Continuing our series on timeless interior styles, we come to an old favourite – Scandinavian decor. The main thought that comes to mind when you hear Scandinavian design will likely be the world’s most popular furniture brand, Ikea, but there’s a lot more to it than that!
In the wider scope, this style has had a huge influence on design trends seen throughout the world from budget to luxury design. That’s why today, we’ll be looking closer at this iconic decorative approach, detailing how you can apply the popular design trend in and around your home.
Everyone loves an origin story
Scandinavian design comes from the three Nordic countries in Northern Europe referred to as Scandinavia: Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
Although the style could be seen locally and on a small scale in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it entered the world stage in the 1950s. Tours of Scandinavian designs took place throughout wider Europe and North America, giving the emerging style a global platform to be used and adapted.
From here, it continued to grow, becoming one of the most popular and timeless interior design trends seen around the world.
But what is Scandinavian design?
Keeping it basic, Scandinavian style is minimalistic, simplistic, natural and most of all, functional. A later focus was also put on the need for sustainability – now one of the key aspects of Scandinavian design.
A huge influencing factor for the style is the weather in Northern Europe. The cold and dark winters help to shape Scandinavian design, adding to its various elements.
Key Scandinavian design trends
A Scandinavian style will usually be made up of a combination of the following components:
Colour palette – You will often find a base colour of white, grey or black. White is usually the primary colour, giving a light and airy feel, while accents of colour will be added with soft furnishings, pictures, etc.
Flooring – Complementing the colour palette, light coloured wood flooring is usually found as part of Nordic design. White and grey coloured wood is common, though a splash of colour can be added with a strategically placed rug.
Storage – As minimalism is a large part of Scandinavian design, effective storage is key. Visible storage should remain clutter free to stop an overcrowded look, meaning multifunctional furniture with hidden built-in storage is common.
Furniture – Scandinavian furniture has a simple and clean design. Furniture is usually light coloured and sleek with a modern appearance. On sofas and chairs, natural wood and metal finishes are often used on the legs and frames. Furniture is usually limited in quantity to maintain the style.
Lighting – As Nordic countries have very few daylight hours, natural light is used whenever possible. Large and unobstructed windows are popular with little to no dressing. In terms of synthetic lights, soft coloured, oversized shades and extravagant floor lamps are popular.
Accessories – Due to the cold weather in the Nordic region, a common accessory is textured throws. Usually light coloured, they’re used to both decorate furniture and keep warm in winter months.
Wall Art – Black and white, subtle art is common to create an eye-catching feature and finish off a room. Colour can also be used to create an accent.
Flowers & plants – Scandinavian-style rooms will often feature colour through the use of bright flowers and plants. These natural aspects add to the fresh feeling of your space..
A Scandinavian kitchen
You can easily create your dream Scandi-inspired kitchen by continuing the themes we discussed above. White kitchen cupboards with either a white granite Nebula or Absolute Black quartz countertop creates a beautiful Scandi-feel.
Keep your countertops clear and the clutter to a minimum. A smart way of doing this is to implement functional storage to your kitchen cupboards for hidden space.
Paint the walls and tiles white or in a neutral colour for the full effect. If needed, you can add wall art for accents to brighten up the space.
Scandinavian design has continued to be prevalent around the world since its global boom in the 1950s and shows no signs of slowing down. It seems like we’ll be seeing it around for the long run, especially with the sustained growth of the popular Swedish brand.
If you’re creating a Scandi-style, keep it as simple as possible without clutter. Your space should be light and airy, helping to make a space seem bigger. Adapt the aspects you like to suit your own style and add a unique spin on it to make it more personal to you.
David Atkinson is a content creator at Perfectly Engraved, a UK-based retailer of engravable gifts, awards and trophies.