Winter is here. The air is cold and blusters around leafless trees with their branches bending, and the world seems gray and white with snow. An austere, natural beauty surrounds us. Evergreens shimmer with a dusting of snow, red-berried holly brightens the landscape and the darkened bark of a maple offers contrast. This winter wonderland offers a consummate color palette for Scandinavian design with its hallmark features of neutral backgrounds and sleek industrial looks tempered with natural elements.
With a nod to our current wintery weather and advice from local interior designers and furniture craftsman, you can welcome the color of winter into your own Scandinavian-designed bedroom.
Simplicity is key to the Scandinavian-designed bedroom. The black and white aesthetics of Scandinavian décor and the monochromatic trend of gray or white walls lends an industrial feel warmed with solid wood furniture and pops of color in accessories.
“White is the focal color on the ceiling and walls. An accent wall behind the bed in gray, charcoal, dark taupe or a soft, dusty color can be very stunning,” comments Debbie Carpenter, ASID, owner of Sweet Water Interiors in Goshen. “An accent wall of white brick is also sharp looking.”
The interior use of brick accents fosters the minimalist approach to Scandinavian design and can flow from the walls to the ceiling. You can get creative with the use of brick, says Carpenter. “A barrel brick ceiling with its arched curves, along with a brick or stone fireplace, complements the Scandinavian look in the bedroom,” she adds.
“We are seeing an increased interest from our customers who are wanting to use brick in the interior of their homes,” says Boyd Harwood, vice president of Rose Brick in South Bend. “We have done entire rooms in brick walls and some rooms with simple brick accents on fireplaces or brick archways substituting the average woodframed doorway.”
A number of companies now manufacture, according to Harwood, a unique, thin-cut brick — approximately one-half inch in thickness — that can be applied to walls, which is similar to a tile application. The product can be manufactured with natural or man-made stone as well. It can be glued directly to drywall and even grouted for a more rustic look.
“You can do just about anything with this brick or stone product, designing various patterns from herring bone to diamond patterns, adding it to bars or as a décor element around windows. The brick is commonly sold in white and crème colors, but a variety of colors are available from reds to grays,” adds Harwood.
With the walls swathed in white, whether brick or paint, pops of color are added with the use of accessories. It’s not uncommon to see a white canvas slip-covered sofa in the room, offering a crisp look and accented with a solid-colored throw or throw pillows in a soft contrasting color. You might see a colorful, uniquely designed vase with branches to add an earthy feature, says Carpenter, or green plants for added color. Framed black and white photography, plus Scandinavian white birch furniture pieces as accents, complete the room.
NATURAL AND NEUTRAL COMBINATIONS
“This design is bright and airy, not ornate,” says Lauren Johns, interior designer for LJ Wagner Home Interiors in Nappanee. “Stick with straight lines, simple deconstructed shapes and use natural linens, cottons, natural stone accents and stained woods, not painted furniture. If in doubt about what to use with a Scandinavian décor theme, always think natural and neutral.”
Your bedside table might have metal hair pin legs with a metal, industrial-style lamp with no lamp shade, suggests Johns, or a sleek bench in light wood at the end of the bed.
“Mid-century modern furniture goes well with Scandinavian décor themes. This style offers a simple and light look,” she says. “Unframed artwork that is a simple canvas of abstract art or industrial light fixtures attached to the wall, or even lamps with pulley systems, add to the sleek and simplified décor theme.” A simple linen duvet in gray and white can serve as bedding and can be accented with a patterned throw, she adds.
The starkness of a Scandinavian-styled room is offset with the warmth of wood. Solid wood furniture and solid hardwood flooring, or wood lookalike floors, add beauty and robustness to the elegant design.
Gaylord Yoder, owner of Hoosier Heirlooms in Shipshewana, specializes in handcrafted, solid wood furniture, “the plain, straight-lined, solid furniture you would see in the 1800s,” he says. And that is what his contemporary customers are seeking. A bit of the old-fashioned blends with the contemporary culture of Scandinavian décor. His company’s straight-cut, mission-style furniture is often built with rustic quarter sawn white oak, light tan in color and not a true white, but popular among his customers, he says.
“Quarter sawn came back in popularity in the ’90s,” explains Yoder. “Quarter sawn is more popular because it still shows knots and cracks and grain naturally appearing in the wood.”
Evidene Graber, co-owner, with her husband Arden, of Graber’s Flooring “Many options are on the market today that offer the gray-washed rustic barn floor look that is popular with its gray tones,” comments Graber. “From hardwood floors to solid or engineered hardwood, homeowners have so many choices.”
Contemporary customers have their choice of vinyl products as well that mimic the look of wood and natural material. Graber says a relatively new flooring design, Alterna® by Armstrong, is laid like a ceramic tiled floor and can even be grouted. “This unique flooring offers a linen look to the floor and is very contemporary and perfect for Scandinavian, natural- themed bedrooms,” she says.
- Graber’s Flooring Studio Nappanee 574.773.7001 grabers.flooringplus.com
- Hoosier Heirlooms Shipshewana 260.562.2220 www.hoosierheirlooms.com
- LJ Wagner Home Interiors Nappanee 574.773.5000 www.ljwagner.com
- Rose Brick South Bend 574.234.2133 www.rosebrick.com
- Sweet Water Interiors Goshen 574.534.3989 www.sweetwaterinteriors.com