The last century has seen Scandinavian culture have an increasing influence on the rest of the world. But what is so significant and attractive about Scandinavia style? Why do people love interiors with that unmistakably ‘Scandi’ look?Is it because Nordic style is so easy on the eye and comfortable to live with? Perhaps it’s because the look can be achieved on most budgets. Lapicida endorses both these theories and it is something we are focusing on with our Northern Lights design insight.
Inspiration for the Scandi style comes mainly from the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. These far northern regions are beautiful yet unpredictable places with extremes of weather and light. Consequently, nature and responsibility for the environment is fundamental to the people who inhabit the Nordic countries. Home is a very real refuge, a place of comfort to escape the perpetual darkness of winter and harsh weather.
Scandinavian or Nordic design emerged in the early 20th century around the time that the Arts and Crafts Movement began in Britain. It’s easy to see parallels between the two movements. Both have very similar principles. Good design and functionality are equally important, craftsmanship and buildings play a pivotal role in people’s lives. It’s also essential to live in harmony with your environment and that things should be made to last.
The philosophy began to gain traction largely in response to industrialisation and mass production, especially following the Second World War. ‘Beautiful and functional products should be available for all’ became the defining concept. Scandi style was characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality. The look is clean – think uplifting whites and light natural woods. Homely, too – think folk art and comfortable furnishings.
Its pioneers are numerous and include legendary architects and furniture designers such as Finland’s Alvar Aalto, best known for his mid-century designs. Also, the Dane Arne Jacobsen perhaps best known for his ‘Model 3107’ and ‘Egg’ chairs.
FIVE WAYS TO GET THE LOOK
Light flooring running throughout the home can lighten a space and give it a sense of fluidity, cohesion and a graceful feel. Nordic Earth (above centre) is an antique-finish Norwegian wood in porcelain. This surface can be used in kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces. Alternatively, for a super-minimalist feel try Cardoso Ivory porcelain.
When daylight hours are at the minimum, white and neutral shades help to brighten the home. It is a style that never seems to date. For a luxury finish try a white marble such as Calacatta Lincoln. With a delicate fine grey veining, this luxury contemporary marble offers a softer alternative to a pure white surface. As well as a superb covering for walls it can be used on floors, for stair and step detailing and vanity furniture, too.
Contrary to popular belief, the Nordic look isn’t always about blinding white surfaces. Walls or floors in dark grey and even black are used to create a moody atmospheric look, especially when the light is low. Try Nero Parquet (above right) for a rustic look. Black and white themes are highly popular in Scandinavia, too, with Venetian Chequer being a best seller.
Power of Patterns
A patterned tile stands out brilliantly against a white or neutral interior. Old Mirabello (above left) with its faded finish or vintage-inspired Old Trieste can be mixed with Old White to create a contrasting look.
Scandinavians are experts when it comes to interior styling. We think the carefully crafted Carrara Marble Refectory Table is perfectly suited to this style – so too our Petrified Wood Basins. The hand-polished bowl makes it suitable for either a basin or decorative object that will create a real focal point in any setting. Functional as well as beautiful – the ethos of true Scandinavian style.
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For more information regarding any Lapicida surface, call us on 01423 400 100 or contact us here.