Home By Design: Scandinavian

Well, here it is…

It’s the final week of our Home By Design blog post series! The feedback and support we’ve received from you has been overwhelming – thank you SO much for taking this journey with us!

In Weeks 1 – 4, we had an in-depth how-to look at the Modern, Coastal, Boho and Farmhouse home décor styles. Last but CERTAINLY not least is a style I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with, and I hope you will, too…

Style 5 | Scandinavian

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The Short & Sweet:

So what is the Scandinavian interior design style? I’m SO glad you asked! Scandinavian style décor, also known as Nordic décor, originated from – you guessed it – the Scandinavian countries of Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Historically, Scandinavian people have been known for their resilience (as those countries can have harsh weather conditions!), their strength (as the Vikings did a wee bit of conquering), and their lifestyle of simplicity.  

You can see these elements built into the Scandinavian style. Nordic décor basically combines the staples of Nordic living with a hint of Minimalism, (which we talk about more in our Modern décor post.)

When you think of Scandinavian design, think of capturing the fierce, raw beauty of the countries it originates from. The beauty of Scandinavian décor lies in the simple, hearty, and untamed things in life.

How to Make it Scandinavian

So, if you want to make a Scandinavian living space, here’s all you need to know! First, you should start of with these…

Three Defining Traits

#1: Simplicity

Basically, the goal for Nordic décor is to use the least amount of items to make the most impact in your home.

This doesn’t mean your space must feel empty, because you can actually use quite a lot of items to decorate your Nordic living space while still keeping it simple. But, don’t over complicate or clutter your living space with stuff OR patterns.

Let stunning décor pieces and solid colors and unique textures create the “wow” factor! 

#2: Warmth

By adding warmth to your space, we actually want you to add physical warmth rather than a warm attitude, (but hey, you can always add both, right?!).

Scandinavian décor has elements that subconsciously protect it’s occupants from the rough, wintery climate.

(Even if it’s not winter and you live in a desert.) 

Having items like large, soft blankets, fireplaces, fluffy pillows with long strands, big rugs, etc. – anything that creates a physically warm environment helps show the Scandinavian spirit of survival. 

#3: Raw, Untouched Items

We’ll get into more detail on this in the Décor Items section, but displaying things like whole hazelnuts, fresh-cut logs for a fireplace, (preferably imperfect ones), and cotton branches bring the raw and untamed nature of the outdoors into your home.

It’s another way we tie in that key element of resilience and strength – even if it’s just with a couple of harmless branches!

(Boom, done. I could be a Viking.)  

 

Alright, now that we recognize the three defining traits of Scandinavian décor, let’s finish up our living space with these…

4 Scandinavian Essentials:

Palette Planning:

Image credit: @brostecph

Earthy colors are what you want here. They’re similar to a neutral palette but more raw and imperfect, and typically darker. Really, you have a lot of color options with Nordic décor, especially when it comes to variations of red, blue and green.

An ideal Scandinavian color palette has 1 – 2 light colors (like white or crème), at least 2 earthy colors (like brown, black, green, etc.) and 1 – 2 accent colors (like red, blue, etc.) 

Finding Furniture:

 

Image credit: @brostecph and @erikjoergensen

Basic furniture, (such as your couches, chairs, etc.) should be chunky, solid, and large pieces that fit in your color scheme, preferably medium-to-dark colors. It’s typical to see neutral tans and browns in your couches and other furniture pieces displaying your accent colors, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Accent colors can definitely be used in your couches as well! 

Scandinavian décor can rock deep red, dark blue and forest green couches in a way no other style can. Throw on some unique accent pillows, and now your furniture is REALLY rocking!

(Image from @brostecph)

Notice how all the pillows in this picture are solid shades of blue and green, but they have different textures and patterns that make them unique. That’s the kind of raw simplicity we’re looking for. 

Other furniture pieces should incorporate wood and your other palette colors. Tables and fixtures are a great place to incorporate wood into your design – the gnarlier, the better. Non-traditional shapes can also be used for your furniture – for example, a lot of Scandinavian homes use giant, round leather balls as seats rather than (or in addition to) armchairs.

Décor Items:

  

Image credit: @scandinavianhomes

Nordic dishes! These serve as a great source of décor because, let’s be honest, what’s more practical than dishes?

(We all gotta eat!)

The most quintessential Scandinavian-style dishes I can think of are the chunky, solid-colored, slightly speckled dishes like these: 

(Image from @brostecph)

(Yeah… I could stare at those dishes all day!)

These dishes are simple, practical, raw and beautiful.

(Boom, we did it!)

But, if you have little ones, (or a clumsy nature, like me) and you’d rather not break a bunch of beautiful dishes that decorate your living space, you can also decorate with nature elements. Cotton branches, like we mentioned earlier, house plants, wicker baskets, clay vases, etc. – if it’s nature-related, simple and beautiful – use it!

Wall Décor:

  

Image credit: @scandinavianhomes and @nordic.homedecor

For this style, you really want to use simple images, (personal photos or otherwise), in simples frames. The standard way to frame pictures in Nordic décor is with a white/crème trim and a brown or black frame.

When it comes to posters and patterns, you don’t actually want a lot of color. There can be some accenting colors, but for this style, your furniture and décor items are doing the heavy lifting when it comes to color.

Do NOT overcrowd your walls! Remember, this style is all about simplicity, so don’t cover an entire wall with pictures and posters. If you have a lot of pictures you want to display and you don’t have a lot of space, cluster your pictures together in certain areas on your wall. Just be sure you have plenty of regular wall space showing, so that your home feels uncluttered and free! 

Instagram for Inspiration:

You probably noticed that all of our photos were from people on Instagram – that’s because these are all accounts that we know and love for their Scandinavian décor! To look at more beautiful home décor pictures like the ones in this post, be sure to check out these expert accounts on Scandinavian décor:

@brostecph – For me, this is the #1 account for Scandinavian style! 

@nordic.homedecor 

@scandinavianhomes

@erikjoergensen– great for unique furniture pieces!

Wow… and that’s our last post for this series! Thanks for joining in on this amazing ride, and be sure you subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed for more great content:

Otherwise, have a GREAT weekend, and as always… 

Stay restless, Creatives!

~ Christine

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