What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You About Scandinavian Interior Design

This article will help you to create a best Scandinavian home design that differentiates you from your neighbours and creates a bright yet simple comfort and feel at your home. You will learn how to design your home with Scandinavian interior design principles and how to do it with certainty.

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Scandinavian Home Design

What is Scandinavian home design?

Scandinavian home design style has become a key housing trend over the last few years as more people have become aware of the striking style it has. The rise of IKEA in the UK has given a Scandinavian twist to the interiors of the UK, and with the proliferation of TV dramas from Norway, Sweden and Finland hitting our TV screens over the last few years we have become more aware of a nation of the way that housing looks in this part of the world. 

Scandinavia has a long tradition of self-build properties so it inevitable that the style reflects that traditional crafts of the region – as well as a nod to the weather conditions in this part of the globe.

People looking tips to renovate their home or build a new house ask architects about the Scandinavian design and how to incorporate it into a UK home all the time so we have decided to give you the lowdown on what Wikipedia can’t tell you about Scandinavian home design.

Where did Scandinavian decor all start?

The Scandinavian people have lived off the land for millennia. They built homes on the land that allowed them to farm and produce traditional crafts. The homes traditionally used whatever was available in their locality. They live in a part of the world that is in darkness for long periods at a time, so the homes reflect that in the way that they make the best use of sunlight.

As an architectural movement, the designs that we see today have adapted these traditional materials and crafts and blended them into a more urban landscape at times. The result is a design that looks fresh, is aware of its surroundings and taps into the elements of the planet – earth, water, fire and air.

So what does this mean for a home?

Scandinavia isn’t densely population and the scenery is one of lakes, mountains, fjords and rugged coastlines. As the furniture in IKEA will attest, this results is fluid, flowing designs that let the functionality and materials shine through. The landscape of Scandinavia is covered with forests so the use of wood is highly prevalent. Add to this the natural stone found in the region and you can see why UK home owners are looking to Scandinavia for design inspiration in their droves.

How I can design a Scandinavian home?

Daylight is hard to come by in this part of the world for much of the year. The designs have to take this into account in Scandinavia. Large windows are prevalent as are the use of balconies and terraces. Although the weather prevents use for a large part of the year, the fact that the Scandinavian people have to spend so long indoors means they want a connection to outdoor life in the summer when it is possible. 

Most Scandinavian homes have large windows that face south to make the most of the light that is available. Interiors have to make the best use of artificial light that will be needed for most of the day. A diffuser is a regular feature of a light fitting to ensure discrete but consistent light is travels around the home. Open plan living is another way that the Scandinavian people managed to spread light throughout a home and this is an important way to bring some of this design into your UK home.

Scandinavian life has centred on the kitchen as this was traditionally the place where the fire was situated. This means that a large family kitchen with areas for cooking, dining and relaxing are commonplace in a Scandinavian-inspired home. The fire is the focal point of the whole kitchen area and was integral to their way of life.

Living so close to the Arctic Circle means that cold is a constant factor. Energy efficiency was something that Scandinavian home designers had to take incredibly seriously long before it was a design consideration in the rest of the world. Fireplaces were added in strategic places in the home to ensure that warmth was spread into the whole building. The fireplace can be an important part of UK home design and creates foal points in the home where people can gather.

Colour in the interior design is also an important consideration in connecting the inside of the home with the surrounding countryside. Organic browns, yellows and greens make a Scandinavian home more at one with their country. These same colours can help you to make that link between the interior or your home and the rest of the world outside. In the UK our climate isn’t a million miles from that of Scandinavia so we have similar experiences.

The outside space

Too many people overlook the outside space when designing a renovation or a new build property. Their buildings are often clad in timber, which gives a natural look to the home. But Scandinavian properties have several external features that are distinctive to the eye –

  • Shallow roof pitches to deal with heavy snowfall
  • Deep, heavy timber beams to cope with the extra weight from the snow
  • Deep fascia and eaves for the same reason
  • Terraces and decking areas to make the most of the outdoors when possible
  • Windows with no glazing bars to let light flood in

When you put all of these exterior design features together you will start to see a home that is typically Scandinavian in design. Although all of these features are not essential in the UK due to our lighter winters and much less chance of snowfall, they do make a distinctive home that people in the UK are falling in love with in larger numbers all the time

Incorporating certain design features from what we know about Scandinavian homes can give us a living space that is more practical in terms of our modern life. Even the mass home buildings have realised the importance of a large family kitchen over the last few years and adapted their homes accordingly. 

Whether you are looking to extend, renovate or build from scratch some of the key elements of a Scandinavian home can help you to get the best out of yours. If you have any questions about Scandinavian home design, take the first step and find a local architect near you now and learn how to design a Scandinavian home.