The White Room: Scandinavia in the Tropics

It’s strange to visit my hometown in Australia and find that Scandinavia has followed me. As with many Australians I’ve known, my parents have developed a gradual love affair with the Scandinavian aesthetic through travel, an interest in architecture and interiors, and a magnetic pull towards CULT and Space Furniture.

Over the years, my parents have strictly adhered to decorating styles for each home: traditional Anglo-Australian, minimalist (our living room in high school was so sparse that people would ask where we actually kept all our stuff), and Jacques Garcia-inspired Parisian pied-à-terre in downtown Brisbane. My dad, Grant, fondly refers to our current home as the mongrel of the bunch: a combination of Scandinavian mid-century furniture, early 19th century French farmhouse workbenches and convent tables, mixed with contemporary Australian art. This eclectic style is probably the reason why it’s my favourite.

The White Room McOmish House Living Room | Scandinavia Standard

Townsville enjoys (or arguably endures) over 300 days of sunshine a year, a number that would make any Scandinavian dizzy. Yet the Scandinavian style is surprisingly transportable and works just as well in the tropics as in Copenhagen. While in Scandinavia the pieces create lightness inside homes during the long cold winter months, in the tropics the pieces embrace and harmonise the sometimes-overbearing light.


The White Room McOmish House Living Room 2 | Scandinavia Standard

Above: Arne Jacobsen Egg Chairs and Erik Jørgensen Delphi Sofa


When I first moved to Copenhagen I fell in love with the softness of light. Far too regularly, I obnoxiously declare to my friends how aesthetically sensitive I am (part of the reason I loved living in Scandinavia!), but it took three years for it to sink how truly dim the light can be in northern Europe. Over time, trips back home to Australia became a necessity, rather than a mere luxury. My parents would wake up to a daughter doing sun salutations in the living room, raving about clear, cyan skies. Interestingly, my parents love overcast days, and prefer travelling in the winter! Yang needs its yin.

The White Room McOmish House Townsville Lifestyle | Scandinavia Standard

Photo credit: Freya McOmish

Credit goes to my mum Margo, sister Jessica and friend Gregoire Darcourt. I’m sure they had a lot of fun creating this space that makes my visits to Australia so hyggelige.

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Freya McOmish

Freya McOmish is a co-founder and Creative Director at Scandinavia Standard. Half Danish, half Australian. Background in law, film and philosophy.