When we think of Swedish home decorating, the first thing to spring to mind might be IKEA. It has to be said that the IKEA style home is certainly akin to the traditional Swedish style, as an interior designer might describe it. It is elegant, light and airy with a calm feeling added by the use soft and muted colours.
The Swedish style was first popularised by Swedish artist Carl Larsson who was part of the arts and crafts movement of the last part of the 19th century. He was a celebrated painter and illustrator and was known for his muted watercolours and oil paintings depicting happy family scenes.
It is also said that the Swedish style of decorating is influenced by the nature which is in abundance in Sweden and the lack of natural light in the winter months. The Swedish weather made it important to have light colours indoors to reflect what light there is.
To create the style in your own home, simply follow these key points for an easy and flexible look.
- All parts of the room from walls to floors and furniture should be painted or stained in light shades of yellow, blue, white, cream and green. Highlights can be added with gold and red. Blue is the colour most often used in conjunction with white.
- Furniture should have clean lines and the occasional curve. Legs will be delicately turned and have a tapered edge.
- The Swedish like beds which incorporate a canopy and the use of plenty of white fabric to achieve this is common. Day beds are also likely to be seen tucked into the corner of a room.
- Big sofas and padded chairs are not something a Swedish home might have. Instead they will go for sofas with wooden legs and arms, perhaps with some seat padding and cushions.
- Flooring should be light wood and can be bleached or painted to fit in with the surrounding furnishings.
- Patterns are few and far between, but those which are most popular are stripes, checks and plaids, but only in one or two colours at the most. Generally blue and white work well together.
So achieving this look is probably one of the simplest and easiest. Not a lot of money needs to be spent. Simply some white paint, some plain furnishings, and plenty of white muslin for the bed.