s one of the best opportunities to show just how well our vintage rugs work with cutting-edge contemporary design.

We spoke to Anne Langkilde Lie Kaas, who has been responsible for establishing the ambitious pop-up project. She’s a good friend of Emily’s House and has often accompanied us on buying trips to Morocco, so we asked her all about the idea of the pop-up and why she’s so excited about bringing our vintage rugs to a new audience.

“My idea was, just for one month, to present the rugs in a large space, so that people understand them,” she says. “If you don’t know these kinds of rugs very well it can be difficult to see what they can do. The effect that they have when you put these rugs out in a room is just so beautiful, sometimes you really just have to see it!”

The shop has opened in 26 Bregade, a street in Copenhagen well know for art galleries and fashion stores. The limestone mansion at number 26 was built in 1756 by Rococo architect Nicolai Eigtved, and retains its handsome original plaster panels and fireplaces. “It’s a beautiful palace, with big rooms and chandeliers,” explains Anne of the three-room space that HAY has taken in the building.

“Rugs, rather like clothes, will look different in different contexts”

Each room houses not just HAY furniture but a specific type of vintage rug, and Anne gave careful consideration to the bones of each room before deciding which rugs to place in each. “I tried to think about which carpet would look best in which room,” she says, “not least because different rugs go better with different floor coverings. Take Beni Ouarain rugs for example, the background tends to be more cream, because they are vintage and made from natural wool. Sometimes if you put that on a really light floor it looks too cream, so we’ve placed them in a room with a darker floor, and a gold ceiling and fireplace and it all goes together really well.” Rugs, rather like clothes, will look different in different contexts, and so the display helps people to see how flooring, furnishing and decorating style will alter what the ‘perfect’ rug for them is.

“Displaying rugs on the wall is a great way to show off both your walls and your creativity!”

The rooms show rugs mixed with furniture to create a comfortable feeling that is more home than shop, but there is also space to hang rugs on the walls, a style of display that we love and urge you to try in your own home too – a great way to show off both your walls and your creativity! One room even features stacks of Moroccan Boucherouite rugs piled up to echo the feeling of a souk.

For Anne the opportunity for customers to not just look but also feel and experience the rugs is really important. “People have said these rooms are so amazing,” she says, “and these rugs just fit hand in hand with the space. It’s interesting to see customers sometimes have something specific in mind, but when they come in here their minds open up to new possibilities. They get a much better idea of all the different things rugs can do.”

Offering such a variety of stock has its drawbacks for Anne, who had just one week to set up the pop-up. “Working long days!” she laughs. “We have I think 400 rugs here. There’s no elevator, so we had to carry every rug up here, and they are really, really heavy.”

Despite weary arms however she’s keen to do another pop-up soon. “It’s been a huge success,” she says. “I think seeing HAY furniture with vintage pieces gives a whole new dimension to the furniture, and even more so in this beautiful building. And to finally have the whole stock in one place and be able to help customers when they come here is really nice, a real pleasure.”

HAY pop-up store is open until 25th October at 26 Bregade, Copenhagen

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