Tired of your traditional furniture? Getting bored with mid-century modern design?
If you’re thinking about changing your house or apartment’s interior, it might be time to transition your home into a Scandinavian look.
Scandinavian architecture is clean, functional, and modern. It’s characterized by a few key concepts but allows for flexibility so that you can add personal touches and make your home your own.
If you’re ready to freshen up your place, here are seven ways to incorporate Scandinavian architecture into your home.
Scandinavian design is all about paring down, staying minimalist, and clean. And your home can’t be any of those things if it’s full of clutter.
To create a true Scandinavian-inspired home, the first thing you’ll need to do is declutter.
Get rid of everything you no longer need or want. Donate items you don’t wear. Donate items that take up too much space. Pare down everything you own, from the shoes in your closet to the books on your shelves to the coffee cups in your kitchen cabinet.
To achieve the Scandinavian aesthetic, adhere to the concept of less is more. The trick is only to keep items that you have space for or can store in a neat, organized manner.
In order to get and stay organized, you’ll also need to invest in some storage boxes and buy furniture with built-in shelves or doors. The less “stuff” you have on display, the better.
2. Opt for Light Wood Floors
One of the hallmarks of the Scandinavian style is light wood floors.
Pale woods and light finishes, such as white oak, are ideal. And they look even better when they’re seamless and continue throughout the entire home.
There are so many water-resistant flooring options on the market today that it’s easy to install the same flooring in every room. With the right type of material, you can even lay wood floors in rooms that get wet and humid, such as your kitchen and bath.
3. Stick to Neutral Colors
In keeping with the clean, sparse theme, you’ll also want to stick to neutral colors. You’ll rarely see bright colors or an over-saturation of color in Scandinavian architecture.
Shades of white, tan, brown, and grey should be predominant. You can mix in some pops of color here and there, just don’t overdo it.
A few bright throw pillows, some cheerful wall art, or a few storage containers in vivid colors are all you need to make your home pop.
4. Make it Functional
Another thing about Scandinavian architecture is that you’ll rarely see purely decorative items. Instead, every item is functional and serves a particular purpose.
This holds true for every item in the home. Every table, every storage box, and every chair should be purposeful. If you don’t intend to use it, then you don’t need it.
Have you ever bought an accent chair just to fill an empty corner of a room? Have you ever installed a bookshelf simply to add something to a bare wall?
If you’re intent on creating an authentic Scandinavian home, you’ll want to resist the temptation to “fill your space.”
5. Mix Elements
Combining wood and metal finishes is another way to bring some of that Scandinavian style into your home. And this is where flexibility comes in.
Scandinavian style is, first and foremost, modern and clean. Yet some people shy away from it because they think it looks a bit boring. But by combining industrial metal elements with wood with trendy accents, you can create a cool, interesting look.
By mixing metallic elements into a room design, you can inject some personality and add some contrast. The more you can layer in different textures — the more unique your room will look.
6. Ditch the Curtains
One of the key design elements in creating the open and spacious feel of a Scandinavian-style room is large windows that let plenty of light shine in.
Instead of hanging curtains or drapes, hang lightweight sheers. If privacy is not an issue, opt for no window treatments at all! The more sunshine you can let in and the more of the outdoors you can see from inside, the better.
If there is a greater need for privacy, choose simple, clean roller shades with a sheer texture.
That way, the sun can come through even when the shades are down.
Living in an apartment with blinds that you can’t remove?
You can still create the Scandinavian feel by fully opening your blinds. Then create privacy with lightweight white sheers.
7. Layer Textiles
Just because Scandinavian design embraces a clean, sparse look doesn’t mean that you can’t make your home comfy and cozy. You can add depth and layers of comfort by mixing and matching textiles in different fabrics and textures.
For example, if you have a suede couch, add faux fur throw pillows and a cozy wool blanket to ramp up the comfort and texture. On your bed, mix crisp cotton sheets with a textured linen duvet, jacquard pillow shams, or textured knit blankets.
Stick to neutral colors but don’t be afraid to mix and match different neutrals together. With a combination of textures, patterns, and fabrics, you can make any bed, couch, or chair look and feel like a sumptuous, cozy, luxurious space.
Scandinavian architecture is simple, sophisticated, and all about the combination of form and function.
If you’re ready to give your home a fresh new look, you can get in on this timeless trend by:
- Decluttering your entire home
- Installing light wood floors throughout every room
- Decorating with neutral colors
- Selecting furniture that functions rather than fills up space
- Mixing elements such as wood and metal
- Letting a lot of light shine through your windows
- Layering textiles and patterns on your bed and couch
There’s one other thing that you’re likely to see in most Scandinavian homes:
If you rent an apartment, you can add an electric fireplace. If you own a home and want to exude true Scandinavian style, adding a real wood-burning fireplace will give it the most authentic look!
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Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Legacy at Hayward to help them with their online marketing.