NORDIC BUT NICE

it might be syn­ony­mous with ikea, but scandi-style’s in­te­ri­ors ap­peal ex­tends far be­yond the ease (ahem) of flat­pack fur­nish­ings…

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seek in­te­ri­ors in­spi­ra­tion from scan­di­navia

De­spite hav­ing en­joyed huge pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent years, Scan­di­na­vian style is a trend that shows no signs of wan­ing, go­ing far be­yond the ‘all white ev­ery­thing’ and blonde lam­i­nate floor­ing of the 1990s and the Swedish gift to the world that is IKEA. And while that might sound glib, the me­ga­s­tore’s sig­nif­i­cance is not to be dis­missed. Hav­ing made stylish in­te­ri­ors avail­able to all, and gone on to pro­duce nu­mer­ous de­sign clas­sics such as the Stock­holm col­lec­tion, first launched in 1984, the brand’s longevity is largely due to the fact that it has been up­dated over time while re­tain­ing its orig­i­nal ethos of high qual­ity, sim­plic­ity of form and af­ford­abil­ity.

It’s an ap­proach in keep­ing with its geo­graph­i­cal roots. The clean lines, nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, neu­tral colours and, above all, func­tion­al­ity, of Nordic in­te­ri­ors de­rive from a his­tor­i­cal con­text of need­ing to make ef­fi­cient use of lim­ited re­sources – an aim that is at least as rel­e­vant to­day with the grow­ing fo­cus on eth­i­cal and sus­tain­able de­sign. It is an ap­proach to dec­o­rat­ing that takes in­spi-ra­tion from, and is in­tended to co­ex­ist rather than com­pete with, the beau­ti­ful but harsh land­scape of North­ern Europe. In­cred­i­ble, then, that it has been ex­ported and adapted so suc­cess­fully that Scan­di­na­vian­in­flu­enced de­sign can now be found in homes across the globe.

A re­strained, neu­tral colour palette of black, white and grey warmed up with nat­u­ral wood is typ­i­cal in a Scandi in­te­rior. While other colours can, and do ap­pear, these will tend to be muted in tone and in­spired by na­ture. Nor­we­gian paint com­pany Jo­tun’s Nordic liv­ing Range in­cludes a soft but strik­ing palette of nat­u­ral greens, blues, beiges and greys which are the per­fect way to add a touch of Scan­di­na­vian cool to your home. The ‘Cash­mere’ ac­cent wall in the kitchen pic­tured adds in­ter­est and depth, and helps bring the out­side in.

A va­ri­ety of tex­tures and nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als are key to pre­vent­ing a Scandi scheme from ap­pear­ing one di­men­sional or bland. Wood, stone, wool, fur and hide pro­vide con­trast­ing el­e­ments and add in­ter­est within a space. Pat­terns tend to be geo­met­ric in style, as seen in this clas­sic Beni ourain rug from The Peo­ple of Sand, which also ticks the neu­tral colour, nat­u­ral ma­te­rial and tex­ture boxes. Sub­tle metal­lic ac­cents may also fea­ture in mod­ern Nordic in­spired homes, but this is not a blingy look so get your in­ner-mag­pie un­der con­trol.

The pop­u­lar­ity of Scandi de­sign be­gan to spread across the globe in the mid­dle of the 20th cen­tury so it’s no sur­prise that mid-cen­tury in­spired fur­ni­ture tends to fea­ture in these in­te­ri­ors. Clean lines and sim­ple func­tion­al­ity as il­lus­trated by the Hul­sta lu­nis bed­room range is in keep­ing with the ethos and look, as are the 70/70 din­ing ta­ble and visu Chairs, avail­able from Dubai-based Scan­di­na­vian con­cept store D.tales.

There is an ad­mirable egal­i­tar­i­an­ism to Scandi style in that, judg­ing by many an In­sta­gram feed, nowa­days near ev­ery­body’s home is the epit­ome of in­for­mal, pared-back chic. How­ever, rest as­sured that sig­nif­i­cant thought is likely to have gone in to make it all look so ef­fort­less. This is par­tic­u­larly true of the gallery walls, typ­i­cal in Scan­di­na­vian schemes, that have been care­fully cu­rated and hung so as to ap­pear ca­su­ally thrown up. luck­ily for you, we’ve in­cluded a few tips on how to hang a gallery so that you too can get your home look­ing fine and Scandi.

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