The 5 Fundamentals of Scandinavian Design
As one of the most popular aesthetics of the last few decades, Scandinavian-inspired home décor has been the muse of many a Pinterest inspiration board, as well as an interior aspiration for countless homeowners who are attracted to the simple yet stylish quality of Scandinavian design.
It has, since the very beginnings in 2008, been a hugely influential factor in the way we work, partly within the minimalist aesthetic of our ethical jewellery, but more so in the style and functionality of the studio space our jewellery is designed and created in.
Particularly in recent years, as we’ve become more conscious of our consumerism, our obsession with possessions and our negative environmental impact as a society, Scandinavian design – with its focus on functionality, rather than excess and luxury – has become an even more appealing aesthetic for those who want to see their revised values reflected in their living spaces.
With this in mind, here are the five fundamentals of Scandinavian design, to help you create a space that feels natural, open, warm and teeming with vitality.
Scandinavian design is characterised by its simplicity and a ‘less is more’ approach, adhering to the minimalist ideals that preach that we should all have less ‘stuff’ in our lives, to our own benefit.
After all, a less cluttered home equals a happier, less cluttered mind – and Scandinavian living is all about enjoying your life and living spaces to the max.
While clean lines, a lack of clutter and wide open spaces are vital elements of Scandinavian interior design, in contrast to the more extreme minimalist philosophies, not everything in your Scandi-inspired space has to have a tangible function.
In a Scandinavian interior, you’re allowed to keep more than two sets of cutlery and crockery and you don’t need to cast aside items such as cushions, souvenirs and artworks that may not have an everyday use, but add to the comfortability of the space or mean something to you.
However, each not-totally-necessary item should be consciously chosen and utterly adored by you – after all, to maintain the open, light, and uncluttered feeling of your home you should keep the ‘stuff’ on display to a minimum, so you want to make sure that the items you do have count.
An attribute that both Scandinavian design and minimalism share is their focus on functionality.
In general, this means that every installation in your Scandi-inspired interior has a purpose – and, often, they’ll have multiple purposes. For example, you might opt for a table that doubles up as a bookshelf, or a kitchen cupboard that pulls out to become a drying rack.
Scandi design is all about making the most out of everything you own, maximising the space you have to work with and reducing the appearance of clutter.
Something common to most interiors decorated in a Scandinavian style is the incorporation of materials plucked from nature.
Most abundantly, this means including wooden features – such as wood floors, tables, chairs or even wood panelling – giving a Scandinavian-inspired interior a distinctly natural look, as though the space were an extension of the outdoors.
Along the same vein, textiles such as leather, wool and linen are a welcome addition to any Scandi-inspired space.
More than simply borrowing nature’s resources, Scandinavian-inspired spaces often seek to actually bring nature indoors, adding to sense that your interior is a ‘living’ space.
For this reason, adding an array of houseplants to your interior is a no-brainer and the larger, leafier and crawling plants are some Scandinavian favourites to make your home feel more closely connected to nature.
Light, neutral or muted colours.
Scandinavian design tries to emphasise and enhance the natural light in a space, enhancing the sense of ‘openness’ in your home.
For this reason, most Scandi-inspired rooms are replete with whites and neutral muted colours such as hay, beige and greys – small splashes of greens and blues are also common, keeping to the nature inspiration theme and echoing the colours of trees, sky and sea.
More than this, the best Scandi-inspired spaces have huge open windows to allow as much light as possible to flow in from outside. If this isn’t possible (and you don’t fancy knocking bigger holes into your walls for new windows – quite understandable) then a few modern minimalist floor lamps containing natural light simulating bulbs is your next best bet.
A Scandinavian life philosophy defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing”, Hygge inspires much Scandinavian interior design.
Therefore, anything that enhances how comfortable and content you feel in a room, whether this is an array of cosy blankets or a warm fluffy rug – anything that gives you a warm fuzzy looked-after feeling – is a-okay, thanks to the Scandinavian life philosophy Hygge.
More than guiding the design of your Scandi-style living space, Hygge is more than an aesthetic – it’s a mindset to take into your life, encouraging you to take enjoyment in every moment and ‘treat yourself’ every day to comfort and contentedness.