With the arrival of spring comes the cleaning and reorganization of our homes. It’s the time of year when we look at our rooms and think, “Something’s gotta give.” There’s just too much stuff to look at, and too many colors drawing our eyes all over the place. If you’re feeling trapped by your clutter and jumbled home decor (or lack thereof), it’s time to turn to these Swedish home decor hacks.
Nordic interior design has been increasing in popularity in recent years. Us Americans are going gaga for the clean lines, muted colors, and mix of old and new the Swedes and their Northern European neighbors are employing in their spaces. Their interior designs look the way taking a deep breath feels — they embody calm and serenity.
A lot of Swedish design inspiration comes from lagom, a lifestyle trend all about having “just enough” in a world where excess reigns supreme. Author Niki Brantmark wrote an entire book about the lagom lifestyle that pushed the minimalist yet fulfilling decor trend into the mainstream.
But how can we begin to incorporate Swedish design into our own homes? We have a few hacks that can help you start off on the right foot.
1Start fresh with white walls.
They don’t have to be stark white — you can go for eggshell, cream, or even a light blue-gray. Choose something that doesn’t dictate what direction the room has to go. You can build on white walls, and they provide a clean base for the rest of the space.
2Keep your color scheme on the monochromatic side.
The best way to keep your mind clear and free to roam is to keep your space in a neutral and cohesive color palette. This way you can add color sparingly with your accessories and it won’t feel like the entire rainbow is suffocating you.
3Use natural materials as your pops of color.
Natural elements can provide splashes of color to break up the gray without making a harsh contrast. Keep the vibe calm and balanced by using plants and natural wood furniture and accessories, rather than loud accent pillows or bold statement rugs.
4Introduce the lagom trend by pulling the outdoors in.
Lagom is all about finding the right balance in life. A great way to begin using lagom in interior design is to balance the outdoors with the indoors. Fill (but don’t stuff) your space with plants, woven baskets, wicker furniture, and stone or slate accent pieces.
5Accessorize with textures rather than colors.
Many Swedish designers play with texture rather than color. Different textured accessories can have the same affect on the eye as pops of color, adding contrast to a room without being jarring.
6Hide your clutter.
You’ve probably noticed a common theme in Swedish home decor — there’s no clutter. There aren’t any shoes strewn about, no silly knick-knacks packed on the shelves, and there’s barely anything on the coffee table besides a plant or maybe a book. Put your stuff away or, even better, get rid of unnecessary items all together and really lean into the lagom lifestyle.
7Try a gallery wall.
Rather than hanging art on every wall in your space, designate one wall for display purposes. This keeps the focus on one area, rather than all around the room. And in keeping with the color scheme, try to match the art with your space’s muted tones. That way the business of a gallery wall isn’t too overwhelming.
8Use neat storage as home decor.
If you’re one of the many apartment dwellers who has little to no storage, you can actually make your external closet look pretty. Build your own closet with some industrial pipe, or scour Amazon for a functional yet fashionable clothing rack. In terms of Swedish design, this hack works best if you stick to wearing a monochromatic color scheme, since your clothes will be on display in your home.
9Mix old and new styles.
Your rustic farmhouse table and mid-century modern kitchen chairs can (and do) work together! As long as you’re keeping things in the same toned-down color scheme, you’re pretty much good to go and experiment. This is great news for those of us with existing and family heirloom furniture.
10If you can’t give up color, don’t!
Swedish designers often include blues in their interior designs. It’s a calming and cool hue that adds a bit of vibrancy without being explosive. But if blue isn’t your thing, you can definitely experiment with bringing other tones into your room. Just do so strategically — keep colors in the same family, and use them to accent the clean look you have going.
Get decorating, people! Let the spirit of Swedish home decor guide you on your redesign adventure.