January 7, 2020 | Updated: March 11, 2020

Trends & Styles

Scandinavian interior design, a holistic approach to life

Good design holds out the possibility of improving our lives, not just in practical ways but philosophically and through the sub-conscious. Of all the popular interior design trends competing for our attention Scandinavian décor is perhaps one of the most tantalising in this respect. The countries that constitute Scandinavia are regularly featured in lists of the happiest places to live. This is no accident but rather an acknowledgement of their advanced societies and environmental awareness. Scandinavian design also known as ‘Scandi style’ reflects these concepts and is characterised by a bright and neutral colour palette, predominance of natural materials and sustainability. This approach is perhaps best summed up by the Swedish word ‘lagom’ meaning “neither a lot nor a little, the best in its right measure”. A holistic understanding of our surroundings and our relationship with the planet made manifest with the lagom trend in interior design. Below we will explore some Scandinavian interior design ideas and help provide tips to achieving the Scandi décor within various spaces of the home.

What is Scandinavian interior design?

To begin with let’s clarify what is meant by Scandinavian, i.e. pertaining to Norway, Sweden and Denmark, with Finland and Iceland also generally included. Mostly sparsely populated countries that share numerous cultural traits one of which is a marked design sensibility. From architecture to industrial design what we think of today as Scandinavian design dates from the mid 20th Century. Having evolved from the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1800s Scandinavian style dominated the post Second World War period. These decades saw the proliferation of modern design as a reaction to the destruction of the old world order. Scandinavian architecture created by figures such as Alvar Aalto and Scandinavian interiors from Arne Jacobson and Verner Panton came to define this era with their clean silhouettes and sustainable designs. Since then Scandinavian design has been characterised by a minimalist approach that features organic elements, craft techniques and quality materials. As the heart of Nordic design is a search for equilibrium between the land and its inhabitants.

How to adapt different spaces of the home to Scandinavian design principles

When it comes to Scandinavian interiors there are a number of simple yet effective rules to follow. The Scandinavian kitchen should be provided with ample storage capacity. This will ensure clutter free surfaces and allow everything to have a place, preferably out of sight. The Scandinavian living room should also be open and bright with a neutral colour palette that allows for strong colour accents. Flooring and wall surfaces should be raw, bare floorboards with rugs and painted brickwork are great ways of achieving the feel. Equally the Scandinavian bedroom should include quality organic textiles and soft furnishings for the bed and restful colour scheme.

Scandinavian furniture and combinations

Scandinavian furniture placed throughout the home is another way of achieving the Nordic design look. A crafted timber dining table, an integrated medicine cabinet for the bathroom or a sturdy bed draped with organic fabrics will provide an authentic Scandi décor. Fabric choices for Scandinavian curtains would include colourful abstract geometric patterns or more restrained textiles for bedding. The beauty of this style is its versatility which can easily be adapted to other approaches, such as the Japandi style. The term is derived from coupling Japanese style and the di from Scandinavia.

FAQs regarding Scandinavian interior design

Scandinavian style has been a buzz word in the world of interior design for several decades now. For a more in depth exploration of its meaning click here to find specific products that express its principles. Below we provide an overview of its basic criteria.

What are the elements of Scandinavian design?

Authenticity, light filled spaces, organic and raw materials, neutral colour palette, minimalist and uncluttered organisation of spaces and sustainable choices in building materials and furniture

What are typical Scandinavian features?

Clutter free spaces infused with natural light using a neutral colour palette. The use of timber as a material for finishes and furniture. Bare windows without any unnecessary elements such as net curtains or blinds. Plants and organic elements used as decoration

What are typical Scandinavian colours?

Colours inspired by the Nordic landscape; off whites such as ivory and cream; warm greys; soft greens and powdery blues that are compatible with one another. Combining material and colour is an intrinsic trait of Scandi design. The White Collection by Porcelanosa is a print and online catalogue that brings together the company’s range of ceramic tiles organised under the criteria of colour, design and texture.

Scandinavian interior design
Floor tiles | Concrete Beige Nature 59.6x59.6
Scandinavian interior design
Floor tiles | Ice Tanzania Almond

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