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Scandinavian Kitchens

In the far northern Scandinavian countries, wintertime is one of long, long nights and cold, cold weather. With these environmental conditions, it’s no wonder that many Scandinavian kitchens are warm, colorful, and bright. In some cases, though, Scandinavian kitchens are designed with dark woods and cozy lighting, going with the flow of the long, dark winters by evoking comfort and warmth with natural textures and fireside sparkle. Depending on which way you spin Scandinavian design, both the traditional and modern interpretations of the kitchen show that good kitchen design is based on functionality and beauty.

Susan Serra’s blog, The Kitchen Designer, features wonderful photos of Scandinavian kitchens that run the gamut from dark to light, old-fashioned to contemporary – but all have great style. Some of the kitchens are reminiscent of the one in Babette’s Feast, that memorable Danish film that won the Academy Award for best foreign film in 1986. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! It’s based on a story by Isak Dinesen, who also wrote the story upon which Out of Africa was based. In the movie, Babette cooked in a warm, wood-paneled kitchen with a black iron range.

Country Home’s online feature about Scandinavian kitchens notes the focus on simplicity and utility, which are prized in good kitchen design everywhere. Their take on the style is light and airy. Slate blue tiles, classic white crockery – or white with a simple blue stripe – and white-painted cabinets are shown along with blonde woods and streamlined furniture.

One way to add Scandinavian flair to any kitchen is with blue and white tile. Some marvelous styles based on folk designs are available at Designs In Tile. These beautiful tiles can be used to create borders, backsplashes, accents on range hoods, and counter edging. This is a simple way to bring the Scandinavian feel into your kitchen.

IKEA, of course, offers options for Scandinavian kitchens. With its roots in Sweden, IKEA’s vast product line reflects the company’s origin in the heart of Scandinavia. The emphasis is primarily on contemporary design, bright colors, black and white, and affordable prices. You can buy everything including the kitchen sink in IKEA’s kitchen department.

CalFinder talks with Susan Serra of The Kitchen Designer about her work in general. In this article, she talks about how frequently she draws from her Danish heritage in her work.

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