Get Your Zen With Scandinavian Style

Charlie Bradley Ross Thursday, 21 August 2014

Scandinavian style is fast becoming popular around the world, and it is not difficult to see why. The simplicity and elegance that permeates through Scandinavian design is centred on two beautifully simple principles: how does the object work, and how can it best fit within the space?


It's Not Just A Style

Adopting the Scandinavian trend isn't just about adopting the style, but taking on the beautiful, tranquil ethos in its entirety. The Scandinavian style demands that we clear out our spaces, rid ourselves of junk and brutal colours, and adopt a more "Feng Shui" approach to our rooms. Purely by its nature, you become clearer minded, cleaner, more tranquil and maybe more happy (?) (Although, I should also say here, be careful not to become just a little boring).

Images from my Pinterest board: Scandinavian Trend

Key Materials

The use of natural, renewable materials makes Scandinavian furniture and soft furnishings a popular choice with those more conscious of our impact on the environment (which is all of us of course). And its focus on skill and craftsmanship is a real thing of beauty. BUT we don't want to overwhelm the room with craft. No. For every hand-made item, there must be clear evidence that the object was chosen. Every single item of furniture and soft furnishing becomes relevant and noticeable - there is nothing there "just because".

Key Colours

It's colour scheme is where the Scandinavian style stands out from just being "Minimal" or "Modern". I always think of this colour scheme as "At the seaside on a stormy day": beautiful sands and creams against darker navy blues, blue-greys and silver greys. All contrasted against gorgeous driftwood browns and stark whites. Devoid of any warmer red tones, you can see why the colours can come across a tad dull - you know that I love a pop of pink, after all, but NO PINK ALLOWED.... having said that, a glowing mustard looks amaaazing with the colour scheme if you're feeling a little rebellious.

Where To Start?

The lack of complicated ornamentation allows each fabric to gently ease into the background, or stand out, depending on its usage. That sounds a bit frilly, and I loathe frilly, so here's a good example: Take the beautiful Fine Woven Natural Linen (the first of my favourite five fabrics), this could easily become a set of napkins and placemats that sit on the table - minding their own business, not yelling at anyone. OR you could use it to cover an entire sofa, and keep the rest of the room in blue greys and white, so it stands out, but not in an ostentatious, "Look at me" way, but a beautifully elegant, shy and quiet way.

What Fabrics Should I Use?

My favourite five fabrics are:

1. Fine Woven Natural Linen.

Hard-wearing and perfect for myriad uses, this gorgeous linen is a great investment. These sofas are a divine example! I love the understated elegance of them - and set against the sand tones of the carpet, exposed-wood stools, and the bare white walls and beautiful flowers - just fabulous.


2. Off-White Linen Jersey.

The glow of this off-white linen jersey is gorgeous. I also love its rough, knitted texture - and textures are key to the Scandinavian style. The understated elegance of this material makes it suitable for many uses.  Look at how even this pale sofa pops in the stark white room!  And using a knit to cover a chair is really different and ingenious - if I do say so myself.

3. Natural Draped Peace Silk.

Hand-woven from wild silk worms, the environmental and aesthetic concerns that you may have with silk are brilliantly met here.  Just a beautiful, pure textile that simply glows! Great for pillow cases and bed linen, and that understated elegance - perfect.

4. Super Fine Chiffon.

This chiffon is made without any bleaches or chemicals - it is totally pure, and so light that it almost feels as though it isn't there.  I love this example of the drapes.  It's such a chic, modern take on the four poster bed (without the expense!) and the chiffon drapes would add such a beautiful, ethereal touch to the room - I almost want to run to Homebase to pick up some railings!

5. Thick Basket Weave Banana.

If you want something truly tactile, then this thick basket weave made from banana skins is the fabric for you. It is almost impossible not to reach out and touch it.  Look at the beautiful layering of textiles with the same tones on this bed - gorgeous.


Thanks so much for reading. Hopefully this has inspired you to get decluttering, colour stripping and texture layering. These are just some beautiful examples of how you can achieve the look.

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