Scandi-inspired Design Tips for Your Home
What does Scandi style look like?
Scandi style is all about refined minimalism, functionality and a sort of robustness that speaks to cultural Scandinavian roots, even hundreds of years on. The style follows specific design principles that many have come to identify as inherently Scandinavian. Some of those principles are:
- Light, bright and mostly white paints — sometimes accented with bolder colours.
- Natural building and accent materials like wood, glass, stone and metal.
- Lots of natural light, i.e. being mindful of how you treat your windows.
- Refined and decluttered living spaces that evoke minimalism.
- Sleek, modern and sometimes eccentric furniture.
- Lots of greenery.
Like many people today, if you’re inspired by the Scandi design aesthetic — finding comfort in its neat and natural way — here are a few tips for you to compose your own Scandinavian-inspired space.
How to style your bedroom or home in the Scandinavian style
A hallmark of Scandinavian interior design, sleek timber flooring is a prominent feature that often ties the entirety of a Scandi-inspired room together. Whether it’s wide plank or herringbone, an urbane timber floor plays nicely with the hints of other softwoods found throughout many Scandinavian-inspired furniture and accessories. And with words like “bright” and “spotless” expressed often when discussing Scandi style, you’ll want to keep those timber floors squeaky clean to exude true Scandinavian elegance.
In Australia, flooring is most commonly sold by the square metre. And depending on what style of timber you’re after, prices can vary. For the most part, though, you can expect to pay between $95 and $125/sqm — something to consider when designing your space.
Rugs & carpets
With such an emphasis on wood in general, and especially timber flooring, conventional Scandi style is conservative about the use of rugs and wall-to-wall carpet. However, more contemporary takes on Scandinavian interiors introduce some options for personalization with the ever-increasing use of rugs in areas like living rooms and bedrooms. So, don’t be afraid to complete your Scandinavian bedroom or living area with a rug that suits the style.
Furniture & accent pieces
Next, when deciding on bedroom furniture, think like a classy minimalist. Peruse pieces that feature softwood accents or glass, stone or metal elements. Consider an object's shape, too, and how gentle, suggestive lines can help illustrate a room's airy flow and guide the eye to certain areas. Bright vases, wooden shelving, woven baskets — these are all great things to start with.
Also, if your living space features exposed brick, think twice before you install drywall over it! Instead, consider highlighting the brick’s texture by painting directly over it in white. Since Scandinavian interiors are largely inspired by nature, Scandi enthusiasts and designers alike love to leave natural elements and textures untouched where they can, or otherwise accentuate them in creative ways.
Add a pop of colour to buttress your Scandi theme
A chic, monochrome colour palette is a classic choice for Scandinavian interior design. Think blacks, greys, whites and off-whites for the most part. This is because the lighter the paint, the better it reflects natural light — which is a fundamental design element for this particular style. That said, the Danes and Swedes weren’t (and aren’t) afraid of a little colour, so you shouldn’t be, either!
Applying thoughtful pops of colour throughout a space is another staple Scandinavian interior design technique. In terms of large, influential pieces of furniture or walls, you’ll mostly want to stick with the monochrome palettes or other natural colours like light browns, greens, yellows and so on.
However, hanging up wall art and other decorations is a great opportunity to pin more vibrant, Pop Art-esque colours around your space to enliven it beyond its natural roots. Just be mindful of wall clutter! Of course — your space, your rules — but if you’re looking to stay relatively true to traditional Scandinavian design principles, avoid hanging up too much. Displaying just a couple of things here and there is a good rule of thumb.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the subtle power of blankets, throws and pillows and what they can do for your Scandinavian haven. When all other ideas elude you, throw down a colourful cushion for instant elevation.
Aim for a minimalist style
While not strictly minimalist, Scandi style certainly has a way of embodying freshness and simplicity. That’s often apparent in its tendency for larger, more open-concept living spaces with thoughtfully arranged furniture and minimally-distracting decorations. Scandi design principles tend towards a “less is more” approach — omitting anything that would take up too much space or that’s simply unnecessary for daily living.
When considering design ideas for your space, think about what pieces of furniture get the most use in your daily life. A couch that you use every day? Great! That loveseat, on the other hand — you know, the one that’s only been sat in twice? Consider storing it away along with any other unnecessary items to loosen up your space and make it feel lighter. Or, even replace the loveseat with two less-bulky pieces of Scandinavian furniture, like armchairs. A Nordic favourite!
Contrast colour and light
While natural light is important to the core of Scandi design, everyone lives somewhere different and natural light isn’t always afforded. The amount of natural light you get is largely dependent on your specific location, the design of your home or building itself, the number of windows it has, and other factors. That said, you should try to incorporate as much natural light as you can into your space by being thoughtful about how you treat your windows, and outfitting them with minimally-designed blinds that are easy to pull up or to the side. As much as you’re able to, let that glorious light seep in and bounce around your bedroom for a delightful, natural alarm to wake you up in the morning.
The good thing about blinds, and especially Carpet Call’s wide selection, is that our options are highly customisable. Fabric types, light filtration, colour, mount type, baserails, hardware, orientation and more are all interchangeable throughout our blind inventory. That means you can customise your window fittings to suit both your personal preference and align with Scandi design principles. Plus, we’ll even come to your home — for free — and measure your windows to make sure you get a perfect fit.
Alternatively, if getting enough natural light is a challenge in your space, that’s okay! Using artificial light is totally acceptable and even expected. So, when shopping for lighting solutions to illuminate your nearly-finished Scandi space, consider these things:
- Keep it simple. For Scandi style, less complicated designs are always better.
- Be mindful of the material. Remember? Wood, glass, stone and metal!
- Use an appropriate form-factor for the appropriate space. Consider whether a floor lamp, wall-mounted light or chandelier would work the best in your space.
- And, most importantly, try to avoid overly-yellow lights. Instead, go for something that emulates natural sunlight as closely as possible…
…and it is possible! You’ll know when you’ve hit the sweet spot when the light fixture — and the light itself — blends seamlessly with the rest of the space and is almost unnoticeable. If it’s hard to tell whether the timber floors are gleaming because of the window or the soft, brilliant fixtures, you’re doing it right.
We’ve just thrown a lot of information at you about Scandinavian interior design. A brief history, some important design principles, its ongoing metamorphosis into something a bit more personalised, and a lot of tips and tricks to brighten your space and strike that perfect Scandi cord.
That’s a lot to take it all at once. Rest assured, you’re never alone during a design phase, especially when it comes to flooring and window solutions. For a free in-home measure of your floors and windows, visit our website to book. Our window and flooring specialists are happy to offer their expert insight and help you get your room(s) setup for Scandinavian success — just ask us!
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