Everyone knows the the Scandinavians know what they’re doing when it comes to modern sleek design and yet still manage to make a space feel cozy and effortless. I’ve been living among them in Sweden for almost a year now and I couldn’t be more thrilled. My dream is to eventually finish my interior design degree here but until jag kan prata bättre svenska (I can speak better Swedish) I’m just going to have to wait out on that one. That’s not going to stop me though. I thought today I would share how to style like the Scandinavians.
Go white. It keeps spaces feeling bright and airy when it turns dark in the winter time. Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors put together this list of white paints that she has used in many of her designs. My fave is Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore.
Textiles are like the hair and make-up of a living space and one thing that you find most often in Swedish design is dark upholstered, clean-lined sofas with lot’s of black and white accents. Of course I can’t resist throwing in some color but you get the idea. Try mixing different patterns and textures to give your space depth and variety. I love this thick shag rug from Ikea because in the cold winter months it can really warm up your space.
Left to right: Farskinn vit rug ikea, Tecca accent pillow CB2, Black and white lapplijung pillow cover Ikea, Ikat accent pillow in auqua CB2, Cuidad sofa CB2, Skoven rug high pile in black Ikea
Scandinavian design uses a lot of modern and industrial materials but still keep it warm by using lots of natural elements. In this case opposites attract. Try pairing opposite pieces like the wire agency chair from CB2 with the tree stump side table from West Elm. Definitely buy lots of house plants! Throw a white sheepskin rug on one of the chairs and you have a cozy place to fika, to take a coffee break with a pastry or some other baked goody.
I would say lighting is the most important thing to consider when you live in Scandinavia, again, because of the long dark winters. The sun comes up at 10 am and goes down at 3pm so proper lighting is very important. A small space should have at the VERY least 2 sources of light, not including candles. Optimal would be 3-4. I love tripod lamps right now and have seen a ton in other spaces as well. Use candles on your coffee table, mantle, or even on the floor in a decorative lantern to bring in extra light and warmth.
Here are some other fun pieces that would like great in your Scandie-inspired space. Toodles and happy Decorating!