The wood—both in furniture and architecture—in Scandinavian style is often lightly painted white, whitewashed, or left bare to show its texture and imperfections. You might hear someone call it “blonde wood.”
Whether in the architecture of a room (with an emphasis on boxy spaces) or the design of furniture (such as the Hans Wegner wishbone chair), you won’t see anything ornate. Simplicity reigns.
There isn’t a lot of extra furniture or accessories in Scandinavian style. The overall effect is minimal clutter.
Along with color, you’ll often see more prominent use of pattern—often inspired by folk art—than is usually seen in the U.S. Some of the more famous examples are Josef Frank’s floral fabrics and Orla Kiely’s leaf motif, shown here.
There’s a touch of the futuristic in some Scandinavian design that comes from sleek shapes or features, often crafted from metal. It contrasts with the more organic materials like wood.