They’re moody, mysterious and very, very cool – Scandinavian dramas have swept us off our viewing feet in the past few years.
They’ve given us statement sweaters (The Killing), retro interiors (Wallander) and – of course – lots and lots of rather nasty deaths. But let’s ignore that, and concentrate on the style instead.
Maybe it’s something to do with the high, wind-swept Northern skies or the sweeping grey seas, but Nordic style has always been wrapped up in an aura of tranquillity and calm.
The spare and sleek classic Scandinavian style initially began out of a need to conserve materials and make each piece functional – and then grew into something truly beautiful.
Clutter has no place in a Nordic-style interior (one of the reasons why it’s such a calming look), so if you’re seeking this style, make sure you have plenty of clever storage ideas to tuck away anything that might interrupt the flow of the space.
Clean lines are also a must. A good example is the Rar rocking chair from Barker and Stonehouse, which cunningly blends that rustic favourite – the rocker – with a smoothly-moulded seat.
Designed in the Fifties by Charles and Ray Eames, it’s now reproduced faithfully in sturdy glossed fibre glass, and it’s not only a talking point but also surprisingly comfortable with its smooth rocking action.
If you start with a key piece like this, you’re well on your way to achieving Nordic bliss in your home.
Keep the colour palette cool – I love Farrow and Ball’s Pale Powder, a chalky pale green, and Crown’s Blue Gravel, but there’s a jolly side – really! – to Scandinavian style that has room for apple greens and pretty pinks, too.
You can carry these hues right through to the furniture – I love the pale green upholstery of the Ekornes Stressless Windsor sofa because it’s so unusual; it’s a mega-comfy recliner too, which fits in well with the Nordic style of teaming perfect function with lovely design.
There’s a certain element of folksiness to the Nordic look too, which means you can also add a dash of quirky pattern to your walls, and look for embroidery on cushions and throws. The Isla chair, with its soft, cloud-light upholstery and funky buttoning looks a treat in this sort of setting.
Wood plays an important part in the Scandi look, with stripped floorboards and driftwood accessories adding that important beachcomber finish to each room. The Mondo coffee table from Barker and Stonehouse works well in this context, with its clean, simple lines and solid walnut surfaces making a strong statement.
An alternative that also fits well is glass – again, treasured here for its angular appeal. The Mood coffee table combines clear glass with a base in a wide range of colours and a smart lift-up top so you can display items of your choice.
All joking about mystery dramas apart, we’ve enjoyed the Nordic look in our homes for years. It’s a refreshingly light and airy way to live, and not hard to achieve.