A Scandinavian Design Strategy for Beating the Winter Blues

published Jan 8, 2017
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Typically, at this time of year when the holidays are over but there’s still plenty of winter ahead, I start to resort to common coping mechanisms to deal. Namely, denial and escapism (in my mind, I swear I live in Miami). But recently, the Scandinavian craze and the general assumption that Swedes/Norwegians/Danes do it best have inspired me to reconsider the power of embracing the season I can’t avoid—and even invite it inside.

The philosophy behind the design: While I spend most of the winter avoiding going outside, Scandinavians are known for not being afraid to trek outdoors. One of the most stunning examples of this is the fact that Swedish parents will often leave their babies’ strollers parked outside while their children nap, even in below-zero conditions (the BBC says so, so it must be true), believing that the fresh air is healthy and helps prevent colds. This emphasis placed on being outdoors and an appreciation for nature extends into home design as well, explaining why branches, berries and natural materials abound in beautiful Scandi-chic interiors. So while I might not be ready for sub-zero naptimes, Scandinavian design is inspiring me to stop avoiding the outdoors and invite nature inside this season. To help stay motivated for the pro-winter plan, I rounded up some Scandi interiors that beat the winter blues by bringing the outdoors in.

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The Inspiration:

(Image credit: Stadshem)

In this Scandinavian flat from Stadshem, fresh eucalyptus branches add life and greenery to an otherwise neutral room.

(Image credit: Skona Hem)

This dining area from Skona Hem proves that a natural arrangement doesn’t need to be colorful to change the vibe of the room. A display of branches is a sculptural reminder of the minimalist beauty waiting outside.

(Image credit: Fantastic Frank)

The next time you go on a winter nature walk, collect berry branches to brighten up a kitchen counter or a dining room table. In this home from Fantastic Frank, the branches are simply propped in cylindrical or fish bowl-shaped vessels—no arranging necessary.

(Image credit: Nordic Design)

Another example of the easiest natural arrangement ever: One long branch rests inside a giant glass vase in this living room from Nordic Design.

(Image credit: Dadaa)

Scoop up a loose bundle of eucalyptus and other winter clippings—either from the woods or foraged from your local Trader Joe’s—and let them lean casually in a spare pitcher, as shown above from Dadaa.

(Image credit: Bolig Liv)

One trick for stretching clippings cut from your neighbor’s backyard (kidding…sort of…) is to group together several smaller bud vases and bottles and place just a stem or two in each. In the image above from Bolig Liv, earthenware vases in shades of brown and blue ground a minimalist winter arrangement.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

If you want to introduce natural elements that are as useful as they are beautiful, consider buying an herb plant or two. These plants will brighten up your kitchen, as well as your next meal. The cozy space above was spotted on Stadshem.