The Nordic approach to interior design (often known as Scandinavian) has remained one of the most popular interior design trends since the 50s – and it’s not hard to see why.
It’s a style which celebrates simplicity, creating functional, intriguing and inviting spaces. Nordic design accentuates the interplay between complementary colors, shapes, textures and patterns. It focuses on subtleties and neutral color schemes to create spaces that are light and airy yet cozy and comfortable.
The Nordic look can be achieved on a tight budget with a little bit of creativity – the right decorative throw, artwork, armchair or selection of cushions can go a long way. Here are our top tips to incorporate the Nordic look in your home today:
Clear the clutter
Less is more when it comes to designing a Nordic space. Characterized by striking minimalism, Nordic spaces are easy to navigate, easy to live in and certainly easy on the eyes.
Before you invest in a range of new Nordic décor, take stock of everything on display in your home and stash away that which doesn’t serve a purpose in your everyday life. Check out this excellent example of Nordic minimalism:
Find fashion in functionality
The Nordic style is about enhancing functionality to make life organised and convenient. This approach thinks outside the box in terms of functionality, inventing new ways to store things and optimize living areas. Whether it’s unconventional storage spots or multi-purpose furniture, a Nordic living area is full of pleasant surprises. A simple and affordable example is this stool slash magazine storage unit:
Nordic decor reimagines household items that typically exist more for functionality. Storage units like shelves or racks aren’t usually a focal point in the room. The Nordic style however, positions them as interesting and attention grabbing. The rack below is the perfect example, with an interesting mix of bold straight lines and a soft edge.
Work in color families
Nordic styles start with neutral color tones and introduce a few complementary colors within the same color family as an extra layer. Generally, white, grey and timber colors serve as a good canvas. Light wooden flooring and even floorboards painted white nicely reflect the Nordic look, and pale colors like blush pinks and pastel blues add an interesting splash of color.
A light blue rug, like the one below, is a great way to introduce some color. This could then be complemented with a light grey couch. As another example, a worn brown leather chair would look fantastic with a sheepskin throw draped over it.
Make a framed print collage
Another easy way to add the Nordic character to your space is to group together a collection of framed prints of the same color family into a collage. Black and white framed prints also work particularly well in enhancing an artistic look. A few old and abandoned wooden frames from an op-shop look surprisingly charming when creatively mixed together into a collage. Be sure to include a mix of square and rectangular shaped frames.
Keep it natural
Nordic style focuses on stripped back natural elements. Whether it’s wooden floorboards, exposed wooden slats in the ceiling or wooden chairs, making effective use of timber is a great way to achieve the Nordic look.
Another interesting tip to enhance the ‘back to basics’ look is to create a designated tech-free space in your home. In the age of interconnectedness and information overload, this will not only create a calming and welcoming space but reduce stress levels and improve sleep. The bedroom is the obvious choice to keep things tech-free.
Invest in a handmade rug
Scandinavia has a long history of traditional rug-making. Handmade Nordic rugs are popular across the globe for their beauty and lasting quality. A good quality rug is at the center of every tastefully designed Nordic interior, setting the scene for sophisticated décor. Through pastel colors and soft textured wool, these rugs complement the elegance of Nordic furniture. To browse a collection of beautiful handmade Nordic rugs, check out the collection by Hali here.