Over the last few decades, Scandinavia has been attracting a lot of attention. Not only are the high standards of living, excellent healthcare and superb education systems the envy of the rest of the world, they’ve also been churning out landmark TV by the bucketload. To top it all off, Scandinavian style has been setting trends for more than half a century.
Scandinavian design seems to be trend proof. Where other design styles come into and go out of fashion, the functional but sleek Nordic style seems to be perennially popular. But just what is a Scandi style living room and how do you incorporate it into your home?
How do I get the Scandi look?
The Scandinavian style lounge was born from a need to create a cosy and comfortable, yet practical living space that provided relief from the tough winters in countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. It was also used to maximise the sense of light and space in rooms where you would spend a lot of time throughout certain parts of the year.
The style really took off in the middle of the 20th century, in the 1950s and 60s. The simple but beautiful designs, characterised by clean lines and block colours chimed with a more modern outlook taking hold in Western Europe and the US.
The main element of a Scandinavian style living room is the muted colours used to help to increase the sense of light and space. This is essential in the long, dark Nordic winter. Accent colours can be bolder but the main furniture elements tend to be classic block colours such as beige, grey or tan.
How the Scandi sofa can make the look
Perhaps the most important element of any Scandinavian-inspired living room is the sofa or suite. The sofa or suite should be designed with clean, straight lines, with no frills or overly stylistic elements. That’s what gives them their timeless appeal. Check out the Swyft Model 01 and Model 02 to see a couple of classic examples of the Scandinavian style sofa.
There’s also a focus on decluttered space, so keep your living room design simple and clean. Don’t overdo it on the furniture and maximise available space and light with good storage options. Try and match other furniture in the room to the Scandi style. Again, simple clean lines and angles, with plenty of pine, teak and other exposed wood.
The aim of the Scandi lounge is to create a peaceful, practical yet comfortable living space. The modern world can be hectic so your living space needs to try and be the exact opposite. The Scandi style should also try and reflect the natural world, which is why exposed wood is so important and why trying to design in an eco-friendly and sustainable way really works.
The difference between Scandinavian and Nordic design
There is often some confusion about whether Scandinavian design and Nordic design are the same thing or not. Outside of Scandinavia the two are essentially used interchangeably to describe design from that part of the world.
However, the geographical reality is that the Scandinavian countries are Norway, Sweden and Denmark, whereas Finland and Iceland are Nordic. If you’re traveling there this is an important distinction to know. But in terms of design style the two names can be used interchangeably as they share the same aesthetic and guiding principles. A Nordic style living room will look the same as a Scandinavian-inspired one.
Building your Scandi/Nordic design
If you’ve decided that this is the style for you - timeless, clean lines and uncluttered spaces with muted tones and lots of natural light - then start with your sofa. Go for the Swyft Models 01 or 02, or for a Scandi corner sofa, choose the Model 03 in a neutral shade, using accent colours to add warmth. These contemporary and comfortable sofas have a modern design that can work in any Scandi space.
If you would like to know more about how to design your living room and other areas of your home in this timeless style, then check out this useful Scandi modern design guide. You should also take a look at our range of Scandi-influenced fabric sofas, available with 24h delivery and flat packed for extra convenience.