When it comes to relaxation, Scandinavia has it covered – comfort, warmth and serenity a world away from the winter conditions outside. Follow our guide to creating a Scandinavian bathroom and discover the secret to true tranquility.
It’s no coincidence that the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced hue-guh) sounds a lot like the English word ‘hug’. Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘to cherish oneself; to keep or make oneself snug’, it’s a way of living that aims to create a safe, warm and welcoming space in the home to escape from the cold, wet weather outside.
While hygge is synonymous with open fires and thick rugs in the living room, it’s also a mindset that focuses on relaxation and being kind to yourself. Nowhere is this more appropriate than in the bathroom, a place where the stresses of the day can be eased away with a hot bath or shower and a few well-placed candles. Scandi style is one of the most popular looks in bathroom design and, keeping with the principles of hygge, is surprisingly simple to achieve.
Any colour – as long as it’s white
The key to a Scandinavian bathroom is simplicity, and colours don’t come more simple than white. The effect of making white your dominant colour is to transform your bathroom into a light and airy space that’s a haven of tranquillity and an escape from a hectic, information-heavy world. If you must have some contrast on your walls and floor, consider mixing in some black tiles for a dramatic monochrome look.
Cut the clutter
Along with a heightened sense of comfort and brooding TV detectives, Scandinavians are fantastic at keeping their homes free from clutter. They are masters at storage, creating just the right spaces for their possessions and enjoying the sense of freedom that comes from minimal living. In the bathroom this translates as cutting down on unnecessary accessories and keeping the essentials such as towels and toiletries tucked away. Think about recessed natural-wood shelving and spacious drawers to keep everything in its place.
Scandinavian style dictates that walls and floors should be light and simple in colour, but there’s a danger that a room full of square white tiles might appear clinical. So choose rectangular tiles you can stagger, or even hexagonal tiles that add a subtle, quirky twist to the scheme. For a bolder look, use dark-grey grout with white tiles; not only does it give a modern twist, it also disguises marks.
Add wood for warmth
Tongue-and-groove panelling, stripped-back floorboards or built-in wood cabinets and shelving are classic additions to a Scandi bathroom that immediately introduce warmth and charm. Of course, wood and high humidity isn’t the best combination, so make sure the wood is protected with water-resistant varnish suitable for bathrooms.
Minimal and dramatic
When it comes to accessories, less is definitely more in a Scandinavian bathroom, but a bright pop of colour will go a long way to adding an element of curiosity, drawing the eye and inviting you in. Whether that pop is an unusual piece of art or a few pieces of glassware, the effect will add interest and depth to the room. And if you want to get the genuine Scandinavian look, opt for a tropical pot plant or two – the greener the better.
Bring the outdoors in
Scandinavian style is all about nature, and bathrooms are the ideal place to feel less connected to the modern world and more connected to the natural. You don’t need to go as far as combining a sauna with an ice bath, but small nods to the outdoors such as gathered twigs, decorative pine cones or aromatic candles infused with fresh woodland smells will transport you from the UK streets to the Nordic forests.
Clean lines and efficient fittings
The Scandinavians abide by the principles of simplicity and functionality, so make sure that your bathroom fittings adhere to both. You may have a minimal bathroom, with just the right amount of storage and accessories, but the look can be ruined with a badly chosen set of taps or shower mixer. For the latter, consider the Mira Precision bath/shower mixer, which combines pinpoint engineering with refreshing clean lines, giving you an elegant and luxurious mixer that tops off your Scandi look.