Discovering Scandinavian style: essential and functional

Discovering Scandinavian style: essential and functional

Being able to identify the style that best suits our personality is a strong point in the design of domestic interiors. For this reason, we have thought to collect for you a series of references that can best show the different styles of the interior design. Accompanying you in their discovery means setting the first references that will allow us to undertake customized solutions, in which different stylistic elements harmonize in a unique and identifying way. We start our journey with a Scandinavian style, essential but extremely functional. We will show you images of our creations matched with material and chromatic references and with extremely identifying design icons and interiors in order to give you the best overview of this style.

The Scandinavian style in its architectural settings

Scandinavian style has swarmed our home’ interiors in recent years. Originally from Northern European countries, it has fascinated us more and more with its essentiality and harmony with nature. It is from the latter that Nordic designers and architects, first of all Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen, drew inspiration to create projects in perfect harmony and functional balance. Before on the furniture terms, the Scandinavian style analyzes the relationship between Man and Nature on an architectural level. From this, the choice of the orientation of the building and the relationship with natural light become of fundamental importance. This, at high latitudes, in the winter months becomes very scarce, if not completely absent. It is therefore essential being capable of making the most of what nature offers with large windows and bright surfaces.

Alvar Aalto Carrè House Scandinavian Style

Alvar Aalto, Maison Carrè

Arne Jacobsen St. Catherine's College

Arne Jacobsen, St. Catherine’s College

Colors and materials

Fresh and bright environments are the distinctive feature of the Scandinavian style. If on one hand the architectural conformation wants to make the most of natural light, on the other it is up to the chromatic choice the ability to illuminate and lighten the interior. Here then the white becomes the undisputed protagonist of the interior. The visual delicacy identifies this style and is obtained by adopting soft colors, preferring pastel shades. To these are added the natural essences of woods, a material certainly preferred in the Nordic interiors. But pay attention to this: wood is chosen for its naturalness and refinement. Therefore, painting and surface processing that alter the original perception of the material are excluded. Favor the natural essences of oak, walnut, oak, larch, ash and first of all birch.

Scandinavian style, reference 01

Sinuous lines for greater ergonomics of the furniture

Scandinavian style Modulor palette

Natural materials and chromatic palette in neutral tones

Modulor selection forniture and materials

light wood essence chosen for essential furniture

Scandinavian style kitchen

Pastel colors for a fresh touch and character

Modulor pastel colors palette

Pastel colors for a touch of grit without sacrificing delicacy

Lines and geometries

Above all the essentiality that characterizes this style is given by the conformation of the furniture and the interiors themselves. Simple and regular geometric lines are preferred, which allow themselves to be fascinated by the sinuous forms of nature but only if justified by greater ergonomics. Geometric patterns and organic lines influence each other to give shape to a light image, but first of all to respond to greater functionality.

traditional villa Sicily kitchen front view

White with its brightness is the color par excellence in the Scandinavian style, as this Modulor kitchen

Scandinavian style living room

Essential furniture and delicate colors for this living room

living room library

Recessed library between wooden essences and pastel colors

Conclusions

Choosing the Scandinavian style means choosing a delicate and fresh interior. If your personality is careful to detail and a lover of simplicity, you will surely be fascinated by it. Airy and bright spaces like your light thoughts and delicate and natural colors like your character, in symbiosis with nature and its perfection.

High altitude renovation of a traditional two-room apartment

High altitude renovation of a traditional two-room apartment

In the context of Bergamo mountains, a small two-room apartment renovated to improve its functionality, whose contemporary style well balances with traditional furnishing.

THE CONTEXT THE INTERVENTION KITCHEN AND LIVING AREA BATHROOM THE MATERIAL AND CHROMATIC CHOICE

THE CONTEXT

Style never goes on vacation! Or yes maybe, and in this case, it goes on mountain! Lodges and small wooden apartments always have their charm, bringing a sense of hospitality with their warm and natural colours. Inspired from the surrounding landscapes, the interiors are often characterised by the abundance of wood, used both in furniture and in the finishes of floors and ceilings. A perfect example is this two-room apartment in Lizzola, designed in the eighties style which the entire village has maintained the strong stylistic mark. In fact, is exactly in that period that the small residential area experienced its best time. The main roads were swarmed by tourists and surroundings’ valleys inhabitants who reached the area for an out-of-town weekend or entire weeks of vacation. An undisputed choice between the mountains’ resort. Set up as the typical “mountain house” the Lizzola’s two-room apartment needed a renovation, in order to make it contemporary in style and at the same time more functionally, without deleting the traditional imprint which is characterized by and makes it welcoming and typical.  

THE INTERVENTION

The design choice has been that of preserve the stylistic element and the furnishing which best represent the atmosphere of the two-room apartment. Concerning the new elements designed, the deliberately choice is a slightly invasive solution that can fit harmoniously into the existing context. From this perspective, the cherry-wooden garret was preserved from its original environment, even taking the main role in the stylistic definition of the room. As a consequence, the cherry wood parquet has stolen the stylistic characteristic of the ceiling, adjusted to the renovation of electrical and heating system. The renovation involved the entire apartment, going to specially attend the kitchen and bathroom interiors.

KITCHEN AND LIVING AREA

Reduced in size, the kitchen of the two-room apartment in mountains, has an essential but extremely functional setting. Being a residence designed for shorter stays the kitchen occupies a small part of the environment, without giving its contemporaneity and practicality away. There’s no lack of necessary appliances: starting from the small-seized induction hob, passing through the combined oven with microwave and refrigerator with freezer compartment. The extraction fan is instead the kitchen cabinets’ excess, used as a pantry for food and dishes. Concerning the dining table, the wooden chairs with traditional and soft profiles fit well into the room, reason why it’s been preserved. On the other hand, a support surface was combined with folding leg has been supplied in order to provide an additional support space and, at the same time, to become extremely practical for close and move the furniture. Functionality is the main element considered to the living room design, allowing to take the best advantage from the sofa-beds there and to customize and rearrange the space as needed. The original suspension lamps now become protagonists of the dining room by introducing a chromatic contrast with the black outer finish of the cap. The living room furniture with its contemporary style houses the free-standing TV and becomes a containing element both for kitchen, by its proximity, and for other objects of the entire apartment.

BATHROOM

The bathroom intervention has also provided its expansion, thus managing to house all the container elements inside and equip it with a washing machine compartment. It is probably in this room that the contemporary style is most visible, starting from the extremely elegant and clear in the stylistic lines of the glass shower, moving to the semi-recessed sink with an oval shape and rounded profiles and ending with the choice of the covering tiles for the shower interior with its bright and fresh colours, which remain in perfect harmony with the surrounding neutral tones. The cabinet with large storage drawers also includes the possibility of a built-in washing-machine. The plywood top refers itself to those of the kitchen and table, becoming a stylistic element in continuity with all rooms.  

THE MATERIAL AND CHROMATIC CHOICE

As already seen, it is certainly the plywood that defines the material mark of the whole two-room apartment. An economic material, also young and dynamic, but at the same time that can be easily fit into traditional interiors. Its main feature is its structure, which is visible in the edge of the tops, becoming the stylistic signature of the project, emphasizing the geometric lines of furniture with a recognizable touch. The balance between the orange tones of cherry wood and the white of plywood creates internal divisions able to give rhythm at the room. The internal subdivisions underlined by the change of flooring, which from the most intimate and comfortable rooms of bedroom and living room are changed into uniform surfaces with gray stoneware for better practicality. Being more wear-resistant and easier to clean, the stoneware has in fact been chosen for the kitchen and bathroom where they elegantly relate to the white of contemporary style. In conclusion, a renovation that takes origin from the traditional setting of the two-room apartment, without turning its featured upside-down but instead adding contemporary elements that give freshness.

Living in small spaces: a minimal apartment in Milan

Living in small spaces: a minimal apartment in Milan

Living in small spaces means living the contemporaneity. Functionality is the key-word: knowing how to add take advantage of the interiors while being able to use all its potentialities.  

THE CONTEMPORARY PANORAMA THE CONTEXT THE WORK SHAPES, COLOURS AND MATERIALS

 

THE CONTEMPORARY PANORAMA

The increase in the number of the population necessarily interfaces with the problem of lack of space. In the contemporary architectural panorama, the solutions adopted use the verticality of the buildings, which tend to develop in height rather than in planimetry. An example of all is the spread of “capsule hotels” in the eastern continent. Without reaching the maximum expression of this architectural trend, even in the cities of our country there are various examples of reduction to minimum spaces. Living in small spaces means being able to optimize the rooms in the best way, managing to fit the different functions and reducing the furniture to the essentials. The minimal style perfectly interprets this need, succeeded in giving an aesthetic value to the most essential interiors.  

THE CONTEXT

Integrated in a contemporary residential context focused on the shades of gray and green, the studio apartment in Corso San Gottardo is suitable for a space optimization project, because it is extrapolated from an existing apartment. In particular, it consists of a single room with small kitchenette and a mezzazine for the sleeping area, extracted from one of the main rooms of the old apartment. Being able to organize at the best the room without sacrificing comfort and aesthetic taste was the design challenge with which we interfaced to. The characteristic that allowed to reach the goal is the very wide height on the interior enhanced by suggestive exposed beams.

small spaces sofa and snack bar
entrance minimal apartment Milan

THE WORK

Taking advantage of the reduced spaces, it was possible to design the plan layout focused on a living area in visual contact with the small equipped kitchen with snack bar, and an elevated bedroom accessible through a service ladder. The kitchen is reduced to the essentials, but not for this reason is poorly equipped: in fact, it has a kitchenette with induction hobs of the minimum size, flanked by a built-in sink and container units in the remaining parts. A dividing wall with snack bar attached divides the kitchen from the living room, keeping at the same time the spaces visually open. This is also thanks to the presence fs the service windows, which creates a dynamic and contemporary cut in the room.  The surface used as a snack bar accommodates up to 3/4 people, and the shaped profile with a 45° cut is able to make it look more welcoming. The living room with a two-seated sofa leads to the upper level use as bedroom with a double bed and containing niches. The storage compartment is accessible as the mezzazine with a service ladder that leans against special rails. The mezzanine is back-lit by a linear profile capable of providing the correct illumination both the bedroom area above and the lower living room.

small spaces apartment Milan
kitchen apartment Milan
living room apartment Milan
double bedroom small spaces

SHAPES, COLOURS AND MATERIALS

The contemporaneity of the apartment is visible both in the choice of clean linear shapes and in the material’s one. In fact, Corian was chosen for the snack bar and the kitchen too. It is an extremely fashionable material nowadays due to its elegance reached with the uniform surfaces with hided joints. Made in the same light-shades, the kitchen furniture in textured white lacquered MDF refers itself to the idea of an essential but well-designed space.

bedroom access step-ladder

Functionality and small spaces transform this studio apartment into a reality of its own. It leads to becoming a love nest for its inhabitants, but it is also perfect to be used as a B&B for tourists and short stays.

A traditional villa surrounded by the citrus groves of Sicily

A traditional villa surrounded by the citrus groves of Sicily

On the island of lemons and oranges with their intense aroma, a traditional-style villa leaves room for modern classic furnishing with light and fresh tones.

San Tommaso villa outside citrus grove

THE CONTEXT

Surrounded by a citrus grove with intense scents and colours, Villa San Tommaso fits in perfect harmony with nature. Offering every kind of comfort, from the swimming pool to the jacuzzi, it looks from the outside as a rural construction in perfect symbiosis with the local tradition. It is exactly in this perspective that the interventions are inserted, trying to keep the true traditional scent intact, but adding a modern touch. The private residence spreads on two levels is also rented during the summer season by a high-level English rental company. A corner of paradise where the architectural structure fits in perfect harmony with nature. Like in most rural residences, the interior of the villa is characterized by dark wood interiors and light walls, with traditional terracotta floors that increase its authenticity in value. For this reason, the insertion of modern furniture has to relate with the already strongly existing elements. Do not make the scene heavier but instead try to lighten it, adding a touch of brightness and clarity. The design proposal mainly involved the kitchen, providing some furniture in the living room, but also touched the rooms on the upper floor.

 
San Tommaso villa outside table

LIVING ROOM

The essential and contemporary kitchen delicately inserts itself providing brightness and elegance. In fact, it consists of a corner structure that embrace the large window on the outside with which it relates to the surrounding. Below this, there are container drawers and storage units with recessed handles that simplify the shapes. The kitchen countertop carries on the corner on both sides becoming almost a real exposition element. At the adjacent wall, the suspended wall units are made up of door of the same width whose bevels create visual light lines. The back of the countertop in glossy lacobel gives further freshness and brightness. The large double-door design refrigerator is built into a customed design structure that also holds doors with internal shelves. The oak snack bar embraces the central pillar of the kitchen, giving a natural and contemporary touch. In the wall opposite the window, a full-height structure alternates doors with symmetrical drawers to accommodate dishes and pots but also food and drinks. At the centre of this, a recessed shelf whose back in glossy lacobel fits in style to the rest of the kitchen. The two recessed ovens with a practical height are symmetrically placed with respect to the latter. In the living room the traditional furnishing in treated dark wood are certainly the undisputed protagonists. However, there is no lack of rustic-chic design elements such as suspended lights. The furniture of the main room are designed in continuity with the traditional ones already present in the villa. This is the case, for example, of the bottom showcase illuminated along the side profiles. Certainly, to attract attention is the ancient stone crusher placed in the centre of the room.

 
traditional villa Sicily kitchen front view
traditional villa Sicily kitchen lateral view
traditional villa Sicily dining table
traditional villa Sicily kitchen view

BEDROOM

The bedrooms resume characteristics in common with the living room, such as the use of terracotta tiles which relates well to the wooden beams od the ceiling. The latter reflect the existing furniture in dark colours and polishing, reflecting the elegant rustic style of the traditional villa. The white walls create a striking contrast providing greater brightness and freshness to the environment. Even in this case, the designed elements have to necessarily relate to a highly visible stylistic settlement. Reason why, the headboards of the beds in the respective rooms change from each case to better relate to the context. In most cases they are also backlit to give further dynamism and brightness. They respond to a classic modern style with white wood strips combined with the bedside table, or essential contemporary style that enhances the  height of the room.

master bedroom villa Sicily side
master bedroom villa Sicily front light
 bedroom traditional villa modern classic
bedroom classic modern front
Sicilian villa bedroom with light
Sicilian villa wardrobe