Frida Ramstedt and her interior design blog, Tendenser, has been a favourite read of mine for years, so when I heard she was writing her first book, ‘The Interior Design Handbook’, I couldn’t wait for it to be published here in the UK.
Fast becoming a best-seller in her native Sweden; in it, Frida shares her industry secrets and styling know-how to help us all create a home we love, and better still, one that works.
I recently chatted with her about the book, her own interior design journey and the importance of a happy home for a healthy life.
Here’s what she had to tell me:
Firstly, shall we start with a little about you. What is your background and where does your interest in interior design stem from?
I have always been very interested in interior design and dreamt of working as a decorator when I grew up, but my parents tried to persuade me to come up with ‘better ideas’, or at least to get an academic degree first. I think they were afraid that I might not be able to make a living out of my hobby.
So, fifteen years ago while I was studying marketing, I came up with the idea of starting a blog which would allow me to combine my academic work with my love for interior design. I even went on to write my thesis about IKEA’s advertising strategies.
Now, having done it for more than 15 years I don’t think anyone doubts me when I say that I love what I do, or, that you can make a living of your passion.
Do you think the house you grew up in influenced your own sense of style and the interiors you now love?
Both yes and no. My mother and grandmother were both very interested in interior design and furniture, but their style differed quite markedly from my own.
It took me quite a while to find my own voice and to find out what kind of environments I liked and felt good in, which is why I offer advice on this in the book.
It is completely fine to feel confused about not knowing how you want to live your life or how you want things to look around you. These things take time and nothing long lasting in life is a quick fix.
You started Trendenser back in 2005, and since then it has become Scandinavia’s leading interior blog. How do you keep the content fresh, relevant and exciting for you and your readers?
As an influencer you have to accept the fact that you work in a constantly changing industry. There is no risk of getting bored, but you can never really rest. You are never better than your latest post, which can be challenging at times, but overall, suits my curious mind perfectly.
What was the inspiration behind your book, ‘The Interior Design Handbook’? What do you hope readers around the world will love and learn from it?
What looks good and what feels good is not always the same, but today we have become so focused on how interiors look, that we have grown blind to if they work.
If you look at the images in an interior magazine or on social media, I mean really look at them, they are filled with solutions that may look pretty but they don’t work in real life. They are both inspiring and frustrating.
I want to change that, and it is why I’ve written The Interior Design Handbook. It’s a comprehensive guide to the basic principles, explaining the rules of thumb and recommended measurements designers and stylists use in their everyday work.
So, whether you’re a trained professional or passionate homemaker, I want to help readers better understand what works and why, to come up with personal solutions instead of copying other people’s, sometimes very bad, ideas.
I think interior knowledge is a game changer if we want to make long lasting and sustainable decisions for our homes and our wellbeing.
After such an extraordinary year what is currently catching your eye in the world of interiors? How do you feel our homes and how we live in them will change in years to come?
I think we will look back at this period as the start of a new era, one in which we have a much more health orientated approach to our surroundings.
My sister is a doctor and researcher of cervical cancer, and I must admit that I’ve always thought that her work is much more important than mine, after all she saves lives for a living. But this year it has struck me so many times that interior designers also have a very important role to play in improving a person’s quality of life and how our homes impact on our mental wellbeing.
A well-planned interior and making informed furniture choices can help avoid things such as back pain, tension headaches, poor eyesight or even bad moods due to things not working in the way we want them to. So interior design may not save lives, but it sure can prevent a lot of health-related problems.
Thank you so much to Frida for chatting with me, I’ve loved reading The Interior Design Handbook and finding out more about one of my favourite interior bloggers.
To celebrate the publication of ‘The Interior Design Handbook’, I’ve teamed up with publishers Penguin Random House to create an Instagram competition. One lucky Nordic Notes follower will win their very own copy.
To enter: Just follow both Nordic Notes and Frida Ramstedt on Instagram. Like the competition photo and tag a friend who you think would like to win. You can tag as many people as you like, and each tag counts as one entry.
Disclaimer: The giveaway is open to those over 18+ years of age and living in the UK only. The giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday 6th December 2020. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on my Instagram account afterwards. Good luck!
Please note this competition is in no way associated with or endorsed by Instagram.
Like this post? Then why not read my chat with Danish designer, stylist and TV personality, Katrine Martensen-Larsen, about her book, ‘Nordic Moods’.
Images 1, 4 and 5 by Nicola Capper, all other photography courtesy of Frida Ramstedt.