Our life is a permanent fight against stress. We may like it or not, but stress accompanies all our activities and penetrates all spheres of our life. It may be not bad – eventually, stress is one of adaptation mechanisms and helps us to survive in changeable and not always friendly world. We have to learn how to live with stress, but stress must know its place and not intrude in home space of peace, love and comfort. How can we achieve this?
Fortunately, we can ask Scandinavian people for advice. These strong and independent people are used to severe climate and can only dream about the sunlight and warm weather available to those, who live in Mediterranean region. It is not enough to have true grit and strength of mind to keep the joy of life, calmness and optimism. Therefore Scandinavians created the unique life style which is reflected in design of interiors of their homes. Born to to make soul happy even in surrounding of severe nature, this style expanded far outside Scandinavian countries and started its triumphal march around the world. Now we have access to hundreds of sites and blogs devoted to Scandinavian interior theme and to ideas of “hygge” – the manifest of Scandinavian lifestyle, which is so attractive for exhausted from stress modern people. The essence of “hygge” concept is in creation of comfortable and friendly atmosphere, which favors well-being and happiness. To study, develop and share hygge practices the Happiness Research Institute was founded in Denmark. Its CEO Meik Wiking is always ready to explain hygge principles. Here are some of them:
• To make home and office cozy and comfortable
• To meet with friends and family members at home
• Eat with pleasure and enjoy cooking, to enjoy preparing of food
• To practice active way of life
• To wear simple and comfortable clothes
• To enjoy simple things
• To have hobby and creative activities bringing pleasure
• To have sense of proportions in all enjoyments
Sounds simple and easy to follow! These principles may be a reason that Scandinavian people are always at the top of life satisfaction ratings. Would you like to join the community of happy people? Let’s begin with Scandinavian interior!
How old is this style? Where it was founded? Scandinavian style of interior design formed in the end of XIX – beginning of XX century in such lands, as Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland. Those days these countries experienced a cultural bloom, but were not spoiled with excessive richness of colonial states, such as Great Britain, France, Belgium. Scandinavians are not pampered by nature – climate severity and lack of natural resources brought up rugged people who are ready to be satisfied with a little, but not ready to renounce their life space. At the beginning of XX century Scandinavians didn’t like to vaunt with their prosperity. They don’t like it nowadays as well. Therefore, minimalism is the basis of Scandinavian style. It is simple and democratic, but pairs well with light touches of Baroques or classic style which look especially glamorous in this combination.
Lightness and naturalness are the basic principles of Scandinavian style. It requires light tones of ceiling, walls and floor with bright color accents, application of natural materials (first of all, wood), plenty of light, not numerous, but showy accessories.
Range of colors includes traditional milk-white tones, tints of ivory, creamy, grey-blue and pastel palette (tender-salmon, light wood). In more recent time Scandinavians began to appreciate the tints of green and dark blue tones – turquoise, dark blue-green, mint, mustard. Large pieces of furniture (sofa, table, stand) may be used as color accents in ochre, orange, brick-red or even claret color. Bright color is so effective in creation of positive mood!
Ceilings and floors – of light shades (very often – white). Floor should be wooden (pine-tree, fir-tree, ash-tree), parquet or laminate (of course, light colors only). A glossy white floor-board can be covered with transparent varnish. Contrast of colors of floor, ceiling and walls is not accepted! Synthetic carpet flooring and linoleum are also not welcomed.
Walls should be light, plastered and painted or covered with walllpapers of pastel tints, especially good for bedroom and child room. Decorative wooden wall panels are often used. They must be the same color, like floor. Stone finishing is also appropriate.
Doors usually are wooden, of the same color, like walls, with laconic, but showy accessories.
Windows are large, allowing much light. Of course, frames should be of light colors. Scandinavians like frameless windows (glazing area is as big as possible). Light and transparent window shades or curtains are welcomed, as well as liftable louvre-boards and roller blinds. And no heavy draperies at all!
Scandinavian interior demands plenty of illuminating devices. The list should include not only laconic ceiling lamps and chandeliers, but various wall and floor-lamps to be placed in all zones of rest, sleeping, cooking and eating. Spheres and cones are the favorite materials for Scandinavians while matted meatal and glass are favorite materials.
Furniture is made of wood with light tones. It should look simply, but be stylish, comfortable and cozy. Scandinavian people prefer the upholstered furniture, finished with textile, fabric, shammy and sometimes leather. The bright colors of upholstery is often used for creation of color accents in a light interior. Cane chairs and boxes are welcomed. Open shelves or racks are appreciated in this style and serve as home for books, glassware or accessories. Things, which are not intended for extraneous eyes are stored in twiggen boxes, dressers or cabinets.
List of materials for finishing and décor include wood of light tones, natural stone, fabric, metal (chrome or matted aluminum), decorative plaster, wallpapers, glass (transparent or frosted), glazed tile for bathrooms and kitchen (solid, white, light blue or pastel tones), light curtains.
Accessories should symbolize simplicity and closeness to nature. Marine motifs are common (pebbles, seashells, marine clock, rope knots, wood, whitened by sea, marine accessories in the framework). Retro- and etno-accessories (wares of folk creation, small baskets from a vine, straw wickerwork, knitted dolls) are appropriate, as well as ceramics (clay, porcelain), glass vases with dry branches or flowers, wattled baskets, family photos, pictures with fantasy or landscape themes (sea-pieces, Scandinavian landscape). Plaids, pillows, patchwork blankets and carpets are welcomed. Phytodesign should be moderate.
So, let’s sum up. Scandinavian style is remarkable for its simplicity, minimalism and functionality, which create space of comfort and coziness. It suits well for big house and small apartments. This style incarnates the basic features of Scandinavian character, such as strength of mind, love to nature, restraint, thrift, affection to home. It does not suppress with demonstration of wealth and luxury. Moreover, it looks like kind of «out-of-time» style, so you may not be afraid to be out of fashion.
In spite of loyalty to traditions, Scandinavian interior looks up-to-date and combines well with various techno-accessories – acoustics and stereos, TV-panels, home appliances. It can be named masculine, but woman in such interior will feel herself comfortable, too. Comfort, coziness and feeling of safety – who will give up on these eternal values? Are you going to start repair in Scandinavian style now?