Scandinavian is a style beloved by many just because how simple and straightforward it is. Less is more – this is the style’s motto. But when creating a Scandinavian interior, there’s always the risk of ending up with something that feels cold and sterile. The wide hardwood floors, bright and white walls and furniture with clean lines don’t provide much variety for the senses. And over time, it can easily get boring. So, in order to give the space more depth, warmth and interest, you need to add some finishing decorative touches. If you think that this clashes with the minimalist mantra, you’re very wrong. There are many ways to decorate a Scandinavian space without overcluttering it or affecting its clutter-free attitude.
Create Interest with Wall Art
Even though the style has an enduring relationship with clean, white walls – it doesn’t mean that said walls should be left bare. In fact, the white backdrop is perfect for adding some interesting wall art. And in turn, tasteful designer prints, paintings, typography, engravings and posters with a variety of colours and patterns can provide the much-needed interest to the minimalist setting.
However, not just any wall art can do. It’s important for the designer prints, posters and other art you pick to match the overall theme. And in the case of Scandinavian, it’s easy to determine what you need to look for. For instance, in line with the minimalist look, you can pick designer prints that depict simple geometric shapes and patterns. Black and white designer prints also match beautifully the minimalist aetsthetic
Another wall art theme popular in Scandinavian interiors is nature photography and landscape paintings. In some cases, you can even pull off some abstract art or pop art if your home also has some mid-century influenes. To make it easier for you to pick wall art that perfectly matches your interior, there’s also the option to purchase genuine Scandinavian designer prints by famous Nordic names.
You can pick a single large art piece to grace your living room, or try the more complicated approach and create a gallery wall. A gallery wall can provide you with the much needed creative expression as there’s no limit to the number of pieces you can include in it. You only need to make sure that they work beautifully together by having something in common – the type of frame, the colours, or themes.
Make It Hygge
If you’re following design magazines and blogs, or simply have an Instagram account, they you’re familiar with the concept of hygge. Hygge is the antitode to the Scandinavian climate with extremely cold temperatures. It’s roughly translated as a blend of feeling cosy, warm and at ease. Chasing the hygge feeling is perhaps the reason why Scandinavian countries regularly top the list of the world’s happiest countries, despite their cold and long winters.
The obsession with hygge can also be seen in the way Scandinavians decorate their homes. The pieces that emit warmth or give you a homey feeling are the ones defined as hygge. For instance, a fluffy area rug to warm your bare feet while you drink your coffee seated on a soft, upholstered sofa. Try to incorporate layers of a variety of cosy, pleasant fabrics from knit blankets to throw pillows and similar décor pieces. Wooden surfaces with rich textures, such as hardwood floors and furniture made of oak, maple and walnut give off a cosy vibe as well. Adding a personal touch in the form of family photos, something DIY or an arts and crafts project your kids made is also a great way to hygge-fy your home.
Bring the Outdoors In
Scandinavian interiors are often inspired by nature – the hardwood floors, wooden furniture, flood of natural light. So, why not try bringing the real thing in. Even the smallest interiors can benefit from some gorgeous decorative plants. Greenery can enliven the space without suffocating it. Even when plants are oversized, such as the rubber plant, for instance, they add an elegant dose of drama instead of making it feel cluttered. Plus, plants such as tulips and orchids are perfect for adding some romantic colour to the space.
Harness the Power of Light
Since the Nordic countries lack sunlight, the way light is used is very important for Scandinavian design. Besides avoiding to block the light with hard window treatments and opaque curtains, you also need to pay attention to artificial lighting. A lighting scheme that provides adequate illumination throughout the entire space enhances the clean and fresh feeling Scandinavian spaces give off. Try to use a variety of lighting sources, such as wall sconces, pendant lamps with metallic finishes. Lighting fixtures with mid-century features or industrial vibes are especially popular in Scandi interiors. In addition, in line with the hygge feeling, you can also add candlelight or candelabras for an extra dose of romance and warmth.