Steal the style: get the Scandi look

From Copenhagen's TV crime series The Killing, to the hit Swedish thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Scandimania is at the top of London's trendy design list
Isak's Nova Dawn wallpaper
Isak's Nova Dawn wallpaper, £38 a roll. Available at isak.co.uk
First came Copenhagen's TV crime series The Killing, then political drama Borgen, also from Denmark — and let's not forget the sleek and chilling Swedish thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Scandinavia is shaping the cool cultural agenda.

Now the Sarah Lund-style jumper (she's The Killing's enigmatic heroine) is a fashion must and Danish is the language du jour. Even supermarkets are experiencing a Scandi rush — demand for rollmop herrings is up 20 per cent in a year and Jarlsberg cheese sales have risen 15 per cent at M&S.

Those seeking the real deal make a beeline for the Scandinavian Kitchen in Great Titchfield Street, W1, or Soho's Nordic Bakery. Scandimania is gripping the capital.

Londoners have long embraced the Scandi look in their homes: a lick of white paint, a cluster of blue, white and red cushions and a sprinkling of furniture staples are a simple way of achieving the signature style.

"Classic Scandinavian designs, such as Eero Saarinens' Tulip table or Yrjo Kukkapuro's Karuselli chair have been some of the best-sellers at The Conran Shop for the past 25 years, proving intelligent design never goes out of fashion," says Sir Terence Conran.

But before rushing to the nearest Scandi stockist consider the latest trends. Bold patterns are taking over. "White walls have been replaced by wallpaper, steel by wood or brass; and stark colours by deeper greens and blues," says Magnus Englund, managing director of Marylebone's Skandium.

Finnish textile house Marimekko is leading the way. In addition to its St Christopher's Place store in the West End and Box Shop in Shoreditch, it has recently launched a pop-up in Oxford Street's Selfridges. Quirky accessories add a personal touch. Designer Sandra Isaksson's "typically Swedish" Blossom & Bill trays each tell a story and are favourites in The Design Museum's shop.

BackImage 1 of 1NextPLAYToggle slideshow
Carl Hanson's contemporary take on Scandi design includes the Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair, £564, in shades of blue. Available at www.skandium.com
Scandi-influenced colours Jungle Ginger 2, (£21.69 for 2.5L) and Night Jewels 4 (£21.69 for 2.5L) from Dulux's Delicate Mix range (www.dulux.co.uk)
Merimekko's Helsinki Life fabric (£37 a metre), from Skandium
Blossom & Bill tray, £30, from www.isak.co.uk
Marimekko's cityscape mug, £14, from Skandium
Ebbe Gehl's Mira four-drawer chest in oak and white, £699, from John Lewis
Poul Henningsen 1958 Triumph 5 repro pendant lamp, £150, from www.iconiclights.co.uk


There's also a revival of the Danish Fifties credenza-type of low sideboard with sliding doors. Find a vintage piece and put your own stamp on it using paints or wallpapers. The ever-popular Hans Wegner Wishbone chair would make a good retro match.

Lighting plays a prominent role in BBC 4's Borgen — spot pendant lamps by Poul Henningsen and Vernor Panton in fictional prime minister Birgitte Byborg's hallway and journalist Katrine's kitchen. Iconic Lights says its Scandi reproductions have never been in stronger demand.

Shoppers are switched on. "Ten years ago we still had to explain who Alvar Aalto or Arne Jacobsen were," says Skandium's Englund. "Now our customers are clued up on both the latest hipsters from Stockholm and the more obscure Thirties architect masters."

And in London everything is on the doorstep. Pay close attention to the Ebbe Gehl and Design House Stockholm concessions at John Lewis, for example, where this year's key theme is the Scandi-influenced Refined Puritan look — the perfect blend of funky and functional.

* Visit Wharfside; Clas Ohlson; Twenty Twenty One; Tiger Stores, and, of course, Ikea for inspiration.

Follow us on Twitter @HomesProperty and Facebook

Comments