Natural Textiles and Textures
The Land of the North Brings Cozy Warmth to Winter
Nowhere else will it seem that the winters cold, long, dark season inspires such beautiful interior design as in the far north countries of Scandinavia. The lines are clean and crisp, the colors light, yet full of bright accent, and the textures are cozy and warm. Overall, it is just the note one wants to strike during the winter season in any temperate country.
Maybe that is part of the reason Scandinavian design is so popular. Or maybe it is simply the craftsman’s care and the clean smooth lines inspired by fiords and forest? There are many décor tricks to learn from Scandinavian style that can be borrowed even if not incorporating the entire design style for one’s own home.
Winter Decor Details
Whether you choose the sleek look and utilitarian purposes of dinnerware, glassware, or gadgets, or you choose a complete home décor outfitted with only items in this style, the elegance is undeniable.
Where Brights Can Shine, Neutrals Can Glow
While a modern or minimal look is the best partner for most of the goods presented by homegoods designed by Swedish, Danish, and Finnish companies, don’t overlook some of the traditional elements for a homey “Lodge” look.
These are versatile and can even be incorporated into American West decor.
Elements to Warm Your Winter Interiors
Borrow Some Scandinavian Ideas
One of the most important features is perhaps borrowed from the surrounding frozen regions, and that is the uncluttered and spare look to the inner landscape of the room. Color is kept to a minimum and in large blocks, as though a red barn stood out in a snow covered landscape.
To keep the riffraff of living spaces out of sight, there are ingenious organizing solutions. This is also a fact of life for Scandinavians who make much better use of smaller living spaces. If having no other motivation for taking a look at Scandinavian designs, give their organization ideas a chance in your room spaces. It really improves the comfort of your home.
This style may be clean-lined and minimal, but comfort always seems to reign. Ergonomically designed furniture is one feature to look for, as well as ease of use. The plushy furs or down-filled pillows, the smoothness of finely sanded wood, all sorts of considerations are included in creating the cozy and comfortable environment of a Scandinavian styled room.
A big part of the comfort relies on the logical way things are organized and everything is given a well thought out place. No junk drawers- at least, I don’t think so.
Consider the narrow shelves just for shoe drawers, the cubbyhole baskets that hold outdoor gear, the many kitchen shelves, hanging rods, drawer organizers. This is a strong feature of this winter décor for your home.
Nordic Makeover Inspiration
Organized and Tidy Spaces
When spending long hours indoors while the weather outside is frightful, it helps to have clutter kept to a minimum, and no one does that better than the ingenious Scandinavian designers.
They are known for the space saving, clutter-hiding compartments that are built into many of their furnishings.
Note the cubby hole organizing in many Scandinavian pieces. This is so easy to adopt to almost any style or room since those bookcase boxes are available almost anywhere. they come in natural wood and white, as well as many colors, depending on where you are shopping.
The cube spaces can be filled with basket to hold almost anything that would clutter the house. It is this type of simple idea that takes cubby hole bookcases out of the child’s bedroom into the living rooms… or any space where you want inexpensive, good looking, and functional organization solutions. I think Pottery Barn borrowed many of their ideas from Scandinavian decor!
Design for Comfortable Living
Make Life Easier and More Pleasant
Light colors increase a spacious feeling, but might feel cold. How do the Scandinavian designers solve that? They love the idea of “coziness” in a home and create that effect with textures of nubby wool and other textiles, shaggy rugs and throws. Bursts of color, especially red and other warm colors, the sheen of burnished wood, and candle light glow make a pleasant living space.
Scandinavian designers, especially the contemporary ones today keep the hues light and bright. The design colors seem to sparkle against the simple lines and natural wood surfaces. The whole interior is kept open and bright in feeling.
Discover Swedish Style Secrets
Pattern and Texture
Even cool colors are given an invitingly cozy aspect when they are woven into the rugs, pillows and bed coverings. Black and white which usually looks so stark is made approachable through fun pattern designs.
Streamlined Clean Lines
The lines give an uncluttered look, but it is the wood and textiles that keep it from looking cold. That is important in a winter look- no one wants to have a house full of cold unwelcome surfaces during the chill, blustery months of outdoor arctic blasts. Wood floors are a warmer surface underneath, especially when scattered rugs center the seating areas.
Winter White Lumimarja Wallpaper
White Is Color
Yes, there are lots of white elements used throughout these interiors. Try using a similar balance that creates the look with other colors, although keep an overall light palette. Light and bright feeling is so important to the Scandinavians, and they use deep colors for spare accents in many of their designs.
The use of all that monochrome background and detail tends to blend together the space into a serene backdrop. It is what gives this style its cool calm while retaining warmth through the use of the natural materials. The simplicity and light also chase away the depressing feeling of clutter or dark interiors, which is important in a cold climate where people spend a lot of time indoors.
Sleek Hardwood Floors
Natural Wood Plus Color Accents
Wood floors are a décor asset in all seasons, winter or summer. Easy to clean, comfortable underfoot, and with a great natural look.
It is the perfect foil to the bright color accents and open, often white painted rooms shat showcase the famed furniture designs.
Elegant Danish Modern
Nordic Design Is Clean and Pure
Take care of your fine woods. Here are some of the commonly used woods in Scandinavian wood furniture, each has its beauty, color, and grain.
Fine grained woods in light, natural colors are highly regarded, and help give the light, bright look that creates the look.
It brightens up winter interiors in a warm, uncluttered way.
Norwegian Wood (Swedish and Danish, too)
All That Wood
- Danish BeechHardwood that glues well, and takes an edge. Dense wood that is similar to white maple. Consistent color.
- Pine from Sweden and NorwaySlow grown Nordic pine is usually of the Pinus sylvestris species. A softwood with limited knots.
- Teak is a favored wood choice.Durable, dependable teak was used for some of the finest furniture made by Danish craftsmen. Has a bold look and is resistant to wood problems.
- Finnish BirchBaltic birch has a natural resonance which makes it desirable for music applications, but it is also a light colored, beautifully grained wood. Flexible, yet hard and durable wood.
- RosewoodBeautiful dark wood, which takes stain well and polishes to a beautiful sheen, it is increasingly rare – with the best types only available as antique furniture.
- Danish WalnutDark, dense hardwood, Danish woodworkers use both the natural and stained look. Found more often in vintage furniture.
- CherryVery popular red toned wood with a beautiful grain. Hardwood.
Wooden accessories are usually light toned woods such as birch, but many stains are utilized in Scandinavian furniture and wooden accessories. The birds (a favorite motif) are from Danish design.
A Little Humor and Fun, Scandinavian Style
These little sculptures are from Iittala. They insert some Nordic sense of fun and humor into a room designed in winter décor.
“The Iittala Group is a leading company in modern Scandinavian design. The Group has a strong position on its home markets in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark with its famous brands Arabia, Hackman, Iittala, Fiskars, BodaNova, Hoganas Keramik, Rorstrand, Raadvad and Hoyang-Polaris.”
I love adding this type of sculpture within bookcase shelves, and as delightful additions to an otherwise prosaic surface.
Strong Bold Pattern
The Art of Marimekko: Modern and Eye Catching
Comfort, a bright splash of color, are both welcome during wintry weather days, and the long nights. Marimekko is a Finnish textile design company that has its own brand of whimsy and color brights. While Swedish patterns tend to be more reserved in contrast, Finnish Marimekko makes statements with oversized flowers in tropical color, but with its own tempered design sense that keeps it winter season appropriate.
The story behind the designs:
“Marimekko was founded in 1951 by Finnish couple, Armi and Viljo Ratia. Marimekko, translated literally means “Mary-dress.” – History of Finnish Design
Decorate with Flair
Marimekko is one of the most famous of Scandinavian design names in fabrics. They were extremely popular in the sixties an seventies and their designs have not just contemporary,modern appeal, but a retro appeal as well. The big splashy designs are as at home in a living room as in a child’s room. Marimekko brings a touch of fun into the interior environment.
Use Strong Color Statements
Use color in unusual ways to brighten and warm up the indoors. Large blocks of favorite colors make a room feel inviting.
Striking Pattern, Vibrant Color
Scandinavian Home Arts
A rya is a traditional wool rug with a long pile of about 1 to 3 inches.
A substitute for this kind of rug is the Greek Flokati, which has shaggy pile.
Can’t afford one? Make your own or get a facsimile.
Fibers and Fabrics
Their products are usually made of natural fibers and materials, but faux is also incorporated into the look. Try a faux fur throw, for great texture, and easier care than the natural furs would require.
Fabrics For Winter Color Accents
Traditional fabrics such as wools for winter, but also linen, as well as furs adorn Nordic interiors and add real warmth as well as visual warmth to chill winter months. Nowhere is comfy warmth more appreciated than underfoot as one steps out of bed! A wooly sheepskin is just the right touch.
Educate your eye to appreciate the simple, yet profoundly artistic, Scandinavian style!
Rya Rug Craft
Heating a home requires energy conscious design that often reduces the amount of space to heat, but that doesn’t mean the areas must feel cramped. With good design and judicious choices, even small spaces function well.
My Children Agree on Ikea Style
This is one decorating choice that my kids and I share (they think I am hopelessly old fashioned otherwise).
We love IKEA goods and furniture. There are so many wonderful organizational solutions at reasonable cost, and the design is always pleasing. I found that there are great ideas posted online (check Pinterest) for hacking IKEA furniture pieces and creating even better functional individualized items.
Before you give up on a hard to fit decorating space, consider ingenious Scandinavian influenced solutions.
Favorite Winter Spaces
The Heart of a Home Is the Kitchen/Dining Space
Scandinavian design brings a warm homey aspect to the kitchen and dining area without sacrificing organized and efficient work space. No clutter, but lots of eye-catching design elements.
Note, in the above room, how the delicate Dill flower design on the far wall and the green cabinets create a friendly impartation of color to the room.
Homey Winter Interiors
Rooms that are full of light, making the most of short winter days, yet neat and tidy with pared down elements keep the warm feeling without getting cluttered up. That is the genius of the far northern design sense.
- Finnish Design Museum
Finnish Design Unwrapped
- The Story Of Scandinavian Design: Combining Function and Aesthetics | Smashing Magazine
For a long time, art has been heavily influenced by the social and political landscape. Searching through history, we find that while the social views of a certain period may no longer be relevant, the art and design of that time often are. Designers
I like to delve into the history, costuming, foods, and customs of places and holidays. World cultures and traditions are fascinating.