Scandinavian Modern Design

By Oliver Burns

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January 13, 2013|Luxury Design

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  • candinavian Modern design has been a strong and enduring influence on our homes since the 1930s when the Modernist movement evolved. Simple clean lines, the use of organic materials and a focus on making the most of natural light are the elements that define the design style. What Scandinavian Modern achieves better than almost any other is to perfectly marry practicality with sophisticated design, and deliver an approachability that makes it the preferred style for many in the 21st century.
Image sourced via SOKA Studio

The beauty of Scandinavian design is in its simplicity. With relatively loose structures, living areas tend to be open plan, allowing light to be maximised throughout the space and views of the outside to be enjoyed from every angle. This also allows the space to be used for different activities, reinforcing the Scandinavians practical approach to living.

Image sourced via Arch Daily

Natural elements play a key role in the lives of Scandinavians with the outdoors being enjoyed at every opportunity. As daylight is scarce during the winter months, maximising light becomes an obsession for the Nordic counties. Where possible, Scandinavians look to bring cues from the outside, indoors. This includes adding large windows to a building to maximise light, using organic materials such as wood in their interiors and the introduction of pale, or almost all white backdrops to reflect light around the space.

Image sourced via Trends Magazine

Wood in particular, is a widely used material in Scandinavian interiors across floors, walls and furniture due to its organic nature, availability, versatility and sustainable credentials. Whilst light coloured woods such as birch and pine are largely used for flooring and large furniture items, teak and rosewood tend to be found on many key iconic furniture pieces. Dinesen’s Douglas flooring is wonderfully unique, with a light and harmonious natural character, perfect for the Scandinavian design style.

Image sourced via Homedit

What prevents Scandinavian interiors from appearing too bland is the mix of old and new. Combining architectural features or vintage, iconic pieces with modern practical items adds a touch of history and character to a neutral space.

In the beautiful Malmo apartment above, the space comes to life when stripped back and key pieces introduced. The owner has cleverly uncovered a beautiful ornate original ceiling that brings definition to the space, whilst tones of gold are echoed in key pieces such as the sofa and tables.

Image sourced via Pinterest

The perception that Scandinavians homes are white and lacking colour is not reality for most Scandinavian homes. Colour and pattern play an important role in bringing life to a neutral background, which can then be updated through the seasons. Rather than adding bright colour to walls, the tendency is to inject colour through soft furnishings, artwork or iconic furniture. Colour and pattern do not dominate but introduce a splash of colour and bring life to interiors. For key Scandinavian furniture design, Fritz Hanson partner with some of the worlds most recognised architects and designers including Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjaerholm and Hans J. Wegner to produce outstanding collections.

With shops such as Skandium now dedicated to the design style, the appeal of Scandinavian Modern continues to show no signs of abating, as people increasingly look to their homes to provide a calming and restful retreat away from life’s everyday pressures. Even if Scandinavian design is not to your taste, it’s worth considering the principles behind it as a route to creating a perfectly stylish and practical home.

Written by SF

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