Some­thing blue

Blue isn’t a colour we nor­mally as­so­ciate with warmth and wel­come, but this Swedish home is proof that hav­ing the blues can be bloom­ing lovely

Your Home and Garden - - Contents - Text by Emma Pers­son Lager­berg and Sally Conor. Pho­tog­ra­phy by An­drea Pap­ini.

A rav­ish­ing Swedish home demon­strates the sur­pris­ing warmth of a blue-based decor

Colour courage

When it comes to adding colour to our homes, most of us take a cau­tious ap­proach, making do with a fea­ture wall here and a bright cush­ion or two there.

But dec­o­rat­ing a whole house in a sin­gle hue is pretty much un­heard of. Kristin Lagerqvist some­how missed this memo when she de­cided to theme her home, in the Swedish city of Var­berg, around the colour blue.

With her hus­band, Jonas, and their three sons, Si­mon, Otto and Igor, Kristin was happy liv­ing else­where in Var­berg, but Jonas had his eye on this his­toric home.

“Jonas men­tioned that if the house came up for sale, he would like to go and have a look,” says Kristin. “I was sat­is­fied with our house at the time and not es­pe­cially ea­ger to move. But over a bottle of wine on a porch in Florence, he men­tioned the house again. We knew the fam­ily who lived there wanted to sell to a fam­ily who would en­joy the house, the same way they had.”

Chang­ing rooms

Back in Var­berg, the cou­ple were in­vited to see the 1920s home and Kristin was pow­er­less to re­sist its charms.

“I was not at all hard to per­suade,” she says. “When I laced my shoes in the hall­way I said out loud, ‘We want it!’ and my hus­band said, ‘Ssh­hhh!’ The own­ers just laughed at my ea­ger­ness.”

The house had been very well taken care of by its pre­vi­ous own­ers, so once the Lagerqvists had pur­chased it and moved in, no ma­jor ef­fort was re­quired to shape it into a home that suited them. The colour scheme was the only thing they knew they wanted to change.

“Blue has al­ways been my colour,” says Kristin. “There is some­thing re­as­sur­ing and com­fort­ing about the dif­fer­ent tones of the sky and the sea. We re­painted all the rooms and wall­pa­pered them in our colours.”

Eclec­tic chic

The house was also filled with the cou­ple’s col­lec­tion of vin­tage fur­ni­ture and ob­jects, in­clud­ing plenty of art­works and ce­ram­ics. Lush in­door plants were in­stalled in ev­ery room.

“I think plants are im­por­tant in a home,” says Kristin. “There should also be plenty of so­cial ar­eas to play and hang out in, but also rooms where you can get away and be left alone. I think we have found a good mix here.”

A large en­trance hall greets vis­i­tors to the house with walls pa­pered in a blue flo­ral pat­tern which ex­tends all the way up the stairs to the main liv­ing area on the up­per floor. On this level, the blue liv­ing room is dec­o­rated with a mix of vin­tage finds and fam­ily heir­looms, such as a strik­ing blue cab­i­net that has been in the fam­ily for many years and cur­rently holds all the Lagerqvists’ games. A rock­ing chair and the cof­fee ta­ble were found by Jonas at a vin­tage shop, while the walls are adorned with Kristin’s own pho­to­graphs, torn-out news­pa­per pages and photos taken by friends.

My shade of blue

The liv­ing room wall colour was the re­sult of a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Kristin and Swedish paint brand Nord­sjö. Kristin wanted a vivid shade that wasn’t baby blue. The re­sult­ing colour is ‘Krick­e­lin Dim­blå’ or ’Krick­e­lin’s Haze Blue’.

“My lo­cal Nord­sjö store helped me blend up two op­tions that I then took home and tested on the wall to see how the colour looked in day­light, evening light and in shadow, and along­side our paint­ings and fur­ni­ture,” says Kristin. “I also wanted the colour to work with the flo­ral wall­pa­per in the hall and, be­cause the liv­ing area is a walk-through room, I wanted a beau­ti­ful tran­si­tion into the al­most white (‘Light Di­jon’) din­ing room with the slid­ing doors in ‘Dark Di­jon’ be­tween.”

“Blue has al­ways been my colour... there is some­thing re­as­sur­ing and com­fort­ing about the dif­fer­ent tones of the sky and the sea”

The fi­nal touches

A bright, spa­cious, her­itage-style kitchen had just been in­stalled when the Lagerqvists moved in, com­plete with soft grey cab­i­netry and brass knobs. Kristin made just one change – a favourite wall­pa­per de­sign by Wil­liam Mor­ris was added to the walls.

Her only other ad­di­tion was a Bum­ling brass lamp, which she first spot­ted in the home of some friends. To her de­light, they went into the garage and pro­duced a sim­i­lar one for her to take home. It now hangs above the Lagerqvist kitchen ta­ble, which pro­vides a ca­sual spot for en­joy­ing tea and cake, while a large con­crete ta­ble in the ad­ja­cent din­ing area can ac­com­mo­date the whole fam­ily as well as lots of guests.

Our place

Kristin and Jonas’ home is a per­fect ex­am­ple of how us­ing what you love to dec­o­rate your home – whether it be a sin­gle colour or a jumble of vin­tage fur­ni­ture – is of­ten the best path to time­less decor. You won’t see ‘all-blue colour pal­ette’ on any trend lists but, nev­er­the­less, blue is what feels like home to this stylish cou­ple. Who can ar­gue with that?

Styling an eclec­tic home

+ Even if your fur­nish­ings are all in dif­fer­ent styles, aim to keep a sin­gle thread run­ning through your decor, such as a cer­tain wall colour or floor­ing type.

+ Ma­te­ri­als are an­other ef­fec­tive way to link di­verse ob­jects and spa­ces. For in­stance, the Lagerqvists have used lots of linen, wood, cane and vel­vet.

+ Art­work and plants also ap­pear in ev­ery room. Even when ev­ery­thing is dif­fer­ent, us­ing the same ideas in each space gives a feel­ing of con­sis­tency.

+ Hard­ware should also be kept as sim­i­lar as pos­si­ble – re­peat­ing door han­dles, tap­ware and cup­board knobs is a good way to cre­ate co­he­sion.

+ Em­pha­sise the eclec­ti­cism of your home by dis­play­ing ob­jects on the floor and in cab­i­nets for a slightly hap­haz­ard, mu­seum-like qual­ity.

+ Don’t be swayed – at the end of the day, your home will fit to­gether be­cause it’s all you! Avoid let­ting trends or quick buys creep in and ruin the effect.

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DIN­ING One wall in the din­ing area is cov­ered in orig­i­nal art and pho­tog­ra­phy, in­clud­ing Kristin’s own, as well as work by Han­nah Lemholt and Michael Pil­strand.

KITCHEN ‘Chrysan­the­mum’ wall­pa­per by Wil­liam Mor­ris was cho­sen for the kitchen walls.

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