Sunday, 11 March 2012

A-fjord-able Scandinavian style! Ouch!

If there is an after life, and I sure hope there is, and we are able to come back as something else then, please, I would like to come back as a Scandinavian!

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am hooked on the current wave of Scandinavian TV dramas that have hit our screens recently. Apparently it is 'trendy' viewing. I don't know about that. I just know that I can't wait for the new series of Borgen....or the next series of The Killing ('Forbrydelsen' to all those that speak Danish!). Wallendar started me off. I watched the Kenneth Branagh version...all dark, brooding, slightly depressing. I thought that was good until I watched the real deal Danish version, subtitled of course. That was me hooked. My journey towards becoming a Scandinavian had begun! My husband is the same. We chuckle childishly when we sit down to watch our current 'must see' - Those That Kill ('Den som dræber' to those in the know!) - ITV3 Thursday nights! We like to think that we are learning a new language. Not only is it brilliant drama but it is also educational! We are almost fluent in Danish! We no longer leave the house with a 'Goodbye'. We now spout forth 'Hej Hej' in a mad Danish accent! (Or 'farvel' if we are being formal.) 'Let's go' has become  'Lad os gå' said as if we have a mouthful of popcorn! Our 'Borgen' viewing has taught us Justice Minister - Justitsminister and Prime Minister - Statsminister. The only problem with our language lessons is that we are very much restricted to phrases involving the Police or Politics. I worry as and when we actually visit a Scandinavian country. It doesn't bode at all well!! We perhaps need to learn some legal jargon next!

I am a big fan of the Scandinavians. They always seem so  über cool. Stereotyping maybe, but the women all seem to be leggy blondes but with brains and the men, brooding, moody, slightly dishevelled but in a way that is oh so attractive! I spent four years at University in Glasgow and Glasgow had an unusually high quota of Scandinavian students, particularly Swedes and Norwegians. Partly down to Geography and partly down to the generous student grants awarded to study across the water. For the latter three years my friend and I shared a flat with a Norwegian guy. It helped that he vaguely resembled Kiefer Sutherland. He was moody, dishevelled, existed mostly on a diet of cigarettes (actually, the majority of my Scandinavian friends were non smokers) and  Jägermeister but was strangely cool and very intelligent. Anyone else may have thought him just slightly strange. He refused to wear deodorant, believing that his natural body oils were all that was needed to keep him clean. He did shower daily and I have to say, we never had cause to complain about his bodily hygiene! Would a British man get away with that? I don't think so! He also, somehow, managed to make stone-washed jeans Or maybe that was just the Jägermeister at work! Naturally, my reincarnation would be as a tall, fair haired Nordic beauty (female) with brains and oozing understated style, glamorously riding about town on my push bike. Fashionable but not too 'try hard'......with a fantastic Scandinavian timber framed passive house by a lake.....lots of glass and clean lines and exceptionally environmentally friendly. Yes. That'll do nicely. 

The Scandinavians also exude style when it comes to interiors, in my opinion. Scandinavian style is based on three main principles. That of functionality, convenience and affordability. Scandinavian style is simple, understated yet sophisticated and, dare I use the word again, cool!

White, more often than not, forms the platform colour with accents of colour thrown in. When we think of Scandinavian style, we think minimalism, functionality, texture - often natural wood. 

This style is very much dominated by clean lines and non-fussy room dressings. This is how I live in my dreams! The dominance of white and the need for light comes from necessity and practicality. Living in a part of Europe where long days with endless daylight hours are limited very much dictates the need for making the most of light when they have it and creating the illusion of light during those dark days and nights.

 Scandinavian style is not for everyone. I think you have to have the right kind of house to carry it off. It wouldn't work so well in my cottage, for example. The rooms are too small, unfortunately. The ideal stage for this style is large rooms preferably with high ceilings and big windows. Anyone lucky enough to live in a Victorian semi or detached villa or an Edwardian villa could easily incorporate Nordic minimalism.

Take a look at for some stylish, affordable pieces. The Edgar side table below caught my eye. It has that understated feel yet would look very stylish and at £69 is a real steal. The Bourbon chair below adds that typically Gustavian feel. Just one or two pieces in an otherwise modern setting looks fantastic. This particular chair is priced at £169. I also absolutely love the Kitsch dining chairs as seen right. These are amazing value for money, at £49 for 2! The ones pictured are in oak but they also come in meadow green, willow grey and walnut.

We are hoping to visit one of the Scandinavian countries in the next year or so.......We may not come back! Hej hej!

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