Having an organized and clean home has been shown to bring a number of benefits, such as increased focus and productivity, according to a Princeton University Neuroscience Institute (2011) study. Research explored the impact of a clean, disorganized life and found that clutter limited the brain’s ability to process information.
While a minimalist approach to decor and lifestyle has garnered more and more attention in recent years, this is not a new concept. In fact, the Scandinavian countries have sworn by this approach for decades.
Characterized by functionality, durability, neutral tones and clean lines, Scandinavians have become renowned for their understated and simplistic approach to design. It is therefore not surprising that the Scandinavian countries are regularly recognized as among the happiest nations in the world in the World Happiness Report supported by the UN.
Sara AlsÃ©n, CEO, Blueair, shares her top tips to help you master the art of Scandinavian design in your own home
Get rid of the clutter
Decluttering your space is decluttering your mind, according to the Swedes. To organize a space where you can think more clearly and relax more deeply, pause and think about what household items you actually need or use, and drop the ones you don’t need for a fresh start.
A good rule of thumb is: if you haven’t seen or missed it in a while, you can do without it. Rather than going for a stark and overly minimalist look, we suggest you aim for “lagom”, a Swedish term that translates to “in-between” or “just right”. With an authentic Scandinavian design, you want neither too much nor too little. To strike the right balance, combine striking elements with complementary pieces throughout the room to create a serene and peaceful vibe – or, in other words, lagom.
Choose neutral colors and natural materials
The color combinations and types of materials you use play an important role in giving your home a relaxing atmosphere. A muted, unifying color palette of whites, nudes and grays is essential to create a neutral backdrop that will help you take your minimalist and calm Swedish interior design to the next level.
In addition to painting your walls, you can take it a step further and paint ceilings and floors with various shades, textures, and soft shades of neutral colors for a cohesive aesthetic. Scandinavians typically pair neutral backdrops with more vibrant hues of colors such as stone white, fossil gray, cool gray, cream or pale blue, for example. The idea behind this is that a bright environment translates into brighter moods, and first came to life because of the long, dark winters in the Nordic countries which can be heavy on the state of mind. While that might not be an issue we face here in the Middle East, the idea still applies and the use of soft, understated colors will also help make the space feel more cohesive.
To give more character to the room, natural materials like leather, wood and hemp accompanied by subdued lamp lighting will be the icing on the cake to create a Scandinavian-inspired atmosphere in your home.
Use your space wisely
Whether you live in a small apartment or have a villa with a lot of space, the smart use of space can make your life more efficient and your home more welcoming.
First, examine your home to see if every inch of space is being used to its full potential. When it comes to using furniture in a Scandinavian design, clean lines should be evident. Tables, chairs, sofas and decor should have a modern touch, with smooth, rounded edges.
There is always room to be creative and maximize space – for example, multi-level wall shelving storage spaces are innovative and space-saving while adding visual interest to the space. Is there a white wall in the hallway? Add hooks for bags and coats. Space above a door? Why not hang up some shelves. If your home is small, get creative with partitions and go for glass partitions instead of walls. This will visually segment the room and give the illusion of more space.
Maintain a fresh and clean atmosphere
Creating a quiet home goes beyond interior design and color schemes; While these are important factors, clean air is one of the most important ways to help create a cool, serene space.
Clean indoor air is vital for health and well-being, however, many people are unaware that indoor air is on average about five times more polluted than outdoor air. Investing in an air purifier with a high CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) in the rooms where you spend most of your time, like the stylish Blueair HealthProtect â¢ air purifier, will provide you with 24-hour protection and 7 days a week against dust, smoke, germs, viruses and bacteria. Award-winning for design and functionality, its HEPASilent Ultra â¢ and GermShield â¢ technology provides clean, healthy air for your home and family. It has also been shown to be effective in removing airborne SARS-CoV-2 virus in independent third party testing under laboratory conditions *.
Adding plants can also help flush out toxins and connect with nature while adding stark contrast and a pop of color to the room’s neutral aesthetic. Invest in green plants – according to the NASA Clean Air Study, English ivy and peace lily are the best cleaners of indoor air pollutants.
Finally, favor organic and natural fabrics and textiles in your furnishings and avoid synthetic fabrics, as they release plastic fibers that can be inhaled.
There are many ways to incorporate simplistic Scandinavian design into the home, all with a number of benefits. Creating minimalist home decor doesn’t have to be a chore, and with small and quick changes it’s easily implemented to create the best space for you and your family. Choose what suits your home and your budget and you will soon be enjoying the benefits of Scandinavian interior design.