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Taking Inspiration From Modern Scandinavian Architecture

Scandinavian architecture has been distinct from the rest of Europe sine medieval times. Until relatively recently so called Norse architecture consisted of wooden and turf buildings. At the turn of the nineteenth century Sweden developed a distinctive style of its own, known as Jugenstil. However, inspired by the German Bauhaus style and led by architects like Gunnar Asplund, modernism has taken over as the dominant style, with functionality being at the forefront of design. Elements of modernist Scandinavian architecture and interior design have inspired buildings all over Europe and North America. Indeed, Danish architects are notable for their work across the world, including the famous exterior of the Sidney Opera House.

Exteriors.

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Norwegian house fronts are not dissimilar in appearance to many found in New England. Vertical and horizontal weather boarding is found all over the region, creating a clean and simple look. Fancy design elements are usually kept to a minimum with Scandinavian exteriors, however some detailing is usually to be found at an entrance way. Bright reds and yellows, along with traditional white, are often chosen for home exteriors by Scandinavians, particularly if they are close to the coast. In Iceland many of the homes are colored vibrantly.

Architectural Interior Elements.

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To give your home’s interior a Scandinavian feel keep the number of colors in your palette to a minimum and use a couple of well chosen items of furniture. Clutter, is most definitely the enemy in a Scandinavian home. Choose a single item that will be the focal point of your room, like a wood burning stove. Wooden flooring is best, but use rugs to add warmth and comfort. If you want to hang photographs or artwork, opt for simple and elegant frames and leave plenty of plain wall on view.

White White White.

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Most people associate Scandinavian style with white surfaces. Sure, there are plenty of other colors that can be used, but for the classic look don’t stray too far from white. As with exteriors, white painted boarding looks great and sets the right tone. And don’t be put off by overdoing it. White floors, walls and ceilings, unsurprisingly, go well with white window frames, blinds and curtains. If your home is brick built, it can feel like a big step to paint your walls, particularly on the exterior. Be bold and go for it. You won’t be able to remove the paint easily but at least you can change it to another color if you become tired of the look.

Designs On Dining.

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As with other aspects of Scandinavian modernist design, dining is a simple and elegant affair. Select a wooden table without patterns and adornments. Simple dining chairs are the order of the day. Practical chairs that can be stacked away are a good choice. Select crockery that is white and undecorated. If that all seems too austere, then Scandinavian inspired design may not be for you after all. However, don’t be afraid to break up the look of your dining room with a bright and eye catching light fitting or a spectacular table center piece..

Highlighting Windows.

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Given that many Scandinavians live close to the Arctic Circle, light has a great deal of importance in modern design. Northerners really notice the lack of sunlight during the winter months and how relatively low the sun gets in the sky. For this reason, windows that sit high in the building are often used to maximise dwindling light. Get the Scandinavian look by specifying floor to ceiling windows and glazing elements that sit high into the eaves of your building’s walls. Sky lights, fitted into the southern side pf your roof structure, are another good way of maximising light and achieving a great Scandinavian look.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.