Scandinavian Interior Design

Scandinavian interior design has hit South Africa in a big way, and it looks like it is here to stay. Scandinavian décor is much admired around the world for its understated elegance which somehow manages to also be utilitarian and functional.  Similar to Hermanus and the Overberg region, the Scandinavian landscape is abundant with water, forests and mountains and these have a significant influence on their interior design which tends to feature natural materials and earthy tones. Scandi décor therefore works beautifully in coastal homes such as ours.


Here are my recommendations for achieving the Scandi look:


Step One: Clear, Crisp Colour

If possible, start with a blank canvas by repainting your interior for a fresh look. I would highly recommend sticking to clean whites or variations of pale shades of greys or blues for walls.  The Swedes are not keen on beige so steer well clear of yellowing tones which don’t compliment other colours anyway. Scandi colours are cool, but they warm them up with vibrant spots of colour and many tactile layers incorporated in furniture, rugs, scatter cushions, throws textiles and artwork.  Remember that simplicity is the main feature of this design style so bring in colours and textures via accessories only and stick to a muted and monochrome background colour palette.


Step Two:  Functional Flooring

Unlike their other European counterparts or indeed many South African homes, fitted carpets have never really caught on in Scandinavian countries and most homes feature simple and stylish wooden flooring in light, natural hues. There is a wide selection of hardwood, engineered wood, and sophisticated vinyl flooring options available locally which can achieve your dream Scandi look.  Add bright funky carpets or warm sheepskin and cowhide rugs.


Step Three:  Wow with Wood

Wood is a key element in this look.  It adds texture, warmth and a natural feel to your interior.  Very few homes in Sweden are without wood featuring in flooring to furniture, mantelpieces or ceiling beams.  Wooden furniture should have clean, simple and contemporary lines and be a neutral colour ~ think natural bleached wood tables.


Step Four: Fabulous Fabrics

Be bold with splashes of colour! There is an astonishing array of bright geometric, chevron, lettered and fun printed fabric on offer locally so have your cushions custom-made for a unique look.  Black and white graphic prints and quirky patterns will pop against your crisp background.


Step Five:  Eco-Lighting

Maximise your use of natural lighting and avoid overdressing your windows – simple white wooden blinds or shutters are perfect or curtains that are light, simple and elegant. Lighting designs should be functional, eco-friendly and ensure that even in winter there is a feeling of brightness in your home.  A roaring fire in winter is ideal.


Step Six – Occasional Ornamentation

Finally ~ have a good clear-out!  Minimal accessorizing is essential for a Scandinavian look so stick to pure clean lines, pare back on ornaments and knick-knacks and make sure that your space is truly liveable ~ comfort and aesthetics are key.


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