Christin Engh, principal and founder of Mare Design, offers tips on how to bring in some serene Scandi style for your own personal sanctuary. She hails from Norway and has spent much of her life traveling around the world before she and her family settled down in Greenwich, Connecticut some years back. For her own home in Greenwich Harbor, Christin’s Scandinavian heritage informs the serene design. She says, “The idea is to feel calm and at ease at home. For me, that means clean, white surroundings, layers of luxurious fabrics and art that reminds me of the special places and moments in my life.”
1. Think About How Your Home Feels
Color and pattern are often considered most important in the design of a home. However, Christin is more interested in the way materials feel. For instance, quality textures immediately make a space feel cozy and inviting. It is the most important element in bringing that sanctuary feel to a room. For her Mare Design projects and her own home, Christin gravitates to luxurious, natural materials, like mohair, thick linen and super textural cozy fabrics, such as velvet and boucle.
2. Paint it White
With our fast-paced world and constant flow of information, it is important to create a calming and serene mood at home. The most effective way to do that? “Paint it white,” says Christin. But which white?
Anyone who has been to a paint store knows that trying to choose among the myriad of white shades can make your head spin. Christin’s go-to white is Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. It is a crisp white and provides that gallery wall backdrop that allows objects and furnishings to speak for themselves without having to compete with color.
3. Curate Collections
Houses that feel like homes say something personal about the people who live there. Things very much have the power to affect our mood and the impact of a curated collection is what elevates a space to a sanctuary. Almost all of the art in Christin’s home is collected over the years on summers spent visiting her family in Norway. Looking at those works and remembering that tiny, cool gallery, or the people she was with in that moment helps Christin feel connected to her Scandinavian roots even when thousands of miles away.
4. Scandi Style
There’s a reason Scandinavian style is known for creating a calming, peaceful home experience. Glass is a prominent feature in Scandinavian designs and Christin uses it in her own home and projects to bring a sense of light, openness to a space. Quality of craftsmanship is another hallmark of Scandinavian design. The dining table in Christin’s home was crafted by an artisan in Oslo and has stayed with the family through various moves. Even when the size of the table proved to be a problem on their most recent move, they kept the base of the table and had a new oak top hand crafted in Connecticut.
With more time spent in our houses than ever before, we are all craving a sanctuary experience when we are home. Curated collections, a soothing clean white backdrop and investing in luxurious materials and quality furnishings are just a few of the signature elements that make Mare Design projects so calming and serene.
Photo Credit: Jane Beiles Photography