Both of us grew up in Sweden with its traditions and design heritage. We are very proud that Scandinavian interior design is taking off in many other parts of the world and we would like to share what we think is typical Scandinavian and how you can achieve that look at home.
White walls play an important role in a Scandinavian home. Start with a blank canvas and then add furniture, textiles and accessories with care. Light wood, beige tones, cool grey and muted blues are characteristics of the base in Scandinavian interiors.
Mid-century furniture by designers like Hans Wegner, Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen can be worth investing in as they are timeless pieces and will last you a lifetime. You can also work with what you have, a fresh coat of white paint, new cushions, curtains, wall art or lighting can change the style in a room.
Wood is sometimes used in walls, ceilings and of course in floors and furniture. To achieve the Scandinavian look it is important that the right wood or stain is used. Light wood materials like birch, ash and beech are often chosen. Lime wash stain or grey oils are used to remove the yellow tones from wood like oak or pine. Wall to wall carpets have never been popular among us Scandinavians, wooden floors are preferred with a large floor rug for warmth instead.
Scandinavia has a strong textile tradition. The use of curtains, drapes, tablecloths, cushions and throws is popular in natural materials like cotton, linen and wool. Fabric patterns are often inspired by nature. Clean and crisp designs or bold patterns and strong colours are both popular Scandinavian styles.
Introduce indoor plants to your home; they add life and colour plus they improve your air quality! Place them in your window or on a shelf. A big pot plant on the floor is a great space filler.
Lighting plays a significant role in the Nordic interiors as the daylight is limited many months of the year. Remove heavy curtains and replace with sheer curtains to invite the daylight. Use many light sources through your home, like pendants, table lamps, floor lamps and candles. They add to the atmosphere in your home, especially in winter.
Use accessories in your home that mean something to you or are functional, for instance photos, vases, fruit bowls, trays, candleholders, books and plants; BUT remove pieces that don’t work. Remember - less is more!