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Why Scandinavian Design Is So Great For Small Spaces The

Why Scandinavian Design Is So Great For Small Spaces The Why Scandinavian Design Is So Great For Small Spaces The

Where bold colors make a space feel more intimate, neutral, muted colors make a space feel more open. To increase the size of your own home, experiment with white or off-white paint colors that accentuate your decor rather than overpower it.

Not looking to totally repaint? Hang a black and white photograph or add a few neutral throw pillows to your couch.

Scandinavian Design Is The Secret To Making Your Home Feel Bigger

In this small apartment that’s only 43 square meters (or just over 450 square feet), even though there’s plenty of white, the space still has lots of color, pattern and accessories. It’s a perfect balance between minimal and bohemian. One of the small space tricks that works well in this space, as shown above, is the clean, white wall-mounted shelves and cabinet taking up a wall of the dining area.

SPLURGE: Taccia small table lamp by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Flos ( )), left. SAVE: PS table lamp in white with LED bulb ( ).

Though a lot of white helps expand the rooms of this apartment and keep it feeling fresh and airy, they don’t avoid dark colors. In fact, the kitchen plays around with dramatic dark black tiles in an interesting way that keeps the space from feeling too dark or small. By placing the dark color on the farthest back surface — and allowing the protruding surfaces like the cabinets to remain white — the dark color adds drama without shrinking the space.

In utilizing a small, low ottoman with a tray instead of having a coffee table and an additional side chair, the living room area is left feeling airy and open. But the double function of a tray and ottoman means it can be used as a tabletop or extra seating, as the need arises.

Luckily, you don’t have to start from scratch to bring the Scandinavian style to your home. Getting the look is a matter of making small tweaks to affect big change in the way your space feels.  

The shelves are filled with books — but stacks are neatly arranged and inter-dispersed with accessories. The cabinet top features a range of uses from a small bar (with a few bottles neatly contained on a tray), to holding plants to housing a music amp. Willingness to mix uses makes this area very useful, and then containing all of these objects neatly in this one area keeps the rest of the apartment from feeling cluttered.

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SPLURGE: Ether sofa ( ), left. SAVE: Hewitt velvet sofa in gray (

SPLURGE: PK22 Easy Chair ( ), left. SAVE: Black woven leather chair ( ).

Minimize clutter by keeping chaos covered. Whether in your kitchen, living room or home office, challenge yourself to keep shelves and tabletops clean. Only display what you want people to admire. The rest deserves to be neatly tucked away in a drawer or cabinet.


SPLURGE: Suede storage stool in navy by Michael Verheyden ( ), left. SAVE: Tall storage ottoman in loyal blue ( ).

Properly spaced objects will make your home look and feel less disordered. When organizing your closet or styling your coffee table, try to avoid piles and stacks that crowd the space and overwhelm the eye.

We asked Savoie to recommend some of her favorite Scandinavian furniture finds.

Save hundreds on your next armchair with these designer picks

The look is undoubtedly stunning, but we love it most for its ability to make a space feel bigger. (Calling all teeny-tiny apartment dwellers!) The idea is to pare down to the essentials so your abode is nice and clutter-free. 

Though a large portion of the bedroom is taken up by a big storage unit, it doesn’t feel like there’s any heavy or imposing furniture in the room. This lighter look is pulled off by installing narrow storage units that reach close to the ceiling height and match the wall color — they become an extension of the wall and don’t feel like something closing in the space.

(Image credit: Styled and photographed by the team behind Alvhem Makleri)

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Add easy elegance to your living room with these millennial pink items

If you’ve scrolled through Pinterest lately, you’ve probably noticed an overwhelming number of minimally-decorated, impeccably-organized spaces taking over your feed. This trend is none other than Scandinavian home design, an interior style famous for its simplicity, functionality and neutral color scheme.

To freshen up your living room or bedroom, swap ornate patterns, like florals or animal print, for clean, uncomplicated designs like stripes or diamond prints. Simpler patterns will elongate other lines present in the room, making the entire space look wider than it really is.


Not another neutral: Break the rules with these colorful couches

Making a room brighter is the key to creating the illusion of volume. Allow more natural light to shine in through the windows and your home will instantly feel more spacious. So, pull back the curtains and let the sun shine in. 

You would think adding busy pattern to a small space can be a little dangerous, but there’s a trick to doing it without feeling too overwhelming: Repeating the same pattern throughout the space. The curtains, the ottoman and a throw pillow on a chair all feature a bold, contrasting navy and white small elephant print, that, if mixed with too many other types of patterns could be just too much in so little square feet.

“I love the Scandinavian minimal look — partly because my studio apartment in New York City is so small that I need clean lines in my design to make it feel layered but not cluttered,” says Gabrielle Savoie, design blogger at Savvy Home and MyDomaine editor.

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“When I was decorating my own space, I started looking for budget alternatives to Scandinavian design classics to furnish my space without spending a ton,” she said. Here are her top picks.

There’s something about Scandinavian interior design that sings in small spaces. The style’s signature clean lines, soft colors, functional furnishings and simple silhouettes can inject warmth and light into a cramped living area and create the illusion of additional square footage.

Smart, Simple Secrets from a Stylish Scandinavian Small Space

SPLURGE: 5-by-7-foot Catania rug in midnight ( ), left. SAVE: 5-by-8-foot Divvy dusty-indigo rug ( ).

When you pin images and tear out magazine photos of rooms you love, says interior designer

Whether you’re looking to redecorate, get organized or simply feel inspired to tidy up, scroll through the list below to learn simple ways to master this space-saving design trick. 

As we see time and time again, Scandinavian design works so beautifully and elegantly in small spaces thanks to a generous use of white and sleek furniture. In this apartment we found on Alvhem Brokerage and Interior, we spotted several design secrets that make this small space particularly work well — and they’re ideas you could translate for your own small home.

, you need to ask yourself a few questions before trying to replicate the look: “What do you think of when you see this photo? How does it make you feel?” Then focus on the colors and the shape of the furniture separately.

It may sound woo-woo at first, but this two-step process helps you separate the mood of the room from its design elements. People who don’t do this, Workman says, often wind up with that “can’t put my finger on it, but something’s not right” feeling.

For example, you may see a few glamorous gray rooms and think gray = glamorous, so you decide to paint the walls gray, when what you really wanted was an Old Hollywood look (which you could’ve gotten with a mirrored side table, Art Deco-inspired club chairs and a few velvet throw pillows).

10 mirrors to hang in your home if you want art and function

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