Looking to bring a little touch of Scandinavian design to your home but aren’t sure where to begin? Over the past few years, Scandinavian interiors have been on trend, with people appreciating the minimal, light, and charming feel they give any space. But what makes a piece of furniture or accessory the right item to “Scandify” your home?
While many people think of IKEA and its Swedish designs when imagining Scandinavian design, the history goes back much further. The origins of Scandi design go back to the 1930s and run concurrently with Mid-Century Modern. In fact, in terms of furniture design, they share a lot of similarities, such as the use of organic forms, emphasis on functionality, and the incorporation of wood.
But Scandinavian design also differs from Mid-Century Modern largely by virtue of necessity. Long, dark winters in Nordic countries mean that high value is not only placed on lighter, brighter interior colors, but also on cozy textures and making the best use of whatever natural light is available. These warm, cozy environments are part of what has made Scandi such a popular design style. Slightly rustic, while keeping clean lines, the style is a nice balance for a modern, contemporary home that doesn’t feel sterile.
If you want to add some touches of Scandinavian design to your home, here are five principles to keep in mind, as well as some inspiration to bring a bit of Nordic flair to your interior.
Let Wood Shine
Wood is key to Scandinavian design. In fact, the more the better. Particularly when it comes to flooring, you won’t find wall to wall carpets; but instead, you’ll see area rugs thrown over wood floors. Designs in this style tend to favor light woods, so think of ash, poplar, or pine. And don’t limit yourself just to flooring. Scandinavian interiors include plenty of wood accents, from built-in cabinetry to accessories.
Use Color Wisely
Again, in an effort to keep things light and bright when it’s cold and dark outside, the dominant color choice for Scandinavian interiors is actually white. This, for the most part, is complemented by muted, pale tones that can be incorporated in rugs, textiles, pillows, and furniture pieces. A lot of pale pink and turquoise is often used, though the occasional bold pops of color can also work in limited quantities.
Focus on Natural Light
You won’t find a lot of heavy window treatments in Scandi interiors, as this would filter out too much of the precious natural light the design style is known for. In fact, to keep the clean lines that are a hallmark of Nordic design, window treatments are often forgone altogether. If used, stick to light, translucent fabrics that let through light and keep a flowing, organic shape.
Incorporate Simple, Cozy Accents
Plush carpets, chunky-knit blankets, indoor plants, and a few candles are just some of the accents that will give your interior a Scandinavian flair. Think about creating an environment where you’ll want to curl up with a cup of tea or burrow under the covers with a good book. In Denmark and Norway, they use the word hygge to describe a state where coziness and comfort equate wellness and contentment. Hygge is exactly what you’re trying to achieve here.
Think About Clean Lines
It’s important that the accessories are kept simple, as clutter is a big no-no. Minimalism is the principal to think about, as the room should be kept clutter-free and all of the elements in the interior should create clean lines. This helps add to the feeling of serenity when indoors, and is key in areas where long, cold winters mean you’ll be spending far more time inside than outside.