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Scandinavian Interiors - Big NO NOs

Interior Design & Decor

(Guest Post From: Möbler)

Our interior style is such a misconceived phenomenon. Since we at Möbler - Scandinavian Vintage, often receive the question what Scandinavian interior style really is, we wish to clarify. Instead of writing a long list of DOs, we focus on the DONTs.


Image © Möbler - Scandinavian Vintage

We realize, for many non-Scandinavians the style has become mis-interpreted and many believe that it is all about clean lines, a pale color palette and little usage of accessories. We say - it is absolutely not that simple. We are basing following advices on many years of experience in the interior field. Being born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden has also given us an authentic and organic insight to the ever so popular style. Obliged to clarify, we ask you to read and follow our 12 advices below:


Image © Möbler - Scandinavian Vintage

1. Do not go for minimalistic

It is a huge misconception that our spaces are bare. On the contrary, it’s not at all about sparse all white and functional furniture surrounded by empty walls. The rooms are though not crowded nor cluttered, they are balanced - Lagom. The beauty of our style lies in the heavy usage of contrast. The easiest way to come closer to Scandinavian interior is by mixing, mix materials, textures and colors. Play with different types of wood, such as pine with mahogany, mix brass with cast iron, add different patterns on the textiles. Other very common materials are those taken in from nature, such as furs, wool, leather, and greens, lots of greens.

2. Do not be scared to mix it up

We mix materials and textures, and in particular we mix styles. To limit yourself to one style of furnishings often become soulless and boring. Do mix furniture from different eras, and different geographical areas. The simple lines of Scandinavian modern design goes so well together with other styles, such as antiques from the 1800s, retro clean lines of the 1950s, even traditional Chinese. Almost all featured homes in Sweden, on blogs, Instagram, Pinterest, magazines include vintage pieces. The Scandinavian trend of mixing new furniture with old has reached Asia, and the need for character and authenticity has never been this huge. By that, the homes are becoming less predictable and more characteristic.


Image © Möbler - Scandinavian Vintage

3. Do not use false architectural features

Anything replicated or fake is a big NO NO in Scandinavia, such as a fake brick wall or fake wood vinyl floor. However an original brick wall as feature can be very decorative. Overall Scandinavian Interiors is about preserving the old and keeping it real. A trained Scandinavian eye spots "fakeness" miles away. Please do go for the real deal.

4. Do not go for pine panels and pastel colored walls

This could be the biggest misconception of them all. Apart from in basements, ski cabins or sports centers we seldom see light wood panels in Scandinavia. Perhaps in very grand spacious modern rooms with lots of natural light, covering the whole wall from the floor to the heigh ceiling. However, white painted wood panels are common, often covering half the walls in kitchens and hall ways. Don’t forget, a Scandinavian home always curates well-placed surprises and is never predictable.


Image © Möbler - Scandinavian Vintage

5. Do not buy things that are made to look old

Do not buy things that are made to look old – Buy authentic vintage pieces. Do not buy replicated or reproduced vintage, industrial or antique furniture. A big NO to newly produced retro or antique wannabes. These are usually manufactured with material of bad quality and screams bad mass production, and most importantly, they are lacking soul. Adding such pieces is as far away from Scandinavian interior style you possibly can come.

6. Do not use bright colors as base pallet

As you know, white is the most common wall color in Scandinavia, but please scrap other bright colors for the walls. If you want a more unique base color, go for gray, dark green, dark blue, or even the trendy black. Being Swedish, we have never seen a light blue wall, or perhaps together with a pine panel in a sports center.


Image © Möbler - Scandinavian Vintage

7. Do not focus on built-ins

We know built-ins are very popular in this part of the world, and we can see the practicality of it. But if you want to create a home that oozes Scandinavian style, that is not the way. We seldom see this in Scandinavia, only as wardrobes. Instead, use storage as decor. The box or basket that you likely would have hidden in your closet is instead a work of art in its self. Put your nick nacks in a beautiful basket and place on an open shelf. Please avoid Toyogo plastic containers though.

8. No cold stark floors without rugs

A plain empty floor without a rug gives a cold look that is impersonal and alienating. Singapore being a very hot country, it is not a matter of physical warmth, but emotional. Add rugs, in every room. Either a plain colored, a graphical patterned or a Persian. No matter what, it is a perfect way to add warmth to a room.


Image © Möbler - Scandinavian Vintage

9. No empty walls

Going back to the need for accessories in Scandinavia. Be proud of your stories, may it be photographs or memories from journeys. Even your own creations. The walls give you an opportunity to present yourself. Show your specific uniqueness and create warmth. Accessorize with items you love, and of course vintage pieces. It is very common we add travel memories or own photographs to our decor.

10. No vinyl flooring

Get real wooden flooring, or tiles. Yet again, focus on the authentic. And bring nature in. Yes, it might cost you a little bit more, but it is worth it. The most common parquet in Scandinavia is the "herring bone". If you do have to go for vinyl flooring, please use rugs.


Image © Möbler - Scandinavian Vintage

11. No fluorescent lights or artificial plants

Please avoid florescent light, both the built-in lights and bulbs. With a softer warm light the feeling in the room will be more homely. We seldom use bulbs starker than 40W. We usually dont use ceiling light, unless it has a dimmer function. We mix sources of lighting, and use accent lighting such as, floor lamps, table lamps, or wall lamps. Dont forget, its all about being cozy, Hygge. Regarding flowers, never ever use artificial plants. Get the real deal. Bring nature in.

12. No replicas

There are many, especially mid century designer items that are unfortunately being replicated. Same goes here as for false architectural features. Keep it real! In Scandinavia we always stick to what is genuine.


Image © Möbler - Scandinavian Vintage

Let us at Möbler help you create your own unique Scandinavian style by adding your favorite vintage pieces. We have a 500 piece collection ranging from early 1800s to 1970s, all sourced in Scandinavia. Each piece is a unique one-off product, therefore, your interior has the potential to really stand out.

Welcome to the showroom in Tagore Lane and check out our full collection online.

Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 12 - 6pm.

Address: 81 Tagore Lane Tag A 02-11, Singapore 787502

Hotline: +65 9882 5320

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Team Möbler

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