Between perusing every new Ikea collection with the dedication of a private investigator and pinning every calm, texture-filled home to our “dream home” Pinterest board, suffice it to say that we’re thoroughly obsessed with all things Scandinavian style. The minimal but warm, simple but sophisticated style has captured our attention (and our wallets), and there’s no turning back. And we’re not alone, either: According to a recent survey of Google search data, the favored style in 11 states is Scandinavian. The design envy is real.
But how do you actually master this trendy style? It’s a lot more than just painting your home white, adding a sheepskin throw, and calling it hygge. Capturing the aesthetic so beloved by Nordic countries is an art—which is why we turned to the experts to figure out how to mimic the look in our own homes… even if that home is a tiny third floor walk-up with nary a window in sight. Here’s what they had to say.
The Best Places to Shop
1. Huset - “Huset” quite literally means “the house” in Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian, and there’s more than enough to choose from here to decorate yours.
2. Finnish Design Shop - This online store curates pieces from over 150 design brands that fall under the “Nordic design” category.
3. Design Within Reach - The company may not be based in Scandinavia, but the timeless yet contemporary items it sells are definitely in line with the style ethos of the region.
4. Etsy - Where else are you going to find cool, vintage, one-of-a-kind Scandi designs (minus the plane ticket to actual Scandinavia)?
5. Bemz - This Scandinavian design company specializes in creating Scandinavian-approved custom covers to give your Scandinavian Ikea furniture a new look. Meta.
The Things to Avoid
“Scandinavian style is not easy,” says Torp, debunking about every myth about carefree Scandinavian decor in one sentence. “Remember it comes natural to most people living in the Nordic countries, so just because you light a candle and introduce a few wooden elements, doesn’t make it Scandi style.”
In other words, don’t feel bad if your home doesn’t look like it was transplanted out of Copenhagen on the first try. Approach decorating in shifts, building your collection with carefully curated items that’ll last. And be sure to avoid a few big no-nos:
“Avoid entire rooms decorated in a riot of bold patterns and color; instead opt for accent walls or the odd vibrant piece of furniture or accessories,” says Brantmark, who also cautions against overcrowding. Instead, she recommends “[creating] negative space by decluttering, then grouping objects—this will create a more light and airy feel.”
Also, in case it wasn’t made clear earlier, kiss your wall-to-wall carpeting goodbye. The Nordic approach values wood floors and rugs; but if you’re concerned about your home feeling bare and cold, Brantmark advises layering rugs to create more coverage.
See the Scandinavian spaces inspiring us right now:
These Are the Instagrams to Follow If You’re Obsessed With Scandinavia
8 Scandinavian Dream Homes, and What We Learned From Them
The Best Scandinavian Feeds to Follow on Pinterest
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