H&M's Head of Design Evelina Kravaev takes us through her best interior hacks
The AW16 edit from H&M Home exudes contemporary elegance, with its classic designs, calming, washed-out shades, knitted textiles and charming prints inspired by Nordic folklore. We spoke to head of design Evelina Kravaev to find out how simple changes can refresh and update our homes
What are your best hacks for an easy update?
My top tip is to change the cushion covers. It’s easy on the budget and makes a big difference to any room. For the bedroom and bathroom, it’s all about changing the textiles – for example, the bed sheets and towels. Scented candles are also a good idea: they both look and smell lovely, so they help set the right atmosphere.
Give us five easy ways to transform a living room…
• Create instant warmth and comfort by changing your curtains and cushion covers for ones that feel right for the season.
• Buy some green plants and set them in beautiful pots.
• Put a throw on the sofa for a cosy look, and change the colour and material as the season moves on.
• Choose your wall art with care – for instance, you could mix fancy mirrors.
• Arrange various shaped candleholders in a matching material and colour on a tray, table or shelf to create a nice still-life. Then add candles in your favourite scent.
The new Scandi style seems to have a darker palette. What’s the easiest way to recreate that look?
Start cautiously: change your textiles first to see how dark you want to go, and buy some art deco objects in black and brass – and voilà! You have the trendy dark look. If you dare to go all the way, the next step is to paint the walls in a darker colour, and decorate with furniture and objects in different shades of that same colour. For the bedroom and the bathroom, change your sheets and towels to dark grey or even black, and put some scented candles in beautiful black or grey holders.
In what way does fashion influence interiors?
I think that all creative fields influence each other. Sometimes fashion and art influence interiors, and sometimes interior fabrics and styles influence fashion. When we create our H&M Home collections we monitor all creative fields, so it’s impossible to point out any specific collection, designer or artist that inspires us.
What about travel?
Oh yes! Travel is a never-ending source of inspiration. We love to travel, especially to all the cosmopolitan cities (such as London, Paris, New York and Tokyo) for their diversity, rich cultural scene and trend-setting restaurants and hotels. We also take great interest in different kinds of folk cultures and arts.
The new H&M Home collection features a lot of geometric patterns. How are they best used?
We try to design them so they can easily be coordinated, or mixed and matched for an eclectic look. For a calmer, simpler style, pick your favourite print and pair it with our solid-colour cushion covers in matching shades.
What are your favourite products in the collection?
I love the folk-patterned cushion covers in black and off-white, the chunky knitted blankets in off-white and grey, and the art deco candle holders, trays and tea lights in black and brass.
How important are different textures?
Tactility is key in our AW collection. This season, the big textiles are velvet, which looks beautiful in any colour, and chunky knits, because they make a room look cosy but still stylish.
How do you use social media for inspo?
Instagram is interesting as a thermometer of the current environment and trends, and Pinterest is a great source of inspiration – the photo selections are very often beautiful and stylish.
The collection is available now from H&M Home stores and online at www.hm.com