What Makes Scandinavian Interiors So Popular?

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The clean and minimalist look, combined with light earthy tones, provides for a very uncluttered and calming mood to the home

It’s perhaps no surprise that one of the most common interior design styles here in Singapore are Scandinavian-inspired themes.

When you’re describing what exactly is a Scandinavian style, you’ll probably use descriptors such as clean, light, simple, uncluttered, airy or sleek; these are the tenets iconic to the style, which makes it popular because of how it creates a welcoming,  and yet modern look for the home. The style is also known for its “less is more” approach, and so having uncluttered space around the house certainly lifts the mood and clears the mind…exactly what people would want to come home to after a long day at work!

Join us as we bring you through some of our favourite Scandinavian interior looks to examine what makes the Scandinavian design theme so appealing, and perhaps some inspiration for your home too!

1. Clean edges with a pop of colour

The first home on our list is a XX-room HDB located at xx. When you first enter, you will immediately recognise the iconic white and muted colour palette combination that truly defines the minimalist Scandinavian look. Having the walls in white – as compared to darker colours like grey or brown – helps to elevate the home and create the perception of having more space than what is really the case, which can be beneficial for smaller homes.

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You’ll also notice that there are many clean lines and edges throughout the home, such as along the corners of the walls and on the choice of furnishings and accessories (e.g. cabinets, tables). This is also iconic of the Scandinavian design style, focusing on simple lines and light spaces to highlight the beauty of the very basic form of things.

Of course, this does not mean that your home has to be devoid of colour and life, in an empty sea of white and light grey. The trick is to be careful in choosing what to add to your various living spaces. Ideally, you would want to choose items that would complement the overall theme, and so go for earthy tones like brown and olive. To add a pop of colour, one great addition are plants, which you can place either as a coffee table piece or as a larger ornament, as seen above. That being said, don’t go too overboard with the accessories and other furnishings – remember the idea is to keep things uncluttered!

2. Minimise moving parts

Another way that you can incorporate elements of the Scandinavian look in your home would be to minimise the number of moving parts, when it comes to furniture. 

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For instance, instead of having a standalone study table, you can instead opt for a table that is integrated with the wall, as seen above. Of course one big trade off of doing so is that you won’t be able to change the layout of the room so easily, since the table is essentially “fixed” to the wall. However, in terms of aesthetics, having a singular piece as part of the wall does contribute to the overall uncluttered and minimalist look of the theme.

In addition, you would want to cater to storage solutions that you can use to keep your belongings out of sight. Remember, the idea is to keep the space as uncluttered as possible! Look for opportunities to incorporate cupboards (both big and small) and shelves to keep things organised.

3. Introduce textured surfaces for a bit of vibrancy

While some people like a Scandinavian-themed home, they may not necessarily be big fans of having an endless space of white, or other monochrome colours.

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To break up the monotony, you can consider introducing textured surfaces to the walls of your home. For instance, you can have a bricked wall as a texture (see above) or cement screed surfaces like what you might find on the floor of industrial designs. Do bear in mind not to go overboard with this, because if you introduce too many textures, it may come across as being too “busy” and disrupt the overall clean and minimalist look.

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If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can of course introduce brighter/bolder colours, rather than adhere to the recommended earthy and muted tones. For this xx- room HDB flat in xx, the owners decided to go for bolder colours such as pink and turquoise through items like an art piece and a carpet. Once again, it’s all about carefully choosing colours that can contrast nicely but not appear too jarring. When in doubt, pastel colours usually work fine.

4. Try something other than white.

If white comes across as being too ethereal, why not pick another main colour such as a light shade of brown?

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Yes yes, you might think this to be blasphemous to the Scandinavian design. Even though having a minimalist white look is something purists will go for, there is no stopping you from deviating slightly, whilst still retaining the spirit of the design style. 

Sometimes having an all-white home can come across as being a bit cold and void. To introduce more warmth into the house, instead opt for wooden tones and warm lighting whilst still retaining aspects like clean edges. By doing so, you will create a more welcoming vibe to your home whilst still ensuring that it is uncluttered to give off a calming feel to the place. Interested in more design ideas, check out some of our other interior design reviews here:

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