How to Style Your Space Like a Swede

Updated 09/07/19
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Who doesn’t love the simplicity, utility, and beauty of a Swedish interior? Their understated elegance is what appeals most. Somehow when you pare everything back to the bare essentials, it feels warmer, purer, and more honest. The Swedish minimal aesthetic is beloved worldwide, and for good reason—it's the LBD of interiors, after all.

Clean lines, muted palettes, and clever craftsmanship seem simple enough, but put them all together and you have a powerful combination. So how easy is it to achieve this simplified look? Stockholm-based freelance art director and interior photographer Sara Medina shares her tips below.

swedish interior design
Sara Medina

Create a White Base

If your walls, ceilings, and floors are all white, the effect is strangely calming, and it instantly makes your home feel bigger. Plus, a white base allows for you to change the décor each season, since you won't have to worry about coordinating your new pieces with the color of your walls. 

IKEA Ektorp White Sofa $499
scandinavian design
Sara Medine for My Home

Minimize Clutter

Get rid of things that you don't use or need in your home in order to create space and a pleasant atmosphere. You'll be amazed at how the abundance of negative space positively impacts your mood. Getting the balance right may take a little rearranging, but the zen result will be worth it.

CB2 Getaway Wide Bookcase $449
scandinavian style
Sara Medina

Buy Investment Pieces

When looking for new furniture, invest in pieces that you really love, and make sure to choose materials you won't get tired of. Whenever possible, choose well-made furnishings that are built to last. Some of the key pieces you should consider spending more on are sofas, artwork, kitchen tables, and rugs. These are the things you use regularly, so make sure they can withstand daily use—and look good in the process.

Chairish Gold Medal Furniture Safari Chair $3600
scandinavian decor
Sara Medina Lind

Keep It Simple

Simplicity is beautiful, especially when it comes to interiors. Yes, this has been said time and time again, but it's a fact. A sleek, minimal aesthetic really brings intrigue and mystery to a space. To do this, it’s crucial you set the table using simple base products to ensure a clear, sophisticated expression. These don’t need to be costly either. In this image, the table linen, gray ceramics, and pot all come from H&M Home.

Design Classics Lighting Industrial Mariner Polished Chrome Mini-Pendant Light $70
scandinavian interior
Sara Medina Lind

Choose a Theme

Choose a design theme that you love, and stick to it. Not only will this help make a room look cohesive, but it'll make it easier when you want to change your home around, too. As long as it's within the theme, you can add in pieces when you feel like it. Here, there are different shades of nudes and natural materials that exist harmoniously together. 

Ecopower Light Pendant Wire Cage Lamp Guard $27
scandinavian home decor
Sara Medina Lind

Use Varying Textures

Textures amp up the interest level in an interior, so feel free to go wild. The trick is to keep them within the same tonal family. If you mix too many textures, materials, and surfaces of all different colors, the result will surely be headache-inducing. If you have a white base, then opt for similar beige, dove-gray, and tan tones or any colors you would see together in nature. Generally the colors that blend well are the ones Mother Nature intended.

One Kings Lane Naomi Rug $219

What do you think of the minimalist Swedish style? Sound out in the comments, and then read through our favorite Scandinavian homes.

This story was originally published on July 2, 2015. Updated by Sacha Strebe.

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