A modern decor seems to exude a sense of calm even in the busiest of city apartments with the use of light both natural and artificial being the key to success by helping to create a feeling of openness and therefore space. This style of decor is based predominantly on blinds for the windows and chalky white or soft grey palettes for the walls and furnishings. This style of decor blends beautifully with classic surroundings as well as a modern town or rural home.
It all began with the arrival of Ikea to the U.K.in 1987 which started the march into modernism, but it wasn’t until the mid-90s that the company really started to make an impression on the look of our home interiors. In the early days Ikea apparently ran a very high-profile advertising campaign called “Chuck out your chintz” which opened the way for the contemporary look with the key note being immaculate and minimal (tidy) with everything having its place and that means out of sight so plenty of drawers and cupboards were and still are essential.
Out went the polished mahogany and yew furniture, reproduction or otherwise and in came fibreboard (MDF), metal and glass. Fibreboard furniture is easy to keep clean and comes in various shades of natural wood colouring, white and black, but the jury is still out as to whether it is carcinogen to humans. MDF furniture is however very environmentally friendly as it is mostly made from recycled wood and also from sustainable forests. Manufacturers have now begun to eliminate the use of formaldehyde which is the toxic binding agent which was one of the main toxic worries.
Certain types of homes and loft apartments in particular really look good with this style of decor as the exposed rafters or beams can be left exposed and stained in a light pine colour so synonymous with the Scandinavian look. Simple vertical blinds may well be the answer to dressing odd shaped windows especially if they are large and south facing as the modern materials used for making blinds often have special properties that include heat and light resistance.
Individual rooms such as a teenager’s bedroom will absorb this style very well particularly as their rooms are usually full of computers, games consols, games etc., that will need a place to be stored in the unlikely event of a “tidy up”
There are all sorts of subtle ways you can add interest to an otherwise bland decor such as in a kitchen or bathroom that has plain white or neutral coloured tiles, by introducing grey or brown grout as this will really make the tiles stand out adding a tab of interest without spoiling the chic minimalism by making it fussy and overpowering.
Roller blinds particularly suit the slick streamlined finish of the Scandinavian look.
This style of decor looks great punctuated with a few punchy Asian accessories – more about that in the next blog, but always be aware of the wise old saying “the devil is in the detail”.
Worth mentioning is the fact that in spite of obviously achieving great wealth, the Swedish founder of Ikea is apparently notoriously thrifty, still using public transport complete with his pensioners discount card and flying economy class. The company motto incidentally is “Happiness is not reaching your goal. Happiness is being on the way” which is quite inspirational and I personally think that if you are as happy as you can be with your home, then happiness in the rest of your life will not be far behind.