The Scandinavian countries have never been more fashionable. Our stereotypes of Ikea, Abba and pickled fish have been swept away as programmes like The Killing and Wallander have brought Denmark and Sweden firmly to the forefront of fashion. Scandinavian style is simple, uncluttered and minimal, and focused on quality and design.
It’s easy to put a splash of Scandinavia into your home. The Scandinavian look is simple and uncluttered, with lots of natural wood, stone and fabrics. Keep to a neutral palette of white, beige and brown for a more minimal look, and use small splashes of colour. Wood is the material most associated with Scandinavian design, so ditch the carpets and go for painted wooden floorboards with a simple rug instead. Keeping things light is the main thrust of Scandinavian design, due to the fact that there are long, dark winters. Windows are kept simple with blinds rather than curtains, and furniture is often painted white, then stenciled.
It’s all about the great outdoors. Many of the Nordic countries have long, dark winters and when the light summer days arrive, the people get out and make the most of the warm weather. Camping and hiking are popular, as is enjoying the beautiful countryside. Water sports are an important part of the outdoor lifestyle, as is fishing and angling in lakes, rivers and in the sea. Finland has a huge number of lakes in the country and embracing a simpler way of life in a tent or log cabin, eating simple meals and spending the long, summer days with the family will help you get closer to the ideal of Scandinavian living.
Scandinavian style is all about simplicity and quality, and the same is true of clothing. Warmth and practicality are important factors and natural fabrics such as wool, leather and cotton feature heavily. Marimekko, based in Helsinki, have become famous around the world for their vivid colours and prints, which are used on home furnishings as well as fabrics for clothing. Children’s brand Freoli Clothing is from Denmark and is a great combination of cutting edge design and practicality. Freoli clothing is famous for their use of bright colours so are the ideal choice for allowing your child to stand out from the crowd. Less is more when it comes to adopting any sort of style, and dressing head to toe in Marimekko or Freoli clothing can look contrived. Choose a few key items and mix and match with jeans or leggings that are already in your wardrobe.
Food and Drink
The stereotype of Scandinavian food and drink is picked fish, but there is much more to the cuisine than that. Denmark is famous for open sandwiches, where meats, cheeses, fish and salad items are laid on flat breads before serving. Sweden is best known for its tasty pork meatballs, served with potatoes and a creamy gravy. Scandinavian prawns, lobster and salmon are among the best in the world, and cooked simply with some fresh green vegetables and potatoes or pasta, they are hard to beat.