Embrace Scandinavian Design In Your Home

There are several different countries that have enviable decorating styles and none more so than the Scandinavians. They manage to design homes that are both calming and elegant, both enviable traits that a lot of us try and fail to replicate in our homes. If you don’t think you are too familiar with the Scandinavian style, chances are that you have seen their ideas of minimalism, muted earthy tones and natural materials incorporated into a lot of other people’s designs.

The Scandinavians really take the idea of a home being a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and therefore make it serene and inviting to all. If you are a person who appreciates liveliness and bright colours then perhaps this is not the style for you, although there is nothing stopping you introducing a few colour schemes to the mix.

The reason the Scandinavian style works so well in modern interior design is because of its simplicity. They are known for their minimalism and brightness, with the preferred colour scheme being white and other neutral tones. Their use of white doesn’t stop at painted walls; they also like to incorporate the colour into their furniture, accessories and decorations too. The result is a bright and spacious look but to many this can be seen as cold if colour isn’t introduced in some way and others see the use of neutral tones as reminiscent of a doctor’s surgery.

If you are a fan of a simple and clean style then this is definitely one that you should look to take inspiration from. The basic concept for each room is relatively similar with Scandinavian design but also each room is approached in a unique way and has distinctive characteristics. For instance, the kitchen is an integral room in their culture and its design teams openness and an airy feel with functionality and practicality.

So how can you replicate this in your own home? Well there are a few key themes that will help you create this calming and elegant style.

Flooring
One of the most obvious trends with Scandinavian design is the use of light-finished wooden floors. The lightness and use of natural material helps to create a transitional feature that complements the rest of the rooms design.

Earthy Shades
While plenty of people aren’t too keen on having an all white interior, never fear the Scandinavians are also fans of earthy shades that are reminiscent of stone to add a bit of atmosphere and create warmth in a home. You might think this sounds unappealing when read but check out some examples of it and soon you’ll want to incorporate the look too!

Natural Light
Nature plays a key part in this design style and what better way to get the most out of the neutral décor than by ensuring there is a lot of natural light. To do this try and get the most out of your windows by removing any thick curtains or privacy blinds that tend to dull the light.

Texture
As the colour palette is relatively stripped back, these designs rely heavily on textures and fabrics to create additional warmth and variation. Think along the line of throws and rugs to help break up textures.

Designing The Perfect Lounge

If you think your home is due a bit of an overhaul then there is no easier or better place to start than the livingroom. This is the room where your family will spend more of its downtime and therefore it is likely that your home will benefit most from it getting a fresh lease of life. However there are a few things worth considering when you decide to redecorate your livingroom and it is well worth doing so before you crash on in there and start messing things up too much.

Redesigning a room is like any other project and it requires a bit of thought and serious planning beforehand. The last thing you want to do in your busy schedule is to have to start all over again after you have just painted or wall papered an entire room, so keep these key principles in mind once you have started and you should be well on your way to a stylish room.

Keep Cost To A Minimum
It is very easy for us to start spending a lot of money when we are redecorating, but generally this isn’t a good idea…for the room or your wallet. You could easily spend thousands of pounds on a new couch or set of chairs that probably won’t even get much usage. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t spend money on good furniture but think about it in a practical sense, there are also plenty of ways to save money on furniture and you might want to consider waiting for specific sales such as those in January.

Sort Out Your Television
The television is the undoubted centre of most of our living rooms even if you wish it wasn’t, as a result it should be a pretty big consideration to take into account when you are redesigning the room. Do you want the TV to be the focal point that everything (seating etc.) is designed around or would you rather the couches faced each other and the TV was towards the side?

If you are redecorating your living room then you might actually want to consider replacing your television with a more modern design and they also tend to be a lot thinner and more attractive than older models too. As with furniture you will always be able to find good deals on televisions so it is well worth considering.

Consider Lighting
Lighting is undoubtedly one of the most important considerations to take into account when you are trying to create a particular mood or theme in a room. If you were to design a stylish living room and just rely on the existing ceiling lighting then the chances are you are missing out on a treat. Lighting not only allows you to see better at night time but it also allows you to accentuate specific areas and decorations, offers functionality and is also a method of decoration too.

A well-designed living room should have adjustable lighting and also multiple sources of lighting whether floor or table lamps to suit all your needs.

Creating a timeless kitchen

A kitchen is the last place that you want to experiment with one-off trends and styles, instead if you are considering redecorating or redesigning your kitchen it is best to opt for a timeless style that you aren’t going to want to change in a few years time. In that way the kitchen is pretty similar to the bathroom, neither are rooms that you can majorly experiment with without spending a good amount of money and having to live with the results.

This isn’t to say that you have to be boring when decorating but it is important to opt for a style that you can see fitting in with the rest of your house and one that you won’t want to change after a few years. A ‘timeless’ kitchen doesn’t have to be a bland one but it is one that benefits from the likes of neutral colour schemes, as they suit practically all kitchens and are a great base for the rest of your design.

The colour palette of a kitchen should be based upon keeping the kitchen light and warm, this doesn’t necessarily have to be achieved through painting the walls. The cabinetry is a huge part of a kitchen and you should use this as an opportunity to add contrast. If your kitchen doesn’t benefit from much natural light then the lighter the colours the better, as this will help reflect the light that there is.

If you want to create a timeless look then you are going to have to consider investing in furniture and cabinetry that is made from good quality materials. There is the option to purchase cheaper cabinet doors but these might age quickly and require replacing. Look to invest in good quality wood finishes and add a focal point of a quality wood table and chairs for a homely feel.

A kitchen also never looks worse than if its owner has not considered intelligent storage solutions. Whether for your appliances or cereals, introducing smart storage solutions makes a kitchen feel a lot more comfortable and spacious.

To help you on your way to a timeless kitchen here are our top styling tips!

– It is important to always be aware of your ‘work triangle’; this is the space between the sink, oven and fridge. The further apart it is, the less organised and harder it will be for you to enjoy being in your kitchen.

– When planning an entire kitchen it is very important to know exactly what is going to be installed and for you to create a space for everything. The last thing you want to do is start installing a kitchen and then realise you haven’t allocated any space for your regular and recycling bin. Think of where appliances and other items are most conveniently going to be placed and try and fit them there.

– In a similar vein, know where you want to put bulk accessories such as your kettle and toaster as these can take up a lot of space and you have to ensure they have a power outlet nearby.

Be Expressive With Wall Art

For a lot of us wall art can be intimidating thing. Expressing your tastes in the open for all your guests to see is something that a lot of us would rather not do and most of us wouldn’t even know where to begin! Having said that, there are so many ways we can make our walls, which are often baron and dull, more exciting. Even a flash of creativity and colour can have a huge impact on a room and as a result we are seeing a growing trend of wall art in our homes.

But what do we mean by wall art? For us it is a term that is inclusive of any kind of creative design on your walls…from framed art to your own take on a wall collage. Here are some interesting ideas that can breath some life into even the most generic white wash walls.

Gallery Walls
If you are short on space then incorporating the ‘gallery wall’ idea of using multiple small shelves to display pictures and photographs can be very eye-catching and modern. It is a simple look to create that doesn’t require a particularly large amount of work. It also means you can chop and change the display whenever you like to suit your tastes. Once the shelves are in place, what you place on them is entirely up to you; a lot of people tend to embrace a specific theme to give the display some form of flow and symmetry. Also by choosing a specific theme such as black and white photographs, you are creating a more impactful display.

Use A Rug
This is an interesting design option and there are plenty of cultures that hang rugs from their walls to not only maintain heat but also as a feature. Using a rug as art requires a relatively high quality design but if pulled off correctly then it can be very aesthetically pleasing.

Framed Wallpaper
This is a growing trend and a great way to help co-ordinate your room. Invest in some good quality frames and paint them a similar colour to your wall and then within the frames add matching or contrasting wallpapers for an instant cool design. It is a great way of bringing attention to your walls without having to spend a lot of money on artwork.

Customised Canvases
It is easier than ever to get your photographs or images scaled up and printed on canvases and a lot of people love the idea of doing this with early pictures of them and their families. Plenty of sites even let you customise your image to create more of an artistic feel and even a painted look to them.

DIY Art
If you are looking to be creative with wall art then along the lines of customised canvases, why don’t you try dabbling with being artistic yourself? If you have ever painted or drawn then you might want to consider displaying your own work as a point of interest rather than paying for someone else’s.

2014’s Interior Design Trends

There are more people than ever interested in designing their ideal homes and this means that interior design has become more popular than ever. Whilst certain interior design trends are timeless, there are others that are new to the party or drop in and out of favour. To help you on your way to your ideal home here are our top interior design trends of 2014!

Merging Indoors With Nature
We have seen a real development in bringing the outdoors into our homes, essentially merging our outdoor and indoor environments. Think along the lines of more comfortable and textured outdoor seating and introducing walls of green vegetation into your home for a more natural environment.

Danish Cool
This year we are seeing designers taking their style tips from the Danish, especially their style of beds. Offering people low, clean and clinical beds that create an immediate look of style and sophistication. It is a look that favours that of minimalism and definitely makes itself the focal point of the room, so keep your room clutter free and choose neutral tones if you go for this look.

Heavy Metal
Metal is a material that was once deemed to cold for the home but it is now incredibly popular. Think along the lines of brass and copper finishes on handles and taps, and now metal splashbacks are seeing a rise in the kitchen too. The metal trend is an easy way to add a touch of style and a modern feel to a home.

Floral
The floral trend is one that is not only in fashion this year but also interior design. This trend can easily be incorporated into a room through pieces of art, wall prints and wallpaper. This is a trend that you can easily attempt yourself but if you have the funds it is a great idea to get a professional to create a hand painted piece. Be brave with your floral choices and go for striking and intricate designs to meet one of 2014’s key design trends.

Vintage and Shabby
The vintage and shabby chic trend is forever popular and there is little chance of it abating. Why splash out money on expensive modern designs when you can have adventures at car boot sales and vintage stores for pieces that have a lot of character and interest. Over the last few years we have seen a rise in the use of wood and glass designs and accessories, think vintage bottles, storage jars and quirky tables. This trend can easily be introduced into a variety of existing interior design styles and offers quirky pieces to compliment your existing look.

Mismatching
It might be a trend that feels a bit unnatural for us to do as the majority of us prefer the feel of symmetry and matching designs. But mismatching décor in an uncoordinated way is becoming a big trend of 2014 and by incorporating different patterns and prints as well as furniture, you can create some attention grabbing designs.