While complaining about the weather is practically an art form for Edmontonians, the Scandinavian mindset is one we could learn a lot from. The citizens of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have earned a global reputation for their penchant for design and their mastery of outdoor living. Let’s face it; our climates aren’t all that different, so why are our attitudes? I propose we borrow some secrets of “Scandi style,” and really start making the most of our outdoor spaces.
What are the elements of Scandinavian design?
In order to mimic the Nordic lifestyle, we need to understand it. Most of the principles of Scandinavian design come down to balancing out the negative qualities of the weather. For example:
- Light-yet-muted colours complement overcast skies while simultaneously making spaces feel brighter and airier.
- Minimalistic spaces, a lack of clutter, and sleek, modern design are pleasing to the eye, providing a slow drip of serotonin when we take them in.
- Finally, the presence of items found in nature, from wood furniture to lush plants, takes us out of our heavy, industrialized headspace and makes us feel closer to nature””a known booster for mental health.
Scandi Style Inspiration
If these Scandinavian design principles still feel a little abstract, don’t worry””they’re all surprisingly easy to implement into your backyard design. Here are some simple ways to show your space some Nordic love:
First, opt for neutral colours for all elements of your patio design. Natural materials are ideal for striking that balance between warmth, versatility, and compatibility””for example, blonde wood, tan wicker, and natural canvas cushions all exist in the same warm-neutral colour family, creating a harmonious and timeless aesthetic. Simple, tactfully designed rock landscaping can also add a certain level of sophistication without being overpowering.
Plants play a major role in the Scandi look, whether in your backyard or your bathroom. The Nordic people have long understood that people feel their best when they’re around greenery, so it’s crucial to keep a few beautiful specimens nearby wherever you are. Tropical houseplants make a perfect accent to every room, and while the temperature allows, they can even be brought out to enhance the vibe of your Scandinavian-style backyard.
You may have heard the term “˜hygge,’ a Scandinavian word that describes a mood of being perfectly cozy and comfortable. For those of us who are gung-ho to borrow this fantastic concept, there’s nothing cozier or more comforting than a fire feature! Outdoor fireplaces are the perfect spot to enjoy that delicious contrast between the cool air and warm hearth, either alone or with company.
Who doesn’t love to wrap themselves up in a comfy blanket after a long day? These days, outdoor-rated textiles have gotten to be extremely comfortable, durable, and easy to care for, so why not stock up outside? There’s nothing more Scandinavian than having a basket full of plush woven blankets sitting next to your backyard sectional.
Edmontonians cling to patio season like it’s the last one we’ll ever have, so it’s not uncommon for us to risk an outdoor dinner on a blustery autumn day. The same relief you feel when the restaurant patio has heat lamps can be felt at home””and what a game-changer! Imagine how much more of the fall season you could be spending outside if you could raise the ambient temperature by just a few degrees.
Indoor-Worthy Outdoor Furniture
Patio furniture designers are coming out with some really slick stuff these days””just look at IKEA! Some of the backyard furniture coming out of the Scandinavian homewares giant is truly gorgeous and remarkably comfortable. Scandi style sits at the crossroads of comfort and style, so go ahead””spring for patio furniture that’s just as nice as the set in your living room.
Feeling motivated to set up your own take on a Scandinavian-inspired backyard? Find more outdoor decor, gorgeous plants, and even landscape consulting at one of our garden centre locations in Sherwood Park or St Albert.