Since the 1950's, Scandinavian decor has been wowing us with its focus on simplicity, functionality and beauty. This beautiful design is a blend of styles from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, and has influenced the interior of many homes, including those outside of the Nordic countries. From spacious light interiors to beautiful wooden floorings, we have picked out the most well known elements of Scandinavian decor, so you can easily incorporate this beautiful style into your home.
Wooden flooring is a staple in Scandinavian interiors, and it is often used in all of the rooms in the house apart from the bathroom. Wood helps to add warmth to a space, and in some rooms it may also be used on the walls or even the ceiling. If the thought of having no carpet puts you off, invest in a large soft textured rug to place over your wooden floor.
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White is one of the main colors used in Scandinavian decor, as it is very light and bright, and makes any room look more spacious. Sometimes the white is only focused on the walls, however you will find many Scandinavian homes with their whole decorating scheme almost all white. Depending on where your rooms are facing, you will have to use different shades of white to accomodate the levels of natural light. Cool whites work best in south-facing rooms as they receive most of the summer daylight. Warmer whites help are better for warming up north-facing rooms, as they receive less cooler natural light.
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Soft grays create a beautiful soothing atmosphere in any room. There are several different shades of gray that you can use for the interior of your home, but they all provide the same relaxing effect. Paint your walls gray for a serene looking interior, and add complimentary furnishings such as sofa in a similar shade of gray. Just like white, make sure you choose cool grays for south-facing rooms and warm grays for north-facing rooms.
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White and gray are regularly used in Scandinavian interior, but black is also a popular choice. Despite Scandinavians being well known for their bright white interiors, they often feature dark shades of black to create a contrasting black and white decor scheme. Try painting one wall a dark shade if you don't want to risk darkening your room too much. Or alternatively add a bold black accent piece such as a rug or cushions for your sofa.
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A Pop of Color
Scandinavian decor originally did not feature much color, and focused on function rather then aesthetics. However, over time, pops of color have started to be incorporated into the style, so it is no longer just white, black and gray. The principle of simplicity still remains the same, so try adding just one or two chairs, a couple of cushions or one large piece of furniture in a bright color such as blue or yellow. This will help lift the room and add some personality without overdoing it.
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Textures and Materials
The Scandinavian look uses natural and raw materials to bring nature into the home. Mix textures and materials such as woolen rugs and throws, soft linens, natural wood and handmade ceramics. This combination of accessories will create interest in your room and also complement the calming atmosphere created by the rest of the decor.
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Bring nature indoors by having plants inside your home. These are a great minimalist feature that add a subtle green color to you room and also create interest without looking cluttered. There are many plants you can choose from, but is advised that you stick with green plants if you want to embrace the simplistic style of Scandinavian interiors. Large concrete planters are ideal for creating a cosy but minimal look.
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Scandinavian homes feature large windows to let a lot of natural light in and make rooms feel bright and spacious, as well as cosy and warm. For privacy, a light, soft material is used to dress windows, to ensure that natural light is not prevented from entering the home. In addition to windows, minimalist light fixtures are used to brighten up rooms. In kitchens ceiling lights are often used, while in living rooms and bedrooms you're more likely to find table and floor lamps to set the mood. Accessories including large mirrors are also placed against walls to reflect natural light and create brightness in a room.
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As mentioned previously, Scandinavian interiors are focused on a balance of functionality and aesthetics, which means you won't find any clutter. This style is perfect for small spaces, as no unnecessary accessories are added to a room. The furniture is usually given center stage, so choose bold pieces that work with your Scandinavian decor. Declutter your home, and keep a clean minimal line throughout each rom. Scandinavians believe that no space should go to waste, so make efficient use of storage space, and mount shelves on the wall so you can store away household items rather than leaving them unkempt in the middle of a room.
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It used to be almost essential to have a fireplace in a Scandinavian home due to the long cold winters they endure. Unlike most American homes, Scandinavian fireplaces are placed in the corner of a room rather than in the middle. This is because they were originally designed to be functional rather than aesthetically pleasing, as they provided warmth and a place to cook. Modern Scandinavian homes don't rely on this functionality as much as they used to, so the design of the fireplaces have become more of focal point. However they still remain in the corner of the room.
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