In Mood Board Inspiration

A Scandinavian dining room inspired by nature

A Scandinavian dining room inspired by nature - preview

Just because you only do one thing in the dining room doesn’t mean you can neglect the decor. Do you really love that table and chairs? Or are they simply “doing the job”?

It’s time to update that dining furniture set that has followed you around for years. Or perhaps you are thinking about refreshing the look of the room with new accessories.

Let me help you bring a touch of Nordic style into your home with this Scandinavian dining room mood board. And discover high-quality products inspired by natural elements and organic textures.

The space: a dark narrow room

My dining room is blessed with long and narrow proportions. But it gets better. The previous owners of the house knocked the wall down between the dining room and kitchen (the old scullery and coal store). Open plan they said. This created an awkward dining room/corridor that leads to the kitchen.

STYLE TIP: Decorate a high traffic room respecting the easiest flow route. Add definition to the living area by zoning with a rug. And anchor the whole scheme with wall art.

On top of being a high traffic area, the only window in the room is north facing. The permanent lack of natural light means that the artificial lights are pretty much always on. Even at breakfast time. The few plants I have are clinging to life. Except for the one that gave up – RIP Shoshanna the Kalanchoe.

The inspiration: nature and simple patterns

The main influence comes from 19th Century Scandinavian floral motifs. The ones found in less refined items and fabrics. Think of your typical Nordic simplicity with pops of vivid colour.

Patterns like this call for natural materials and bare textures. No place for laminate furniture here. On the list of finishes are wood, raw textiles and even exposed brick. The idea is to expose the brick on one wall due to condensation issues (and the added cosmetic bonus). Not looking forward to the mess.

The Victorian link

Even though the room had been stripped of all original features, there was one surprise left. My 95-year-old neighbour had this metal board in her garden for years. One day I asked her about it, and she said it was probably the old fireplace hearth. Two minutes later I was running home with it — with my neighbour’s permission.

victorian metal hearth in green and yellow with floral pattern

It seems working-class houses had metal hearths in the scullery instead of stone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s rusty and the colours are faded. But I like the floral pattern and the simple green and yellow combination. It’s the only piece that links to the house’s past.

The impossible table

The third source of inspiration was a styled shot. You may have seen the beautifully styled photographs of Habitat’s Talia dining table. I’m not ashamed to admit those photos convinced me to go for exactly the same colour combination: white and warm grey.

It took me a while to find the Talia table. The problem is that there are few 6-seater tables made of solid wood with stylish lines. A chunky square leg table would look out of place in this room. Let’s see what other items I put together for the mood board and where you can get them from…

The mood board: A Scandinavian dining room inspired by nature

A Scandinavian dining room inspired by nature - mood board

1. Talia table, chairs and bench (Habitat)

A beautiful oak table with meticulous joinery. It looks airy thanks to the bevelled edges. The chairs have a classic spindle-back shape without being too rustic. Don’t forget the practicality element. The lacquered finish makes them easy to clean.

2. Handmade cotton rug (Baobab)

A rug is a must to define the area, but I also like spaghetti Bolognese. Solution? A thin washable rug made of cotton. Spot clean or chuck it in the washing machine when needed. It features an interesting block-printed geometric pattern.

3. Ming vase (Marimekko)

The fancy item of the mood board. This mouth-blown vase was designed by Carina Seth-Andersson for Marimekko. As the official description reads it’s “perfect for smaller bouquets, single flowers or branches”. Bring on the eucalyptus.

4. Berså tableware (Gustavsbergs Porslinsfabrik)

A true Swedish mid-century design from the 60s. The Berså collection is available in various colours and every single piece is handmade by skilled craftsmen. The bone china used is microwave and dishwasher safe for your convenience.

5. Moomin mugs (Arabia)

There has to be a Moomin reference in every room. Have you spotted the Moomin item on my pendant lamp and Timor calendar posts? These cute mugs will bring a smile to your face with every sip. You’ll find your favourite character as the collection has over twenty designs.

6. Aerial metal ceiling light (Habitat)

A retro-style pendant made of aluminium with gloss finish. Because there has to be a subtle reflective element in such a gloomy room. It’s also powder-coated white on the inside to maximise the light. Pair with a Watt Nott bulb and a Little Bishop hook if required.

7. Almas plant hanger (Broste Copenhagen)

Shoshanna the Kalanchoe may be gone, but the cuttings are doing well. This time, a hanging plant pot may be the solution to get that extra ray of light. Place as close to the window as possible for higher chances of success.

What do you think?

I’m still deciding how to incorporate the Victorian metal hearth into the Scandinavian dining room design. Perhaps displayed on the wall? Now, over to you. What’s your dining room like? Is it a separate room or have you gone open plan? Share your style tips and stories in the comments below!

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14 Comments

  1. Caroline
    3 months ago

    The moomin mugs 😍 Seriously beautiful table as well! Our dining area is in need of attention – I can’t wait to redecorate it.

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 months ago

      Thank you for your comment, Caroline! The mugs are so colourful (I have one already). Looking forward to your dining area reveal ☺️

      Reply
  2. Anne Marie
    3 months ago

    Oh, those Moomins mugs are beautiful!!! They take me right back to my childhood… I love the original fire hearth, you should definitely go for it! And it will look beautiful next to that rug!

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      3 months ago

      Thank you, Anne Marie! I still don’t know what to do with it. Maybe incorporate it to the floor (that would mean new tiles though). Anyway, I’ll keep you posted ☺️

      Reply
  3. Becky at PinksCharming
    2 months ago

    I love the table and benches. I’m having a debate about whether to strip our extending oak table back to the warm wood underneath, our to look for a new one. This is swaying me! Also love the accessories and am going to check out the rug, as a washable rug is on my list. Thanks for the inspiration! Becky

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      2 months ago

      Thanks for your comment, Becky! The good thing about stripping the paint off the table is that you can always paint it again. Worth a try!

      Reply
  4. Rosanna Alicia Design
    2 months ago

    I love the inspiration for this look! The crockery set is beautiful. All my crockery is mismatched, which is the look I loved years ago when I started collecting it, but whenever I see a beautiful set like this it makes me think I should invest… Love the Moomin mugs too (I’m so excited for the new series!). Rx

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      2 months ago

      Thank you for your comment, Rosanna Alicia! I’m excited for the new series too. So much hype. My current crockery is also mismatched so I understand what you say. Hoping to invest in a good quality set soon.

      Reply
  5. JENNY KAKOUDAKIS
    2 months ago

    Juan! Juan, Juan, what are you up to? 🙂 And how ever di you get so much into the details of design? I find this fascinating! I need your mobile so if ever I find something cool at a car boot sale, I will send you a pic to find out more about its history and value 🙂

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      2 months ago

      Haha, thank you, Jenny! I just love the history side of things, from design to architecture. Hit me up when you go to the car boot sale 😉

      Reply
  6. Jade Wilce
    2 months ago

    Wow, juan! Your attention to detail is just outstanding! I love the moodboard, the detail underneath each of the products you have picked. I too love Moomins, have you read the Tove Jansson at home book, it’s quite wonderful! X

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      2 months ago

      Thank you for your kind words, Jade! I must check that one out. Thank you for the tip ☺️

      Reply
  7. Sarah
    2 months ago

    Completely agree with the dining table ‘It’ll do’ approach. Ours was free from a family member, and it’s solid oak. However, it’s probably not the sort of thing I would have picked had I been able to choose.

    It’s doing the job for now, but I can’t wait to be able to afford a new one. I put a huge rug under it which really helped bring the whole room together, however so far we have split curry and lily pollen on it! Luckily, both came out (just).

    Would love a bench too for the dining room, will have to look into it!

    Reply
    1. Juan Sandiego
      2 months ago

      Thanks for your comment, Sarah! My dining room rug has also suffers a bit from tomato sauce splashes and meatball meteorites. It’s the sort of thing I know it’s not gonna last forever. Keep us updated with your dining table makeover!

      Reply

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