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"Gustavian inspired, Swedish interior design is light and sophisticated."

Swedish interior design style is characterized by a look that is light, airy and elegant. Whether classic in emphasis, country or contemporary in direction, this style underscores an elegant and refreshing atmosphere.

Swedish Gustavian Style Interior

Despite originating centuries ago, the Swedish Gustavian style is a look that is still popular today. It usually features white painted, neo-classical furnishings – often displaying the patina of age – set against a very light, interior background.

Gustavian style is named for King Gustav III who ruled Sweden in the late 18th century. He had a passion for the neo-classical styles prominent at that time in continental Europe – such as the Louis XVI style in France, for example. Gustav combined elements of these styles in his own royal palaces in Sweden. (I must say the man had good taste.)

Over time, the Gustavian interpretation of a neo-classical interior spread throughout the broader Swedish society and has been recognized as a distinct interior style in its own right.

Gustavian style is versatile enough to feature classical and contemporary elements together and still look great! With that said, there are some style fundamentals to follow.

If you are going for the Swedish interior look I have one word for you – white! Okay, maybe not literally everything white – that might get pretty boring. But keeping the supporting hues light is really important. Very soft blues, grays and greens are typical of this style, but the overall finished look should be very light and airy.

For a Gustavian inspired interior, choose white painted furniture that features a classic silhouette. Time worn or distressed edges will further emphasize the look and is a very desirable attribute. Wall moldings and furniture with raised detail will add greater visual interest in this largely white environment.

Crystal Chandelier

A touch of gold gilding is important as an accent. Hints of it can be brought in through the raised details of furnishings and by your choice of lighting elements, picture and mirror framing, for example.

Your walls and trim should be painted white (or a very soft gray, blue or green). Alternately, you might choose a wallpaper pattern. If you go with wallpaper, consider a neo-classic style with a very open and subdued pattern in soft colors on a white background. A common Swedish design motif is floral swags with ribbons and bows.

When it comes to floors, wood looks best with a Swedish interior design style. Consider layering your wood floor with woven rugs or runners to enhance the Swedish aura.

Swedish Interior Design Dining Room

Now let’s talk windows. If you have attractive window moldings you might not want to use draperies at all but perhaps opt for simple sheers or fabric blinds like inside-mounted roman shades. If you choose draperies instead, try something that doesn't not contrast too sharply with the light colored walls. Your window treatments should complement the subtle yet sophisticated overall effect.

Consider natural fabrics for your Swedish interior design style. Linen, cotton and silk are some possibilities.

Finally, add a bit of bling to your look in the form of crystal lighting. This could be a classic, crystal chandelier (it’s been said that every Gustavian interior has one) or similar wall sconces, for example. The crystals will reflect the light in the airy space and be the crown jewel of your inspired Swedish interior design.

Style Tips:

• Soft blue and white is a common Swedish color scheme. Consider accenting your interior with classic, blue and white porcelain pieces.

• For a distinctive Swedish look in your bedroom of royal repose, install a half-moon shaped corona with an attached, sheer canopy over the head of the bed. It’s classic Gustavian!

• Round out your look with that distinctive piece of Swedish furniture – a painted, curvaceous, floor clock.



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