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
Meet and greet
Kristin Lagerqvist (interior designer, blogger and photographer), Jonas Lagerqvist (banker), Simon, Otto and Igor, plus Siv the cat.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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?
Words by: Emma Persson Lagerberg and Sally Conor. Photography by: Andrea Papini.