Finding the perfect balance between style and comfort in a home isn’t easy. Scandinavians are experts at this task. Scandinavia, a region notorious for its dark winters and long nights, has mastered the art of spending time indoors. It’s also got cozy, chic interiors. Scandinavian terms like “hygge” in Danish and “mys” in Swedish (both loosely referring to “coziness”) have made it into our modern-day vocabulary. Although they don’t have any direct translations, these words immediately conjure images of cozy, simple interiors that work.
Scandinavian design is simple but thoughtful. There are many ways to get inspiration from this style, even if you aren’t preparing for long dark winters.
Allow lots of natural light to enter
Scandinavians are known for their long dark winters. Therefore, they do all they can to maximize natural sunlight. “When I think about Scandinavian design, spaces that are minimally thoughtful, bright, and bright come to mind,” Sara Cukerbaum, principal designer at SLIC Design.
You can let the natural light in by letting go of heavy window treatments. Reflective accents, such as white-filled palettes or shiny tiles, can be used to increase the natural light that is streaming through your windows.
While our visions for hygge might include lots of fluffy blankets and cozy pillows, Scandinavian design is often minimalist. Yeates states that Scandinavian design focuses on creating an uncluttered and simple environment. It’s refreshing to see how we can focus on the practical, social, and functional aspects of design in an age where so much is being done with our spaces.
Instead of going on a Scandinavian shopping spree, you might consider reducing what you have.
Get Earth Tones in Your Colour Palette
Scandinavian design places comfort first and use serene colours that are easy to see. Cukerbaum states that instead of bright, colourful patterns, there will be many texture upholstery and white walls with cool earth tones.
Jade Joyner is the founder and principal designer of Metal and Petal. She says: “To make your space feel more Nordic, I recommend reducing colour and accessories. Instead, focus on neutrals and wood tones.
Play with Organic Shapes
Scandinavian design is minimalistic, but it doesn’t lack interesting angles or sleek finishes. Yeates states, “Add interest to the design by choosing interesting and natural shapes that could be found within nature.” Do not be afraid to use curves in places where you would expect there to be brutalist lines or straight edges.
You don’t have to buy a coffee table if you find one you like.
Keep your floors light
You may have the key to that Scandinavian look right under your feet. Cukerbaum says that white oak floors are a modern nod to Scandinavian design. It’s an easy way for your home to have a bright and clean feel.
You may not have the funds to refinish your floors completely. Even if your hardwood floors are extremely dark, you can brighten them with a light-coloured rug.
Scandinavian interiors don’t use décor or furniture to fill in space. They place function first. Davis states that Scandinavian design is all about function. This means that you should fill a space with the items you use, and leave empty spaces where there is no need.
Favour Natural Materials
You’ll see shiny metals and sleek plastics in many aesthetics. You’ll find more earthy options in Scandinavian design, such as thick wools or rustic woods.
Mary Beth Christopher is the principal designer at MBC Interiors. She says that Scandinavian design emphasizes natural materials. Think about woods and grasses as well as fabrics made of wool, linen, nubby, and fleece.
Sprinkle in Some Statement Lighting
Are you looking for ways to inject personality into your Scandinavian-style space? A little bit of statement lighting can make a space more personal. While Scandinavians are known for their minimalist approach to interiors and playful modern design, they are also well-known for their playful take on modern design. Davis suggests adding statement lighting that’s also functional.
Look out for sculptural lanterns and geometric table lamps. These can be placed anywhere you need light.
Layer different textures
Scandinavian interiors are minimalist in both décor and colour. They aren’t boring, thanks to the emphasis on texture.
Cukerbaum suggests that you swap patterns for textures. For the ultimate pairing, pair your softest sheepskin throws and rustic wood pieces with a woven rug made of jute.
White walls can open up your space.
Plain white walls are a sign of unfinished business in some design styles. It means that the space has not been decorated yet. Negative space can be both welcomed and necessary if function is your main concern. Learn to embrace the white wall, just like the Scandinavians.
White walls can make your space feel larger and more light-filled, which is a plus.