It’s little wonder Scandinavians are obsessed with light, what with the famous midnight sun and infamous dark winters. Whereas warmer countries design homes around shade, Scandinavian architecture and décor focus on maximising light and drawing it inside.
This is particularly evident in the bedroom. Windows are left unobscured, and if there are curtains, they’re sheer so they let in as much natural light as possible.
I’m often asked: how on earth do Scandinavians get any sleep in the summer when the sun rarely dips beneath the horizon? The answer is in the bedroom window. Look closely and you'll usually see a tightly rolled blackout blind, ready to be unfurled at bedtime and tucked away again come morning.
Walls are often white, light gray or pale blue so they bounce light around the room. Not only do these muted tones brighten the space, but they also create a wonderfully serene feel. Nothing brash, nothing loud, no bold patterns—just calm, like white noise.
This serenity is enhanced because there’s no clutter. A mix of beautifully crafted designer, high street and vintage furniture is selected based on function. From the bed and wardrobe to the nightstand and reading lamp, there’s nothing superfluous—giving you a calm environment that prepares you for a blissful slumber.
Although the space is minimalist, it’s not cold. This is because the decor makes use of natural materials. Wood—abundant in Scandinavia’s lush forests—adds warmth, and pools of sunlight collect on pale wood floors during the day. The room feels soft and inviting thanks to the layers of texture, with sheepskin throws, pure stonewashed linen bedding, and wool blankets.
I’m convinced this mellow, pared-back environment helps you switch off from the stress of daily life, offering a peaceful haven for a wonderful night’s sleep. Once you’ve closed those blackout blinds, of course!
Photo: Karin Björklund
Niki Brantmark is the founder and curator of the award-winning daily interior design blog My Scandinavian Home and is the author of Modern Pastoral. Her latest book, The Scandinavian Home, has just been published. Originally from London, Niki lives with her family in Malmö, Sweden.