No one does cosy winter interiors quite like the Scandinavians. Having to deal with such long, dark winters, they’ve made an art of creating warm, welcoming homes that still manage to be stylish, and here in the UK we could certainly learn a thing or two from their approach. At no time of year is a home’s design more important than during the winter months, when we spend a much of the season indoors, tucked up away from the biting cold. So here are a few Scandinavian design ideas that we think will help you love being in your home this winter.
Lots of Light
Natural light is in short supply during the winter months, and this is why Scandinavian interior design puts so much emphasis on making the most of the light when it is available – large windows are commonplace in Scandinavian interiors for this reason. To maximise the natural light in your home, windows should be kept clean and unobstructed to allow as much daylight as possible through, so remove heavy curtains and replace with lighter fabrics that can be pulled back all the way.
Lots of White
The colour white is a predominant feature of Scandinavian home design. Why? Because white reflects natural light and helps brighten a space, lessening the impact of those dull winter days. Walls, floors, surfaces – in a Scandinavian home they will likely be white or at the very least light in colour, so pull up those dark carpets and give the walls and floor a couple of coats of white paint.
Touches of Nature
The Scandinavians love their outdoor winter activities, but even when indoors they still want to celebrate and be part of nature, and this can be clearly seen in their homes. No matter how subtle or understated, elements of nature – plants, flowers, even dried decorative branches – are found in every room of the Scandinavian home. They help lift the spirits and maintain our connection with the world outside during those times when the bad weather is, unfortunately, keeping us inside.
While some view Scandinavian interior design as stark, if you look a bit closer you’ll see that nothing could be further from the truth – it actually exudes warmth and cosiness. Comfy soft furnishings – such as cushions and sheepskin rugs/throws – in neutral shades are a must, as is a simple, yet chic, Scandinavian-style fireplace. Candles are also a common sight in Scandinavian homes, offering another light source in winter and filling a room with that much-needed warm comforting glow.
Wood, and Lots of It
The final essential is wood. Scandinavia is a densely forested part of the world so it’s no wonder timber is so prominent in the design of homes there. More than just being a useful and abundant material, though, wood will add warmth to a space and make it a welcoming place to be. Natural wood is harmonious with those colour schemes common in Scandinavian homes, and has the added benefit of being a natural insulator. Wood floors, wood panels, wood furniture – you can never have too much wood.