Give your interior a Scandinavian update

If you prefer subtle elegance to dramatic glamour, neutral tones to colorful displays and natural materials to synthetic alternatives, then you, my friend, would love Scandinavian interiors. Simple, functional, stylish and welcoming, Scandinavian design is perfect for those who like modern minimalism, but still want their home to feel cozy and comfortable. Here are some easy ways to give your home a Scandinavian update.

Choose neutral tones for your home’s walls and larger furniture.
Photo credit: Katri Kapanen

Photo credit: Katri Kapanen

Then add brighter hues with a few accent accessories such as lamps, throw blankets or wall art.

Invest in high-quality furniture that features amazing craftsmanship.
Photo credit: Bo Bedre

Photo credit: Bo Bedre

 

The better the quality, the longer your furniture will last and stay looking great.

Bring in nature by selecting furniture made from materials like wood and bamboo.
Photo credit: Klikk Bolig

Photo credit: Klikk Bolig

For decor, consider materials such as burlap and natural fibers like sisal and jute. Plants, stone water fountains and artwork that features a natural landscape are also a good way to incorporate nature into your interior design.

Be environmentally conscious when buying new furniture and decor.

The Scandinavians not only have a love for nature, but they also respect it and do their best to protect outdoor elements. Search for renewable resources, such as mango wood, over other options to design a stylish place while reducing your environmental impact.

Put functionality first.
Photo credit: Domaine

Photo credit: Domaine

 

Scandinavian homes are never cluttered with too many decorative items because they follow more practical decorating schemes. That’s not to say you can’t add stylish touches, but keep the decorative items to a minimum, using mostly wall and ceiling space to add accessories.

You might not live in Norway or Sweden, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy their style. Use these tips to update your home with elements of Scandinavian design, no matter where you live.

By Wendy Weinert

Decorate the natural way: A guide to natural-fiber rugs

Photo credit: Iridescence

Photo credit: Iridescence

I’ve noticed more and more people choosing natural-fiber rugs lately. If you’ve read some of my earlier entries, you already know that I am a fan of natural rugs (although synthetic rugs have their place, too). Natural-fiber rugs are durable, stylish and depending on which fiber you choose, they can also be very affordable. If you’re considering a natural-fiber rug for your home, use this guide to narrow down your options and choose the best material for your space.

Wool: If you’re searching for a soft, high-quality rug, wool is a great option. Wool rugs are soft, durable and stain-resistant, which makes them well-suited for high-traffic areas.wool rug

Jute: Jute is the softest fiber you can choose and also often the least expensive. It is also much less durable than other natural fibers, though. Choose a jute rug for low- or medium-traffic areas.

Bamboo: They might not be as soft as other rugs, but bamboo rugs are long-lasting and great for areas like the entryway. Bamboo rugs also feature a unique, earthy style that many homeowners love.

Hemp: Hemp, also known as mountaingrass, is a renewable and pesticide-free fiber. If you prefer colorful rugs with patterns, consider using a hemp rug as a layering piece.Cotton: If you like the look and feel of wool but don’t want to pay a higher price, cotton rugs can be a great alternative. Keep in mind, however, that cotton rugs aren’t as durable and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Seagrass: Most natural-fiber rugs are absorbant, making them bad for high-moisture areas. Seagrass, however, grows in marshes and can repel water. These seagrass rugs are also very durable and can handle years of wear.

Silk: Silk is very soft and gives rugs a shiny appearance. If you’re looking to add a touch of luxury to your space, a silk rug is a great choice.

Leather: Leather rugs bring texture and a unique style to any room. Use a leather rug to give your space a rustic appearance.leather rug

Depending on which one you choose, natural-fiber rugs can add style, warmth, color and function to your home. Before you buy one, consider where you will be placing the rug so you can choose the fiber that is best suited for the space.

By Wendy Weinert