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Tapestries are a great way to express your personality, your passions, your interests and your ambitions. They’re also a great way to make an otherwise boring room come to life. A tapestry, like any work of art, is an extension of yourself. That’s why, of the many themes our customers seek out, the nordic tapestry is so popular. It brings inspiration, natural wonder and Scandinavian beauty into any home.
Before we talk about what makes a Scandinavian tapestry so popular, let's look at the larger style these wall hangings represent. What are the elements of Scandinavian design?
As you may know, Scandinavian design is a modernist design movement that includes interior design, furniture craftsmanship and more. Characterized by minimalism, simplicity, and functionality, the variety of tapestries we offer on this website includes quite a few that would fit in well with this Nordic aesthetic, where real-life historical sagas and fantastical mythology meet.
We’ll get to a few specific examples in just a minute. Until then, here are some general principles of Scandanavian design you should know about.
As we’ve seen, there are a few general principles of Scandinavian interior design. But if there’s one common thread behind Nordic sensibilities (whether we’re talking furniture or Scandanavian tapestry design), it’s this: Scandinavia is COLD.
It’s no mystery why the use of warm textiles in Scandinavian home decor became so popular. People in these countries have traditionally used tapestries and textiles to add texture and color to their home interiors, to decorate couches and other seating areas (with throws and pillows), and to offset austere, monochromatic design with geometric prints that add vibrancy and spark.
Hence, light fabrics such as sheer curtains are often used to cover windows. It's common to find pillows and blankets on the floor. Sheepskins, wool or mohair throws and bright wall tapestries can warm up drab interiors and add another layer of texture to a space.
Oh, did we say drab? Yes, Scandinavian design has been called dreary, bleak, sparse, and even drab… But that’s where Nordic tapestries play a crucial role in the overall look. They add that little splash of excitement that makes the entire room come to life.
What is Nordic interior design? To say it’s simply IKEA and light woods is really an unfair oversimplification. There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Scandi interiors;
First, some history. The minimalist Scandinavian style first made an impact in the 1950s in the United States with a traveling design show that promoted works by Danish, Finnish, Icelandish, Norwegian and Swedish designers. These Scandinavian designers wanted to improve daily life through innovative designs. Names to know include:
The Nordic art and design of those times continue to influence modern designs, as interior decorators, architects and artists alike draw inspiration from the visionary work.
We’ve talked about the principles of Nordic design. Let’s list a few more common factors to keep in mind if this is the style you want your home to emulate:
The Northern Lights are a genuinely magical sight. It’s like finding a church in the great outdoors. The spectacular scenery and fantastic color palette featured in this aurora borealis tapestry add a dream-like quality to a room, with shining stars and shades of purple, mint green and blue lighting up the night sky. The Nordic black fir forest is mysteriously silhouetted against the glowing sky, making a fabulous contrast.
Find inspiration in a fantastic field of shooting stars. The mesmerizing wall hanging stands out in any room with its vibrant visuals of bold, beautiful shooting stars. Distant silhouette of a person makes this a soothing and intriguing picture. The cosmic theme evokes a happy and romantic mood.
Evocative of an ancient Norse tale, this dark yet majestic wall hanging is perfect for a room filled with medieval folk art, fairies and trolls. Stoke the imagination with a scene of wonder and majesty as you gaze up to the trees and the glorious night sky above.
Take in the majestic mountains and tranquil waters with this fabulous nature-inspired tapestry good for a study, bedroom or living room. The serene, scenic wall hanging features soothing pastel colors. Wake up to a perfectly still lake reflecting majestic mountains, forest-covered shores and gentle sunshine touching the surface of the lake.
You may be surprised to learn that Some of the world’s tallest waterfalls are found in Norway, including Vøringsfossen in Måbødalen valley and The Seven Sisters (“De syv søstre”) in Geiranger (so named because it looks like the hair of seven women). This “Waterfall Views” design will instantly transport you to an invigorating waterfall scene complete with overhanging, verdant treetops and ancient rock formations.
So, you’ve selected the right tapestry for your home. Now what? How you hang it is something you need to think about and plan for.
You don’t have to damage your walls. You can use velcro, Command Strips, or even tacks to hang a tapestry ifIf you live in an apartment or dorm room and your tapestry isn’t too heavy. All of these methods won’t leave any damage, or at least none that can't be easily repaired.
Heavy tapestries may require the use of wall anchors and wall mounts. If you hang the tapestry on a decorative rod, make sure the rod will fit through the holes or pocket of the tapestry (if it has them). You will push the rod through the holes of the tapestry and secure it in the brackets on the wall. The last step is securing rod finials to each end of the rod.
When using brackets to secure a rod to the wall, make sure that you check the type of screws you are using. The material your wall is made out of will determine whether to use basic wood screws, screws made for drywall, or masonry screws.
Heavier tapestries will of course require the use of a rod that can hold a greater amount of weight. On average, rods with a diameter of a 1/2 to 3/4 diameter will hold the weight of tapestries that are 2 to 10 lbs.
When hanging the tapestry, it's usually ideal to hang it so that its focal point is eye-level. Even though you may want to hang the tapestry flush with the wall, keep in mind that this can result in mold growth behind the fabric in damp environments. To avoid this, make sure the tapestry is hanging at least a 1/2 inch from the wall.
At this point, you may be asking: “How can I decorate like a Scandinavian?”
We already covered Scandanavian interior design, which can be monochromatic. But remember: modern Scandinavian home design can also be bold. Don’t be afraid to use bright colors and graphic, high contrast styles, exemplified by the Finnish company Marimekko and favorite Scandinavian designer Josef Frank. You’ll just need to use them tastefully.
Declutter your living space and you’ll be halfway there. Keep the furnishings natural, and keep everything as cozy and minimalist as you can. Soon you’ll be an honorary Norseman (or woman), with an inviting home you’d be proud to welcome friends and family into.