Natural materials, bright colors, modest shapes and, above all, functionality, those are the pillars of Scandinavian design. Here are the 8 essential elements for a genuine Scandinavian interior:
A light color scheme mixed with earth colors
Simplicity and nature are central in Scandinavian design. White, grey and blue are frequently used colors. They are often combined with earth colors to create a genuinely peaceful environment. This does not mean an interior should be colorless. Many Scandinavian designers, like Marimekko or Josef Frank, used colorful wallpapers and textiles. You could also use flowers or colorful accessories to give your sober design some extra punch.
Scandinavians love natural materials. Wood is the Scandinavian number one export product, it is used for all purposes: floors, furniture and ceilings. A light colored wood is most common. And by giving certain wood types an oil treat, you create that famous weathered look that is so typical for Scandinavian design.
Shapes & functionality
Clean, smooth lines, in the architecture of buildings, in interior designs and in furniture, are the most typical elements of Scandinavian design. A scandinavian interior does not only have to look beautiful, it has to be functional and agreeable to live and work in.
Scandinavian furniture is something for everyone. Many famous designers of furniture have Scandinavian roots, like Wegner, Aalto, Jacobsen, Panton etc. Their designs are timeless and fit perfectly in our contemporary interiors.
A fireplace in the corner
Contradictory to our tradition to have a fireplace in the middle of a room, Scandinavians build their fireplace in a corner.
Scandinavian design is ecological
Scandinavians live close to nature. They have a very ecological mindset and this impacts their houses and interiors, that are often built to minimise ecological footprint. Scandinavian houses are typically well insulated and equipped with heat pumps and other sustainable installations.
Blur the borders between inside and outside
A terrace or a porch is ideal to enjoy the outside air on warm days and evenings. You can furnish your terrace like a real room with a carpet, decorations and comfortable garden furniture.
Less is more
Last but not least: Scandinavians detest chaos. Too many decorations and accessories disturb the peace of your interior. A few subtle decorations are much more powerful.
Good luck and good eye with your re-design!