Bright, minimalist rooms, a neutral palette, carefully considered accessories and timber furniture with clean silhouettes. The Scandinavian aesthetic, which has been around since the 1950s, is ever popular today. If you love the look but have no idea how to incorporate it into your home, we’re here to help. We’ll talk you through the key Scandi styling pillars so that you’re on the right track to recreating it in your own space.
Functionality comes first
‘Form follows function’ is the guiding principle of Scandinavian style. Every item in your home needs to serve a purpose – whether it’s the chest of drawers in your bedroom for storing your linen and clothes or the entertainment unit in your living area that houses your TV, music system and bric-à-brac. What’s more, these pieces need to be well designed and look beautiful. Start with a clean slate by decluttering your home and stripping things back to give your home some breathing space. You can then start carefully curating your furniture and decor to create a cosy space where you love to spend time.
Let there be light
Take your cue from the way the Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway capture and maximise light in the interior of their homes through their long, dark winters. Replace the heavy drapes on your windows and opt for airy curtains or lightweight blinds so that your space is bathed in natural light. White walls, big mirrors and a neutral colour palette enhance the light and give rooms that airy vibe. As for artificial lighting, make sure you have different light sources – table lamps, dimmable downlights, or floor lamps can create a soft, cosy glow in your home.
White is always right
The Scandi colour palette is natural and neutral. It’s about white space with light shades of colour. Think duck egg blue, soft green, gentle grey and natural linen. The warmth comes through the tones of timber furniture and a variety of textures. When you are working with a simple colour palette, it’s important to incorporate natural finishes, layers and textures to give it dimension. Don’t despair if you love colour – inject it through artworks and accessories.
Quality over quantity
With such a simple colour palette and crisp, clean lines, the Scandi style values the importance of a well designed piece of furniture. Rather than cramming everything into a room, give careful consideration to a few key items, leaving enough empty space to celebrate their beauty. Remember to include storage pieces so the space can remain clutter-free. Choose furniture with clean lines that are well made from authentic materials. Quality workmanship is crucial so that the beauty and integrity of your furniture shines through.
Accessorise with care
Scandi style minimalism transforms from cold to cosy with simple yet sophisticated décor choices. Resist the urge to over decorate and instead focus on natural materials, interesting textures and hand-made items. Filling the walls with art is the perfect way to add your favourite colours into the room. Scandi art is known to be very geometric and graphic, but don’t let this limit you. A large artwork or a well curated salon hanging injects personality into the room. Add layers in the form of cable knit throws, crisp linen and decorative cushions to transform your bed and sofa to give a feeling of cosiness in the cooler months. Create a vignette by stacking your favourite books and hand-made ceramic vases for a personal touch. Finally, we can’t forget about plants – they are the quintessential Scandi way to inject life and freshness into a space.
Top tips for plant beginners
Nicki Light, part of the Icon By Design family, is a lover of plants and has a collection of over 200 plants in her home. She shares her top 3 tips for beginners who want to exercise their green thumb and her top 10 plants…
1. Light is the most important condition to consider when choosing plants. Think about the aspect of the room and how far away from the window the plant will be. Zanzibar, Devil’s ivy, Peace lily and Sansevieria are low maintenance plants that suit most conditions.
2. You are more likely to overwater your new plants than underwater them. Most plants like their soil to dry out a bit between waterings to prevent rot. A moisture meter is a very handy tool to test the soil. They aren’t very expensive and can be bought from most hardware stores, garden centres or even online.
3. Lots of the plants we drool over on Instagram are very sensitive to humidity. It’s best to start with easier, hardy plants to learn their signs and the conditions they require before graduating to plants that require more care. But heed this warning: it’s a very slippery slope from one plant to 200!
Top 10 recommended plants
If you believe there’s beauty in simplicity, your home is sure to shine with a Scandi-style makeover. It’s time to curate beautiful furniture and accessories that uphold the principles of minimalism, craftsmanship and authenticity and accentuate the elegant-yet-cosy factor in your home. Happy Scandi-styling!