Scandinavia is the unofficial name for the territory of northern Europe located on the Scandinavian Peninsula.It includes Sweden, Norway and Denmark. But in a broad sense, Scandinavia also means Finland, Iceland and the islands of the North Atlantic. These are northern countries, deprived of warmth and sunshine, the land of a harsh climate and harsh people.
It is no wonder that the inhabitants of these countries are trying in every possible way to make their homes warmer and more comfortable with the help of a special design. But cold winters without a warm sun are well known to Russians. Therefore, the ideas of interior decoration in the Scandinavian style are very close to us. These ideas are especially relevant for owners of small apartments. After all, knowing the features of this style, you can use the usual 40 sq. m to make a bright, cozy home where you will want to return both in hot summer and cold winter.
Features of the
The famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto once said that the task of an architect is to make life more convenient. And the Scandinavian style does the best with it.
Convenience, comfort, functionality, simplicity, beauty and special aesthetics are the words that define the essence of this interior.
Designers offer a large number of projects that, at first glance, are radically different from each other and cannot belong to the same style. But looking more closely, it becomes clear that:
- Scandinavian style is a kind of mix of minimalism and loft, Provence and ethno; the main thing is that there are many light shades;
- Scandinavians like to surround themselves with comfortable things: unlike minimalists, they use a large number of accessories and just useful drawers and cabinets;
- regardless of the size of housing, the style will be appropriate everywhere: in a small room, and in a country cottage, and all because it is simple and straightforward;
- simplicity begins with a commitment to nature: natural materials for walls, floors, ceilings and furniture are a priority;
- short daylight hours in northern latitudes are compensated by large windows with light and simple curtains that let in a lot of light;
- pastel colors in the design of rooms often become the backdrop for a bright accent that makes life brighter;
- artificial lighting - an opportunity to extend the northern daylight hours and gather the whole family at the family hearth;
- the Scandinavian style was divided into two directions: first - a tribute to tradition, combining reliability, confidence, weight, as in a Swedish or Norwegian classic house; the second is space, freedom and light, an open floor plan and the absence of heavy decor elements.
The lack of sunshine in the northern latitudes led to the fact that the main color of this style was white. There are two most popular color schemes:
- white on white;
- white on wood (natural).
In the first case, different types of textured materials help to avoid hospital sterility: a wooden floor covered with white paint (possibly with a patina), fur, wool, textiles. Bright spots of pillows, furniture, panels will make the house warm and cozy.
If, nevertheless, such sterility is not to your liking, you can use the colors of natural wood shades in the flooring.
But many modern designers hold on to the idea that white is dull and can lead to depression. therefore offer design bright, rich, capable, in their opinion, to give vitality to the inhabitants of such rooms. This especially affected children's rooms.
The majority, however, choose the middle ground: not hospital-white, but also not a color riot. Pastel colors come to the rescue again: from creamy to ivory. And here the main thing is to find a worthy combination of these colors: add warm blue to pearl white, and cold gray or ocher to ivory. In addition, Scandinavians have a lot of respect for most shades of green in design: not only paint, but textiles as well as plants.
In addition to monochromatic options, color prints from bright large colors or a repetitive medium-sized pattern are often used in the design. But geometry and abstraction are also in demand.
Recently, Falun red has become popular again. This color is widely used by modern builders and designers. For Scandinavians, the red house is a symbol of a reliable family life. The use of capes, rugs, ottomans of this deep color gives the house a sense of stability and reliability. If there is a desire to make the room even warmer and friendlier, then they use shades of yellow and orange.
A timeless classic - a combination of white and black. Black can be used both in the kitchen and in the living room. The main thing is to choose proportions for different rooms and do not forget that using black in rooms where there is little sun will make the room gloomy.
Depending on the chosen direction (classic or modern), different materials are used. But still, historically, natural materials are inherent in the Scandinavian style: wood, stone, ceramics, cotton, leather, fur, linen.
Residents of small apartments often find a substitute for natural materials in the form of imitation of wood, stone, brick. This saves space and family budget.
The best design projects showcase a variety of material combinations. This allows you to delimit the space of a small apartment without installing additional partitions. Various floor coverings allow the kitchen to be separated from the living room. Using wallpaper on a piece of a plastered wall will add coziness to the bedroom. The red brick wall will be a color accent in the white room and will remind you of the connection between Scandinavian style and loft.
When planning a renovation in an apartment, you can be sure that with a thorough study of the issue, a competent color combination, the correct selection of material, the Scandinavian style will help to decorate an apartment of any size.
The classic Scandinavian ceiling in a wooden house was left unpainted. And today such ceilings are in vogue. In apartments facing south, if desired, the ceiling is trimmed with natural or artificial slats under a light wood. For dark rooms in small apartments, you need to choose the lightest shades with a reflective effect, so that when natural or artificial light hits them, visually increase the space.
The same effect can be achieved by using a reflective stretch ceiling framed by wooden beams. This will soften the cool white color with the natural wood color.
The modern Scandinavian ceiling is plaster and whitewash. And do not add pink or beige color scheme to the whitewash. To give airiness and naturalness, sometimes a little blue or green tint is added. And no contrasting finishes using bright colors.
Scandinavian style does not imply pretentious multilevel ceilings. But if the ceilings are too high in a small apartment, then this makes it visually even smaller. In this case, it is better to make a stretch ceiling of an acceptable height or a multi-level rectangular structure.
The floor covering allows for a great deal of variety. This is especially important for studio apartments, since it helps to zone the room. Most often, wood or laminate of natural colors is used: pine, birch, beech.Scandinavians are very fond of bleached boards and not very much - wood with a reddish sheen. To keep white floors white longer, you can cover them with high pile skin or fur (including faux fur). Knitted bright rugs will look beautiful.
Tiles are often chosen for the kitchen and hallway. And if here it can be of a laconic color or contrasting black and white, then in the bathroom the floor is often covered with blue, blue tiles with a stylized Scandinavian pattern.
Particular attention should be paid to the floor in the nursery. There is no point in laying expensive parquet, because from children's pranks, he may soon swell or warp. And at the same time, the floor must be warm. Perhaps a painted wooden batten is the best option. But do not forget about thick carpets and rugs.
If you want to avoid hospital whiteness, then you can pick up beige plaster on the walls to the white ceiling. Often one of the walls is painted in a different color, combined with furniture or textiles.
The second option is light wooden vertical or horizontal panels. At the same time, a dark tree on a fragment of a wall and a similar tree on the floor can act as a contrast.
Another option is tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. Here the Scandinavians use both ordinary white tiles without frills, and with patterns, bright and textured. Unfinished red brick is a common occurrence in such apartments. This can be an external load-bearing wall or a specially made partition in a studio apartment. But more often the brick is whitewashed with acrylic paint (water emulsion).
Wallpaper is not the main element on the walls. Most often, this is a fragmentary decor that allows you to focus on a sleeping or working place. Wallpaper is very popular, created precisely in the countries of Scandinavia, because they have a typical Scandinavian pattern
Thus, when starting a renovation in the Scandinavian style, you need to remember: no pretentiousness, wallpaper borders and imperial parquet are needed. Simplicity has its own charm and harmony.
In small apartments, the issue of space is the main one. Therefore, when choosing furniture for a Scandinavian interior use the following recommendations:
- the furniture should be functional: the sofa turns into a bed, there are pull-out storage spaces under the bed, the kitchen table is sliding, the children's table is bunk (downstairs is a workplace, upstairs is a sleeping area);
- sofa and bed, table and chairs - everything should be simple, comfortable, compact and ergonomic; if possible, it is better to purchase folding chairs and a table; instead of closed wardrobes, use hanging shelves and brackets for clothes;
- baskets, chests, wicker containers are perfect for this design, they are easy to move, they can turn into modular furniture or additional chairs;
- it is worth giving preference to natural materials: wood, rattan, metal. But if a modern Scandinavian style is used, then plastic chairs and a glass tabletop are quite appropriate.
The interior of Scandinavian houses has a small number of decorative elements, but they are of great importance. It is pleasant to hug a soft pillow-dummy in a knitted cover on a cold winter evening.
Transparent glass vases will allow you to see a ray of light through the glass and play with the sunbeam. And if a vase is filled with small colored stones, beads, sawdust, then it will attract attention with its uniqueness. Generally, Hand made things are welcome in this style… It can be either a wall panel or a hand-woven rug.
To visually increase the space, not only color is often used, but also mirrors. This can be a floor mirror in the bathroom, a mirror on the facade of a wardrobe, small mirrors glued to the wall.
An apartment decorated in a style close to minimalism would look boring and uncomfortable.Decorative elements will become bright accents that can decorate the life of the owners of the house.
Having rich experience in using the Scandinavian style, interior designers offer many ideas for decorating small housing. The main ones boil down to the description of the following:
- Zoning with open shelves will help organize sleeping and working space in a 1-room apartment.
- Transforming furniture will save space not only in the room, but also in the kitchen.
- Arranging a dressing room instead of a pantry will save space in the living room.
- The balcony is a continuation of the house. In cold climates, it can be insulated and made a real winter Scandinavian corner.
- A minimum of things with great functionality will help you use space rationally, but comfortably.
A two-room apartment will allow you to give your children a separate room. It is important to remember that for organizing a nursery, additional factors need to be taken into account: safety, availability of a workplace and a place for games, psycho-emotional comfort due to the correct selection of colors and furniture. Bunk furniture will save space for entertainment. The presence of a large number of boxes and baskets inherent in the Scandinavian style is the best fit for children's toys.
Scandinavian laconic furniture will set children up for an educational mood. It is convenient and simple. And if you use Ikea plastic furniture, you can appreciate its lightness, which is important for younger students and preschoolers.
There must be a place for rest in the children's room. It can be a bed or a sofa, a large soft pouf or a fluffy rug, or it can be a hammock or a wigwam.
Three-room apartment of 75 sq. m is standard for most residents of the post-Soviet space. As a rule, the rooms in it are functionally divided into a living room, a nursery and a bedroom. And if we talked about the arrangement of the nursery above, now it is worth talking about the bedroom.
In addition to white, Scandinavians are very fond of using blue or blue in the interior. The proximity to the sea makes this color natural not only in the bathroom, but also in the bedroom. At the same time, you rarely find patterns on the marine theme. Rather stylized national ornaments are present.
For very small bedrooms, the Scandinavian style is salvation, because it is based on the ergonomics of space. The lack of stereotyped beauty and the use of functional things will save you from a shortage of square meters.
Designers offer the following solutions:
- Unusual wallpapers will help attract the attention of a capricious child and protect the wall from unwanted splashes. The kitchen draws attention to the lack of curtains and blinds. This is a frequent occurrence in the Scandinavian style, but it is unlikely to suit the inhabitants of the first floors.
- Such a kitchen is more practical: a colored apron above the work surface, a wooden floor, a dark countertop. This option is the most functional and close to our mentality.
- Trying to imagine what a Scandinavian-style hallway might look like, fears arise: white in the hallway is not rational. Here you have to turn on your imagination. At a minimum, you can use not white, but beige or light shades of natural wood.
- And this black and gray hallway will perfectly cope with its purpose: the style is sustained, the colors are well chosen, and even the obligatory horns are present.
You can find out tips for decorating an apartment in a Scandinavian style from the video below.