Scandinavian interior design is a minimalistic style using a blend of textures and soft hues to make sleek, modern décor feel warm and inviting. Its look is defined by clean lines, chic minimalism, functionality without sacrificing beauty. Scandinavian style favors bright, airy spaces and provides a wonderfully serene feel.
Scandinavian interior design speaks to both our tidy tendencies and our desire to live in inviting and comfortable settings. Scandinavian interior design is known for its minimalist color palettes, cozy accents, and striking modern furniture. Designs often play with natural light, emphasizes clean lines, utility, and simple furnishings that are functional, beautiful, and cozy.
As a movement, Scandinavian design began in the early 20th century, emerged during the 1930s within the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. However, it traveled through the United States and Canada between 1954 and 1957 to promote and showcase various works by Nordic interior designers.
Mixing old and new styles from Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, and Norway, this style’s ethos is a direct result of the natural gifts and the climate of the region. During the long periods of winter, homemakers counter the cold nights by maximizing the space to reflect as much light as possible. So, Scandinavian style came when people were in search for light and cozy interiors.
The word “Hygge” comes from a Norwegian word meaning “well being” and it’s a centuries old Scandinavian concept that is used to describe a moment or feeling that is cozy, special, or charming. Hygge, is what sets Scandinavian home decor apart from other styles. That is, to create an environment that encourages feelings of warmth, contentment, and coziness.
This word is translated into a concept in the Scandinavian interior design. Therefore, this style is all about creating a specific mood of contentment and a certain atmosphere of coziness. So, all the design features need to be harmoniously used to apply that art of “Hygge” to create the feeling of friendliness and stress-relief in your home design. Many Nordic homes have the same comforting essence without being overly ornate.
Scandinavian interiors incorporate just the right amount of furniture and decor – no more, no less. The same applies to Scandi color schemes. Typical Scandinavian colors are calming and neutral, with palettes sticking to whites, grays, black, and blue accents. The style also reflects the wintery landscape and skies of the Nordic countries.
In Scandinavia areas, industrialization came later than much of Europe, and so Scandinavian design reflects both modern trends and traditional trades, leading to an overall style that blends fresh design with time-honored elements of craftsmanship. Scandi design intersects with mid-century modern design, both of which were heavily influenced by industrialization, and the modernist sensibilities of Germany’s Bauhaus movement.
Scandinavian interior design is often influenced by a connection to nature, which combines natural shapes, abstraction, and the use of natural elements. It also includes the use of natural materials, such as leather, wood, and soft linen. In addition, in the design elements, the natural texture of the material, natural bending, asymmetry and imperfection are all taken into consideration by the designer.
Today, Scandinavian design is one of the most popular movements in contemporary design. Many designs from the golden era are still used today. Good examples are Alvar Aalto’s stool designs that appear in Apple stores; the PH series from the Louis Poulsen collection; and the unmistakable Egg chair. New designs created by young Scandinavian designers pay homage to the legendary pioneers of the movement while offering fresh twists on the iconic Nordic style.
The Scandinavian style was, and continues to be, simple and minimal, functional and accessible, craftsman yet affordable. Scandinavian interior design able to exercise restraint in your décor choices, while still managing to make a space feel cozy. Scandinavian home design centers on simple yet impactful ways of improving daily life, adding design to the ordinary, and controllable on budget.
The history of Scandinavian design is deeply connected to some of the world’s most revered architects and designers. Within the golden age of Scandinavian design from the 1930s to the 1970s, there were a number of prominent furniture designers that had a huge impact on design philosophy and style.
Renowned figures that have helped usher in the golden age of Nordic design include Alvar Aalto, Olav Haug, Arne Jacobsen, Timo Tapani Sarpaneva, Poul Henningsen, Bruno Mathsson, Kaare Klint, and Borge Mogensen, among many others. Iconic designs from this era include the PH lamp series, the Egg Chair, the Spanish Chair, and the Finlandia glassware series, to name a few.
Known as the founders of Scandinavian philosophy and style, their influence on modern design is still evident today in areas like San Francisco and San Mateo where you’ll find wonderful shops like Article, Muuto, Innovation, and ScanDesign.
The brilliant Scandinavian designers who rewrote history with their innovative designs include Alvar Aalto; Poul Henningsen; Arne Jacobsen; Borge Mogensen; Verner Panton; Hans J. Wegner; and Maija Isola. Just pick up any book on Scandinavian or Nordic design and architecture and these designers will certainly be noted.
The main purpose of Scandinavian design is to improve daily life. To accomplish that, designers focused on interior design style with furniture, lighting, textiles, accessories, and everyday utilitarian items like dishes, silverware, cooking utensils and linens.
In Scandinavian interiors, there’s always a strong relationship between design elements and nature. It’s often seen in the stark contrast between abstract and natural shapes, as well as hard and soft surfaces and materials. Natural materials like stone, wood, leather and hemp are used sparingly in most home interiors.
Scandinavian design is a great resource for lifestyle tips and style trends. Rooms designed in Scandinavian style offer a blend of coziness, liveliness and modernism. Therefore, this style masterfully combines beauty with practicality. So customers have a certain degree of freedom of choice, they can pick out favorite items and start mixing and matching to create that mood.
The main elements of Scandinavian design are functionality, simplicity, and craftsmanship. A majority of Nordic style designs also favor natural materials, especially pale woods like ash and beech, wool and linen textiles, leather, and glass. While some items boast traditional patterns or brighter color accents, most Scandinavian style designs have an understated, minimalist appearance.
Scandinavian interior designs often play with natural light with its minimalist color palettes, cozy accents, and striking modern furniture. This style celebrates brightness. Natural light itself is an important feature of this style. So, Scandinavian Design emphasizes the multiplicity of light sources and differentiation of luminous atmospheres. Scandinavian spaces incorporates large windows to let in an ample amount of natural light.
For those contury which natural Light in not enough, then layered artificial lighting can work as a perfect supplement. For instance, a cool pendant overhead, task lighting, table and floor lamps. These give Scandinavian interior that extra bit of warmth and visibility this style is proud of. Light fixtures have to be practical, simple and neutral to perfectly match the cozy mood you’re creating. Therefore, it has to share the same clean lines as the rest of your interior.
Scandinavian decor associated with a particular color palette, includes the hues of grays, whites, browns, and blacks. Focus on the use of these neutral colors in order to create a clean and soothing effect to your Scandinavian home design. Perfecting a Scandinavian color scheme requires embracing a decidedly muted and understated color palate, often interwoven creating a clean and calming look. This actually makes spaces seem spacious, simple and subtle. In a typical Scandinavian home decor, walls are often painted in white in order for the furniture and decorative pieces to stand out. White walls and cool blue and gray textiles are common.
Some designers have also introduced other pop colors like dusty pinks and rich sea greens for added accents. In some homes, brighter pops of color like yellow and orange are found in fabrics and rugs. Adding pops of colors also suggested, such as fuchsia and sea greens. It’s worth mentioning that the colorful Scandinavian style is fast becoming ‘The new Nordic’, with many lovers leaning towards a bolder palette while also keeping the same neutral palette remain at the core. Therefore, rich jewel tones and earthy hues like terracotta and rusty pink are replacing soft pastel hues to inject warmth and personality. In typical Scandinavian spaces, walls are kept white allowing for furniture and art to captivate.
High contrasts are the hallmark of Scandinavian interior design. In this all-white dining room, stark black sculptural furniture helps create a dramatic, impactful statement. Modern furniture also contrasts with the ornate architectural details that are common in historic buildings in northern Europe.
Clean and Clear
There isn’t a lot of ornate or excessive detailing found in Scandinavian design. Modern, clean lined, solid pieces are much more common, and are a defining feature of the Scandinavian design style.
Traditionally, many Scandinavian homes were very small and didn’t allow for excessive amounts of stuff. While homes are being built larger now and there’s more room for things, the idea of keeping a space free of clutter and mess has remained an important aspect of Scandinavian design.
Scandinavian design principles promote eco-friendly homes with organic, sustainable building materials for flooring, walls, siding and roofing.
Scandinavian style definitely involves soft textures and natural materials. As for the flooring, Scandinavian design will love wood, but not just any wood. In keeping with their warm and cozy theme, the woods used are usually light woods, like beech, ash, and pine. Warm wood tones and sepia hues are popular in Scandinavian interior design because they make a room feel sunny and bright without using overwhelming bright colors. A Scandinavian design makes use of wooden elements not only in the flooring but also in the furniture and fixtures. Thus, a Scandinavian house usually has wooden coffee tables and chairs for its furniture.
The recent trend in the Scandinavian style of decorating combines the use of metallic finishes and wooden elements. For instance, copper sconces and brass pendants are installed in a wooden ceiling to add glimmer and shine to the entire space.
Other soft textures and textiles can be used all over your place. These can include: sheepskins, wool, or mohair throws. Most countries in the Scandinavian region have climates with extremely cold temperatures. Thus, the use of warm textiles is common for a Scandinavian home decor. These textiles can come in the form of throws and carpets that are made from wool, sheepskins, or mohair. Accessorizing with warm textiles is a great way to make a Scandinavian living room feel cozy and warm, especially during winter.
Scandinavian interior design features simple, clean-lined furniture and muted gray tones, which could easily feel cold and uninviting. However, with striking photography and a cozy mix of textures, like the sheepskin throw and kilim rug, it feels welcoming. Not only do they make a feeling of coziness, but they also add another layer of visual interest to the place. To use while designing is layering textures to soften the look and add interest. Whenever possible, add blankets, cushions and rugs in varying textures. So, in summer consider lighter materials such as linen. However, in winter try to introduce woolen knitted pieces to go for a warm mood.
Modern Furniture is key for contemporary space. Scandinavian furniture style encompasses natural wooden surfaces, which have functional geometrical basic shapes. One very common feature is the compass legs; you will find it in chairs, tables as well as sideboards. Furniture fabrics often have fur optics, cotton, linen and bright suede. Colors are mostly wool-white or beige mixed with another pastel color like light blue, mint or rosé. Tulip tables and swan chairs are warmed up by blonde-wood accents and rich cognac leather tones. Sculptural branches also help make the space feel more organic.
Cushions and carpets often have typical motifs and patterns that contrasts with muted scene and offer a stimulating scene. Finally, since the Scandinavian home is meant to provide emotional comfort and enrich one’s life, so it’s not uncommon to mix old and new furniture items together to give your home the cozy feeling you yearn for.
There are two types of patterns that this style goes along with, the traditional and the modern ones. Traditional designs are typically simple, botanical illustrations in a symmetrical style. Modern Scandinavian patterns usually have bold colored layout and graphics that beautifully contrasts with light colored background.
In addition to their type, patterns can also be implemented in many shapes and forms. Colorful art is seldom found in Scandinavian interiors, but when it is, it’s often in graphic multiples. Apply these pattern suggestions in a vibrant wall painting, a dazzling home accessory or even as a lively topping to your furniture. For example botanical prints. In the dining room, furniture is often kept simple: midcentury chairs and a floating storage buffet. Candles are the hallmark of hygge style and often come in simple brass candleholders.
Accessories and Decor Art
Scandinavian interior design is all about simplicity. This minimalist style promotes the design philosophy “less is more.” Accessories are usually scaled back to create less clutter and fewer visual distractions. Scandinavian interior design is all about simplicity. Therefore, when it comes to decorating a Scandinavian living room, always choose those decorative accents that have simple designs. For example, decorate the living room table with elegant ceramic vases. To add texture and subtle color to your Scandinavian interior, decorate your couches with throws and pillows that have simple geometric prints. Though veer more on the modern side, Scandinavian interiors often feature a mix of periods and styles to make a space feel layered and cozy.
When it comes to decorating a Scandinavian art the concept is still applied. Black and white art is a staple of Scandinavian style and can exist as anything from modern prints to ink drawings. So, you can use black and white photographs and hang them in an organized way on your wall. Scandinavian art treats Lighting fixtures, small decor items like vases or kettles as pieces of art. Therefore you can subtly introduce this brassy metal into your design scheme.
Adding natural elements to Scandinavian interior design, in order to have a living element of color and beauty in your interior, consider decorating your Scandinavian living room with indoor plants and fresh flowers. Plants will not only help you brighten up spaces and to breathe life into your room, they will help to purify the air and provide a stress-free atmosphere. Fresh flowers are a necessity in every Scandinavian house. In the Scandinavian region, streets are often lined with sidewalk florists selling fresh flowers and tulips in every color.
Scandinavian home decor doesn’t have to stand alone and has the ability to mesh well with other interior design styles.
The coziness of bohemian decor and Scandinavian earthiness is a match made in interior heaven. A boho-Scandi interior is vibrant, full of layers but serene. These homes tend to have a monochrome or neutral color scheme, as well as all the comfy trimmings we love from bohemian interiors.
Industrial and Scandinavian interior decor styles are often on opposing spectrums. On the one hand, industrial interiors focus on manufactured machinery or construction like beams and steel framework. In contrast, Scandinavian design is inspired by nature and conviviality. As a result, the combination is striking as soft natural accents and hard surfaces merge.
Modern and Scandinavian styles come from the same revolutionary design era. Both trends prefer sleek lines, drawing attention to the natural world, and honor natural materials. Accordingly, these interiors are refined and elegant.
Interior design details
Scandinavian interior design focuses on function and on minimalist aesthetics. Simple and practical, Nordic style furniture and lighting blend into any spaces with ease and often adapt to different needs. Scandinavian home design also includes the use of materials like solid wood, natural textiles, and traditionally crafted items. A neutral color palette that favors brighter hues, large windows that flood rooms with natural light, and carefully chosen decorative items like artworks or objects with traditional Nordic patterns are also part of Scandinavian interior design principles.
Thanks to the simple elegance of Scandinavian design, it’s easy to create a stylish and modern space. A few well-chosen items along with quality furniture and lighting can make all the difference. Plus, Scandinavian interior design elements complement a wide range of styles.
To create a stunning space of a Scandinavian interior design, which need to incorporates the simplicity, beauty, and functionality. When it comes to the use of furniture in a Scandinavian design, clean lines should be evident. Tables, chairs, sofas, and the rest of the Scandinavian decor should have a modern touch with smooth and rounded edges. Scandinavian design is also characterized by its innovative and functional use of space, so it’s common to see multi-leveled wall shelving in a Scandinavian living room. These storage spaces are innovative and space-savvy and add visual interest to the space.
A Scandinavian living room typically features wooden flooring in a pale natural color and white walls. Large windows that flood the interior with natural light and a minimal use of simple designs help to create a bright and airy space. Darker accents, statement lighting, and designer furniture are also present in Nordic inspired living rooms. Creating a Scandinavian style living room is actually easier than it may seem. A living room is also a great way to start transforming a dwelling with Nordic design, as it is the heart of the home.
Wall to wall carpets never became popular in Scandinavian countries. Interiors typically have wooden floors, in light wood tones, in all rooms except the bathrooms. If rugs are used, they are usually limited to area rugs. The flooring is usually made from light hardwood materials, either in its natural light color or painted in white. Laminated light flooring is a great idea for your Scandinavian design. The flooring can make any Scandinavian house to look brighter and more spacious while exuding a more inviting and welcoming atmosphere. To provide more warmth in the underfoot during the cold winter season, bathroom floors can be installed with heated tiles.
A Scandinavian living room should have a more inviting space and this can be best achieved by allowing plenty of light to get in. In order not to block the light, window treatments must be kept to a bare minimum in a Scandinavian design. If need to use window coverings for Scandinavian decor, opt for light fabrics such as sheer curtains. Furthermore, the reflection of lights through the sheer curtains at night can make Scandinavian living room feel even more romantic.
Warm woods are often used on walls, ceilings, cabinetry, and furniture. Warm tones found in teak and oak are preferred. If pine is used, it’s often grayed down with a special oil that reduces the yellow wood tones.
Scandinavian winters are harsh, so most homes have large fireplaces to provide adequate heat. Fireplace designs are usually simple, but often embellished with beautiful tiles. Scandinavian homes have fireplaces in the corner of a room, not centered on a wall. Seating arrangements are often designed accordingly. Smaller accent chairs float closer to the fireplace while sofas generally anchor the middle of the room, leaving walking space behind it.
A Scandinavian kitchen is the epitome of simplicity and function. Like any Nordic design, kitchens completed in this style boast light hues, wooden surfaces, clean lines, and practical features. Sleek metal stools, dark cabinets, and tile patterns can also create a focal point, along with some well-chosen kitchenware and accessories.
Scandinavian interior design try to incorporate the so call “hygge” philosophy in all aspects of their décor, make it as comfortable as possible. The concept of hygge seems specially tailored for bedrooms. Naturally, a Scandinavian bedroom design features a range of elements that provide ultimate comfort. For example, the bed is pushed up against the window and takes up the whole space. Curtains separate the sleeping space, further adding to the coziness. Natural textiles, warm throws, wooden flooring, and a plush rug can easily transform a bedroom into a hygge heaven. Decorative accents, wall art, plants, and natural light complete a Nordic style bedroom.
Scandinavian interior design are skilled at layering bedding in the most welcoming way. This often includes a blend of linen sheets, wool blankets, and a small collection of accent pillows, often in muted tone-on-tone hues. Iconic lighting is also common in Scandinavian bedrooms, often using the ceiling fixture and bedside lamp to make a modern statement.
If you want to create a calming, gender-neutral room for your little ones, Scandinavian nursery decor will do the trick. The elegant simplicity of a Scandi nursery not only creates a child-friendly space, but it also makes tidying up pain-free.
Like Nordic style bedrooms and kitchens, a Scandinavian bathroom design focuses on simplicity and function. White walls and/or white tiles apear alongside wooden cabinets or light furnitue with wooden accents. Plant pots, open shelving systems, and minimalist wall sconces are also usually found in Scandinavian bathrooms.
Scandinavian design has influenced architects and interior designers for almost a century, this style is still one of the most popular today. Versatile and timeless, Scandinavian furniture and lighting offer an easy way to create an elegant and cozy living space. Nordic style living spaces look simply beautiful. Refined and cozy, Scandinavian design homes are also timeless and become the perfect setting for living well and slow living.