Style Lessons to Steal From the Nordics

The world has long been hungry for the Nordic lifestyle, with our love of design, nature, light and living the good life. But this is about much more than painting your floorboards white or throwing a sheepskin on a chair – it’s a mindset that informs everyday life. The good thing is, anybody can do it, and it’s not even a question of budgets or the size of your home. Here are our nine steps to living life like a Scandinavian.

Choose good design
This is not about trying to impress the neighbours or name-dropping about your latest designer buy. Living with design is simply living well, caring about how the things around you work, how they are made and how they make you feel. For us Nordics, form follows function – we design from necessity. (Though, as we all know, there’s nothing stopping our designers making functional items that are both funky and fab.)

Love the light
We all know the Nordic penchant for white walls and pared-back interiors, right? Of course, that’s a bit of a cliché, and there are plenty of colourful homes in Scandinavia. But the fact remains that we love all shades of white – perhaps in celebration of both the sunlight in summer and the deep snow in winter.

The walls of this room are absolutely perfect for reflecting the light. A sloping ceiling casts light throughout the space and ends at clerestory windows (above eye level) that catch even the lowest rays in winter.

Wishbone Chairs

Organise and declutter
We do like a bit of order and selection. After all, two Swedish words you might all know are ombudsman and smorgasbord. But it’s also about seeing everyday beauty in the simple of things, and taking pleasure in a pile of well-folded towels or running a hand along a shelf of colour co-ordinated books. This ethos is akin to mindfulness through design, and is something that can be done no matter how you live or what your budget is.

March 10, 2017 — Lisa Wood