How to take advantage of Nordic design trends to increase property values across your portfolio
This article was written by Linda Rosen, a Qandor member. To know more about her company, EDGE Design Studio, click here.
Scandinavian design, summarised in three words, would be best described as: minimalist, functional, and simple.
This unique style of Nordic or Scandinavian interior design was developed in response to the harsh Scandinavian climate. The result? Sustainable Scandinavian homes are built with resilient materials, complemented by interiors that provide a calm environment in which to unwind.
Rightly, Scandinavian culture has never revolved around a throw-away culture, unlike many other Western European countries. Instead, the Nordic states tend to concentrate much more on designs that embody both timelessness and functionality.
Crafting interiors with the “Soft Scandi” style that has now become popular with the UK’s middle and emerging classes, Scandinavian design incorporates numerous handmade products, sustainable materials, minimalist furnishings and decorative items around the home and workplace – all of which adds to the feeling of calm and contentment that comes with the typical Scandinavian style.
With a blend of plants, natural products, and sustainable furniture, the Nordic design prioritizes the well-being of its tenants and inhabitants over the profits of its development, construction, and design firms. In turn, this creates a residential and commercial market that is based more on ethics and quality than cost and convenience.
So how do we do it?
Sustainability and Tech
As the Information Age continues to shape the minds of the marketplace, buyers and renters are becoming exponentially more aware of the impact of their spending. There is more exposure to the truths of climate change, our carbon footprint, and each enormous leap in our technological abilities. For this reason, the new tenants and residents are more complex and demanding creatures.
Far from looking purely at cost, aesthetic, and location, the new generation of buyers and renters want to know that their new environment will remain relevant with the changing times. They want to be assured that the spaces they are choosing to work and live in will incorporate Internet of Things technology, Smart Home features and, all the while, have as low an environmental impact as possible.
This is why adopting the standards of Scandinavian insulation, wooden flooring, timber frames, and numerous other factors to increase your energy efficiency is an essential part of staying relevant in a fast and ever-shifting property market.
In Denmark, there is a term that cannot be translated into English, “Hygge”. It means: “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being”. And, much more than just a word, Hygge is considered a defining feature of the Danish culture; something that much of Scandinavian style echoes.
Create a light and bright space
Scandinavian countries are located at high latitudes meaning long, dark winters. And that’s why our approach, as a Scandinavian design firm, is to paint interiors in white or bright colours. Of course, not all Scandinavian interior spaces are entirely white. In fact, when creating enough light in the home, it is not unusual to see a bold, dark, or bright feature wall that gives the interior an injection of personality and character.
Surprisingly, a brighter space with more natural light can be achieved by the simple decision to replace brick or stone features with glass fixtures, and even exterior walls with floor-to-ceiling windows.
By making lightness and brightness the central objective of our interiors, we are able to ensure that as much light as possible gets reflected around the spaces we create. In turn, that reduces the need for artificial lighting, and therefore the need to overuse energy.
Cut back on carpeting
If there’s one thing that’s never been a la mode in Scandinavian style, it’s wall-to-wall carpeting. And that’s for a good reason! Carpets are a great place for bacteria and allergens to lurk.
Typified by the Scandinavian way, at EDGE Design Studio, we prefer to install wooden floors that are far easier to clean. Still craving something soft underfoot? You’ll find dot rugs in plenty of Scandinavian homes. These are proven to be easier to manage, clean and replace.
Focus on light wood
Using wood in permanent structures is a great way to trap carbon emissions, so this is one of the key reasons that Scandinavian homes are closely associated with sustainability.
Wood’s burgeoning popularity may be due to its newly found reputation for a “high-end finish” in comparison to alternative flooring options. Choosing lighter wood creates a brighter ambience, giving the impression of more space. Plus, from a purely functional perspective, wood is also a natural insulator – maintaining a comfortable temperature without a spike in the heating bill.
Enough storage space
The key to good Scandinavian design is attaining that elusive blend of practicality and craftsmanship. That means functional pieces of furniture should be used to their full potential; combining decorative items with additional storage space wherever possible.
You will note that a typical Scandinavian home, whether newly on the market or inhabited by long-term occupants, will very rarely be cluttered with items. While this may be due to the culture of Scandinavia being more minimalist, the furniture itself is also more accommodating to storing excess items that may otherwise be scattered around the shelves and window ledges of a home.
Make use of cozy textiles and greenery
As Scandinavian designers, another important practice that we commonly employ is to keep things simple when it comes to dressing spaces with blankets and pillows. When we do use fabrics, we often use heavily textured materials to offset colder design elements.
We also love to accent spaces using plants and greenery. Natural features have been shown to improve well-being and can help to bring out the coordinated colour palette of a room.
Implementing the best Scandinavian design lessons
The principles of Scandinavian design given here can be used to enhance virtually any commercial or residential space. This style’s continued popularity means that, if used correctly, these lessons are a great way to increase the financial value, and user comfort, of any property.
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