Four ways to tap into the Nordic decor trend
Minimalist Nordic design is taking over the home decor scene in 2016. Scandinavian-inspired design principles -- featuring white, simple color schemes and use of natural materials -- provide attractive options for creating a balanced, beautiful home.
The Nordic movement, which evokes the simple, minimalist homes of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland, is enjoying new popularity as Americans seek to balance work life with home life, and create spaces where they can unplug, unwind and relax.
Nearly 77 percent of homeowners reported neutral tones, such as those embraced by Nordic design, make a room feel more tranquil, according to a recent Sherwin-Williams National Home Design and Color survey.
Here are some tips to steer your space clear of clutter and embrace the minimalist beauty of Nordic decor for a balanced and bright 2016.
Start with a clean slate
Selecting the right hue of white paint on your walls can create the foundation for Nordic design. Take a cue from colors inspired by natural, fine-textured stone. For example, Alabaster (SW 7008), Sherwin-Williams 2016 Color of the Year, is a natural, flattering white suited especially for a harmonious atmosphere in bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms and kitchens.
Turn on the light
As in Nordic countries, the winter season's long, dark months create a craving for daylight and its positive impact on mood. During these months, take advantage of the daylight you do have by letting window light shine in through a sheer curtain for an ethereal effect in your space.
When the sun goes down, create the effects of daylight in your home decor. Incorporate shiny and reflective elements, like a large beautiful mirror hung on the wall, to reflect your interior lighting and give the illusion of a more spacious atmosphere.
Use shiny metallic elements such as copper, the metal of the moment, in a living room lamp or for pendant lighting in a white kitchen. Hang paper lanterns in a bedroom to add movement and lighten up the space in a fun and interesting way.
Embrace natural tones
Nordic design is all about using natural, live-well tones to create environments where we can feel serene. To achieve this look and feel, use earthy, natural materials, such as Carrera marble, to bring an element of sophistication to a countertop in a kitchen or bath.
Choose birch or maple wood grains for cabinets and furniture to add balance to lovely light stone grays and blush petal pinks, and create a refreshing, yet uncomplicated atmosphere.
Get sharp with geometrics
Complex shapes, angles and patterns in vibrant colors are also present in Nordic decor. Use a boxy picture frame or multilevel open shelving units to offer symmetry and provide a focal point in your space.
In a home that celebrates simplicity, there's always room for a bit of whimsy or a pop of color. Even small details can make a big statement: a zebra-striped pillow on a couch or bed; several multicolored candleholders lined up in a row on a dining room sideboard; or red-painted counter stools in a winter-white kitchen.