• Annika Sisac

Scandinavian Interior Design


Scandinavian interior design began in the 1950s and eventually came to define Nordic style. White walls, light woods, and plush textiles mark this movement of minimalism and organic design.

In 1951 Frederik Lunning developed the Lunning Prize for the best Scandinavian designers all the way up until 1970. Frederik Lunning was born in Denmark in 1881 and made his start selling books. He eventually moved to New York and started a shop with Danish designs. His award was given to the top talented and original Nordic craftsmen and industrial designers. The prize emphasized good design and gave consumers insight into young designers paving new landscapes.

Scandinavian design still lives on as one of the more popular design tactics ranging from industrial to home spaces. It is guided by the principle of simplicity and functionality. There are a few main features that are unique to Scandinavian design.

1. Scandinavian interior design is marked by its heavy use of wood and other organic materials. These are mainly considered white woods ranging from beech to ash and also pine. These can be included in flooring, wood slat detailing, and walls. Other organic materials that are utilized can include hemp or leather.

2. To break up the wood and metal furniture it is important to include soft textiles into your space. Scandinavian designers incorporate many sheepskins, rugs, and throws throughout the space to add a muted but soft touch.

3. Muted colors are also a key component in capturing a space in the Scandinavian style. Rooms will have colors ranging from grays, browns, blacks, and whites. They are bold but smooth colors that create a soothing feel to the room. However, the designers are not limited to the colors listed above. Small pops of color can be incorporated in colors such as blues, sea greens, plums, and fuchsias.

4. Often the walls of space are painted white in this type of interior design. Paired with clean bright lighting, this gives off an open and fresh look. The furniture and decorative pieces in a Scandinavian space are not swallowed up but pop against this vivid background. This makes the space more inviting. Sheer curtains can also be added as a detail to make a room look softer and more intimate.

5. Although natural light from windows is a key to making or breaking the Scandinavian space, other lighting fixtures are just as important. Because many of the other furniture details are softer (rugs, throw pillows, and muted colors), you should keep your lighting fixtures on the more industrial side. These could be anything from wall sconces to candle lights paired with a geometric metal base.

6. Another key component is the floor itself. The carpeting in Scandinavian interior design is extremely rare. Instead, opt for light hardwood flooring, light or white tile, or laminated flooring. This type of flooring will add an optical illusion of space to the room.

Marked by light but vibrant color concepts, functional furniture, and simple but luxurious fibers, Scandinavian interior design is a sleek approach to a minimalist experience. Although this type of design has evolved, the main features have remained a prominent influence in many influential designers today.



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