Scandinavian living without IKEA

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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When you think about adopting a Scandinavian design scheme in your home we bet that IKEA pops into your mind as a perfect location for sourcing some new furniture. Don't give into this urge though as the Scandinavian roots of IKEA have long been overshadowed by commercial interests and we have some great alternatives for you!

Scandinavian interior styling is fantastic because it naturally encourages simplicity so take a look at our suggestions for achieving a wonderful Scandi inspired home without ever needing to eat meatballs or assemble flatpack furniture!

General style

Scandinavian styling is simple, easy, calm and best of all, can be very easy to replicate, without ever setting foot in a certain well known furniture shop!

To recreate the feel, you need to be thinking about natural wood, boxy shapes, uncomplicated design, clever storage and white. In fact, make that a lot of white. More homely than minimal, a Scandinavian interior seeks to make good use of the space, while still promoting harmony and a bright, airy feel. To this end, plywood, white cotton, whicker and brushed metal will all be good materials to consider using.

Simple colours

Broadhinton Road: modern Kitchen by Will Eckersley
Will Eckersley

Broadhinton Road

Will Eckersley

Simple, clean colours are what a Scandinavian interior is all about and there are none so perfect as white. Don't panic that all white will make your home feel cold or impersonal, as with wood and other natural materials all playing a vital role, it will feel warm, welcoming and spacious.

Will Eckersley has captured a fantastic kitchen space here that feels strangely multi-tonal, but look a little closer and you will see that all the walls are white, as are the kitchen cabinets, yet far from feeling sterile, the space is filled with personality and nuances of light. 

Minimal flooring

If your Scandinavian interior is destined to feature minimal furniture, white walls and calm design, your flooring should be a reflection of this ethos, otherwise it could upset the entire theme. 

We love this simple wooden floor that has been painted white, to match the walls and ceiling, as it offers a budget-friendly and simple way to really bring Scandinavia into your home. Far simpler to complete than tiles and easier to maintain than expensive carpet, painted floorboards can make even floors that are past their best look amazing and cohesive to the wider theme. The contrast with the wooden table is utterly beautiful too!

Laid back furniture

We'd forgive you for assuming that this furniture, which is so deceptively simple, had been part of a flatpack kit, but in reality, its simplicity is what makes it so chic and straight out of a Scandinavian interior!

Don't mistake simple for basic and cheap, but instead, focus on the quality of materials being used. In this case, a beautiful light knotty softwood has been given centre stage and is looking stunning. The angular, almost modular feel of the table and chairs is utterly characteristic of Scandinavian styling and the matching bookcase adds a lovely and relaxed sense of cohesion that is hard to beat. Truly a dining room to covet!

Wall decoration

A Scandinavian interior will usually seek to make good use of wall art and frequently displays it in such a way as to leave no doubt in the mind of the viewer that the room is under a Scandi influence.

Here we can see interesting wall art, interspersed with slim but useful shelves and all arranged on the wall in a simultaneously random and ordered fashion. Herein lies the interesting things about wall displays that have a Scandinavian influence; while seeming to be relaxed about composition and placement, there is something intriguingly mathematical about how they look, with angles and lines working together perfectly. We love the inclusion of small white decorative items too, as if to tie the wider theme together. Lovely!

Arty accessories

No Scandinavian interior would be complete without a few well chosen accessories and two of the most common ones are pictured here. Can you guess what they are? We are talking about the large flip clock and the pine cones!

Nature has a symbiotic relationship with Scandinavian styling and the two are never far from each other, but a distinctly retro and industrial facet is also present; hence the clock. Still effortlessly chic and stylish, both of these accessories really add to the room as a whole and prevent it from feeling too plain or impersonal and the best bit of all? There's not a stick of flat-pack furniture in sight!

For more Scandinavian inspiration take a look at this Ideabook: A Touch Of Scandinavian Style.

Are you inspired to bring some Scandinavian styling into your home? Let us know in the comments, below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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