5 Reasons Nordic Design is Perfect for Small Spaces and Apartments

nordic design

Since the early 1900s, people around the world have been looking to the Nordic design movement to find ways to make the most of small apartments, homes, and other living spaces. Based on design principles practiced in countries like Sweden and Norway, this way of decorating focuses on minimalism and keeping the space simple, while also adding functionality and comfort to a room. Today, it remains the perfect style for anyone who doesn’t have much space to work with. Here are five reasons why:

1. Less is more.

You’ve probably heard the saying “less is more,” and when it comes to Nordic design, that phrase is completely accurate. Instead of filling the space with so much that it appears cluttered, you want to stick to adding items that serve a purpose. Every piece of furniture you add should be practical and provide you with something besides being aesthetically pleasing. You may also want to select pieces that perform double duty. A dresser may double as a TV stand, or an ottoman as a coffee table. Items that provide extra storage are always a plus.

Avoid adding too much decor, especially on the walls and shelves, to keep the space looking open and clean. Too many unnecessary objects can make a small space feel as if it is messy even when it’s not. Stick to clean lines and smooth surfaces.

2. Go natural.

While you want to embrace that lack of clutter, clean lines, and smooth surfaces, you don’t want to run the risk of turning your living space into something that resembles a stark hospital ward or clinic.

Adding natural elements to your space can soften it and make any room come alive. An oversize plant work wonders, and if you can swing it, keeping bouquets of fresh flowers on tables and counters will add some personality to the room. In larger cities in countries like Denmark, vendors sell fresh flowers along the roadsides, so it’s not unusual for residents to keep a vase full inside their homes.

Another way to add some natural elements to your small space is to add exposed wood. For example, in Nordic countries, you won’t find too much carpeting, but you will find exposed hardwood floors. Wooden furniture is also a great way to add a little nature to your space.

3. Embrace hygge.

Another way to avoid going too stark is to embrace the Scandinavian concept of hygge. Popular in Denmark and Norway, hygge simply means practicing a lifestyle that makes you feel comfortable and cozy. It’s easy to apply this to your home, even if you have a small space. The best place to start is with your textiles, such as a cashmere throw draped across your sofa or a soft rug by your bedside. You may also add a couple of beloved trinkets to your bookshelves or candles to your dining room table to create a warm and inviting space.

4. Stay light and bright.

One of the most important aspects of Nordic design is keeping the room light, bright, and airy. Start with the color scheme. Skip the dark colors for the walls and stick with white or pale shades of gray. If you want to add some other colors, go for muted tones with items like throw pillows or a piece of framed wall art.

It’s also important to add light to the room. Of course, for true Scandinavian design you want as much natural light as possible. Avoid hanging heavy curtains and drapes over your windows. Opt for light-colored sheers instead. Adding mirrors to your walls, specifically if they’re facing your windows and doors and reflecting light, will make the room feel brighter. If you don’t have much in the way of natural light, lamps, candles, sconces, chandeliers, lanterns, and other light sources will work. After all, Scandinavian countries typically experience short dark days during the winter.

5. Take advantage of height.

One rule anyone who lives in a small space should consider following is taking advantage of height in a room. Making good use of your vertical space can add a lot of storage and to immediately increase your available space (or give the impression of more space).

Cabinets and shelves that go as far up as the ceiling are the perfect way to add much-needed storage to your home. Painting them the same color as your walls prevents them from overpowering your room. Tall partitions made from glass can help separate specific spaces. For example, if you live in a studio apartment, a glass partition can make your living area and bedroom feel like different rooms without making the entire space feel smaller.

If you’re looking for a design aesthetic for a small space, look no further than Scandinavia. Scandinavian design works beautifully and elegantly in small spaces. Take these ideas and translate them to your own small home or apartment.

Chris McNair is the General Manager of European Leather Gallery in Jacksonville, Florida, offering some of the Best prices on Stressless Recliners.

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