Go Scandinavian

Go Scandinavian

As I mentioned in my intro post for Groom + Guy back in May - it really is safe to say that many homes in Australia have embraced the Scandinavian minimalist style already, and that the look is here to stay.  Renowned for their simplicity and utility, Scandinavian style homes have a pure, pared backed aesthetic that is centered around functionality and simple and clean lines, with an understated elegance.

So how do you go about achieving the Scandinavian style in your own home?

The 5 key steps to achieving a Scandinavian style look are:

  1. Neutral colour palette
  2. Textural elements
  3. Simple and clean lines
  4. Minimalist design
  5. Natural materials and elements

To demonstrate how to achieve each of these key aspects, I have invited some of my friends from Instagram to showcase their styling. Graciously both Tarina Lyell from @oh.eight.oh.nine, and Brooke Castel and Kerryann Carroll from @thedesignlabb agreed to give me a hand.

1. NEUTRAL COLOUR PALETTE

One of the most important elements in achieving the Scandinavian style in your home is to select a neutral colour palette of natural and muted tones. 

The shades you choose should be designed to make your home feel relaxed and create a sense of calm. Neutral colours such as whites, greys, creams, blacks, blues and browns will help to create a clean and peaceful look.

When creating your colour palette, pick your main colour (whether it be that of your walls or large furniture item) then your complimentary palette will be darker and lighter tones of that same shade. That way when choosing your accessories to suit your colour palette, they will be in harmony with the rest of the room and not “fight for attention”.  This will create a beautiful tonal effect that is understated yet rich in style.

Scandinavian homes use minimal bright colours and when they do, it is limited to artwork or soft furnishings. Bright colours are never used in furniture, wall coverings or floor coverings.

Tarina has used palette of soft muted grey tones in her bedroom.  Complementary lighter and darker tones of grey are reflected in the walls, prints and bedding.

The room is balanced by the two prints above the bed, the two contrasting crisp white European pillows and the two darker grey pillowcases.

2. TEXTURAL ELEMENTS

With an entirely neutral palette, it is extremely important to add textural elements to create interest and warmth to the typically cool toned neutrals found in Scandinavian interiors.

In Tarina’s bedroom, the all-important element of texture is provided with the velvety round feature cushion, the oversized chunky merino throw and the fluffy Beni Ourain berber rug.

When dressing your bed or sofa, layering is key.  It is best to work with different materials in layering as well, to ensure the space is warm and inviting. However, when working with a mixture of textures it is also important to remember that tonal consistency must also remain an integral factor.

The textural elements of that amazing woven rug and the simple patterning of the cushions in the same colour palette as the rest of the room creates interest, and adds to the overall cosy yet elegant feel of the room.

3. SIMPLE AND CLEAN LINES

Scandinavians are known for being practical and they certainly adopt this in their furniture choices. With furniture and furnishings, choose simple pieces that feature clean and natural lines and rounded edges in neutral tones. Furniture in light woods and metal finishes fit well within the Scandinavian design approach.

4. MINIMALISTIC DESIGN

One of the truest characteristics of Scandinavian interior design is making sure spaces are well used and limited in unnecessary clutter. Stand back and look at your space from every angle, move items around or remove them completely from the room until you reach the desired effect.  Often by removing pieces, you allow the pieces that remain to take centre stage and become aware of how those unnecessary pieces were only serving to clutter the space. 

Utilise storage such as cabinets to hide any additional knick knacks or decorative items you may own or better yet, give your home a deep cleanse and part with anything that you do not use or that does not bring joy to your life.  Using a “less is more” mantra keeps spaces looking clean, free of clutter and visually relaxing.

5. NATURAL MATERIALS AND ELEMENTS

One of the key traits of Scandinavian interior design is the use of natural materials throughout their homes, such as light woods, marble, concrete as well as throws and rugs made of wool and sheepskin.

In the bedroom below, The Design Labb have incorporated a number of natural materials with use of the marble side table, the concrete and brass lamp by Menu, the white Mongolian sheepskin throw and cushion, and the Merino wool chunky knit blanket. The large leafy potted plants are an excellent natural element to include, and a gorgeous bunch of fresh cut flowers is something that always lifts a room.

The Scandinavian home is a cosy style that focuses on creating a nurturing and relaxing space for you and your family, but ultimately when styling your home, it should of course always reflect you and your own tastes and personality.