Tour a Classic Nordic-Style Home in Iceland

Discover the essential elements of Scandinavian style through a designer's tour of this classic Icelandic home.

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Classic Nordic House

It’s easy to see the appeal of Scandinavian design. Helga Jonsdottir’s home, located in the heart of Reykjavik, is a classic example of this wildly popular trend. An aesthetic that hails from the Nordic regions of Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, this style is all about functional minimalism, but it’s not so stripped down that interiors feel cold and uninviting. They’re balanced with a bit of warmth, too and the Swedish call this lagom, meaning "just right".

Airy Atmosphere

The homeowners crave natural light and the large unadorned windows are a favorite feature, so they skipped the heavy window treatments and let the light shine in. With all white walls this can create a gorgeous, atmospheric glow.

Natural Light

Light helps to create an airy, energized atmosphere in Scandinavian homes. This brightness instantly connects what’s outdoors to what’s indoors. This is an important design principle and why so many Scandinavian homes have a multitude of windows.

Art + Accessories

The limited amount of art and accessories in a Scandinavian inspired space means that each piece takes on added importance. The graphic quality of the art on Helga’s living room wall really stands out, whereas it may have gotten lost in the shuffle in a large gallery wall. Keeping larger furnishings neutral allows smaller, more colorful items to really be "seen" and have more impact.

Simple With Saturation

The all-white aesthetic creates a wonderful sense of calm, but that doesn’t mean small doses of high-energy color are unwelcome. It’s just the opposite, actually. Highly saturated color used sparingly always feels a little optimistic when paired with a fresh, crisp white.

Warmth is Essential

To ensure the white-washed interior of their kitchen didn’t feel overly sterile, the homeowners chose wooden countertops. It not only brings in a natural element, but the golden tones of the wood help warm up the space.

Low-Commitment Color

Adding color into a primarily white interior doesn’t mean you have to spend big bucks on a not-so neutral piece of furniture in a bold hue. Helga added a fun jolt of aqua to her kitchen via inexpensive folding chairs and a few small accent pieces.

Black + White

Black and white have long been the go-to color combination in Scandinavian circles. Whether it’s a cluster of picture frames, an oversized light fixture or even something as simple as a planter, black acts as a neutral and has an excellent grounding quality in all-white spaces.

Consistency + Calm

Sleeping spaces are spare by design, free from all the distractions that can keep you from resting your body and mind. Super soft linens and bedding with a playful pattern in a soothing gray/green keep the room from feeling too stark.

Everyday Objects

When a space is primarily white and clutter-free, simple everyday objects like a well-made chair or your favorite puffer jackets can become a colorful focal point. Less is more when it comes to Scandi style so choose what’s out on display carefully and you’ll love the final result.

Bold Patterns

In spare spaces you can afford to do a bit of bold pattern. You can even mix and match, as long as there is some unifying element. In this room, it’s the vibrant red found in both the blankets and stuffed animals.

Cozy Texture

In addition to pattern, texture is equally important, whether it’s from a shaggy rug, fringed-out blanket or sumptuous throw pillow. Also, adding one small touch that’s really personal or even playful helps to give a room warmth and personality.

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