I recently got a book called Detaljer Hemma which, if you’re anything like me, will get you looking at your own home in a whole new way.
Detaljer Hemma is Swedish for ‘Details at Home’, and between the book’s old-school hardboard covers, there are 190 pages packed with beautiful photographs of the most ordinary things in ordinary Swedish homes. We get to peek inside kitchen cupboards, onto shelves crammed with crockery, into kids’ toyboxes, and even into the shower caddy in the bathroom, hunting down the details that make a house a home.
The authors – husband and wife team Ulf Huett Nilsson and Annika Huett – explain their concept, and the impetus behind creating this book:
“We’re often in a hurry to throw away, exchange or rebuild. But the details that create a personal feel don’t have to be new and expensive… In a hunt for fun and different stuff, we explored Sweden. We visited uniquely personal homes from north to south, peeking into room after room, and discovering that almost anything can be a fascinating detail… So give time to details. They might turn out to be the most beautiful things you own.”
It really is astonishing how a good photographer can make something as humdrum as a door handle or the back of a chair look noteworthy, but after poring over these pages, I found myself looking at my own home quite differently. Instead of looking with despair at a shelf full of knicknacks and thinking I really ought to dust, I regarded them more warmly – seeing instead an arrangement of things that made sense by dint of having lived together for a while. And when I got out my camera and looked at the details through the lens, they took on a sense of rightness I may not have perceived before.
So, while the discarded printing cartridge, empty camera box, USB cable, pile of post and tea towel lying next to me as I write would probably not make it onto the pages of Detaljer Hemma (I really must put them all away!), the book has me seeing a lot more right than wrong in the little details that make up my home.