While we adore many interior design aesthetics from around the world (we all want to decorate like the French and master Australia's laid-back look), there's one nation we can't get enough of: Sweden. It's nailed that minimal yet lived-in vibe we all crave. The country's style is insanely chic and clutter-free, expertly layered and monochrome but never cold—have you seen how Sweden does bohemian at home?
In our quest to achieve this look in our own homes, we tracked down an IKEA stylist for decorating tips, so naturally, we had to tap our other favorite Swedish design sister: H&M Home. The vertical's head of design, Evelina Kravaev Söderberg, kindly answered all our burning questions and revealed her top three qualities every room should have, how to perfect the high-low mix, her favorite décor trends, and much more. So if you're on the hunt for cheap fall decorations and need a little advice to style them at home, read on to discover how Söderberg achieves that effortless luxe look for less—and then shop the style!
MYDOMAINE: What's the first thing you think about when decorating a room?
EVELINA KRAVAEV SÖDERBERG: The first thing I think about is the space. I try to get a feel for it and then begin the decorating process. I am very into airy spaces, so I try to decorate with only the most necessary objects that I truly love. The interior pieces that I bring into my home reflect my personal taste and me as a person. They are often in calming neutral colors with a distinct look, interesting textures, and with a very contemporary feel.
MD: What are the top three qualities every room should have?
EKS: I love spaces where you can breathe. Airy places make me relax and feel good. For me, it's important to have space where a mix of functionality, character, and design leads the way. The top three qualities are great wooden floors, high ceilings, and significant doors or openings.
MD: What are the top three qualities a room should NEVER have?
EKS: There aren't any rules, except to decorate your home with things you truly love, objects that mean something to you and that make you happy.
MD: How do you incorporate new interior and décor trends at home without overdoing it?
EKS: For me, it's important to take into consideration the inspiration, style, and history of the building when deciding the interior decorating style. If you take the original design idea into consideration, it will be easier to decorate, even if you are looking to modernize and update the style. The original design idea will help you keep a theme throughout the interior decorating process.
MD: What are your favorite décor trends right now?
EKS: I have two favorite décor trends at the moment:
1. The natural, cozy and calm trend: warm, neutral colors; knitted qualities; and wooden hard goods. I have bought blankets with matching cushion covers in sand/winter white hues, cutting boards and storage in wood for my kitchen, and linen sheets in unbleached linen for the bed.
2. The dark trend: bed linen in charcoal for the bedroom, vases and candleholders in black (or black with brass details) for the living room, and black or dark gray towels for the bathroom.
MD: What are colors do you love to work with?
EKS: My home is very serene, I mostly use shades of black, white or gray. I love these shades that feel classic, long lasting, provide warmth to a space and also have a relaxing effect on me.
At work I love to work with color. I love all green shades, the blues and the warmer shades of yellow and rusty reds.
MD: What are your personal picks from H&M Home's current collection?
EKS: It’s all about fashion for your home, and H&M Home is always about the customer. We really want to encourage our customers to have fun and to express their individual style with our interior collections. Every season, I want so many pieces, so much more than I have room for.
My seasonal favorites from the current collection are the cushion covers with graphic patterns; they are great for creating a new expression in a room. Cushion covers are definitely our hero product. We have such a wide range of covers, with new styles and ideas each season. Cushions are a something that can immediately transform a room and bring your interiors together. I also love the chunky blankets in neutral colors because they are super cozy and provide that perfect texture to your sofa or bed.
Another favorite is the figurative brass candleholders. I just bought the cute monkey in brass color. A must-have in my home is always scented candles and simple, clean glass jars, which turn everyday storage into a beautiful affair.
MD: What tips do you have for styling these pieces at home?
EKS: My advice is to always stay true to yourself and your taste. Find out what makes you happy, and go for that. Let it take time. Feel the space, live in it for a while, and then decide what furniture you want to fill it with. Get inspired by magazines and the design world, but try to incorporate your personality into your home décor. It's nice to find a home that you can treat as a blank canvas.
My home consists of H&M Home products and vintage finds, so I have a lot of things from our collections. I love to use H&M Home to refresh my style and to add character to the mix. I am always bringing back new pieces that add fresh interest and a design twist. I have a lot of different cushion covers that I change every season. They are a great way to create a new expression in any room.
MD: What are the major design mistakes you always notice?
EKS: I'm not really a fan of rules when it comes to creativity or expressing yourself through your home. There are no design mistakes if you decorate with what you truly love.
MD: What are the décor pieces you should never spend money on?
EKS: It doesn't have to be expensive to decorate, whether it be making your living area cozy, dressing the table, making your bed, or filling the bathroom with personality, and with H&M Home, you have the chance to do so with style. The H&M Home collections and vintage pieces fulfill all my needs.
MD: What's your personal decorating philosophy?
EKS: I love a home to feel lived in so that you can sense people's characters and that they enjoy their life in the space. I would describe my decorating style as "my home is my sanctuary." It's a place for to relax and recharge. It's about incorporating neutral tones, with a mixture of vintage and modern pieces.
My home is warm, cozy, and simple. A neutral, monochrome color palette and harmony in a space are all very important elements to me; this also pertains to the material choice and shapes. I think style is something that evolves over time, and it gives me so much pleasure to find a space where I can express myself, and the things that I love.