If anyone knows how to light an interior, it’s the Scandinavians. Perhaps it's because of the challenges they face due to lack of natural daylight during the long winter months. The dark days require clever lighting solutions to maintain a feeling of contentment, cosiness, and comfort in what is otherwise an intensely cold environment. We may not face these same seasonal difficulties but that doesn’t mean we can’t look to their techniques for inspiration. As the winter chill continues to grip us here in South Africa, why not incorporate these Scandinavian lighting techniques to make your home feel cosy and comfortable.
INVEST IN NUMEROUS LED CANDLES Lighting candles is a huge part of the culture in Nordic countries. In fact, studies show that Danish people light candles at least four times a week, often burning six or more candles at a time. The flicker of a flame creates a warm energy and gives your home a sense of life. But burning candles daily can get expensive. They’re also a potential safety hazard, especially if you have children and pets in the home. This is where LED candles come in handy. They give the same cosy, flickering flame effect as real candles but without the mess of melting wax. For a truly Scandinavian look, place them near windows so that their welcoming glow can be seen from the outside or position them along hallways or up a staircase for an enchanting ambience.
CREATE POOLS OF LIGHT You’ve probably heard about the Danish concept of ‘Hygge’. This word is used to describe a cosy, joyful feeling of well-being and mood lighting plays a huge role in achieving this feeling. Overhead lighting runs the risk of being stark, so to really create the perfect Hygge environment, say goodbye to bright ceiling lights. Instead, use floor and table lights. You want to create areas of darkness so that there is a contrast of illumination in the room. Strategically positioned table lamps and floor lamps complemented with dimmable pendant lighting is ideal. You’ll also want to install warm coloured bulbs with a lower lumen number. 1000 lumens should be enough to still see comfortably while maintaining that cosy look and feel.
STRING LIGHTS ARE NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS String lights, or fairy lights as they’re sometimes called, are a must for achieving a romantic, festive Scandinavian feeling. String them up wherever you want to add a touch of magic. Our favourite spots include around the railings of a balcony, around the dinner table to highlight the decor and food during a special occasion, and along the headboard in the bedroom.
GET INSPIRED BY NATURE Nature plays a huge role in Scandinavian interior design. Inspiration from the outdoors can be found in the use of different textures, materials and colours. Wood, in particular, is synonymous with Scandinavian design. Light fixtures made from blonde timber and in pastel shades lend themselves to a Scandi feel. Select fixtures with clean, simple lines and soft edges. To add the cherry on top of your Scandinavian-inspired lighting setup, recreate the effects of the Northern Lights by using coloured LED strip lights. Place them in discrete areas so that they shine onto your walls. Blue or green will work best to create the calming effect of the aurora on any white wall.