Archive for the ‘Interior Design, Decor’ Category

Six Scandinavian Interiors That Make The Lived-in Look Inspirational

Design magazines are famous for creating spaces that exude beauty – but not practicality. White, expansive couches with ornate gold fixtures and marbled tiles gloss over many of their pages, an inspiration to us all. Yet, modern life often makes interiors unachievable. Piled with chores, guests and kids’ mess on a daily basis, it’s pretty hard to keep that white linen couch clean. Scandinavian interiors impacted the scene with a different aim: to make the messy modern. A popular power in the world of design, their simple and often cost-efficient tones allowed white walls and your favourite kitschy finds to become beautiful. Take a look at these six stunners to see what all the fuss is about.

Visualizer: Yuriy Bobak Archviz Studio  

Our first interior in Warsaw, Poland is a cosy nest for a couple of two. White-walled and wooden-floored, its structure allows the little things to add to a clean, spacious look. The living room offers us the first glimpse, with a powder-blue couch and striped rug making first impact. Wooden furniture and monochromatic prints complement their tones, without appearing same-same. Green leaves and simple, framed illustrations evoke simplicity. White lampshades hide beside the walls.

From the couch, the little things take greater force. Rows of hanging pot plants become features, a standing bookcase a cabinet of knowledge. Amidst a deck and windows swathed in white, a powder-blue chair offers a seat to take it in.

A desk needs no introduction, in common white and wood elements. The most minimal of markers, a trio of wooden frames highlight a place for work, while harking back to the lounge. Potted plants and small white ornaments are magnified in white cushions and a lampshade, on opposing sides.

Simple yet lived-in, the bedroom is a canvas of white pocked by wood. Undesirables in lighting, a heated rail and blinds become one in white. A wooden chest and cane basket hold personal items, while green frames each corner. Four monochrome prints reflect on the study and lounge, mimicking the wardrobe’s compartmentalisation. A mirror relaxes to the side.

The kitchen’s light and breeze is retained, despite its many elements. White cabinetry, windows and blinds are matched by light wood in benches and floors. The perfect Scandinavian backdrop, they allow pops of black to surprise in an oven and chair, while green and chrome talk to one another.

Two perfect circles round off an all-white bathroom, briefly joined by a wooden bench and mirror rims. Circles join more circles in standing basins, chrome magnifiers and an oval bath, all grounded by large-format charcoal tiling.

Visualizer: YUlOnG Fu  

Our second space is much more kitsch. Dotted in a variety of textures and tones, a Scandinavian framework makes it clean and stylish. In the central area, light wooden chairs, floors and chests provide a perfect canvas. A stencil chandelier is fixed by a block of black, as a grey rug opposite mimics its shape. Grey and khaki meet with potted plants which hang, sit and hide amongst the wooden. Terracotta pots, books and monochromatic prints are lit by simple French windows.

The study and TV areas mark their spaces by plants. In the study, a small-leaved potted plant drapes over the ceiling, partially obscuring a drop-down light. In the TV room, potted plants sit on library shelves and a TV cabinet, giving prominence to the TV and central wall. Light wood grounds the plant and finer ornamental detail, making the busy look basic.

White spaces oscillate between over-piling and minimalism. A barn-door entranceway houses a heap of clothes, chequered and multi-coloured, on grey floral tiles. The TV room corridor, by contrast, features one potted tree against a white brick wall, as glass baubles and a green tray sit to the side. Both spaces suit the tone of the home.

The bedroom is a jumble of grey, white and light wood, illustrated and framed by more potted green. Innumerable in its decorations, its clean white walls and ceiling create breathing space, with no detail rising more than halfway. Wide French windows and simple blue-grey curtains greet a black-stencilled chair and lightly-patterned grey rug.

Visualizer: Dattran  

Our next two-bedroom is a lot less ornamental – but not less patterned. The lounge shows a myriad of undertones and shapes in collaboration. Classic white walls and wooden floors open up to a grey couch and curtains, mottled rug and different-coloured cushions. A range of cubed and circular art pieces adorn the central table, while a standing lamp hovers beside a print. The look is monochromatic, mixed with the muted.

The kitchen provides a solid background for the smaller space, in simple white cabinetry and benching. A fridge and bench inlet framed in black show allegiance to the table, while not detracting from the main living space. Scandinavian chairs (Selig Z Style chair in the living and the Salt Chairs at the kitchen counter) really drive home the style.

The bedroom’s white light glows over charcoal, popping up throughout the room. Draped in bedding and a rug, its tones play in an abstract art piece and window sill. Pops of green and white kitsch both stand out and blend into white blinds and an exposed brick wall.

The second bedroom warms up with a wood-panelled feature wall and floor. A beige padded headboard and striped duvet set it apart, with matching tables and a rug in supporting roles. Features charcoal in the first are turned black in the second, with each bedroom comparing and contrasting. A bright blue seascape centres the space.

Visualizer: Harun Kaymaz  

Our fourth contender looks a lot simpler – and it is. An L-shaped block sofa carries matching cushioning, while abstract prints shine in the same hue. White fixtures in window joinery, a light and side table are made different by abstract sparks – turquoise table legs here, terracotta pots there. A golden trumpet and beige woollen rug add warmth, while French windows mirror the shape of the prints.

Visualizer: Le Anh  

Inject a bit of pastel with our fifth home for inspiration. Not content with charcoal and wood, a proliferation of patterns add pizzazz to the white-coated living room. Cushions sidle next to each other in a variety of detailing. Three frames gradate from minimalist lines to coloured crescents, all framed in light wood. A stencilled standing lamp is reflected in cane chair-backing and side table grate. Yellow pops on the table below a branched bulb light, dangling elusively from the ceiling. Grey and white stripes set the scene.

Visualizer: Yuliya Chudinovskikh  

Our final space is a masterpiece in monochrome. Black and white adorn cushions and prints, before nestling into grey. The living room holds their colouring in black stencil and wooden frames, while natural green and a rustic bucket add the living. A silver bauble chandelier takes it into the modern day.

The kitchen makes monochrome its guiding principle, with black dotted in all the right places. Drawer and cupboard handles, ovens and a benchtop all go back to black, while a faint outline in the tiles combines the two opposing shades. A chrome fridge and plumbing quell their differences among green and wood elements.

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Minimalist Swiss Chalet Embraces Surrounding Vistas


Savioz Fabrizzi Architects designed this chalet in the village of Val d’hérens, Switzerland. Constructed of concrete, this home has wood-clad upper levels that allude to the style of the barns in the area. This wood is carried inside for a smooth and sleek look.

“On the ground floor, the daily rooms center around a concrete core leading to the four levels and integrating the bathrooms,” the architect said. “The slabs are cut around this core, generating visual relations between the floors.”


Chalet Val d’hérens‘ southern exposure allows for an abundance of light throughout the day. The minimalist home’s main living space enjoys several impressive viewpoints, including the village to the northwest and the valley and mountains to the south and east.

Although this Swiss chalet sits on a steep slope, the plateau where the home was constructed meant little impact to the land. A concrete terrace extends from the ground floor for outdoor entertaining. [Photography by Thomas Jantscher]

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Spacious-Looking, One Bedroom Apartment With Dark Wood Accents

City apartments are abundant, central – and often tiny. For the modern urbanite building a beautiful interior, the apartment’s compact nature can be challenging. This studio by Insight Studio in Minsk, Belarus, is a compromise between a convenient location and a contemporary design. Combining the main living areas in one innovative space makes dark corridors bright and awkward spaces forgotten. Dark wooden panels contrast against monochrome prints, seeking refuge in linen couches and woollen rugs. Beige undertones, strikes of green and marble floors add warmth to the interior, without taking away clean lines. Take our tour to see how fresh thinking can transform a small space.

Our one-bedroom apartment begins in the central room, a fusion of living, dining and kitchen areas. Designed for a young woman, the TV space opens to a portrait of her likeness in black and white. Large panes of colour in a charcoal couch, wooden panel and beige wall provide clear space for thought. Subtle features in two types of foliage, white-bound books and a geometric-patterned rug add politically-correct personality. A semi-low, flat ceiling is disguised in white, minimal light fixtures.

From the TV room, kitchen and dining areas extend a hand. Tall white cabinetry, mimicking the length of two large windows, pops out from behind the partition wall. Three dangling white lights mark the dining table.

A monochrome print lords over a drinks cabinet. Oscillating in white and wood, its long lines mimic the TV cabinet, giving space to the print. A view further to the side shows a range of room partitions, each artfully placed to segment while uniting as one.

From the kitchen, the view is clean, minimalistic. A range of potted plants pave the way to another wooden feature wall, made all the more dramatic by a white textured painting hanging on its frame. Clean slate tiles and light-wooden flooring greet a hallway mirror, extending the space. A simple white door gives prominence to the artwork and table, avoiding overcrowding.

As the feature wall welcomes two lit ferns, a well-designed balcony leads us back out. Facing wide window panes in white joinery, the space is framed using very little space. A row of potted green fits almost into the joinery. A design feature wall in slatted wood replaces the original fixture. Wall shelving is stencilled and minimalist, while grey linen chairs gather peacefully.

The bedroom brings in the themes of the central space. Emanating relaxation, a dark wooden headboard mirrors the TV room, light-grey walls the kitchen floor. Black hanging lights match white counterparts in the kitchen, and monochrome prints the feature wall. Creating difference, an LED-lit panel beams atop the headboard, while subtle stripes line the rug, cushions and duvet. Minimal shelving and a mirror extend the space and let light in.

The wardrobe is both clever and contemporary. A cacophony of long, lean panelling, its central inlet appears to extend rather than take from the space. Dark-panelled, their cubby holes hide necessities while leading to another white, bright exit.

A closer look at the kitchen reveals similar themes. Long, white panelling makes it classic and elegant. Lit dark wood panelling creates an inlet of interest. Necessities hide in under-table shelving, while a stove and fridge take a seat to the side. An island bench affords room for unique drop lights to allude to more space.

Carrying on their accents, more wooden panels are bathroom-bound. Making friends with marbled tiling, they find expression beside towel rails, under sinks and beside the toilet. Stone blocks in white porcelain and a slate benchtop ground the space, while an illuminated mirror and glass panel give the illusion of ever more room.

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Wood and Wicker in North London Apartment


Amin Taha Architects built this gabled apartment complex in the north of London, the UK. The six apartments feature traditional brick facade and distinctive projecting wicker balconies.


To build this six story apartment, the architects used a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure, where layers of laminated wood are used as a skeleton instead of concrete and steel. This structure was surrounded with a facade of perforated brickwork, matching the brick facade of the two neighboring buildings. Punctuating the street facing side are large bronze framed windows. Wicker covered balconies provide a seating area for the homes, as well as a cover for the seating area below, spaced in a way that allows light.


Because the interior structure is timber instead of concrete or steel, there was no need for plasterboarded walls and suspended ceilings. The CLT structure is exposed in the interior, with parts of the brick facade visible as well. Without tiling or paint, the interior takes on a warmer tone. “Timber also has inherently more robust and is perhaps a better and warmer domestic aesthetic,” the architects noted.










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3 Open Layout Apartments That Use Clever Space-Saving Techniques

Are you looking for ways to make your open layout apartment feel a little more open and spacious? This post looks at three apartments that get it right – from smart storage solutions to hideaway beds and multipurpose furniture, these homes have plenty of inspiration to offer. But that’s not all! Each one takes a different approach to naturally influenced color palettes and decor, so you can find ideas for larger houses and apartments as well. Stop by the comment section to let us know if you found any of these design techniques worth trying.

Visualizer: Leo D’uk Design   

Let’s start with a studio apartment that goes light with natural wood finishes and calming pastel green walls. It’s a cheerful space that makes great use of color blocking to define each functional area within its small interior footprint, easily appearing larger than it really is.

The interior is open but each functional area feels distinct thanks to the clever division created by the geometrically clad wall that stands in the center of the living area.

Rounded forms and wooden legs give the furniture mid-century appeal. Even the pendant lighting and bar design furthers this influence.

The bar’s convenient location allows it to serve as extra seating in the living room while allowing residents to watch television while working, eating, or playing.

Typographic art always make a great addition to interiors inspired by minimalism. These prints also serve to distribute color balance (especially white).

Tucked away as cozy as can be, the kitchen occupies a small space to the left of the central volume. It might look small, but the layout offers plenty of workspace and storage.

Perhaps the most surprising part of this little studio is the bed – it occupies a very compact footprint but its position near the window opens it up to the entire world outside. Storage hides within the platform beneath.

The tropical wallpaper adds even more character and cheer.

A corner shower, compact washer, and convenient storage solutions ensure the bathroom feels spacious despite its small footprint.

Visualizer: Maxim Tsiabus   

If you’re looking for a home that pulls off wooden wall panels without pushing into rustic territory, this space combines those luxurious dark wood boards with greyscale tones to create an aesthetic that feels warm and comfortable without sacrificing an ounce of modern appeal. The space-saving features in this apartment are detailed later – some are quite surprising.

Chain link fencing is a strong addition, an easy DIY project for anyone who wants to cover a radiator or add a cool industrial effect to the home.

One of the most striking and hard-to-replicate features is the abundance of inset lighting that traces the ceiling and even parts of the floor. These strips likely contribute to a moody atmosphere in the evening.

The layout is very open but sensibly divided thanks to a variety of large walls and pillars.

The open seating area extends its functionality with plenty of storage above the television and versatile multi-purpose trays that attach to the sofa.

It may seem like this wall remains intentionally blank just for visual effect, but it’s actually just a very clever disguise for a Murphy bed.

Without relying on a hideaway bed like this one, the entire attitude of the apartment would feel altered. It saves an incredible amount of space.

The addition of extra lighting elements hidden in the headboard portion of the wall serve as a fantastic complement to the stripes that trace the ceiling, walls, and floor.

While this half of the room lacks the dividing walls that mark out the other functional areas of the open layout, this one separates living room from bedroom with a transition from matte black to white and then to those gorgeous wood cabinets.

At first glance, the kitchen looks like one smooth expanse of cabinets with no worktops in sight. It allows for a clean and minimalist appearance, but the real surprise hides inside.

Sliding doors reveal a fully equipped workspace with a small range and sink. Large cabinets expand storage space overhead.

Dining and office areas share the same general area. The breakfast bar easily looks over the living room, outfitted with practical stools from the MIURA collection by Konstantin Grcic.

Visualizer: Eno Design   

While this living space approaches almost studio-levels of openness, a sense of division also allowed the designer to choose two different takes on a natural color theme to suit the distinct needs of private and public areas. Private spaces adopt an earthy neutral theme while the living room goes big with bright and vivid colors reminiscent of summertime. You’ll notice this interior does a lot within the primary living space – it’s multipurpose and very flexible.

Eclectic decor gives the eye a unique focal point from every angle. And of course, it’s impossible to overlook that fabulously unique cabin-style ceiling! Combined with the animal prints and patterns, this style seems like a modern take on the lodge look.

This color theme is especially admirable because of its sense of thematic integration. Without those rustic elements, the bold primaries might have instead evoked a more of a rigid Mondrian-esque attitude.

This combination of color and pattern comes together brilliantly in the tiny corner reading nook. Urquiola’s famous Husk ottoman, an oversized beanbag chair, and a handsome Grasshopper floor lamp all contribute their own distinctive appeal.

The little office has a few inspiring details as well. The storage system offers a mix of open and closed cubbies to keep things looking tidy, and the furniture itself is quite minimalistic.

Both seats are from the About a Chair collection by Hee Welling. You can buy those from here. If you are a fan of minimalist scandinavian style chairs like these, do check out our post: 50 Stunning Scandinavian Style Chairs.

The kitchen occupies a little space down the hallway from the living and bed areas. It’s exceptionally simple and compact.

Hee Welling’s chairs join a comfortable upholstered bench, working wonders to save space in an already small area.

And finally, a look at the bedroom first spotted through the door in the living room. It’s outfitted with a neutral theme distinctly in contrast to the rest of the home.

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