Founder of DURUP, Nicoline Durup is bringing Danish chic to the Middle East with a bespoke approach to luxury drapery with its high-end textiles to create fabulous interiors.

Launched n 2019 DURUP wants to create a luxurious atmosphere with plush fabric — for any home, anywhere in the world.

To delve into her journey as an entrepreneur, Emirates Woman, spoke to DURUP

What does the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

Being a mum to a 5-year-old means my day often starts early, around 6am. If it’s not too hectic a morning, my first 30 minutes starts with the essentials, coffee and jazz. I love how jazz can awaken your body and fill your mind with positive energy for the day. Most recently, I’ve been listening to the Icelandic jazz singer Laufey and while she is playing in the background, I’ll sip my black coffee in the kitchen, make breakfast for Edith, check my e-mails, and repeat my self-invented mantra: ‘Chaos makes the muse’.

What inspired you to launch your own interior brand?

My career began in the fashion industry where I was lucky to have worked with incredibly innovative and fashion-forward brands, including Stella McCartney. The early experience evolved into a love and appreciation for the broader world of textiles and interior design, which was why I founded Durup. I still apply that haute couture sensibility to my work. In a sense, Durup is not your parents’ curtain company. I started this journey with a vision to breathe new energy and life into what has historically been a staid and old-fashioned industry by bringing high-end fashion into the home. Since then, the company has evolved into a multidisciplinary practice that works with global clients to create bespoke interior experiences built on Durup’s founding principle that custom drapery is the cornerstone of good design.

How does the design meeting ensure a personalised touch for each client?

Getting a deeper understanding of the client is an important part of the process: everything from their lifestyle, hobbies and interests, sensibilities and of course their personal sense of style. I always say, dress your home like you would dress yourself as, it’s not just about fabrics and function. It’s about an ever-evolving lifestyle that invests in the beauty of things – in quality and considered luxury. The drapes set the scene in the home and tell a story about its inhabitants. Getting to know my clients on a personal level helps me to create a bespoke interior experience that truly expresses their individuality.

What elements define your style as an interior designer and artist?

Curating exquisite fabrics are my starting point as an interior designer. Simply put, I want to change the conventional way people think about drapes as something functional or as an afterthought. For me, it’s the starting point because, when done well and with consideration, drapes and other home textiles – including rugs and wall coverings – create a powerful foundation for the home, the cornerstone of good design. Like a haute couturier, my approach is completely white glove and bespoke. I use fabrics that have historically not been used as much for drapery and other home textiles, rich expressive fabrics like wool, textured cotton, silks with expressive patterns and more to bring to life the unique stories and sensibilities of my clients, and to help them form a deeper connection to the spaces they inhabit.

Durup Interiors

How has the UAE according to you become an important part of the design world?

Right now, I’m living between Copenhagen and Dubai and from the start I have felt this inspiring, creative energy in the UAE that is so well suited to the Durup approach, and which has always been about bringing a new point of view to an established perspective. I have found my clients here to be endlessly curious and open and, more broadly, I have encountered the kind of exciting creative experimentation in design here that I think will have a bigger impact in the design world in terms of taste making and trend setting.

Your wallcovering pieces are meticulously crafted – how does the process begin?

Wallcovering, and especially fabric wallcovering, has become a go-to-interior element and a thing not to miss when decorating your new space. Like drapes, wallcoverings are a foundational element in interior design, and can set the scene like no other element in a space. Imagine a room with walls covered in pure wild raw silk, which is spun, dyed, and woven by hand. Not only does it create a gorgeous atmosphere, given the rarity of the fabric, but it also creates a truly unique luxury experience in your home.

Each textile element is carefully sourced – talk us through the creative process.

Durup is pioneering a new way of working with textiles. We think beyond drapes to reflect the sensibilities and lifestyle of our clients. I source and curate the fabrics myself from every corner of the world, and only work with fabrics that both reflect the Durup vision and commitment to quality, but also bring something unique and extraordinary to the table. That said, Durup fabrics are a wide range, everything from beautiful and delicate cashmere from a small supplier in France to our sustainable curtain collection which we launched under the name “Unbottling Beauty.” That was a very special project, created from upcycled plastic that was carefully collected from the ocean’s beaches by impassioned volunteers.

Nicoline Durup

The Al Quoz Curtain Collection is inspired by the Emirates – tell us more.

I have found travelling in the UAE to be a magical experience. The vibrant colors, the golden light, the intricate level of detail in the architecture and the careful and considered way women here approach beauty – all of it inspired me to do a curtain collection under the name Al Quoz. For me, this was also an opportunity to beautifully bring together our two cultures, fusing the muted Nordic color palette and minimalist design approach with the Emirati love of texture and heavier materials. I’m very proud of this collection as it brings together two of my favorite parts of the world.

In terms of trends, which fabric do you see is most popular?

Linen never goes out of style and for a good reason. Bringing in linen gives any room a natural feeling and with linen, there are also many different variations in terms of weight and texture, which means that you can truly create a specific mood in the room. More recently, I’ve noticed a new trend among textile suppliers of using not just one but two different patterns or fabric compositions in one curtain. So, for example, you can source a fabric that has soft Chanel-esque bouclé on one side, and a printed course silk fabric on the back. This is a cool trend, and one that allows me as designer to create an even more personalized experience for my clients, creating drapery that like good art will reflect the refined sensibilities of my clients.

“I want to change the conventional way people think about drapes as something functional or as an afterthought.”

This is the Creativity Issue – where do you find your creative inspiration from?

I live on a plane these days and find a lot of creative inspiration while traveling for work. I love to people-watch and to truly experience local life in the different cities I travel to. I also find huge inspiration in art, and I rarely leave a place without a visit to at least one contemporary art gallery. But above all, I find inspiration in fashion. I love exploring the connections between fashion and interior design. These two worlds are so intertwined for me that I think of drapes as the foundational outfit of any space. My design approach is centered around self-expression and an investment in timeless luxury – that’s why I always say, dress your home as you would dress yourself.

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Images: Supplied