Scandinavian Style: Simple, Striking and Consummately Liveable
Scandinavian style has been storming our shores this year: with the popularity of Nordic noir TV dramas captivating our nation and clean, functional fashions hitting our streets, it makes sense that we want to steal a touch of the magic for our interiors too. Modern, crisp, understated and warm, Scandi-style incorporates clean lines, flawless craftsmanship and considered functionality to create an effortlessly elegant look which encapsulates everything aspirational about modern life. A focus on natural light, eco-friendly fittings, minimal ornamentation and luxury rugs and soft-furnishings means it takes some thought to pull the whole look together: here are some pointers to get you started with Scandi-style living.
Bazaar Velvet rug inspired from Scandinavian simplicity.
Scandi-style is all about making the most of your space: you want a warm, comfortable, liveable look with plenty of light and cleverly thought-out arrangement. Hitting the right colour palette is at the core of nailing the look. A soft, muted colour-scheme with delicate accents allows you the perfect canvas to build from: think gentle blues, dove-greys and earthy naturals. You also need to consider your accent hues: do you want to keep things consistent with an opulent hand-knotted rug in similar shades with matching silky cushions, or do you want a bright, eklectic floor-piece to brighten up the room? Both are equally Scandi – bright colours take from the 60’s pop style, and blaze out beautifully against muted walls and furniture. Hand-knotted rugs or unusual fabrics sit perfectly within the Scandinavian style – it’s all about natural textures and expert craftsmanship. Which brings us to…
Scandi-style is all about creating a harmonious balance of textures and materials, without looking in any way matchy-matchy. Using different textures in complimenting colours is a great way to capture the effortless cool. Copper is a key material, as is wood: to really nail Scandi, a wooden or polished concrete floor is a must. If you’re going with a bright hand-knotted rug, a dark floor will make it pop, whereas if you’re going with a subtler luxury rug, lighter wood or stone compliments your theme. A range of opulent soft furnishings is your best bet – but nothing too ostentatious, like satin. Furniture can be soft leather or quality wood with touches of steel and iron – Scandi-style tends to avoid too much metal though, with it largely being relegated to smaller items, chair-legs and accent pieces like lamps and ornaments.
Accents and Ornaments
The clever inclusion of accents and ornaments into Scandi-style is one way in which it avoids the harsh, regimented atmosphere of more formal minimalism. Scandinavian style is much more focused on looking like somewhere you can actually live. Wooden cladding is frequently used on the walls, which is a subtle way of accenting without overpowering – stylish off-beat artwork is another beautiful way to showcase your cultural know-how. Musical instruments can be left out in iron stands, and interesting lighting is another firm favourite – hanging beaten metal globe-lights, flexi-lamps and giant paper lanterns all add movement and depth to a room. An eklectic hand-knotted rug can cleverly pick up any high- or lowlights you’re integrating into your scheme. Less is more here: think hard about the image you want to project and select a few key pieces that really work well.
Scandinavian furniture design has traditionally placed a firm emphasis on simplicity, functionality and minimalism – these core principles are certainly reflected in current Scandi-style, but there’s an element of playfulness as well – folding chairs might circle a carved-leg wooden table, interspersed with a few wooden stools. The keywords here are clean lines, craftsmanship and innovation – in the bedroom, crisp linen tents replace traditional four-poster style draping, and wooden slatted bedframes can provide a pleasing contrast to a hand-knotted rug or plush, high thread-count duvet set and scatter cushions. Another great way to create a scandi-style feel is to make furniture multi-functional by using a small chair as a bedside table or a slice of stripped tree-trunk as an occasional table. In a home office, industrial-style pulley shelving and tin storage boxes make great space savers.
Scandinavian style is more than just an aesthetic, it’s a whole way of modern life. Once you’re on-board with the ethos behind the concept as well as the technical aspects of the design, you’ll really feel your mind-set changing. Your home isn’t just a place to sleep, it’s reflective of your lifestyle, your values and your speed of living – functional, modern, considerate and open, Scandinavian style will change the way you think.