If you’ve browsed through as many photos of Scandinavian interiors on Pinterest as I have, you will have noticed a few things that are almost always the same: Lots of white, minimal furniture and plank floors.
Those are pretty much the basics when it comes to this style. Floors are particularly important because, of the three elements I have just mentioned, flooring is permanent and determines the overall character of your space.
In a true Scandinavian-style home, you’ll find plank floors (preferably real wood in a light shade, although there are a few more options – more on that in just a bit). You will never see wall-to-wall carpets in this style and tiles are usually reserved for the bathroom.
With that in mind, I have gathered some examples of typical Scandinavian-style interiors (as I usually do) and listed some flooring options for all budgets. Read on.
The great thing about real wood is not only the fact that it’s your most authentic option, but also its durability. Hardwood is the priciest of all your options but consider it a worthwhile investment into your home. (If you are one of the lucky ones with an old home that already has hardwood floors, consider painting them white or white-washing them for a truly Scandinavian look).
We discovered engineered wood when we were deciding on floors for our new home. Unlike hardwood, which is a solid wooden plank, engineered wood consists of multiple thin layers of wood and one top layer of solid wood such as oak. It looks just like hardwood but it is slightly less expensive. Below are images of our own floors – the name of the plank is Washed Oak Distressed Engineered Floor and you can find it here.
I’ll admit that I’ve not always been a huge fan of laminated floors because unlike hardwood and engineered wood, laminated is not real wood. But ever since we moved into our studio, I’ve realised that laminated flooring has its advantages:
- It is budget-friendly (we saw some for well under R200 a square metre – not bad at all!)
- Easy to install by yourself (or, as in my case, get some willing family members to help out and compensate them with cookies)
- Low-maintenance. No oiling every year (like with real wood) and super easy to keep clean. Just be careful of water spills – wipe up immediately, or they will damage your floor
While laminated flooring might not look quite as authentic as real wood, you can achieve a clean, minimal look as long as you pick the right shade.
And by vinyl flooring, I mean the kind that looks like laminated flooring – not the tiles. Vinyl ‘planks’ can be a bit on the pricey side (although you might be able to find something that suits your budget) but they have all the advantages of laminated, plus the ability to tolerate water spills, since they are made from 100% plastic. It is therefore a great choice for the kitchen or bathroom. Below is our kitchen where we have vinyl flooring in a white/cream shade:
In my opinion, good-quality flooring is a big investment into your home and spending a little bit extra on it will pay off in the end – whether you end up selling your home or live there for years. On the other hand, the budget-friendly options can look just as great and will save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.
What are your thoughts – long-lasting real wood or budget-friendly laminated? Let me know in the comments section below!