Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Style vs. Scandinavian Style

Creating a home that appeals to my design sensibilities while living smack dab in the middle of Scandinavia clean-line design is best. 

How challenging? It takes me five times longer to remodel and decorate my home than it should. One weekend becomes nearly two months. One year becomes five. I just cannot find the decor, nor the supplies needed to create my own decor. While others in blogland are talking about Gorilla Glue, I'm fumbling around with a German version of Elmer's. I keep reading on other blogs about this fabulous new Dual Paint + Primer from Krylon, but alas, my last trip to the paint store didn't even score me a spray primer that would cover glass. They just didn't have it. Chalkboard paint? Huh? And when it comes to familiar supplies for the big remodel projects? Hopeless!

Now keep in mind that I've been living in Sweden nearly 11 years. We just got ziploc-style bags 1 1/2 years ago. Oreos came this past year. M&Ms arrived about two years ago. We still don't have ranch dressing. And my mom continues to send over 'care packages' filled with liquid vanilla, Glad Press 'n Seal, and Arm & Hammer baking soda boxes. I know that living in Europe may sound glamorous to some. But believe me, we have the same daily life obligations...but without the comforts of home! I'm not ungrateful for my new European home...just yearning for some home comforts every now and then.

Ok. Back on track. Design and decor.

This is my design aesthetic. Think of this room restored...and with better walls. But the color palette would definitely remain the same. This is 100% me!

Now, here's what is available in Scandinavia.

Do you see my dilemna?  Ok...maybe I am exagerating...but honestly, just a bit! Just look at this Google Images page when I typed in Scandinavian interior design. Do you see the color scheme? It's WHITE! Now don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking white (for all you white aficionados out there)...but let me remind you of my ideal color palette.

Where does that leave me? Trying to fit a square into a circle! 

Today I 'Sweden-ized' photos that I took for my friend who recently had a baby (if you remember my post about the baby shower, she had a boy!). She's also an American and has been here as long as I have. The difference is that she loves the clean and white lines of Swedish design. And her home reflects her love for all things clean, organized, and pale. So I knew that I needed to Sweden-ize the finished product to fit with her decor. How, you ask, do you Sweden-ize a photo? It goes a little something like this.  

Here's an original version of the kid's collage I put together for them.

Now, here is the Sweden-ized version to fit her Scandinavian interior design.

See the difference? Overexposed with a de-saturated color hue. 

How about another example. Here's my button bouquet in its original form.

Now, here's my Sweden-ized version.

My husband is Swedish. And guess what...he likes the clean, modern design. Sometimes I feel sorry for him as I continue to decorate with rich shades of jewel tones and luscious textiles. Sometimes.

I really do appreciate Scandinavian design. Honest. It suits A LOT of people from around the world. It just doesn't work for me. So, I will impatiently continue my quest to remodel and decorate my home in my own personal and eclectic/repurposed aesthetic...despite the many speed bumps and road blocks along the way.

What's your style? Do you have an image that reflects your aesthetic? I'd love to see it.

Until next time...


  1. I agree with you, the empty-white-room look does nothing for me! May I make one tiny suggestion on your photo alteration though? Could you isolate the faded white patch on the boy's crotch, and darken it just a bit? My eye keeps getting drawn there rather than his face. Weird, I know. Just a friendly suggestion. The pictures are beautiful though! :)

  2. I love both - your ideal interior look and the classic Scandinavian look. both are appealing. Hopefully your search for the items to solidify that look in your home will take you on a few fascinating journeys.

    :) diane

  3. I always think of Scandinavian design as being crisp and white with pops of colour and whimsy!
    Of your misses just so you know zip lock bags are no longer wanted say in schools it is all about using containers! Because you have lived there for 11 years did you learn the language before or when you moved there? Not sure if it is in your accidental Swede blog or not?

  4. Mike - I lived in Norway for 2 years and it may be that that is where you belong. Mind you I was around university professors, and their parents, but the decor resembled your Scandinavian style far more than the archetypical, stark white, spare "Scandinavian design" look. Sorry, but I am way over teak!


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