Smart, Simple Secrets from a Stylish Scandinavian Small Space

Smart, Simple Secrets from a Stylish Scandinavian Small Space

Adrienne Breaux
May 15, 2015

As we see time and time again, Scandinavian design works so beautifully and elegantly in small spaces thanks to a generous use of white and sleek furniture. In this apartment we found on Alvhem Brokerage and Interior, we spotted several design secrets that make this small space particularly work well — and they're ideas you could translate for your own small home.

Contain mixed-use clutter

In this small apartment that's only 43 square meters (or just over 450 square feet), even though there's plenty of white, the space still has lots of color, pattern and accessories. It's a perfect balance between minimal and bohemian. One of the small space tricks that works well in this space, as shown above, is the clean, white wall-mounted shelves and cabinet taking up a wall of the dining area.

The shelves are filled with books — but stacks are neatly arranged and inter-dispersed with accessories. The cabinet top features a range of uses from a small bar (with a few bottles neatly contained on a tray), to holding plants to housing a music amp. Willingness to mix uses makes this area very useful, and then containing all of these objects neatly in this one area keeps the rest of the apartment from feeling cluttered.

Repeat busy patterns to create continuity and add interest

You would think adding busy pattern to a small space can be a little dangerous, but there's a trick to doing it without feeling too overwhelming: Repeating the same pattern throughout the space. The curtains, the ottoman and a throw pillow on a chair all feature a bold, contrasting navy and white small elephant print, that, if mixed with too many other types of patterns could be just too much in so little square feet.

Go for a tray + ottoman combo

In utilizing a small, low ottoman with a tray instead of having a coffee table and an additional side chair, the living room area is left feeling airy and open. But the double function of a tray and ottoman means it can be used as a tabletop or extra seating, as the need arises.

Add tall storage that blends with the wall color

Though a large portion of the bedroom is taken up by a big storage unit, it doesn't feel like there's any heavy or imposing furniture in the room. This lighter look is pulled off by installing narrow storage units that reach close to the ceiling height and match the wall color — they become an extension of the wall and don't feel like something closing in the space.

Dark drama is added in wisely

Though a lot of white helps expand the rooms of this apartment and keep it feeling fresh and airy, they don't avoid dark colors. In fact, the kitchen plays around with dramatic dark black tiles in an interesting way that keeps the space from feeling too dark or small. By placing the dark color on the farthest back surface — and allowing the protruding surfaces like the cabinets to remain white — the dark color adds drama without shrinking the space.

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