Design and style from a Scandinavian perspective

Elle Interiör vs Elle Interiør

I subscribe to both the Swedish Elle Interiör and the Norwegian Elle Interiør. They are very different, the Swedish one is much more about expensive furniture and upper class homes, where the Norwegian edition is more relaxed and showing more achievable looks, but still amazingly beautiful. I like the fact that the Swedish Elle Interiör has a great website with lots of big pictures and blogs that are updated often, but the Norwegian edition totally makes up for that with the quality of their magazine.
This month both editions landed simultanously in my mailbox, so they ended up next to eachother on my table. And the differences were so obvious it was almost a joke. First of all the Swedish edition had totally skipped the fact that Christmas is coming up, my guess is that they somehow want to "stand above" that. Their headlines are: Be first with the latest trends, party with a gold lining and the best of Nordic design. And their cover was a shot from their stall at the Hem 2010 fair that took place a few months ago, a dark (it looks much brighter on the computer screen) and messy picture full of super expensive furniture. It looks cool, but not inviting at all. The fact that the first thing you see is the back of a sofa doesn't help either, neither does the curtain coming in from the right side. The photo makes you feel shut out; uninvited, like you are supposed to stand outside and look in on all the cool stuff they have, wishing you could be there.
Then I took a look at the cover of the Norwegian edition. A light and simple photo with a mix of homemade and vintage things, cheap Ikea shelves and more expensive designer furniture like the Eames chair and cushions from Hay. The picture looks like a real home to me, especially with the piles of magazines stacked under the shelves. The headlines announces a competition, wish-lists from the staff at the magazine and holiday decorating tips, which should appeal to a lot of people and feels quite inviting. The big photo below is the cover without text as I couldn't find a bigger photo of the finished cover online. I found a tiny pic which I put above the big one, but it's hard to see what it really looks like there. Now that is the big problem with Norwegian Elle, they aren't exactly generous with big bloggable pictures.
Update! The lovely folks over at Elle Interiør read this and sent me a bigger version so we could do a proper comparison.
Now don't get me wrong, I really like both magazines. It's just that I wish they could take some inspiration from each other! Also, I'm a bit cranky today as I was offered to renew my subscription for Swedish Elle Interiör, and the offer they had on their website aimed towards new subscribers was much better than the one I got... Shouldn't loyal readers be encouraged in some way?
Please tell me your thoughts on these covers, which magazine appeals most to you?


  • Leonor says:

    Based only on the covers i would say i prefer the Norwegian edition... What appeals to me is mainly the light and feminine look of this room, whereas the room from the swedish edition has a darker and more masculine feeling...

    2010-12-08 | 00:27:00
  • east side bride says:

    yeah, my gut votes for #2

    2010-12-08 | 00:42:49
    URL: http://eastsidebride.com
  • Kylie says:

    It annoys me too that loyal subscribing readers get a bum deal with magazines. There is no incentive at all!

    P.S I prefer the Norwegian cover :)

    2010-12-08 | 00:44:39
  • Rae says:

    Sometimes magazines tend to forget about their loyal readers. All magazines do.

    The Norwegian photo makes me feel like I could crawl right into the picture, settle myself on that comfy couch with a good book and not want to get up. ❤

    2010-12-08 | 01:10:02
    URL: http://www.thecreativediaries.blogspot.com
  • Cristina @Fuji Files says:

    I prefer the first room (stall) but I wish they had taken the photo from a different angle, a more inviting one! It is very masculine but the couches and artwork are beautiful and photographed differently, this could have looked just as warm and inviting as the 2nd.

    Loved your commentary!

    xx <a href="http://fujifiles.blogspot.com">Cristina</a>

    2010-12-08 | 05:00:01
    URL: http://fujifiles.blogspot.com
  • nancy says:

    I appreciated your frank comparison of the two magazines. Living in Canada I don't have the luxury of an affordable subscription to either one, although through a friend I was able to subscribe to Swedish Elle Interior a couple times. It's funny: compared to the American Elle Decor available here, the Swedish one seems more relaxed and achievable! Magazines forget that most readers are seeking inspiration rather than a catalogue for the latest expensive furniture and accessories really onlly available to a relatively few.

    And to answer your question: I actually really like both covers. But I do love Christmas (especially Scandinavian style!), and would be disappointed if there was nothing special for the holidays in a December issue. Therefore, my vote is for the Norwegian cover! (The wooden star is creative and different).

    I so enjoy your blog, Emma! Thank you!

    2010-12-08 | 05:27:02
  • Robyn Orr says:

    Yes living in the U.S. I would love just to thumb through either magazine...luckily I have your blog archive for swedish inspiration! I just did a post about your Decembers past.

    must say #2 though :)

    2010-12-08 | 05:35:24
    URL: http://robynorr.blogspot.com
  • Weronica - En mammas dag says:

    Svenska Elle Interiör är en av de få tidningar som premierar trogna förnyare tycker jag. Man brukar alltid få en premie när man förnyar. Förra gången fick jag en liten Margrethe-skål med en sked till. De andra stora giganterna gör inget sådant. Sedan håller jag med om orättvisan för oss som troget betalar in till skillnad från när man försöker locka folk med premier.

    Elle Interior Norge är jag väldigt nyfiken på. Det man ser verkar väldigt lovande. Är det dyrt porto till oss därifrån?

    På ett sätt kan jag tycka att det är lite befriande att man inte kör jul i ett nummer som skall säljas till februari. Jag är sugen på nytt nu.

    2010-12-08 | 08:13:57
    URL: http://www.enmammasdag.com/weronica
  • Rosa says:

    I think it's a bigger challenge to create a beautiful and inspiring home with less money. It has more identity when you combine new with vintage and expensive with cheaper things. But the nice thing of the diversity of the magazines is you can pick the inspiring pieces from it and make it your own.

    2010-12-08 | 08:26:59
    URL: http://rosasinspiration.blogspot.com/
  • Tina says:

    Elle Interior Norges omslag tycker jag mycket bättre om denna gång - passade mig precis och jag skulle gärna provläsa tidningen! :-)

    2010-12-08 | 08:43:47
  • kristien says:

    Hmmm...yes, the Norwegian cover looks so cosy and it is indeed a bit more realistic to combine more affordable and found items with design. Isn't that the most fun and best reward, finding this one really beautiful design or vintage or antique element that makes your interior stand out and makes it uniquely you?

    I do appreciate the Swedish cover too, but in a different way. Looking in from outside, an interior that pulls you in but keeps its distance. It's less homely, but I am curious what's behind that curtain...

    Thank you for your inspiring posts, Emma! I really enjoy reading your blog.

    2010-12-08 | 08:51:44
    URL: http://www.kristienberghs.blogspot.com
  • anne - moseplassen says:

    hehe, nordmenn og vår kos ;) (mysigt)

    Av alle norske interiørbladene så er vel Elle det minst kos-fikserte, tror jeg...

    2010-12-08 | 11:35:37
    URL: http://moseplassen.com/
  • nat says:

    Emma - just found & emailed you a larger pic of the elle interior norway magazine page for you to post - so people can really compare.

    loving your blog as always - and love that you've exposed us to these two mags in a compare-contrast way.

    I actually like both but agree that Norwegian is much more achievable and livable...

    have a great day!


    2010-12-08 | 11:37:16
    URL: http://apartmentdiet.tumblr.com
  • Moa says:

    Va lustigt att du tog upp det. Jag skulle köpa Elle Interiör igår och när jag höll i tidningen, tittade på omslaget, så kände jag bara näe, och la sen tillbaka den i hyllan. Jag måste flika in att nånting har hänt de 3-4 senaste numren. Inte samma känsla som förr och ibland dålig kvalitet på bilderna.

    Jag vill ha tillbaka känslan från förr!

    Tack :)

    2010-12-08 | 11:40:41
  • Jes says:

    Definitely the Norwegian one – looks like how I would love to have my home.

    I think it takes far more skill creating an interesting & stunning home with a limited budget, than just throwing a load of designer pieces in a room.

    Don't get me wrong, I am a designer furniture obsessive, but after a while you can become immune to being presented with a million rooms with the same unaffordable furniture!

    2010-12-08 | 12:43:15
    URL: http://www.jeshunt.blogspot.com/
  • GoVintage says:

    I don't think you should compare the 2 issues.

    They are clearly different and want to deliver a different message to their readers.

    Probably the goal of the Swedish one was just to be different, on purpose, from all the other magazines you can find this month in a "Christmas version".

    I know I'll be unpopular, but I prefer the Swedish one :)

    I like to be different aswell ;)

    Complain for the not convenient abonement offer! They should take care of you! :)


    2010-12-08 | 13:03:41
    URL: http://www.govintage.posterous.com
  • Erica says:

    I'm a swede living in Norway, so I read both versions on a regular basis (we have them at work, how great is that!!). I definitely prefer the norwegian version, as you say, it's more low-key and I like their selection of homes better. For more "high end" inspiration I read Residence, which I also think is a great magazine.

    2010-12-08 | 13:56:24
  • Sandra | Inspirera Mera says:

    Vilken härlig jämförelse mellan de två tidningarna! Den norska tidningen tilltalade mig mer.

    2010-12-08 | 14:28:58
    URL: http://inspireramera.se
  • Hemmarikets Charlotte says:

    I sincerely appreciate your frank comparison. I think that the magazines sometimes forgets what their readers wants and needs. Of course there is lots of inspiration in "non affordable" homes but most of us doesnt live that way. I like both ways of displaying but a second thought is never wrong.

    2010-12-08 | 17:06:51
    URL: http://hemmariket.se
  • Maria says:

    Håller verkligen med dig Emma. Varför ska det vara dyrare att som en flera års trogen prenumerant betala mer? nä så jag gick faktiskt och hämtade en prenumerationslapp i en Elle på pressbyrån. Ja det kanske var lite fräckt men nu gjorde jag det.

    Men du, var kan kan köpa den norska Elle egentligen om man bor i Sverige? eller funkar det bara att prenumerera på den kanske? Mvh Maria

    2010-12-08 | 18:03:14
  • BODIE and FOU says:

    I never had a copy of the Swedish one but Cecilie sent me a few copies when we had products from BODIE and FOU featured in ELLE Interior Norway and I absolutely love it!! It's the perfect combination of the French Elle and Marie-Claire Maison. I just wish I could understand Norwegian but their features are fab!


    2010-12-08 | 22:19:14
    URL: http://www.bodieandfou.com
  • Polly says:

    I much prefer the Norwegian one. It's fresher and more personal. x

    2010-12-08 | 23:34:57
    URL: http://arowantree.blogspot.com
  • Marianne says:

    Based on the cover I like the Norwegian one better.

    About the subscription. Unsubscribe, wait a few months and subscribe again. if you don't want to miss an issue, you can buy them at the shop.

    2010-12-09 | 00:04:06
    URL: http://www.letempsjadisblog.com
  • elizabeth says:

    I love a magazine that feels more achievable for the average reader - so based on what you say about the Norwegian edition, I think I'd enjoy it more. The cover definitely looks more inviting - but I think a mix of some of both of the furniture would be perfect! It's nice to read a magazine that you admire and be able to feel inspired AND afford to buy some of their featured items - and it's more personal and a greater challenge to make things work on a "real" budget. The Norwegian edition gets my vote. Thanks for such an inspiring and beautiful blog - I love coming here and drooling over your images! Hope you enjoy this Christmas season and all it entails!

    2010-12-09 | 08:11:42
    URL: http://caravanhandmade.blogspot.com
  • Ylva says:

    vad kul med ny tidningsinspiration, jag har bara köpt danska tidningar förut. ska se om det finns norska Elle I att få tag på här i min stad.

    2010-12-09 | 09:21:41
    URL: http://darlingthings.blogspot.com
  • Pia says:

    I'n a Dane living in London and whenever I go back to Denmark I pick up a copy of Swedish Elle Interior. I think it's one of the best and most inspiring interior mags around (even if I can't afford the expensive designer furniture). As for the two covers they only confirm this to me. If I was faced with the two magazines in a shop

    I would definitely choose the Swedish one. Following a number of Norwegian blogs I have to say the other cover is typically Norwegian, i.e. very white and dare I say, quite boring. I like a white background but I think you need some darker furniture and accessories to add a bit of depth and character. The preferred style in Norway seems to be all white, a bit romantic, a bit nostalgic and sometimes a bit shabby chic; a look I'm frankly quite sick off. I agree with you about subscriptions; I have the same problem over here and have decided to cancel my two subscriptions (Elle Deco and Living Etc.) I will subscribe again when they entice me with a better offer.By the way, love your blog even though you post a lot of white interiors too. You seem to find the best ones...often completely unachievable but lovely to look at, interior porn....

    2010-12-09 | 12:06:41
  • emma ::emmas designblogg:: says:

    Hi all, thanks for all your thoughts on the subject! I just want to make it totally clear that I love the Swedish edition too, it's my favorite Swedish interior mag! The two different editions just serves different purposes for me. The Swedish one makes me drool over cool furniture that I could never afford but love to look at, while the Norwegian one gives me inspiration for things I can do in my own home.

    For the Swedes who asked where to buy the Norwegian issue, I'm sorry to say that it is only available in Sweden through subscribing. But I very much recommend it, and I don't think you would be disappointed if you got a subscription.

    About my own subscription to the Swedish Elle Interiör, I'm going to wait for the Furniture Fair in February, where they always have good deals on their subscriptions!

    2010-12-09 | 17:06:27
    URL: http://emmas.blogg.se/
  • Kate from LittleBrightSpot says:

    Thanks for this, these side-by-side comparisons are always so interesting. I agree, the Norwegian version looks much more cozy, attainable and feminine. The Swedish version is much more of a high-culture, lofty man-cave. I agree that the two magazines could benefit from some dialogue. When I read magazines, I want to have that blend of unachievable, high-design eye candy and spaces that feel livable and like I could re-create elements of them in my own home.

    2010-12-09 | 19:38:29
    URL: http://littlebrightspot.blogspot.com
  • Hayley says:

    I LOVE the tha Norwegian cover has a Jewish star! I appreciate the subtle nod to the fact that some people celebrate non- Christmas holidays in December. I can't even think of ever having seen that on the cover of a December magazine.


    2010-12-11 | 01:18:38
    URL: http://alaskalongbeach.blogspot.com
  • vosgesparis says:

    I think I totally agree with you on the covers.... The Swedish looks like they do not want to do anything with Christmas at all.... and me personally I do not like the furniture on the cover (bit to retro looking for me) How the picture is made... mm It makes me want to walk into the right corner to see what is in the space behind the windows..

    Norwegian one looks cozy-er to my taste... You make me want to have a good look at the Dutch one now ;)

    And yes we deserve a good welcome present each year ;) Actually VT Wonen draws a winner amongst their subscribed readers every month.. and you can win great prices!

    2010-12-11 | 16:04:20
    URL: http://vosgesparis.blogspot.com
  • amyC says:

    I would pick up the Norwegian Elle at a newstand, but if I could have both, I would! Where does Skona Hem fit into all of this? I got an issue last December and I tore out about half of it for my scrapbook. Very Christmassy and inviting stuff into lots of real homes (I don't really know if they were upper class or whatnot). Gonna answer my own question, I imagine, it's more like Norwegian Elle then.

    2010-12-11 | 16:33:49
    URL: http://bisteccafloria.wordpress.com
  • emma ::emmas designblogg:: says:

    Hayley: Yes, that is a nice touch! I didn't even think about it, as I am not religious, so I guess I just subconsciously visually block out any images of crosses or stars and the like... :)

    Desiree: I like the furniture, their stall on the fair was great. I just don't like it on the cover.

    Yes, you should definitely take a look at the Dutch Elle, perhaps you can compare all three Elles?

    I'm not looking for a gift when I subscribe, I just want a good price. And I know I will get that in February, so I'll wait. :)

    Amyc: Sköna Hem is a little more traditional, a bit bland for my tastes most of the time. A mix of achievable, a tad boring, nice and classic. Not very exciting, and no surprises. But they have their moments too. :) I usually find one or two nice features in each issue of Sköna Hem, but I don't buy the mag, just browsing their site is enough. I think they are aimed at a broader audience, not a design freak like me...

    2010-12-12 | 02:13:59
    URL: http://emmas.blogg.se/
  • amyC says:

    :D In Sweden now, so I'll be grabbing lots of home decor mags. Thanks for the Skona Hem answers :D

    2010-12-13 | 15:37:45
    URL: http://bisteccafloria.wordpress.com
  • malin says:

    Blir mycket mer sugen att bläddra i norges!

    2010-12-15 | 16:26:33
    URL: http://ilovepeggy.blogspot.com
  • Jasmine says:

    I´ve never understood it when interiors magazines don´t milk Christmas for all it is worth as it really is the time of year that we all enjoy our homes the most. So on that note I prefer the Norwegian Elle... could have something to do with me missing Norway like mad right now though!

    And yes, I too don´t understand why loyal customers get the bad deal. I manage to get around it with my World of Interiors subscription by getting my family to subscribe for me instead, usually as a Xmas or birthday present.

    And last but not least, this is the first time I´m reading your blog and I love it. I hope to figure out very soon which direction I want my new blog to go in. Any tips would be much appreciated!

    2010-12-19 | 11:32:49
    URL: http://thelittletownhouse.tumblr.com/
  • Christina says:

    Norska är så mkt bättre!!! Gillar inte alls det svenska, stirrar helatiden på det konstiga fönstret till höger som är blurigt och konstigt... Det är fina möbler men inte alls inbjudande. Sen den mörka blå färgen till det redan ganska mörka omslaget... nej! Heja Norge!

    2010-12-21 | 08:05:06
    URL: http://thefamilysajt.blogspot.com

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