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Home 10 |Ask a designer: sharing with housemates in style

“I’m sharing an apartment with friends but we’re struggling to combine our aesthetics. How do we make our space beautiful while still expressing each of our interests?” There are many wonderful advantages to living with others, but combining households can come with some décor challenges. Luckily, IKEA interior designer Hans Blomquist has some brilliant tips and tricks to share when it comes to making a beautiful, cohesive space by mixing, matching and finding common ground.

Hej Hans! Can you tell us a bit about your vision for this home?

Hans: With this home, I wanted to show that you can combine furniture and accessories in different styles and make it one world. The difficulty people face is mixing old and new, but I encourage you to break all the rules, and recreate them for yourself.

“Mixing many different influences can come together to make something that is uniquely you. Just don’t be afraid of colour – it’s your friend.”

 Hans Blomquist
 Interior designer

What would you say is a quick and easy way to breathe life into a space?

Hans: There is nothing that makes a home more inviting than a vase full of flowers. Everything from cut flowers, to branches and blooms gathered in nature, to dried sculptural pieces. Of course, cut flowers can be quite costly but from spring to late autumn nature is full of free finds to bring home.

“Few things make a room as inviting as cut flowers, so when you can, bring some into your home.”

 Hans Blomquist
 Interior designer

There are so many great textiles in here. How did you pair them all?

Hans: As this is a home of three different people, there will always be a mix and match of different styles, colours and textures. I wanted to show how to work with the differences rather than against them. The mix of patterned and plain curtains, bed linen, cushions and rugs creates a look that is layered and soft but with a lot of attitude and personality.

You’ve used rather unconventional placements for some of the artworks

Hans: Absolutely. In fact, I’d encourage everyone to use places they wouldn’t normally when creating an art installation at home: above doors, below windows – anywhere can be transformed into a gallery! Mixing different frames in colour, width, texture and size will create a wall that will be very personal. The key is to play.

“When you find yourself living with others, work out what interests you share and celebrate them in the way you choose to decorate.”

 Hans Blomquist
 Interior designer

How did you resolve the storage needs in this shared apartment?

Hans: This is an open home – one to be shared with their friends, but also with one another. Open storage is a wonderful way to bring that feeling to life. I chose to display their beautiful collections rather than hide them, so many things - from their combined glassware to their own individual clothing collections - are visible.

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