From a good work-life balance to a chic and cosy sense of design, Nordic cultures seem to have it all figured out. They are not only leaders when it comes to viral trends in design; they are also paving the way for gender equality in the workplace and showing us all what it really means to care about the environment.

Here, we dive deeper into what makes these countries the happiest in the world (for the 8th year in a row!), and we give you some tips to add a Scandi touch to your home, one room at a time.

What does the Nordic lifestyle entail?

For several years, nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark) have been among the highest ranking in the “World Happiness Report”.

In the 2020 issue, the report created a new chapter, called The Nordic Exceptionalism: What explains why the Nordic Countries are Constantly Among the Happiest in the World.

nordic lifestyle guide

If you're wondering what's the secret of the Scandi lifestyle, and more importantly, what we can learn from it, here are some highlights:

  • Scandinavian countries are big on balance. From work-life balance to a balanced diet, they seem to have found a sweet spot just in the middle. Nordic living includes making choices that prioritise comfort and wellbeing, for example, taking some time off after a very stressful week at work.
  • They live in the moment, enjoying downtime and prioritising their time with family and friends.
  • They understand the importance of healthy nutrition, based on local and seasonal ingredients such as berries and fish.
  • They are very keen on taking care of the environment, prioritising green sources of energy (for example, choosing liquid bioethanol instead of wood-burning for house heating).
  • Scandi living is big on comfort, control and practicality. They are keen on simplicity and modesty, but extremely attentive to detail, which is why they are on top of trends when it comes to design
  • They are pioneers in gender equality, which is translated into unisex elements of design

Want a little of the Scandi lifestyle at home? Here are some Scandi living room ideas to get those nordic vibes flowing.

Scandi living room ideas

The living room is one of the central spaces of a home, usually centred around a bioethanol fireplace. It’s where people gather and share, where you can entertain guests or spend cosy afternoons watching movies with your family.

It’s the perfect place to add some touches of Scandinavian design and make it a great place to spend your time.

But what does Scandinavian design entail? Here are some highlights:

Minimalism is the name of the game

Uncluttered, clean spaces are one of the first staples of nordic design. Choose neutral colours but add some accent points and contrast (for example, patterned cushions or rugs). To achieve a minimalist environment, go for elements that combine design, quality and purpose.

A great example of this is liquid bioethanol fires, or bioethanol fireplaces, which combine great design and functionality. When it comes to colour, limit your options to 2-4 key shades, and favour lighter hues. Look no further than Imaginfires for your new bioethanol fireplace.

nordic living review

Nature has a place in your living room

A Scandi living room emulates the soothing qualities of nature. Choose spots for planters and pots, with varying types of plants. You may also want to incorporate wood elements, natural textiles and a few nature-inspired prints.

scandi living guide

Comfort is your main goal

For Nordic cultures, comfort is one of the most important elements of design, without sacrificing practicality. Each element of the room has a clear purpose, and classic, timeless pieces are favoured over fashion trends. As a result, the living room looks balanced and offers several spaces to unwind and relax.

Essentially, a Scandi style living room is a place in which you can forget about the outside world. As Scandi temperatures can drop to very low, creating a cosy and warm environment, for example by installing a bioethanol fireplace, is also very important.

Focus on sustainability

Most Scandi living room accessories and furniture pieces are made from recyclable or biodegradable materials.

For Scandinavian cultures, caring for the environment is an important responsibility, and they take it very seriously. Green values permeate design and architecture. Some steps that you can take towards a more sustainable home include:

  • As much as possible, avoid using plastic
  • Invest in a bioethanol fireplace. These are great alternatives to wood burning fireplaces, as they are cheaper and kinder to the environment
  • Choose long-lasting furniture and accessories to avoid creating more trash
  • Reuse what you can and look for thrift pieces (this is also a great way to save money!)

Why install a liquid bioethanol fireplace?

Liquid bioethanol fireplaces are a popular alternative to gel fuel and log fireplaces in Scandinavian countries. Liquid bioethanol is a natural fuel produced from sugar cane or maize. As the fuel is plant-based, it is much more eco-friendly than fossil fuel and burns without producing toxic or harmful substances.

essentials of nordic living

In addition to being better for the environment, bioethanol fireplaces are also cheaper to run as they do not require electrical or gas support. Liquid bioethanol also produces heat, further helping Scandi households lower their energy bills.

As liquid bioethanol burns cleanly and does not produce smoke, bioethanol fireplaces can be installed without a flue. This means that all properties, such as apartments or houses without traditional fireplaces, can benefit from bioethanol fireplaces and create a Scandi-inspired environment.

Alternatives such as gel fuel and gel fireplaces do not produce a lot of heat, meaning they cannot contribute to a warm or cosy atmosphere. Gel fuel can also not be controlled as easily, meaning you cannot adjust the flame size and have to add more fuel to increase the length of the flames.

Your space, your choices

An aspect that is sometimes overlooked when it comes to Nordic living room ideas is confidence. These guys were among the first ones to eliminate gendered designs, even in children’s toys! Scandi design is the embodiment of creativity and innovation, so put the magazines down and sit in your space for a moment.

Are you comfortable? Does it represent who you are? If not, forget about trends and rules, and go for what you enjoy. Get creative and imagine what will make the place feel entirely yours.

The takeaway

Even when Scandi design is all the rage online and in interior design magazines, it’s much more than a passing trend. It’s a representation of a way of living, understanding the world, and respectfully interacting with nature.

nordic lifestyle wellness

The Nordic lifestyle requires a mindful approach to life, in which you take time to savour each moment without worrying about something else.

When you understand this, it is easy to see why these are the happiest countries in the world, year after year. Societies in which relationships and self-care are prioritised are those in which individuals can thrive.

In this scenario, interior design is just a way in which people can create spaces that bring them joy and allow them to feel calm and relaxed.

Uncluttering, minimalism, balance, attention to detail and respect for the environment are concepts that go way beyond creating a beautiful space, but your surroundings are the perfect place to start putting those concepts into practice.

A change in your environment, such as installing a bioethanol fireplace, can be the first step of transforming other deeper, more important aspects of your life.

For more information about our eco-friendly alternatives, check out our brilliant fireplace product range today. 

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