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Our takes on Icelandic-inspired style

01 October 2017

When an IKEA team went in search of new styles, they got inspired by our Nordic neighbours. So we asked our interior designer Emma to show us how to get a look as diverse as Iceland’s amazing landscape.

IKEA can help with interior design ideas like a Scandinavian-inspired storage solution with grey metal closed cabinets, found objects on display in plastic boxes and a cubic open cabinet in eye-catching orange.
IKEA interior designer Emma Parkinson has worked at IKEA for more than  2.5 years and for about 10 years with interiors both in film and real life. She attended University of the Arts London, Wimbledon College of Arts.
Emma’s been an interior designer at IKEA for more than 2.5 years—and in the field for almost a decade. Even though she’s never been to Iceland and didn’t come up with this style, she gets why the team was so smitten. She’s inspired by the country and culture, too. “I think it must be that special combination of being connected to nature, finding the beauty in imperfection and celebrating presence.” 

Think mixed moodiness. Embrace natural impressions, imperfections and contrasting materials. Choose colours in mostly lighter stains and woods in white, grey, ash, birch, pine and oak—mixed with black sometimes. Work with handcrafts (ceramics, maxi knits) and with enlarged, dramatic dimensions. Remember details matter—even in large spaces—and unique creations are keys to vary the expression. 

IKEA has furniture for a black and white living room like a big, black-and-white-striped rug and FÄRLÖV dark grey sofa. The sofa has a velvety cover and rounded armrests with lots of comfort from pocket springs.

Stormy and soothing. “Imagine howling winds and waves crashing onto black sand beaches. It may be dark out, but it’s actually quite calming. Mix and match all things monochrome, so it’s spontaneous and coordinated.” Go wild with textures and patterns in the same colour scale, like a big striped rug against painterly motifs, layered felts and soft, velvet seating. Set the mood with adjustable lamps. The walls? Emma made one from fabric on a board. The others are just playing with paint!  

Misty and modern. “Think snowy mountains and geysers. Combine soft shades of light blues and greens with woods and organic, rounded shapes. Add odd yellow pieces for rays of sunlight.” Liven up the everyday with unexpected details like a gift wrap roll as wall decor and a sparkly pseudo-chandelier. Be ready to welcome guests with a big table, folding chairs and stackable stools. The wall is NCS S 0907-B80G.

Vibrant and light. “Shake up peaceful solititude with an outburst, like hot lava from a volcano. Build a soft base with neutrals and pastels. Then show off your personality with bold touches like a bright colour or a graphic print or textile.” Mix materials like metal cabinets, ceramic vases, a paper lamp and a knit throw (tied up to look maxi). Put your favourite things in plastic display boxes or open cabinets. Hide the rest.

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by

Interior designer: Emma Parkinson
Photographer: Andrea Papini
Writer: Marissa Frayer