The Scandinavians have given us many things: Santa Claus, IKEA and, of course, its distinctive decor style that has become one of the trendiest in the books. As such, even if we’re not die-hard minimalists, many of us have chosen to renovate our homes the Scandi way, or at least to infuse some of its elements to other styles we’ve opted for.
While there are several Scandinavian interior designers in Singapore who can take the wheel for us, those looking to save more money can easily do it themselves. Presenting to you the Scandi home starter pack, with 9 essential elements that can transform your house from a cookie-cutter unit to a sleek, Nordic abode.
1. Have wooden accents & furniture throughout your home
Wood is a quintessential feature in many decor styles, and Scandi is by any means no exception. By using pale woods like ash and beech, not only do they breathe an earthy feel to the space, but its bright exterior helps to reflect incoming natural light, making the space look bigger.
On top of having wooden furniture and flooring, consider hitting these carpentry firms up if you’re looking for custom-made pieces such as built-in study desks, shelves and other decorative fixtures.
2. Incorporate natural textiles like wool & linen
This Korean-Scandi resale in Bedok has linen blankets draped over its sofas in the living area.
Sometimes, or more like all the time, we cue couch potato mode, snuggling up on our sofas to nap and relax. No shame though; after all, the Scandinavians do love a good work-life balance, which is why natural textiles have found its way to their decor style.
Cosiness doesn’t just come through in comfy textures; don’t be afraid to weave in some colour, as what this Scandi-Boho resale HDB did with their tribal-designed wool rug.
3. Have muted & neutral tones with contrasting colours
Image credit: The 80’s Studios Pte Ltd
Home decor newbies may think Scandi is just about muted tones, as well as wood and white, but that’s far from the truth. Dark and bold colours are introduced to the palette to provide contrast, adding a stroke of dynamicity that catches the eye, adding character and depth to a space.
Image credit: Ascend Design
Adventurous folks can even let out their inner Piet Mondrian, by jumping onto the colour-blocking bandwagon with eclectic shapes and patterns. Your space will look like an elegant hybrid that’ll look the part on any abstract and minimalist Pinterest dream board.
4. Install statement pendant lights & fans
Image credit: Ascend Design
This is where you’ll meet the whimsical side of Scandi. Thanks to their creative eye, Scandinavian designers have come up with many statement pendant lights that blend in nicely with the surroundings, yet come in unique designs that are statement pieces on their own.
Image credit: Met Interior
Better still, some take the reins to become their own designer, like the homeowners of this HDB in Punggol Road who used quirky, colourful pendant lighting for their dining table, bringing an eclectic vibe to the area. Stylish fans are also part of the bill, with the Amasco Wale ceiling fan being a top pick for the Scandi aesthetic.
5. Use minimalist furniture that’s functional & aesthetic
Apart from having a bit of colour and quirky scattered around, think simple by using minimalist furniture for basic parts of the home.
You’d be looking at pieces that are compact, coming with clean lines that exude the Bauhaus essence, and surely serves its functions well and effectively.
6. Fix up wooden Venetian blinds or sheer curtains
Nothing else can liven up a space like natural light in abundance. An easy way to let light in is to install wooden Venetian blinds or sheer curtains, which doubles up as a veil of privacy to onlookers outside.
Image credit: @intr.studio
Those willing to invest more in this aspect can look into scraping the window grilles, especially if you have a pretty view outside that you’d like to take advantage of. Else, you can focus within and hack away the interior walls, like in this open studio BTO in Bidadari.
7. Keep areas clutter-free with aesthetic storage
It’s not just our parents who nag us about tidying our room, or planning spring cleaning sessions to rid our homes of clutter. Keeping areas clutter-free is also a hallmark of Scandi design, where you can pull double duty with aesthetic storage options.
It may sound difficult for those without the neat genes, but you can help yourself easily in many ways such as by building singular shelves in empty walls, or using benches with vacant space underneath, followed by a cloth to cover the things inside.
8. Display a few potted plants around the home
Image credit: @alchemists_design
Even if you’re a stickler for clean and clutter-free spaces, you’ll want to save room for nature. Save big and bushy leaves, we’re talking about a few potted plants here and there to welcome dashes of green to your home.
Image credit: @fernsandphilo
Keep the number of potted plants small, else your home will very easily trespass into the Jungalow style territory. Artificial plants like monsteras and zebra plants, as well as IKEA’s FEJKA range (from $2) are good for a start.
9. Showcase artworks, knick-knacks & fun souvenirs
You need not store away all your barang barang and souvenirs to make way for Scandi. In line with the Danish hygge concept, showcasing artworks and knick-knacks is what gives the home its own personality.
Instead of just placing your souvenirs in any leftover space, it’ll be fun to dedicate a display shelf for them, like what the couple of this Nordic-Korean executive maisonette did. They’ve also brought in a bit of rattan elements to the picture which, although mostly synonymous with Balinese decor, has a light wooden colour that blends nicely with Scandi.
How to create a Scandi home
In many respects, you could say that the Scandi style hits two birds with one stone: it’s functional and aesthetic, blending both traditional craftsmanship and modern elements. Plus, its overall minimalist flavour has pops of fun colours and pretty displays here and there to inject a cosy feel.
The best thing about it is that it’s not difficult to create at home, even with a modest budget. So long as you follow these elements, trust that your Scandi home dreams can become a reality.
More inspo for home decor styles:
- Japandi style decor tips
- Artsy BTO with bold colours
- Great Gatsby-inspired condo
- Pretty loft apartments in Singapore
- Top interior design trends 2022