If functionality, simplicity and cosiness are what you are looking for in a home, you are probably already familiar with Scandinavian interior design. The biggest interior craze of the recent years, the Scandinavian style can be spotted everywhere, from residential to commercial spaces.
But let’s make it clear – we are not talking interior trends here; we are talking history and the future of how we choose to live in our homes. With their simple, democratic and, above all, practical interiors full of natural materials and organic shapes, Nordics focus on what is truly important to them – home and the people they love. Good design equals happiness, and if it is true what they say – that family is the new revolution, this design movement can hardly be a thing of the moment.
Let’s dig a little bit deeper and learn about the rich history of the Modern Scandinavian style and find out about its key features.
Image source: Pella Hedeby
Fania Metal Chair £185.00
History of the Modern Scandinavian Style
Scandinavians were always known for their great sense of style and appreciation for home decoration, but it wasn’t until WWII when the rest of the world started embracing their vision of a home. New democratic social ideas and the overall rejection of traditional views that bigger is better and that only the rich can have beautiful homes, brought simple Scandinavian designs into the spotlight.
Some of the most well-known designer furniture of all time is the work of Scandinavian mid-century modern designers. Back in the 50s, design fathers of the iconic Scandinavian furniture Alvar Aalto, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton (to name a few) made waves on the international design scene, and the world can’t get enough of their work ever since.
Image source: My Domaine
Even if you didn’t know their historical value, you’re certainly familiar with the Aalto stool, Wishbone chair, Panton chairs or Panthella lamp as they are often found in modern Scandinavian homes. With their sleek lines and seductive minimalism, assuming recent origin of these pieces comes naturally. But no matter how fresh and modern they may seem, Jacobsen’s Egg chair and Swan chair are celebrating their 60th birthday this year and promise many more to come!
Image source: Stylizmo Blog
Many of these iconic furniture designs are still being produced, but if you prefer a true classic, you can easily get your hands on a quality vintage piece here at Vinterior.
How to Spot the Style
The most recognisable features of Scandinavian interiors are clean lines, neutral colour schemes, functional furniture and clever decorating touches.
The Scandinavian style is a modernist style with a twist, made to fit the landscape of its origin – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland. Harsh winters with very limited daylight influenced the desire for cosy yet bright interior spaces. For Nordics, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere full of natural light is an absolute imperative. This often means leaving the windows bare of any coverings or keeping them extremely limited. To maximise on the effect, the walls are painted white, wooden floors are free of heavy carpeting, while the overall minimalist flair allows the eye to travel across the room. It is quality over quantity with no clutter of any kind.
Image source: My Scandinavian Home
Rustic Wood Coffee Table £640.00
Regardless of their minimalist nature and lots of whites, greys and browns they feature, Scandinavian interiors are never stark. On the contrary, they tend to be some of the cosiest spaces out there. The calming look of soft hues and coolness of bare windows and floors is warmed up with heavy use of wool, sheepskins, soft cotton and mohair throws. These touchy textiles are as practical as they are beautiful and can instantly make any space feel more intimate, while also providing another layer of visual interest to the room. But they can also be used for curling up in a cosy corner once the temperatures drop.
Similar to mid-century modern, form follows function in Scandinavian interiors. This is true for both furniture and interior architecture. Open-plan living is highly favoured and centred around the dining area as the heart of the home. Connection with nature is key which makes these interiors so easy to relate to. The furniture features fine craftsmanship and natural materials that appeal on a fundamentally human level, and this is probably the main reason for its enduring popularity.
Image source: Stadshem
The neutral Scandinavian setting provides a perfect backdrop for natural wood, fluid, organic shapes, metallic finishes and lots of texture to captivate. Adding some greenery, fresh flowers or at least branches into the mix is a necessity, but so are the cushions, candles and soft lighting.
Image source: Stylizmo Blog
Get the Look
To bring the Scandi look back home you will want to look for some vintage classics. Collect slowly and pick only the pieces you will want to keep as this furniture will stand by you for a lifetime.
Keep it simple and don’t be afraid to match sleek modern pieces with some rustic elements. Scandinavian furniture goes with everything!
For a Scandinavian dining room think Tulip dining table and Wishbone chairs, and use a Ph5 lamp to illuminate the area.
Get comfortable and create cosy nooks in the living room. Use soft natural fibres to keep you warm and keep the accessories and artwork minimal.
Ge 240 Cigar Chair By Hans Wegner £2,800.00
Make sure to think through your storage solutions as you will want to keep the clutter away at all times.
1960s Restored Teak Sideboard £965.00
Coffee Table From Cfc Silkeborg, 1950s £1,289.00
Whenever in doubt, choose simple and sturdy. And don’t forget – functionality and timelessness are at the heart of the Scandinavian style.