written by Brad Mee | photos by Kate Osborne
Alot has been said lately about the quiet, stylishly understated aesthetic of Scandinavians. Those who covet their serene look and comfy way of life should commit these words to memory: Hygge and Lagom. The first is a Danish term describing a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality, while the latter is Swedish and means ”just right, in balance and suitable.”
Moved by these concepts and the simple beauty of Scandinavian style, Holly Addi—artist, stylist and co-owner of Salt Lake City gallery Arte Haus Collectif— developed a setting that is both relaxed and stylized for an intimate dinner party. Touching on everything from color to carafes, the talented pro shares how she and gallery sidekick Heidi Jube pulled the chic-yet-cozy party off.
Work With White
Maximum lightness and airiness is key to Scandinavian interiors and nothing helps capture these more easily than white.
“There’s a timeless sensibility to all white,” says Addi, whose gallery—with its completely blanc walls, ceiling and floors—created the ideal backdrop for the Swedish-inspired soiree. Addi also chose white floor cushions, runners, tableware and vases to foster the party’s edited palette.
An all-white room can be compelling, or it can feel cold and clinical. To give her party’s palette a punch, Addi created contrast by pulling black from the paintings overlooking the table and repeating the dark color with a large table cloth. Shimmering gold flatware, wood cutting boards and striped wool throws also contrast with the room’s pure white palette while adding visual warmth to the setting.
“This space feels lived in,” explains Jube. “It has a raw European feel, and we love mixing old and new with a neutral palette and some pop-y colors here and there.”
“Scandinavian style is about understated luxury, timelessness and visual harmony,” Addi says. Instead of relying on abundance and “insignificant decoration,” Addi keenly edited the tablescape using practical tableware, serving pieces and vases to deliver shape and style to the setting.
Simple white dishes are presented on white napkins folded over the table’s edge at each place setting. Down the center of the table, organic-shaped vases holding loose stems of dill flowers and craspedia pair with glass water carafes garnished with rosemary sprigs to deliver subtle hits of garden-fresh greens to the décor.
Natural wood cutting boards and lightly scented Monokle candles finish the tastefully minimal composition.
Curate the Cuisine
“Scandinavian-inspired cuisine is not overly prepared,” says Colour Maisch of The Blended Table. Partner Emery Lortsher agrees. “Foraging for food is a very important part of Scandinavian food,” she explains. Because Scandinavian laws allow access to private lands, foraging in-season foods is encouraged. Norwegian salmon, Norwegian goat cheese, root vegetables, winter greens and infused water naturally delight guests.
“There’s an authentic spirit in a comfortable gathering,” Addi says. After a holiday season packed with lively parties and crowded celebrations, a small group of friends casually coming together for a tranquil wintertime party is a welcome change.
“With guests sitting picnic-style, hosts can surround themselves with conversation, tasteful wine, impeccable food and lovely music mixed with conversation. It’s about being with friends and hosting a simply beautiful affair.”
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