In an exclusive interview, Guillaume Vaillant Concept Designer for H&M Home talks about his creative vision and what’s coming up next for the brand.
What does home mean to you?
It’s not a place which ‘is’ but a place that gets created by time. It’s an emotional space where you can be yourself, where you can tell your story and somewhere you surround yourself with stories.
Why do you think the interiors range has been so in capturing the imagination of home décor buyers?
I have a fashion background and worked in the fashion industry for 15 years. I felt like something was happening with how we connect with our homes. Before I wanted to be outside, but now I want to be in my home and like others, I feel very connected to where I choose to inhabit.
My job is to identify trends and create moodboards, I wondered if I could translate that experience into interior design. We are all looking outside but that creates neverending stress. I think that we need to focus on our own bubble, and creating a beautiful space that we never want to leave is a great starting point.
Like Dorothy says from The Wizard of Oz: ‘there's no place like home’, and that sentiment feels so modern. It feels extremely present to think about how we want our homes to look and feel.
Image: H&M Home
How would you describe H&M’s design philosophy when it comes to interiors?
The basic idea for H&M Home was ‘fashion for your home’. Of course, it’s a good catchphrase but by growing we ask ourselves what actually is H&M home? Why do we have a voice in interior design? We want to make it possible for everyone to afford a modern and inspiring home, that is our biggest mission!
We try to be diverse, mixing Scandi minimalism and eclectic maximalism – we believe we have a wide range of aesthetics that can fit in with most interior styles.
The constant thread is that I think we have a strong connection with natural materials such as wood and linen, which works for everyone. Our colours are whispering colours and are very muted. Whether you’re a minimalist or a maximalist, you will find something that fits in perfectly with your home.
With furniture and lighting recently added to your collections, are there any ways you’d like to develop H&M Home’s ranges further?
The response has been absolutely fantastic. It’s a very different process designing a piece of furniture to designing a cushion cover for example.
We also have to factor in how we can ship these things and the logistics. We are definitely looking into how to make it happen. Let me just say, watch this space…
Image: H&M Home
What trends do you see on the horizon for interior design?
There’s definitely a shift towards interesting craftmanship, natural fibres and how things are made. We want to connect with objects and their stories. At H&M Home we love to champion imperfection. The colours are going to get warmer and here at H&M we love a bit of bling, of course.
Would you like to see more interiors-only H&M stores?
Well, there’s an H&M store opening in Birmingham very soon, which is very exciting! It’s an opportunity to say ‘this is us, this is H&M, welcome home.’
I come from a very small town, so I know it's not possibe to open seperate stores everywhere, that's why the concessions are so important as they offer H&M Home to everyone.
Of course, there’s more of a bigger range in the stand-alone concept stores and you can get home delivery, which is a bonus. It’s also an opportunity for us to welcome other brands into our stores, such as the Desenio pop-up store which is happening this month. We want to invite other brands to share our story!
In the age of internet shopping, what do you think these bricks and mortar stores offer for shoppers?
My job is to create a story. Then I put it into words, colour directions, fabric and the designers get to work. Then people can get immersed in our concepts in real life in our stores. I see it as our work being put on to a stage!
Image: H&M Home
What are your favourite designs from the H&M Home range?
I love ceramics! I have just moved into a new apartment and I have a lot of plants that need planting. We have an amazing range of ceramics coming up. We also have a lot of natural material rugs that I cannot wait to invest in.
What's your favourite piece from H&M Home? Tweet us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page. Or, you can post a pic on Instagram using the hashtag #ThisGoodHome for your chance to be featured on our Instagram.