Let the light in
Recently Abi Dare, These Four Walls, recommended some of Skandinavisk’s scented candles for spring time. And yes, spring has finally arrived! Get ready for lighter times and get inspired by Abi’s Scandinavian colour palette. We asked Abi a few questions of what inspires her and how she brings in the Scandinavian living in her style, read here:
In your blog you describe that your style is Nordic influenced. How were you first introduced to the Nordic style?
I’ve always been drawn to it. I’ve been visiting Scandinavia since I was a child and I feel at home in all the Nordic countries, so I think that’s influenced not only my taste in interiors but also my lifestyle as a whole. I remember visiting the design museum in Copenhagen on a school exchange when I was 14 and marvelling at all the beautiful mid-century furniture on display. I knew I’d discovered a style that was going to have a big impact on me.
Why did you fall in love with Scandinavian design?
I love the way it balances style with comfort, and it’s as much about functionality as form – design is seen as part of a wider way of living, so there’s a very holistic approach. I’m also very drawn to the Scandinavian ‘less is more’ attitude. I don’t like anything flashy or over the top, so it’s a natural fit with my own design ethos. The predominance of neutral colours in Scandinavian design also appeals to me, and for a rather unusual reason. I have a condition called synaesthesia, which is when one sense merges with another rather than being experienced separately. In my case, it means I see each letter, number and day of the week as a different hue, and as a result my mind is constantly buzzing with colour. Surrounding myself with muted tones such as grey, white and beige is a much-needed antidote to that!
All photographs by Abi Dare.
In your opinion, what is essential for you to create a homely environment?
For me, home needs to be a sanctuary where I can unwind and catch up with friends and family, so calming colours, soft ambient lighting and warm, cosy textures are all very important. Good storage is another essential as I can’t stand clutter – it makes spaces feel stressful and oppressive. I also use scent to create a homely environment, and I light scented candles every day. Scent has an incredible power to evoke memories and alter the way we feel, so I use different fragrances depending on my mood, the season and the time of day – for example fresh and uplifting in the morning, and headier, deeper scents in the afternoon and evening. And of course home wouldn’t be home without the people I share it with – my husband Chris and our Siamese-cross rescue cat, Loki.
In your experience, what are the most significant qualities of Scandinavian design?
I don’t want to give the impression that Scandinavian design is homogenous and predictable, as it’s actually incredibly diverse and creative, but there are definitely some common threads. It tends to be pared-back and understated, with no unnecessary adornments or ornate details; pale, muted colours are another common feature, as are natural materials such as wood, wool and leather. But first and foremost, Scandinavian design is attainable and liveable. It’s not about showing off or buying expensive things; it’s about creating an environment where you feel happy and comfortable.
All photographs by Abi Dare.
How do you think the Scandinavian style differs from the rest of the world?
It’s timeless, and it doesn’t slavishly adhere to the latest trends. Scandinavian pieces are generally designed to last for decades, and even be passed down through the generations – some of the most iconic items were created back in the 50s and 60s but they look just as good today as when they were first launched. That doesn’t mean Scandinavian style is static though, and I love seeing how it evolves while staying true to its roots.
We thank Abi (and her sweet cat) for letting us into their lovely home. Visit Abi’s blog here.
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