Scandinavian cool has been hitting its stride for a while now. In home furnishing terms, it's functional, comfortable and if you shop at a certain store eponymous with the look, largely affordable. But it's more than that.
Nordic design has a simple, bright look that often just makes many of us feel happy and at ease. It's an extremely distinctive look and it might be easy to just create it by shopping at the one store. But if you break the style down to its essentials, you can create a more deliberate plan of action. Scandi Cool is just an aesthetic of light clean lines, simplicity of form, natural materials and above all, comfortable design.
Come with us on a photo tour of some beautiful rooms for more details.
The bright, airy look begins of course with white walls. If you really want to avoid white, go for some soft neutral tones inspired by nature. For larger items of furniture such as a sofa, choose white or some neutral colours that continue the theme. Subdued blues and greys are a popular choice.
Think of the white walls and sofa as your plain canvas then start adding little pops of colour in the smaller throws, vases, rugs and cushions. But don't be shy about the hue. Primary colours are best for maximum contrast, but don't add too many items. All you need are just a few accents of bold colour.
The ease and comfort of Scandinavian furniture is one of the biggest reasons this look is such a hit. After all, these is the kind of furniture you can often assemble yourself with a few instructions!
But the essential ingredients to consider include minimal lines and a lack of fussy details. Avoid anything too big. This is the kind of furniture that doesn't fill up your lounge room. If your budget extends to something a little special, furniture moulded with soft organic curves are a great choice and anything vintage minimalist would be fantastic. It's fine to mix and match pieces. See how this collection of chairs by 99Chairs has been used to create the look.
Despite the dominance of white, and minimalistic clean lines, Scandinavian interiors are known for their warmth. This is partly due to the tendency to add rustic, natural elements such as wood.
In traditional Nordic homes wooden floors are a big part of the look, but a white floor can work well too. Wooden furniture is preferable and this wooden clothes stand and crafty reindeer by Klybeck are just perfect.
Patterns are another essential way to infuse this look with warmth and cosiness. Bold geometric patterns, thick stripes and simple, natural floral designs are all popular. Don't be afraid to mix and match here with some bright and beautiful pops of colour as well. It will work so long as there's some kind of continuity in the line or colour to unify the mix.
As we've seen earlier, this style is one with a natural, organic feel. Accordingly, natural textiles are a big part of this look and synthetics just won't cut it. The best thing about this element is that natural fabrics are soft and gentle on the skin.
In the living room pictured here, the sofa cover is gently textured, the rug is thick and the addition of a small shaggy rug just exudes Nordic charm. But if the thought of a fluffy rug seems a bit much for a hot climate, anything made from 100% linen or cotton will work.
To finish off the effect, add some framed artwork to those white walls. Now this is where you get to draw on all the previous ideas to add graphic patterns, primary colours, white backgrounds and organic shapes. Avoid anything too heavy. This is all about creating little pops of colour and pattern with illustrations that have a simple, graphic style.
If you like Scandinavian interiors, you would love this project: The Neutral Minimalist Apartment