What is it about Scandinavian décor that makes it so effortlessly chic? Inspired by these cool countries from the far Northern hemisphere, we explore how to create the ultimate Scandinavian space – so flop onto your soft Scandi couch (if you don’t have one yet – that’s what this article’s all about!), and read on…
What is Scandi Style?
Post World War II, sweeping socio-cultural changes resulted in radical design transformations, from fashion to architecture and interior décor. One of these brave new schools of design was Scandi style, a design style characteristic of the Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Scandinavian design swept across the world in the 1950s, establishing Scandinavia as a design centre to rival the traditional style powerhouses of France and Italy. Scandi style has remained a staple of the seriously stylish ever since.
Characteristics of Scandinavian Style
Scandinavian design is summed up in one word – simple. It’s minimalist, clean and modern – form follows function for the Scandinavians, and accessories are kept to a minimum. Colours are either monochrome – stark black and white, perhaps with pops of blue – or muted, with greys and neutrals, to maximise light. Pale wood features prominently – for furniture, wall cladding, and flooring (no wall-to-wall carpets here!). Warmth is injected into a space by low lighting, with copper light fittings being the number one choice for a Scandi home. Creating a space which is not only practical, but cosy and comfortable is paramount – see hygge and lagom, below.
The Concepts of Hygge and Lagom
If you enjoy scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or clicking and flicking your way through interior style blogs or mags, this style buzzword won’t have escaped you – hygge. Pronounced ‘hoo-guh’, it’s a Danish word that sums up what Scandi style is all about. There’s no one English word that’s an adequate equivalent – perhaps it’s best summed up by English terms such as ‘cosiness’ or ‘kinship’. Hygge is this, and more – with Scandinavians describing it as the essence of the Scandinavian soul. As Visit Denmark, Denmark’s official tourism website tell us, hygge means ‘creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people’ – a way of enduring the dank and dark of a Scandinavian winter, if you will. Bring hygge to your home by:
• Installing a fireplace in your living room – and actually using it in the cold months!
• Arranging clusters of candles in different sizes and shapes – candles scented with cinnamon and vanilla add to the hygge
• Using overhead, dimmer lighting or lamps to create a warm and cosy ambiance
• Having plenty of soft, textured blankets or faux fur throws on hand – on a Scandi couch, of course!
• Throwing shaggy rugs onto floors, not only to give off a cosy vibe but to keep the cold from seeping into a room
• Decorating your living space with a few, well-chosen accessories that hold special meaning for you or your family.
Another Scandi concept trending currently is lagom. Pronounced with a hard ‘g’, this concept emphasises moderation, balance, adequacy and sufficiency – ‘not too little, and not too much, just right’, as the Swedes explain it. Frugality and sustainability are key here – the quintessential pared-down Scandi look, with eco-friendliness playing a central role.
In keeping with Scandi design principles, Scandinavian furniture emphasises high quality and expert craftsmanship – principles with which Leisure Lounge strongly identifies! A Scandi couch is the highlight of a Nordic-inspired lounge – featuring clean lines, pale wood, and neutral fabrics, our Oslo or Stockholm corner suites are just the ticket for a super Scandi space!