With a new Wallander due on a TV screen near you imminently, care of Kenneth Branagh and the BBC, those of us who love a good Scandinavian drama for its interiors as much as its plotlines will once again be content. If you’d like to get on with your own Nordic look in the meantime, check out our top tips on bringing Sweden to Streatham, Denmark to Derby, Norway to Nottingham… you get the idea.
1 Keep your overall palette pale to make the most of natural light. Of course, this has the added benefit of spacious-feeling rooms – something most of us will welcome. If you like a bit more than colour going on with your walls, never fear. A wallpaper such as this G45055, from the Vintage Rose collection at Galerie Wallcoverings will add interest in just the right Scandi hue.
2 Stick to pale floors, too. White-painted floorboards are a great choice, but if wood isn’t right for the room or your situation, cheat with a lookalike. Vinyls and laminates can replicate the real thing.
3 And talking of wood… Natural wood of the pale variety is essential for your Nordic-style interior. These oak trays from Skandivis will do the accessorising job a treat.
4 Ditch the knick-knacks. Scandinavian interiors should be uncluttered and airy, so choose a few decorative extras to display. If you can’t resist a little shopping, our best advice is to give your buys a turn in the room then swap them for some of your other purchases rather than showing off everything at once.
5 Scandi style isn’t without pattern, as fans of Marimekko know well, and there’s plenty of folk-style pattern on offer, too. This Iso Grey oil cloth from Nordic Elements is a great example of the look’s geometrics, and will transform your kitchen table.
6 Watch the windows. Blocking the natural light is a no-no, so treatments should be simple and allow you to maximise the daylight coming in when they’re pulled up, or aside. For a kitchen, glass shelves in front of the window rather than curtains or a blind will keep the light coming in and create a little extra storage.
7 In your rush to a pale palette, don’t forget that a colourful accent can give your scheme a lift. Blue is often used, but a bright splash looks fabulous, too. This pink fabric will complement more understated shades beautifully. From top: Pretty Maids Dusky Pink/Winter MAID49/50; Pretty Maids Sweet Pea/Winter MAID47/50; Pretty Maids Duck Egg/Pumpkin/Winter MAID8/46/50; Pretty Maids Lime/Sweet Pea/Winter MAID51/47/5, all Swedish Collection, Vanessa Arbuthnott
8 Introduce some imagery – an easy way to evoke the atmosphere. What about these Icelandic ponies with their wind-tossed manes from Cloudberry Living for your sofa cushions for a suggestion of wild, rugged landscapes.
9 Pick furniture with unfussy lines. Scandi-style pieces are functional, but elegant as well. Step away from the unnecessary ornamentation for dining tables and chairs for an authentic effect.
10 Scandinavian lighting often proves a distraction when you’re watching a drama because of its fabulousness. Make a statement with an eye-catching pendant in your own room. Designs such as this LC Shutters from Louis Poulsen are well worth the investment.
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Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor
View all posts by Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor