How to bring a little Scandi simplicity into your own home.
The beautiful simplicity of the Scandinavian styled home is second to none and very close to my heart.
Furniture is minimal but striking, colours are light, clean and crisp, and plants are welcome in every space.
Cleverly this style strikes the perfect balance between minimalism, fashion and comfort.
Our lives have become fast paced and cluttered, filling our days with noise and chaos. Our homes are our retreat from the world. We need it to be peaceful, a place for us to catch our breaths.
This is perhaps why we have seen such an increase in the want for this simplistic style in the modern home.
There are so many different aspects to this style. You can implement them all and go full Scandi, or select just a few to capture the essence of the style.
Today I will walk through a few of the design aspects and hopefully give you an idea of how to achieve what you are looking for.
The basic colour wheel of the Scandi home is made up of a mixture of whites, greys and blacks.
The Scandinavians endure long, harsh winters. Their answer to this is to bring as much natural light into the home as possible. They do this by painting walls, ceilings and (gasp), even floors white.
Yes, white floors are not for the faint hearted but this works beautifully to reflect light all around the room, making the space feel light, airy and warm. A must for a drab winters day.
Now I'm not suggesting you run off and paint all your floors white. These grubby kiwi kids would be murder on a white floor! What I do suggest is keeping your floor choices light, such as a blonde wood, white washed laminate, or lightly polished concrete. This will be just as effective but much easier to keep clean.
Now there is an allowance for other colours, for those of you who don't want to live in shades. Splashes of pastels such as soft pinks, smoky greens and velvety blues are welcome. These can be used in soft furnishings, such as throws or cushions. We also see them on carefully selected feature walls, or well-placed works of art. The key here is remaining minimal.
It's possible to make a room feel cluttered just by adding in too many colours. A lots of colour creates noise on its own and will make a space feel busy. Remember less is more and you will be fine.
Also don't forget about those plants! Cacti and crawlers, hanging pots and succulents, they are all welcome here and will bring pops of colour on their own. So don't be shy, buy a plant that you think looks pretty….. and then buy it 5 friends.
Soft furnishings and art
Rugs are pretty important when you live in a home with hard floors. It not only brings an element of warmth but also an extra layer of colour and texture. It is even more crucial to this style of home because it can feel a bit stark being surrounded by white or cool tones.
The rugs most suited are the ones made out of natural, warm materials, or fibres. Examples of this are jute, wool or hides (real or faux), these will bring softness to the space as well as a bit of interest.
Throws, cushions and bed linen are also important. Fill the cushions with feathers, this will make them sit in a more natural comfortable way, and they will seem less formal.
Keep the cushions in natural or pastel tones and don't be too uniform with placement.
Throws can, as the name suggests, be thrown over an arm of a chair or on the bottom of the bed. These can however be warmer with bolder colours, such as rust or navy. You want them to give a sense of softness and warmth, but just as with the cushions, try not to be too uniform with the placement. We want the space to feel stylish, but lived in and comfortable.
Bed linens can completely dominate a room, so need to be carefully selected for the mood you want to create for the space.
A dark colour will feel cozy, moody and masculine, whereas a light tone will feel fresh, crisp and feminine.
Light coloured duvets, such as blush or pale green, will feel playful and youthful.
All are equally as inviting, but for different reasons. Therefore thought needs to be taken into how the space will be used and what kind of mood are you wanting to create.
Scandinavian art is simple yet thoughtful.
It is soft in its colours and simple in its design, but effective and gentle.
Take care not to choose anything overwhelming and cluttered with strong colours and busy patterns, this will ruin the peaceful vibe that is the essence of the Scandinavian style.
Also remember, art doesn't need to have colour to stand out. The simple black lines of a silhouette can be just as effective as any garden scenery.
Most importantly, choose art that you love. You will know it when you see it, it will just sit well with your soul.
Choose furniture wisely because you don't want to over crowd the space. Spending more time and money on selecting key pieces is more effective than buying an excess of budget furniture that will just make the space feel small and cheap.
Natural materials are a must, such as worn in, softly tanned leather, natural timbers and the luxurious comfort of beautiful linen.
Keep the designs simple but stylish, and as you will have less furniture, make sure comfort is high on the priority list.
It's no use having a chair that looks pretty but can't be used, that's just clutter.
A carefully selected arm chair can be both practical and a piece of art on its own, and some arm chairs can be real stand out pieces in a space.
Angular and architectural furniture can be softened with the use of cushions and throws. As things like couches are so prominent in a space, it is worthwhile investing in getting something that you love and looks beautiful. After all, we want it to be a highlight to snuggle up on our favorite comfy sofa.
If you happen to be so fortunate to be building a new home, then you have the amazing luxury of choosing everything that will be going into it. So here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Painting your walls and ceilings white will create the illusion of the space being bigger, cleaner and less cluttered.
The higher the ceiling the bigger and lighter the space feels, so go as high as your budget allows.
Stick with white in the kitchen but add accents of black or timber, or both, to add interest.
Tiles in the bathroom should be light and natural looking. White marbled tiles or natural concrete would work beautifully, and you can always make it look a bit more interesting by laying them in a pattern such as herringbone.
Really spend a bit of time choosing your flooring. Whether it's real wood, tiles, laminate, polished concrete, or even cork. They all have their pros and cons, and will need to be chosen to suit your particular needs. A beautiful floor can be a real stand out stunning feature of the home.
Add timber features where you can. Headboards and dining tables, bench tops and kitchen tables. These little additions will warm the spaces up and make your home feel more natural and less sterile.
Make sure the outside of your home matches the inside. There is nothing worse than going from browns and creams on the outside, to stark whites and greys on the inside. You want the home to have a good indoor-outdoor flow.
Well I could go on and on about this gorgeous style. I haven't even begun to talk about their dream inspiring kids bedrooms, or their love for whimsical looking light shades, but I implore you to do a bit of your own research and find what makes your heart flutter.
What the Scandinavian style has captured so well, is a gentle and enviable home that is harmonious and thoughtful, bursting in character and style. I've never met a Scandinavian inspired space that I have not loved. Not only do we both share a great passion for minimalism, but they seem to love their indoor plants almost as much as I do.
If you have anymore questions, or this has inspired you to create your own little oasis amongst the chaos, then please get in touch with our helpful team here at Anthem Homes……and get straight down to palmers to stock up on cacti (my own personal favourite)
Black Bear Interior and Design