If you were being kind, you might say my living room was charming. If you were being honest, you might say it was messy. From the mismatched sofas to the more-shabby-than-chic pieces of furniture donated by kind relatives, the décor is comfy but lacks any kind of theme to pull it all together.
It’s time for a radical rethink, but what kind of look should we go for? After discounting the seventies – not right for our two-hundred year old cottage – we’ve decided to look North. Or Norse, to be more precise!
Giving your home a Scandinavian style injection is a great way of making it look spacious and calm. Scandinavian style is fresh and full of neutral colours and natural materials. One of my favourites is the pale wood finishes that maximise light. Pared down, simple and not at all pretentious or showy, the look is timeless – which hopefully means we won’t have to decorate again in a hurry.
Once we’ve decluttered and painted, we’ll need to go shopping for some furniture and accessories that fit our theme. We’ll be looking for classic, useful pieces with clean lines, such as a beautiful Danish-style sideboard. Some famous names in Scandinavian design we’ll definitely be on the look-out for include Kaare Klint, Arne Jacobsen, Alvar Aalto, Iittala and Holmegaard.
However, quality pieces of Scandinavian design like this don’t come cheap. If you want to get some Scandinavian style in your home, one way to help you spread the initial cost could be by a credit card, especially if you’ve got a card that offers a 0% period on purchases. It’s important to bear in mind though that if you don’t clear the balance within the introductory period, you will be charged interest.
In the meantime, here’s a veritable smorgasbord of ideas to get the Nordic look in your home.
Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway all suffer from a serious lack of light in winter, so key elements of Scandinavian style are pale colours and blonde wood. This makes the most of every available ray of light. This neutral colour palette may seem a bit boring, but rest assured the look will be brought together by adding bold colours and textures. For inspiration, look up the work of Sara Sjögren on design blog Desire To Inspire to see how the blonde wood chairs and bright striped cushions look fantastic against a plain white backdrop.
Another key element of Scandinavian style is the natural materials used, so you feel you’re getting a bit of the outdoors inside. Along with your neutral colour scheme, go for cotton, sheepskin and pale woods. You could also use natural-looking, earthy tones in your soft furnishings.
Add colour and pattern in your accessories
Bright colours and different textures will look good and won’t overpower your neutral back drop. Choose folksy pieces with Nordic prints such as these Scandinavian ceramics as featured in the Daily Mail. And remember, if you use strong colours somewhere, make sure they’re offset by being made of natural materials.
Go for quality
Don’t buy gimmicky things that are super trendy. Instead, trawl car boot sales and second-hand stores for classic pieces of well-made furniture that actually does the job it’s supposed to. Design, in the Scandinavian tradition, is not style over substance. Instead, it’s supposed to provide emotional comfort and enrich daily living.
Simplicity is key
Before embarking on any Scandinavian-style makeover, make sure you clear out the clutter. The look is all about being pared down and back to basics – not possible when you’re stepping over an avalanche of plastic toys just to get to the TV. Not sure where to start? The Daily Mail has some great advice to help you finally combat your hoarding instincts.
Look online for inspiration
There are some great Scandinavian style blogs out there, full of inspiring pictures and advice. Try MyScandinavianHome.or
This is a Sponsored Post by Guest Blogger Tamsin McCahill on behalf of Sainsbury’s Bank