If I’ve learned one thing from visiting Reykjavik, Iceland, it’s that they have nailed the packaging/visual appeal.
Two stores in particular, neither a fashion house, I found to have an incredible eye for visual marketing.
First, Flying Tiger, a brand originally from Copenhagen.
The store capitalizes on color. The display shelves, walls, and checkout areas are completely white, so the products they sell stand out for being so colorful. The whimsical sketches on packets of seeds, candles organized by color, and display of rainbow kitchenware really catch the consumer’s eye. Even if you know you don’t need it, suddenly, you do.
The other store that nails visual merchandising is Hrim, an Icelandic homewares store.
The storefront is eclectic and Scandi, and inside is even more whimsical. The natural wood, stripes, bright colors, and geometric shapes combine to create a building that no passer-by will forget. The Smeg kitchenware, the rustic wooden cutting boards, the fun patterned salad bowls, and the macrame wall hangings are all sold in the same corner, though they all clearly give off different vibes. Together, the mix is visually appealing and balanced, and the consumer realizes that once again, they want one of everything.
This activity, an “inspiration explosion,” got me thinking of the kind of things that inspire me. Here’s a collection I came up with:
As you can see, this collection of items includes different colors and materials but creates a unified vision. The artwork, pieces from Iceland and Switzerland, remind me of my travels and the whimsy that is necessary to go through life. The plants, one potted in a tin mug from Costa Rica, bring in a natural element that is life itself. The framed Martha Stewart tweet (I know, right), brings forth a quality that’s really important to me–not taking myself too seriously. These items, their colors, their eccentricities, create a vibe that I’d love to reflect in my own designs.
For this course, the item I produced was a pair of coral tassel earrings.
Below, you’ll see my production costs and calculations.
All in all, I’ve learned that if I were to produce these handmade earrings on a large scale, the process would become easier and more challenging for various reasons. I would become more used to creating tassels, and the process of actually creating them would become easier. However, if my clientele grew, I would have to produce more, so that would lead to more stress that way.
This lesson allowed me to see how companies and individuals set price points and where they originate.
When you think of Scandinavian design, I’m sure one place comes to mind: Ikea.
It’s known for cheap, classic furniture for college students trying to save money and its cafeteria that serves Swedish meatballs. If you take a look around Ikea, you’ll notice some common themes, like light wood, clean lines, greenery, and simplicity. Ikea, being a Swedish company, brings the wonders of Scandinavian design to the rest of the world.
Scandinavian design is known for being clean, hip, and functional. At times, it looks similar to mid-century modern pieces and reflects a minimalist approach to decorating. Maybe that’s why it’s so aesthetically pleasing.
image via freshome.com
image via ikea.com
image via dailyscandinavian.com
There are some key features that all Scandinavian-inspired interiors show: light-filled spaces, natural elements, and simple decor.
The necessity of light is important in countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, since their long, dark winters make things a little gloomy. Light woods, like birch, and house plants bring life to small rooms.
Keeping decor minimalistic and accessories functional is key to embracing the Scandinavian aesthetic. That’s how these three DIYs reflect the fuss-free but stylish looks so key to the design.
I’m a cheap person, so when it comes to redecorating my room, I usually try to keep things as budget-friendly as possible. That’s why this Urban Outfitters inspired wall hanging was at the top of my DIY list. I didn’t have to purchase anything, and it looks like I could have bought it for $20.
I’m also someone who doesn’t always think things through, hence this picture of the hanging being the only one I took along the way. So let me just explain the steps to you.
DIY Urban Outfitters Inspired Wall Hanging
Cream colored yarn
Tack or nail
Measure a piece of yarn about the length of your wingspan and cut. Repeat 30 times.
Cut these 30 strands in half to get 60 pieces of yarn. Tie each piece to the stick, starting from one side and moving towards the other.
Cut three additional strands of yarn and braid. Tie each end to either end of the stick in order to create the string to hang it from the wall.
Hang the yarn art from a tack or nail hammered into the wall.
Trim the bottom to create a geometrical design.
You can personalize this project by painting the stick, using different colored yarn, or using more yarn.