Scandinavian interiors are a balance of functionality and aesthetics. Although simple in design, clean lines are often incorporated with understated elegance and warm, which creates a very homely feel. 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. Scandinavian style is often characterised by three key components – functionality, simplicity and beauty.
Colour is one of the key scandi design principles, with the colour palette being 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, 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. Incorporating pops of colour are a great way of brightening and lifting a room. Function should be placed above aesthetics so colour is often kept to a minimum. Patterned accessories can work well – but remember simplicity is key for Scandi interiors, so avoid unnecessary clutter. 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.
Another key scandi design feature is 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.A great way to integrate colour and texture and add interest without feeling cluttered is to incorporate plants into the design. 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. Light Scandinavian homes often feature large windows to make the room feel bright and open. Windows are usually dressed in a soft, light material, such as cotton, allowing privacy without preventing natural light from entering.
Scandi style puts a huge emphasis on efficient use of space, making maximum use of any area, however unusual. 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. Scandinavian style has a strong focus on practical living and exposing everything for all to enjoy.
Winters are long, meaning there is little daylight, causing the need for bright and airy, yet cosy, homes. There isn’t just one Scandinavian style, but there are certain elements that are well-recognised as typically Scandi. Where does Scandinavian design originate? The environment in the Nordic countries is largely responsible for the design styles which have evolved. Not everything has to match, and many homes mix vintage and traditional elements with the notorious simple and clean lines that we all know and love. It seems the principles of functional and simple, yet beautiful and elegant, sits quite well all over the world. The 1990’s saw a huge rise in popularity of Scandinavian design, when designers began creating bold, unique statement pieces as individual units of design. There are many to incorporate your own style and personality with scandi design.