Neoclassical Furniture

Swedish Interiors: How To Decorate With The Color Red

Tullgarn Upholstered Chair By Nordic Style

Red has been known to be one of the richest colors of all colors available to us, and it just so happens to be one of the main colors in the Swedish decorating style.  The color red is a fantastic choice to use as an accent color, such as in fabric choices, painted furniture, and accessories.

Red can also be used on the walls, and through out a room if it is done right.  The color is rich, vibrant and powerful.  Red can have a very distinctive country flavor, when it is paired with certain fabrics such as the Swedish check fabric, or floral textiles.  It can also present itself to be a courtly aristocratic look simply by pairing it with the right Swedish furniture.

Swedish country ladder back chairs look very country, compared to the square back Louis XVI dining chairs which are more formal in appearance.  Both velvet and raw silk are more stately fabrics which can be used to create a cultured Swedish interior.  Cotton or linen based fabrics work in both a stately interior, as well as a country home scheme.  There isn’t another color with quite the impact that red has.

Here are 5 Ways to Incorporate the Color Red Into Your Swedish Styled Home

1. Consider Using A Red Check Pattern

There are three main patterns which work with every other pattern, and that is the stripe, solid fabrics and the classic check fabric.

Check fabric is almost a must-have element in a Swedish home.  If you plan on decorating around any of these colors, consider adding in a check element of some sort.  Whether you decide to go after a country look, or an upscale courtly look, gingham can be used in either decorating styles.

Pair gingham with a painted chair for a country look.  Look for off white paint colors, or gray toned hues.  Dark gray paint can look terrific against white and red.  For a grand more opulent look, consider gold based furniture that is gold leafed for a regal appearance.

You can add in a couple throw pillows, or base your entire room around one single pattern.

See these posts as examples- Ted and Lillian Williams chateau in France, Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Manhattan Check Wallpapered Apartment, or Clare Fraser’s Swedish Bedroom.

Finding an over-sized check pattern can be difficult, and at times I felt like I have resorted to using tablecloths that are widely available online to upholster with.  Ebay is one of the best places to buy “lot” fabrics at discounts.

Here are some fabrics that caught my eye:

LinenTablecloth’s rectangular tablecloths are durable, and are made of a heavier fabric than most other tablecloths on the market.

DII Flame Red and White Checkers Tablecloth 60 x 84″ Made of 100 percent cotton

This classic red and white check pattern that features flowers is very Swedish looking, except I have had a hard time finding it in 100% cotton than vinyl.

Decorating With Red Check From Country Living Magazine

House Beautiful Magazine Cover

Swedish Decorating Ideas – White Based Room With Red Check and Patterned Upholstery

Swedish Decorating Ideas – White Based Room With Red Check and Patterned Upholstery

This room is wonderfully Swedish in style!  Here you can see they use a white based interior with creamy white painted chairs and a touch of red in the upholstery. 

The wood plank floors are bleached and limed for that classic Gustavian look.  In this post I mention some products I use for a raw wood look on my furniture and floors.

Beautiful Curved Legged Console Table

Get the look of the table that is sitting next to the armoire for a little over $400 dollars. 

Red is used here as an accent, not as the main color.  What makes this room Swedish is they feature just SWEDISH elements without any extra fuss.  Urn lamps are used on a painted tapered leg table.  In fact, a coffee table also appears in the same style. 

They pair their country Swedish looking chairs with a Louis XV country dining table.  You can find a number of terrific tables on ebay.

Currey and Company sells this lovely french table for $1750

I absolutely LOVE these nesting tables.  Again the straight leg is very classy!  They have all the classic Swedish looks, and they come ready to go with the right paint and distressing.

If you are wanting a set of chairs like the picture above, consider this 7 piece set which has all the looks of the Swedish country dining chairs.  Even the table has tapered legs.  This set has 7 pieces for $936, while here they only sell the chair for $75 dollars.

Black Finished Bradford Side Chair $158, in WHITE, and natural wood that you can paint and distress.

This 7 piece set includes a bench, which you may want to use else where in your home.  This set is priced at $1239 which isn’t that much more for a stunning bench in that style.

Here is the same set in a vintage green, and they also have a beautiful server available as well.  These sets look much like these famous Gustavian interior pictures.

Stein World sells this wonderful drop leaf tapered leg table which easily can be painted.  It can be used as a coffee table, with two accent chairs, with both leaves up.  Paint it all gray, distress it for a Gustavian appearance.  Strip the wood and stain it gray.  It sells for $269

Coaster sells a very inexpensive set of three tables for $60 dollars. These tables have a ton of potential if you were to paint them, and distress them.  Use them in various parts of your home for a bit of that Swedish appearance.  You really cannot beat the price point.  While the look isn’t classic Gustavian, they do have the fluted legs which are so hard to find at a reasonable price.  You get three tables for $60 dollars.  You could even turn them into benches with foam and a stapler.

Butler Sells an oversized specialty Demilune Console Entry Table that could be placed anywhere in the house for a dramatic look. They sell this table for $1200 .  Paint this table for a very Swedish look, and add extra hardware to the sides for false drawers. Brass keyholes always add a formal rich appearance to furniture.

A really nice basic table can go a long way with new hardware and new paint.  Check out this one for only $120.  Exchange out the hardware with some Louis XVI round pulls. 

This Winsome Whitman Round End Table with Carved Legs sells for only $84 dollars. What a steal!

Winsome also sells a tapered leg computer desk for $119, and a great drop leaf table that would work terrific along the wall.  Buy two for a wall and position them under windows.  For $154 including shipping, the price is unbeatable!

Currey & Company Sells a really stunning Console Table in Reclaimed Ebony Finish.  It sells for $3200, and is well worth the price point.  Paint it to match the furniture in the room you hope to showcase it in.

International Concepts has some of the best furniture out there. Their tapered leg sofa table sells for $119.

They also sell a very attractive bedside table that looks to have three drawers but in fact has two.  Dress up this table with some Louis XVI round pulls, and some round keyholes for a Swedish appearance for a LOT LESS!!  The table sells for $135 and would be terrific with one on either side of a bed.  Think about this PAINTED and distressed!  It would be hot!  They look identical to the table that got away from me on craigslist so many years ago.

If you like the rounded look with straight legs, International Concepts sells a very pretty round side table that would work in a living room as well as bedroom.  They sell this table for $117 including shipping.

Here is your drop leaf sofa table!  Think about the possibilities of this table paired with two very pretty Gustavian chairs.  International Concepts sells this beauty only for $107 including shipping!

This table offers a bit more of a curve, and is painted in black.  It sells for $189

Swedish Decorating Ideas Svindersvik

Sweden’s great architect Carl Harleman built Svindersvik in the 1740’s for one of Sweden’s most successful businessmen, Claes Grill, director of the East India Company.  Here you see a check pattern on Gustavian chairs.  The chairs are very ornate in appearance, and the frame looks to be a blue toned gray.