3 Scandinavian Style Tips to Brighten up your Home this Winter

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Winter brings dark days and snowy skies, but don’t let that get you down, especially when it comes to your interior design.
Interior Design Ideas for Scandinavian Interiors from Carlisle Wide Plank Floors
Top Left: Flooring — Wide Plank Oak Wood Flooring, Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Top Right: Kitchen Cabinetry. Bottom Left: 2008 Ultimate Bachelor Pad, Esquire Magazine Bookcase. Bottom Right: Tradition Fireplace — Corynne Pless Photographers.

Today, we are going to explore the interior design trends from a culture that thrives no matter what the season — the Scandinavian region of Northern Europe. When three of the countries which make up this region, show up in the top 5 on the World Happiness Report, you know they are doing something right. And one’s home is the best place to start a happy life!

Tip 1: Lighten Up Your Interior

The Scandinavian region of Europe is known for its dark winters, in some areas, like Sweden, you might only get 3 hours of sunlight a day. So to offset this, you can make changes to your interior to keep it as bright as possible.

  • Go white. Incorporating white into your interior décor is the single best way to keep your interior light. You can do so with your cabinetry and built-in furniture, your wood flooring, fireplace, and your décor. Although some white furniture might be a bit had to care for, especially if you have children or pets. So opt for light, earth tones for your sofa armchair and other seating units, then and accent the room with white everywhere else.
  • Lighting Styles from Formex 2014 on Carlisle Wide Plank Floors BlogRemove obstructions. This includes window coverings on the inside of the home and obstructions from outside the home that might hinder sunlight getting in.
  • Don’t be afraid to shine. The Scandinavian style is normally about low sheen, but if you want to brighten up your room you can go with a semi-gloss or satin for your walls, versus a matte or extra matte. That way when the light does hit it has more reflection to spread across the room.
  • Less wall and more window. You probably can’t (and don’t want to) install more windows in the middle of winter, so this tip might be for those of you who are remodeling or building new. Incorporate more windows and fewer walls, to let in the light when it is available.
  • Incorporate the right lighting. Just so happens that we have an inside scoop from The Local, Swedish News source recently visited Formex 2014, the iconic Nordic interior design event of 2014. And came back with some fashionable interior lighting styles. Noting that “industrial and rural chic designs” are popular again in 2014.

Tip 2: Use More Natural Wood

Left: Cross Extending Table from Matthew Hilton and Case Furniture. Right: Modern Living Room by Austin Architects & Designers Webber + Studio, Architects.

Natural wood is a staple in Scandinavian style. You will find it in the form of natural oak wood flooring, or wood beams in your ceilings. You can also use natural wood doors, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, wall paneling and, of course, furniture.

Left: Normann Copenhagen Solid Table. Right: Tradition, Copenhagen, Fly Sofa.

Tip 3: Less Clutter

When your inside time is extended over the winter months, the best way to create a relaxing interior is with clean spaces. Whether it is your kitchen, bath, bedroom, or entry, you can find ways to de-clutter.

Right: Clean Kitchens and Wood Flooring for Scandinavian Style on Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. Left: Kitchen Designs from Superior Woodcraft on Carlisle Wide Plank Floors.

EasyCloset has ideas for your entryway. Essentially, have a specific unit or cubby for each family member with extendable, stackable, and covered storage. This way Dad always knows where to put his keys, children know where to store their winter gloves, and backpacks are hung up, never strewn across a floor. Remember to plan for guests with a closet to store jackets and shoes.

Opt for built-in furniture for your cabinetry, islands, and other accent pieces. Full wood doors, versus those with a glass inset, will look more organized because you can’t see what is going on behind them. The proper kitchen design, like this one from Superior Woodcraft, will effectively organize your space for the best function and style, and keep everything from the forks to the water cooler, out of site, but organized and accessible.

Left: Ikea Malm Storage Bed. Right: Lodus Sofa & Couch from Mobilia Lodus Sofa & Couch.
What do you love about Scandinavian Design? Share your thoughts and product recommendations!
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