If you’re into design, then chances are that you’ve probably heard about Scandinavian style. In fact, you might have heard the term thrown around so many times that you’re wondering what exactly it means. Some of it is pretty easy to understand – white walls, wood floors, modern furniture and textures. But there’s more to the story than that.
Scandinavia is actually several places, not just one. Traditionally speaking, the term referred to northern European countries like Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Currently though, the definition has expanded to also include Finland, Iceland, and Greenland. After World War 2, new democratic social ideas were sweeping through Europe. In design, this took the form of transforming older conventions around beauty and status. The new outlook was that the beauty once reserved for the wealthy and functionality required by the masses could be both combined, and that these products should be affordable for everyone.
This new approach to design, combining beauty, simplicity and functionality was suited to emphasise a number of longstanding Scandinavian design features. As well, the harsh climates of northern Europe create an importance for utility above decoration.
So now you might be wondering how to add Scandinavian style into your own home. Below we have listed some practical ideas to get you started:
Light Wood Floors
Floor-to-floor carpeting isn’t usually the norm when it comes to Scandinavian style. If it’s within the budget, hire someone to strip the carpeting, or even DIY it!
Light hardwood floors are widely popular for the Scandinavian look since it reflects the simplicity of the outdoors. If you’ve got darker wood floors, you can lighten them up by sanding them down and re-oiling with white floor oil. Another way is whitewashing: mix water with paint to create a concentrate depending on the look you’re going for and how much space you have to cover.
A common feature of Scandinavian interior design is white walls. White walls make a great canvas on which to add a wall collage, artwork, open wall shelving, or to make a statement piece stand out. White walls also brighten up the space and maximise natural lighting that beams through your home. This is something Scandinavians are very mindful of during the long, dark winter months.
Scandinavian style includes the use of multi-functional décor pieces, which is done through playing with textures. Add a thick wool throw, (faux) sheepskin draped over the sofa, linen cushions and throws, etc. These items help to add warmth, comfort, and beauty to the space. But most importantly, it adds visual depth to your decor to make it look cohesive and complete.
Mix-and-Match Natural Materials
You can add texture by collecting various natural materials within your home. It’s okay to mix different woods together, but try to keep them pale! Some rattan, wicker, hemp, (faux) leather, brass copper, faux fur, or sheepskin, etc. will do the trick. Don’t be afraid to add some greenery, which could either be in the form of a potted plant or a few stems thrown into a glass vase.