Here are our tips on how to achieve that casual, understated elegance that is celebrated the world over.
1. Texture is key
Because Scandinavian interiors tend to have a neutral base, laying with texture is important to maintain character and interest in the home. “The risk with Scandi style is that it can be a little bland,” says House Rules judge Wendy Moore. “It has to have a lot of tactile elements in order to stop it from feeling clinical.” Try oversized knitted throws and faux fur cushions, along with deep-pile rugs or carpets.
2. Go for a muted palette
The soft light of the Scandinavian countries lend themselves to a muted, almost muddy colour scheme. Blush pink, pale blue and natural leathers all work well together to create a calming space. Try a pale pink tile spashback in your cooking zone, as created by Katie and Alex in Lisa and Andy’s new kitchen. Again, play with texture by using matt tiles for added depth.
3. Blond timbers
Lighter colour timbers such as pine, bamboo or beech, are an essential part of Scandi-style. Strip back any existing timber furniture of dark stains and use clear matt lacquer to create a look that speaks of Swedish saunas, Norwegian fir trees and Danish design icons. Combine with white for a classic pairing – think white light fittings with pale timber bases, or crisp kitchen cabinetry with timber benchtops.
4. Danish-designed furniture
Many of the big furniture design heroes were Danish – names such as Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton. Their designs are eternal. Some were first conceived in the 1940s and ’50s, but still look fresh and modern in today’s homes. For instance, Hans Wegner’s ‘Wishbone’ chair still features in cutting-edge architecturally designed homes, despite being first designed in 1949. Even if you can’t afford the real thing, do some Googling and find inspiration in their clean lines and beautiful craftsmanship.
5. Natural timber-framed artworks
One of the great things about Scandi-style is that you don’t necessarily have to spend up big on accessories to achieve its stylish simplicity. A simple timber frame – found at Kmart, Target or even the Scandi powerhouse that is IKEA – is all that you need to create the harmonious backdrop to your home. Consider framing some of your favourite photos from your travels, or choose a calming Nordic landscape – fjords will always look beautiful.
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