Get The Look: Scandinavian Summer

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Ironic though it may seem, Australian interiors provide the perfect environment for Scandinavian style. Get the look this summer – think spacious, light-filled and sleek modern lines.


Whilst Scandinavia rugs up for a white winter, Australia is perspiring at the very peak of summer. It’s beaches, barbecues, and sun-cream versus icy Norwegian fjords, snow-capped chalets and spicy mulled wine. It’s hard to imagine the marriage of these two cultures at this time of year. And yet Australian summer interiors provide the perfect stage for Scandinavian style.

Scandinavian style has become synonymous with sleek minimalist lines and a simple elegance that prioritises functionality. This aesthetic exploits the beauty of organic textures and natural timbers, riding the line between rustic and clean-lined sophistication.

S9Clockwise from top: the Replica Tuuka Halonen Pilke 36 Pendant Light from Lucretia Lighting, the Goat Hide Rug from LS Collections and the Bastian Side Table from Zanui, available online at Zanui.

These no-frills Nordic lines create a spacious aesthetic that’s cosmopolitan and sleek, whilst additions like an animal hide rug on polished timber floors or sculptural wooden lighting break up the austerity. These materials reference the rugged climate + landscape and conversely create a cosy and comforting interior.

Oceans away and in close proximity to the opposite pole, Australia offers up a rough visage of a different kind. From the coastline to the Highlands and the hinterland, this country is handsome but hardy – a sunburnt country made up equally of beauty and of terror as Dorothea Mackellar put it.


This shared element of the untamed echoes earlier days when survival meant conquering rather than colluding with the environment. The intensity of the Scandinavian climate and the vast outback interiors of Australia stand as a constant reminder of this past. And perhaps it is for this reason that natural fibres, timbers and textures work so well in both our interiors.


In any case, we like the idea that these materials are symbolic of our surviving in the face of great hardship! Their coarseness pays homage to the pioneering spirit and their clean lines witness our progression towards sophistication and chic modern style.

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Your ingredients for Scandi summer style

Set the scene with neutrals…

Oatmeal. Ivory. Taupe. Grey. In light of the heat, we’re opting for a palette in monochrome. Move away from hot, high-voltage colours in favour of the soothing sophistication of neutrals.

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The Zanui Otto 2 Seater Sofa is upholstered in a poly-linen blend for understated texture, and finished with solid New Zealand pinewood.

S10 lounge, interior design, style, decor, scandi, scandinavianThe Zanui Otto 2 Seater Sofa, available online at Zanui.

Play with symmetry

Offset standard pieces and Scandinavian lines with a small off-centre Scandinavian style side table. This will prevent your room from looking too rigid.

We adore the new Zanui Bastian tables, featuring angled legs in ashwood. Available in a white gloss or natural finish.

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The Bastian Side Table from Zanui, available online at Zanui.

Go graphic

Maximise the impact of this colour scheme with striking geometric and typographic designs in your cushions, throws and wall art. Pair framed artworks above your buffet or console table for effect.

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We adore the Enjoy the Little Things Print Art from Americanflat – an adage to live by!

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Enjoy the Little Things Art Print from Americanflat, available online at Zanui. 

Vive la vignette!

Vases and decorative bowls also offer the opportunity to dress up your countertops. Create a cute vignette with unique decorative accents to maximise corner spaces.

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Introduce textured comfort underfoot with overlapping rugs. Work with contrasting pieces –like the Italex La Paz Nero Animal Hide Rug with the LS Collections Goat Hide Rug.

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L to R: the Goat Hide Rug from LS Collections and the La Paz Nero Animal Hide Rug from Italex, available online at Zanui.

Finally, let there be light

Finish the aesthetic with a finely crafted sculptural accent in your ceiling space – featured lighting that supports rather than steals the show.

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The Lucretia Lighting Replica Tuuka Halonen Pilke 36 Pendant Light adds designer looks to your space. Pilke translates to twinkle in Finnish. How can you say no to that?

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The Replica Tuuka Halonen Pilke 36 Pendant Light from Lucretia Lighting available online at Zanui.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.