When one thinks of Scandinavian design, images of a minimalist home with wooden furnishing and furniture and a white backdrop often come to mind. While the coziness, chicness and inviting atmosphere of such a style makes it popular among increasingly design-conscious Hongkongers, it is not always easy to achieve in the city’s space-starved homes.

Here are some tips by Clifton on how to adapt such style into your home to create a Hong Kong meets Scandinavian fusion design.

Play with earth colours

While one of the main characteristics of a Scandinavian design is the use of white, Clifton says this might not always be practical in Hong Kong homes as many might find a white flooring hard to manage, for example, with many families now having dogs. Moreover, a purely white design can appear bland for some Hongkongers.

In fact, he points out there is no rule saying that a Scandinavian home has to be purely white, but he notes that it is important to ensure other colours used complement white and woods.

Clifton says a safe choice will be earth colours, such as this oak flooring used in this apartment in the Waterfront, Kowloon. The colour is similar to the woods used in the flat, hence giving the home a cohesive look.

Besides the choice of colour, Clifton also suggests not using more than one colour besides white and the colour of the wood, so as to maintain a minimalist look. For example, in this apartment in Cherry Crest, Sheung Wan, grey is used as the third colour in the hanging lamps, kitchen and picture frames. He explains that grey works well as an accent and highlight in a Scandinavian design as it is a universal colour.

Introduce homely features

At the heart of Scandinavian design is the family, hence having features that encourage bonding is key to creating such a style at home. However, there is not always space for a special corner for this purpose.

As the saying goes, a family that eats together stays together, Clifton suggests creating a homely corner with an island in an open kitchen.

For example, in the Cherry Crest apartment in Sheung Wan, an open kitchen concept is used so that an island can be fitted in for the whole family to eat, cook and chat together.

While for the apartment in Hung Hom, a semi-open kitchen is created.

Welcome natural lighting or mimic one

As the winter lasts quite a few months in Scandinavian countries, so it often gets dark and cold there. So a key feature of Scandinavian design is its natural lighting, which adds warmth to homes.

To do so in Hong Kong homes, we can use glass partitions that further invite natural lighting into different rooms, such as the use of glass in this semi open kitchen in the Cherry Crest apartment. Clifton says natural lighting is not only smoothing, but also opens up spaces.

As Hong Kong homes might not have many large windows to allow natural lighting in, another way to achieve the Scandinavian style is to mimic natural lighting through the use of indirect lighting, such as at the ceiling in this apartment in Hung Hom, and the use of a lightbox, which reminisces skylights, in the bathroom in this apartment.

Achieve a minimalist look with inconspicuous storage

The most challenging aspect to achieve a Scandinavian look is probably the large amount of storage spaces in a small apartment.

To make the use of storage spaces less claustrophobic and more minimalist looking, Clifton suggests the use of platforms in bedrooms below the bed.

Another way is to ensure that cabinets include some open shelving and insert indirect lighting above and below the storage units to make them seem less bulky.