Scandinavian home interiors are known for their natural, muted tones, clean lines, and clever ways to keep clutter at a minimum. Sara Alsén, Chief Purpose Officer, Blueair shares her tips and tricks to incorporating Scandi style into your home.
Ask most experts and they’ll tell you that your home should be a safe and calming place that allows you to unwind and make the most of your personal time. In today’s busy and stressful world, it’s especially important to be able to retreat to a place that evokes serenity, clarity and happiness.
Having a home that is organised and clean has been shown to bring a number of benefits, such as greater focus and productivity, according to research from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute (2011). The research explored the impact of uncluttered and disorganised living and showed that clutter limited the brain’s ability to process information.
While a minimalist approach to both décor and lifestyle has been gaining increasing attention in recent years, it’s not a new concept. In fact, Scandinavian countries have sworn by this approach for decades.
Characterised by functionality, sustainability, neutral tones and clean lines, the Scandinavians have become renowned for their understated and simplistic approach towards design. It’s not surprising, then, that Scandinavian countries are regularly recognized as some of the happiest nations in the world within the UN-backed World Happiness Report.
Here, the experts at award-winning Swedish air purifier brand, Blueair, share their top tips to help you master the art of Scandi design in your own home:
Clear out the clutter
Decluttering your space is decluttering your mind, according to the Swedes. To curate a space where you can think more clearly and relax more deeply, pause and think about the household items you actually need or use, and let go of the ones you don’t for a fresh start.
A good rule of thumb is this: if you haven’t seen it or missed it in a while, you can live without it. Rather than going for a stark and overly minimalist look, we suggest you aim for ‘lagom’, a Swedish term that translates to “in-between” or “just right.” With an authentic Scandinavian design, you want not too much, and not too little. To find the right balance, combine statement elements with complementing pieces throughout the room to achieve an ambience that feels serene and peaceful – or, in other words, lagom.
Choose neutral colour schemes and natural materials
Colour schemes and the types of materials you use play an important role in making your home have a relaxing feel. A muted and unifying colour palette of whites, nudes, and greys is key to creating a neutral backdrop that will help you take your minimalist and calm Swedish interior design to the next level.
In addition to painting your walls, you could go a step further and paint the ceilings and floorboards with varying shades, textures, and soft hues of neutral colours for a cohesive aesthetic. Scandinavians typically pair neutral backdrops with hues of brighter colours such as stone white, fossil grey, cool grey, cream or pale blue, for example. The idea behind this is that bright surroundings result in brighter moods, and initially came to life because of the long and gloomy winters in Nordic countries that can feel heavy on the state of mind. While this might not be an issue we face here in the Middle East, the idea still applies and the use of soft & understated colours will also help make the space look more cohesive.
To add further character to the room, natural materials, such as leather, wood, and hemp accompanied with soft lamp lighting will be the cherry on top to create a Scandinavian-inspired atmosphere in your home.
Use your space wisely
Whether you live in a small apartment or have a villa with lots of room, the smart use of a space can make your life more efficient and your home more welcoming.
As a first step, examine your home to check if every inch of space is being used to its full potential. When it comes to the use of furniture in a Scandinavian design, clean lines should be evident. Tables, chairs, sofas, and décor should have a modern touch, featuring smooth and rounded edges.
There is always room to be creative and maximise space – for example, multi-levelled wall shelving storage spaces are innovative and space-savvy whilst adding visual interest to the space. Is there a blank wall in the hallway? Add hooks for bags and coats. Space above a doorway? Why not hang bookshelves. If your home is on the smaller side, get creative with dividers and opt for glass partitions instead of walls. This will visually segment the room and give the illusion of more space.
Maintain a fresh and clean ambience
Creating a tranquil home goes beyond home décor and colour schemes; while those are important factors, one of the most significant ways to help you create a fresh and serene space is clean air.
Clean indoor air is vital for good health and wellbeing, however, many people are unaware that indoor air is on average about five times more polluted than outdoor air. Investing in an air purifier with a high CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) in rooms where you spend most of your time, such as the stylish HealthProtect™ air purifier by Blueair, will ensure you are provided with 24/7 protection against dust, smoke, germs, viruses, and bacteria. Award-winning for its design and functionality, its HEPASilent Ultra™ and GermShield™ technology provides clean and healthy air for your home and family. It has also proven to be effective at removing the airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus in independent third-party tests under laboratory conditions*.
Adding plants can also help to remove toxins and connect you to nature while adding a stark contrast and pop of colour to the neutral aesthetic of the room. Invest in green plants – according to the NASA Clean Air Study, English ivy and Peace lily best eliminate indoor air pollutants.
Finally, opt for organic, natural fabrics and textiles in your home furnishings and avoid synthetic fabrics, as they release plastic fibres which can be inhaled.
There are so many ways in which you can incorporate a simplistic, Scandinavian design in the home, all with a host of benefits. Creating minimalist home decor needn’t be a chore, and with small and quick changes, it is easily implemented in order to create the best space for you and your family. Choose what works for your home and budget and you will soon be enjoying the benefits of Scandinavian interior design.