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Vintage Scandinavian design is distinct

Gustavian chairs like these yard sale finds are the typical white washed, upholstered chairs used in many Scandinavian homes.
Gustavian chairs like these yard sale finds are the typical white washed, upholstered chairs used in many Scandinavian homes. Photo provided

Scandinavian design focuses on the lifestyle choices of those living in the lovely regions of Northern Europe. In Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, furniture must be thrifty in cost, comfortable and related to outdoor living.

The unique seasonal weather changes known to Scandinavia dictate much about how life goes on there. For instance, in the summer, there are long days of sunshine. In the winter, darkness fills days and nights. Home decorating takes its cues from these seasonal characteristics. In Northern Europe, there is an interest in using animal skins for warmth along with small-scale fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. Decorative patterns are produced via hand woven textiles in the forms of upholstered cushions, blankets and throws and pillows. Scandinavian homes often have windows that reach from floor to ceiling, allowing light into the rooms. Some of the furniture is even painted light colors, such as white, and washed in pastel colors to give the sense of light during the dark winter months.

Scandinavians are style innovators like their Viking ancestors. They are thrifty, forward thinking and smart. They are not afraid of hard work, consider new ways to use old materials, and recycle, repair and restore before considering replacing objects within their homes and office spaces.

Scandinavian interiors were most popular in the 1960s with the furniture designs of Hans Wegner, Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen, among others. Ergonomically comfortable chairs, sofas and stools are commonplace in Scandinavian design in natural color schemes like sky blue, beige, green, brown, white, etc.

Scandinavian design is rooted in its folk art and textile traditions such as woven bunad textiles in felt and wool, embroidered floral designs and decorations such as the famous rosemaling and woven and macramé works for table cloths, curtains and other window coverings.

When it comes to Scandinavian design, objects in the home focus on the outdoors and the comfort of those living indoors.

Lori Verderame is an antiques appraiser, nationally syndicated columnist and author and award-winning TV personality with a doctorate in the field. She presents antique appraisal events, keynote speeches and lectures to worldwide audiences. Visit www.DrLoriV.com. Follow her on Facebook.com/ DoctorLori or call 888-431-1010.