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I wanted to share a few photos of beautiful modern Scandinavian kitchens with you and some product finds you can bring the same look in to your kitchen. Less is more in Scandinavian design, and the colors are neutral, lots of white, earth tones, stainless steel and selected items bringing a splash of color. The kitchen photos are all from Finland, where I am from, and the styles and ideas here represent the Finnish kitchen styles. All of the following products are not from Scandinavia, but offer the same look and are easily available.
(picture: Irja Koivula)
My favorite feature of Finnish kitchens is a dish rack inside a cabinet, on the top of the sink, tiskikaappi. I have no idea why a brilliant invention like this hasn’t spread around the world, but maybe it is just us Finns that thinks it’s brilliant. The dish rack is just simple wire rack, with open bottom of the cabinet, and you can lift all the hand washed dishes inside the cabinet to drip down to the sink. This leaves more space to your counter and your dishes are hidden behind the cabinet. I have chosen the kitchen pictures in this blog post to include the tiskikaappi.
But if you find tiskikaappi a little odd or you don’t have a cabinet on the top of your sink that you could turn into one, here are a few Scandinavian style storage ideas for you.
1. Alessi Jasper Morrison Kitchen Utensils Set ($115) is Italian, but many Scandinavians love Alessi and this utensil rack is a common sight in modern Scandinavian kitchen. Sleek design, nice deco element, but something that is in use daily.
2. Grundtal wall rack from IKEA ($10.99) is a great small rack you can get the Finnish feel to your kitchen.
3. Domsjö chopping board ($14.99) isn’t really a storage element, but I love it and added it here for its multi-purpose. This chopping board fits perfectly on the top of your sink and you get more counter space – and you can hide dirty dishes under it!
4. Swedish Designs’, Horizontal Skillet Rack Beech ($62.00) is made for skillets of different sizes, but I love the look and have it on my countertop and storage plates on it. Beech always has a Scandinavian feel and if you add colorful plates or skillets to this one, it gives just the right about color to your kitchen.
5. Stainless steel bread box ($39.95) from Crate & Barrel looks something many Scandinavians have. Many Finnish kitchens are small, and extra storage is always welcome. This bread box style is a design element and very functional piece of modern Scandinavian kitchens.
Bring the color in with accessories but keep the style still modern. Use essential kitchen tools, and things you can use every day to brighten the look if you want to keep the uncluttered modern Scandinavian look in your kitchen. Finnish people love designer glass wear, and you can find Arabia and Iittala from almost every home.
1. Marimekko Tea Towels ($25/per set of 2) are linen/cotton mix, and give a nice hint of color to your kitchen. The Pakkanen and Pikkunen patterns are designed by Maija Louekari for Marimekko.
2. Iittala Kivi Votives (starting at $12.75) come in variety of colors – collect one or two colors or get them all and change by the seasons. They are also great for coins etc. small items.
3. Iittala Pepper Mill ($59.50) is the only pepper mill you’ll ever need to purchase. High quality, stainless steel, and looks modern and stylish on your countertop ready to be used.
4. Small appliances you use every day like espresso machine are proudly displayed on the countertop – and they blend in the modern design look. I like stainless steel appliances, but if you are like many Finns, you might opt for white appliances. Alessi Toaster with bun warmer ($198) is a great choice, offering impeccable style and function.
5. Marimekko’s Unikko pattern is a no-fail in Finnish kitchens. There are even people with some sort of Unikko-mania and they have everything with the Unikko pattern from tea towels to bathroom accessories to umbrellas to socks. But seems like the most commonly used Unikko products are the kitchen products, like these Marimekko Oven Mittens ($17), which come in several different colors bringing your Scandinavian style kitchen nice splash of color.
6. Alvar Aalto is the most known Finnish architects and designers and his vase collection is also known world wide – and loved in most Finnish homes. Alvar Aalto Mini Bowl ($20) is the least expensive one, and small enough to bring joy on your countertop in a daily use. If you really want to make a statement, get the largest size and use it as a fruit bowl – and tulips in an Aalto vase is a Finnish flower arrangement I’m used to seeing since I was a little kid.
Kitchen photo sources:
Marimekko Starts a New Era
Modern Children’s Bedding by Marimekko
Artek video from Finland
Why don’t we see any Finnish Innovations or do we?
Alvar Aalto and my home town
Cheap Scandinavian Design a’la Swedish IKEA – part 1
Cheap Scandinavian Design a’la Swedish IKEA – part 2