When it comes to great interiors and top notch design, there’s a thing or two we could all learn from the Nordic countries. A love of design is part and parcel with the cultures of countries such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, where good design is everyday, practical and accessible by all, rather than reserved for an elitist few. The great news is that a Scandi style set-up in your home is affordable on virtually any budget. Think simple, clean and cheerful.
Far from boring, a pared back palette of neutral colours such as whites, greys and beige can be refreshingly minimalistic and create a calm and serene space. Use a blank backdrop to accentuate other pieces in your home such as furniture and artwork to their best advantage.
2. Light wood
For an authentic Scandinavian look, choose lighter coloured wood flooring. This helps to brighten up those long dark winters common to this part of the world and lend a fresh and airy feel. Rustic white paint treatments on wood furniture are also very typical.
3. Bold and bright patterns
The other, more vibrant side of Scandinavian design is colourful and bold patterns, exemplified by iconic Finnish design house Marimekko, whose graphic print designs often feature nature inspired motifs. For a low commitment way to inject some cheerful and bright pattern to your home, use throw cushions or bedding which can be changed out easily. For a more reserved approach, you could try using more traditional, naive fabrics such as gingham.
4. Bringing the outside in
An close relationship with nature underpins this interior style and design philosophy and plays a strong role in the lifestyles of Nordic people. Perhaps it’s part of the reason why Nordic nations are shown to be among the happiest in the world. Regular interaction with nature is shown to increase physical and mental health and well-being and bringing some of the outdoors in is a great way to make your home healthier and more harmonious. Use green plants, dried branches or wreaths and even photographs of nature framed in rustic wood frames.
5. Let the light in
Soften the winter blues by eschewing heavy curtains in favour of lighter, minimal and sheer fabrics around windows. Place mirrors on opposite walls to bounce light around and keep windowsills clear of much ornamentation or clutter. Instead of one overhead light source in a room, opt for several smaller lamps and use candles in the evening for cosiness and warmth.
6. Out of sight, out of mind
Storage is a very important way of keeping your home serene and calm. Try to keep as much “stuff” concealed behind doors and in drawers as possible, save for those items which you truly want on display. Built-in furniture further helps to create a sleek and stylish appearance.
7. Pieces that last a lifetime
Finally, Nordic folk often opt to purchase furniture pieces based on their quality of craftsmanship and longevity. Think carefully before you buy and consider whether you might like to pass that dining room table down to your children someday, and so forth.