Scandinavian interior design is a SUPER popular interior design style in Singapore. Not going to lie, we’re big fans too because of its simplicity. Moreover, it’s a blank canvas which can be easily reimagined and almost any sentimental items can blend into the space quite easily.
In appreciation of the goodness Nordic design has blessed us with, we’ve put together a blog post sharing the different Scandi styles you can recreate in your own home. Some of the pictures feature projects we’ve worked on.
1. TAKE NOTES: SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN HISTORY
Scandinavian design takes inspiration from the modernism movement of the 1960s. The modernism movement is marked by functionalism and the simplification of form. Special emphasis was placed on material, technique and processes.
So, where does the “Scandinavian” sensibility find itself? The answer might surprise you. What we popularly know as Scandi, is better categorised as Nordic design because of the ebb and flow of design influences in the region. In fact, Nordic design was out of fashion by the late 1970s. It resurged in popularity in the early 2000s because of the utopian Nordic values and of course, IKEA. Cultural values like eco-consciousness, owning only what you need (a.k.a minimalism) were placed on a pedestal. Moreover, as the Nordics seemed to have figured out a harmonious balance between social and economic progress, everyone wanted to look like them and to be them. (Get the nerdy scoop about Scandinavian/Nordic interior design’s history here.)
In spite of these, popularly acclaimed Scandinavian/Nordic design is at its heart a very practical one. Plus, if we as a society looking to build a harmonious society, we might as well start from the home.
2. ACT NATURAL
Scandinavian design relies heavily on the use of natural materials (wood, leather, hemp, etc.). This is an attempt to democratize the use of innovative techniques to make affordable objects.
This interior design style is an excuse to turn your HDB or Condo into an urban jungle. Fake plants or botanic elements are totally ok too if you ain’t got green thumbs.
3. BLEND OLD WITH NEW FOR A TRULY SCANDINAVIAN LOOK
The look of a modern Scandinavian interior design is an intriguing mix. New and exciting design ideas blend with the look of older, distressed furniture. You could think of it as shabby chic.
Don’t be afraid of bringing heirloom family pieces into your space.
4. SELECTING THE RIGHT COLOURS.
Next, get the colour scheme right. Scandinavian colour palette generally consists of white, off whites, soft dove grey and soothing tones of nature.
Pastels work well in Scandinavian interior designs and contribute softness to a room.
White will help define your space and make your room(s) look bigger, brighter and leaves you open to add in your favorite colors.
In your bedroom, for example, you want to stick to a core thematic colour palette. This will help achieve calm and simplicity in the room on a budget.
5. DECORATE, OR NOT.
Scandi decor can easily be found in IKEA. However, if you want a unique nook, try looking for bespoke pieces to style your home.
And if you’re strapped for cash, do without decoration completely and display your prized home items. Display sentimental items or everyday items on the shelves to fill up the space.
6. PERSONALISE YOUR SCANDINAVIAN LOOK
Although basic elements of wood and muted colour tones remain consistent, Scandinavian interiors aren’t all the same. Experiment with core elements. Switch out a pastel décor item for something bolder and brighter to achieve an eclectic look.
At the end of the day, interior design is about lifestyle and style. The room should reflect the activities in the room as well as the mood you want it to have. Don’t be afraid to personalize the design!
7. MODERNISE WITH CONTRASTING COLOURS.
Consider going black and white for a modern Scandinavian look. The striking contrast creates a timeless design. Go for caged lighting and polished floors to complete the look.
However, if modern is not what you’re going for, stick to wooden dining furniture of the same shade.
The heart of most homes, the kitchen is one place where the rule of muted colour tones goes out the window. Create drama by bringing together an array of colourful kitchenware on display. The more contrasts, the more stunning the visual effect. You want the kitchen to look alive. Remember, variety is the spice of life.
8. WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T FORGET THE WOOD.
Not any wood grain, but light grain wood. Remember, you want the colour palette to remain muted.
9. LET THERE BE LIGHT.
Finally, be sure to cater for ample amounts of natural sunlight. Do away with excessive window treatments and invest in proper lighting systems which will illuminate a room.