The Swedish style of interior design is generally accepted to be influenced by two dictinct styles (and no, one is not Ikea!) the 18th-century neoclassical decor known as the Gustavian style and Swedish Country Style, which was mostly influenced by Carl Larsson, Sweden’s best known artist, and Karin Larsson , a textile designer (who did influence the items sold in Ikea.)
The Gustavian style was heavily influenced by French stylings of the time but the Swedish lightened the color schemes and stripped back the ideas, removing a lot of the most elaborate of embellishments for a softer, more casual look.
When the Larssons decided to use the style in their own country home (where they raised eight children) they simplified it even further, adding more light wooden looks and using cheaper materials that the average family could afford. By the time Carl Larsson died in 1919 the style had become popular all over Sweden and was moving across Europe as well. As Swedes immigrated to the USA they took their style with them too.
Her are a few tips for recreating the beautifully elegant Swedish style in your own home:
The Gustavian style colors are light and fresh. Winter whites, soft creams grays and pastel shades of blue, pink, yellow and green.
Choose furniture that is made from light blond woods. Light oak, white pine alder and beech are all common choices.
Freshcut flowers and naturally influenced accessories and trinkets are always considered to be an important part of the Swedish decor style as are woven textiles and blankets scattered around.
Large central light fixtures rarely play a huge role in Swedish decor, and for lighting it relies on a mixture of table lamps, sconces and decorative candle lamps instead.