This past weekend my husband and I visited Copenhagen, an incredibly beautiful city. It was also incredibly cold, so in order to keep warm, we spent more time than usual going in and out of shops.
We had a wonderful time browsing the local housewares and furnishings stores. We’ve always been drawn to the Danish design aesthetic, as we find its clean lines and simple forms quite appealing. We’ve been using simple glass Bodum coffee mugs for years, and our former sofa (currently in storage back in the States) was made by a small Danish company.
What I particularly like about Danish design is that while it’s minimal, it would never be considered cold or sterile. Danish interiors are often spare, yet still manage to be warm, inviting, and interesting. I thought it’d be a great opportunity to pick up some home décor tips! To that end, I observed how the Danes use the following elements to create beautiful, minimalist spaces:
1. Natural materials. Almost everywhere we went, we noticed the incorporation of wood into the furnishings or room itself. (Even the airport terminal had wood floors, and the train station had a gorgeous beamed ceiling.) Whether it was a sofa, coffee table, or an entire room, a touch of wood gave warmth and texture to the streamlined designs.
2. Light. Window coverings seem to be kept to a minimum, in order to maximize natural light. Cafes and restaurants invariably had simple votive candles flickering on every table, giving the interiors a warm, magical feel with a minimum amount of décor.
3. White. White walls, combined with lots of natural light, made the interior spaces feel light, airy, and spacious. Many of the textiles and ceramics we saw were also ivory or white.
4. Whimsy. Splashes of color, or simple decorative motifs, gave a sense of interest and fun to many of the housewares and interiors we saw. These little touches kept the minimalist aesthetic from being too sterile or serious.
5. Celebration of form. The shape of each vase, bowl, cup, table, or chair seemed to celebrate the item’s function. I imagine that using them would bring a particular mindfulness to the activity in which you’re engaged (be it eating a bowl of soup, drinking a cup of coffee, or arranging flowers in a vase).
While we didn’t purchase anything, we greatly enjoyed the education, and will try to incorporate some of the above principles into our own home. Even though we’re minimalists, we appreciate beautiful design and enjoy creating an environment that’s visually appealing.
If you’re interested in learning more about Danish (and Scandinavian) interiors, I found the following books on Amazon (see if your local library has them!). They’re cheaper than a plane ticket to Denmark.
Does anyone else appreciate Danish/Scandinavian design, or have any other tips for beautifying spare spaces?