A Simple Starter Guide To Scandinavian Design

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Scandinavian decor can be seen everywhere across the world because it is a classic, beautiful style that is timeless. You can find aspects of Scandinavian design that are seasonal, such as the gorgeous red, white and blue reindeer patterns in the shops at Christmas. However, these passing themes, no matter how cute, are only a very small aspect of this deeply historical and stylish decor theme which works in many different house styles and settings.

What Is Scandinavian Decor All About?


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Scandinavian decor is all about creating the most stylish, classically beautiful space with the absolutely minimum fuss. Take a look at this Youtube video of a Scandi family home to get an idea of what the style looks like in a modern setting. Scandinavian design is all about being at one with nature, letting the natural light in and creating the most relaxed, serene spaces. In Scandinavian design, everything has a purpose, and neutral, muted colors are key.

Where Does Scandinavian Design Come From?

Scandinavian decor comes from a mix of different places including: Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. It is thought to have 'began' in 1947 after an exhibition in Milan which featured accessories and other aspects of Scandinavian design. These new and exciting ornaments and glassware went down an absolutely storm and inspired the world. Soon after Scandinavian design could be seen everywhere but mainly across America and Canada up until the late 50's.

In Europe it didn't catch on as quickly because design inspiration mainly came from luxury and having lots of things, instead of only having the most practical things as with Scandinavian design. The actual style itself came from the very basic nature of the Scandinavian environment. They experience winters that are long and freezing cold with very little sunlight. Most people at the time also had a compact house. So with those factors in mind, the practical thing to do was to make the most of the little light they had, and to make the home feel cosy whilst making the most of the little space there was.

If you live in a tiny home without much light coming in, and without much space the natural thing to do is to be very picky about what you have in that home, and to ensure practicality comes first. The result was a very stylish, minimalist look with an emphasis on sources of light and warmth, and with a completely neutral palette with any colours being used in the most light, pastel form.

Using Scandinavian Decor In Your Home

For the minimalist, Scandinavian decor is not going to be a difficult transition. For those who love ornaments and trinkets, opulence and layering, it will be more of a journey, but a rewarding on at that. If you are wanting to incorporate this style, or fully embrace it, here are the fundamental guidelines to follow:

Keep It Simple

Simplicity is the beating heart of Scandinavian decor and you should keep in mind that everything practical should be beautiful, but everything beautiful should serve a purpose. Keep clean lines and simple designs in all aspects of the look, keeping things comfortable but minimal.

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The natural light should be embraced and where possible, amplified. Structurally if you can consider the installation of bifolding doors like these that allow a lot of light to enter the home, generously sized windows, glass extensions or roof lights you're already well on your way to letting nature's most wonderful gift of the sun into your home. Less costly additions to embrace the light could be adding mirrors and ensuring that the colours used throughout are light and neutral at all times. Candles and simple light fixtures and fittings are also a key factor of Scandinavian design.

A Natural Colour Scheme

White in its purest form is the key shade of Scandinavian decor. Other neutral colours like sand and taupe follow closely behind ensuring only the most muted tones come into play. This type of colour scheme doesn't have to be cold and uninviting in fact it shouldn't be with Scandinavian design. Creamy neutrals like blue, green and pink pastels all have a place in Nordic design. Bold, accent colours can also add some funk to the overall look. For example: colour blocking, where you choose a few colours to use in your overall room design, is on trend and has slotted into Scandinavian design nicely.

Nature Is At One With The Home

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Scandinavian people embrace the outdoors and celebrate it, so it makes sense that Scandinavian design uses nature to bring life inside the home. Wood is absolutely a key component for furniture, flooring and accessories. Potted green plants like succulents and ferns are also key features of the style but you don't have to pay out lots of money for lovely pots. Check out this easy DIY plant pot painting video to make your own beautiful minimalist plant pots.

Textures Matter

Knitted throws or heavily woven chunky rugs are all welcome in Scandinavian design. Natural fabrics are preferred, but in general, it is the texture that matters and including different textures within the home is what makes it minimal, but warm, welcoming and comfortable at the same time.

Scandinavian Design & Hygge

Scandinavian design can just be the way your home looks and feels, but it can incorporate deeper meaning, such as Hygge. Hygge is a Danish word used to acknowledge how you feel when a moment is special. You could be cosy on your own, you could be laughing with friends at a simple joke and acknowledge that moment as being charming. To experience Hygge you should be conscious, relaxed and actively enjoying the present moment. Although Hygge isn't a thing, or a food or anything you can touch, it is a feeling you can aspire to in your Scandinavian design home.

If you think that the beautiful and simple style of Scandinavian decor is for you, take some time to become acquainted with its roots to give yourself an excellent wealth of knowledge to begin your Nordic decor journey. With this classic and timeless style of decorating your home, if you keep the fundamental principles in mind, you'll never really go far wrong.

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