A blend of styles from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, the Scandinavian interior design results in spaces filled with light, heavily utilising natural elements, neutral colour palettes, and clean lines.
Scandinavian interiors are a balance of functionality and aesthetics. As Craig Ritche, Ikea’s Communication and Interior Design Manager, puts it, “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.”
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.
In 1947, a popular design exhibition in Milan, Italy, called the Triennale di Milano, showcased Scandinavian furniture and home accessories from the Nordic countries – and they were very well received. Based on this popularity, the Design in Scandinavia show travelled across the U.S. and Canada from 1954 to 1957 [Impressive Interior Design].
The 1990’s saw a huge rise in popularity of Scandinavian design, when designers began creating bold, unique statement pieces as individual units of design. And now? “Scandinavian design has been on the radar in the UK for a while,” says Christina Schmidt, co-founder of Skandium, “at first, among an initiated crowd of architects, designers and aficionados, but increasingly with the wider public, too.”
Homes in the UK have been influenced by architecture and interiors of other countries for a long time now, but a style that has increased in popularity more recently is one we’ve pinched from our Scandinavian friends. It seems the principles of functional and simple, yet beautiful and elegant, sits quite well with us British folk.