Tranquil, reinvigorating, airy and easy on the senses – these are the hallmarks of every Scandinavian-inspired bathroom. If this is the kind of bathroom you could be into, read on.
The words ‘minimalist’, ‘understated’, ‘neutral’ and ‘calming’ are, of course, also highly synonymous with oriental-style spa-inspired bathroom abodes, so you could justifiably be asking yourself how Scandinavian bathrooms are different.
Truth be told, the two styles complement each other. But, the more earthy you go – as opposed to neutral – the more you move towards oriental on a sliding scale of spa-like bathroom styles. While oriental bathrooms have dim or low mood lighting, the Scandinavian bathroom tries to incorporate as much light as possible, and to maximise all natural light sources.
A distinguishing feature of oriental bathrooms is the use of bamboo materials, even the outer encasing of Japanese sunken-style baths. Architecturally, Japanese bathrooms are not as open-plan as their Scandi counterparts, being divided as they do into distinct bathing, showering and dressing areas.
White, ivory, grey, beige and lightwood interiors are the colour hallmarks of a typical Scandi bathroom. This extends to bathroom linen such as towels as well – tastefully rolled up spa-style white toweling on open shelves represent the style superbly.
You could incorporate elements of natural stone, but keep the floor tiles lightwood or white, and add a natural-fibre bathroom mat.
Metallic touches in copper or rose-gold hues will add warmth, but should add an accent to, rather than dominate, a warm and neutral style scheme. The same goes for wrought iron – discreet touches in the form of bath or basin stands add a deft warm welcome without overriding the quintessential neutral elegance of this style.
If you’ve gone for that pristine, predominantly white look and you’re worried that it looks too clinical, the trick is to liven up your bathroom’s interior with green indoor plants, if you don’t have other accents. Plants have natural calming abilities and are also some of the most inexpensive, but effective, accents to add.
Indoor plants that do well in the bathroom are:
· Peace lily – keep away from window sills or direct sunlight, but don’t distress the plant in a shady nook with no light either.
· Aloe vera – anywhere will do for this hardy plant! The lovely thing about aloes is that as succulents, you can fill your pot with pebbles strewn over the surface soil, and turn it into a genuine bathroom accent feature.
· Anthurium – as long as your plant receives medium light and you keep the soil moist, you should have a thriving indoor plant with the most showstopping pink or red flowers.
· Begonia – the all-year round flowers thrive in moist, tropical-like conditions and can tolerate indirect sunlight well.
Keep it functional, with clean lines. A wastebasket covered in an ivory slip, for example, is instantly transformed into an elegantly functional piece of bathroom furniture.
Metallic, copper, wrought-iron and rose-gold accents make for stunning style statements, but use them sparingly.
There should be very few adornments that are there merely to embellish your space. Stone and earthy accents, holders or utility-enhancing fittings work well with the Scandi aesthetic, provided they don’t overwhelm the overall net neutrality that is distinctly Nordic.
· Use pendant and mood lighting, candles and mini-chandeliers in addition to any natural lighting. Ditch those fluorescent light fittings!
· If your budget allows, add flowers such as hydrangeas or orchids instead of plants. Cattleya orchids, with their beautiful cascading leaves, will do well here with a little bit of care.
· Emulate the home spa feel by adding textures such as toweling, rugs, lightwood or veneer timber – or even a completely textured vanity wall. Leave the rest of the walls simple and sleek though.
· If you’re going for a modern take on Scandi style, you can add a warm industrial touch in the form of a brick feature wall. The red and grey tones make for an alluring focal point, so there should be one only. Be sure to seal the bricks and to allow for adequate ventilation. Do not expose too much cement or you will veer from Scandinavian to industrial in essence.
· Add an indoor mini waterfall feature if your budget allows, especially if it’s encased in neutral or lightwood tones.
· Sunken bath? Yes, why not! Budget allowing, of course.
· And just how far can you take the monochromatic theme? A black bath with grey walls would work just beautifully, but be careful to keep it spatially sound, light-infused and invitingly elegant as opposed to overly modern.
Not sure how to move from a dreary bathroom to one with the relaxing Scandinavian feel you desire? Browse our curated list of local interior decorators to help you take your bathroom from Nottinghill to Norway in no time!