Where did the strong Scandinavian Style come from?
The strong Scandinavian style started to emerge after the negative effects that the early 20th Century had on life and living situations in Scandinavia. So forward-thinking architects and designers began to explore and experiment with new ideas and new materials.
Like in the UK with William Morris there was an artist called Carl Larsson whose ideas about how a home should look started to give people new ideas with simple, light filled, functional and charming images from his own home. Designers started looking back into their cultural heritage for inspiration, but they were also looking for something new.
In the 1920s and 30s Modernism arrived, most strongly in the work of Alvar Aalto from Finland and Arne Jacobson from Denmark. They were inspired by designs from Japan and Italy with clean lines and simple shapes. America was also heavily influenced by these countries and with the excitement of aviation design influence was suddenly global.
This meant that by the 1980s most new homes had adopted this modern sleek look and the Scandinavian style was virtually indistinguishable. However, in the last 15 years or so we have seen a new surge of interest in the style.
How can you create the Scandinavian look in your home?
Open plan. The effect of the dark winters means that the Scandinavian look is characterised by light filled open spaces with large windows.
White. Again because of the dark winters most walls are painted a lovely clean white, keeping the deeper colours to touches only.
No clutter. The look is quite minimal without much stuff about, however good storage systems are in place. The Scandinavian ethos is epitomised by keeping things simple with no fuss.
Blond Wood. Blond woods such as pine are in good supply in Scandinavia hence why most of their floors and furniture are made from it. Bent wood is also often used in furniture design.
Black and red. As I said most interiors are kept white with deeper colours in the accessories, black is often found, either through stained or painted wood and a warm orangey red is also a popular choice.
Natural textures and textiles. Keeping warm is also important in those cold climates so lots of rugs and throws in natural textures and colours are essential, but also baskets, crockery and other accessories will be hand made from natural materials.
Real fires. open fires are often placed in the corner, less of a centre piece and more of a necessity!
Handmade. Think handmade, well made, well-chosen items that will last a long time. This often makes things more expensive to start but without clutter the pieces can really shine and be loved.
Scandinavian pattern. There are beautiful Scandinavian patterns, often depicting animals in geometric repeating patterns but also many simple modern bold black and white designs too.
Where to Buy
Ikea is a good place to start and they will have various options, not only in the natural Scandi style I’ve been describing but also in the cultural heritage look as well, which will often have geometric patterns and bright colours. The Scandinavian style can be found in most high street shops too.
However, bearing in the mind the ethos of choosing items that have been carefully crafted, you really ought to consider not just the style but the manufacturing process too, and finding items that have been handmade in a traditional, eco friendly way will really be in keeping with that Scandinavian feel. Look out on my Facebook page and Instagram for ideas here!
Hopefully this has given you a clear idea of the Scandinavian style and how you can create it in your home, but if you'd like to chat to me about your home then why not get in touch to see how I can help, prices start from just £80 for a 2 hour chat!