Sometimes, when confronted with a completely blank sheet, it can feel completely overwhelming to decorate a home. Where to begin? How do you make sure it creates that ideal Scandinavian balance where form meets function? And what about the final touches? This serene Swedish home follows some simple rules which makes decorating feel completely effortless – and many of the ideas are incredibly budget friendly to boot. Here are 12 simple style suggestions to learn:
1. Keep to a simple colour palette: if you’re getting bogged down with colour, why not start with a simple palette. In this home a serene green-grey colour has been used on the walls to add interest and calm, while still keeping the look light. To find the right tone, seek out an excellent paint shop in your area, where experts will help you top find samples to obtain the feel you’re looking for. make sure you test it on every wall and observe it in different light – morning, afternoon, evening etc to check it works in the space you have.
2. Storage is key: some homes are blessed with plenty of built-in storage, while in others you need to work that much harder to add your own. IKEA Ivar units (see above) are ideal for hiding more functional items for a calm look. Also, I love how you can paint them whichever colour you like – or add a subtle whitewash so that the wood grain still shows through.
3. A wood floor: most Scandinavians have a wood floor in their home – at least in the main living spaces (although they might prefer tiles in the hallway, bathroom, kitchen etc). I know that some of my UK based friends panic about having wood floors as it can be be nicked or pocked. The key? Try to have the mindset that wood gets better with age and any imperfections simply add to the warmth of your home! The beauty of wood is that the grain adds instant interest and texture to a space. If you’re not sure about the colour of an existing wood floor, a good quality one can be lightened, darkened or painted over completely.
4. Hooks are your friend: simple hooks can be placed everywhere – on the wall, backs doors, on the side of units – and they are ideal for adhoc items that you use frequently. Not only that, but they also help to add a relaxed feel to a space.
5. Mix and match: try placing a mixed bunch of chairs around a table – and don’t be afraid to combine pieces in different styles and from different eras. It will help add a relaxed, more personal touch.
6. Add plenty of plants: brining in greenery is a great way to draw nature indoors and instantly lifts a space. Here, a plant fills what would have otherwise been an empty corner / wall space and adds height to the room.
7. Install a lot of lamps: light plays a central role in the Scandinavian home. This is why you’ll often see sheer curtains rather than solid ones! After dark, multiple forms of lighting help to create a warm, yet functional space. Mix it up and add wall lamps, floor lamps, table lamps and overhead lighting to ensure a lovely vibe at night. When chosen well, lighting can also add a decorative touch by day too!
8. Curated displays: Think about created small, curated displays of items you love on top of side tables, shelves and other surfaces. By playing around with what you have and constantly changing it up, you’ll appreciate what you have more and less likely feel the need to invest in something new.
9. Seamless shelving: whether you choose to load your shelves with books or use them for a more curated display of the items you love and want to look at – wall mounted or floor shelves painted the same colour as the walls help to create a seamless, serene look.
10. Mix and match textures: if you decide to go for a simple palette in your home, make sure you add plenty of different rich textures to add visual interest. Think natural materials such as clay, wood, linen, rattan etc.
11. Invest in long-lasting design: the beauty of Scandinavian design is that it’s simple and timeless, which means you will never tire of it. Plus, if it’s extremely well made, it will also a lifetime and more too. The wishbone chair (see above) for example, can be refurbished as time goes on so you can enjoy it for years to come.
12. Round it up: in smaller rooms, rounded furniture is best as it is more space efficient. It also helps to add a soft touch to a ‘boxy’ shaped room.
I hope these tips have helped a little if you’re in a decorating conundrum and don’t know where to start!
Right now, I’m looking to give the walls in our home a fresh update. Getting the tone right can do wonders towards setting exactly the right feel. I’ll keep you posted on what I decide! Perhaps you have some colour suggestions which you found to be spot on? If so, please do let us know in the comment below.
Looking for more inspiration today? Here are some drool-worthy Scandi home tours to kick off the week in the right way:
A rundown house becomes a dream family home
A charming swedish home full of pattern and plants
The lovely home of Johanna Bradford
Colour tips from the home of a Danish interior stylist
A rare peek behind the facade of colourful Nyhavn in Copenhagen
Have a great start to the week!
Photography courtesy of Stadshem, with thanks