Both timeless and iconic, the Scandinavian style has had a lasting impression on the interiors of Quebec households for the past few years. Our natural affinity with this clean and radiant style, in all its simplicity, is due in part to our shared northern climate and vegetation, as well as to our insatiable desire to create a space where functionality is a priority in terms of design and decor. Let’s take a look at a Scandinavian home and some of its most distinctive features.
When we think of Nordic decor, the first thing that comes to mind is the colour white. This is most certainly directly related to the harsh winters, which make home owners want to live in a space that is airy and bright—anything that contrasts the reigning darkness outside during the long winter months. White is the obvious choice since it maximizes natural ambient light, while keeping visual fragmentation to a minimum. Already a popular colour used in functional spaces like the kitchen and the bathroom, white is often considered to be highly symbiotic with our tastes.
Vibrantly coloured accents are another key element in Scandinavian decor. Cheerfully coloured cushions, geometric throws, flashy coloured furniture, rugs, curtains and accessories, all of which add a pop of colour to an all-white decor. Colourful accents not only add a nice touch to your decor, they also have another powerful effect: creating focal points in rooms. These splashes of colour draw the eye’s attention as it scans a Scandinavian room, thus creating distinct areas. You can also select mid-century furniture—a hallmark of Nordic countries—popular for creating the very latest in vintage decor.
Daylight is a rare commodity during the long winter months, so it’s no wonder that we look to maximize it in every room. More than just a decorating style, light is central to the design of any room in a Scandinavian home, either through window coverings, which are generally not used, or through soft and polished furniture materials that reflect light. Many sources of artificial light on all the room’s surfaces complete the overall effect to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Natural materials and functional furniture
Wood is the material of choice for Scandinavians. Seen in all its forms, ranging from the floor to wall and ceiling finishes, along with tables and chairs, wood is at the very heart of Scandinavian design. Whether painted white or left in its simplest form free of varnish or dye, wood adds a natural element to the decor, which might otherwise appear institutional with the ubiquitous presence of white. Adapted to domestic life, each piece of furniture is designed to perform the function for which it was created, while maintaining a minimalist look and design. As such, all that is often needed is a bit of wood or lemon oil to hydrate the surfaces of Scandinavian tables made of natural teak, oak and beech.
While seen in our homes for decades, Scandinavian decor is not going out of style anytime soon. What we are noticing instead is that it is adapting to our own environment, our own local materials, such as maple and white birch, and to our own areas of interest—which makes it all the more appealing. Its tireless quest for simplicity and functionality, along with its rejection of unpractical decorative accessories, are what make this style here to stay.
Passionate about colour, vintage decorative elements and hand-made items, Vanessa Sicotte celebrates décor in all its splendour. Vanessa is the mastermind behind the Damask & Dentelle blog—and author of a book in the same name—where she has been sharing her favourite décor discoveries since 2009. She is also the host of Sauvez les meubles and Marché Conclu on Canal Vie. Since fall 2015, viewers can reap Vanessa’s valuable advice by watching the Marina Orsini show on ICI Radio-Canada Télé, where she is featured as décor commentator.