Scandinavian style first started taking shape during the mid-century era, in the 1950s and 1960s and has remained exceptionally popular ever since. The timeless appeal stemming from the simple elegance and a perfect blend of functionality and sophisticated style continues to captivate the hearts of millions and inspire the imagination of countless interior designers and décor experts throughout the world. With its ever-increasing popularity, Scandinavian style found its way in homes and commercial spaces alike, becoming one of the most dominant and influential décor styles in the recent years.
The secret of this amazing popularity lies with what Scandi style tells about how we live in our homes and how we view them. The simplicity, functionality and accessibility paired with organic curves and natural materials tell the story about what is important in life – the warmth of the home, and the people with whom we share it. Because of this, Scandinavian style has all going for it, with a promise that its appeal will truly remain timeless.
You probably already heard a lot about Scandinavian style, and you probably also saw it in action, maybe in your friend’s home or in a stylish restaurant nearby. Or, maybe you are just now getting curious. Whatever the exact answer, if you are interested in getting this unique vibe for your own home, read on and explore with us the key features that make Scandi style what it is.
Democratic revolution in ordinary home
Scandinavian style entered into its golden years in the post war years of the 1950s. Scarred by war and occupation, the Scandinavian people were rushing into the peaceful future with optimism and unwavering love for life. The rebuilding process created the demand for simple, yet stylish furniture that can be easily mass-produced and which can be accessible for all and not just the privileged few. With democratisation of the market, the progressive ideas of simplicity and functionality created a stark contrast to ‘bigger is better’ attitude of the previous eras. Instead of dark, massive and heavily ornamented furniture inspired by baroque, Scandinavian designers offered a new vision rooted in simple elegance, accessibility and functionality. And in the years when democracy was on the rise worldwide, these ideas easily found their way into other parts of the world, offering perfect solutions for the demands of a modern 20th century home.
Scandinavian style in interior design
Harsh Scandinavian winters with very limited daylight contributed to the pursuit of interior design style that would make a home look cosy and inviting, yet bright and open. Uncovered windows are probably the most iconic manifestation of this pursuit of warm and welcoming atmosphere cantered around natural light. In order to maximise the lightness, people of Scandinavia often opted to paint the walls clear white and keep the wooden floors free of heavy carpeting. Minimalist approach to design reigns supreme here.
But, don’t let this fool you – Scandinavian homes might be minimalist in nature and marked by the unquestioned dominance of pale whites, greys and browns, but still, they are never stark. Cosiness is an important imperative of Scandi décor and it is masterfully achieved with a combination of calming hues and the heavy use of wool, sheepskins, cotton or mohair. The accent textiles do wonders when it comes to reproducing the feelings of intimacy and closeness, while at the same time providing a completely new layer of visual interest to the room. And let’s not forget that they can be more than practical once when cold Scandinavian winters plunge the temperatures way below zero.
Form follows function
In a typical mid-century modern manner, Scandinavian décor starts with the premise that form always follows function – both when it comes to furniture and décor elements. With open-plan living as a value kept in high regard, Scandinavian homes are usually centred around the dining area as the focal point of a home. However, the coldness of minimalism is beautifully broken by natural elements which rely equally on materials and textures as well as craftsmanship. The neutral colour palette can be perfectly complemented by natural wooden appear and fluid, organic shapes that seem to dominate this style.
Details and finishing touches
The apparent neutrality of the Scandi décor is a perfect backdrop for some lively details such as fresh flowers, cushions in more vivid colours and soft ambient lighting. You can’t go wrong with these and those small details will easily transform your home from a bit sterile modern minimalist space to a true Scandinavian gem!