Work & Business
Scandinavian wallpaper take two: A Q&A with Kim FlorensSeptember 1, 2016
We’re suckers for fancy wallpaper. That’s why we did a Q&A with wallpaper and design guru Kim Florens, following our earlier piece on her ScandinavianWallpaper.com company. Kim schools us on Swedish wallpaper and trends below.
How did you get started in the wallpaper business?
I was working as a financial controller before we moved to the US, and I was ready to do something else. I thought that I might as well take the opportunity to do something I really enjoy. One of my biggest interests has always been interior design, and I realized that wallpaper was slowly coming back to the US, and that is when I got the idea.
How does Scandinavian wallpaper differ from American wallpaper?
In Scandinavia wallpaper never went out of style like it did here in the US, therefore both style and manufacturing has evolved as design and taste evolved. We have two brands on our website, ECO and Boråstapeter which are the oldest and best known brands in Sweden with more than 100 years in manufacturing wallpaper. All our wallpapers are made of non-woven material which is ECO-friendly and more durable and easier to hang than paper.
All our wallpapers are PVC-free and we only use water-based dyes and adhesives. The paper we use as raw material is sourced from one of the world’s most environmentally-friendly paper mills with a re-planting program.
When it comes to design the Scandinavians are famous for the clean and light style, and I have realized that this style is popular among interior designers in the US. Scandinavians are keen to update their interior design often and therefore they are willing to choose a bold accent wall, and since most people in Scandinavia know how to hang wallpaper themselves,s it is an easy way to keep your house up to date.
What are a few of your favorite wallpapers?
This is a tricky question because it all depends on the space you want to hang your wallpaper in. But if I had to choose one collection for an accent wall with a more daring style I would go with the new collection Scandinavian designers II, with pattern from a few of the most famous Scandinavian designers from the 50s and 60s like Arne Jacobsen among others. I love color and pattern. Nothing is too bold for me in the right space and how cool isn’t it to have Arne Jacobsen design on your wall.
If I had to choose a more calm wallpaper for a bedroom or office I would go with our collection Linen (with a textured surface) or the collection White Light with patterns in silver inserts.
On the other hand we have wallpaper from the collection Karlslund in our own dining room and in the kitchen we have a floral wallpaper from the collection Jubileum. So as I said it all depends on the style of the space. The one thing I am sure of is that we have something for every taste and space with more than 1,200 designs.
What’s one of your most unique offerings?
A new collection is coming in September from Boråstapeter. It’s called Lexington and it is a collection in collaboration with the Lexington company. The first wallpaper collection Lexington have ever made.
What was the biggest culture shock when moving from Sweden to the U.S.?
The biggest shock when moving from Sweden to Texas was more temperature than culture, we arrived in July…
What do you miss the most about Sweden?
My family and friends of course. Other than that I miss some food and the ability to have nature right outside your door.
Say we want to travel to Sweden for a week-long vacation. What’s one thing we have to do/see?
The Ice-hotel in the far northern part of Sweden in the town Jukkasjärvi, this is spectacular in many ways. The whole hotel is made out of ice and you sleep on reindeer skins on a bed made of ice. Even the bar and the glasses are made out of ice.
How do you continue to celebrate your Swedish heritage while living in the U.S.?
I am a member of the Swedish association SWEA in Dallas, where we live. They are amazing when it comes to organize festivities during our Swedish traditional holidays. Beside that we celebrate Christmas the Swedish way with a couple of other Swedish families in our area.
About our brands:
We sell all collections of the brands Boråstapeter and ECO, we are the only re-seller with all the collections in the U.S. We carry 35 collections right now, in total about 1200 designs. The number of collections vary a little bit depending on new collection launches and collections expiring. We have 3 new collections that will be launched in September.
Boråstapeter is Sweden’s oldest and by far best-known and best-selling brand of wall coverings in Sweden. They started manufacturing wallpaper in 1905.