Updated: Dec 15, 2019
Scandinavian culture is one that inspires and intrigues me, with the simple clean lines of the interior design to the way of life.
I guess it all started for me when I was a pre-teen. The world was swept away with Abba and their songs spun continuously on my record player. My cousins and I would sing Abba hits like “Take A Chance On Me” using pool cues as microphones. The music was loud and we sang even louder! This sparked a curiosity for me about the culture and their way of life.
Even if I don’t hold any Norwegian ancestry (having grandparents' that are descendants from England and Quebec) the life of and habits of this culture really speak to me. Could I have been a Karina, Hallie or Ari if I had been born there? I could see myself as a Hallie. Would I think Canadians are cool? Most likely yes, because we are!
Swedish design has always been popular in the interior design sector, but right now it’s taking the world by storm. This trend has been coined "The New Nordic" and is globally recognized from Tokyo to New York and Canada. I’ve incorporated some Nordic into the name of my design line, Leif Décor. The Scandinavian name Leif, meaning heir or descendant, seemed fitting, as this is a business I created with my father. Furthering my appreciation for their culture, I fulfilled a dream of mine to design my own coffee table line, named The Lonn. (which of course, is available for purchase).
I am a proud Canadian, however, I do feel the Scandinavians’ meaningful and balanced approach to life is one we should all try to embrace. They are ranked as one of the happiest places in the world to live as they are fulfilled with a healthy work-life balance. With a higher standard of living, less stress, and more time for everything they enjoy, it really makes you want to incorporate these ways into our Canadian culture.
This lifestyle, inspired by nature, simplicity and timeless style, is a constant source of creative inspiration. The beauty isn't only in decoration, but from purposeful elements, materials and the experience itself. I practiced this styling into my Christmas decorations this year, from my gift wrapping to tree ornaments, by keeping it natural, simple and clean. The season can be a stressful one, so controlling the chaos with a calming home atmosphere is exactly the vibe I wanted this year.
From paper clips to cheese slicers, the Norwegians have made some important inventions. For me though, it’s their way of life that is most impressive. From Christmas decorating to my own space, I have adopted this lifestyle slowly. The interior decorating of my home can be described as clean and bright, with not a lot of fuss or clutter. Classic pieces, some vintage, a bit of modern with some houseplants here and there. The less is more concept really emulates with me. I find it extremely therapeutic to purge what I don't need and appreciate the things I keep.
As I move forward in my journey, I do hope to experience the Scandinavian culture first hand one day, but for now...embodying this lifestyle completes me.
As they say in Sweden – så länge för nu. So long for now.