A global field guide to design, (life)style and secret finds
est. 2007
  1. Home Tour: A lesson in understated Scandinavian style

    orgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    We’ve been talking about Christmas all week, so let’s take a brief break and consider this superb Swedish apartment.

    Here in Australia, there’s been a lot of discussion recently about the the popularity of the Scandi look.

    It was also brought up time and again on The Block (my knuckles are still recovering from the sizeable bite marks during the finale last night), where contestants were either praised for their Aussie spin on the Scandi look, or critiqued for reproducing “cliched Scandi style”.

    So if you love how the Scandinavians decorate, how exactly do you pull it off without replicating a textbook-style showroom in your own home?

    This is how.

    orgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    A lesson in monochrome. Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    Soft pinks and nudes. Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    Take away the furniture, the layers of neutral tones and textures, the careful arrangement of object and shape, and you have the bare bones of any apartment that could be in Sydney, Melbourne – or Hammarby Sjöstad, in Stockholm.

    There is a restraint in decorating that defines the Scandinavian look, working with neutral tones and natural textures to create a style that’s seemingly effortless.

    The kitchen is a careful study in monochrome, working with a luxe mix of materials including marble, copper and matte black finishes.

    A lesson in monochrome. Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    A lesson in monochrome. Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    A lesson in monochrome. Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    A mix of natural tones and textures is evident in every room of the home.

    In the dining room we see a crumpled linen tablecloth combined with matte black tablewear, reflecting the finishes in the kitchen. The look is completed with the addition of timber and subtle flecks of copper in the decor and handles of the sideboard.

    Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    A lesson in monochrome. Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    A lesson in monochrome. Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    The white-washed floors are the foundation for building layers of texture and tone. Here, we have a natural wool vintage Berber-style rug, with a pair of timber side tables – the pale timber contrasting with the matte black table top.

    Notice too, the replication of shape in this home, where circles are used to break up lines and add a fluid dynamic that’s so subtle, you don’t actually notice it until you really study what’s going on.

    Here, circles are also repeated with the bowls and objects on the table, combined with a signature Scandi natural element, in this case, the organic lines of a branch.

    In the bedroom, circles and layers of textures in natural linen are combined with matte velvet as a variation on the same theme.

    Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    orgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    Gorgeous Swedish apartment, via Fantastic Frank.

    Consistency, restraint and carefully-considered layering: a small lesson in simple non-cliched Scandinavian style.

    Click here to tour more of our favourite homes.

    Photography by Joakim Johansson for Fantastic Frank.

    • http://purplepaperhouse.com.au PurplePaperHouse

      Rebecca,
      don’t you just find Scandi to be emotional whitespace?

      It’s calm and quiet, and you can feel your shoulders dropped in relaxation when you view images of it. I can’t even imagine how relaxing it would be to live in (except for the keeping it neat part!).

      <3
      Pia

      • wearescout

        Hi Pia, yes, I think that’s why we’re loving Scandi right now – and it’s so compatible with Australian lifestyle, despite the fact that the inspiration comes from a completely different climate. But I think the thing with Scandi done well (ie. by Scandinavians) is the whole concept of hygge, which you can’t just reproduce with a cookie-cut style. It’s about creating a sense of personal warmth in your home. And yes, relaxation!

    • Meg Gaynor

      I absolutely love this design. Do you know the name of the designer for this?

      • lisa (aka the red thread)

        Hi Meg. Sorry I don’t know, but if you click through to fantastic Frank, noted as the image source, the designer may be credited there.