Dec 9, 2012

White luxe

It’s December, time when people prefer to stay in warm, cozy interior and have mulled wine. For most people winter stands for snow white and Christmas. Not everyone has opportunity to see snow though. This year I’m spending Christmas in Gibraltar, where snowed just once in 1954, but I remember very well winter that I spent in Sweden and since then my love to white color in interior remained. Swedish interior design is one of my favorite and it is successfully used away from country of Ikea and "Pepparkakor" (Swedish cookies) in countries where winter doesn’t last that long.
Swedish style can have many faces: can be very classic and elegant like Gustavian look, can also be more country style, eclectic or modern, but some elements are always essential part of this Scandinavian, clean and fresh style. 

White walls
Long winter and lack of natural light is balanced by very light colors palette in an interior. Snow white or cream walls, windows, door sometimes even floor are created to give false image of light, which is so valuable during long and dark winter days.

Beautiful example of classic Gustavian style with Mora clock in the corner.

Light colors
All furniture and accessories are usually also white, beige, light blue, gold, mustard or grey. This choice of colors was chosen to maximize the light effect at home. Modern style is more vivid, tends to mix many intensive colors like green, red, blue and red. Floor is usually light brown, wooden, pine and birch is very often used. 

Contemporary rural style.

Swedish furniture comes in a different styles, all depends on what look is to be achieved. In Gustavian style furniture are elegant, based on classic style of Louis XV or more rococo style by Loius XVI, original antiques, vintage pieces.. When style is more farmhouse inspired then furniture are more rustic, simple, minimalist, very often different pieces don’t match. Everyone one knows “Ikea” and their furniture, which is often used by young people who wants to have modern home. Furniture from Ikea is affordable, simple, elegant, nicely design and trendsetting. Originally Swedish style is very clear and minimal, so if you want to create nice space it is better to use minimal amount of furniture, although it’s used more often in bigger spaces. 

Dining room inspired with Louis XVI style.

Windows are designed to catch as much sunlight as possible, so they usually are wide and high. Very often they do not have any curtains. When curtains are added then they tend to be made with sheer and very light fabric. They can be completely white or white, cream or with delicate pattern or vertical strips. They decorate windows with advent candles during Christmas season and plants during the year. 

Country hose design.

To amplify the light apart from large windows Swedes tend to use big mirrors usually in a nice, golden frames. Very significant element is also chandelier with crystals that catches the light and gives nice reflects.To compete the desired look the space is filled with lamps in different places. They can be floor lamps, hanging or placed on cabinets.

Glamour version of Swedish design.

“Toile de Jouy” pattern decorated Swedish fabrics like nothing else. It is type of decorating pattern consisting and repeatable on white background. Scenes are usually complex like pastoral scenes with people or simpler like flower arrangement. These motives are also wildly used on porcelain and tiles.

Example of  “Toile de Jouy” pattern.

Swedish Accessories
When I think about typical Swedish accessories then it’s definitely a Mora Clock. Produces in Mora in Sweden since late 18th century, although the production dropped they are still a vivid part of typical Swedish style. 

Mora clock.

Nicely placed piece of traditional Scandinavian ceramic is also essential in Scandinavian style. It can be either a beautiful plate, tiles on the fireplace or on the walls,  lamps or other accessories at the shelf.
Beautiful and colorful symbol of Sweden especially outside of the country are nothing else than Dala horses. They are traditional wooden statuette originally design in Dalarna region to be a children’s toy. Nowadays they are very popular accessory at many traditional houses and I also own one. They can decorate every shelf at any room. 

Dala horse.

As you can see the Swedish style in decorating has many faces and can have many approaches. If you want to use it your house don’t have to be strict about it, play with it, e.g. pick and mix some of commonly used elements.  Antiques with contemporary pieces will create low-key and very luxe look and remember white can be very cozy too!

And the last picture, an example of maximalism in Swedish style.

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