A blend of styles from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, the design results in spaces filled with light, heavily utilising natural elements, neutral colour palettes, and clean lines. As Craig Ritche, Ikea’s Communication and Interior Design Manager, puts it, “Scandinavian style is characterised by three key components – functionality, simplicity and beauty. Although simple in design, clean lines are often incorporated with understated elegance and warm functionality, which creates a very homely feel.”
The environment in the Nordic countries was largely responsible for the design that evolved. Winters were long, with little daylight, so people needed large windows and skylights to bring the outside in. The houses and apartments are usually small, so there is only space for the essentials. The restaurants and night life are expensive, so the houses became attractive and cozy in order to receive guests.
In 1947, a popular design exhibition in Milan, Italy, called the Triennale di Milano, showcased furniture and home accessories from the Nordic countries – and they were very well received. Based on this popularity, the Design in Scandinavia show travelled across the U.S. and Canada from 1954 to 1957 [Impressive Interior Design].
The popularity of the Scandinavian design grew very much all over the world. The materials and the forms research had a huge rise and many architecture competitions was won by numerous Scandinavian professionals.
Homes in the UK have been influenced by architecture and interiors of other countries for a long time now, but a style that has increased in popularity more recently is the Scandinavian one. Actually the functional and simple design aligned with elegance and beauty fits very well in many other countries worldwide.
The colour palette is typically very light and simple. White is often used as the main colour, but doesn’t make the room look sparse because natural materials, such as wood, that bring warmth and texture. White is also a great blank slate to introduce any colour combination, from soft pastels to black accents.
Greys can also be used to create a beautiful, serene interior. As white, can be used on different tones, combining very good to beige and black details. But you are not interested on mixing with other colours, using multiple shades of the same colour helps to create interest and depth.
Black is regularly used too, helping to anchor the room and define and highlight the features of choice. While the Scandinavians are known for their clean white interiors, dark shades are regularly introduced and balanced with light and dark accessories.
Mixing textures and materials, such as unfinished wood pieces, fur rugs, and soft linens, brings nature into the home, adding that restful vibe that the decor is so famous for. Plants, for example, are a great way to integrate colour and texture and add interest without feeling cluttered.
The Scandinavians are well known for their use of wood throughout their homes, largely due to an appreciation for readily available natural 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 used in 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.
Table and floor lamps are also regularly used to set the mood. More commonly, minimalist light fixtures are used, though more recently we can see designers adding their own take on Scandinavian design and incorporating a more statement piece to pull the room together.
A large importance is placed on giving furniture ‘space to breathe’. Unique, bold pieces are regularly used and should be allowed to do all of the talking – there’s no need to over-decorate.
To resume, Scandinavian interiors are a balance of functionality and aesthetics. Below I collected a selection of interiors that showcase the elements we’ve discussed above and, although each have a unique twist, they are undeniably Scandinavian.
Hope you enjoyed the selection. Please leave your comments below. See you!!