Scandinavia is a group of countries including Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Located in the Northern part of Europe has a temperate climate. The region extends to above the arctic circle. The climate during summers is moderate, however, it snows during the winters. The climatic conditions have defined the architecture of the region which also includes the historic and cultural diversity of the place.
The Scandinavian architecture of today is minimalistic and modernist in approach. Architectural techniques and designs are being applied all over the world because of their simplicity. The design approaches a simple earthy finish playing with materials like wood and using neutral cool tones to keep indoors minimalistic and beautiful. The design also integrates natural light, functionality and comfort in spaces.
The purpose is to create homes that bring peace and give a sense of clarity and vision that also complements the surroundings. The interiors have warm textures, crisp lines, wood, and metal finishes and large windows to allow winter sun to warm up the spaces. Being inspired by these design principles, various architects and designers opt for the Scandinavian style to design homes.
Below are a few of the best examples of Scandinavian apartment design.
1. Brick House by Leth and Gori
Inspired by old houses and their materials that proved to be robust and have a long life, the brick house is a contemporary sustainable house. The objective of the house is to be maintenance-free for 50 years and with a lifespan of a minimum of 150 years.
Clay blocks are used to create the outer layer of the house. The inner layer is insulated using wood. The interior is kept basic with quirky and trendy furniture. Space is a complete brown pallet that creates an ageless feel to space. The plan is flexible and can be used according to the occupant.
2. Villa Weinberg by Weinberg Architects and Friis & Moltke
Villa Weinberg designed by Wienberg architects and Friss and Moltke is located in the forests of Finland. Being exposed to cold climatic conditions, the architects wanted a pleasant and cosy feeling for the users. This corner plot has now been integrated with a summer cottage that got hidden behind the trees during wartime in 1942. A very calming and neutral colour pallet is used for the interiors.
The wooden finished indoor library area gives readers a warm hug during winter mornings, and the spaces with concrete floor and white walls make the space feel bigger. The villa breaks the square shape of the site by providing angles and split levels which seems like it is organically growing rather than a fixed geometry.
The entrance is a dark pathway that leads into a complete feeling of openness. The use of plants also creates interesting patterns of shadows and filters the light entering a space. Hence this makes the dynamic of each room very different.
3. Vega Cottage by Kolman Boye Architects
Vega Cottage located on the Norwegian island was designed by Boye Architects in wood to resemble weather-beaten boathouses. The cottage was inspired by themes from vernacular architecture. Darker greyish-brown wood was opted for outside while a lighter pallet was used for the inside. The house is situated on a rocky uneven terrain but also had great views that had been well used by giving panoramic windows for viewing.
The architects used pine to build the structure and added birch joinery details. The living area is the largest and has views on the front and rear sides. The interior is clean geometry of horizontal and vertical lines.
4. Idunsgate Apartment by Haptic
Located on the top floor of a 19th-century apartment, this was a refurbishment project done to unify the two floors into one. Various levels were introduced in the space creating a drama in the space using straight lines. The staircase is the centerpiece of the apartment made of steel and powder coated that connects the two levels.
The kitchen was integrated with the living area to create an airy and spacious space that becomes a key aspect for social interaction. Large tiles and lines were used following the Scandinavian style of design along with the use of white and browns with colour pops.
5. Village House by Powerhouse Company
A summer retreat in northern Denmark with a cluster of five gabled cabins is designed by the Powerhouse company. The design reflects the different desires of the family member. This varied from picturesque to cosy to archetypal to the spacious and contemporary feeling summer house. The cabins overlap each other to create a central living area that opens into a series of outdoor decks.
The external walls are cladded with black timber boards. The interior walls are painted in white and wood is used for furniture and window frames. A ladder leads one to the upper level of the house and angled skylights bring in extra daylight within the space.
6. 1930s loft apartment in Sweden by Note design studio
A renovation project of a 1930’s loft apartment in Sweden, the note design studio rejected the idea of using white in the space. The project got its highlight due to shades of blue and exclusive furniture pieces used. This was done to create a relaxed, and soft environment. The sandy tones were used for the walls, the floors, and some furniture.
The ceilings and walls are painted in apricot pink and sandy beige tones while storage units and kitchen are in blue-grey. The entire look of the apartment is kept very fresh and organised.
7. Norwegian retreat by Lund Hagem
The Norwegian retreat nestling against a cliff is located close to the seaside. Designed as a summer residence, the 30 square meter retreat sits on a rocky site of Norway’s south-east coast. The house has an open plan which merges the indoors with the outdoors. Exposed concrete and wood and strips of basket-woven oak.
The roof consists of steps that can be used to reach the upper level to enjoy the views. The strips are used to create the false ceiling that also helps in thermal insulation. Openings on the front and rear sides help bring in daylight.
8. Timber-clad home by Schjelderup Trondahl
Spruce-clad house built on a hillside with views over Oslo has vibrant green-yellow frames that accentuate the doors and windows. The three-story house sits on a steep slope and has spruce cladding that has been charred and oiled to highlight the notches and irregularities of the timber. The living area is on the upper floor to get views of the urban landscape.
A very neutral tone of browns is applied on the interiors with basic furniture and split levels to accommodate various functions in the space. This also fine-tunes the view in the most probable sitting positions in each area. Some colour pop is done to highlight certain parts of the house.
9. Apartment in Copenhagen by Studio David Thulstrup
This beautifully designed apartment in Copenhagen is all white and grey with certain spaces having a contrast of blue and violet to accentuate the space. Around 300 antiques were used in creating this modern apartment. There were a few additions to the Scandinavian style to give it a modern twist and give meaning and personality to the client’s home.
Various elements were customised that blended with the apartment. Light colours were used in the lower level to create an open and inviting environment while the upper level used darker colours to create a feeling of intimacy and privacy.
10. Lakeside house in Sweden
Lakeside house in Sweden is designed with the idea to merge it with nature. The house sits on a slope with a view of the lake. This house is split into two volumes such that the mornings can be enjoyed from the living area and the evenings can be enjoyed from the bedroom area. The meeting point of the two volumes has an outdoor seating area that has amazing views of the lake and the forest.
The entire house is cladded in planks of treated pine that run horizontally on the lower portion of the home and vertically towards the roof. The fireplace becomes the focal point within the house. The interiors have a smooth finish on the walls and the floor.
- sustainable9.com. (2019). Scandinavian Architecture(9 Top Examples + Design Elements). [online] Available at: https://sustainable9.com/scandinavian-architecture-guide/#:~:text=Scandinavian%20architecture%20uses%20Scandinavian%20design [Accessed 3 May 2021].
- Dezeen. (2016). 10 popular Scandinavian home interiors on Dezeen’s Pinterest boards. [online] Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2016/10/21/homes-scandinavian-interior-design-dezeen-pinterest-board-10-of-the-best/ [Accessed 3 May 2021].
- Howarth, D. (2013). Village House by Powerhouse Company. [online] Dezeen. Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2013/10/08/village-house-by-powerhouse-company/ [Accessed 3 May 2021].