In the home of interior designer and influencer Susan Törnqvist, herringbone parquet from Bjelin graces the floor of the newly renovated kitchen. The choice of floor was easy – but what’s the best approach for expressing personal style in your home decor?
Who is Susan?
– I’m a creative mother-of-three, in my early thirties, always brimming with ideas and energy. I live with my husband Daniel and our three children. I’m a stylist, interior designer and influencer who’s driven by innovative ideas and exciting projects!
What made you choose a floor from Bjelin?
– A beautiful herringbone parquet floor has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. It was at the top of my wish list the first time we renovated, but back then it was impossible to find an affordable option in good quality real wood. When we were building a new kitchen and reflooring the entire downstairs of our house, herringbone parquet was back at the top of my list. So when I discovered Bjelin’s wonderfully stylish products, it was like a dream come true for me. A herringbone floor from Bjelin ticked all the boxes and was an obvious choice for us. It looks amazing. I love it – it’s by far the best choice we’ve made!
What was most important for you when choosing a floor for your new kitchen?
– I always start with one basic tenet for any aspect of renovating and interior design. The aesthetics – it must look good! This is the most important thing for me – everything else is secondary. Call it the curse of aesthetes :)
I wanted a light oak parquet, but it had to have that lovely soft, natural feel. The floor needed to feel warm yet naturally rustic. Since we have three young children, it was also essential it was durable, practical, and easy to clean and maintain. Last but not least, it also had to be a floor that we could actually afford.
How would you describe your home and your interior style? Tell us about your house.
– My interior style? That’s an incredibly difficult question, because I love different elements from different styles. I like a Scandinavian-style backdrop, composed of soft, light notes, with elements from nature and natural materials. At the same time, I like to mix sharp contrasts and materials – think black details, concrete and glass – into all this lightness. All these elements are recurring themes in the basic material choices throughout our house.
I like the calming effect of stylistically pure minimalism, yet want spaces where I interrupt that pattern and mix things up. A good example of this in my home is the open kitchen shelf behind the cooker. It’s where I keep the items I use every day, in complete asymmetry! I really like the contrasts and mix of different interior styles, but my home needs to feel calm and harmonious, it mustn’t look disorganised. As I said, a difficult question with no easy answer…
– Our house was built in the 1930s as a small holiday home. The original part now consists of a hallway and the kitchen with the stylish floor from Bjelin. The house has been enlarged, renovated and altered over the years, but although the interior design is minimalistic and modern, we’ve always been mindful of the fact that it’s a house of two parts, built 85 years apart, and so it’s been important to preserve some of the older features.
What are your top tips for expressing personal style in your home decor?
– In addition to being a safe space where everyone feels welcome, our home should also feel cosy, and have space for imagination and play. I think a vibrant and appealing home with personality is important!
Where do you get your inspiration?
– From nature, architecture, magazines, TV and social media. I can discover a colour, texture, or a feeling from a material, and then I develop it. During the pandemic, a lot of my inspiration has come specifically from the life I’m living now. In a time unlike any other, when I’m spending more time at home, it’s been important for me to create a warm home filled with light, as the outside world isn’t offering us much of that right now. Don’t limit yourself to interior design images – look for inspiration for your projects everywhere!
Susan's top tips for home interior design:
Trends are fun, but learn to identify your own style and what appeals to you. Cherry-pick your favourite parts from the trends.
Combine boldly. Mix old and new, expensive and affordable, colour and prints – based on your personal aesthetics. This makes your interior design more interesting.
The details are what elevate your interior design and really spice it up. You could use seashells you find on the beach, reeds from summer meadows, or elegant candlesticks and vases. It really doesn’t matter what it is, but the details enhance your home and tell the fascinating story of the people who live there.
In the heart of Viken in Sweden, the stylish hair salon Vår Vråå underwent a powerful makeover and chose Bjelin's dark herringbone parquet as a foundation.
Christina and P-G Svensson embarked on a remarkable downsizing journey, swapping their spacious house for a charming apartment.
We catch up with seasoned architect Elli Fragaki about mastering floor selection in architectural design.