There’s no escaping the fact the look and feel of kitchens has taken a more minimalistic turn of late but if exposed brickwork and hanging bulbs are not for you, there is another more welcoming option; Scandi Cool. For the past few years, the understated design aesthetic of Norway, Sweden and Finland has become oh-so-chic and it’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be waning in popularity anytime soon.
In fact, the Guardian has just predicted a second wave when it comes to the UK’s Scandi obsession. It’s a little more grown up than shabby chic, more accessible than industrial and yet seems to exude a quietly luxurious feel too. If you’d like to turn your kitchen into a Scandinavian haven that’s worthy of thousands of Pinterest re-pins, here are the key elements you’ll need to incorporate…
Night and day in countries such as Norway isn’t quite the same as the UK. At the northernmost tip of the country the darkness of night may only last a few hours in summer while in winter daylight hours are equally scarce. This is why the cool, light appearance of Scandinavian design works with nature to bring a comforting brighter feel into the home. If you’ve got a small kitchen, a Scandinavian theme could work particularly well for you as it will open up the room and make it seem lighter and bigger. Scandinavian design achieves this by combining a clean, neutral colour palette with more obvious things like spot ceiling lights or skylights. Bi-fold doors are another welcome addition, though you shouldn’t feel like you need to select white doors to bring the theme together – mimicking nature outside with some wooden doors like these from Creativedoors will help bring some warmth into the room.
White is certainly a very prominent shade for the Scandi Cool kitchen, particularly when it comes to wall tiles (and you’re likely to use tiling not just paint), but there are other neutral and complementary shades that work well. Light blues, graceful shades of grey and non-bland beiges work together or as a single base colour for walls and cabinets. The look shouldn’t be monotonous and sterile but rather clean, fresh and comforting. It’s common to add accents of colour using furniture and accessories and you might choose to introduce one or two brighter shades and perhaps even a print to create a more lived-in look.
For the most part your furniture will probably be in similar shades to your overall kitchen, though it’s not unusual to see rustic versions of the Scandi cool trend that feature long, natural finished wooden tables and chairs with matching kitchen cabinets. Things like chairs may be modern in design or plastic, if so they’ll be sleek and perhaps in a brighter contrasting shade such as red or green. The latest wave of Scandinavian design incorporates hints of other trends, so you might want to plump for tables, chairs and cabinets with some metallic finishes. White goods are commonly built into the design, though there’s nothing stopping you opting for a fridge or oven in an alternative hue.
Scandinavian kitchens are clutter free but are in many ways built around their accessories. You might add a coloured toaster and kettle, for example. Storage items will be aesthetically pleasing – clever mug holders, fruit bowls and vegetable racks that are subtly integrated or interesting enough to draw admiration or a brightly clock on the wall. Rugs often feature in these rooms – bringing contrasting texture and prints and comfort underfoot they help break the clean lines of the kitchen to stop things looking too uniform. When it’s time to update the kitchen you can swap in new accent colours by using different accessories, introducing new prints and products that are more up to date, which makes the Scandi look a good option for those who always want to give new design trends a feature. Just be sure to clear out the old before you bring in the new, overcrowding is not Scandi cool.
What do you think of the latest kitchen trends? Is the industrial look to stripped back for you or do you like the raw feel? Do you plan your kitchen around a particular theme or mix and match the elements you like from whatever is big at the time? Have you got a Scandi kitchen or even a Scandinavian design crush?