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Nordic Style

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Via Åhlens; styling: Emma Persson Lagerberg; photo Petra Bindel

There is something about Scandinavian homes that give us such a warm feeling. Whether in the depths of winter or the midst of summer, Nordic interiors exude a sense of coziness warmth and charm, while at the same time maintaining a modern edge. What we are drawn to is that pared down simplicity, the muted tones and that relaxed, unpretentious, honest atmosphere. There are of course many styles in Scandinavia but there are also many elements that many Nordic homes have in common. Here are 7 steps to help bring in the Nordic charm to any living space.






1. Edit

The first step is tossing those items that you don't need or don't love. Simplify your space by only introducing items that you use and enjoy. Your space will feel much lighter, less crowded and larger. Try taking out all your decor elements and adding them back one at a time - but only the items that you truly feel good about. You do not have to be extreme with this. It is really just a matter of what makes you feel good and comfortable. Many Nordic homes have collections - some more than others- but it is usually contained to sections of the home. Remember, only keep what makes you feel good. And when you buy new items don't forget it is an investment; buy less but buy well. 

Via Fantastic Frank

2. Whiten Up

A common element to most Nordic homes are the white walls and sometimes even white floors. The winter months can be long and dark and white walls not only help to bounce the light around the rooms but they help make the space feel bigger and brighter. It is a great neutral backdrop which allows you to easily add colour and warmth through decor elements such as artwork, cushions, wood and greenery. 

Is grey the new white? It certainly seems that more Scandinavians are embracing the shades of greys. Light grey can create a sense of cosy in a room, particularily if there is enough light in the home. Dark greys have made stunning feature in some Nordic rooms. 




3. Lighten Up

Lighting is key to creating that Scandi home feeling. Incorporate light in different ways. Natural light is very important in any home, so take down the curtains if you can. Use a variety of light sources to create more thoughtful pools of light throughout. Pendants, table lamps, and floor lamps will add different lighting dimensions to the atmosphere and gives you more control over the mood. Most Scandinavian homes, particularly the older ones, do not have pot lights, but if you do use pot lights make sure they are on a dimmer for greater control. A very important source of light is the candle. Not just for a special dinner or event, Scandinavians use candles on a regular basis, at the dinner table, on the coffee table when relaxing in the living room, in the kitchen while cooking up supper at least one windowsill will have a lite candle. And of course, they are always used when guests come over to create a sense of hygge. 

Beautiful use of lights in Swedish townhouse




4. Mix It Up 

Mix the shiny and new with the old and worn. Well-crafted, well-designed items are timeless and the use of well-worn pieces, whether passed down from a grandparent or found at a local flea market while on vacation, is an important element in a Scandi style home. In Nordic homes it is not unusual to find and interesting mix of expensive classic pieces with more affordable deigns from Ikea, H&M and even Søstrene Grenes* Scandinavians know the value of good design in their homes and will often save up for that one iconic piece that will give them great pleasure. 



Mix Modern and Traditional Scandinavian Style
Via Entrance Maklari; photo Anders Bergsted 

5. Bring the Outside In 

Scandinavians have a great appreciation for the outdoors. Nature is reflected in much of their design choices. Décor, artwork and materials often represent the nature of the Nordic region. Wood is abundant in most Scandi homes adding a coziness that compliments and warms the usually white walls and light floors. You will often find sheepskins and reindeer pelts on chairs and floors as well as plants and flowers or even branches brought in from the outside. 

Swedish home with natural elements Via; styling Emma Ficsher; photo: Maria Sahlander

6. Wood 

Consistent with their love of nature, Scandinavians have a strong affinity for wood. Flooring for the most part is natural or light wood. You can even find wood on some ceilings in Nordic homes. As well, wood is integral to classic Scandi furniture design. Think of the iconic chairs designed by Hans Wegner, Alvar Aalto, Finn Juhl  - the list goes on. Today the tradition continues with new Nordic designers undoubtedly creating tomorrow's classics.

Nordic home with white walls and blond wood
via styling: Emma Fischer: photo: Maria Sahlander 



 7. Have Fun 

Don't take it too seriously; have fun with it! Let your home reflect your personality and unique style. Allow your home to tell your story. Embrace the imperfections as well as the process, and most of all, be comfortable in your home. Enjoy!

Beautiful Loft Apartment in Sweden
Via: Alexander White photo: Henrik Nero

Swedish Living room with personality