The technical definition from wikipedia is: “Scandinavian design is a design movement characterized by simplicity, minimalism and functionality that emerged in the 1950s in the five Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark.”
Scandinavian Design is more about a functional and minimalistic space. It also provides a level of coziness that transcends a tactile experience into an attitude or mindset. Most notably it invokes a calm and serene space full of joy and happiness. The Danish call this Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah).
There have been many articles about this ultra-cozy vibe, such as:
New York Times: “Hygge is Where the Heart Is“
The New Yorker: “The Year of the Hygge“
“How can you incorporate Scandinavian Design into your home?”
There are a few basic elements that create a Scandinavian Design. Especially relevant ones to tackle are: Color, Function, & Furniture. These will create the base and allow for continued personalization by displaying items you love.
The base of this style is a neutral soft palette to reflect as much light as possible. Mixes of whites and creams with every shade of gray and pastels such as pale blue or blush. White walls and light color flooring are common in Sweden and in true Scandinavian interiors. Pops of color throughout the space add extra cheer.
A livable space that is not full of clutter and very practical yet filled with natural materials. Styling elements made with wood or clay are found thoughtfully placed throughout. Also, storage baskets made with wheat or felt are a great addition to hide overflow. Finally, linen, wool, and cotton are commonly used for their coziness and sustainability. Finally, a sofa full of dense plush throw pillows and a blanket help create an environment worthy of hygge. Just add a great candle and your favorite wine.
In addition, think of adding those plush cozy textures to your bedroom!
The furniture assortment for this genre is a blend of white and wood pieces with clean friendly lines. Because mid-century style was sweeping the design world the past few years. As a result, you will often see a combination of it and Scandinavian style. Which is ok. Mid-Century and Scandinavian genres blend well together. Therefore, don’t be afraid to splurge on a vintage Mid-Century piece. You will enjoy a great quality made item and know you’re supporting sustainability (reuse or upcycle vs new item).
Furthermore, due to the minimalistic and timeless Scandinavian Design look, it translates well into Kitchens and Bathrooms.
Now go. Get hygge with it. (yeah, I did that.)