Swedish-Inspired Design Ideas
Getting a few Swedish-inspired design ideas is great when you want to freshen up a piece of furniture, change a color palette or rethink flooring options, but how do you completely transform a room or a whole home. I have compiled the following tips for the more ambitious – those with new homes to renovate or new builds on the horizon.
1. Elegant lines
This is the first thing to remember when trying to bring the Swedish approach to interior design to our homes.
No matter what era you want to focus on – from the more stylish Gustavian looks to modern pieces of the 20th century, they all share a common theme – clean lines and symmetry. Keep it clean.
When browsing through blogs and photos, it is easy to assume that a Swedish-style room has to be white and gray with no room for color. Personally, I feel that there is a middle ground where the right colors enhance the best of Swedish interior design.
Stick to whites and grays on the walls, floors, and upholstery, but don’t be afraid to work with brighter blues, warmer wood tones, and a few Marimekko inspired items here and there.
It is important to keep the room light and airy with plenty of natural light to bounce off the walls. This means you need to consider the light fixtures and the use of shades and chandeliers.
On a slightly related note, I also keep seeing suggestions about adding an authentic fireplace to a living room – a small heat source in the corner of the room. It may be worth considering if you are working on a new build rather than just redecoration.
The problem that I have found with the focus on clean lines, bright light and a lot of white is that it is almost too easy for the room to have a clinical look rather than an inviting one.
There has to be that balance between style and function, so try and keep a cozy feel to the room where possible.
Embracing the Scandinavian way of doing thing also throws up another obstacle for some amateur designers that have become used to a certain way of living.
It forces us to declutter and simplify the space. Personally, it was a long overdue push in the right direction, but avid collectors of figurines and other knick-knacks may struggle.
The sense of light, airy room is enhanced by the flooring choices. In fact, I strongly believe that the wrong material and the wrong color can make or break your Swedish design. Firstly, bring the light, pale tones into the flooring for a uniform effect.
This could mean a simply bleached wood floor or one that is painted in the same style. Wood is a must – perhaps faux-wood effect laminate for those on a budget – because carpets are completely out of the question.
Clearly, the materials that we choose to use in our designs are crucial, and not just when laying the new floor. Wood is the primary material that screams Swedish style and comfort, no matter what era you are trying to embrace.
This means wooden floors, wooden furniture and even wooden cladding on the walls if you want to push the boundaries further. Just make sure that it doesn’t take over and make the room too dark. As for the upholstery, look at simple linens and cotton.
To complete the look, you need to make sure that the furniture in the room meets the brief. An overly ornate mahogany table or a dark chocolate colored leather sofa are going to stick out like a sore thumb here.
I appreciate that the idea of buying a whole new furniture set may be a little daunting, and costly, so why not do what I did and look at adapting some basic pieces of furniture and upcycling them with paint effects.
9. Consider the outdoor space
Swedish interior design relies heavily on that connection between the indoors and outdoors with a clear flow – hence all that natural light.
This means creating a stylish balcony area of decking area that compliments the living space beyond.
10. Don’t forget to be eco-friendly in your choice
Whichever direction you take – whether you are a creative up-cycler looking to add a small twist to a room or someone starting out on a new home – the choice of materials, lighting, and insulation are all vital.
Why only embrace the Swedish design elements when we can bring in the wider environmentally friendly ethos of sustainable home-building.