Image: Carina Olander | Styling: Carina Olander & Anna Truelsen
Swede dreams are made of these: bold palettes, playful accents, personal details and the patina of well-loved pieces. Get inspired to take your Swedish style to the next level this holiday season. Here's how.
1 Embrace a winter white colour scheme.
The dining room celebrates a snowy winter landscape with its all-white envelope, minimalistic rustic decor, huge untreated windows and potted fir and cypress trees peppered around the perimeter. It’s so open and airy, it feels almost as though you’re about to eat your saffron buns (a traditional Swedish Christmas treat) outdoors.
2 Decorate with old food cans.
Swedes have a way of seeing beauty in the unexpected – even a can of beans. Filled with hyacinth bulbs here and candles elsewhere, they’re a cheeky (and inexpensive) way to underscore the bold and bright colour scheme.
3 Short on cabinet space? Stack your dishes.
Though the kitchen is small and suffers from limited storage, stacking dishware in the open means everything is within easy reach when guests drop by.
4 Always had a festive scent in the air.
Fragrance is key to the homeowners’ approach to Christmas decorating. In addition to the hyacinths, fir trees and pine boughs, the smell of fresh-baked gingerbread cookies plays a starring role.
5 Welcome industrial elements.
Another atypical accent that proves there are infinite possibilities when fashioning fresh decor? The downstairs living room’s trio of industrial-chic pendant lights made from workaday wire baskets.
6 The tree doesn't have to be grand.
The homeowners buy a real tree at the start of the season to add a healthy dose of festivity to the otherwise minimal holiday decor. The stout tree is adorned with pinecones, mushroom ornaments, mini lanterns and cards wishing onlookers “God Jul” (Swedish for “Merry Christmas”). We love that the tree is topped with a disproportionately sized tiny wizard toy – a wink that captures the whimsy of Scandi style.
7 Choose a fresh holiday theme.
“No two Christmases are the same here,” says one of the homeowners. “This year, the scheme is yellow and turquoise, but next year it will definitely be something different.” Having a black and white living room makes this approach easy – switching out accessories like blankets and toss cushions means these sunny accent colours are low commitment.
8 Ensure the space is well lit.
The large white star in the window of the upstairs living room is barely visible in daytime but beams brightly at night. This popular Swedish method of lighting the long, dark winter hours is just as welcome here in Canada.
9 Go simple with festive touches.
The fresh pastel checkered floor complements the bold high-contrast stripes on the wall and window covering. The seasonal notions are simple: a small potted cypress tree, hyacinth bulbs lining the stairs and a set of ski poles.
10 Bring a holiday touch into any room with a string of twinkling lights.
In the office nook, nothing is fussy or overdone. Wall-hung twinkle lights are paired with a container of fresh pine boughs.