Scandinavian design can teach us a lot when we are looking at how to brighten our homes. It's an integral part of home design in the Nordic countries where the days are so short throughout the winter months.
Scandinavian design and natural materials go hand in hand. This is why reclaimed wood furniture, such as a reclaimed wood dining table, is the perfect way to furnish your Scandi influenced room. Choose furniture with a light and natural finish - the natural colour of the wood and its homely feel will bring plenty of warmth into your room. Think pale wood or white dining table for your dining space, put it in a bright spot in your dining area to give plenty of natural daylight when you sit at it. Above, you can see how the Dorset reclaimed wood extending dining table almost blends into the white walls. The Bamboo Darcy double pendant light hangs above, but does not draw the eye too much with its minimalist natural bamboo shade.
Light and bright
Scandi design is all about white walls, minimal, clutter-free and windows that allow plenty of natural light in. Get your lighting right - you don't want glaring white lights on all day and all night - warm, cosy lighting and layered lighting is what you want to achieve. Ideally, you should have the option to have bright lights when needed and dimmer lighting for cosy nights in front of the wood burner. An accent colour is also a great way to add a bit of brightness and warmth to a space, a bold coloured velvet armchair can bring a real pop of colour to the room.
Photo featuring: Light Raw Oak Small Shelf Ladder (Bookcase)
During the winter months, the Scandinavians spend a lot of time inside - this is why uncluttered and functional spaces are preferred...rather than feeling hemmed in with too many things lying around. Furniture should not be fussy, instead, clean lines and strikingly elegant design is what is called for. Open shelving or a ladder bookcase would work well in a Scandi design - the openness does not break up the space the same way as a closed-in wood bookcase would - but of course, it's not to be cluttered!
Scandinavian furniture was born out of a need to use the materials that were readily available with an emphasis on nothing goes to waste, this is where the eco-friendly and sustainable element originates from. This mindset still exists today in home building and interior decor. Where possible go for bamboo or jute lampshades, reclaimed wood furniture, such as a rustic coffee table, or a wooden floor with rugs made from natural fibres. Bring some nature into the room in the shape of houseplants, which will also help to brighten the room during winter months.
An outside room
To really embrace the Nordic culture in your home design you should have an outdoor seating area that you can continue to use during the colder months. Warm-up weatherproof seating with faux fur throws, cushions and some blankets to wrap around you. A wood fire pit will turn a cold and dark outside space into a warm spot with a flickering natural flame to watch as well as illuminating the space....it will be a place you will want to spend as much time as possible.