In the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark where winters are long and dark, people have come up with clever ways of maximizing light all year round. Light, refreshing hues, stream-lined furnishings and a marked absence of clutter characterizes Scandinavian style. Lighter tones help to combat the darkness since the sun goes down very early. Coziness, especially during the winter, is pertinent to this style. Scandinavian interiors make reference to landscapes which are rich in lakes, forests, rivers and mountains. There are many lessons that we can learn from Scandinavia to have stylish interiors and an upbeat lifestyle that lets the outdoors in.
#1 Bring in the light
Scandinavian homes are typically bright and cheery, with the main goal of drawing in and sustaining as much natural light into the space as possible. To increase the reflection of light throughout the interior, soft washes of color on the floors and walls, sheer curtains, mirrors and glass accents are applied. If you want to follow the Scandinavian example, get rid of heavy curtains and any decor items sitting on window ledges. If you do not like the option of sheer curtains for privacy concerns or to block out the light at night, wooden shutters can be used. This will also help to keep your home better insulated, more energy efficient and stave off the chill coming through the windows from the cold winter nights.
#2 Decorate with natural materials
The interior design of homes in Scandinavia draw upon inspiration from nature, with the application of natural finishes on wood furniture and tidy stacks of firewood adjacent to efficient stoves. Wood is used for for flooring and wall treatments, furnishings and accessories. When wood has been treated, it is generally minimal to show the natural beauty and texture of the material, either using a neutral oil or a whitewash. Other popular Scandinavian textures includes natural textiles of linen, hemp and cotton, leather, plastic and metal. Fur is also commonly used due to the cold climate, draped on chairs and wrapped on sofas, fur pelt throws and used as bedspreads.
#3 Color — it’s all about white
Scandinavian homes generally show off a lot of white, with walls, ceilings and even flooring painted in white tones or neutral hues. With their enduring cold winters and the sun barely rising in the sky, white interiors and expansive windows can cheer up even the tiniest of spaces. White also helps to expand a space and make it feel bright and airy. Wallpaper is occasionally used, but usually as an accent wall. Furnishings and textiles are also in neutral hues of beige, ivory, taupe, black and gray. Bright accents are applied in accessories and wall art to energize the space.
#4 Keep organized in small spaces
Part of the Scandinavian design aesthetic is keeping things organized and stream-lined. Even the smallest of spaces try to squeeze in extra storage in the most unlikely of places. If you find yourself with the dilemma of have a tiny alcove behind the stairs or a sloped ceiling or even a tiny attic space, you can install built-in cabinetry, or shelving units to house extra clutter. Consider creating a functional nook with a wall-mounted organizer with small cubbies to store items.
#5 Simple living spaces
Many Scandinavian homes follow a general guideline of keeping knickknacks to a minimum to keep the home clutter free and main furnishings are either white in a light neutral hue so they can switch up their accents with the seasons. During the long winter months, bring out some extra candles, cable knit throws and even some beautiful fairy lights.
#6 Clutter free living
Keep your home organized with shelving units to keep clutter at bay. Shelving can store bins and attractive boxes to hold your belongings. Having good storage is the key to creating a Scandinavian interior that is spacious and airy. Built-in furnishings will keep things out of the way. This will keep your home tidy, easier to clean and create a less stressful environment. Only display items that you enjoy seeing in your home, ones that create positive energy.
#7 Immerse your home with nature
Despite the fact that winters are long and cold, spending time outdoors is a Scandinavian lifestyle. Fresh air and exercise promotes a healthy way of life and well-being. Bringing nature into the home helps to continue this healthy lifestyle, purifying the air and bringing more life into your house. There is something about bringing live pieces of nature inside that just radiates a healthy energy throughout the room. Spending time outdoors can give you inspiration, and you can even gather things to decorate your home, the Scandinavian’s love DIY!
This Scandinavian bed surrounds itself with plenty of natural light and elements of nature as well as a cozy stove to keep you warm and toasty in the cool winter nights.
#8 Plan for a dining space for entertaining guests
Entertaining and socializing is a large part of the Scandinavia culture. Design your home to equip a decent-sized dining table and chairs for entertaining. Even in small homes, the kitchen is used for entertaining, with longer islands with bar stools or built-in banquettes, window seats and small dining spaces for at least four. Spending time with friends and family, cooking a delightful meal and stimulating conversation is the perfect recipe for enhancing your mood.
#9 Bring in some fresh air
Homes in Scandinavia have large windows and doors that can be opened in good weather to bring in fresh air and nature. Blur the boundaries between indoors and out in your own home with sliding glass doors that can be opened in the warmer months. Fresh air helps to improve one’s health and sense of well-being.
Blurring the lines between indoors and out, nature plays a key role in this stunning bedroom showcasing a luxury bed by Hasten’s. The layers in this incredible mattress include flax, wool and cotton, as well as horsehair, which has been not only cleaned but permed. Horsehair is a key material in this mattress, which is made up of hollow tubes, nature’s air-conditioner. If you consider that you sweat one liter a night, all of that stays in the bed, unless the bed can breathe.
#10 Decorate with wall decor
Pops of color on the walls help to break up the endless sea of white and gray to create a more interesting living environment. Decorating with contemporary black and white photography is very popular. Other trendy options are contemporary posters, paintings and even stickers. However, try not to over-decorate your walls, as hallmarks of Scandinavian style are concise and minimalistic decor.
Photo Sources: 1. KK Living, 2. Iben & Niels Ahlberg, 3. Rum Hemma, 4. Dinesen, 5. Pinterest, 6. Stilinspiration, 7. Alvhem, 8. Style at Home, 9. Alvhem, 10. Avenue Lifestyle, 11. – 12. Sköna Hem, 13. Chez Larsson, 14. Michelle Halford, 15. Don Wong Photo, 16. Hästens, 17. ROM 123, 18. Style at Home, 19. Dinesen, 20. ESNY, 21. Hästens, 22. Alvhem, 23. Estilos Deco, Boliga
Discovered on Alvhem, this stunning brand new duplex apartment in Vasastaden, Sweden, presents fresh design inspiration, with plenty of hard to find features. This unique 592 square foot (55 square meters) home is dispersed over two levels, with high ceilings, arched windows and open and social spaces. The duplex boasts a lovely terrace with views over the rooftops, a lavish, open plan kitchen with living room, a stylish bathroom with laundry and bedroom with walk-in closet. Light filters into the home through two large skylights, fully glazed patio doors, as well as the beautiful arched windows on the ground floor.
The apartment exudes luxury and you are greeted by a subtle mix of solid materials. The dark floors form a warm contrast to the white-painted walls and the noble parquet runs like a thread through all the rooms-very clean and very tasteful. The kitchen and living room are open to each other, which is perfect for entertaining. A staircase leads you up, designed in a contemporary style with glass railing, giving the apartment a sense of space. Here you are going directly to the apartment’s bedroom which is furnished with simplicity. Glass doors takes you out to the apartment’s terrace, where you are greeted by a view of Vasastaden’s rooftops.
This renovated and spacious apartment, spotted on Alvhem, is located in a quite courtyard on the popular Kastell Street in Linnéstaden, a busy city center of Gothenburg, Sweden. The stylish 1,119 square foot (104 square meters) home features charming details from the early 1900s, with a newly renovated open plan living and kitchen area, perfect for entertaining. This home, demonstrates a perfect subtle mix between new and old. The living room offers a rounded wall with a tall window that looks out into the inner courtyard, offering abundant natural light and bestowing charm to the apartment. It’s nice to sit on the couch and be able to communicate with the guests that can be both in the kitchen and the living room. The walls are smooth and painted in a white color that harmonizes with the furnishings and decor. From the living room, are the private spaces of the home, offering two bedrooms and a bathroom.
This extremely charming and inviting attic studio apartment offers a social and open floor plan in Linnéstaden, Sweden. Spotted on Alvhem, the apartment is comprised of 473 square feet (44 square meters) of living space, with an airy and inviting atmosphere catering to a social lifestyle. For those who wish to snuggle up with a book, they can look forward to many cozy winter evenings in front of the fireplace. With a sloping ceilings, skylights, exposed wood-beamed ceilings and attic nature, the home has a cozy and snug feeling. With large windows and a French balcony, the home permeates with natural light. White painted walls and visible chimney breaks nicely against the floor’s oiled oak parquet flooring.
The spacious living room with kitchen area, sitting area and sleeping area is all open plan. This is really a very full bodied attic character and charming nook. The apartment’s heart is the working fireplace that offers both warmth and an unbeatable appreciative. At one end of the large living room, is a newly renovated kitchen with white high gloss cabinet doors and worktop in oiled oak. Adjacent to the kitchen there is dining space for four people. The open floor plan allows both the chef and guests can socialize while dinner is being prepared. This is a wonderful home to enjoy, what do think?
This modern Swedish flat is situated in the former Straw Hat Factory (Stråhattfabriken) building dating back to 1887 on Kungsholmen, an island in Lake Mälaren in Sweden. Spotted on Per Jansson, the 925 square foot (86 square meters) home has been newly renovation with a well structured plan full of light and fine original features and beautiful plank flooring of antique oak and double doors in all rooms. There is a spacious open plan living room to kitchen with large dining area and exit to private patio. There are two bedrooms, one with a dressing room and double doors to the cozy patio. Adjacent to the bedrooms there is a large closet wall with lighting and sliding doors. There is a stylish bright bathroom in limestone and travertine. The patio offers built-in seating and space for a dining table, plants and barbecue, a unique private oasis in the inner city. Evergreen climbing ivy are grown in pots for privacy and outdoor lighting illuminates the space. There is a private entrance from the yard.
This exuberant contemporary loft, spotted on ESNY, is spread out on two levels and 1,689 square feet of living space situated in Stockholm, Sweden. This two bedroom residence is comprised of exquisite details, featuring a spacious open floor plan, large glass fireplace, wooden flooring throughout, lit staircase that seems to float freely , generous spa with steam room, a beautiful tile mosaic in the bathroom and exclusive dressing room inside the master bedroom retreat. The home also contains integrated light and sound system.
This fantastic cozy modern apartment is situated in Karlaplan, an open park-plaza area in Östermalm, Stockholm, Sweden. The flat is comprised of 2,658 square feet of living space, featuring a spacious living room, large kitchen, two entrances, laundry room four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The living room offers gray painted walls and beautifully painted ceiling with several windows. The lounge can accommodate a large dining area as well as social interaction via a large sliding door from that separates a guest room / study. From the hallway and kitchen with dark painted double doors is the master bedroom with a large walk-in closet hidden behind a wall with graphic patterned wallpaper and painted gray ceiling and walls. Next to the master bedroom is a bathroom with black matte mosaic on walls, black sink in seamless concrete , shower, toilet , storage and stylish Moroccan tiled floor. The entire floor breathes New York City and the Urban Life Style and has a very cool and sober impression with fantastic layout.
Photos: Alexander White
Situated between the city of Stockholm and the island of Kungsholmen, Sweden is this tasteful duplex loft apartment, spotted on Per Jansson. The home is comprised of 1,916 square feet (178 square meters) of living space with an open-plan living room, a large lavish kitchen with dining area for many guests, and a door that leads out to a spacious sunlit terrace. A white-washed chimney forms a natural demarcation between living room and kitchen. Additional features includes, built-in cabinetry, exposed wood-beam ceilings, smoked oak wood flooring throughout, floor heating, skylights, a fireplace and built-in sound system. There are two lofts which can be used as an office and guest room. Two great bedrooms with great storage, one with dressing room with built-in fixtures in walnut from Craft Design. There are two bathrooms, with original brick floor and separate laundry area.
This attractive and luminous apartment we spotted on Skeppsholmen is located near the very exclusive area of Strandvägen (Swedish for ‘Shore Street’) in Östermalm, central Stockholm, Sweden. The flat offers an excellent floor plan layout comprised of 1,571 square feet (146 square meters) with a balcony and spacious terrace. The ground floor has a magnificent open plan kitchen with a large dining area and working fireplace. From the dining area, a door leads out to a balcony facing the pleasant courtyard. The tastefully designed kitchen has cast concrete floors and an adjoining wine room. Also on this level is a fabulous bedroom with a stylish bathroom. Via an elegant staircase, an accessible attic offers an open living area with access to a spacious terrace and adjacent separate working area. The living room features a beautiful fireplace with wide plank pine flooring. There are two bedrooms on the upper level, one with fireplace and adjoining walk-in closet. Another very lavish bathroom with beamed ceilings, sunken tub and shower.