How to Recreate an Scandinavian Interior for your House or Condo

The Scandinavian style, as the name implies, is an adaptation of the interiors of most houses in Scandinavian countries – Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland.

Overall, it is associated to an all-white walls, light wood furniture, and some indoor plants. They needed bright rooms to make their houses warmer especially during winter, and they bring in the outdoors through plants that can survive inside. Their furniture are often of light wood color, defined by simple, clean lines.

Such simplicity coupled with functionality is the main reason why IKEA is often the source of everything Scandinavian. IKEA was founded in Sweden, so it is legit Scandinavian.

For a typical Filipino home, we seldom see white walls. We don’t need bright rooms with lots of sunlight because we do not want to let in more heat to our already very hot environment. But if we want to create an Scandinavian vibe in our homes, there are ways on how to achieve that.

1. Paint your walls white. That is the first obvious step. If a washed-out wall makes you feel sad, you can always add colors later on using furniture and accessories. Light gray will also be an option if you do not want every wall to be white.

2. Light wood. Raise your hand if you have a dark wood furniture in your homes. We have abundance of trees in the Philippines (or at least we use to), and our folks loved their Narras and Mahoganys.

But an Scandinavian furniture, if not white, is light wood. Furniture made of Pine wood is close.

3. Simple lines. Think IKEA again, an Scandinavian furniture doesn’t have lots of ornate or patterns. It’s very minimalist but functional, like they’ve been practicing “Less is More” way before the concept was even articulated.

4. Plants. Thankfully, it is not very difficult to grow plants in the Philippines. Most indoor plants are native to tropical, humid surroundings which is what our weather is like. Your green plants, when viewed over a white background that is your wall, look fresh.

5. Colors. Yes, you can add colors. If you’re used to living with yellow, beige, pink, blue, or green walls and suddenly turned them to white, choose your favorite colors when decorating. But limit those colors to your curtains, throw pillows, rugs, and other accessories. Remember to keep things minimal.

6. Go Tropical-Scandinavian. If you really can’t help it, a Tropical-Scandinavian theme could be what you’re looking for. Being in a tropical country, this is like a Pinoy and Scandinavian style combined.

Bamboo, rattan, some dark wood, and other furniture and decors that are very Filipino will work with your white walls.

If you find this interesting, follow me on Instagram where I post more about my space regularly:

How to Setup a Home Office in your Bedroom

Even if the world will go back to normal, or to the new normal, working from home will still continue for most of us. We might still need our improvised home office setups that we built in an instant so why not make it permanent (or semi-permanent)?

We are lucky to have been given this opportunity during these times, so let’s make our desks work for us. Here’s how I built my home office setup near my bed.

1. Start with the most important element – the desk. Two years ago, I already had this Ikea Micke desk at home. It was small and fits perfectly next to my bed and in this corner where it used to be:

It is quite heavy but I was able to move it around. Last year, I moved it to my living area:

There are a lot of desks being sold online already. Make sure to measure your space first, and always ask for the dimension of the table – its height, width, and length. You don’t want to get a table that is either too big or too small.

Also consider the quality of the table, at the very least it shouldn’t be shaky.

2. Next is the chair. Get one that is very comfortable. You will be sitting on that chair all day so comfort comes first before aesthetic. From March to April, I’ve moved my table around my unit because my chair wasn’t made for long hours of sitting.

When deliveries became available in mid-April, I ordered this gaming chair from Facebook. The reviews say it is already cheap for a gaming chair but Php5000 for a chair is already expensive for me. Nonetheless, I am after the high back because I have back problems. The regular, high back office chairs are being sold at around the same price so this one works just fine.

Yes, it is alright to spend on a comfortable chair. That is your work place so it is more of a necessity than a mere “want” at this point. I would say a chair with a sturdy back support is the minimum requirement. You can use pillows and even blanket for comfort.

3. The space. Where in your house are you going to work? If you live alone, you have the freedom to move your desk setup wherever you want. But if there are other people in your house, you need eight solid hours of privacy. Most of us do not have a dedicated room for an office setup so our bedrooms is it!

How do you setup a work space near your bed (to make sure you won’t end up sleeping at work)?!

They say, one shouldn’t bring their work in the bedroom but if that is our best option, there are ways to define the sleeping and working spaces separately.

4. Use a rug. Either your bed and your desk gets a rug, or both. The rug will create that visual effect that tells your brain: this is where you work and that is where you sleep.

I chose this low-pile rug from AllHome. I have a rolling chair so I didn’t want to ruin my floor, and these chairs best rolls on a low-pile rug. Thankfully they are cheaper and I found just the right size for the entire area of my workspace for Php1300.

5. Layout. Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to lay them out! This is the most fun part. When setting up, consider the following:

Electrical outlet: there should be outlets under your table, and avoid using extensions unless it’s a surge protector. Also you don’t want your chair or your feet getting tangled with any cable.

Door and windows: if possible, position your table and chair so that you have a full view of your door when seated. Your back against any door is not recommended. If you need to be on video calls, consider a background that doesn’t look messy. Choose a plain wall if you have no time or means to create a nice background.

You can position your desk to face the window if you have a nice view. You want to be looking at something nice or inspiring when working, and a distracting view will not help.

6. Partition. I never thought I would be doing this layout in my bedroom until I realized I could use plants as “partition”. I didn’t want to use a real divider to obscure the view of my bed from where I’m seated. I experimented by placing my plants between my table and my bed. I was surprised that it actually works. I never had that my-bed-is-inviting-me feeling because my plants are giving me all the right energy.

7. Final touches. As mentioned above, you want to be as inspired as possible while working at your home office. Put the things that remind you of happy times on display – pictures, trophies, medals, travel memorabilia. Of course we don’t want clutter, so make this as minimal as possible.

Once you found the right place and setup, try it for at least a week. Observe if you are getting the right mood out of it then apply small changes as you go. You can repaint the walls if you want, like what I did to the huge post behind me. My unit is all white so this black background literally separates this area from the rest of the space.

For more topics like this, follow me on Instagram and see how my home office setup (and all the spaces in my condo) have evolved and will continue to evolve.