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Want to get the sleek and stylish Scandinavian look in your new home? It’s much easier than you might think. And it doesn’t require buying all your furniture from Ikea. I’ve got a few tips for you to create a warm, welcoming home that could grace the pages of any home design magazine.
When attempting to recreate this look most go wrong by painting everything black and white. The real secret to this look, however, is in the details. Less is always more so a serious decluttering project will start you off on the right foot. And don’t think that the only way to recreate this look is to replace all your furniture. In fact, working with existing pieces will make the look feel more natural and unassuming.
You probably already know to reach for shades of grays, whites, and creams when choosing your color palette. But having some color is crucial. Blue is the perfect addition of color for this look especially for a sofa, some throw pillows or your kitchen table chairs. When adding other colors do so sparingly to really make a statement. For example, a yellow lamp in the kitchen, green chairs in the dining room or pink throw pillows on the couch.
To avoid a cold, sterile environment natural elements like wood, stone, and glass add warmth back into the room. Copper and gold accents also warm up a room while keeping a modern touch. Think a natural wood table top where the grain takes center stage or copper hardware that pops when placed against blacks and whites.
Give your space a welcoming homey feel by reaching for texture to create visual interest. Think furry pillows, woven textiles, and chunky knits. Monochrome artwork breaks up blank walls without looking out of place and furniture pieces are the main attraction. There’s no need for knick-knacks here, in fact, they’re best donated or stored away. To stay true to this look each piece you add to the room should have a function.
Another key to this look is lighting. During the day you want to let in as much of it as you can. While curtains and blinds are often skipped altogether pleated and roman blinds maintain privacy and a clean look. When choosing curtains stick to your neutral palette and avoid prints or dramatic drapery. For the night you can create perfect ambiance with string lights and paper lanterns. As a bonus, a paper lantern floor lamp pulls double duty by adding natural texture to the room.
The sleek clean lines of Scandinavian design, especially those you see in catalogs, can seem impossible to replicate. At least not without replacing everything you own. But the truth is it is easily achievable to recreate with your existing furniture. With a little creativity, a few cans of paint and a lot of decluttering you’ll have a cozy, modern home before you know it.
A new house means a clean slate for redecorating. Which is fun and exciting but can become quickly frustrating if you struggle to match the furniture in front of you to the vision in your head.
If you find that this happens the good news is that you are probably a lot closer to creating a beautiful, well-designed room than you think. It’s usually subtle touches that designers keep up their sleeves that make all the difference for a stylish room.
The first thing to keep in mind is that all furniture should be arranged to fit onto your area rug. If this isn’t the case or you don’t have an area rug, this is a worthy investment when you’re able to do so. If you love you’re existing area rug that is too small you can always layer it over a larger rug. This will add dimension and a designer touch, look at you go.
Keep furniture away from the wall. This also makes the above tip much easier to achieve. That’s right you don’t need to find a rug that will span the entire room. Keeping the furniture in the center of the room makes it feel bigger and more spacious. You’ll never look at your friend’s and family’s rooms the same!
Match the size of the artwork you hang up to the size of the furniture you hang it over. Aim for the frame to be at least ⅔ of the size of what it is over and hang it mid-eye level. If you have a gallery wall design it to be so that it still covers a large enough amount of wall space. And smaller artwork can always be creatively reframed.
Take your family’s traffic patterns and activities into consideration when arranging. Blocking main routes with a piece of furniture is awkward and cumbersome. And designing a room that doesn’t accommodate your family’s lifestyle can create chaos and even discord. Make space for toys, video games and homework stations for example.
Take advantage of different levels of lighting. Combining overhead lighting with table and floor lamps create a well-lit comfortable room. It also allows for more control over the ambiance of the room whether it’s time to wind down at night or you’re having friends over for the game.
Add enough tables to the room. A large coffee table is an anchor to the room and allows for drinks to rest, snacks to be laid out and feet to be kicked up. You also want side tables in reach of all sitting positions, and as a place for those table lamps, we mentioned earlier.
And last but not least the secret detail few homeowners include is greenery. Lots of greenery throughout a room makes it feel pulled-together and “right”. It can be via potted plants, fresh-cut flowers or both! If you don’t have a green-thumb there are lots of low-maintenance plants that can survive the most destitute of conditions. Visit a local greenhouse to get an expert opinion on what will fit your level of experience and the lighting conditions of your room. Hint: it’s a good idea to know which direction your windows are facing i.e. North, NorthWest, West etc.
Tiny houses are trending. Americans want to live simpler lives. They want to get back to nature and feel more in control of their lives, both at work and at home. Evidence of this is reflected in the rising numbers of Americans who make up the gig economy. It's also reflected in the numbers of people who are downsizing, ridding themselves of household clutter and opting for chic, modern or traditional interior designs that showcase their amazing personalities.
Get the space you want without moving to a new house
You don't have to buy or live in a tiny house to want to make a small home appear bigger than it actually is. A new addition to your family, gaining a roommate or the operating a business out of your home are reasons why you might want to expand your living space without moving. These tricks may be just what you're looking for.
- Buy and install multi-purpose furniture. Instead of a traditional sofa, get a sofa that unfolds into a bed. Also, go with a sofa that has bottom shelves for added storage space.
- Choose built-in wall bookcases. Four rows of wall bookcases can easily save you several square feet of floor space,especially if you consider how much space four large separate bookcases would take up.
- Install interior doors that also function as tables and storage shelves. These devices are interchangeable by removing and inserting clamps into levers.
- Choose transformable furniture. These furniture pieces save money and space. An example of transformable furniture is a table that doubles as a chair. You may have to visit specialty furniture stores to find transforming furniture pieces.
- Make good use of vertical space. Stack decorative storage bins on top of each other rather than shoving them in closets or placing them in or near the middle of a floor.
- Keep end tables close to chairs and sofas.
- Use tables that fold into chairs and rely on stylish ceiling lights for lighting. During the day, rely on natural light.
- Install removable dividers to turn a single room into a multi-purpose space. Go with dividers that are made with elegant designs.
- Purchase twin, bunk beds that fold away when not in use.
- Turn your attic into a master bedroom. Make sure that air flow and insulation in the attic is good, allowing the attic to easily heat and cool.
- Screen your front or back porch. Place chairs and a sofa on the porch and use the space as an outdoor office or socializing area.
- Donate furniture and objects that you don't use to charities and community organizations.
A large house still serves as a sign of success in many communities. Other Americans are focusing on houses that are highly functional, whether that functionality comes through floor plans or solar energy. One thing is certain. Individual living space preferences are helping to reshape the housing market. It is exciting to watch the impact that those preferences are making.