Is the Scandinavian Style Cool Enough—Truths and misconceptions

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Casa v_a, Andrea Stortoni Architetto Andrea Stortoni Architetto Modern living room
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Many people talk about the Scandinavian Style becoming outdated and uncool. It seems that Scandinavian furniture, dominated by the ‘Ikea look’ has taken the world hostage with its cheap mass produced furniture. It is the style seen in homes and offices alike, dominated by simple style, light wood and a neutral pale palate. But what exactly is the Scandinavian Style? The Scandinavian Style originated in the 1950s in the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. It was based on the premise that beautiful, simple and functional furniture should be affordable to all. With the availablility of low cost materials and the means of mass production, this could now be achieved. This then lead to the age of Ikea furniture. Ikea was the brainchild of Ingvar Kamprad, who opened his first store in Sweden in 1958. By 1998 Ikea had stores worldwide, including Norway, France, Belgium, United Kingdom, USA and China. Has such an oversupply of mass produced furniture meant the end of the Scandinavian style revolution? Homify takes a look at this issue.

Scandinavian Style is Not Trendy Anymore

Scandinavian style is characterised by simplicity, functionality and minimalism. This style stresses the importance of being in alignment with nature, resulting in a spaces suffused with light, space and serenity. They achieve this with a light palate, using a majority of neutral colours.  This has been an extremely popular style from the 1950s to recent times, although is it still a style popular today? Ikea furniture is one of the most popular and well know producers of Scandinavian style furniture. It opened its first store in Sweden in 1958. Today Ikea has expanded to over 50 countries around the world. This illustrates the enduring popularity of the Scandinavian style. The simplicity of this style makes it a popular choice. This sofa is a great example. The simple, elegant Scandinavian style is a classic. This sofa would be a wonderful addition to any electric, minimalist or modern design.

Scandinavian Style is Too Common

The ideology of Scandinavian Furniture dictated that furniture should be simple, functional and affordable for all. By the 1950s there was enough low cost materials and efficient production techniques that this idea of mass produced furniture could become a reality. Scandinavian furniture was produced on a grand scale at this stage and began to be in demand worldwide. In the 1960s there was barely a house standing that didn’t contain at least one piece of Scandinavian furniture. Although does this popularity make it common? The advantage of Scandinavian furniture over other furniture is its versatility. It does not dominate a room with its style. It is simple, classic and functional, making it adaptable in many different styles. This bed is no exception. The simple Scandinavian style would fit well in a minimalist bedroom, an industrial bedroom or an eclectic style bedroom.

Scandinavian Style Means Just cheap IKEA Furniture

For many people Scandinavian furniture means Ikea furniture. Even though Ikea is one of the most well known brands of Scandinavian furniture, it is not the only producer. Danish furniture has been a leading style of furniture in the last century. Unlike the mass produced furniture of Ikea, Danish furniture is made individually by artists such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner, Poul Kjærholm and Poul Henningsen. This makes the furniture unique and original.  Far from being cheap furniture, some pieces of classic Danish furniture can be highly sought after and as a result very expensive. A dining table designed by the late Denmark designer Peter Moos once sold for £600,000. This stunning Scandinavian designed dining table is a wonderful example of the simplicity of style and function. This dining table was made by Retrolicious.

Scandinavian Style Means Just Wood Everywhere

When the Scandinavian furniture design  first originated it was based on the simplicity of style, functionality and affordability. It also emphasised the closeness to nature. For this reason it used a lot of natural materials in their manufacture, wood being the most popular. Although wood was not the only material used. Scandinavian furniture also used other natural materials such as leather, fabric and hemp. Fabrics such as cotton, wool and linens were very popular in the designs of sofas and arm chairs. This design is a great example. This simple chair design uses fabric of a bright orange colour to brighten any room and provide a focus for the space. 

Scandinavian Style is Just for Cold Places

Although the concept of Scandinavian designed furniture originated from the colder Scandinavian region, it is definitely not confined to these cold climates. These simple, functional and attractive designs are suitable for all climates and many different styles. Scandinavian furniture was based on simple, yet functional designs, making them adaptable for many different styles and every room in the home. They can also be used outside of the house. Scandinavian style outdoor furniture has become a popular feature in modern outdoor design. They can be adapted to suit the English Cottage Garden just as well as the modern poolside terrace. These stunning deck chairs are a great example. The simplicity of the style fits well with the minimalism of the design. These deck chairs were made by Royal Botania.

With the Scandinavian Style I Don't Need an Interior Designer

It is a commonly held belief that when you fill your house with Scandinavian furniture, there is no need for a designer, or to have a design plan. Scandinavian furniture is a simple and elegant design, but it is not a style that can dominate a space. Although when placed with some stronger design pieces, they can provide support to a more dominant theme. This is where a clever interior designer can really come into their own. By employing an interior designer, they can provide expert advice about what sort of furniture can really make your Scandinavian furniture really stand out. It may be a modern art piece with a similar hue or a rug that mimics the style. This simple Scandinavian style side table is a great example. The simplicity of the piece is complimented by the details of the plant, hat stand and cane chair. 

The Scandinavian Style first originated in the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark in the 1950. It was driven by the concept of designing simple and functional pieces that were also affordable. Ikea is the most well known and successful manufacturer of this style of furniture. They have stores in over 50 countries, making Scandinavian furniture one of the most popular styles of the 20th and 21st centuries. Although has this style become too popular? Has this style become outdated and uncool? Has it become too common, with stores like Ikea opening in every major city around the world? Scandinavian furniture may have become popular in the last century, although it is based on simplicity and functionality, which is the basis for all timeless and adaptable pieces. This has made Scandinavian furniture so successful in the past, the present and will continue to be popular in the future. For more Scandinavian inspiration see 5 Scandinavian Bedroom Ideas. 

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