Light, modern and minimalistic, Scandinavian design is almost the buzz word of the past few years. With the rise of IKEA and antiques that are quirky yet translatable to the modern day, it isn’t hard to see why. Light, white spaces are backgrounded by easy-to-clean and easy-to-complement wooden surfaces, while hunger-inducing reds and oranges spice up the mix. Adaptable to many tastes and accommodating differing personal touches, Scandinavian design offers versatility as well as flair. These five apartments, often from non-Western corners of the world, show how well the style of Scandinavia can stretch. Characterful, non-fussy and smart, they each offer an inspiration of their own.
Our first apartment shows how Scandinavian structure can incorporate other trends – in this case, bold monochromes. The living and dining room spaces fuse these together nicely. White leather couches and school chairs mingle with a solid black table and sofa chair. Identical hanging lights and almost-identical prints take turns in polarised colours. Hints of green and a wood stack let nature shine.
Textures make play on closer inspection. A marble living room table is both black and white, matching the wall lamp fixtures. White lamps dotted around the room bring in honeycomb and geometric patterns. Chrome and wooden elements hark back to Scandinavian origins.
A proliferation of the same shapes keeps thematic continuity. Two square black inlets house wood blocks and candles, while wall art takes the same form. The curve of the dining room chairs mimic curved wall lights. Golden candlesticks break the mould.
Visualizer: Roman Shepet
A second space in Krasnodar, Russia, brings more colours into play. An easy-to-maintain space, greys and beiges dominate as much as wooden elements. The central lounge and dining area bathes itself in white wood, letting soft greys and browns do the talking. Stencil bookcases alternate to the rear in black and white, while a beige woollen rug grounds the design.
From the kitchen, earthier tones come into play. Scrumptious brick reds expose themselves in the kitchen, with wooden benches and a table to settle them. Table chairs in light brown plastic add modernity, while a white-framed enclave invites from the more-muted living room.
A study hides downstairs with simple wooden features. A rough-shod wooden bookcase looks natural paired with a different-wood desk and cow-hide chair. LED lights make the space modern, much like the glass-and-iron ore lights in the kitchen.
Visualizer: Lê Hoàng Nhật Nam
A Scandinavian backdrop is the perfect canvas for a character apartment. Tailored hues, feature elements and a wider colour range work together in this apartment, while retaining simplicity. In the living room, a pea green wall holds a metal shelf behind a grey couch and wicker cane chair. Wooden floors, tables, shelving and doors are sparked by Mediterranean plants. A cow hide rug adds focus.
Rectangular framing snapshots the art of everyday life. In the living room, a steel rectangular frame watches visitors as they watch TV. The dining area boxes books in steel frames too, while square sliding doors let light into the space. A round-lit hanging chandelier adds the unique, and mis-matching chairs the different.
A proliferation of interesting lights guide the space. In the kitchen, hanging metal lights dangle at different lengths, while the dining room hosts the chandelier. Wall-mounted camera lights stay suspiciously on the ceiling, matching the metal bookcase. Met with natural light from the sliding doors, the space affords a lighter view while letting fixtures have their say.
The kitchen, on closer inspection, ties in the rest of the room. A bold triangular wallpaper mirrors the subtle geometric pattern textured on the silver entrance wall. Hanging lights are matched by steel-framed stools. Inset marble tiling and colourful leaning pictures add colour to a space to bind them all.
Visualizer: Monika Statkiewicz
Love words and pictures? This space combines the two, in a Scandinavian feel. Trademark white walls in the living room are met with gingham bean bags and spider lights in this lounge, while an inspirational quote centres the wall. Black and white features play off one another in large lettering, moustache cushions and a solid black table. A grey couch on zigzagged wooden flooring sets the stage.
The kitchen offers a place to create words, on a chalkboard wall. Exposed brick holds bold black features in a modern grandfather clock, TV and shelving. An almost-black kitchen ties in the same wood patterning as the floor.
Lighter tones decorate the bedroom, which fades into shades of grey. A gingham duvet mirrors the beanbag in the lounge, while hexagonal wall motifs make their way across the room. A chalkboard question mark breaks the white wall, referring to the chalkboard wall in the kitchen.
Visualizer: Matas Miciulis
A multicultural apartment can also use a Scandinavian influence. Our last apartment’s lounge, decorated with a Persian rug, papier mache light and Japanese prints, lets simple white walls and wooden fixtures ground its eclecticism. Simple black standing lamps and chairs keep it modern.
The kitchen, muted in white and beige, allows the living room to hero the space. All-white cabinetry and walls, coupled with tiled inlet fixtures, sit next to a roaring fireplace that takes up the wall panel beside. School chairs at the dining table make reference to the wooden floor.
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