Scandinavian interior design is one of the most well know styles used in interiors all over the world. It is composed of a few very characteristic elements: white walls, wooden flooring and simple-in-form furniture. It obviously all comes from the geographical position of Scandinavia as well as the Nordic lifestyle and climate. Although Scandinavian style is commonly described as ´´simple´´ it is a leading source of inspiration for interior designers for many years and it can be achieved either in a low budget form as well as a very luxurious one. Many people will say that IKEA is a perfect example of a Scandinavian style furniture, and they are kind of right…but not exactly. Yes, Scandinavian interiors showcase white surfaces, sauna-like pine elements and are designed to fit even in the smallest apartment. But this style is not necessarily just cheap and cheerful build-it-yourself furniture – the original Scandinavian interior design is based on quality, functionality and nature. It is all inspired by the traditional craftsmanship and – simply enough – people´s needs.
Since the winters in Scandinavia are very long, most of the days are short, dark and gloomy, the main wall colour in Scandinavian interior design is white, to brighten up the space. White walls also create a very clean look and a great canvas for the rest of the interior design elements. Easy to work with, the white background is usually complimented with grey tones – to keep the cool feeling – or with light beige hues – for a warmer look. Of course it does not mean there are no colours ever used in Scandinavian interiors, they are applied as accents to get some depth and contrasting look.
For the same weather-related reason, Scandinavian interior design is always full of natural light. The windows, if small, are kept in white frames and if the space allows for big floor to ceiling openings the framing sometimes is in a contrasting anthracite or grey metal. To allow the natural light to enter the interior, the window treatments (curtains, voiles etc) are kept to the minimum – usually being blinds which are only used for the night time while keeping the windows bare during the day time.
The main motto of Scandinavian interior design is ´´less is more´´. Since traditional Scandinavian apartments were small, there was never a space for many decorative elements, busy patterns or unorganized shelving units. We can easily see it today for example by looking at IKEA providing their customers with a huge variety of boxes, folders, storage units and other goods used for organizing our everyday items. These organization methods to keep the space neat and tidy were the beginning of today´s well know minimalist style.
From there we come to the aspect of furniture used in Scandinavian interiors. Their design is very straightforward and its main purpose is to be functional, not decorative. However, even though in Scandinavia ´´form follows function´´ many pieces of furniture – especially from the 50s and 60s – became so iconic and are used today as a decorative elements and eye catchers of the space. So many of them are now being copied by cheap and mass producing retailers but in fact the original Scandinavian furniture were always solid and quality statement pieces.
What is mainly used as decorative elements in Scandinavian interior design are natural elements like green plants, wooden textures and natural stone finishes. Since this interior design style doesn´t demonstrate many colours, natural elements are used to make the space warmer and to add a character to the interior. It is important to remember that a minimalist interior doesn´t have to feel cold. Natural textures and materials will easily make the space warmer and welcoming, even when kept in light and neutral colours.
What we love the most about Scandinavian interior design is that the modernity of it is actually based on something very old and traditional like NATURE. There is no glass, no high-gloss and no metal materials needed to call this style very contemporary. Instead, the traditional elements like wood, light and greenery are making the style minimal, modern, fresh and cosy at the same time.
At Salanora we can proudly say that Scandinavian interior design is our strong side. Years of experience taught us how to adapt Scandinavian style to each individual client and how to blend it in the Mediterranean landscapes of Costa del Sol. We are more than happy to offer you a free consultation regarding your interior and its furnishing – simply click here to contact us.