Here’s why West Coast designers are borrowing design ideas from Scandinavian spaces.

Although all-white rooms have been trending for a while now, Scandinavians are adding one more element to the design craze: light wood. Mixing bright whites with light woods is a Scandinavian tradition, notes Calgary designer Elena Del Bucchia, who uses the clean combo extensively in her own Western Canadian designs. WL caught up with Del Bucchia to find out why this Nordic trend is making a comeback.A plain white wall is transformed with rustic wooden deer.

Why does the white and wood look work well in interior design?

“It’s a very timeless and classic look,” says designer Elena Del Bucchia. Although it’s trendy now, it’s a style that’s cyclical, appearing on the design forefront every few years. For Del Bucchia, “it is the Scandinavian and Nordic look that’s driving this new wave.” Typical Scandinavian interior design includes light wood floors, white walls and pared-down furniture. “The younger generations are now wanting a more minimalistic look and that’s what makes this trend so attractive to them,” she explains. It’s simple, modern, and its rustic elements make it simultaneously liveable and pleasing to the eye.

How do you incorporate the white and wood theme into your own designs?

“I tend to do a lot of white walls,” says Del Bucchia. “I find that white walls make your accessories pop more—it’s just the perfect background for artwork, even in black and white.” Her Priddis project featured in Western Living‘s June 2015 issue balances wood trim with white knockouts: “The homeowners were very adamant that they wanted the windowsills to remain stained and not painted white, and I am so glad that they did. I believe it’s because of their Norwegian roots—in Norway they appreciate the natural wood look.”

What kind of wood are designers pairing with white?

“Right now we’re seeing a lot of light woods,” Del Bucchia notes, “a lot of white oaks and birches. The really dark tones come and go, but right now light is in.”

What does paring a lighter wood with white do for a space?

“It makes things more airy. Light wood is very versatile and it can go with a lot of different colours and stains. I guess I personally prefer it,” she laughs, “because I grew up with it being very popular in Europe.”

Do you have any advice for people looking to incorporate the white and wood trend into their homes?

“If you are wanting to add white to your space, maybe start with one room, or even one wall and see how it looks in your space. You don’t want to go all white, of course, because then it looks sterile and not lived in.” Her advice? Mix it up with some accessories and art.

Need some more Scandinavian design-spiration? Check out these WL favourites!

Photo: Martin Tessler

A home big enough for four families includes beautiful Scandinavian accents, like this light wood screen over the stairs. Designer: Marianne Amodio. (Photo by Janis Nicolay.)

Practical meets poetic in this white and wood home on the coast. Designer: Battersby Howat. (Photo by Martin Tessler. Styling by Nicole Sjostedt.)

A modern take on a classic ranch, this room balances white subway tiles with wood trim and accents. Designer: Elena Del Buccia. (Photo by Martin Tessler.)

This mid-century marvel combines all things Scandinavian: bright whites, warm woods and minimalist splendour. Designer: Ian McLeod and Kerry Johnson. (Photo by John Sinal.)

A Whistler vacation home’s master ensuite channels Scandinavian simplicity and style. Designer: Chad Falkenberg and Kelly Reynolds. (Photo by Chad Falkenberg.)

 Fun Fact: Because weather can be so harsh in Scandinavia, many people spend more time making their interiors a cozy refuge. Thus, good Scandinvaian design combines two things seamlessly: beauty and practicality. Learn more about Scandinavian design history here.

Would you love or leave the Scandinavian trend? Let us know on Twitter @Western_Living!