How to Bring Scandinavian Design into Your Home
Do you wish your living room looked less cluttered? Do you want to make a smallish space look bigger? You can do both when you bring elements of Scandinavian design into your home.
Scandinavian design means contemporary, clutter-free living. "Scandinavian design focuses on simple products that perform simple functions," says Jens Hansen, owner of Copenhagen Imports, a furniture showroom specializing in Scandinavian design with locations in Arizona and Texas. "It's not about dressing things up and using unnecessary adornments. Each and every line has a purpose." Scandinavian furniture incorporates clean, ergonomic lines and high quality natural materials, resulting in pieces that are both functional and beautiful. Here are a few ways to turn your room into a "hygge" (cozy) Scandinavian-inspired space.
1. Use natural materials.
Choose furniture made from natural, solid wood - preferably lighter, unstained wood. Pair wood furniture with wool rugs, handmade ceramics, linen and cotton fabrics, or leather. Materials with texture bring warmth to your home. The Lea Dining Table, made in Denmark, is crafted from rich oiled walnut. Its modern sculptural base contrasts nicely with the solidity of the tabletop, giving it a balanced, natural look. Made by Skovby of Denmark, Lea is conscientiously designed to represent both form and function, and the tabletop contains self-storing leaves to expand from 79'' to 118''.
2. Bring the outside in.
The Scandinavians have a passion for light because they spend so much of their year in darkness," says Hansen. Make the most of your daylight hours by opening a room to natural light. Ditch the heavy window treatments for sheer white curtains or blinds that let the sunlight in. Plants, fresh flowers, and little pebbles and stones also add a natural, comfortable fee. Candles - a Scandinavian must - give off ambient light to help you and your space feel more relaxed.
3. Clear the clutter.
If you're thinking about giving your home a Scandinavian touch, it may be its clean look that drew you in. Before you start furniture shopping, go through the rooms you'd like to redecorate or refresh. If they're packed with wall-to-wall stuff or feel cluttered, consider letting some things go. Scandinavian design emphasizes giving treasured items room to breathe, which also gives you space to move. De-cluttering your environment can reduce stress and enhance the functionality and clean feel of a space.
4. Prioritize comfort.
When selecting furniture, start with pieces that will make an impact. First up: the sofa. Choose a sofa based on comfort first, and design second. The Drake sofa and loveseat feature clean design and cushions that you can relax into. A warm grey or caramel leather can bring a sense of coziness to your space, while fabric upholstery can add a textured accent. "When you're just starting to redo a room, a sofa or sectional can make the biggest difference because it's such a focal point," says Hansen. Choose a warm, neutral hue for your sofa and liven it up with vivid pillows and a blanket. Or, go with a bright fabric or leather that brings a pop of color to your space and brings your favorite hue or feel into the room. Next, pair that with a natural wood coffee and/or end tables.
If you find that you need more seating, go for a side chair placed in a corner. On its own, it makes a simple statement. When friends some over, you have an extra place for them to sit. "A couple dining chairs or side chairs don't take up much space," says John Milk, District Manager for Copenhagen Imports' San Antonio and Austin locations. "Make sure they're of the size and scale to fit the space - no big arms."
5. Shop a little at a time.
Don't think that you have to rush out and buy everything in one weekend. Take your time to find pieces you'll love for years. "Danes have a passion for design," says Hansen. "They collect a little at a time to find furniture that appeals to them and that they're proud to own." Ready to bring a little Scandinavian style into your home? Browse Copenhagen's large selection of living room, dining, and bedroom furniture. To find furniture that combines form, function, and quality, stop by a store near you.