The Nordic or Scandinavian design, as many people prefer to call it, is one of the most beautiful interior decors works you’ll ever come across. These designs generally come across as comfy and homey while maintaining a certain simplicity about them. In addition, you’ll often notice a calm and relaxed visage in the environment with a Nordic aesthetic. As such, they’re ideal for people who love subtle and reserved settings.
Most notable among the various Nordic design elements is their wood arts. Nordic design is all about recreating the calmness of nature in the living space. And nothing better represents this idea than its wood design. It gives a specific focus to simplicity and functionality over decoration, making it an interesting form of art.
Needless to say, wood flooring is a significant part of the whole nordic aesthetic. It forms the foundation while all the other elements are designed to complement it. You can view the wood flooring as the largest and most permanent piece of furniture in a room. This is why it gets a lot of attention and is very well considered in Nordic interior designs.
To further appreciate the stunning nordic style, we’re going to consider various interesting things about nordic design with specific focus on Nordic wood flooring. That said, let’s start by digging into the history of Nordic design.
Origin Of the Nordic Design
Nordic designs first emerged in the early 20th century from the Scandinavian regions of Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. The design later found its way into the United States of America and Canada sometime between 1954 and 1957. This was during a period when Nordic interior designers were intensifying their efforts to promote their works worldwide.
The nordic designs originated from the efforts of the nordic homemakers to maximize their natural environment. Nordic homemakers attempted to maximize available space to reflect as much as light as possible during the long winter month. This design idea led to what now embodies the Nordic designs popularized worldwide.
Several notable architects and revered designers are credited with the popularization of Nordic designs. Renowned figures such as Alvar Aalto, Arne Jacobsen, Olav Haug, Poul Henningsen, Timo Tapani Sarpanerva, Kaare Klint, Bruno Mathsson and Borge Mogensen helped to usher in the golden age of Nordic designs.
Today, Nordic designs have become some of the most popular choices among contemporary interior design options. For context, there are still many nordic wood designs from the golden age that are in use today. A prominent example is the unmistakable Egg chair from Alvar Alto’s stool designs. And even new wood designs ideas by young Nordic designers continue to pay homage to the legendary styles.
Nature of the Nordic Design
Nordic designs focus on minimalism, simplicity and comfort. It’s an ideology with a strong foundation in the appreciation of simple things and nature. Moreover, it emphasizes recreating or bringing nature indoors. As such, it fosters the application of natural design elements with a specific focus on the appropriate usage of natural lights.
It also emphasizes functionality and usefulness over decoration. As a result, the nordic design discourages the accumulation of unnecessary items, leaving no room for clutter. This design is all about maximizing the little you have/need without accumulating more than necessary.
The Nordic wood design especially features clean lines, light colour pallets and practical furniture. The woods are lightened to fit with a neutral/ monochromatic colour palette. As such, you’ll typically find nordic wood designs in pale/neutral hues such as white, gray and light brown. On some occasions, you may find them in black colours, but such designs are intended to create a bit of contrast in the environment.
Open plan living is a key component of the Nordic lifestyle. So, to create an environment that exemplifies this way of life, Nordic designs mainly feature hardwood floors. Hardwood floors help to tie open spaces together. For instance, having planks running down the length of a room elongates the space and provides a form of continuity into other rooms. Also, a herringbone pattern gives character to odd-shaped rooms and so on.
Not only that, Nordic wood flooring helps to add texture and depth to a living space. It serves as the foundation for the interior design and adds a certain warmth to the environment.
Characteristics of Nordic Wood Design
As we’ve reiterated multiple times in the post, the distinguishing characteristics of Nordic designs are their focus on simplicity, functionality and craftsmanship. In addition, nordic designs generally favour natural and minimalistic settings. And the Nordic wood designs also embody these ideals. Below are some of the telling characteristics of these designs.
Light, neutral or pale colours
Nordic designs celebrate brightness, and they generally feature airy spaces designed to maximize natural light. As such, they emphasize the multiplicity of light using as few light sources as possible. Furthermore, it aims to create a well-illuminated environment that doesn’t require many artificial light sources. To this end, Nordic wood designs often incorporate bright colours that reflect light rays better.
Not only that, the pale hues and light features of the wood are practical, and they perfectly fit the cozy mood of Nordic wood designs. That way, it does a great job of providing the interiors with sufficient warmth and visibility.
Muted, negative hues reminiscent of the Nordic landscapes
While Nordic designs place significant emphasis on light, the colour scheme will not be complete without a bit of contrast. So, while the bright colours create warmth, you’ll also have some muted colours complementing it to create a clean and calming look. That’s why many nordic designs feature brightly coloured walls complemented by wood floors with muted colours.
Such arrangements often give the environment a more spacious look while maintaining its subtlety. In some cases, the items spotting the muted colours may be the wood furniture rather than floors. This is also a brilliant idea as it adds more flexibility and versatility to the interior decor.
Wood furniture and wood-themed accessories
Another central element of Nordic designs is the wood furniture. Nordic designs encourage the use of wooden furniture and wood-themed household accessories. They generally encompass natural wooden surfaces with functional geometrical shapes. For example, you’ll often find nordic furniture with compass legs which are very minimal and functional designs.
Wooden shelves, cabinetry and wardrobes are also a staple in typical Nordic designs. It shows how much Nordic designs rely on wood works and light colour themes.
The Hygge is a Norwegian word that denotes well-being. It is a very old Nordic/ Danish concept which describes a charming, unique or cozy feeling. But over time, the Hygge has become a mindset that emphasizes appreciating the simple daily pleasure of life. It’s all about creating mindfulness and contentment in the basic things.
However, when you incorporate the term into interior decor discussions, it depicts the creation of an atmosphere of coziness. In other words, the term “Hygge” translates to creating a feeling of ‘friendliness’ and ‘stress-relief’ in a home design. It follows the Nordic idea of crafting furnishings that bring simplicity to an environment. The Nordic wood design is a good reflection of this idea as you’ll often find them sporting straightforward patterns.
The rise of the Hygge in the UK in recent times is partly responsible for the revolution in how people see their homes with Nordic designs. It led to an increase in the use of muted colour palettes, multiple texture layers and designs that take advantage of various natural materials.
A brilliant way to create the hygge feeling in your home is to install Nordic-inspired floors. It will serve as the base for the interior decor scheme and significantly influence the entire outlook.
Related Article: A Guide to Refinishing Hardwood Floors
Best Types of Wood For Nordic Flooring
It’s now common knowledge that nordic wood designs emphasize bright, pale and muted tones. As such, when picking wood species for your interior decor, you want to go with ones that naturally fit the Nordic design colour palette. Some good examples of such wood species include;
White oak is the obvious and most common choice for neutral Nordic designs. It has a natural pale look which is something the nordic design strives to achieve. It’s also naturally stylish, and its neutral tone creates the perfect backdrop for nordic designs.
The bright hue also does an excellent job of reflecting light and making the room seem more spacious. Then again, you can easily stain the white oak to a muted colour if you’re looking to create a stylish contrast in the room. And while most people use it for floors, you can also use the white oak woods for furniture. They’re durable enough to handle most of what you can throw at them.
The Douglas fir is the second-best option for Nordic wood designs after white oak. It has a beautiful pale tone with a prominent grain pattern. The grain pattern makes a subtle statement that is well complemented by the neutral colour of the wood. These two features enable the Douglas fir to blend into the Nordic scheme seamlessly. In addition, its super long planks with extraordinary dimensions are also suitable for large rooms.
In a Nordic design, the pine wood can also serve as a suitable alternative for white oak. While it naturally spots an Orange hue, bleached pine wood offers a modern twist on a neutral palette ideal for a Nordic setting. However, we’ll recommend using the pinewood for furniture if you’re considering it for Nordic wood design.
Other wood species that people commonly use for Nordic interior designs are beech and ash. These wood types also feature light hues with subtle grains and minimal dark markings.
Decor Appeal / Benefits of Nordic Wood Design
The simple elegance of the Nordic wood design in a modern space creates an appeal that’s difficult to match. It efficiently combines minimalist aesthetics with functionality. So, while the patterns on the Nordic wood designs may not look very intricate, they perform their functions effectively.
The versatile style also offers plenty of room for self-expression. The neutral hues of the Nordic wood design provide a suitable canvas for you to experiment with. Although, combining several colours and installing unnecessary decorative items goes against the simplistic outlook of the Nordic designs. As such, you want to keep all your experiments beautiful and straightforward.
The Nordic style suits any periodical theme you want to employ for your interior decor. It goes well with a traditional vintage feel if that’s what you prefer. And, if you want a more modern outlook, the Nordic wood design will still work perfectly for it.
Furthermore, since Nordic design prioritizes functionality and minimalism, it helps you to spend less. The decor theme shuns the acquisition of unnecessary decorative materials; as such, it makes it easier for you to avoid buying such things. It generally enables you to embrace a simpler, warmer lifestyle.
Best Flooring Option For Nordic Design
There are only a few things more beautiful than a solid white oak floor in Nordic design. A wire brushed and white hard-wax oiled oak floor perfectly complements the neutral themes of a Nordic design. A Nordic setting featuring large windows with plenty of natural lights flooding in brings the beauty of the wood to the fore.
In return, the wood floor does a good job reflecting the light and illuminating the entire room. In addition, it creates the perfect feeling of warmth in the environment. Needless to say, you can’t go wrong with a white oak floor in a Nordic design.
Related Article: White Oak Wood Flooring Design Ideas
Nordic wood design is the perfect representation of elegance in simplicity. So if you’re looking to make your home reflect Nordic minimalism, you can start by employing some specific wood designs. Also, pay attention to the colour palette; the nordic design is very specific about light and neutral colours. But a little bit of muted hues won’t harm the design.
Already in love with Nordic wood designs? Don’t hesitate to install nordic flooring in your home. You can check out our Nordic wood flooring designs at Three Trees Flooring for inspiration if you don’t have any particular design in mind.