All about Swedish Décor
When you walk into a well-designed Swedish space, whether it’s a country house full of antiques or a modern industrial loft, there’s a pleasant atmosphere and quality that permeates the space. What’s not to like? Especially in today’s stressful times, there is something to be said for an interior style that is not only practical and functional but also deeply calming and relaxing.
The general trends of Scandinavian interior style have permeated American living spaces over the past decade due to the practical use of clean lines and modern design elements (primarily North American standards), but the Swedish interior base takes it a step further.
Want to learn more about the history of Swedish decor? We spoke with three experts to learn a little more about the Scandinavian style.
What is Swedish decor?
Swedish design is attractive because it captures the timeless charm of indoor and outdoor living and emphasizes high-quality natural materials, light, function, art, eclecticism, balance, color, and deep respect for nature.
We return to these touchpoints again and again as we work with our clients. We are always thrilled to see how Swedish design principles extend to more modern and traditional spaces, always evoking a sense of calm and beauty.
Also note that in most cases, Swedish furniture and accessories are so beautifully designed that they can stand on their own as sculpture and artwork in any setting.
The origins of the Swedish style are deeply rooted in its location. Sweden is a country of geographical extremes. The south is rich and fertile, and the coastlines with their great canals and archipelagos open to the riches of the Baltic Sea and the north. In the north, there are large pine forests that merge into a barren and polar mountain landscape, characterized by long winters and severe cold.
Historically, the Swedes had to adapt to the vast desert rhythms around them to survive. Self-sufficiency was a necessity and looking to nature for inspiration, well-being, and communication was ingrained in the Swedish character.
The use of locally available materials and the reuse of materials is an aspect of Swedish design that was born out of necessity. Unlike the rest of Europe, importing luxurious fruit canes, marble, and precious metals was only profitable for the monarchy or the high nobility.
The furniture of the 18th and 19th centuries, although influenced by the trends of the continent, was in most cases characterized by the purity of form. What we respond to today is the integrity of Swedish furniture design without distracting ornamentation. Without gilding or ormolu, the simple lines and patina of Gustav’s painted furniture, as well as the handmade engravings, fluting, and Margareth details are pure and elegant. With which we can easily communicate and beautifully combine with modern interiors.
In the past, the objects were made of the best materials available to ensure longevity, and since the living space was the largest, the items were designed with great care and attention.
Beds with built-in clocks and cabinets, benches that convert into pull-out beds, and chairs that can be turned into tables are just a few of the many innovative forms of space-saving sofas found in Swedish design. He added that furniture often has multiple uses, and this concern for practicality continued, especially among mid-century Scandinavian furniture makers.
There are key features of Swedish decor in its history and how Sweden was content with what it had – and less spiritually evolved. Modern Swedish decor retains these elements and mixes them with contemporary and historic pieces.
The eclectic layering of different pieces from different eras is the way of life for most Swedes. The reason why their interior design is so beautiful and complex is not only because of this combination but also because of the use of light, symmetry, and negative space. In our work as interior designers, we take our cue from the Swedes and try to maintain the calm that comes from balancing positive and negative space. The key is to not have too much crowding and large empty spaces.
Also, note that simplicity is never that simple. The “white palette” associated with Swedish design is almost always layers of natural white, gray, and جsoftwood finishes, mixed with lots of textures to avoid hard edges.
Sweden’s legendary and fun heritage in textile design delights the interior. Decorative textiles, very long and light in winter, give the rooms both warmth and much-needed color.
Mirrors, golden brass, and crystal chandeliers have also been used for centuries in Swedish design to capture the feeling of winter and to celebrate and reflect the long days of summer. Lightweight floors also reflect sunlight, which is a valuable commodity in Sweden, and Danish lime and oil are traditional methods of treating floorboards. The windows are unadorned and a linen shade is very simple if treated. Nature is respected and fresh plants and flowers always enter it and give freshness to the interior.
The simplicity and solidity of Swedish design, with its respect for nature and materials, creates a calming and supportive atmosphere that nurtures everyone who experiences it.