One of the recent home design ideas gaining popularity is Scandinavian Design. More than being indicative of IKEA furniture we all know and love, it is a philosophy that combines minimalist decor, white walls, wooden floors, and bold geometric patterns. These traits were influenced by talented Scandinavian designers such as Alvar Aalto, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Eero Arnio, and Ingvar Kamprad.
Today, we will take a closer look at Scandinavian Design and observe how it can improve your home’s interior aesthetic.
Scandinavian Design as a Response to Previous Art Movements
The Romanticism of the 19th century featured opulent decor, which was influenced by 17th- and 18th-century designs. It represented art, freedom, and expression, as seen in several Victorian and Renaissance paintings. Frames and shapes on walls and cabinets and curves and lines on furniture pieces exuded elegance, as Romanticism highlighted the wealthier citizenship class during this time.
This decadence in design was rejected at the beginning of the twentieth century, starting with the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements by the end of World War I. These philosophies still affirmed the need for decorative arts in interior design, minus the signature of the aristocracy.
The Nouveau and Deco philosophies—and the German Bauhaus, Russian Constructivists, and Swiss Dadaists—feature Romanticism-lite designs. The symbolism of their anti-classism was the removal of certain features, lines, and shapes that marked nineteenth-century opulence but retained a pragmatic flamboyance.
However, home design ideas that followed these movements would be considered far too opulent by the mid-twentieth century, particularly in the decade after World War II. Since much of the world’s resources went into creating weapons of war, this was the time the primary foundations of Scandinavian home design ideas came to fruition—beauty, simplicity, and functionality—by the 1950s.
The resulting interior architecture featured simple furnishing arrangements, an uncluttered aesthetic, and a cozy vibe. These qualities were particularly prized by Northern Europeans who suffered from the blistering cold temperatures.
The Scandinavian design philosophy would not get global recognition until 1970. It was when the Lunning Prize was established to honor Frederik Lunning, a New Yorker who imported Danish designs since the 1950s. This was furthered by the endorsement of Elizabeth Gordon, then-editor of House Beautiful magazine, currently the world’s oldest interior design-focused magazine.
Scandinavian Design as a Reflection of Modern Tastes
As Elizabeth Gordon once commented in an issue of House Beautiful, Scandinavian Design represented modern taste in home design ideas compared to its predecessors. “It is a democratic, natural, minimal, intimate, and family-focused philosophy, not the state.”
Indeed, when comparing it to Romantic-era interiors, which projected the need for more opulent furnishings, Scandinavian Design is simpler, user-centric, and customizable according to the inhabitant’s preferences.
How Does Scandinavian Design Improve Your Interior Aesthetic?
- Bold Simplicity: Google “Scandinavian Design interiors,” and you’ll find a common base color theme throughout your search results: white, brown, and a bit of black. An equitable combination of both grounds your interior’s aesthetic without being too dull or boring.
- Functionality: This particular design philosophy emphasizes function over form, meaning your house will only have the furnishings it needs. Every piece visible to the eye has purpose and use.
- Cost-Effectiveness: Naturally, this also means a leaner budget when implementing Scandinavian Design throughout your home. Only what is necessary is to be purchased—nothing more, nothing less.
On That Note
If you’re looking for a more minimalist design for your living room, garden, or complete interior redecoration, the Scandinavian philosophy might be one of the home design ideas for you. It is a practical way of living, introducing furniture that isn’t for show but will be used by inhabitants and guests without sacrificing form, quality, or cost.
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