Simple and uncomplicated are two words that come to mind when thinking about this style. Born in the coldest areas, in the three Scandinavian countries ( Sweden, Norway and Denmark), Scandinavian design style emerged as a design movement in the 50s, when enjoyed a tremendous success and became popular again from the 90s.
Characterized by simple, attractive and stylish shapes, minimalism and functionality, and generally low-cost mass production, this style was preferred by Norwegians, Swedish, Danish, as well as by the Finnish and the Icelanders, but over time it has gained increasingly higher popularity, receiving a great deal of attention from designers around the world. In fact, we can meet this design style into major trend setting cities all over the world, many people finding it very appealing. Why? You should only see some Scandinavian interiors and you’ll get right away all the answers.
As a blend of Danish, Swedish and Norwegian creativity, Scandinavian design stands today as a reflection of a timeless beauty which lies in a stylish yet casual look. Created in a fashion that fills up an airy and well-lit space, it exudes simplicity, tranquility, freshness of the outdoors and functionality: furniture pieces made of pine, clean and serious lines and tones inspired from fjords. Maximizing light all year round. Color schemes lean more towards the the pastel light shades of beige, white, light blue etc., with an exception being made with the bright red that contrasts well with the remaining lighter shade tones.
Photo © Per Gunnarsson
Central to Scandinavian design is symmetry and functionality, whether we talk about furniture, shapes, colors or textures: two chairs put side by side or the side of a writing bureau or a chest of drawers. Wood is also a strong presence within Scandinavian interiors, being the main material used for furniture items and decorating objects. Found with tables, chairs, benches, wardrobes, dressings, beds, floors, wood can be seen all over the house, its presence might be justified by its wide existence in the Scandinavian countries. Clean-lined furnishings are usually painted in pale colors in order to render more light, as painted furniture is very important in this design style.
So, if you want to achieve this look within your home decor, an interesting ideas is to buy a couple of stools at auction and applying them a couple of coats of paint. Its unique look is inspired by nature, so Scandinavian design is very concerned about natural appearances and light, because of the short days at the North Pole. The suspended lamps or the ones which have a support seem very artistic and cheer up the whole room where you place them in. All light essences, such as pine, oak or maple are promoted, as well as some particular neutral materials such as stone, glass and leather. In order to get a real Scandinavian design style, you need to use light colors that suggest snow such as white, which is one of the key colors, blue, green.
Photo © Per Gunnarsson
Light shades of pink or ivory, sweet shades of gray are also ideal choices to go with. If you like contrasts, you are allowed to combine strong colors with the paintings, but keep in light shades the furniture. In fact, it seems that it’s becoming more popular these days to add in injections of color, any bold color you like. Texture is also a major component of the Scandinavian style, which ca be obtained with chunky knitted cushions in plain earthy colours. Long carpets or sheets of leather can sweeten the elegant line of the furniture, while an opaque painting on the walls will make the natural wood in the furniture to stand out. Seen as a “modern classic” style because it make use of classic design elements with a modern twist, Scandinavian design is more a way of life that exemplifies simplicity, functionality and efficiency.
Photo © Magdalena Björnsdotter