Learning Scandinavian Minimalism From Interior Designer Elisabeth Heier
In our efforts to scale back and steer away from all that’s extra and unnecessary – both in our homes and overall lives – we’ve acquired quite a minimalist taste, and being Scandinavians, it does come rather naturally. In our search for interior design that speaks to our pared-back aesthetics, we’ve become somewhat obsessed with finding and following Scandi interior stylists and brands on Instagram to enjoy their genius on a daily basis.
We have our favorites, of course; one of them being Oslo-based interior designer Elisabeth Heier. Her meticulously curated feed features inspirational interior snaps from her work, home and travels connected by the tonal colors and beautiful light that characterizes her style.
From studying interior design and art, Elisabeth’s career has developed to include photography, styling and creative direction as well as interior design. “It’s more of a lifestyle than a job”, she explains to us, “where I grab opportunities along the way and get to be part of so many exciting projects.”
The Scandinavian minimalism is undoubtedly an artform Elisabeth has mastered and perfected on this journey. She makes it look easy too, but we’re thinking there must be more to it than white paint and clean shapes. When asking what the key elements to succeeding with the style in our own homes are, she answers:
“Sticking to a few well-chosen furniture pieces and objects, focusing on long-lasting, quality materials, and working with contrasts. The typical Scandinavian interior is bright, but would be boring without contrasts. However, you don’t necessarily need to use contrasting colors; most Scandinavian interiors have few and muted colors. Instead you can use contrasting materials and different textures to make it more interesting. Keep it simple with clean lines. Use natural light as much as possible, and then add good lighting for the darker months of the year.”
One of the natural advantages that interior design has over fashion, for instance, is the potential of being truly timeless and long-lasting, and we do tend to think of it more as an investment. So if the goal is to create an interior style you’ll want to keep for a very long time (yes it is!), a minimalist approach might be the way to go. Elisabeth has some great ideas for how to make this happen (but the photos of her Oslo apartment featured here really says it all):
“By investing in good quality, timeless design and good materials. Personally, I think my home is a result of wanting a peaceful retreat. Working with design, I see so many new things all the time, and I really don’t want to redo my own home often or buy new things if not needed.
My best advice is to spend time on your interior, not rushing anything. Over time you’ll see what works best in your home, and can save up for the things at the top of your wishlist that you’ll be happy to have ten or twenty years from now.”
What colors and materials do you prefer to work with at the moment?
– I like it as natural as possible: different hues of brown and beige mixed with white. I like all kinds of natural materials, like wood, bamboo, limestone, marble, leather and wool, but the list is long!
What makes your interior designer heart tick right now?
– Objects with a story. If something is unique and handmade it adds so much value to the product and triggers my urge to know more.
What is your relationship to pre-owned furniture and interior design?
– I don’t mind buying pre-owned furniture – there are so many classics that look even more beautiful when worn by time; age and patina can make furniture even more interesting.
Are there any sustainable interior brands or designers that you’ve got your eyes on at the moment?
– I’m so happy to see that more and more brands are working in a sustainable way. Aiayu is a fashion and interior brand showing that a product’s origin, production and environmental impact is as important as its aesthetics.
What’s on your horizon?
– For myself, I’m changing the floor on my balcony this spring. I’ve been wanting a floor similar to the Douglas fir I installed throughout my apartment when I renovated, and I’m finally getting it!
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