Hanne Kortegaard traces her interest in design to her girlhood dollhouse. “I was not playing with the dolls,” she explains. “I was making things for the dolls, things you couldn’t buy, like small candles and typewriters and things like that.” It was a natural way of playing for her. “And I think I’m still playing. It’s a kind of a hobby to design things. And, yeah, it’s a part of me, my lifestyle. I’ve always been doing things like that, but I didn't know before I was older that I was going to be a designer. But I knew that I was going to do something creative.” In keeping with her start, she studied interior decorating in Svendborg, Denmark, then worked as a visual merchandiser for several retail brands. The work took Kortegaard on the road for 100 or so days a year, which became a conflict with the impending birth of her daughter, so she returned to study furniture and interior design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. After freelancing a couple of years, she took a design job in 2012 at Linie Design, a rug maker in Copenhagen. Her previous experience as a visual merchandiser comes in handy at Linie, where she designs all the exhibits for the company’s appearances at trade shows. But her focus is rug design. “I’m actually doing all kinds of carpets,” Kortegaard says. “But I think my design is always quite minimalistic and simple. I never add any details without a reason.” She extends that simplicity to her furniture designs, which consist mostly of chairs, including a hanging lounge chair that’s her modern take on an old-fashioned tire swing. “A lot of different things inspire me. If I see furniture, sometimes, I get inspiration for a carpet, and the opposite. My inspiration is from everything. It can be in nature. It can be a shadow between two objects, or it can be a surface, a structure or a color combination.”
I think my design is always quite minimalistic and simple. I never add any details without a reason.