10 Easy Ways to Freshen Up Your Modern Nordic Home

Open the window to bright spring sunlight and a fresh breeze, and suddenly your cozy winter decor can feel a little tired and stuffy. If you’re ready to wake up your home from its winter slumber, there are plenty of ways you can do it that don’t take a major investment of time or money.

Change Your Accent Color

red accent color
Cherry red is the accent color here, but the room could be give a very different feel with, say, bright yellow or royal blue.

If you have a monochrome black and white color palette, or one based on more earthy neutrals just as ecru or tan, you can totally change the mood the room just by changing the accent color. Throw pillows and throws, wall art, lamps, and other decor and accessories. For visual continuity, pick a color that will flows with the color palette in the rest of the house.

Just don’t go overboard with it. You only need around 10 percent of the room in your accent color to liven things up without overwhelming the space.

Revive a Faded Floor with
Adhesive Floor Tile

Has the floor in your entryway or bathroom seen better days? You could pull the whole thing up and replace it, but there’s an easier way: adhesive floor tiles. As long as your current flooring is securely glued down and you don’t have more than two layers already, you can stick adhesive tiles in place with minimal prep work. You can find these with the look of tile, stone, and wood. If you want traditional Scandinavian whitewashed pine floors, you can find those, too.

Germany’s Gerflor has two good options:

Skadi, by the way, is the Norse goddess of winter and the mountains. Generally described as more tough than beautiful.

Kaldean also offers something similar with Palio Clic CP4508 Sorano


Refine Your Cabinet Handles

Cabinet and drawer knobs and handles may be small, but they have a noticeable effect on the overall look of your room. For a room with a specific theme, such as nautical or forest, ceramic knobs are the perfect finishing touch.

They’re also easy to change and an inexpensive way to invest in artisan products that will inject some individuality into the room. Esty.com is a good place to find artisan-made ceramic, wood, and metal knobs you won’t see at the neighbor’s house.

Update Your Paint

Green accent wall
One lime green wall can wake up a monochrome interior without overwhelming it.

This doesn’t have to mean just giving a room a new coat of the old color or choosing a totally knew color. If you have white or other neutral walls, consider creating an accent wall. Choose either the wall that gets the most sun or any smaller, oddly shaped wall. The goal here is to create something that stands out, so rich hues of red, blue, and green work well.

And remember white isn’t the only color you can put on the ceiling. In fact, in rooms that receive limited natural light, white ceilings can end up looking grey, making the whole room feel dull. A pale color such as sky blue, butter yellow, and mint green will be more uplifting.

Stick on a Wall Decal

Nursery wall decal

Photo via Flickr

This is a simple way to breathe new life if you don’t want to fuss with paint or stencils. There wall decal disns in Tree, birds, bears and other elements of nature are a favorite. Other popular themes include abstract and geometric shapes, fun catch phrases, and everyday objects like zippers and wine glasses. The best part? Most of these are removable within the first few years, so if you get tired of the look, it’s easy to change.

Create a Gallery Wall

Gallery wall

Photo via Flickr

Wall art has always played a big role in interior decorating, but it’s never been easier to find
If you don’t mind framing them yourself, you can find a nearly endless variety of downloadable printables that you can either print at home or take to a print shop. For a conservative look, stick with a narrow theme such as horticultural prints. Prints aren’t the only thing you can hang. Give your gallery wall dimension with a mix of framed art, wooden letters, vintage signs, keys on hooks, and anything else that fits the look you’re going for.

Upgrade Your Storage Space

Storage may not be glamorous, but it can dramatically affect the feel of your space. Clearing up clutter gives you more room to move and cuts down on distractions to create a more relaxing atmosphere. Even investing in some clear roller boxes to fit more under the bed can make you home more livable.

The right shelving will not only increase your storage space, but also add interest to your home. Try irregular shapes spirals, branching tree-like forms and individual wall-mounted shelves in geometric forms.

Lay Down a New Rug

Blue and white rectangular rag rug.
Blue and white rectangular rag rug.

Want to give your living room a lush, cozy feel? Try a faux sheepskin rug. The shaggy piles contrasts perfectly with wood flooring. These work well with a farmhouse look, too. If you prefer a more minimalist feel, go with a flat woven rug. Liewood in Denmark makes a line of recycled rugs woven from cuttings leftover from other products.

For a homey, country cottage warmth, don’t overlook the rag rug. They’re a Scandinavian decor tradition that doesn’t get much love from design magazines these days, but they’ll bring a d These are such classics they’ll even fit into a modern monochrome interior. You can buy them, of course, but you can also weave your own using stripes of cloth from old clothes and linens.

Fine-Tune Your Bathroom Color Scheme

Towels in rainbow of different colors and designs can make your bathroom look messy and chaotic. For a coordinated look, keep all your bath linens within one cohesive color palette. Usually this will be the accent color of your bathroom. Natural shades of green, blue, and yellow work well. Toss your worn out towels into the cleaning rag drawer, choose the ones in the color palette you like best, then add a few more to fill out your collection.

Change Light fixtures

Depending on your tastes, upgrading your lighting may or may not be budget friendly. If you want something simple and affordable to give a room an up-to-date look, a string of trendy cotton ball lights will do the trick. Just keep in mind these aren’t all the same quality. For a handmade in Europe option, take a look at Mama Potrafi‘s shop on Etsy.

Ditch the dusty lampshades and bring in a new table or floor lamp. Pendant lighting, simple geometric forms, and metals such as brass (if you’re not tired of it yet), bronze, and nickel are a few contemporary favorits. Wood in smooth, rounded forms is another current trend that won’t go out of style soon.

There are so many designs out there it’s worth taking a few days to explore and find something you really love. If you need a place to start, stop by my Scandinavian lighting Pinterest board.

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