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In Detail by Hans Blomquist

October 17, 2014
   As you might already know I love books and bookshops are the places where I can spend hours carefully choosing what’s worth to be added to my shelves. The first test every book has to pass is the cover test. I can’t tell you if it has to be bright or have the book’s title written in bold letters, it simply has to catch my eye – the new Hans Blomquist’s book In Detail: Inspiring Ideas for Creative Interiors would certainly attract my attention.
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   The next step would be to try and find out something about the author. Hans Blomquist is already known to anyone who keeps an eye on the latest interior trends, yet I’ll be brave and admit that this was my first introduction to his work.
   I read the author’s brief biography and the key word for me seemed to have been… Swedish. Before opening the book I was asking myself – should I expect to see examples of Scandinavian style, that being simple and modern, quite often comes across as really functional, yet a bit cold?
   I admire antique furniture, patterned wallpaper and rich in things interiors (huge cabinets of curiosities you could say), so I was nicely surprised when I saw the French influence, that must have been building up all these years that Hans Blomquist spent living in Paris.
   This stylist might come from Sweden, yet he knows what la vie is all about – finding the right details!

"I love entering and spending time in rooms that look as though they have just come together without being too well planned. It makes me feel very relaxed and at home."

   Hans Blomquist says : “both at home and in my work as a stylist, getting the details right is key to achieving the perfect result. For me, the success of an entire room or photo can hinge on one seemingly insignificant element that makes the whole come to life.”
   I totally agree that something big always begins with a single little step, so it doesn’t surprise me that impressive interiors can “start with a detail – a colour, a surface, a roll of string, a single flower”. For this stylist “it could be anything”, as long as it sparks up an idea that later on inspires to “create a whole room set“.
   In Detail is split into six chapters or, in other words, six subjects that you should concentrate on if you want to achieve that stylish look – Nature, Texture, Colour, Textiles, Collections and Displays.  I’ll share just a few ideas from each one, as you might want to use them immediately, yet be aware that it’s just a little drop of inspiration, the whole ocean awaits you when you open this book!

"Dahlias are low maintenance and bloom prolifically from late June to at least October. They come in all shapes and sizes, and in a large variety of colours."

   NATURE :: Hans Blomquist draws a lot of inspiration from nature and its seasons. “No matter what time of year it is, nature always provides something that will create a beautiful focal point in any room, and bring a little piece of the natural world to your home.
   This stylist is extremely fond of flowers – “there are few things that add as much colour and happiness to a home as flowers – aside from family and friends, of course”. He tries to bring flowers into his home every week, as it makes such a difference to the way he feels and “injects a sense of vitality that only flowers can achieve“.

"Vivid red rose hips make great Christmas decorations. They last a long time without water, so here I placed them in a large wire basket to create a different setting."

   His advice would be to choose seasonal flowers – bulbs or cherry branches in spring, dahlias in autumn. You could try creating oversized bouquets or simple floral displays that, together with some complementary objects, would turn into still lives telling little stories.
   TEXTURE :: In the authors opinion “texture adds an extra dimension to any interior, as it creates both depth and a layered effect”. How do you achieve this? It can be done “layering different materials, such as wood, metal, stone and concrete, to create a foundation, and then building up the picture by using textiles in a mix of fabric types, weaves and colours”. One more possibility – mix “old with new and rough with smooth” this will create “a home that is both interesting and personal”.

"Create depth in a room and increase the sense of space by hanging an oversized mirror on one wall."

   COLOUR :: You’ll be glad to hear that “there is no right or wrong when it comes to colour – the most important thing is choosing a scheme that you love”. Then the quickest and easiest ways to inject colour into your home would be painting the walls and using textiles.
   You could also try one more trick suggested by Hans Blomquist – painted backdrops. They are “a brilliant way to add interest to an interior, and they can be repainted at any time to ring the changes”.

"I can’t have enough cushions and bolsters made from vintage Swedish striped ticking, which I love for the quality of the fabric and the many variations of stripes and colours."

   TEXTILES :: They can add so much glamour to our every day life! For e.g. “eating at a dressed table gives the feeling of being in a restaurant, even though our tablecloths and napkins are not starched and pressed”.
   I guess many of us concentrate on walls and furniture and forget that tiny little changes can inject new mood, that’s why I love Hans Blomquist’s idea to change textiles in the home with the seasons.

"Both at home and in my work as a stylist, getting the details right is key to achieving the perfect result."

   COLLECTIONS ::  This is the chapter that I loved the most. Why? Because just like Hans Blomquist, I’m a hoarder! At least as a stylist and art director he has the perfect excuse for buying new pieces – he needs to constantly update his collection of props.
   Well, there are no rules on what a collection should consist of, just don’t forget that “it is important to accumulate things that you will use and enjoy having around you”.
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   DISPLAYS :: The best way to bring new energy to a space is to keep rearranging your stuff into new displays. You might not have time to do this very often, yet such changes will definitely always pay off.
   By the way, here’s where we come across recycling. As Hans Blomquist correctly points out “the cycle of fast fashion has reached the interiors market and … there is far too much unthinking throwing away in today’s world, …it can be hard to break the cycle of constantly craving the new, but consider how you might be able to give your things a new lease of life simply by showcasing them in a different context”.
— — —
   This is a very beautiful book that will teach you to take in every detail, but if you’re still not sure if it deserves a place in your home, please visit a few other lovely blogs that have been a part of this book’s blog tour –  Decor8, Lobster and Swan, The Lifestyle Editor, Such Pretty Things.
— — —
   In Detail by Hans Blomquist (photography by Debi Treloar and Hans Blomquist) is published by Ryland Peters and Small. Available from the 21st of October.
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