Having lived in Scandinavian for 13 years now, I’ve caught a thing or two into how to decorate the Nordic serene way.
There are a few aspects in the way they decorate which transforms a house into a home, with very few things. Scandinavians are very popular for their minimalist approach to how they live life and how they live at home. The strategic use of a few objects here and there, is what actually makes all the difference.
10 ways to decorate like the Scandinavians
1. The bedroom is a sanctuary for the Scandies
The room has normally very little to no furniture and they pay attention to how calm it should look like. The colors used are appeasing and the decor minimal. The room normally only has a bed, a couple of nightstands and maybe a closet.
2. Guess where Scandinavians love to shop the most?
IKEA exactly. You know very well that IKEA’s products need no introduction, as they are well known all over the world. Sometimes, you can recognize right away if a certain type of furniture was purchased at IKEA. This “shelf” type of furniture is a very popular product among Scandinavians. I myself, own two of them. You can showcase your books or your memorabilia in a very “smart” way and be sure that it will always look amazing.
3. They love to express themselves through art
I have been to a few homes to realize that having paintings or graphic posters on the wall is a way to show how your personality actually is. You sort of get to know a person by what they hang and show in their home. In my place I like to have minimal art to none, as I am not a big fan of hanging art, as it really needs to say something to me and it needs to “define” me. The Poster Club is definitely a place I’ve been “window shopping” for a while now. I’m looking for new art to put in our bedroom and this webshop might have exactly what I’m looking for.
4. They love their designers
Denmark specially has a reputation for having many (and I mean many) great designers. If you are Scandinavian, you will probably own one or a few objects from known designers like Arne Jacobsen or Piet Hein, the designer of the famous eclipse table. Some furniture, lamps or designed objects might be a bit expensive, but sometimes you can find great deals at second hand stores. I myself am always checking what I can get at Lauritz.com for sometimes a bargain.
5. They’ve began using darker accents in their homes
You might have noticed, specially in Instagram and Pinterest the craze with darker furniture sub posing lighter decor. The usage of dark oak furniture contrasting light interiors is a very big thing in Scandinavia now (and not only).
6. The lamp in the middle of the room
If you have a table, you will have a low hanging lamp over it. Scandinavians love gathering with their families and friends around their tables for some meals and late nights with wine, “spiritus” and lots and lots of chips and candy. I often associate wine with popcorn, chips and candy. It is the epitome of a great Friday night, I might say, and what Scandinavian homes always have is a nice low hanging lamp projecting strategic light to everyone around the table.
7. The sold out bench
In many Scandinavian homes you will always have an entrance. The architectural explanation is that, the entrance room is the place where it will be most cold during winter days. The entrance is used normally to take your shoes off, to hang your coat, to lay your keys in a bowl on a narrow table and to be ready to get in the rest of the house. Normally it also as a really nice bench like the one I show in the image above. I have personally been looking for one (reasonably priced ok?) to put in front of my bed. So, if you know a shop or yourself sell anything like that, hit me up!
8. The messy but tidy way of decorating
So, if you look at this image, for you everything might look perfectly in place right? Well, I actually see a few things in the image above that look messy. But it is the Scandinavian way of decorating. In US homes, you might see a perfectly made bed with 10 throw pillows, but in Scandinavian they use only two pillows and the bed looks like it was made in 10 seconds.
Their approach is mighty functional and if you want to know (from my eyes) what I see is: A coffee cup that has coffee in it, a glass of water to drink during the night and the books you might be reading. Everything is there for a reason and everything has a function.
9. Neutrals, neutrals, neutrals…
Did I say neutrals? Well, neutral colors never gets out of “fashion” in Scandinavian. I love a good interior design using only white walls and a few pieces of furniture just a few shades darker. The usage of vertical items is also very popular in Scandinavia utilizing vases and high dry flowers. When I feel like things are “too low” I try and find a tall vase (sometimes with a contrast) and add some tall neutral colored flowers, it changes the room completely.
10. Limited choice of colors
When you’re decorating the Scandinavian way, your palette color should be focused in a few tones. Usage of bright colors is unfortunately used in other cultures, where in Scandinavia they prioritize using natural colored wood, whites (in walls or furniture) and items that can create a contrast effect.