Jonas Bergkvist

Jonas Bergkvist

This story hits a little closer to home. Artist and Creative Director Jonas Bergkvist is none other than HD Buttercup’s in house stylist. All of those artfully arranged mise-en-scene’s that animate our Culver City showroom? They’re the work of one particularly creative Swedish transplant. Born in a little town outside Stockholm, Jonas spent time in Paris and New York before settling in Los Angeles, where his own unique brand of eclecticism feels right at home in the California sunshine.

 

 

 

Interview by Laura Todd



When Jonas and his partner first came upon the quaint 1920’s-era cottage, it was a total disaster: an architectural Frankenstein stitched up over the years from multiple unfortunate renovations in the 1980s and ‘90s. The couple restored it to its former glory as a clean-lined, California bungalow, the perfect white cube to house Jonas’ collections of colourful textiles, quirky objects and hand made ceramics, otherwise known as the arsenal of secret weapons for a busy interiors stylist.


We stopped by the Silverlake home to learn a little bit more about Jonas and see firsthand how he houses his Buttercup scores while off the clock.

You work with Buttercup on the creative team, can you tell us about your role?

I work on visuals in the store. My main job is styling all of the furniture you see in the showroom. When the store gets a new shipment I decide where to put it, how to display it and how to make it look good alongside all of the other pieces.


When you’re not at Buttercup you’re also an artist. How would you describe your work?

My art is a lot more abstract. I do a lot of painting in my studio at home, but I also design textiles. I’ll make a watercolour painting and then I’ll redo it on fabric like cotton or linen and then make it into something like an ottoman or a pillow.

You recently renovated this house from top to bottom. Can you tell us about that?

The house looks really different from when we bought it. I think back in the 1920s when it was built it was a really cute cottage, but the previous owners had butchered it with renovations in the 1980s and 1990s. There wasn’t really anything left from the original design. So when we bought it and refurbished it we had to start from scratch. It took us about eight months to finish all of the renovations.

Design-wise we were inspired by the houses of Cliff May [the developer known for creating and popularising the typical California Ranch-style house]. We loved the old post-and-beam design and wanted to give the space a classic, local feel with a hint of Spanish influence. Which is why we used the Saltillo terracotta tiles in the living room and through to the patio. We have a big glass wall that opens up to the outside so it all feels like one big room. I also turned the garage into my studio. It looks as though it was an old horse stable or something, but now it’s where I keep my art supplies and objects I’ve collected for styling photoshoots.

Would you describe your style as typically Scandinavian?

I would say it’s eclectic and Nordic at the same time. As you know, the Swedish style is not that eclectic. My home has more things than a normal Swedish home, but I like things! I love the Nordic style, where everything is clean and simple. But in my home, I like to have more things. I enjoy weird little pieces, it makes me happy.


Can you tell us about an object or thing that makes you happy?

I collect small animal sculptures, stuff like that. I have a whole menagerie of animals I collect and looking at it makes me really happy. Things need to be a little quirky. I have a bowl that I keep flowers in that has a bird head and body, it’s amazing. In our entryway, there’s this chair with claw feet clutching crystals. I love things with animal feet!

How would you describe the difference between Scandinavian and Californian style?

Swedes love to have everything pretty; everyone has a pretty home, but it’s all very similar. It’s the same with clothes. Everyone looks really good, but they all look kind of the same. I think Europe is a little more reserved. Growing up in Stockholm I remember people were always staring because I had such a big curly 'fro and I wore big furry coats. What I love here is is that everyone is different. Everyone dresses differently, everyone is unique and has their own style. I love seeing someone who is unique and confident in their own way. Who says: ‘you know what? I don’t care.’