November 11, 2020

How to create a 70s Scandinavian aesthetic with IKEA.

Paid partnership with IKEA.

70s style Scandinavian lamp on IKEA hack fluted wood unit with vases
How to create a 70s Scandinavian aesthetic with IKEA.

People often ask me to describe my interior style. People also often describe my interior style for me. I guess that’s a result of putting your home online (wink, wink),  I’ve seen it described as maximalist, retro, graphic, eclectic, modern, and everything in between. Can it really be all of those styles? I guess it can! As I’ve got older, my tastes have grown more sophisticated and, of course, changed from the days of novelty cushions and the most affordable options, but there are some core design movements that I have always loved and will refer back to. Clean lines, natural textures, statement furniture shapes and a firm nod to graphic design will always shape how I furnish and style my abode.

When the folks at IKEA got in touch to show me their trends for AW20, there was one that instantly sparked my interest. I’ve always been a fan of the principles involved in Scandinavian design – stemming from the qualities seen in Bauhaus and Midcentury Modern – and the Scandi Fusion trend identified by IKEA is an encapsulation of everything I love. Bold, contrasting, practical and constructive, Scandi Fusion blends modern and traditional Scandi styles with minimalist influences, paying homage to classic design with a range of cultural influences. It’s a statement, but it’s also warm and welcoming.

As we spend more time at home and reflect on our personal style, I wanted to delve deep into my own 70s Scandinavian preferences, but also show you how to recreate the trend at home with small and simple updates. So, without further ado, here’s how to channel IKEA’s Scandi Fusion trend with a retro EJP twist and create a 70s Scandinavian style in your home.

minimal bedroom with large dome light and blue bedside table
The colour palette in our guest bedroom embraces white with pops of colour.

Keep it minimal.

While 70s style can often leave you wondering where to look in a room, the key to creating a 70s Scandinavian style is to keep it minimal. Think about key pieces that you want to include, and focus on shapes and textures over patterns and colour. The NYMÅNE table lamp is a perfect example of the sculptural shapes you should be championing in your home. Keep surfaces clean and clutter-free to evoke a sense of minimalism and spaciousness.

pink boho bedroom with geometric mural and red statement chair
Celebrate the retro shapes of Bauhaus and the Mid-Century Modern movement for ultimate 70s Scandi.

Refer to Bauhaus design for inspiration.

I know, I know, didn’t the Bauhaus movement originate in Germany way before the 70s? Indeed, but it was this movement that acted as a starting point for many Scandinavian designers.  The Staatliches Bauhaus was a German art school that taught its students to combine fine art with crafts, alongside form with function. Bauhaus heavily inspired the modern Scandinavian design movement that emerged in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in the 1950s, and designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Kaare Klint and Poul Kjærholm championed the approach.  I think it’s time to open Pinterest for some Bauhaus board lovin’, right?

IKEA vase and sculptural candles on yellow terrazzo tray
More pops of primary colour from the OMFÅNG blue vase.

Add in pops of colour.

A fresh and bold colour palette is a key element of the Scandi Fusion trend. Again referring to the ideologies of Bauhaus and 60s popular culture, primary colours should be added to neutral backgrounds as a pop of vibrancy. I added the bright red FRÖSET easy chair to our retro 70s bedroom for an instant energy boost.

rattan magazine rack and plant stand with faux plants and books.
The BUSKBO rattan plant stand is a very versatile way to nod to the Scandi Fusion trend.

Incorporate natural materials.

When you’re thinking about materials for your 70s Scandinavian aesthetic, look towards honest, durable and functional materials, such as plywood, bamboo, wool, cotton and linen. Natural materials will add warmth and comfort to your design, but will also encourage sustainability. In fact, I hacked my own IVAR cupboard to create a luxe fluted texture that adds interest to the corner. If you’re not feeling so DIY savvy, the BUSKBO plant stand is a beautiful way to showcase plants and books.

earthy 70s bedroom with Scandi style chair
The FRÖSET easy chair is the perfect addition to this corner of our bedroom.

Embrace geometric and organic patterns. 

When it comes to adding pattern to your setup, opt for geometric, chequered and organic styles inspired by abstract art. The STENMÄTARE cushion cover will inject a retro but artistic flair to your sofa or bed, but won’t break the bank in doing so. Remember, channel the 70s and go for statement pieces that will add wow factor.

minimal bedroom with large dome light and blue bedside table
The simple NYMÅNE table lamp makes a statement in our guest bedroom.

Don’t be afraid to make a 70s Scandinavian statement.

Let’s say that again. The 70s was all about the glamour, so remember to bring a little bit of luxe to your setup. Add a splash of golden mustard velvet with the LANDSKRONA yellow velvet armchair and clash it with the burnt cherry NÄVLINGE pendant lamp. Just pop on a luxe flared suit, and that’s a picture perfect look.

70s style Scandinavian lamp on IKEA hack fluted wood unit with vases
The ÅTERSKEN table lamp is the perfect addition to my existing IKEA hack unit.

Get the look: 

IKEA Scandi fusion moodboard

Want to create the perfect 70s Scandinavian setup in your own home? Here’s my top picks from IKEA’s Scandi Fusion trend.

1 // GLADOM blue tray table | £19

2 // FRÖSET easy chair in red | £75

3 // NÄVLINGE pendant lamp | £10

4 // NYMÅNE table lamp | £35

5 // OMFÅNG blue vase | £7

6 // STENMÄTARE cushion cover | £2.75

7 // KAFFEBÖNA bamboo plant pot | £3.50

8 // STENMÄTARE rug | £39

9 // LUSTIGKURRE magazine stand | £9

10 // LANDSKRONA yellow velvet armchair | £350

For more interior inspiration, colour clashing and general life admin, check out the rest of my blog. Follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for more of the EJP in your life.


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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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