Inside the Studio: Stina Resting

A designer's studio is not just a place to work: it's a space where creative alchemy occurs each and every day. From inspiration boards to collaborative corners where ideas come to life, each designer's studio is a reflection of their unique aesthetic and approach to design—and that's why we are taking you inside the studios of our NJAL designers. Today designer Stina Resting brings us inside her studio situated outside of Copenhagen.


Which city and particular neighborhood is your studio located in?

My studio is located in the countryside an hour south of Copenhagen. Four months ago my boyfriend and I took the big step and moved ourselves, all of our belongings, and our studios out of the city and headed to the idyllic setting of a big, yellow farm house from the 17th century. The place is an artist residency—that we now host—and so far we have had the joy of welcoming writers, illustrators, painters, and architects. 

What made you choose this particular space and location?

I chose a corner of the big house for my studio, primarily because it has a good vibe, but also because of the straight exit to our huge park-like garden. The house in general and the studio in particular offers me new possibilities that I can’t wait to explore. It serves as quite the contrast to the expensive housing and crammed shared studio spaces in the city. We wanted more space, quiet, and time for work—and we got it. In this eight-roomed house we can lose track of time. 


Most favorite and least favorite aspects of the neighborhood?

My favorite aspect of the studio is being surrounded by nature. During the day the greenness of our garden is so lush and nourishing for the mind, and the possibility to take a break outside in the sun and the fresh air is so soothing for the body. At night, the darkness of this rural area and the clear star-filled sky both overwhelms me and comforts me. At first the quietness and the darkness felt heavy because there was no noise. Suddenly, I could distill one sound from another and start focusing on them independently. It challenged me to digest all the noise I had gotten used to in the city. Most importantly, the quietness makes me listen more carefully—not just to my surroundings, but also to myself and the direction of my work. It really helps me focus and develop my work. Obviously, the downsides lie in the same aspect. Being away from the city challenges my network and connections with people, events and things in the capital. But then again, Denmark is a small country and you can always go to the city by train. With a computer and a phone you can work from anywhere and reach out online. Despite of this, I think the disconnection is exactly what I need right now.


What made you decide to create a fixed base with a physical studio space?

A physical studio is very rewarding for my personal wellbeing and for the efficiency of my work. Everything has a fixed place, and I can work on different projects simultaneously. Virginia Woolf stressed the importance to have a studio or a room of one’s own, and I completely agree.

How do you think working in a studio plays a role in the design process?

Having a studio is fantastic because ideally it becomes a dynamic, physical reflection of your thoughts, process, and goals of your work. I believe that creativity needs fixed boundaries in order to develop and thrive. I'm not saying that you can’t create if you don’t have your own studio, but if you constantly need to set up things, clean up, pack down, or travel with your tools and materials, so much energy and time will be used for logistics. You need to have some kind of safe base to work from, where elements are stable and fixed.


Tell us a bit about your space. What are you favorite components?

My studio is like a cave. It is a safe spot. It stores old work, fuels new ideas and nurtures dreams for the future. It is very personal as well as efficiently set up for professional work. I guess my favorite component of the studio is that it works. I really appreciate that my mannequin has a white wall behind it, that my sewing machine and overlocker can hang out all day long, and that materials, books, and tools, are just at hand for testing out new ideas.


Where do you feel the most inspired in your space?

My favorite place to sit and get inspired is my chair. I love to take a break from work and sit in the corner of the studio appreciating the work space, thinking about next steps in projects or just daydreaming. I get so much energy and inspiration from observing objects in the studio. 


Bring us through a day in the life while working in the studio.

I am a morning person. During breakfast I read for half an hour or so about a topic that has my attention at the moment. It could be about creative entrepreneurship, the fashion history, or kung fu. I put on music that matches my mood or the task at hand. At the beginning of the day I sort practical things on my computer, writing emails and getting the urgent things done. And then I want to do something with my hands. Throughout the day I try to vary my work from my desk to the pattern making table, from my computer to the mannequin, from sitting to standing. I take a break outside in the sun if it shines—or sit in my armchair and dwell on things when it rains. If a deadline is near I can work until I almost fall a sleep, but usually I will finish around 7 and have dinner and rest in the evening.

Most unexpected part of the studio?

My granddad once made a light box for drawing and now I use it as a lamp on my desk. The light coming from the fluorescent lamp is warm and mild, and having a memory of my late granddad is important to me. He was a very fun, creative, and inventive person always working on a project. The transparency of the box made out of wood and glass shows the humble interior, which reminds me of his honest and unpretentious mindset.

What’s your creative process like? Has it changed since working in your space?

My creative process is still settling into this new space. I have noticed that it has changed in a way where my process is already more grounded and focused with less disturbances. It is nice to know that I can work at any time of the day or night. Creatively I work most productively when a deadline is tight. I speed up and disappear into the work and flow with things. After finishing and meeting the deadline I most often need a break away from the studio. Some days are more productive and giving, whereas others call for a bike trip to the ocean for recreation. I am very curious to see how things develop while living here and working like this.


Are there other designers working in this neighborhood?

I am lucky that I am not completely alone out here. My boyfriend, Simon Væth, is an illustrator and has a great studio space in our house. We work independently, but it is always nice to have someone else working close by and somebody to share this experience with. The residency also provides potential colleagues. The flux of artists coming and going on a weekly basis brings life to the house. I recently met a textile designer that is a bit older than me who has loads of experience when it comes to living and working away from the city. Everything she shared with me was incredibly interesting and informative. 


How did you find the space?

We found the space through a newsletter coming from a writer’s organization that my boyfriend is a member of. There was a foundation, Leif Hasles Fond, looking for new tenants to move into the residency for a two years time and we immediately jumped for it. Luckily, we got it and within two weeks it was settled and we started packing and preparing ourselves for a new type of life. 


What personal touches did you add to the studio?

All of my stuff! At the moment I really enjoy using the old curtain rod over the windows for mounting textile swatches. When they hang there they remind me of my aesthetic direction and they are cute, wrinkled, and shrunk curtains, which I find quite funny.

'''Images courtesy of Stina Resting

Stina Resting on NJAL