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