Scandinavian Summer: How To Elevate Your Home With Nordic-inspired Decor

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by SampleBoard

When considering Scandinavian design, one often pictures modern, minimalist spaces with a few straight lines and, flat white surfaces, cold environments that might look nice in magazines but aren’t conducive to summer living.

In truth, Nordic design incorporates natural elements within the home to create a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.

Nordic homes are designed to blend interior spaces with their natural surroundings, encouraging organic light sources and muted color schemes that work perfectly to set a restful, carefree summer mood.

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What is the difference between Scandinavian and Nordic design?

Scandinavian design refers specifically to designs from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, while Nordic design encompasses designs from these countries and other territories grouped under the Nordic label.

Regarding style, Scandinavian design is often characterized as minimalist, focusing on functionality.

It embraces clean lines, simplicity, and the use of natural materials, resulting in spaces that feel sleek and modern.

On the other hand, Nordic design is described as more homely and influenced by traditional workmanship and crafts.

It strongly emphasizes skilled craftsmanship and draws inspiration from nature and the rugged landscapes of the Nordic region.

While some elements may overlap, the key distinction lies in the geographical scope of each term.

The most essential element in Scandinavian home design is light.

Sunlight can be a rare commodity during the winter in some of the northernmost Nordic towns, so a home that maximizes light exposure is highly valued.

This translates into open floor plans and multiple light sources, plenty of windows to flood the space with light, and fewer walls to block it.

The need for more light also explains why white is a prevalent color in Nordic homes, where dark surfaces absorb those treasured rays rather than reflect them.

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Nordic Summer House Inspiration Sampleboard Blog
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What are Scandinavian colors?

In the mesmerizing world of Scandinavian design, colors play a crucial role in shaping spaces that exude tranquility, harmony, and elegance.

The color palette of Scandinavian design is inspired by the breathtaking landscapes and serene environments of the Nordic region.

At its core, Scandinavian design embraces a refined and minimalist approach, relying on a subdued and natural color scheme.

Soft, muted hues that evoke serenity and simplicity reign supreme in this design aesthetic. Think of gentle whites, shades of gray, and natural earth tones like warm beige and sandy browns.

These colors create a serene foundation, allowing the design elements and textures to take center stage.

But do not be mistaken. Scandinavian design is not a monotonous monotone.

It welcomes subtle pops of color that add vibrancy and depth to the serene backdrop.

Delicate pastel tones, such as subtle blues, blush pinks, and pale greens, effortlessly weave into the design narrative, evoking a sense of freshness and calm.

Another aspect of Scandinavian design that distinguishes it is its embrace of nature. The color palette often draws inspiration from the natural world.

Rich greens reminiscent of lush forests, deep blues mirroring the vastness of Nordic waters, and warm, golden yellows that mimic the soft glow of sunlight streaming through tall pines.

All these hues harmoniously blend with the neutral tones, infusing spaces with a touch of organic beauty.

Ultimately, the Scandinavian color palette is a testament to the immense power of simplicity and understated elegance.

It paints a canvas where calmness, connection to nature, and a celebration of light create spaces that inspire and uplift.

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5 Tips on How to Create a Nordic-inspired Summer Home

As summer approaches, it's the perfect time to embrace the beauty of Nordic design and incorporate it into your home.

With its understated elegance, minimalistic approach, and emphasis on natural elements, the Nordic design provides a refreshing escape from the heat and a serene haven for relaxation and rejuvenation.

To help you create your Nordic-inspired summer home, we've put together some tips to inspire and empower you.

1. Embrace a Neutral Palette:

Nordic design is renowned for its muted color palette inspired by the Nordic landscape. Opt for soft whites, shades of gray, and pastel colors to create a peaceful, calming atmosphere.

You can also add pops of colors with accessories like cushions or rugs, but keep it subtle and understated.

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2. Incorporate Natural Elements:

Incorporate natural elements into your home to bring the outdoors in. Wood, stone, and earthy textures create a sense of warmth and coziness.

Timber flooring or wooden furniture can add character to your home, while potted plants or vases filled with fresh blooms can breathe life into the space.

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3. Focus on Lighting:

Lighting is a crucial element in Nordic design. Maximizing natural light by leaving windows uncovered or investing in sheer curtains can create an airy and refreshing ambiance.

You can also incorporate pendant lights or table lamps with warm-toned bulbs to create a relaxing atmosphere in the evenings.

4. Choose Minimalist Decor:

The beauty of Nordic design lies in its simplicity. Opt for minimalist decor that serves a purpose and avoid cluttering the space with unnecessary items.

Keep it functional yet stylish while maintaining a sense of balance.

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5. Add Textures and Patterns:

While Nordic design is generally minimalistic, adding layers and depth to your home decor is essential.

Incorporate textures through rugs, throws, or cushions, and add patterns through artwork or textiles like curtains or bedding.

Embracing the Nordic aesthetic in your summer home allows you to create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

With these tips, you can transform your home into a serene and sophisticated Nordic-inspired retreat.

Remember, every element in your home should serve a purpose: to enhance the ambiance, functionality, or aesthetic appeal.

Nordic design is about finding the perfect balance between simplicity, functionality, and beauty, so start creating your summer sanctuary today.

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Nordic and Scandinavian Design and the Environment

Scandinavians have always been strongly connected to their natural environment, and this connection is reflected in their home design.

Houses are often constructed minimally invasively, meaning they try to leave their natural surroundings intact.

The same large banks of windows and open floor plans that encourage sunlight also work to bring the outside in.

Scandinavian designers incorporate elements that mimic exterior home features, like lofts and barn doors, to further blend the spaces.

Interior gardens, succulents, and other house plants help to further the feeling of merging environments, and Nordic homes often integrate plants into their overall design schemes.

Along with organic light and environmentally-inspired design, Nordic homes also tend to use a muted, natural palette emphasizing their unprocessed building materials and color schemes.

Light woods are often used throughout the home and in furnishing, and upholstered material is generally lighter, raw fabric.

Paint colors are also lighter to encourage bright interiors, and if not white, they are usually in understated earth tones like sage green, grey, or beige.

Artwork and other small features can add a necessary burst of color in these otherwise subdued color schemes and add a point of interest to an otherwise monochromatic setting.

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Minimal Clutter

Scandinavian design is probably best known for its efficient use of space.

Plenty of storage, minimal clutter, and simple design translate into a clean-looking interior, making smaller rooms look even more prominent.

This is particularly important when considering summer home design when the square footage is probably minimal, and too much clutter can seriously impede relaxation.

Nordic homes use built-in shelving, cupboards, and storage units to ensure everything has its proper place, is out of sight, and is neatly contained.

Uncluttered surfaces then become the perfect venue for displaying a select few summertime finds, and Nordic summer homes often showcase natural found objects like shells or stones.

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That characteristic “Scandinavian look” results from all of these elements combined but also from something slightly more subtle.

Nordic homes are cohesive, meaning that the design of all the living spaces is consistent.

This harmony is accentuated by the open floor plan, which offers an obstructed view of the entire floor and glimpses of the natural exterior.

The same building materials and color palettes throughout the house further highlight this unified design.

Nordic homes incorporate open, light-filled rooms into a clean and harmonious living environment that is designed to blend smoothly into its natural surroundings.

Every element in a Nordic home is meant to feel inherently easy and organic, from the natural fiber rugs to the integrated kitchen storage.

This ease and effortless comfort, coupled with the alfresco atmosphere these open homes encourage, make Nordic design features perfect for summer homes worldwide.

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Five Nordic Summer Getaways to Fuel Your Creativity

Immerse yourself in the captivating allure of the Nordic summer as we unveil five remarkable getaways that will ignite your adventurous spirit and embrace your love for design.

From breathtaking landscapes to thriving cultural scenes, these enchanting destinations offer an irresistible blend of natural beauty and awe-inspiring design opportunities.

Allow these suggestions to guide you as you create unforgettable experiences in the pristine Nordic regions:

Reykjavik, Iceland:

Prepare to be dazzled by the dramatic landscapes of Iceland's buzzing capital city.

Reykjavik seamlessly weaves a tapestry of rugged beauty and modernity from its volcanic terrain to the mesmerizing Blue Lagoon.

Dive deep into Icelandic design, where minimalist aesthetics harmonize with the raw, untamed environment, resulting in spaces that effortlessly blend tranquility with a sense of adventure.

Stockholm, Sweden:

Explore one of the crown jewels of Scandinavian design - the vibrant and cultural city of Stockholm. Immerse yourself in its architectural marvels, from the historic Gamla Stan to the innovative Stockholm Waterfront.

Discover design studios, galleries, and boutiques that showcase the epitome of cutting-edge Scandinavian design. Let the sleek elegance of Swedish interiors inspire your own creative endeavors.

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Oslo, Norway:

Journey to the dynamic city of Oslo, where nature and urban living intertwine in perfect harmony. Revel in the beauty of the Oslofjord, surrounded by lush greenery and majestic mountains.

Amidst this stunning backdrop, Oslo's design scene flourishes, boasting an array of contemporary Scandinavian furniture showrooms, art galleries, and trendy design districts.

Let the city's creative energy invigorate your senses and ignite your design vision.

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Copenhagen, Denmark:

Indulge in Copenhagen, the world-renowned design capital, where modern design is woven into the fabric of everyday life.

Marvel at Nyhavn's iconic architecture, stroll along the bustling Strøget, and explore the innovative design institutions that call this city home.

Immerse yourself in Danish craftsmanship and take inspiration from the hygge-infused interiors that exude warmth, simplicity, and a seamless blend of form and function.

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Lapland, Finland:

Venture to the enchanting winter wonderland of Lapland, where summer turns the landscape into a picturesque paradise.

As the land of the midnight sun, Lapland offers an extraordinary experience of round-the-clock daylight amidst pristine forests, crystal-clear lakes, and charming log cabins.

Embrace the rich Sami heritage and discover the region's unique approach to design, which celebrates nature's splendor and the art of indigenous craftsmanship.

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From the awe-inspiring landscapes of Iceland to the urban oases of Copenhagen, these Nordic summer getaways promise to inspire your design sensibilities and ignite your passion for exploration.

So pack your creativity, embark on an unforgettable journey, and let the transformative power of these remarkable destinations fuel your next design masterpiece.

Safe travels, and may your discoveries in the Nordic realms leave an indelible mark on your creative journey.