We have to hand it to the Scandinavians, they’ve got a laid-back lifestyle most other people admire, even us down here in Australia! It’s no surprise their unique interior design has turned into such a trend over the decades, and it seems it’s here to stay. The reason the design is as popular as ever lies in the fact it’s focused on the quality of the materials, clean lines as well as the skill needed to use the two to create outstanding and functional pieces with timeless appeal.
Add to this the versatile neutral colour palette, plus flexible open floor living spaces, and you’ve got a style many want to implement in their homes. Since the focus is on simplicity, it’s got a minimalist vibe so you might be wondering whether or not to decorate – and if yes, how to go about it.
Even though it’s mainly focused on simplicity, the decor is an important part of Scandinavian interior style. However, not just any type of decor will do. Here are some key considerations in order to pull off decorative accents in a sleek Scandi-style space.
Keep It Symbolic
It’s easy to go overboard with the decorating items so the best and simplest way to add some interest to your abode without cluttering it (both physically and visually) is to be more prudent with the elements you choose. A safe bet is to use something symbolic for the style to get the authentic Scandinavian feel as in the case with the handcrafted Dala Horse ornaments.
Though first made as a children’s toy as early as the 15th century in the Dalarna province in central Sweden, the Dala Horse has been among the most popular motifs in art in the country ever since. Many Scandi-style artworks have been influenced by this type of horse because of how important it was transportation. Nowadays, this type of ornament is made from different materials, from wood to concrete, available in a wide range of colours and patterns which make it ideal for accentuating.
Available as handcrafted pieces one can easily find in décor stores online, you can use the Dalecarlian horses on their own for statement on side tables, consoles, or window sills, for example, or make of them your special paperweights. The fans of books can also use a pair as bookrests, and maybe even go as far as repurposing them as door holders. During Christmas festivities, they’re perfect to add on the tree or even underneath it.
Same as with the help of the Dala horse ornaments, you can add some warmth to the nest without creating a mess by introducing some warm textiles that minimise the cool looks of minimalism. There are various textiles you can count on, two of them being floor coverings like rugs and carpets that can accentuate the décor, and even serve the purpose of separating areas and uniting others in open floor layouts.
Since Scandinavian style is all about bringing the natural in, instead of opting for synthetics you can choose natural fibres for your other textile elements, as in the case with stylish throws made from organic bamboo, for instance. Such pieces are great to add some texture and colour to furniture like sofa, armchairs, and can even double as rugs.
As other elements that a home with Scandinavian interior can’t do without, plants can certainly uplift the ambiance with their rich natural texture. Not to mention, you can also count on indoor modern planters to showcase your lovely plants in style.
What I love about this kind of decorative elements is beside their aesthetic value, they provide refreshment for the indoor air as well so they’re good for a person’s well-being. Moreover, same as with the dala horse souvenirs, you can place plants anywhere suitable for your décor considering there are those that can survive with minimal daylight, perfect for the barely lit empty corners. Want to add plants on that handcrafted coffee table, TV unit, or even on the bookshelves? That’s what succulents are for!
As I mentioned, neutral colours are key for this style, but besides that you can also play with natural light in the décor. This is easy to achieve with minimal window coverings like transparent curtains instead of blockout, bare windows, and lighting.
Different forms of lighting are acceptable because the more light you invite the better for the style if you want to truly set the Scandinavian mood. Best of all is the fixtures you’d use are all going to be part of the decorating scheme without it being apparent. You can have fun using pendants and wall sconces around the areas you most want to accentuate, such as the place where you get together for a chat, for meals, as well as decorating elements you want to make stand out.
For that ultimate cosy, romantic and homely feeling, don’t forget to use a candle every now and then. Besides the flickering light, you can also count on the charm of the candle holders too to emphasise the warmth. Mind you though, if you want to avoid polluting your home, it’s best to reap the benefits from candles made of soy wax instead of paraffin.