This is the fith post of a series “Style, Substance and Color:...
Scandinavian bedrooms and living rooms are very stylish, but you should not stop there if you want to transform your home into Nordic-inspired eye-candy. Although relatively modest size-wise, kitchens in North European homes are characterized by peerless elegance and superior spatial economy, and they are often seamlessly blended into dining or living rooms for utmost functionality. Here are some tips on how to take your cooking area to the superior Scandinavian level: be prepared to privately whistle in awe!
1. Creative material combinations
Whoever said that stainless steel and marble should not be mixed? In a Nordic home, metal and stone coexist in harmony, and so do wood and ceramic tiles. Creative combinations of natural materials make a unique textural statement, so do not be afraid to warm up a minimalist Nordic kitchen with matte wooden cabinetry topped by leather pulls. Cabinets with metal feet and marble countertops can also be paired for a stylish twist. Nordic kitchens centered on interplay of different natural materials exude a welcoming feel and minimalist elegance.
Although strong contrasts should be avoided when replicating Scandi style at home, a dash of vintage will not go amiss in the minimalist Nordic kitchen. Pastel, neutral-hued, of faux natural wallpapers, tablecloths with botanical or geometric prints, an open-back shelf made from reclaimed timber, and classic tile designs fare well in Nordic dining rooms and kitchens. Traditional designs can be used to break the uniformity of monochromatic Scandi décors and infuse a modernist dining room with a touch of coziness and warmth.
Homeowners in the far north of Europe love Nature, and most of the elements in a Scandinavian home are either inspired by the immediate environment or crafted from organic materials. The love for the great outdoors is also reflected in kitchen design: Scandinavian would-be chefs will often grow their own herbs in a pastel-colored pot perched on the windowsill or worktop. Foliage can also be placed atop the shelves to achieve a charming impression of an overflowing botanical garden, and a vase with a bunch of fresh flowers will make a stylish table centerpiece.
Climate in Northern Europe is extremely harsh, which is why many Scandinavian home designers often leave the windows bare to maximize use of scarce natural light in long winter months. This formula is used in Nordic kitchens and dining rooms, too: here, windows are left gracefully nude, or concealed by airy light-hued fabrics which let in ample sunlight without compromising visual unity of clean lines and neutral color palette.
Nordics love their dinners served on a pastel plate, and tableware in gentle hues is extremely popular in Scandinavia. Light blue, beige, and rose quartz dishes also make a chic shelf display, so if you want to recreate the Nordic vibe in your dining area, consider adding a few pastel mugs, bowls, and plates and to your china cabinet.
Functionality takes front and center in Nordic kitchens, and Scandinavians know their spatial organization like the back of their hand. For handy storage organization, group upper cabinetry on one kitchen wall, or use a single large shelf to hold all the cutlery and kitchen essentials. Also, make sure to hang the shelf or cabinet so that all items you use daily are within reach.
Scandinavian kitchens and dining areas are all about purpose, balance, and no-nonsense looks, and Nordic designers are well-aware that simplicity is a byword for aesthetic value in a modern home. If you want to achieve top-class visuals, Nordic unity of function, taste, and minimalist color palette are definitely the way to go.