5 Tips to Creating a Scandi Style home

By Zephyr and Stone

Scandinavian design has gained popularity in Australia in recent years, and we believe its here to stay.

Renowned for their simplicity, clean lines and soft tones, Scandi homes show us that less really can be more. Their pure, pared back aesthetic creates a sense of calm and order and promotes a feeling of wellbeing, whilst the Nordic preference for open plan living spaces centred around family friendly kitchens, makes them the perfect fit for the Australian way of life.

Want to recreate or incorporate the Scandi Style in your own home? Here are our top 5 tips.

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1. Blonde timber floors

Scandinavians embrace natural elements in their homes, and this is evident in their preference for hardwood floors. Timber floors are either whitewashed or constructed of pale timbers to reflect light, which helps during the long, dark Winter months. Pale timber floors are often found in every room of Nordic homes, apart from the bathroom. Yes, even the bedrooms and kitchen floors are timber!

Want to recreate this look in your home, but not sure where to start, and how far to take it? Existing hardwood flooring can be sanded back and whitewashed using a product like the ‘Palm Beach White’ stain from Porters Paints.

Engineered timber floors are a great solution if your existing flooring is not timber. In our Scandi townhouse, we opted for Plantino Engineered Oak Elemental in the colour Lyon, from Choices Flooring. This flooring gives you the pale whitewashed look that is the basis of most Scandi homes.

Worried about timber floors feeling cold or stark? Add large textured rugs to instantly add warmth and softness to your home.

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2. Colour

Scandi homes are a lesson in neutrals. Walls are generally kept white or pale grey to allow furniture and art to take centre stage. Light walls also brighten up the space, which helps contribute to the bight and airy feel in Scandi homes.

So what colours are classified as neutrals? Try sticking largely to whites, greys, blacks and browns, and if introducing colour, consider doing this with furnishings or accessories and stick to colours associated with nature. Colour can also be introduced through natural timbers, used in furniture and accessories.

High contrasts are also a hallmark of Scandinavian design. This can be achieved by incorporating pops of black or darker hues. This helps to create a dramatic statement and prevent the largely muted palette to appear too washed out. In our Scandi townhouse, we achieved this contrast with black tapware, window frames and lighting as well as selected furnishings.

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3. Materials

Scandinavians value the importance of nature, and incorporate natural materials throughout their homes. Materials such as rich leathers, woven textiles and natural fibres are vital to recreate this look.

Scandi style is all about layers, so incorporate as many natural finishes as you like. Timber is utilised not only for flooring but also decoratively, for furniture and as cladding on walls or ceilings. This adds warmth, texture and creates definition, all important elements to add to the largely white and muted Scandi palette.

In our Scandi townhouse, we incorporated timber feature cladding to the dining room and master bedroom wall. We did this using Glosswood Raw Paulownia Designer Lining. This product adds much needed texture and creates beautiful clean lines, a concept that is celebrated in Scandi interiors. A timber batten feature on the staircase completes the design.

Functionality is of upmost importance to Scandinavians, and their homes are a testament to this, built using honest materials and featuring quality craftsmanship. Their preference for minimal ornamentation means their designs have to be innovative and include clever storage for hiding clutter.

Integrated, simple joinery is ever-present and cabinetry is often free of handles or unnecessary decoration. Practical storage solutions are incorporated into every room, creating spaces that look clean and visually relaxing.

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4. Minimal furnishings and accessories

When it comes to furnishing your Scandi home, strip things back and keep it simple. Scandinavian homeowners give careful consideration to a handful of valued and well made items, which contributes to the airy and uncluttered feel in their homes. All decorative items should have a practical or aesthetic purpose and work in harmony with the rest of the space.

Scandinavian design celebrates clean lines, from the Architecture, right down to the furniture and accessories. Statement piece of furniture are celebrated and it is not unusual for Scandinavians to spend a months salary on a treasured chair or sofa, that takes centre stage in their pared back home.

So when selecting furniture look for well made pieces and choose quality over quantity. When your key pieces are in place, start incorporating textiles such as sheepskins, rugs and throws. These materials add layers of texture and a feeling of warmth, both important considerations in a minimal home.

Scandinavian decor is all about natural simplicity. Smooth rounded edges and clean lines feature heavily in Scandi decor, just as in the homes themselves. So scale back on accessories and ensure any decor is intentional. This will limit unnecessary clutter and help create the light and minimal style often found in Scandi homes.

Scandinavians believe it is important to include living elements in the home, and usually incorporate either foliage or plants in most rooms. Fresh flowers also feature regularly and are not considered a luxury, but a necessity.

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5. Light

The use of light is an important consideration in Scandi homes. Scandinavian’s design their homes to let in as much natural light as possible, and generally leave their windows bare of window coverings or opt for light fabrics such as sheer curtains. This allows natural light to fill their homes, which is a priority for Scandinavians during the long, dark Winter months.

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Scandinavian homes often incorporate several types of lighting to create mood and provide adequate illumination. This layered lighting scheme is preferable to a single source of light - think wall lights and pendants, as well as downlights. Floor and table lamps should also be incorporated to provide ambience and task lighting. Candle light is also considered a must, for adding a sense of warmth and a soft glow to a space.

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Watch our “5 Tips to Creating a Scandi Style home” Real Estate Lifestyle video here, for a tour of our Scandi townhouse.

Zephyr and Stone