A Minute With: The Swedish stylist Hans Blomquist

The art director behind campaigns for Ikea, Harrods, H&M and Monoprix has a new book, The Natural Home, that explores his love of nature and display.

One of the homes featured in Blomquist's book is a former button factory. Debi Treloar / Ryland Peters & Small
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The Swedish stylist Hans Blomquist has directed campaigns for Ikea, Harrods, H&M and Monoprix. His book The Natural Home explores his love of nature and display.

I live in Paris.

Since I first visited when I was 16, I've wanted to live here and now my dream has come true.

I've been here for four years and I like to stroll through the streets, just looking. I think it's one of the most beautiful cities in the world (though I have not visited all of them). I love the way that Paris never really changes. I still go to the same cafe as I did when I was 16 years old, and it still looks the same. The buildings are full of memories and have real soul.

Home means

a lot to me. It's a place to recharge, relax and just be. Home is a place that I love coming back to - the space where I have all my things and memories surrounding me.

I'm lucky to have the luxury of quite a large flat, which is great when you live in a rather crowded city. A home should feel like you and reflect your personality.

It's difficult

to decide who the most important designer of our time is because there are so many talented people out there, but if I had to choose one name, it would be Thonet, the German furniture maker who designed bent wood pieces. It was both innovative and great quality, so his pieces look and feel as good today as they did when they were first made.

The most overrated

design object of our time is the Croc shoe. I think they are truly ugly and nobody looks good wearing them. I know they are a real hit and that millions of people buy the things, but I think the world would look much better without them around.

I've had

a really busy year so far. I've spent the last few months in Sweden working with Ikea on a very inspiring project. I'm currently styling a photo shoot for a French company called AMPM and I'm already working on an idea for my next book.

To be honest,

I am not a very good reader. I don't give myself enough time to relax and read, so when I do read, I always choose something very easy and entertaining - something light to read while travelling so I don't have to concentrate.

I often pick up a title by Douglas Kennedy because I like the way he writes. By coincidence, the last time I read a book by him was a few weeks ago when I was in Berlin. The story was set there, so that added an extra dimension to the book. I could visit the places in the story and trace the historical references. It was really inspiring.

The easiest way

to update a space is to move the furniture around. Just rearrange the rooms, and swap pieces of furniture from room to room and you can give your home a totally different and new look.

I think people should treasure possessions and not throw so much away. It is easy to make simple updates and still feel like you have something new. An old sofa or armchair can be refreshed by adding some new cushions, while a bunch of fresh flowers in a simple vase can make a room feel totally revived. Small changes can make a big difference.

I travel a lot

during the week working, so my perfect weekend is to spend as much time in my home with my family and just chill out. I also like visiting flea markets and sitting in cafes watching the street life.

I don't own

an iPod and I rarely listen to music these days. Silence has become really important to me - the world is so noisy with cars and people. I prefer to hear real sounds, like birds or the wind. I don't like being closed off from the world around me. I like being in the now.

This year,

I want to spend more time with people I love since I have been so bad at that lately. It's very easy for me to dive into work and forget the world around me. I love what I do and always want to produce the absolute best work. To me, my work is a hobby so it's easy to forget the other important things in life.

Good design

should be available to everyone. A designer product can be so overly expensive, when the cost of making it is sometimes very low. Considering the troubled world we live in, I think some of that money would be better spent on giving needy people a decent life.

My grandmother

is the person who inspired me the most. She was always there for me. She was the most loving and caring person and her optimism was wonderful. She always found positives, even in the most negative situations. She taught me to be honest and to care about people.

In the past

few years, I've learnt to trust my instincts. I've realised that we work to live and that life is what's happening here and now.

In five years

time I won't have changed much, except I'll be five years older and, hopefully, five years wiser.

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