Scandinavian countries may be known for their cold, dark environs, but their interiors are anything but. Over the years, Scandinavian design has evolved to encompass three main concepts: beauty, simplicity, and utility. Walk into any Scandi home and you’ll be struck by the use of natural, local materials, simple, clean lines, spacious layouts, cozy fabrics, and colors that make the most of the (often limited) natural light. Every piece of furniture will have both beauty and function, while every decorative touch will emphasize the Scandinavian concept of Hygge, an all-embracing term for everything warm, cozy and homely. Just as with other rooms, Scandinavian bathrooms tend to be bright, multi-functional spaces with plenty of natural wood tones, clean-cut lines, soft, light fabrics, simple decorative touches, and an overriding sense of elegant, functional timelessness. If you want to recreate the look in your own home, get things off to the right with our rundown of the key characteristics of a Scandinavian bathroom.
Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark
Admittedly, Scandi design typically focuses on light, natural materials and colors, but that’s not to say introducing some dark accents here and there is forbidden. If done carefully, dark touches will play against the lighter tones of the room to emphasize and enhance the sense of space. One great way of bringing a touch of Scandinavian style into the bathroom is to keep the walls white while using a black hex tile on the floor and a black coat of paint on the ceiling. The white walls will keep things light, while the contrasting black of the ceiling and floor will help things feel contained and cozy, given that touch of Hygge that’s at the heart of Scandi interiors.
Make The Most Of Space
As My Little Think notes, the antithesis of Scandi style is over-cluttered spaces. Keep furniture to a minimum, and never introduce pieces that lack utility, even if they lend beauty. To emphasize and enhance space, especially in smaller bathrooms, look for floating pieces- most design stores carry all the main bathroom pieces such as sinks, vanity units, and even W.C.s in a “floating design”, giving you plenty of options to play with.
A Minimalistic Approach To Decorations
Don’t overlook decorations completely but avoid introducing them purely for the sake of it. A large, beautifully framed mirror will reflect the natural light and make small spaces seem larger and brighter while providing all the decoration you need. If you want to bring a little touch of the outdoors indoors (another key characteristic of Scandi design), try a single flowering branch in a simple glass vase, or even a minimalistic piece of floral art.
Storage Is Key
Remember, one of the key characteristics of Scandinavian design is utility, and what says utility more than storage space? As well as allowing you to keep everything safely stowed away and avoid an overly cluttered look, storage units can help introduce the Scandinavian love of clean lines and natural materials. Keep your storage units simple and minimalistic in design and use wood where possible (light woods are traditional but darker woods can also play well in the right space).
Think About Lightening
Scandinavian’s make the most of natural light, but they’re not afraid to add some man-made sources where necessary. Layered lightening is a great way of staying true to the Scandi design concept and will help give a great ambiance. One of the key elements of Scandi design is lightness and airiness; if part of your bathroom is more shaded than you’d like, use clever lightening solutions and some strategically placed mirrors to reflect as much light as possible into the area.
The dominant shade in the Scandi color palette is white, but there’s plenty more to it than that. Unless you want to go “white-on-white” (which can be a great look but runs the risk of looking sterile in the wrong layout), dilute the blank landscape with some splashes of colors in natural shades – soft dove- grays, washed-out blues, and foamy greens all make great options. More vibrant shades such as red, yellow, orange, and purple needn’t be avoided altogether, but try to keep them to accent colors only, and don’t mix more than 2-3 basic shades.
Keep Things Natural
Scandinavian design is characterized by its reliance on natural, local materials. Keep true to the concept by choosing wood, slate, and stone as the basis for your floors and furnishings. Tile is also a great choice for the bathroom and has the added advantage of being available in a choice of colors and designs to complement your Scandi décor.
Introduce Elements Of The Sea
Scandinavians are fond of bringing a sense of the outdoors into their interiors. In the bathroom, this often translates into marine objects such as ornaments or art pieces either depicting or crafted in the shape of waves, anchors or sea life. The whites and blues that are integral to a Scandi color scheme reflect this concept very well.
Scandinavians may not live in the most hospitable of environments, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love a little greenery in their homes. Embrace your botanical side and introduce plenty of greenery into your bathroom, whether in hanging plants (a great way to add foliage without taking up valuable floor space), or large, freestanding plants set in ceramic containers.
As Hunker notes, a minimalist black and white color scheme is the epitome of the modern Scandinavian look. How you introduce the look is down to personal preference – white walls with a black ceiling and black floor tiles is a great look and will create the kind of cozy, contained space that defines Scandi living. Other options include keeping the overall color scheme white but adding black fixtures and fittings, or even using black grouting against white tiles to create a stunning backsplash. The contrasting black and white color scheme will also add a touch of glamor to an otherwise simple décor.