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How to get the Scandinavian style right in 7 simple steps

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
COMPASSVALE ANCILIA II Scandinavian style living room by Eightytwo Pte Ltd Scandinavian
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The less-is-more look of the minimalist design style is certainly something to consider if you feel that your interiors need to be toned down in terms of visual character. However, it does sometimes happen that, in our quest for a look that’s much more subtle, we overdo it and end up with a sleek white space that’s too cold and unwelcoming. 

That’s why we would like to recommend the Scandinavian design style, which can be seen as the friendlier, warmer, and much more enticing cousin of Minimalism. And the great thing is that you don’t even need to phone up a professional Interior Designer to jumpstart the Nordic look in your very own home! 

All you need to do is the following: 

1. Focus on neutral colours

Softer neutral- and earthy hues make up the majority of Scandinavian colour schemes. Thus, for your walls and floors (and furniture pieces), you need to be sifting through soft greys, whites, browns and beiges instead of hot reds or cool blues (save these pops of eye-catching colours for your handful of trimmings instead). 

2. Bring in warm textiles

COMPASSVALE ANCILIA II Scandinavian style living room by Eightytwo Pte Ltd Scandinavian
Eightytwo Pte Ltd

COMPASSVALE ANCILIA II

Eightytwo Pte Ltd

Remember that the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland) are quite cold. That’s why the use of warm textiles, especially those with striking and comforting textures, is encouraged for Scandinavian home décor. 

Consider how thick wool throws and blankets, plus cushy carpets made from wool or sheepskin, can lend a warm and inviting look to your interiors. 

3. Pick subtle décor accents

Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 by Swish Design Works Scandinavian
Swish Design Works

Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10

Swish Design Works

Although not as less-is-more as the minimalist style, the Scandinavian one does also focus on simplicity. That’s why you need to choose decorative accents that have simple designs, yet still add a bit of detail and charm to a space. Some choice considerations include patterned pillows for your sofa, wall paintings that stand out a bit in terms of colour, a focal wall clad in wallpaper with a subtle geometric print, etc. 

4. Combine wood with metal finishes

Scandinavia is rich in wooded and forested areas, and these countries’ people are not afraid to show off wooden elements in their homes. So, don’t think twice about adding a wooden coffee table, chairs, dining table, credenza, or other vital furniture pieces to your home. Just be sure to counteract this look with a healthy dose of metallic finishes such as in your lighting pendants, kitchen appliances, table- and floor lamps, etc. 

5. Add touches of Mother Nature

Natural elements in your interiors help to enhance the amount of colour and beauty in your home. That’s why the Nordic style is so crazy about adding fresh plants and flowers to interiors wherever possible (and necessary). 

Just don’t overdo it with Mother Nature. Depending on how large your living room is, for instance, you can commit to having 2 – 3 potted plants peppered throughout the space. Just don’t choose anything that’s too colourful, large or lush – those plants need to enhance your subtle interiors with some visual charm, not dominate them. 

6. Don’t go overboard with window treatment

Many of the Scandinavian countries, especially those situated most north, experience very little daylight during winter. Thus, window treatments are usually kept to a bare minimum in order not to block the little bit of light ready to flood indoors. 

Should you need to alter the window coverings for your Scandinavian décor, choose light fabrics, like sheer curtains, in soft neutral palettes such as off-white, grey, etc.  

7. Think form and functionality

Scandinavian furniture stand out due to many reasons, and those clean design lines is just one of them. Tables, chairs, sofas, and other Scandinavian décor / furniture pieces need to show off a modern touch with smooth and rounded edges. In addition, the Scandinavian design is also characterised by its innovative and functional use of space, which is why it’s not uncommon to discover furniture pieces with built-in storage compartments, multi-levelled wall shelving, or other out-of-the-box creations that focus on form and function. 

From inside splendour to outdoor style, let’s see these 10 ways to breathe stylish new life into your old front door

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