What is it with those Scandinavians, anyway? Maybe all the time they spend inside during those long northern winters helps to account for the fact that everyone in Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway has an absolutely perfect home. (At least according to the design blogs I read, anyway.) I've scoured the internet for the most beautiful Scandinavian spaces, and tricks you can steal from each one to get that super-stylish look... without spending the whole winter indoors.
Above: Want to make a really bold rug work? Keep the other elements in the room subdued, so that the rug can take center stage. This colorful Moroccan rug (in a space from Bolig) looks especially nice against a dark floor.
Playing with textures in your decorating can be just as interesting as playing with color. In this Swedish apartment spotted on Nordic Design, the colors are muted, but rich textures — from the lamp, the pouf, the rug, the textiles on the couch and on the bed — keep things interesting.
There's a lot going on in this space, but it doesn't feel overwhelming because the color palette is fairly muted. Also, even though there's quite a bit of furniture in the room, it's spaced out enough to allow each piece room to breathe. Negative space can be really important — it allows the eye to rest so that a room reads as interesting and not chaotic. Home of stylist Emma Persson Lagerberg, spotted on Nordic Design.
I had to include two pictures of this apartment from Bolaget, because I just love it so much. Sometakeaways: a little bit of texture, shine, and a little touch of nature (here, in the form of the flower arrangement and that gorgeous hanging over the bed) make any room better. Also, a foolproof way to add a little extra drama to any room? Mix in just a bit of black.
To make a gallery wall look more cohesive, group pieces closely together, and keep them within a single color family. Spotted on My Scandinavian Home.
Who says chairs have to match? Mix and match yours to make your dining space a little more interesting. Another takeaway? Leather furniture is a great way to add a little warmth and texture to a space. From My Scandinavian Home.
if you love color but don't want to be overwhelmed, try adding little bits of color to a mostly neutral space. Colorful abtract paintings really pop against the walls of this space from Interiormagasinet — and a wood floor keeps the space from feeling too cold or sterile.
Pair a traditionally styled table with modern chairs for a dynamic look. From Elle Decoration.
Want to embrace dark colors but feeling a little worried that they'll leave your rooms feeling gloomy and cavelike? Start with a single accent wall and work from there. Spotted on Decorology.
Mixing bold patterns together can work beautifully — just keep everything within the same color family, and keep the rest of the room nice and simple. From Flodeau.
(Image credits: Bolig; Nordic Design; Nordic Design; My Domaine; Bolaget; My Scandinavian Home; My Scandinavian Home; Interiormagasinet; Elle Decoration; Decorology; Flodeau)