Decorating With Blue: Swedish Style Decorating Ideas

Swedish DecoratingThere are so many shades of blue, which one do you pick?  Swedish decorating is known for their partiality towards the color blue.  Blue is one of the staple colors in 18th Swedish century decorating, so if you plan on decorating with this style, we can give you a few ways to incorporate the color blue into your design scheme.

First decide if you want a formal or country appearance in your home.  Knowing which look you are attracted to can help determine accessories, furniture, drapery and wall treatments.

1. Formal Blue Interiors Blue-gray, painted finishes became popular after King Gustav ruled in 1772, and since then they still remain fashionable.

Formal Swedish Tips- Line Furniture Up Against The Wall- This is a classic Swedish touch that can give the look of finer living.  If you have a room where you can line a set of three chairs against the wall, or a pair of chairs and a accent table, this will always give your room that refined, superior Swedish appearance.  Push your furniture in the middle of the room, and if you have a tv, consider hanging it on the wall.  I find that this arrangement always gives the look of more space.  You can never have too many chairs. Collect furniture that have fluted legs, such as side tables, benches, or chairs.

Formal Swedish Tips- Buy A Long Oval TableHere is a Henredon oval table selling on ebay for just over $1000. Strip off the finish and paint it gray.  A long, dining table echoes the simple curves of early Gustavian style.  Dress up your furniture in light, greenish blue-gray paint finishes to get the high end looks found in the Swedish castles.  Consider investing in a crystal chandelier, which coordinates with white or really pale blue or pastel walls and work with white upholstery. Squared picture moldings, and sconces really can add to this formal Swedish appearance.  Consider stenciling your walls with green-blue leaf patterns along the inner edges of the walls, and collect old styled portrait oil paintings with dark grounds which give rooms a dark accent.

Formal Swedish Tips- Go For Gold Accents–  Dress up your furniture with furniture appliques and ormolu mounts.  You can make any picture frame seem so much more expensive by adding gold leaf.  Gold leaf is really simple to apply.  Follow this link, and I show you where I buy my gold leaf on ebay.  Buy a sconce and gold leaf it. Get ideas from this post, where I wrote about the sconces that are the most sought after from collectors world wide.  A thin rectangular mirror on ebay can be a great look, which you can then add on a brass candle holder.  This DIY project will give you the Swedish look for less.

– Decorative Mirror Molding, French White Bow- $21 Buy it on ebay

– Decorative Scrolls For Mirrors, and Dressers – $40 Buy it on ebay

– Ribbon Bows Mold, Decorate Mirrors and Furniture- $13 Buy it on ebay

-Ormolu French Gilded Furniture Ribbon Large- $35 Buy it on ebay

Swedish Looks For Less


Louis XV Antique GILT WOOD handcrafted CARTEL WALL CLOCK estimated $1200- buy it for $350, buy it on ebay

Antique Gilt Wood Cartel Clock $450 on ebaybuy it on ebay

– Formal Swedish Tips- Go Brighter With Bright Blue and White- Go for a home that has white accessories and upholstery.  Don’t be afraid to go with bolder blues for drapery, upholstery and bed linens.  Brighter blues look great in formal settings.

-20 Yard Bolt – 44/45″ White Polycotton Liberty BROADCLOTH- $61 Buy it on ebay

– Solid Poly Cotton Fabric In Bright Blue – Buy it on ebay

-Fabric By The Bolt – 40 YARD BOLT $190 on ebay- Buy it on ebay

-Sunbrella Canvas Air Blue Outdoor Fabric $21 dollars a yard- Buy it on ebay

Cane Back Cushioned Seat Side Wood Chair Fluted Distressed Hammered Nailheads

(Paint it gray, white, blue or what ever colors you are working with.  Great frame, great price)

Swedish Looks For Less

Another great Empire looking Swedish styled chair.  Again, the frame would look terrific in a light gray or blue with a white upholstery.  This chair sells for $665 on ebay

Swedish Looks For Less

Here is another great accent chair, get two of these and pair it with a sofa.  It is already painted white, and the white upholstery makes this chair look upscale.  This chair sells at $719, which includes the shipping  on ebay

Swedish Country Rustic Styles

2. Country Keys- Rustic Architecture – Country Swedish style is beautiful and worn. The countryside contains a mixture of rustic elements. Go shopping in architectural salvage yards and collect things that are worn. Wood is the key to getting the look. An old wooden door can be replaced by those builder typical doors you see in new homes. A old ladder can lean against the wall. Paint it in a darker blue and distress the heck out of it. Ceiling beams in their natural wood give an architectural feel to a home. Add some faux hallow wood beams across your ceiling. Get the look without having to hire 5 strong men to anchor it in place. Work with light wood flooring, and natural materials.

Country Keys- Country Textiles- Skirted sofas, slipcovers in natural blends and textured walls are classic marks of styles found off the beaten path in Sweden. Ebay sells a number of Restoration Hardware’s stone washed Belgian Linen products new in their packages. You can buy new pleated drapes on ebay, along with bedding, pillow cases and more for half the cost in the stores. Raw and natural textures are the key to this look. I ordered this heavy oatmeal linen for several of my drum lamp shades which I am re-covering. The material is heavy, and would be terrific for upholstery.

– Heavily distressed Mora clocks such as these on ebay, give your room that traditional Swedish look.

– Warm Old Barn Finish Table (paint it, and change the color) – $229 Buy it on ebay

– Reclaimed Salvaged Fir End Side Table- $564 on ebay here

Country Keys – Go For Color On The Rustic Side– Muddy shades of blue work with the country styles.  If you like the lighter shades of baby blue, distress your furniture more than you normally would.  This certainly helps when the furniture’s wood is raw and stripped.  The paint will blend nicely with the raw woods surface giving you a more authentic appearance.  For complementary shades, pair blue with orange-red accents, along with shades of green-blues.  Gingham upholstery also looks terrific in a country home, along with florals.  Work with carvings, such as art that can be hung on the wall, and accessories that are carved such as standing wood birds which are painted and made from wood.  Dala folk horse carvings are a Swedish country favorite. Pillows with embroidered blue-and-white folk patterns nicely work in a country home.  Think about hand crafts, such as hand embroidered artwork, quilts, delft fireplace tiles, over-sized ginger jars, and colored glass. 

Restoration Hardware Diamond Matelasse Shower Curtain

Restoration Hardware Shower Curtains

Swedish Looks For Less

Carved Mango Wood Accent Table Mindi Veneer Hand Finish Robin’s Egg Blue, this table sells for $229 on ebay Buy it on ebay

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50 Examples Of Swedish Folk Country Interiors

Swedish Mora Folk Art Clocks

Country Style Mora ClocksSwedish Interior

Interior archive is one of those sites where you can spend hours on.  Looking through their dozens of pictures, there are a number of beautiful pictures that present a country look from Sweden.  Here are my favorites:

A  Swedish Interior Design Country Folk Art Home Photographed By Tim Clinch

The Interior Archive showed some beautiful pictures of a country house in the folk art Swedish style. A simple kitchen is furnished with antique wooden furniture. A hand-painted Swedish Mora clock stands against a distressed orange wall in the kitchen.  Here, we see the detail of the hand-painted decoration on the chair that sits in the kitchen.  A wall-mounted corner cupboard provides ample storage in the kitchen.

Swedish Country Home Designed By Van Breem

Photographer Simon Upton captures a guest bedroom is painted a pale grey and the bed is from van Breem’s line of reproduction Swedish furniture. A pair of rustic wooden chairs flank a console table and a Swedish Baroque mirror in the yellow painted hallway. The dining area in the kitchen has a wooden trestle table and Swedish grandfather clock and is full of spring flowering bulbs. The large range in the kitchen displays a collection of Swedish copper pots. A painted yellow Swedish sofa from 1760 and a dresser in the living room.  Outside we see a Swedish bench and lantern infront of a shed with a blue door.

A Swedish Home Designed By Lena Renkel-Eriksson

-Lena Renkel-Eriksson has used shades of white, blue and dove grey to recreate the classic style of her native Sweden in her Surrey home  Here she creates a unique space around the color blue. A blue-painted cabinet in the kitchen was custom made by Swedish carpenters and the swedish country chair was painted in a richer more saturated blue and distressed.  In this photo, we see a yellow painted doll’s house flanked by tiers of battered leather suitcases in a nursery.  This spectacular photo shows off a dining area designed around the Swedish styles.  A Swedish bench is paired with white painted Swedish gateleg table, and two classic swedish side chairs. The wooden floor of this hallway has been hand- painted in a yellow and white harlequin pattern.  In the attic bedroom, white is the dominant color.  A white wooden desk and Gustavian-style chair are placed infront of the window.  A country styled white painted chair sits in the corner of the living room, where beautiful painted walls steal the attention.  An oval Gustavian bow mirror is painted in white on the wall shows this room is decorated around the classic Swedish styles.

Noteworthy Beauties:

-A Rustic Lars Sjoberg Home shows a Swedish mora clock which stands on the stone staircase.

-Designer Lena Proudlock shows a solid blue-painted Swedish mora clock which stands on a blue-painted wooden floor.

-Mish Tworkowski designs this rustic styled living room that sits an antique spoolwork armchair
and a re-upholstered French chair in an orange velvet.  In the room sits a cream painted 19th century Swedish cabinet.  White washed wood walls give plenty of light to this sitting area.

-Miguel Flores Vianna shows a spectacular Swedish kitchen with a wood burning stove, with country Swedish chairs.  This kitchen has many rustic elements to it.  A light blue is painted on the walls breaking up

– Christian Kain positions two pairs of boots on either side of a carved painted console table in green the hallway.


 Swedish photographer Anna Kern

Corner cabinet in red, white and green with a built in Mora style clock. Tumblr

Gustavian Bench

Swedish Bench- Live Auctioneers

Sandemar, Sweden, 17th Century

Swedish Cartel Clock

 Swedish Gustavian Style Gilt Bronze Cartel Wall Clock,circa
1860, having a heavy bronze case in the form of an anchor draped with a
laurel wreath mounted on a blue painted wooden plaque; the white
porcelain dial has a blue Roman numeral chapter ring encircled by an
Arabic numeral minute ring, marked Knut Svala / Stockholm


Scandinavian style bed

Scandinavian Bed

Folk art painted step back hutch with adjustable shelves, two drawers and two doors.

Folk art painted step back hutch with adjustable shelves, two drawers and two doors.

Scandinavian room scanned from BOOK: The Perfect Country Cottage by Bill Laws

Featured on Glenda’s Blog The Paper Mulberry

Gustavian Antiques

A Rare Swedish Gustavian Red Painted Sofa circa 1790 Reupholstered by Talisman

The Swedish Country House By Susanna Scherman- Buy It On Amazon

Original Pictures Seen On Martha Stewart

Remarkable Arch Pediment Folk Art Marriage Cupboard

A remarkable late 18th Century Marriage Cupboard, in the Folk Art tradition, made in two vertical sections and surmounted by an arched molded cornice, all retaining the original painted decoration and hand wrought iron hinges. The original painted surface shows some appealing evidence of wear and age and the subtle original polychrome colours have softened and patinated to a delightful chalky dry surface.

Marriage Cupboards of this scale and importance were generally made to special commission for young married couples and were frequently offered by their families, containing woven, homespun and embroidered fabrics. They are also known as “Dowry”, “Brides” or “Wedding” Cupboards and are often associated with the Scandinavian Countries, where there was a strong tradition of Paint Decorated Furniture of this type as in other European alpine regions. The reason they are made in separate sections is so they could easily be de-assembled and transported up to the mountains in summer months, when the agricultural folk would take their livestock up to new pastures.

The extraordinary artwork seen in this social gathering space was painted by Jonas Hertman in the 1770s.  The subjects of the murals depict cherished images and events in Swedish culture.

Original Pictures Seen On Martha Stewart

Gustavian AntiquesThe colorful original paint has been well preserved on this lovely chest. The monogram and date of 1848 indicate it was likely a wedding or anniversary gift.

Scandinavian style bed stuffed with charm.

Scandinavian style bed stuffed with charm.

Scandinavian style bed stuffed with charm Flicker

Norwegian Corner Chair With Salmon Background 

 Jeff R Bridgman American Antiques

  Palace-turned-hotel Häringe Slott in Sweden

Swedish Interior With Slat Wood Walls- Tumblr

 Swedish photographer Anna Kern.

Summer Country House In Sweden – Unknown Details

Summer Country House In Sweden – Unknown Details

Norrlands Chairs Lucas Antiques Blog

Segreto Secrets Blog

Swedish photographer Anna Kern

Swedish photographer Anna G. Tufvesson ,

Swedish antiques from Gudrun Ödmann Antikhandel


Swedish Folk Art Style

Swedish Folk Art Style

Swedish Folk Art Style

Swedish Folk Art

Swedish Folk Art Style- Space For Inspiration

Lucas Antiques Blog

Lucas Antiques Blog

Lucas Antiques Blog


Primitive Corner Cabinet With Astonishing Blue Paint, 3 Beautiful Country Chairs,

Red Antique Chest, -Swedish Wedding Chest Lucas Antiques Blog,

Red Scandinavian Clock

The beauty of a Swedish Mora clock such as this is found in the lovely
curves of the piece itself. In addition, this one had been painted a
deep shade of red and has intricate floral and leaf flourishes in gold
and green (note, paint is newer than the clock case, painted
approximately 100 year ago).

Red Scandinavian Clock

Swedish Mora Clock In Red From Scandinavian Antiques