finnish-design-shop-1aWhen it comes to great interiors and top notch design, there’s a thing or two we could all learn from the Nordic countries. A love of design is part and parcel with the cultures of countries such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, where good design is everyday, practical and accessible by everybody, rather than being reserved for an elitist few. In tune with this, a Scandi set-up in your home is affordable on virtually any budget. Simple, clean and cheerful are the hallmarks of Scandinavian interiors and the following tips will surely brighten up any living space.finnish-design-shopNeutrals

Far from boring, Scandinavian interiors use a pared back palette of neutral colours such as whites, greys and beige to create a calm and serene space, and can often be refreshingly minimalistic. A blank backdrop can be used to accentuate other pieces in your home such as furniture and artwork to their best advantage.finnish-design-shop-pastelLight coloured wood

To get an authentic look, choose light coloured wood floorboards. These help to brighten up the long dark winters common to this part of the world and create a fresh and airy feel while rustic wood furniture painted white is also very typical.finnish-design-shop-woodBold and bright patterns

The other, wilder side of Scandinavian design is vibrant and colourful patterns, exemplified by the iconic Finnish design house Marimekko. These patterns are often of botanical or animal themes and graphic or high contrast in style and are very popular. Add some of cheerful pattern to your home in the form of some fun throw cushions or wallpaper. If you aren’t feeling quite so bold, opt for more naive traditional fabrics such as gingham, which is very authentically Scandi.marimekkomarimekko1Love of nature

An appreciation and close connection with nature underpins this style and design philosophy as well as the lifestyles of Nordic folk. Regular interaction with nature is shown to increase physical and mental health and wellbeing. Bring your home to life by bringing the outdoors inside in the form of greenery or even dried branches or wreaths. Images of nature framed in rustic wood frames can also add to the effect.

Let the light in

Help beat the winter blues by getting rid of heavy curtains and opting for lighter, more minimal or sheer fabrics around windows. Place mirrors opposite to them to bounce the light around and keep ornaments off windowsills. Instead of one overhead light source in a room opt for several smaller lamps and use candles in the evening to add cosiness and warmth.

Streamlined storage

Scandinavian design has little patience for clutter, so clean up your act and clean up the lines by getting rid of the unnecessary collected stuff in your home that only collects dust and takes up space. You will feel much better.

Items that last a lifetime

Many Nordic people like to purchase pieces such as furniture based on their craftsmanship and longevity. As more people are warming up to sustainable design and consumption, Scandinavians can help show us the way. They practice what they preach and are quite advanced in the world of eco-friendly design, using natural materials and designing things to last.

By Fiona Feeney ©FM

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