The northern location of Sweden results in summers that are drenched in sunlight during the long days. Natural light is an integral part of the culture and homes throughout the region work this into their design using colors and textures that reflect it well. Sara Normann teaches us how to achieve the airy, yet traditional feel of a Swedish home in her the new edition of her book Simply Scandinavian. Even if your house is newer construction, you can still get that time-touched look we all love here at Romantic Homes.

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Let The Light In. Get rid of curtains all together if possible. “Not having curtains is important in a culture that adores light. Houses in Sweden tend to be well set apart, which means privacy is maintained.” Natural light instantly adds a sense of openness and vitality to any space. If you need some coverage, choose white curtains in a sheer fabric. This will still allow light to pour in but shield the interior from outside.

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Distress Tables. Making a kitchen or coffee table look worn is easier than it seems. Simply paint any wood piece with your favorite shade of white, allow to dry and rub sandpaper on areas that would experience wear naturally. The wood underneath will show through and give the furniture a charming rustic look.

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Contrasting Metallics. “Materials like the rough, powder-coated steel of the classic Tolix chairs and stools break up the whiteness of the room and give it depth.” Find Tolix chairs at affordable prices online, where many vendors offer them.

Wide Floorboards. Emulate the locally sourced wood flooring of older Scandinavin homes using wide, pale floorboards. Normann notes that doing this adds a rural feel to the room and makes your home appear much older than it may actually be, giving it a sense of history.

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Simply Scandinavian by Sara Normann
Ryland Peters & Small, $29.95; www.rylandpeters.com