Simplify with Scandinavian Style

In a world that seems to become more complicated every day, it’s nice to come home to unfussy surroundings — décor that’s beautiful and functional yet infuses a home with a sense of calm. That, perhaps, is a key to the popularity of Scandinavian design.

Peter Chong is the owner of BoConcept franchises in Princeton and Paramus. The company, headquartered in Denmark, offers furnishings and design services with a modern, Scandinavian spin. Chong has noticed an increased interest in Scandinavian furnishings. “Especially in the past five years,” he says, “the market share has increased 10 to 20 percent.”

I spoke with Peter about the elements that make this style so appealing. Here’s his take on the strengths of Scandinavian style.

1. It’s got a natural beauty.

Adelaide sofa and coffee table

Scandinavian design “incorporates a lot of natural wood, for example oak and walnut,” Chong notes. There’s no heavy stain. It’s straightforward and unadorned, basking in the beauty of its natural state.

2. And that beauty is underscored by its structural simplicity.

Nora dinnerware, Waffle throw and Meinus rug

Chong notes that Scandinavian furnishings have “simple designs, not ornate, very minimalistic and very clean.” They require no gilding or embellishment to make an impression. “Everything is ‘less,’” Chong says.

3. It works in smaller spaces.

New York table and Florence chairs

Because of its simplicity, Scandinavian design can work in a small room without overpowering the space. “In urban areas where homes and apartments tend to be smaller, this kind of design works well,” Peter notes. The pieces themselves are sized to fit a compact space. In addition, they often include features such as delicate chair legs and neutral colors that bring an additional sense of lightness.

4. It works, period.

Chiva coffee table

“Functionality is a key component of Scandinavian design,” Chong says. Indeed, these pieces are built to be practical. Storage compartments — often designed “invisibly” so as not to interrupt the smooth lines of the piece (see above) — provide a handy way to keep clutter at bay.

Simple, yet strong; fashionable, yet functional — Scandinavian design offers a straightforward aesthetic that can help bring tranquility to our spaces.