References to Scandinavian or even Danish design have been all the rage for the past few years, and you're not alone if you're left wondering what exactly it means, or represents. Scandinavian design has always been around, but it rose to particular prominence in the period following WWII when there was an increased availability of affordable and versatile materials such as moldable plywood, clay and different types of plastics.
Today, as it did then, Scandinavian design stands for objects that are simple, minimal, durable and functional. Although cheaper materials are still used to create such furnishings and items, the key is that you can't tell because Scandinavian craftsmanship and quality of design are what make these objects beautiful while maintaining the same longevity and simplicity they always have.
If you find yourself drawn to Scandinavian minimalism and design, and are so intrigued that you feel you need items of this quality and design in your home, let us help! We have six great tips for you to achieve a Scandinavian-style home in no time at all.
A Scandinavian colour palette is quite an interesting one! Of course, to be safe and truly within the scope of the Scandi ideal, you can choose stark whites for every room. It's fresh, it's clean, it works best with natural light and more importantly, it provides an unlimited canvas for your mind's eye to design.
Here, we are showing other colours that can also work well with Scandinavian furnishings—after all, these designs are so beautiful you will want to let them speak for themselves! All shades of grey work perfectly, and don't be afraid to switch up colours on different walls. This living room has a medium grey on the primary wall to offset the black couch, and a lighter grey around the large window that works well with the reflection and diffusion of natural light.
This great bedroom example proves that shades of grey can work anywhere in a Scandinavian-style home.
When it comes to Scandinavian interior design, good lighting is an essential. The best lighting is natural lighting—but if you've ever visited the five Nordic countries you will know exposure to natural light is limited for many months of the year. Either way, let natural light into your home year-round with sheers instead of curtains or blinds, and keep the artificial light in your home minimal as seen in our wonderful example.
Industrial-style lighting fixtures and lamps are the preferred style in Scandinavian homes, or go for complete exposure with Einstein-style bulbs and leave the shades and covers out of the picture! Think you can't control your lighting with this approach? Think again, be smart with your wattage and how you use it per room! Scandinavian thinking is all about practicality!
Check out the exposed lighting in this Scandinavian bedroom!
Scandinavian homes might seem stark or bare to some, but that doesn't mean all cosiness and comfortability is lost! Soft, warm textiles are one of the most-loved items in Scandinavia—understandable really, considering all those cold, harsh winter months. As craftsmanship in all its forms has been respected in Nordic countries for centuries, you will have no problem finding local or online sources for Scandinavian textiles.
Consider throws, blankets and pillows with neat modern, graphic prints and expand your colour scheme in with accessory items while keeping the rest of your room minimalist and simple!
Scandinavian accessories consist of metallic candle holders, lots of flower vases, small house plants, random containers (for storage of course!) and books. If you think about it, all of these items are practical and functional.
Looking at this exemplary Scandinavian living room, you will notice that all of the aforementioned items are included here. The best part about Scandinavian accessories is that they're typically small enough in size that they can fit onto end tables, side tables, shelving systems and countertops without making too much noise, yet they're unique enough that they draw all the eye to key focal points!
The most exhilarating part about creating a Scandinavian-style home is the ever-so-necessary inclusion of Scandinavian-style furnishings! This is, after all, the key element of Scandinavian design.
To create a true Nordic space, you should start with these three items: a two-seater sofa, a classic desk and at least one statement chair for your living room. Of course, between these three items the possibilities are endless. However, an Eames lounge chair is a great investment that will last a lifetime, and the two-seater sofa pictured below can give you an idea of the look and style of a Scandinavian sofa. Typically they are textile-heavy on top with spindle or peg legs on the bottom!
For a super-minimal look, check out this living room!
Lastly, the Scandinavians really know their visual arts. With the Bauhaus school of design in the early 20th century being a major design influence, you can see why they take graphic prints and oversized posters so seriously.
These items give you a lot of bang for your buck—graphic prints can come in large sizes for minimal prices compared to any type of canvas art or painting. The prints pictured in this Scandinavian-style living room are a great choice because the array of styles mixed with the random hanging technique make this room stand out. Also notice that this living room has just about everything we mentioned before—great art, great furniture, tiny functional accessories and interesting textiles and lighting fixtures. This is basically a perfect example for your next project!
Want to read more? Find out how to incorporate Scandinavian style graphic art into your home.