Edmund Bell: Nordic Simplicity
Following on from Edmund Bell’s Memphis Brights blog, the fourth trend they explore in their Global Traveller series is Nordic Simplicity.
Nordic is the trend that keeps on giving. This popular look has eternal charm because it combines simplicity with comfort so seamlessly. Light, natural elements and an abundance of neutral colours typify the Nordic look. A harmonious blend of styles from Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark capitalize that look of functionality and aesthetics.
“Scandinavian style is characterised by three key components – functionality, simplicity and beauty. Although simple in design, clean lines are often incorporated with understated elegance and warm functionality, which creates a very homely feel.” – Craig Ritche, Ikea’s Communication and Interior Design Manager.
The environment in the Nordic countries was largely responsible for the design that evolved. Winters were long meaning there was little daylight, and people often had very small houses, causing the need for bright and airy, yet cosy, homes.
The colour palette is typically very light and simple. White is often used as the main colour but doesn’t make the room look sparse because natural materials, such as wood, bring warmth and texture.
White is also a great blank slate to introduce any colour combination, from soft pastels to black accents. Cool whites work well in south-facing rooms since they receive the best of the warm, summer daylight. Warmer whites, on the other hand, work well to warm up north-facing rooms, since they receive lower levels of cooler, natural light.
Greys can also be used to create a beautiful, serene interior. When deciding on warm or cool shades of this neutral, look to the same rules for white – cool for south-facing rooms and warm for north-facing rooms. Incorporating pops of colour are a great way of brightening and lifting a room.
Classically, function was placed above over aesthetics so colour would be kept to a minimum. Over time, though, other styles have been combined with the ‘standard’ Scandi approach to create unique style and personality. Black is regularly used too, helping to anchor the room and define and highlight the features of choice. While the Scandinavians are known for their clean white interiors, dark shades are regularly introduced and balanced with light and dark accessories.
Mixing textures and materials, such as unfinished wood pieces, fur rugs, and soft linens, brings nature into the home; adding that restful vibe the decor is so famous for. Plants, for example, are a great way to integrate colour and texture and add interest without feeling cluttered.
The Scandinavians are well known for their use of wood throughout their homes, largely due to an appreciation for readily available natural materials, but also for the way in which it adds warmth to the space. Wooden flooring is a staple in Nordic interiors; the wood is often light in colour and used in all rooms.
The Nordic winters are long and dark so it’s very important to maximise the natural light and ensure a fresh crisp interior will keep the spirit up throughout this period. Typically, windows will be dressed with sheers and linen materials allowing the light to flood in as much as possible.
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