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So, I’ve confessed that I am in love with all things Scandinavian, and now I have to back it up. My first installment will cover the wonders of home decor.

(Side note: I’m sitting in a cafe right now, and the guy at the table next to me just said “Let’s go to Norwegia!” See? I’m being followed by this!)

Okay, decor. I’ll start by showing you a few pictures, then I’ll point out why they are so aesthetically pleasing to me. Please begin by checking out local Portlander Alicia Paulson’s home on her blog, Posie Gets Cozy. Love this! It has a bit of a more practical, real, lived-in look than the photos below. Go now. I’ll wait.

You’re back? Okay, here are a few more. Click through to see more beautiful photos of each of these homes.

Norwegian home, via ApartmentTherapy.com

Scandinavian inspired, also via ApartmentTherapy.com

Swedish home, via Design*Sponge.com

Scandinavian inspired, via Design*Sponge.com

Icelandic home, also via Design*Sponge

Ah…do you feel relaxed and peaceful? It’s the light that does it for me. Look at it, streaming in through the windows, bouncing around those white walls. And the bright, natural wood tones. Super functional, beautiful furniture. Pops of bold color. Simple. Comfortable. Accessible.

My cluttered, wild house could take a few cues from this. I’m not sure I could ever achieve the magazine-clean quality of these photos, but I love how simple and elegant these rooms are. And let me say it again: the light! Maybe I’m just starved for sunshine lately, but I feel that Scandinavians are experts in enhancing natural light. I used to think white walls and neutral tones were so, so boring, but these photos make me think again.

I’ve mentioned before that I’d like to cut things down in my house until everything is beautiful and useful, and Scandinavian design pretty much embodies that. Yes, think Ikea. Maybe someday my taste will swing back to baroque chandeliers, but for now I yearn for the kind of cozy simplicity this style imbues.

Lesson: put things away, paint my floors an eggshell hue, and open the curtains for more light. Ah…

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