19 May 2024
Northern delights: interior design from a Scandinavian perspective
Books Design Lifestyle

Northern delights: interior design from a Scandinavian perspective

With interest in Scandi design rising internationally, YLC’s Emma Ladlow catches up with Swedish interior design stylist and blogger Emma Fexeus, the author of a new book on Scandinavian style, published in March.


Although Scandinavian design has long been known for being minimal, simple and functional it was perhaps Sweden’s interior and furniture design that first entered the public consciousness. However, Sweden has come a long way since our childhood trips to flat-pack haven IKEA. The commonly known practicality of ready-to-assemble furniture has been surpassed by world class, desirable interior styling themes instantly recognizable for their largely white, largely minimal appearances with Scandinavian textiles, monochrome, flashes of occassional colour or pine wood pieces which complete the typically associated interior look.

One standout blog on the subject of Scandinavian interior design is Emmas designblogg which attests to feature ‘design and style from a Scandinavian perspective’ and has some impressive style and readership credentials plus offers the best local lighting, homewares and designers for browsing.

Emma Fexeus, a Stockholm-based interior stylist, began blogging in 2005 on her decor inspirations and discoveries as a side project while working for a magazine and still posts day-dream worthy photography of aspirational kitchens, homes and stylish spaces while directing readers to sources of information for  research, retail and reveries.

According to Fexeus, hers is the oldest and most read Scandinavian design blog, with over 350,000 page views per month, which has been featured in Top Ten lists recommending the world’s best design blogs by The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Times for the last four years.

The 34-year-old, also mentioned in Norwegian Elle Decoration, adds some freelance writing and styling work to her blogging and last month saw the release of Emma’s first book Northern Delights, Scandinavian Homes, Interiors and Design.

The book features inspirational photography and design detailing from interior settings around Scandinavia, featuring houses, hotels and apartments plus articles giving readers a look inside the homes of various creative professionals.  Aesthetic movements, sculptural forms and crafts or practices are thoughtfully considered and the light, inspiring photography is a display of modern, visionary interiors at their finest.




YourLivingCity managed to connect with Emma following a recent research trip to Reykjavik.

Your Living City: When did your blog move from being simply an online inspiration space for yourself and become something different?  At what point did you realize it’s potential and how did it gain traction?


Emma Fexeus:  At the time, back in 2005, there weren’t many design blogs around, so I was quickly discovered by giants like Decor8 and Apartment Therapy. Their links gave me a lot of readers quite early, and made me start blogging with the purpose to share my finds in the Scandinavian design world. After a few years of blogging a mix of products and interiors I changed the direction a bit, and started focusing only on interiors. I see this as my way of encouraging a more sustainable lifestyle instead of participating in the hype of over-consumption that is the core of most media.


YLC:  What is your favourite interior styling look?
EF:  I always come back to the paired down Scandinavian minimal look, accessorized with a few vintage or handmade pieces. Keeping the base neutral lets the eye focus on a few chosen designs, and makes the space restful to both eye and mind.


YLC:  Would you share a few of your favorite interior design inspiration sources for our readers?
EF:  RUM design magazine. The portfolios of my favourite interior stylists (for example Faye Toogood, Lotta Agaton, Annaleena Leino-Karlsson, Pella Hedeby). Fashion blogs and magazines, which are always a step ahead and way more courageous than deco magazines.
YLC:  What does an average day look like for you – juggling work and management of the blog?
EF:  My blog is actually my main source of income, and what I focus my work on. Occasionally I will do some styling jobs, or write an article for a magazine, but mostly I work with things behind the scenes of the blog. There is so much emailing back and forth with advertisers, PR companies, readers, other bloggers, journalists, brands and designers that this actually takes up most of my day. I also try to keep up with what is going on in the blogosphere and what is new from my favourite stylists and photographers, so I read a lot ofblogs every day, probably around 200-250, and that takes a couple of hours.
YLC: Is there a secret about Sweden you can share with us?
EF:  It’s a super organized country, and that has both pros and cons. On the plus side, it’s clean, beautiful and easy to get around, but on the down side, there is no room for creativity and improvisation. If you want to start a project of some kind, like a pop-up store, a magazine or an art show for example, you have to start preparing it and sending in paperwork to all the right places a year in advance…


YLC:  Lastly, can you tell us one place we mustn’t miss while in Stockholm?
EF:  Skeppsholmen, the small island in the city center where the Modern Museum and the Architecture Museum are located. Besides the great museums, and their excellent restaurant where I like to go for brunch on weekends, the island offers a really nice walk with a view over the city, and also a couple of nice cafés and restaurants.

You can also follow Emma’s blog through her Facebook page, where she has over 11,000 fans or by viewing the beautiful Pinterest feed Emmas Designblogg.  The book Northern Delights, by Emma Fexeus is available here .

Article by Emma Ladlow

Images by Emma Fexeus from Northern Delights copyright Gestalten 2013




1 Comment

  • Warren 22 Feb 2018

    amazing write up cheers for writing. warren.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.