Don't get us wrong, we love a some chic minimalist decor. But stark black-and-white interiors have had their moment. Scandinavian design, however, will always be a major part of the conversation. We look to the region for all things furniture, decor, and interiors because, well, they live-and-breathe stylish, functional design. Check out the 15 Nordic interior trends that go way beyond all-white spaces. You'll want to jump on these quickly, before they totally take over your Instagram feed.
Americans are known for perpetually chasing after a "balanced" lifestyle — but the Swedes just do it. Author of Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced Happy Life, released on October 3, Niki Brantmark (also the brains behind My Scandinavian Home) knows a thing or two about balance. As described in the title, lagom means finding just the right about, which is a beautifully Scandinavian approach to life and design. She predicts it will make its way from our daily schedules to our bedrooms, where "conscious buying and slow design" will take center stage.
"In a time when we're feeling constantly connected through technology and social media, wouldn't it be nice to have a personal sanctuary in which to switch off?" says Brantmark. Creating a highly-personalized space that is warm an welcoming, without the distractions of phones, television, or computers is important in counteracting busy day-to-day life and focusing on the heart of design.
"Bedrooms will become device-free and made up of a palette of soothing greys and milky whites, which combine with natural textures such as soft linen, cosy sheepskins, chunky knit blankets and warm rustic wood for your very own oasis of calm," she says.
"My absolute favorite Scandinavian decor trend is taking what would normally be a boring storage piece, and making it a design focal point in your home," says Anna Decilveo, merchandiser at Swedish-founded company Tictail. "The shelf or basket you would've likely hid in your closet is, instead, a work of art in itself. We're already seeing so much of this from emerging Swedish brands on Tictail." From designer clothing racksto statement kitchen organizers, now every facet of your home can be Scandinavian-level chic
The focus on Scandinavian design usually revolves around Sweden, but Finland is catching up in a big way. One of the happiest countries in the world, the Finns are doing something right. It could be their deep connection to the outdoors, their tasty but simplistic diets, or if you ask us, it definitely has something to do with "cottage culture".
Helsinki-based designer Linda Bergroth created the pop-up hotel KOTI (meaning "home" in Finnish) to provide "an immersive experience into Finnish hospitality and cottage culture," she said in a statement. This means communal eating and living spaces, innolux lamps that simulate natural daylight, and minimalistic tableware. "Instead of well-known design products, I think we should highlight the Finnish ways of sharing," said Bergroth.
Although big on organic materials, leather isn't the most popular Scandinavian-inspired choice. We're seeing a major transition to worn leather pieces in Nordic interiors, like these leather-backed wooden chairs in Swedish stylist Lotta Agaton's home at La Maison d'Anna G. They're rustic without looking too antique — and look great with a sheepskin blanket tossed over their back. We're thinking this might be a Swedish play on the current American mid-century modern obsession.
Scandinavia's favorite accent color? Clearly, it's blue — a bright blue that stands out brilliantly against all-white interiors, like in this colorful 1920's Copenhagen home belonging to industrial designer Josefine Bentzen. Let's just say, the monochromatic phase is over.
There's an ethereal feel to these giant paper lanterns, both an interpretation of Asian-inspired light fixtures and a sideways take on a traditional chandelier. In calligrapher Ylva Skarp's home, as seen on Nordic Design, four huge lanterns hang over her kitchen table, creating a whimsical overhead installation.
There's something so serene about slatted walls, like those at the Finnish Dream Hotel: Like you're hiding away in a cabin or about to spend the most relaxing hour in the sauna.'p
What kid wouldn't want to fall asleep under these cute, wood-stick tents? Here, Finnish interior designer Susanna Vento created a monochrome bed complete with an adorable tented canopy, as seen in ELLE Decoration Sweden. This trend has already started popping up in the U.S., like in Lucy Liu's son Rockwell's playroom. Kids around the world will be pretty excited about this one.
The best benefit of these super-sized Helvetica calendars? You'll always know the date. Why are we all sticking to our itty-bitty agendas and iPhone calendars when we could have this hanging on our wall? Interior design inspiration site Nordic Leaves makes an argument that massive monthly calendars are the home accessory on the rise.
The black-and-white aesthetic has been done in every corner of Scandinavia — which is why we're so excited to see grey walls making a comeback. They provide the same neutral, monochromatic appeal, but dial it back a few notches, as seen in a home from Swedish real estate company Alvhem.
Feather motifs have caught on a little here in the States, but we're excited to see a full-blown feather epidemic going on in Sweden, as seen in this Swedish Easter tablescape.
Whether you're adding them to your tablescape or working feather patterns into your wallpaper or bedding, Scandinavians are all about adding a nature-inspired element to every space. But let's go with fake feathers, okay?
It's no surprise the Swedes turn towards monochrome artwork, like in this Gothenburg home, considering the rest of their house tends to stay in the realm of black and white. Not that America will ever go strictly minimalist (we're too obsessed with antiques and collecting, well, everything), but we'd love to see this simple, graphic artwork interspersed amongst colorful rooms. Layer them for a casual, but stylish effect.
After years of chevron, we're eager for stripes to make a comeback — especially if they're simple and black-and-white, like this H&M Home pillow seen in artist Nina Holst's Norwegian home.
Avoid the whole nautical look by avoiding navy blue, and keeping the rest of your decor as contemporary as possible.
Blogger An Magritt used tape (black, of course) to hang up this poster in her kitchen. It's perfect: Non-permanent, so you can change up your artwork frequently, and still graphic enough to make a statement. The Scandis are all about their chic DIY projects, and we expect the U.S. will be soon, too!