To understand Scandinavian interior design, one needs to understand the context in which it evolved. Scandinavian countries lie in the northernmost reaches which means they often face up to six months of days with more darkness than sunshine. These cultures also developed a high level of craftsmanship and creating items with the materials at hand, thanks to the often secluded nature of quotidian life. Common materials include ash, beech and pine, local stone, locally woven natural textiles such as wool, and leather and fleece from local farms. Once we have this context we can begin to see the logic and functionality behind the design concept.
What Scandi-style looks like
When sunshine is limited, large windows and open spaces help to take advantage of the shortened daylight. Light interiors, often with a white backdrop, and pale natural colours such as soft greys, creams and browns help to reflect what light there is. Warm, natural materials are used, to help to make rooms feel cosy throughout cold winters, with woollen rugs, timber floors and felt and fleece throws and cushions. Finally, practicality reigns, with a minimal approach to furnishing, and a distinct lack of clutter. Handcrafts and house-plants provide any adornment, to add elements of freshness and colour.
Including Scandinavian design elements into your Singapore home
While Scandinavian home interior design makes sense in countries like Norway and Sweden, it also easily translates comfortably into homes in countries such as Singapore, with warmer climates. Thanks predominantly to the addition of A/C to our homes, Scandinavian interior design in Singapore is quickly catching on. By following a few simple guidelines it is possible to transform your home from dark and uninspiring to fresh and modern with a few stylish Scandi’ twists.
In hotter countries, traditional building styles used to include only small windows for light, to minimise the heat coming into the house. However, thanks largely to climate control, it is now possible to arrange your layout to not only let in more light but also to ensure the best energy and flow in your home.
Keeping Your Palette Fresh, Light and Soothing
Scandinavian design is distinguished by it’s soft, pale colour palette. Think pale greys and cremes, blond timbers and pale stone which add a sense of fresh lightness. Avoid mixing in richer, more saturated jungle tones, as this will confuse the look. A soft white on the walls creates a backdrop against which even the palest tones shine. Pale, timber or laminate floors, with occasional rugs are the standard and avoid wall to wall carpeting entirely.
Use Natural (or Natural-Looking) Materials
While Scandi-design favours beech and ash, the principle behind these woods was to use what was locally available. While it is possible to use furniture in traditional Scandi’ timbers, using local alternatives embraces the ethos of Scandinavian design. While beech is too porous for the local, humid climate, bamboo, pine and cedar can work well. An even more practical and cost-effective option now available is the range of laminates which convincingly replace the need for natural materials and are far more resilient and versatile. Pale stones like granite, are great options for flooring and counter-tops, and more cost-effective options like stone-look tiling or even concrete can also be used.
Keep Spaces Simple and Clear of Clutter
Smart storage solutions are key and by designing incorporated cabinetry, visual calm is maintained. Also, by creating ample storage, floor space is kept clean and clutter-free. Furniture choices are minimal, not only in design but in quantity, think, one well-designed piece, rather than several average ones.
Add Personal Touches for Freshness and Colour
The furniture itself is often interesting enough in terms of design and can be all that is needed to add interest to a space. However, if preferred, quality beats quantity when it comes to art and adornment, with a specific focus on craft. House plants and craft-works such as sculptures or simple abstracts will work well in a Scandinavian home.