The style of Scandinavian houses has swept the world over
with a distinct look hailed in our favorite design magazines and
blogs. With a focus on simplicity, minimalism and functionality, this
design movement which emerged in the 1950s has added an appreciation
for craftsmanship and understated elegance in homes.
Though it hasn’t been
known widely in the Philippine market, aspiring homeowners who think
out of the box are gradually beginning to welcome this aesthetically
pleasing design to their homes. If you feel like moving your way out
from the norm, consider this quick guide with our top tips for
creating Scandinavian interior design in your own home.
1. Where does
Scandinavian design originate?
Most of you may ask –
“What is Scandinavian design anyway?” The environment in the
Nordic countries was largely responsible for the design that evolved.
Winters were long, meaning there was little daylight, and people
often had very small houses, causing the need for bright and airy,
yet cosy, homes.
In 1947, a popular design
exhibition in Milan, Italy, called the Triennale di Milano, showcased
furniture and home accessories from the Nordic countries – and they
were very well received. Based on this popularity, the Design in
Scandinavia show travelled across the U.S. and Canada from 1954 to
1957. The 1990’s saw a huge rise in popularity of Scandinavian
design, when designers began creating bold, unique statement pieces
as individual units of design.
Philippine houses have
been influenced by architecture and interiors of other countries for
a long time now, but a style that is increasing in popularity more
recently is one we’ve pinched from our Scandinavian friends. It
seems the principles of functionality and simplicity,
with beauty and elegance, sit quite well with the Philippine market.
2. The element of color
in Scandinavian design
color palette in Scandinavian design
is typically very light and simple. White is often used as the main
color, but doesn’t make the room look sparse because natural
materials, such as marble and wood, bring warmth and texture. White
is also a great blank slate to introduce any color combination, from
soft pastels to black accents. Cool whites work well in south-facing
rooms since they receive the best of the warmer and hotter daylight.
Warmer whites, on the other hand, work well to warm up north-facing
rooms, since they receive lower levels of cooler, natural light.
Grays can also be used to
create a beautiful, serene interior. When deciding on warm or cool
shades of this neutral, look to the same rules for white – cool for
south-facing rooms and warm for north-facing rooms
Incorporating pops of
color is a great way of brightening and lifting a room. Classically,
function was placed above over aesthetics so color would be kept to a
minimum. Over time, though, other styles have been combined with the
standard Scandinavian approach to create unique style and
Try using a single sofa,
chair, or large item to add a splash of color. Alternatively,
patterned accessories can work well – but remember simplicity is
key for Scandinavian interiors, so avoid unnecessary clutter.
If bright and bold isn’t
for you, try keeping it neutral, but play with layering complementary
shades – this will prevent the room from looking cold. Using
multiple shades of the same color helps to create interest and depth.
Black is regularly used
too, helping to anchor the room and define and highlight the features
of choice. While the Scandinavians are known for their clean white
interiors, dark shades are regularly introduced and balanced with
light and dark accessories.
3. Textures and
materials for your Scandinavian home
Mixing textures and
materials, such as unfinished wood pieces, fur rugs, and soft linens,
brings nature into the home, adding that restful vibe that the decor
is so famous for. Plants, for example, are a great way to integrate
color and texture and add interest without feeling cluttered.
The Scandinavians are well
known for their use of wood throughout their homes, largely due to an
appreciation for readily available natural materials, but also for
the way in which it adds warmth to the space. Wood is a staple in
interior flooring. The wood is
often light in color and used in all rooms, with exception to the
If the thought of no
carpet puts you on edge, try adding a large rug in a soft texture or
natural material. You can try painting interior brickwork or tongue
and grooves for an easy way to add that all-important texture.
4. Lighting ideas for
your Scandinavian home
interiors offer the best of
lighting to provide that natural, clean, and sleek feature to your
home. These homes often feature large windows to make the room feel
bright and open.
Windows are usually
dressed in a soft, light material, such as cotton, allowing privacy
without preventing natural light from entering. You can also combine
open windows with a blackout
roller or venetian blinds for the
Table and floor lamps are
also regularly used to set the mood. More commonly, minimalist light
fixtures are used, though more recently we can see designers adding
their own take on Scandinavian design and incorporating a more
statement piece to pull the room together.
Clever use of accessories
can also help bring brightness to the room, such as use of large
mirrors to reflect natural light. Paint the borders of the mirror
with a cool, crisp paint color like white or pastel blue, or a bold
accent that is also found in the rest of the elements of your room.
5. The use of space in
The Scandinavian design
style puts a huge emphasis on efficient use of space, making maximum
use of any awkward spots.
It works well with small
spaces due to the inherent simplicity of Nordic style, with white as
a predominant color and an avoidance of unnecessary accessories. With
the use of natural materials and rugs, Scandinavian interiors avoid
looking sterile. A large importance is placed on giving furniture a
space to breathe. Unique, bold pieces are regularly used and should
be allowed to do all of the talking – there’s no need to