Scandinavian design holds a special spot in the Dwell world. We love the humanism and organic nature of Nordic design new and old.

The Blues Are Still Blue

Grinding down the concrete floor was too costly, so the Benoits had it painted blue with inexpensive Benjamin Moore latex floor-and-patio paint and then sealed with Zinsser shellac—a natural, nontoxic product that brushes on and can be easily touched up. It darkened the blue paint a bit and gives the floor a hand-worked luster. 

benjaminmoore.com

rustoleum.com/zinsserhp.asp

Scandinavian Grace

The Benoits bought their Scandinavian modern table from Klassik Living in Berkeley. “Their prices are very reasonable for the uniqueness and quality offered,” says Peter. They chose teak since it darkens nicely and naturally when exposed to sunlight—–helpful since their table gets blasted by morning rays. 

klassikliving.com
The Scandinavian pavilion will be decked out with furniture and accessories that embody Hygge—a Danish term implying warmth, coziness, and friendliness. This renovated loft in Copenhagen by Vipp Chief Designer online Morten Bo Jensen and his wife, Kristina May Olsen highlights that concept.

Photo by Anders Hviid.
In the living room, spare Scandinavian design takes center stage. Hans Wegner’s Wishbone chairs surround an Essay dining table by Cecilie Manz for Fritz Hansen; a mostly wood palette is enhanced by slate-gray brick around the fireplace. The paper lanterns throughout the home are a mixture of classics by Isamu Noguchi alongside those picked up in Japan and France.
In a moody apartment in Berlin, multi-toned charcoal gray subway tiles make up the backsplash, which contrasts with the pop of rosy color on the kitchen cabinets. The pink is a custom hue.
“I love the house more each day,” says Tamami Sylvester of her and husband Michael's home by Sebastian Mariscal in Venice, California. The kitchen, which includes all Miele appliances, is sheathed in custom woodwork from Semihandmade. Accessories from A+R complement the Caesarstone countertops and Franke faucet. A LifeSource Water System provides filtration. Photo by Coral von Zumwalt.
Architect Christopher C. Deam, Dwell founder Lara Deam's husband, designed Airstream's newest travel trailer, the International Sterling.
The units don't even require foundations—simple ground screws from Krinner are enough to support them.
The bed and side table in the master bedroom are from Loaf. In the adjacent bathroom, an antique mirror hangs above a Duravit sink. “There’s a slight Arts and Crafts feel to it,” says Marston of the house.
Antarctica - Setting foot on the 7th continent

Private tour groups have been visiting Antarctica since 1969. Today there are lots of choices among operators sending ships, planes, and helicopters to Antarctica between November and March (the summer season). Many trips start in Southern Argentina, and ship-bound journeys include on-board lectures and access to experts on the ecology of the Antarctic during the cruise. Passengers can kayak around icebergs, or spend a day watching penguins, seals, and whales off the coast. Photo by: Christopher.Michel
Africa - Summitting and safariing in Tanzania

At 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa. It takes a minimum of six to eight days to reach the summit, during which climbers contend with not only changes in altitude, but changes in climate as well (snowstorms occur close to Kilimanjaro's peak). But reaching the top via one of six routes is a serious achievement, and offers the chance to see both Tanzania and Kenya from above. Serengeti National Park is a five-hour drive, or short flight, from Kilimanjaro airport and is home to some of Tanzania’s biggest animals, including lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, and rhinos. The park has safari lodges and campsites, and tour operators organize excursions throughout the park. Photo by: Tambako the Jaguar
Asia - Exploring nature and culture in China

The Chengdu region of China is home to the world's largest population of Giant Pandas. Panda reserves in and around Chengdu focus on protecting the bear’s natural habitat and researching their behavior (best job ever?). Certain reserves allow volunteers to interact with and care for these endangered species. Elsewhere in China, Beijing has some of the country's most important cultural landmarks. Principal among them is the Forbidden City, built during the Ming Dynasty and now home to the Palace Museum. Xi’an, located between Beijing and Chengdu, has the Terra Cotta Warriors archaeological site. This necropolis was originally built for Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, and is thought to have contained over 4,000 life-size soldiers and other figures sculpted out of terracotta. Photo: Chi King
Australia - Transitioning from Outback to tropics by train

Riding the Ghan makes for a three-day transcontinental train journey over the plains, deserts, and mountains of central Australia. The route starts either near the beaches of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, or north in Darwin. In between, travelers get a sense of the continent's changing environment as they trundle to Alice Springs, from which a six-hour drive will bring them to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Near the top of the Northern Territory, travelers can stop at Katherine and spend a day at nearby Nitmiluk National Park, a tropical counterpoint to the arid Outback. Photo by: huskyte77
North America - Biking the wine valleys of Northern California

Almost half of the wineries in the United States are located in California, and many of those are in the valleys north of San Francisco. Wine tasting and winery tours are a drunkenly entertaining way to learn how grapes become wine, but the process involves more than crushing and fermenting grapes. One needs to see the agriculture that goes into America’s wine making, and touch the grapes on the vine, to really appreciate the drink. Work off that hangover by cycling along the winding roads of Napa and Sonoma. Photo by: needoptic
South America - Volunteering in the Peruvian Amazon

The Peruvian Amazon is only home to 5% of Peru’s human population, but about 5,500 plant species and 760 animal species unique to Peru live here. Animal rehabilitation centers protect sections of this diverse ecosystem, and trained conservationists help create a safe place for wounded and sick animals. The goal of these reserves is to release healthy animals back into the jungle and teach visitors about the importance of the Amazon. Many encourage volunteers to become involved in the care and preservation of the Peruvian Amazon, giving them a firsthand understanding of the region's ecological diversity. Photo by: cavallotkd
Europe - Touring the cultural centers of Central and Eastern Europe

Paris and Rome are beautiful, but there's more to Europe than taking the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower and eating gelato at the Colosseum. Eastern Europe is home to castles, cathedrals, world-famous symphonies, modern art museums, and great beer, wine, and pastries. The cities of Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, and Budapest are important cultural centers with citywide art and architecture dating back to the Renaissance. Charles Bridge in Prague has been standing since the 12th century, and Vienna’s city center is home to both Habsburg architecture and modern design. Photo by: Dimitry B
For their new kitchen, Michaël Verheyden and Saartje Vereecke incorporated a Smeg cooktop, oven, and range hood, stainless steel cabinets from Habitat, and personal accessories like a prototype goblet.
Marrying the interior with the outdoors informed the design, as did the concept of subtraction: “If you do it with two, then you can do it with one,” Maniatis says, articulating Roger’s algebra of minimalism. Photo by: Kirk Gittings
In the upper-level bathroom, tiles painstakingly fired by DeSimio cover the walls and ceiling.
Sævik designed the wood tub in the bathroom, which features an adjacent sauna. The Inxx A5 faucet is by Mora.
Regain focus and boost your productivity—here, we walk you through seven steps to soundproofing your home office.