5 Essential Elements of Scandinavian Design

One of the things I really enjoyed about our trip to Finland and Norway, was the exposure to the Scandinavian design aesthetic.  Scandinavian design is timeless.  It is a simple, pared back aesthetic in which form and function are effortlessly combined.  

We visited the Summer home of family of ours on a fjord near Osta that epitomized all that I admire about Scandinavian design.  I took a few pics - wish I had taken more, but I was too busy admiring the space at the time.  This home, which was lovingly built and put together by the owners had all the essential elements of Scandinavian design that I love:



Scandinavian interiors are all about:

1.  An abundance of natural light.  Scandinavian homes are typically filled with natural light.  Apparently this is a reaction to the long, dark winters that Scandinavians experience.  Windows are large and curtains, if any, are light and guazy, ensuring that the light they do have is maximized and that views are optimized.


2. Earthy, neutral shades. Neutral colour are combined to create soft, restful spaces.  A favourite accent colour is bright blue which stands out beautifully against the neutrals and bright whites.


3. Pared back simplicity. Simple, clean lines and clutter free spaces create that pared back look that is instantly recognizable as typically Scandinavian


4. Textured layers.  The layering of textures and the use of natural materials such as wood, leather, stone and wool adds a welcoming warmth.


5. Hygge Appeal.  A warm welcoming sense of comfort created by a combination  of thoughtful touches. Candles in tea lights flickering on tables, hurricane lanterns at front doors, a warm fur throw or a hand crocheted blanket on a chair, a gallery wall of family ancestors all beckon you in to relax and enjoy a sense of well being.  

Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word which can be described as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being
— Wikipedia

  Hygge, is an elusive concept, but you will recognize it the moment you walk into a Norwegian home.  It, more than anything else creates the sense of warmth that is so unexpected in a simple, pared back environment.  It is quintessentially Scandinavian, not easily replicable, but wonderful to experience.