Over the last few months, we’ve taken a closer look at some of our favorite spaces through the lens of function, looking at which layouts and construction details make it easier to do things in the kitchen. But I want to explore a different direction today and take a look at how can cabinetry can express a lifestyle.
Scandinavian Modern styling is a perfect example–it focuses on form and function, but also emphasizes creating a lived-in, inviting space.
Scandinavian Modern design is defined as sophisticated and approachable, incorporating organic-feeling materials to create spaces that emote simple, clean lines and an abundance of natural light. This kitchen encompasses all of these traits. There’s an effortless blend of natural materials and modern embellishments. This multi-zone kitchen is a wonderful space to work in and enjoy the backyard landscaping with a built-in breakfast nook.
The slab doors in a textural Cobblestone finish are a Mid-Century Modern staple and for a subtle contrast, we paired it with a shaker door in a warm, neutral paint, Chai Latte. This combination of finishes creates a base canvas to add the right decor and fully personalize the space.
A light neutral wall paint throughout (just a shade lighter than Chai Latte) and open plan keeps the room bright and homogeneous – an important element in Scandinavian design where taking advantage of natural light and views is highly desired.
The seating nook best captures these elements. Surrounded by windows, you are encircled by nature and light while sitting for breakfast, enjoying a cup of coffee or nestling in for some birdwatching. Natural materials are present in the fur throws and antler table base. The coral pillows add that perfect pop of color in this cozy area. The bench itself is composed of the same cabinets as the kitchen, giving an opportunity for bonus storage.
The entire cabinet layout is designed to be ultra functional with lines that are simple and pleasing to the eye. The wall oven is placed in a demi-height arrangement for ease of use and placement of artistic decor above. This composition lends to the approachability of the layout, and resisting the urge to maximize the height of all cabinets creates an interesting shift in the overall design.
I don’t want to forget about the intentional selection of contemporary embellishments.
A mix of materials is present in mirror door inserts, antler décor, a metal accent door and the backsplash. The backsplash while being a color is wonderfully neutral. The soft grayish blue tone of the simple subway pattern gives a glossy element in this kitchen featuring wood and white tones.
While reviewing this kitchen design and learning more about Scandinavian Modern elements, I learned a new word: Hygge.
This space is also an interpretation of the Scandinavian idea of Hygge (pronounced “hue-guh”), which you might remember as a trend buzzword a few years ago! Even though hygge came on the scene recently for most American designers, it’s been a guiding principle for Danes, Norwegians and Swedes for generations. Think wool socks, hot drinks, and cozy blankets and laid-back quality time with close friends and family on snowy winter evenings.
On a deeper level, hygge is about a way of life, focusing on relationships, simplicity, balance, and finding joy in the everyday. In a design, it’s well expressed by Scandinavian styling’s understated luxury and lived-in minimalism.
In this kitchen, that comfortable, inviting feel is expressed through the open layout and zones that welcome friends and family in for informal gatherings. The cozy built-in bench is a perfect nook for reading or family board games. The wet bar makes room for snacks and could double as a coffee and tea station. And the open layout makes room for multiple people to cook together. Add in the soothing neutral palette and simple clean lines, and you’ve got a room designed not just to work in, but to live in.
Hygge and Scandinavian Modern styling are, of course, only one way to express a life philosophy through design. Stay tuned for more musings on bringing personality to the home through cabinetry!