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Have you read Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale “The Nightingale” (Nattergalen)? In it, the Emperor of China orders that a nightingale be brought to sing for him and becomes enamoured with the bird’s song. When he is gifted a dazzling mechanical bird, he instead favours the new toy and loses interest in the real nightingale, who goes back to his home in the woods. When the Emperor becomes mortally ill, the nightingale comes back to the palace; his song is so beautiful that Death itself is moved and lets the Emperor live.
Published as part of New Fairy Tales (1843), The Nightingale demonstrates the power of music. Perhaps that’s why Danish audio company Libratone has chosen the famous bird as their logo. After all, they’re all about “setting music free,” as all their speakers are wireless and easy to add to any room of the house.
Launched in 2009, Libratone produces high-quality speakers and headphones that make listening to music easy no matter where you are, including being able to stream directly from your phone. Their ZIPP and ZIPP MINI speakers allow you to change their covers, meaning you can have a variety of colors to suit your mood.
As summer arrives, you’ll be wanting to fill your home with music as you (presumably) dance while glamorously swirling your ice-cold cocktail in your chic, Scandinavian-style interior. We can help with that! Not with the cocktail – you gotta mix that for yourself – but with how to achieve that Scandi look.
When the light hits Scandinavia, it hits hard. And we only get so many weeks of it! So maximise every second by making sure your windows are clean, your windowsills aren’t blocked, and there are items around that reflect the light. Mirrors, like the Framed series from Muuto, white or light (such as blush) furniture and light wood are all great ways to do this.
Plants, Flowers & More Plants
Scandinavians have an outlandish number of plants in their homes. Fiddle leaf fig trees, orchids, mostera; you name it, it’s either in a windowsill, on a bookshelf or hanging from the ceiling. Nothing makes a home feel more summer than loads of healthy plants! Try Le Sac en Papier recycled storage unit in white for a minimalist and chic plant holder that can be used to store blankets or pillows once winter comes.
And then, of course, there are the freshly cut flowers. Because although Scandis love a good potted plant, they also know the value of a great bouquet of flowers. The ephemeral nature of flowers is analogous to the way Scandinavians enjoy the summer; it’s fleeting, but man, is it beautiful.
Rather than working with huge bunches, try placing one or two buds in a smaller cup or vase. This lets you really stretch your bouquet and means you can have blossoms all over the home.
It’s Okay to Go Seasonal
One thing I’ve learned living in Scandinavia is that it’s okay to live seasonally, even in your decor. As a person who doesn’t enjoy collecting things, I’ve always balked at having separate sets of tableware or decor items for different seasons. But there’s something very soothing about making small changes as the weather turns.
You can start out small: put away you candlesticks and bring out small vases or bowls. Exchange your grey living room pillowcases for blue or blush ones, like the Cone Cushions from ferm LIVING.
Some Colors & Knick-Knacks Welcome!
It’s easy to assume Scandinavian style means no color and no non-functional decor. For hardcore minimalists, that’s accurate. For those of us who don’t want our homes to feel like museums, there has to be a balance. Scandinavians may not have many extraneous decor items on display, but the ones they do have out are really exposed, so they have to be nice. A beautiful wood item, a gleaming ceramic bowl or a speaker, like the ZIPP, all look wonderful when set out in an otherwise spare space.
An item like ZIPP or ZIPP MINI speaker has advantages of both form and function – truly the Scandinavian way to go. Now you don’t have to hide that black box in a corner or only place it where the cord can reach a power point: Libratone’s speakers don’t need to be plugged in and they look just as good as any other design item in your home.
And don’t be afraid of color. Yes, yes, white and black and grey are all great. But it’s okay to add a little something extra. You know that itch you get in summer to suddenly wear a floral dress or jaunty button-down? You can feel that way about your home decor too! Libratone does a great job with this; their current summer collection colors are pastel blue and a kind of blush/nude, which are on-trend for the season but also timeless.
So add your florals, your color and your little bits ‘n bobs. It won’t make you any less Scandi-chic; we promise.
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Images by Catarina Menezes