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Defining a Style Series: What is Nordic Design? A Blend of Form and Function

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Scandinavian design embraces simplicity at its best. Image:
Add comfortable accents.
Add comfortable accents.
Add comfortable accents.

Pick furniture with clean lines.

Center the room around furniture with clean lines. Image: Optimise Design

Choose furniture with clean lines

Furniture is one of the identifying factors of Nordic design. It has an undoubtedly specific look. (Anyone who’s ever put together an item from Ikea will know the exact aesthetic we’re talking about.)

Scandinavian furniture features simple silhouettes, clean lines and an emphasis on natural materials. Whenever possible, there’s also a focus on choosing well-made, artisanal products over mass-produced pieces.

With this style of design, the placement is just as important as the products themselves. You’ll want to make your furniture the focal point of the room. Center living rooms around cozy seating areas, master suites around a lush bedroom set, and dining areas around a large farm table.

Pick furniture with clean lines.
Pick furniture with clean lines.
Pick furniture with clean lines.
Pick furniture with clean lines.

Choose monochromatic colors.

Opt for subdued colors, especially monochromatic. Image: DREAMHOUSE decorations

Add warmth through accents

There’s one key difference between Nordic design and other minimalist spaces: the comfort level. While many minimalist interiors can come off feeling a little too stark or cold, Scandinavian spaces are meant to be warm and inviting. Cozy, comforting accents are the key to that success.

In Nordic countries, they call this concept hygge. Pronounced hoo-gah, the word means comfort in Danish and is a central principle in many Northern European designs. Textiles are a great way to make any room more comfortable. Add plenty of pillows and soft blankets into your design. Then, top everything off with a plush throw rug.

Keep in mind there are plenty of ways to bring warmth into the room other than textiles. You could also consider incorporating greenery and using pops of bright accent colors.

Choose monochromatic colors.
Choose monochromatic colors.
Choose monochromatic colors.
Choose monochromatic colors.

Don't forget negative space.

Remember that negative space is very important in Nordic design. Image: Metricon

Nordic design embraces negative space

Since Nordic design is so simplistic, it should come as no surprise that less is more. Here, each room’s function should be the star of the show. Instead of muddling that purpose with clutter, let negative space help bring it into focus.

To do this effectively, your best bet is to start from scratch. Remove all the items from the space and, once you have a blank canvas, move them back in piece by piece. Think like a curator and decide individually whether each item adds specific value to the design. Whenever you’re unsure, feel free to leave that piece out.

We know that, for some, negative space can feel uncomfortable at first. If you’re one of these people, try not to give in to your initial impulses. Give yourself some time to adjust to the room’s new design. If after a few days the space still feels too empty, consider which parts of the design needs work. Tweak those until you find your perfect balance.

Try Nordic style.

Give Nordic style a try in your interiors. Image: Gaile Guevara

Since the style was founded on integrating form and function, focusing on comfort and embracing “less is more,” it’s easy to see why so many people are obsessed with Nordic design. That said, we know that re-creating an aesthetic can be much harder than it seems at first glance. Our tips on how to embrace Scandinavian design can help you construct a look you love.

What do you think about Nordic interiors? Will you be incorporating these design principles in your home? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

The post Defining a Style Series: What is Nordic Design? A Blend of Form and Function appeared first on Freshome.com.

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