scandinavian interiors are a balance of functionalityand aesthetics. as craig ritche, ikeaâ€™s communication andinterior design manager, puts it, â€œscandinavian style is characterised by three key componentsâ€“ functionality, simplicity and beauty. although simple in design, clean lines areoften incorporated with understated elegance and warm functionality, which creates a veryhomely feel.â€ a blend of styles from sweden, norway, denmarkand finland, the design results in spaces filled with light, heavily utilising naturalelements, neutral colour palettes, and clean lines. where does scandinavian design originate?
the environment in the nordic countries waslargely responsible for the design that evolved. winters were long, meaning there was littledaylight, and people often had very small houses, causing the need for bright and airy,yet cosy, homes. in 1947, a popular design exhibition in milan,italy, called the triennale di milano, showcased furniture and home accessories from the nordiccountries â€“ and they were very well received. based on this popularity, the design in scandinaviashow travelled across the u.s. and canada from 1954 to 1957/the 1990â€™s saw a huge rise in popularity of scandinavian design, when designers begancreating bold, unique statement pieces as individual units of design.
and now? â€œscandinavian design has been on the radarin the uk for a while,â€ says christina schmidt, co-founder of skandium, â€œat first, amongan initiated crowd of architects, designers and aficionados, but increasingly with thewider public, too.â€ homes in the uk have been influenced by architectureand interiors of other countries for a long time now, but a style that has increased inpopularity more recently is one weâ€™ve pinched from our scandinavian friends. it seems the principles of functional andsimple, yet beautiful and elegant, sits quite well with us british folk.
how can i introduce scandinavian design intomy home? there isnâ€™t just one scandinavian style,but there are certain elements that are well-recognised as typically scandi. there are some interesting differences towhat you generally see in uk homes, too â€“ for example, a fireplace in the corner of theroom is common in nordic homes, while youâ€™d usually find them as a centrepiece in theuk. not everything has to match, and many homesmix vintage and traditional elements with the notorious simple and clean lines thatwe all know and love. weâ€™ve listed some of the well-known componentsof a scandinavian interior, but of course
there are many ways to incorporate your ownstyle and personality with this decor. colourthe colour palette is typically very light and simple. white is often used as the main colour, butdoesnâ€™t make the room look sparse because natural materials, such as wood, bring warmthand texture. white is also a great blank slate to introduceany colour combination, from soft pastels to black accents. cool whites work well in south-facing roomssince they receive the best of the warm, summer daylight.
warmer whites, on the other hand, work wellto warm up north-facing rooms, since they receive lower levels of cooler, natural light. greys can also be used to create a beautiful,serene interior. when deciding on warm or cool shades of thisneutral, look to the same rules for white â€“ cool for south-facing rooms and warm fornorth-facing rooms. incorporating pops of colour are a great wayof brightening and lifting a room. classically, function was placed above overaesthetics so colour would be kept to a minimum. over time, though, other styles have beencombined with the â€˜standardâ€™ scandi approach to create unique style and personality.
try using a single sofa, chair, or large itemto add a splash of colour. alternatively, patterned accessories can workwell â€“ but remember simplicity is key for scandinavian interiors, so avoid unnecessaryclutter. if bright and bold isnâ€™t for you, try keepingit neutral, but play with layering complementary shades â€“ this will prevent the room fromlooking cold. using multiple shades of the same colour helpsto create interest and depth. black is regularly used too, helping to anchorthe room and define and highlight the features of choice. while the scandinavians are known for theirclean white interiors, dark shades are regularly
introduced and balanced with light and darkaccessories. textures and materialsmixing textures and materials, such as unfinished wood pieces, fur rugs, and soft linens, bringsnature into the home, adding that restful vibe that the decor is so famous for. plants, for example, are a great way to integratecolour and texture and add interest without feeling cluttered. the scandinavians are well known for theiruse of wood throughout their homes, largely due to an appreciation for readily availablenatural materials, but also for the way in which it adds warmth to the space.
wooden flooring is a staple in nordic interiors. the wood is often light in colour and usedin all rooms, with exception to the bathroom. if the thought of no carpet puts you on edge,try adding a large rug in a soft texture or natural material. you can try painting interior brickwork ortongue and grooves for an easy way to add that all-important texture. lightscandinavian homes often feature large windows to make the room feel bright and open. youâ€™ll remember we said that nordic wintersare long and dark, so making the most of every
ounce of natural light is key. windows are usually dressed in a soft, lightmaterial, such as cotton, allowing privacy without preventing natural light from entering. spacethe design style puts a huge emphasis on efficient use of space, making maximum use of any awkwardspots. it works well with small spaces due to theinherent simplicity of nordic style, with white as a predominant colour and an avoidanceof unnecessary accessories. with the use of natural materials and rugs,scandinavian interiors avoid looking sterile. a large importance is placed on giving furnitureâ€˜space to breatheâ€™.
unique, bold pieces are regularly used andshould be allowed to do all of the talking â€“ thereâ€™s no need to over-decorate. scandinavian style has a strong focus on liveabilityand leaving everything out in the open. youâ€™ll see open shelving in many scandihomes!