Whenever one mentions Scandinavian designs, the most immediate thing that comes to mind has always been IKEA. However, while IKEA’s furniture follows more or less the same design and function principles of this famous style of home decorating, there is more to Scandinavian home design trends than the furniture.
Known for its beauty, simplicity, and utility – it’s hard not to fall in love with the style. Similar to the minimalism trend in the kitchen (such as built-in and hidden appliances), it pairs practicality with a high-end aesthetic. Clean lines are the trademark from these designs that came from the Nordic nations of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden (hence, the name). It is often called ‘democratic design’ because of its desire to appeal to the masses through readily available and affordable products.
Main Elements of Scandinavian Design
Scandinavian design is largely identified by a focus on clean, simple lines, minimalism, and functionality without sacrificing visual design.
1. Lighting - lots of natural lighting.
Light colors dominate this style to offset the darkness of winter in Nordic countries. (In the south of the Finland, for example, daylight in December lasts only for 6 hours. In northern Lapland a period of darkness prevails at that time, with the sun not rising above the horizon at all!).
White walls and ceilings – even floors, are standard, and light wood is the norm. Pale or almost white backdrops are embraced to reflect light in the room. Do you imagine a hospital (cold and uninviting) vibe?
Don’t worry, they have it to a T. They add textiles and layers to give it that hygge vibe. (It’s that cozy comfy feeling that Scandinavians have perfected.) Warm wood tones and greenery are key to bringing warmth and style.
Following the need for natural light, colors are also kept generally light. Color is generally added through accessories in bold accents (usually singular), or with plants. Soft pinks, blues, mint greens and yellows add life to a muted palette, and work perfectly in modern, graphic patterns. Normal colors used are white, grey, black, and muted pinks.
3. Natural Texture
Wool and cotton are usually used in blankets, pillows, and rugs to create layers of warmth. It is actually the one that brings life to the muted tones of Scandinavian houses.
4. Simple Clean Lines
Scandinavian design is all about clean lines, and a neat but relaxed aesthetic.
Form + Functionality
When it comes to the use of furniture in a Scandinavian design, clean lines should be evident. Tables, chairs, sofas, and the rest of the Scandinavian decor have a modern touch with smooth and rounded edges. Scandinavian design is also characterized by its innovative and functional use of space.
Here is a gallery of curated Scandinavian kitchens that caught our eye:
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