Regardless of whether interior design is your job, whether you’re a decor enthusiast, or you’ve simply read an article or two on the subject, the chances are you have heard about Scandinavian decor. It seems to be everywhere these days. Themed accessories, entire kitchens designed around the concept, even designers completely dedicated to the style.
The term certainly sounds cool, but what exactly does it mean?
Scandinavian decor may be a term used to describe some basic elements of the design like natural wooden floors, white walls and minimalism. However, the story of Scandinavian design goes much much deeper.
It begin in the 1930’s in all of the Nordic countries when a design show labelled itself Scandinavian design. This design show travelled across the US and Canada and focused on minimalism, clean features, simplicity and materials inspired by or from nature. From the 1950’s, exhibitions of this kind occured everywhere and found their way across the world. So the principles of living this way, are a core design type that remains timeless. The popularity of Scandinavian decor has bloomed recently as open plan living, bringing the outside in and sustainability are all popular parts of design that have deep connections to the nordic way of living.
So, what does this have to do with letting light into the home?
Scandinavian design is deeply connected to letting the most possible natural light into the home. This is because living above the Arctic Circle means that there is a period of time in the year when the sun never actually makes it. There are full days without the light at all, and in some places, that can last for 60 days.
So it makes sense that when the sun does shine, a Scandinavian home is designed to let in as much light as possible, to make the most of it.
So, there is a lot we can learn from Scandinavian decor when it comes to bringing more light into the home. Here are 8 Scandinavian inspired methods of letting the light in:
1. Allow A Path For The Light To Get In
A connection to nature is important, but that doesn’t mean an overgrown garden is the way to go. You have to ensure that natural light has a path to get into your home. Take a look at the shrubs, bushes and trees around your house and see if they are blocking the light from getting in. Often trees on the southern side of the home are the worst culprits but you will have to watch where the sun travels throughout the day to know which of your plants are causing you to lose the most light. Once you have figured it out you can hire an expert to come do some pruning to make that all important light pathway.
2. Get Those Windows Clean
If your windows are dirty then they will be blocking out how much light can get into the home. Cleaning them will be a really good move, maximising the benefits of having windows in the first place.
3. Open The Curtains
Surprisingly, many people don’t open the curtains in every room every day. That is a lot of natural energy and light you’re not benefitting from, just because of that one action. As part of your morning routine, get all those curtains and blinds open to wake the house up.
4. Use Lighter Colours
Lighter curtains will enable you to maintain your privacy whilst still getting light into the home. Change the thickness of the curtains depending on the time of year, as you will need more insulation in winter.
5. Get More Windows & Glass
If you have been thinking about making some new home renovations, maybe investing in more light is a really good way to go. Statistics show that in the UK, we spend about £23,000 pounds per household, every year, on home improvements. Why not look at roof lights, floor to ceiling windows, and maybe even a set of internal bifolding doors to make your home much more light and airy?
6. Introduce Mirrors
Mirrors are a great low budget way to add natural light to your home. As well as looking great, they reflect the light in the room, making the most of it. In Scandinavia they use huge mirrors to try and avoid SAD, which is common in the country through the lack of light. You don’t have to opt for giant mirrors though.
Opt for something simple with clean lines to keep in with Scandinavian decor ‘rules’. Or perhaps enjoy the latest celestial trend with a simple star shaped mirror.
7. Shiny Accessories
Accessories in Scandi-minimalism are well chosen, and usually have a function. Shiny accessories have a purpose of making the room look lighter because the light bounces off them. Shiny tiles, metals, fixtures and fittings – anything counts. Just be sure not to purchase anything too fussy or fancy or you’ll crowd the aesthetics.
8. Soft Lighting
Light should be a theme in the home, even when there are minimal amounts of it outdoors. Harsh artificial lighting is no fun, it looks awful and it doesn’t feel great to sit under. Instead opt for soft lighting to enhance your home. Candles are very ‘Hygge’ (take a look at this YouTube video to find out more) or just simple fairy lights will look lovely.
“Keep your face always towards the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you” – Walt Whitman
Scandinavian design has a lot to teach us, especially about letting light into the home. Sunshine brings warmth, energy, vitamin d and happiness, the least we can do is let it in.
* Collaborative post