LOOKBOOK THE SCANDINAVIAN OFFICE
OUT OF DARKNESS
The Scandinavian office design came from the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It emerged in the 1930s and was inspired by the region’s cold, dark winter days and thus the desire to make furnishings cozy and bright. With an intent to be simple, functional and well-made, Scandinavian design garnered much popularity and eventually spread to America and Europe in the 1950s, around the same time as the Modernist movement. A dramatic shift in the way buildings were designed, the Modern aesthetic favored sleek, streamlined edges and a strong emphasis on rectangular forms with distinct horizontal and vertical lines. The Scandinavian office decor absorbed much of these same elements and principles, making it clean, neutral and easily adaptable to most environments.
Scandinavian design incorporates indoor greenery, which improves cognitive function, physical health and psychological well-being.
SIMPLICITY & FUNCTION
But for all the talk about the history of the Scandinavian style, how is it defined? This design is based on functionality, simplicity, and clean lines. It’s a minimalistic style that uses a blend of textures and mostly neutral hues to make modern spaces feel warm and inviting. It differs from the core philosophy of minimalism, which can seem cold in its effort to avoid overpopulating a space and focusing only on providing bare essentials. A key rule of the Scandinavian design is that functionality should not compromise comfort.
THE PRACTICE OF PRACTICALITY
Function should lead form -without all the design drama.
THE TO-DO'S (OR DON'TS)
Every office design has its rules and it’s no different with the Scandinavian trend. The Scandinavian design pays particular attention to interior surfaces, lighting, colors and eco-friendly materials.
GOOD WITH WOOD
The textured beauty of natural wood never goes out of style.
NATURAL INTERIOR SURFACES
Nordic countries admire nature and thus try to incorporate it where they can. There’s a strong relationship between design elements and the outdoors, stark contrast between abstract and natural shapes, as well as hard and soft surfaces and materials. The use of natural materials like stone, wood, leather, and hemp are crucial. Since the underlying principle of this design is to make spaces bright and cozy in response to the dark winters in Nordic countries, the floors of these environments are usually light-colored wood. More specifically, wood such as pine, oak, and spruce are used, but sometimes darker woods like birch and teak are alright too.
LET THE RIGHT LIGHT IN
Natural lighting is also a key part of this interior style. Since a large part of the Scandinavian lifestyle is dedicated to the outdoors, natural organic light is key and can be brought in through large windows – instead of depending on sterile, artificial lighting. When it’s dark outside, rely on warm task lighting, table and floor lamps and pendants. Pendant lamps today are especially used to easily illuminate a room. Typically, Scandinavian offices are all about lights without getting blinded. They aim to create a feeling of hygge (pronounced “hoo-guh”) – a state of contentment and cozy welcome that can’t be achieved with standard fluorescent strip lights. Avoid harsh downward lighting; a study by the American Society of Interior Designers shows that most employees are unhappy with the way their offices are lit. Remember, warm lighting will elevate ambiance, and lamps and pendants that simulates natural light can help improve employee energy levels and moods.
A WELCOMING WORKSPACE
Warm up your workspace with rich, wood accents & soft lighting.
SCANDINAVIAN OFFICE COLORS
The Scandinavian office color scheme often works in tandem with natural lighting. The best way to utilize it is to choose neutral to light colors, with white being a predominant one to reflect the sunlight, and illuminate the room best. Most rooms using a Scandinavian palette will use gray and blue gray as accents.
SAVE THE EARTH, ONE ECO-FRIENDLY MATERIAL AT A TIME
(29) Trendway Trendwall (30) Allemuir Axyl Table (31) Humanscale Trea Chair (32) ERG International Ojai Seating (33) OFS Obeya Private Office (34) OFS Rowen And Wyre (35) Loftwall Pivot Screen (36) Allermuir Axyl Bench (37) Scandinavian office chair vibes in Rouillard Kopa Chairs REQUEST MORE INFO
VERSATILITY AT ITS FINEST
The Scandinavian design emerged in the 1930s and has remained a well-loved favorite by commercial and residential designers for many reasons – the main one being versatility. It adapts to suit many functional and aesthetic needs, whether for a corporate space or your very own Scandinavian home office. And it never fails to look good in doing so. Trends are always consistent in their inconsistency, but incredibly enough, the Scandinavian interior design continues to be timeless in its principles and dedication to improving daily life without compromising style.
SCANDINAVIAN OFFICE IDEAS & FURNITURE RESOURCES
A Special Thanks to our Commercial Office Furniture Partners: Allermuir, AMQ Solutions, Arcadia Contract, ERG International, Humanscale, Koncept, Loftwall, Nevins, Nucraft, OFS, Rouillard, Stylex and Trendway