Veronika Blomgrem, 38, is an interior designer and architect from Moscow. She used to work as a TV presenter in Russia for a programme in which designers had to redecorate houses for people in three days. But after coming to Bali on holidays two years ago she decided not to leave. She shared her day with Carla Albertí de la Rosa.
I’m not a morning person so my day starts late. I wake up around 10 and for a few minutes I say thanks to God for being on this beautiful island one more day. I think about what I want to have for breakfast and where. My house is always under renovation and I can’t often have breakfast there. I’m a zombie before I have breakfast so I leave my house right after I wake up and normally go somwhere in Umalas or to La Lucciola. I have crepes or a panini and some tea.
I build and design houses. So after breakfast I go to the houses I’m working on. I’ve just finished building three villas and at the moment I’m working on five houses around the area where I live, which is in Canggu. I’m also starting a project in Ubud.
For me interior design is creation. Ayurveda, for example, says if a person is sick the first thing they should do is look around them. They should look at the place where they live and the people who they communicate with. And it’s true: We feel good in a place that is beautiful or has a good energy and we feel bad, sick and look ugly if we stay in a place that is ugly. So for me it’s all about creation.
People normally come to me by word of mouth. I’ve been doing my job for 17 years, 15 in Russia and two here, and now when I see the person I immediately know what kind of style they want. I’m always right. I can start decorating in one room or another; it depends. With decoration you have to look at the whole thing. When you see the place you feel the energy and know what has to be done; it’s telling you.
Most days I don’t have lunch because I have a late breakfast and I’m running from one place to another. Sometimes I meet up with friends for lunch but only when I have time. I’m never at home so I always eat out.
I love going around Bali to buy the finishing touches. I look for art and antiques. There are some amazing places in Bali, like Jalan Kunti II, where you can find beautiful decorative objects. I’m also starting to design clothes with a friend. She has been in Bali for 10 years and everything is the same, so we want to make something different. It will be very colourful. I also spend some time getting ideas for the new business.
I try not to miss sunset and go to the beach for it every day at 5pm. It’s important to clear the thoughts and say thanks again. I go to Batu Belig and walk for about an hour; it’s my daily exercise. When I get home after sunset I send emails for another project I’m starting. We are building a resort in India, starting from zero. I keep working until dinner, which is around 9pm. I’m becoming unconsciously more vegetarian. Now they say that fish is not good anymore, that they have changed their molecular structure. It feels strange when I have a fish on my plate; I don’t know why. So I have pasta, salads and a glass of red Australian wine. The local Hatten Rosé is OK but after you’ve lived in Bali for a while you get sick of it.
I don’t have a lot of spare time as such, but I enjoy doing my work and it’s a pleasure being busy with it most of the time. It doesn’t feel like I’m working, really.
When I can get some time to do other things I go to Geger Beach at least once every two weeks and also travel around Bali. Menjangan is also an amazing part of Bali to do snorkelling.
After dinner I talk with my boyfriend, discuss work and sometimes go to Ku De Ta for a drink. If there’s a long chair there it’s the best place. I often read books about self-development and then I might watch a movie. I particularly like fairytales such as Stardust. I’ll be fast asleep by 12.