|Scandinavian Country Houses|
Despite its rich history, the Scandinavian style looks quite modern. Although the direction has a number of signs and obeys certain theses, it rather conveys the spirit, the flavor of Scandinavia, and not its specific features. The most important distinctive features of the characters of the northern peoples were able to be reflected in the style: restraint, frugality, slowness, slight alienation and boundless love for nature and everything natural. The word "Scandinavia" hides a historical region where a group of developed countries is located: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden. You can also read other articles: Scandinavian Balcony Ideas.
These states, despite their geographical proximity to the rest of Western Europe, rallied around a symbolic center and always kept themselves apart. Perhaps that is why the characters of the northern inhabitants retained some of their primitive, Nordic features. For example, the well-known saying “my home is my fortress” is relevant for the Scandinavians as never before. They have always strived to create a cozy, neat home in which they want to spend most of their lives. You can also read other articles: scandinavian barn house plans.
Norwegians and Danes even have the concept of "hygge", which literally translates as "something safe, good and cozy, which causes a feeling of psychological comfort." In recent decades, it has become a full-scale life concept, which has been actively introduced to the masses. Partially, the hygge also touches on the interior issue, because the house is a part of human life. You can also read other articles: Types of risks in construction projects.
Origin of the style
No one will give the exact date of the origin of the Scandinavian style. This process was long and took almost several centuries to "gain momentum." Initially, Scandinavian designers decided to create a unique direction that would have exclusively native features and would meet the requirements of their compatriots. The beginning was laid at the end of the 19th century. The main principle was recognized as the statement: "more beauty in everyday things." That is, despite the natural human craving for beauty, the northern people have not lost their traditional attachment to practicality. You can also read other articles: Scandinavian Style Balcony.
Although some connoisseurs of design history suggest that the birth of the Scandinavian style began even earlier (almost 200 years earlier), when King Gustav III ascended the throne in Sweden. He devoted a lot of time to fashion and everything connected with it. Perhaps for this reason, the king overlooked the conspiracy of the aristocrats that led to his death, but that's another story. Gustav, by his example, began to show the Swedes that no matter how beautifully the British, Italians and French decorated their houses, their style can not only be copied, but also added something of their own. The Baroque and Rococo by that time were replaced by the graceful Empire style, which in Sweden followed a completely different path, where it was "overgrown" with numerous elements characteristic only of northerners. You can also read other articles: scandinavian homes exterior.
For three centuries, the direction has finally formed and strengthened. Unfortunately, until recently, they did not pay much attention to him, until modern Europe (the trendsetter), tired of pretentiousness, pomp and luxury, turned its gaze to simple styles. It happened in the 30s at the International Exhibition held in Stockholm. The designers showcased their work reflecting the lifestyle of the average person in Sweden or Finland. The show was a success, which was consolidated 20 years later in Canada and the United States after repeated exhibitions. Since then, the direction has its official name, which is increasingly flashing in textbooks and magazines on interior design. You can also read other articles: How to Soundproof Your House.
Luxury gradually lost ground, and new directions burst into houses and apartments, like a breath of fresh air. Some of them were as restrained as possible (minimalism, technological modernity), while others allowed themselves the presence of rough details (Provence, rustic, industrial, fusion). And at this very moment, the quiet and inconspicuous Scandinavian way of life (that very mysterious concept) interested Europeans tired of the chronic pursuit of time itself. With the arrival of the Hygge in the houses, to whom they began to devote whole treatises, where the Scandinavians are dismantled, perhaps not under a microscope, the interior style characteristic of them also became popular. He is calm, but not devoid of emotionality (albeit meager). You can also read other articles: Shelving ideas DIY.
Features of the Scandinavian style
The main characteristic features by which the Scandinavian style can be distinguished from the closest "relatives" include the following features.
- Calm, natural color scheme, which is dominated by white (the color of a snowy canvas - a native landscape for northerners).
- The minimum amount of decor. The space must breathe.
- Only natural materials: no synthetics or plastic.
- As simple as possible finishing.
- Open plan. The northern style is not very fond of doorways, so it often resorts to combined rooms.
When decorating a house, you will be able to save money without buying a "multi-layer" finish, but natural wood or stone will require additional costs. You can also read other articles: Indoor ornamental plants.
Exterior and construction features
Scandinavian house projects are reliable. The architect will be sure to carefully check all the details and remove the excess that does not carry any functional load. Northerners prefer to settle in private country houses, which are completely different from our traditional summer cottages. When building, the Scandinavians always pay attention to the surrounding nature: in no case should it be destroyed. Only the location remains of the dacha color here, but in general the dwelling is more like a comfortable forester's hut.
The place is chosen as calm as possible with charming rural landscapes that can be admired through panoramic windows. This is another feature of such houses: they should let in a maximum of light and allow one to spiritually calm down while contemplating the surrounding beauties. The trait did not develop from scratch, because in the north there is such a short summer and so little sun that you want to swim in it whenever possible. In one-story dwellings, panoramic windows can grow into glass walls. You can also read other articles: Small Garden Inspirations.
Previously, houses were built using the same technology as our log cabins, but later they began either to sheathe the walls with boards from the outside (clapboard), or to use processed timber as a material. Scandinavian buildings usually have a "sharp" gable roof. This "trick" allows the snow to clear itself, and not accumulate in the form of deposits. Here flora can rage: roofs are often overgrown with moss, creating a disguise for the surrounding nature. The presence of a second floor is not necessary, but for large families it becomes a necessity. The attic space can successfully replace it, the northerners love to equip offices, nurseries and bedrooms under the roof.
Talking about windows. This amount of sunlight is explained by another feature of the Scandinavians: they actively use alternative energy sources, among which solar is in the first place. After all, the Swedes, Danes and Finns try not to harm the environment. Do not be surprised when you see solar panels on the roof, and a windmill near the house. You can also read other articles: intricacies of building structures
Who chooses a Scandinavian interior
This style is preferred, as a rule, by young, energetic people. They want to decorate their home with maximum comfort, which, at the same time, is not alien to extravagance. “Solitude and comfort” is taken as a rule by those who are too tired of excessiveness in everything: in colors, details, in forms. They want to come home and feel that only here they can relax and leave all their worries outside the front door. Going into your fortress is akin to achieving nirvana in yoga, when a person completely lets go of all everyday trifles and troubles in order to relax. Full rest, helps to rush with redoubled zeal into the whirlpool of everyday life. That is why the Scandinavian style becomes a wonderful contrast for those who know how to relax in order to accumulate strength for even more intense work. You can also read other articles: Interior design trends.
The main canvas in the Scandinavian style is white. It not only arouses nostalgia among the server peoples for the endless snow-covered expanses, but also expands the space, reflects the light, which is so scarce in cold climates. To avoid the feeling of emptiness "ringing in the ears", they use variations of white with a bit of warmth: creamy, pearl, ivory. They complement it with calm cold shades. Imagine the palette of winter, what will it be? Blue and white with transitions to blue, gray and even turquoise. These tones will form the basis of the color picture together with white. Nobody forbids adding to them grains of "warmth" in the form of shades of pink, purple, green or yellow, but there should be few of them. In general, in order to determine the color scheme, it is enough to go out into nature and take a closer look at its palette.
Scandinavians are not as boring people as they might seem at first glance. Brightness is also not alien to them. In the middle of the last century, the designers of one Finnish company came up with the “poppies” print, which made the owners famous and became the hallmark of the organization. He depicts bright flowers, which are rather primitively painted on a white or similarly flashy background. This print is actively used by Scandinavians in the interior of their homes. You can also read other articles: frank lloyd wright houses for sale.
Materials and methods of finishing the premises
The Scandinavian style in the interior of a country house dictates strict rules regarding materials for finishing work. It's very simple: they can only be natural. Finns, Swedes and Norwegians prefer wood (oak, elm, birch). It is used for revetting walls, decorating the ceiling and covering the floors. Scandinavians do not like wallpaper, preferring rough strokes of paint. Wood is used not only for the construction and decoration of houses, but also in the creation of furniture. It is almost all made of this material, with a few exceptions when using metal or natural stone. Forget about synthetic drapery or plastic tiles, they will make the furnishings cheaper and ruin the picture of the Scandinavian interior. You can also read other articles: Great Classic Houses ideas.
The walls are usually plastered and simply painted in light colors. The priority is again on the side of white and its shades. When choosing a paint, pay attention to its combination with the lighting in the rooms. In the store, it can look very different than in the house. Rough strokes are also welcome: slight carelessness when applied will only emphasize the relief of the wall. Wallpaper is rarely used. They are partially pasted over, as a rule, only one wall, on which it is necessary to emphasize. Shades are chosen neutral, and the pattern is usually "botanical" in nature (floral or leafy ornament, discreet check). Additionally, parts of the wall can be decorated with wood, stone or brick. The latter looks like a "hello" from the industrial style, but fits well into the Scandinavian framework.
The floor is covered with laminate, although sometimes parquet is also used, which is painted in one layer so that the natural wood pattern is visible. In colors, preference is given to light shades of brown. Remember, northerners prefer colors close to natural pine and disdain red tones. Brown favorably sets off the whiteness of the walls and makes the atmosphere of the room warmer. A fluffy, soft carpet or animal "skin", which is casually thrown in front of the threshold or under the sofa by the fireplace, would be useful. In the kitchen and in the bathroom, the floors are covered with ceramic tiles in neutral tones (checkerboard patterns are possible): black, white, gray, blue or purple.
The ceilings must be light. No stucco molding, painting or other bright elements are placed on them. From time immemorial, the Scandinavians have simply plastered and painted or whitewashed ceilings. This practice has survived to this day. The only allowable concession is popular stretch ceilings, but they should be white and matte. Glossy shine from above in the room will be superfluous, will attract unnecessary attention.
Selection of furniture and textiles
The most striking example of Scandinavian furniture can be considered budget products from Ikea. They are original in their simplicity and non-standard solutions. Furniture is chosen from natural wood. Materials based on compressed and glued waste are not suitable for such an interior. Forget about the conspicuous decorative elements that often adorn the legs, handles or front walls of cabinets, beds and tables. Use is encouraged:
- Marble (countertops).
- Glass (coffee tables, furniture door decor).
- Metal (chairs, shelving or cabinet decor).
Non-trivial forms, perhaps, are the only ones that can be recouped with imagination. Scandinavian style welcomes originality and quirkiness of lines that will enliven the interior.
To clearly understand what kind of furniture we are talking about, it is enough to look into the catalogs of the 50-60s. They feature designs by artists such as Saarinen, Jacobsen, Eames or Aalto.
What to focus on
Accents are set mainly by color. As mentioned above, attention can be focused on a wall pasted over with wallpaper with an ornament or on a collage of "different-sized" paintings and photographs. By the way, even bright colors can break through into the room through such a decor.
Photos in black and white with bright elements (red dress, burgundy lipstick, blue eyes) look original. Floral prints can also take up part of a wall or be applied to furniture. A couple of lilac pillows are placed on a neutral gray sofa, and curtains made of natural fabrics can play with shades of green. Do not forget about the animal skins (or rather their imitations), which cover chairs, sofas or armchairs.
And of course, the northern interior is not complete without indoor plants. There is no need to turn the premises into a branch of a botanical garden, just a few pots per room. Forget about the flower rows on the windowsills, panoramic windows will simply not allow this. Flowers are placed on tables or special stands. Preference is given to decorative thujas, ferns, dracaena, cacti, and real bamboo can be placed in the bathroom, which will like its microclimate. And of course, in any home, the main accent is the fireplace. The hot heart of the house, its symbolic center, to which the whole family will be drawn in severe winters. A decorative woodpile is installed next to it, which will add comfort.
In conditions of a shortage of light, they do not save on lighting devices, as well as on reflective surfaces. Ball-shaped chandeliers on long holders are placed on the ceilings. To help them, point light sources are additionally installed, with which you can also emphasize individual areas of the room. Sconces are fixed on the walls, and lamps with thin legs are fixed on the floor and countertops. The Scandinavian style is characterized by lighting a certain area of the room with devices of the same color and shape, but of different sizes. When developing a project for a future country house, always be guided by the rule of three types of light sources:
There is one golden rule in the slender concept of hygge: each room must fulfill its specific functions. Its purpose is necessarily emphasized, but at the same time the room is not allowed to stand out from the general atmosphere of the house. That is, through all the premises, the style runs through with a thin thread on which the furnishings are "strung". It is unique everywhere, but harmony and comfort are preserved in the interior picture. The design of the interior decoration of a country house is worked out in advance, simultaneously consulting with specialists or looking at fashion magazines. You can furnish a home with your own hands, but at the same time it is necessary to take into account all the subtleties so as not to miss and not create an unnecessarily sterile, hospital atmosphere.
Perhaps the most important rule to be followed is the reflection of the owners' inner world in the decoration of the rooms. The direction is focused primarily on comfort. You should be comfortable and cozy in your own home, so transfer the "state of mind" to your home.
The minimum necessary furniture is placed in the living room. A couple of armchairs and a wide, spacious sofa are enough, which also transforms into a sleeping place for late guests. A low coffee table with a glass surface and metal legs is located in a separate corner next to the bookcase.
Take care of the directional lighting for your readers: it can be a sconce on the wall or a lamp on the floor. Wide windows are usually not covered with tulle, because during the day it is necessary to let in a maximum of light, and at night they are closed with thick curtains of a neutral color (permissible with an unobtrusive pattern). The floor near the sofa is covered with a soft carpet. A group of stylish paintings are hung on the walls. Don't forget about pillows, plush rugs and shawls that are casually thrown onto the sofa and armchairs. One wall can be completely covered with a tall gray or brown rack with a niche for a TV and a few decorative elements (also in neutral shades). A tall fern in an elegant and simple pot will add life to the room. If the country house will be equipped with a fireplace, then the living room is an ideal place to place it.
The kitchen is usually combined with the dining room. Zoning the space is easy to do with a decorative platform on which the dining table and chairs are placed. Its main decoration will be a panoramic window, which will allow you to dine with a beautiful view before your eyes. In the kitchen itself, they put a ready-made set of light-colored wood. Liberties are allowed in the form of metal handles or glass doors. Tiles of one or a maximum of two colors are laid on the floor. On an apron, you can recoup by laying it out of a bright material of rich purple or green color. Remember that warm tones help your appetite, so this is where you can ditch perfect white in favor of softer shades. Small pots with herbs are installed directly on the working area of the table, and a vase with fresh flowers is placed on the dining surface for comfort. You can also read other articles: l shaped kitchen designs for small kitchens.
A wide bed is placed in the bedroom, which is covered with a gray or black bedspread. Fresh flowers or a houseplant and a lamp must be placed on the bedside table. Its shade is permissible to choose a bright shade. In the corner, you can hang a "floating" wicker chair with a blanket and a pillow, and next to it is a miniature rack or a couple of shelves with your favorite books.
The furnishings are enlivened with a pair of soft knitted poufs or a decorative element on the wall against which the head of the bed rests. An imitation of deer antlers, painted white, will look original in this room. The floor is covered with a soft, tactile carpet with a pattern that echoes the other textiles in the room.
In the children's room, they still adhere to the "snow-white" atmosphere, but in this room they add more bright colors. For full development, a child simply needs to live and grow in a "colorful" atmosphere. Pink or yellow textiles in furnishings and windows are acceptable.
One wall is usually decorated with a painting, in the creation of which even the child himself can participate. The design process will be fun and exciting. The original element will be the placement of the "tree of knowledge" in the corner. A decorative rack is created from natural wood, the branches-shelves of which rest on the trunk. Books and toys are placed on them, and next to it you can install a small armchair with a table or a full-fledged working area. It will become more interesting for the child to study, because for each new work he will have to climb a real hundred-year-old oak! Such a design move originally fits into the concept of the Scandinavian style: a natural material that emphasizes the closeness to nature. A functional minimum for a nursery: a seating area, a bed, a wardrobe and a pair of ottomans.
Closed shelves are installed in the bathroom for storing household items, because only a stack of white towels can be displayed. The room is covered with tiles or wood panels, which are treated with special substances that protect the material from high humidity. Ceramics are chosen either monochromatic or with geometric patterns. Do not skimp on mirrors, there are not many of them in this room. The shower curtain with a floral print will be a bright accent. A sink made of solid stone will look original, which will emphasize the originality of the situation. You can also read other articles: soundproof room.
Hallway and corridor
A "furniture" minimum is used in the hallway. Give up bulky dressing rooms in favor of a simple hanger and a special "tube" for umbrellas. A narrow, tall chest of drawers will fit under a wide mirror. You can liven things up with a decorative niche in the wall with a couple of neutral trinkets and a few paintings or photographs on the wall. The floor is covered with a rug in dark colors. In a country house, the stairs to the second floor are usually located in the hallway. You can leave it in its original form, or organize a separate area for storing things under it. You can also read other articles: homebase fence plants.
The neat, closed shelves are a lifesaver for large families who find it difficult to cope with clutter. Do not forget about placing additional lamps along the entire wall of the corridor or hallway. These are the very premises that are deprived of the already rare sunlight. The deficit must be compensated for at several levels at once.
The Scandinavian style entered the world design arena as an ethnic style, but over time it turned into a classic that has passed more than one test. Fashion trends could not shake the "pillars" of the direction, only seeping into the northern interiors with a couple of elements. Your country house should breathe zeal, simplicity, ease and comfort. At the same time, a light "winter" cold should blow from it, which is close to both Scandinavians and Russians. Rough natural elements organically fit into the direction: real stumps instead of chairs, branches-holders for things on the walls or a decorative "path" made of wood cuts on the floor. Your home is your cozy fortress, where it is pleasant to sometimes lock yourself from the outside world. It is this idea that carries the harsh, serious and practical Scandinavian style.