What to look for when shopping for Scandinavian decor
If you love clean design, beautiful natural materials, and cozy Nordic influences, then Scandinavian decor might be just the ticket for updating your home or apartment. With a focus on function and simplicity, Scandinavian-style products feature expert craftsmanship and understated elegance. If this is the design style for you, here's what to look for when you're shopping for Scandinavian decor.
With limited clutter, light neutral colors, and plenty of natural accents, Scandinavian-style living rooms present a clear picture of calm and quietude. To create this ambience in your living room, look for furniture with a contemporary or mid-century modern feel. Think sofas with one or two cushions, simple lines and little or no embellishment. For the best quality, look for sofas featuring kiln-dried frames made from hardwoods like oak, beech, or ash. Other features you can find in high-quality sofas include hand-tied springs and durable fabrics like cotton, linen, and microfiber.
When hunting for Scandinavian-style coffee tables and end tables, purchase products made from teak, rosewood, mahogany, or walnut with soft, rounded edges and tapered legs. Products featuring wooden tops and metal hairpin legs also make popular choices for sleek Nordic style.
Before choosing a coffee table or end table, make sure to take measurements. According to professional decorators, coffee tables should be the same height as the top of your sofa cushions or slightly lower. End tables should be the same height as the arm of your sofa or chair or within a couple inches higher or lower.
With Scandinavian-style design, clean and simple decor continues through to the dining room. Start by installing pendant lights over your dining room table. For a warm and inviting glow, opt for simple glass pendants or choose concrete pendant lights for a unique, sophisticated look.
Scandinavian dining tables come in many shapes and styles. For a larger space consider a simple, rectangular table fashioned from light ash or pine wood. For a smaller dining room, try a round white metal table in a modern pedestal style. When shopping for a painted metal table, look for a product with a powder-coated finish to resist chips and scratches.
For comfortable seating around your dining room table, there are loads of options. Mid-century modern Eames-style chairs make a great choice, and you can find them with smooth or stenciled seats. As with choosing any Scandinavian-style furniture, the trick is picking pieces that feature minimal ornamentation. Purchase chairs and tables as a set, or mix and match styles to create more visual interest.
Nothing fosters a good night's sleep like a serene and uncluttered bedroom. Make your sleeping space light and airy with a simple platform bed covered with white bedding and pillows. Start with a crisp, white comforter and add woven knit blankets as the weather gets chillier. Park a tripod-style nightstand next to the bed and add a curved copper floor light for a warm, metallic touch.
Your bedroom dresser should last for years, so look for one made with solid hardwood pieces and drawers that feature dovetail joinery. Before you shop for a dresser, consider your wardrobe and choose a product with enough drawer space to fit all your clothing, from undergarments to blue jeans. To match your Scandinavian theme, look for a dresser with a simple design and few busy details.
As many professional decorators will say, good design is all about the details. Even though Scandinavian design is pure and simple, a few accessories make these interior spaces sing. Create texture and warmth, especially during the winter months, with woven area rugs, chunky knit throw blankets, and faux-fur accent pillows. Bring elements from nature into your home, like skull and antler mounts, live plants, and woven baskets.
To beautify your interior spaces, hang monochromatic art on your walls, from black-and-white photographs to framed pen-and-ink drawings. When shopping for art, choose only those pieces that really speak to you, and take a few tips from professionals when hanging them. For a minimalist look, use a level and hang art in a straight line or a grid. Before you hang the actual pieces, trace their outlines on paper, cut them, and hang them on the wall to visualize proper placement.