Is Scandinavian Style the New Mid-Century Modern?
The new Nordic.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:08 AM
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As soon as hygge entered our vocabulary, there was no denying the universal appeal of Nordic-style simplicity, practicality, and comfort. From haute cuisine to home decor trends and self-help books, Scandinavian lifestyle is more than zeitgeist—it’s here to stay. “The aesthetics, like clean lines, luxe fabrics, and soft color palettes, are becoming increasingly important,” says Brandy Lackey, director of private brands for Walmart. In response to the demand, the brand’s new MoDRN line boasts a whole collection of Scandi-inspired pieces.
Offering some of the same distinctions that make mid-century-modern designs so popular (slim legs, natural woods, sleek shapes), this alternate look is just the thing if you’re tired of wishbone chairs, Eames loungers, and all that rosewood. And no matter your current look, it’s easy to incorporate a little Scandinavian style into your home—just follow our tips below.
Scandinavian designers pull largely from nature to inspire interior decor. Pale blues, soft grays, dusty pinks, and mossy greens are all reminiscent of the fjords from Norway to Denmark. “[These] influences are affecting design trends and appealing to customers who want a space that evokes a peaceful atmosphere,” Lackey says. For lovers of modern and contemporary decor, consider relaxing, neutral hues (instead of stark whites and slick blacks) to soften the edgy look of your furnishings.
Go for Pretty but Practical
“Form and function are key to all Scandinavian designs,” Lackey says. “We knew we had to start with purposeful style elements without over-designing the line.” Smart new products including lift-top desks, modular seating, storage ottomans, and multifunctional credenzas with cutouts for electric cords make a pretty piece actually useful. If your style tends toward eclectic or boho, temper all the eye candy in your space with a clean-lined storage essential in a rich color to match your lively decor.
Clean Up Your Palette
Although mid-century and Scandinavian looks both promote minimalism, the latter focuses on function over fashion. As Lackey puts it, “Scandinavian designs are more about the beauty of simplicity and purpose.” Forgoing stylized elements, these dishes boast high-end materials, like stoneware and porcelain, but are also stackable and dishwasher-safe. If you sway traditional, tabletop is an affordable, low-commitment way to test-drive Scandi style. The straight-forward shapes will help modernize heirloom table linens and traditional dining furniture to update your look.
Take It Outside
“The best part of Scandinavian design is that it’s so versatile,” Lackey says. “You can incorporate pieces into existing furnishings for a mix that’s balanced yet cohesive.” Since outdoor furniture tends to have a more modern look, consider trying the style outside, where it’s sure to blend in. “Outdoor spaces are a great way to create a new living space and broaden your style,” says Lackey. Not to mention that the marriage of clean lines, tactile fabrics, and an organic-inspired palette make the Scandinavian look a natural match to the great outdoors.