Katrine Martensen-Larsen is a well known Danish TV personality who shares her tips for creating a Scandi-chic aesthetic in her latest book, . Using mood boards, followed by nine homes, this new tome breaks down the elements of Nordic style. Some chapters are divided by rooms, with suggestions for materials, lighting, furniture, window treatments and floor coverings for fans who want to emulate classic Scandinavian decorating. “We Danes have traditionally spent a lot of time and effort on our homes and interiors,” says Katrine. “The often cold climate and long dark winters naturally mean spending many hours indoors, which is why we so appreciate a cozy and beautiful interior ambience.” Scroll down and get inspired! Nordic Moods: A Guide To Successful Interior Decoration
This kitchen in Charlottelund, Denmark, is crisp with monochromatic colors, like black, white, grey and beige. Arne Jacobsen chairs in black-lacquered beech veneer with chrome steel legs are set around a rustic oak dining table. “The slender chairs add elegance around the rather robust table,” says Katrine. “It would have been slightly too jarring had both table and chairs been heavy — almost resembling a medieval banqueting hall.” Three oversized industrial ceiling lamps emphasize the height of the ceiling.
Materials such as steel, iron, glass, ceramics and concrete can read hard and cold, but this home is still warm and inviting. A black wrought-iron partition with glass panes on a concrete floor divides the kitchen and dining room. “Besides adding a cool industrial edge to the classic rooms, it is an ingenious way to be in the kitchen whilst having a connection with the flow of the rest of the house,” notes Katrine. “The solution also allows the daylight from the many windows to flow freely between the rooms.”
The inspiration for this Østerbro apartment color palette hails from Paris. Armchairs in light grey beige wool and a wicker chair with a simple vintage floral cushion in soothing, neutral hues are sophisticated yet inviting. A Moroccan Beni Ouarain rug adds essential warmth and pattern.
Chairs that appear to be a patchwork mix of materials are a counterpoint to the clean, contemporary dining table. “Should you have one big wall but only small works of art, do as follows: hang them together so that they will form a whole,” suggests Katrine. The pendant light designed by Serbian artist Ana Kras is made up of different colored threads, to mimic the chairs and the collage of paintings on the end wall.
Light blue cupboards and cool white walls are a classic Scandi color combo in this kitchen. Sleek and practical stainless steel was chosen for the countertops, while Arne Jacobsen’s slim chairs take up minimal space and can be stacked if more floor space is required.
Pale lavender walls and softly rumpled quilted bedding make this bedroom the ultimate restful retreat. “When choosing wall colors, ensure your palette range is harmonious,” says Katrine. “Take inspiration from your natural surroundings. Cool coastal colors are beautifully useful for our Nordic latitude interior, whilst more saturated and powerful colors are easier to live with in the south, where the sun is stronger.”
In this cozy Copenhagen home, the walls are lined with books, and a large citrus sofa by a sunny window is a lively perch for reading. “The other upholstered furniture in its delicate pastel hues is almost subdued in comparison,” she says. “It all comes together with fresh green plant foliage and the floral meadow bouquets, emphasizing the unpretentiousness of the home.”
A gorgeous Gustavian-style armoire with a dreamy duck-egg blue interior is a standout piece in this Copenhagen dining room, and the white painted floors are another essential Scandi note. “The chandelier over the dining room table is an Ingo Maurer design,” says Katrine. “When purchased, it comes with blank notepaper, so that it becomes your own personalized lamp, with your sketches and jottings.”
The mood board for the home of Jannik Martensen-Larsen, Katrine’s brother, depicts colorful walls, harlequin-patterned wallpaper in silver and mint green, and taffeta curtains in sunny yellow and petrol. Burgundy, blue-grey, succulent green and ochre yellow cushions in various global-inspired prints round out the mix.
A gallery wall over a spacious sofa in a room with a low ceiling should be spread out horizontally rather than vertically, according to Karine. “Ensure colors and shapes are evenly distributed… If there are a few pictures with the same very strong color, separate them, establishing equal distances between the images.” And not all art has to be expensive, explains Katrine, but “it doesn’t work if it’s all found in the same boutique, because that wouldn’t have the necessary soul.”
“It is elegant when the wall color reflects a shade in the artwork,” says Katrine. “Find a color that plays a secondary role in the artwork and bring it out as a wall shade. Enhance it by including it in cushions and curtains in the same or an adjacent room.”
To contrast this home’s turquoise in the living room, the dining room is all about subtle color. Oak chairs designed by Hans J. Wegner ring a marble dining table, for a medley of natural materials. “It helps to have woodwork, floors and ceilings in continuity throughout all the rooms,” she says. “It is also ideal to have some rooms in the home with the eccentricity toned down. For example, the color scheme in the dining room is calmer — after all this is where the family spends the most time, eating and doing homework together. So the background doesn’t dominate.”
Author: Wendy Jacob