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How to adopt the Scandinavian style for a Filipino home

Katherine Rañeses Katherine Rañeses
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The Scandinavian trend has swept the world over, and even in the Philippines, where the climate is the total opposite of chilly Europe, we still love our IKEA pieces and cannot wait for them to finally open here! The style's aesthetic focuses on simplicity, minimalism, and functionality, and in time we have added an appreciation for craftsmanship and understated elegance in homes.

Incorporating a Scandinavian theme for the warm, tropical climate can be tricky, so here's a guide with tips and tricks for creating Scandinavian interior design in your own home to incorporate simplicity, clever functionality, and pleasing aesthetics of Scandinavian interiors.

Tip #1: Let there be light

 Living room by rigby & mac
rigby & mac

Copper Collection

rigby & mac

Scandinavia gets as little as seven hours of daylight during the winter months, so you could imagine how good lighting is paramount to typical Scandinavian interior design. With several types of lighting for adequate and mood building illumination that usually look like a cross of both modern and industrial styles, these vary from pendants to wall sconces, but an interesting trend is the use of copper lighting that reflects light as well as illuminates a home, giving a space a chic, luxurious look at the same time.

Trip #2: Create clean lines

When it comes to picking out furniture, it's all about creating clean lines. Keep your eyes peeled for sofas, tables, and chairs with mid century modern tendencies like smooth, rounded edges and natural hues. Scandinavian design is also all about making even the most boring pieces of furniture both pretty and functional. 

Tip #3: Keep it light

 Kitchen by studioarte
studioarte

Kitchen

studioarte

Wall-to-wall carpeting is never seen in Scandinavian design, which is also something you would never see in a Filipino home. Their flooring traditionally is hard-wood or concrete, often left in it’s natural color or painted white. This contributes to expanding the space and inviting in more light, and in this tropical country, a smart way to keep the home cool during the sweltering summer months.

Tip #4: Flower power!

It is important to have living elements in Scandinavian interior design, and we can work this to our advantage, living in a country with only two seasons. Head to your local garden center and look for interesting indoor plants or arrange a weekly trip to Dangwa and pick out flowers of every color and have them arranged into bouquets. Some other interesting plants to have around the house are cacti—get them in all sorts of magnificent shapes and sizes for that cheerful pop of green

Tip #5: A neutral palette

 Nursery/kid's room by Bumoon
Bumoon

Sticker Les Sirènes

Bumoon

There is definitely a color palette associated with the Swedes! Whites, grays, blacks and browns often dominate the space, creating a clean and calming look. In typical Scandinavian spaces, walls are kept white allowing for furniture and art to captivate, but this may also leave the room looking a little clinical. Spruce it up with a fun mural (read: not The Last Supper) or add decals to a kids room to make it look more inviting. 

Tip #6: Live clutter-free

The Marie Kondo method of decluttering and organizing your space works well with Scandis. They like to keep to the less is more mantra of design and prefer to keep their spaces looking clean and visually relaxing. Storage is wisely implemented in the form of cabinets and shelving and any form of mess is frowned upon.

Tip #7: Limit the window treatments

 Study/office by Plastudio
Plastudio

Mansarda

Plastudio

Contributing to the idea of inviting as much light in as possible mixed with the less is more approach, Scandinavian spaces tend to leave their windows bare of coverings. When they do opt to use a window treatment, light fabrics like linen and sheer panels are preferred so that at night, the glow of illuminated windows in buildings make them look like something out of a postcard.

Tip #8: Warm it up

 Household by CM Wool
CM Wool

Lana de Oveja

CM Wool

With Scandinavia experiencing some blistering winters, it’s not surprising that a big part of their decor comes in the form of warming textiles like sheep skins, wool and mohair throws, and luxuriously soft cotton. Adapted to the tropics, bring out the thick, wooly overthrow—like this one from CM Wool—during cold, rainy days, and adapt the sheepskins to be used at chair covers instead of rugs, to provide a feeling of warmth and coziness as well as another layer of texture to a space.

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