No matter how much we all surrender to clutter and chaos in our lives, there is actual peace in minimalism and organization. Though, I can’t promise that we can bring them both into our lives. But for now, I was only trying to create ground for talking about Scandinavian interior design- one that can bring minimalism and organization to our interiors at least.
Though the thought of clean lines, neutral tones, and hyper-minimalism in the Scandinavian style can often send shivers down our spines that crave comfort and warmth, this design isn’t as cold as it’s thought!
In fact, the whole idea behind the Scandinavian interior design is to use only that material that makes us feel cozy, safe, and grounded without creating clutter. Read on and you’ll know! Spoiler: There is more to it than IKEA!
What Is Scandinavian Interior Design? +Some History!
The Scandinavian style comes from the Scandinavian countries namely Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. (Finland and Iceland too, if you would!)
It originated in the 1950s, the same time when the mid-century modern style became popular, transcending the art deco interior design. ‘It didn’t reach international recognition and its stellar levels of popularity until the 1950s when the Lunning Prize was awarded to outstanding Scandinavian designers between 1951 and 1970,’ says Sorcha Mccrory from Scandinavia Standard.
And since this nordic style comes from cold countries where light and natural materials are a luxury, it enthrones them and centers its elements around them, apart from the warm textures to get through the chilly nordic winters.
In simple terms, Scandinavian design is all about visually appealing interiors minus clutter, colors, and mere decor! It has a hyper-focus on minimalism, modernity, functionality, and coziness. ‘Clutter’ is a prohibited word.
Elements Of Scandinavian Style
Now that you might have a vague idea of what Scandinavian interior design looks like and where it comes from, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty to pull the design into our homes, with nothing essential left undone!
The scandi style has a totally neutral color palette- white, black, brown, gray, gray-blue, and sage green.
Since the Nordic winters are usually chilly and dark, you’ll often find white as the base color of most Scandinavian homes since it reflects light and makes a room feel bright, airy, and spacious. But all white might sometimes be too stark, so the blacks and grays are to balance that out.
Wood creates warmth in spaces and nordic countries lack that! Naturally, the brown comes from the wooden furnishings to create warmth and coziness and appreciate nature and its gifts. Green for the same reason- usually in form of plants.
But these days, Scandinavian homes have gotten a modern turn and even earthy pinks and some pops of colors can be seen, besides this style’s native color palette!
Since the Scandinavian style is all about clean lines and embracing nature, furniture that isn’t too intricate and showy is always preferred.
Needless to say, wooden furniture is always the best choice. But not a lot of furniture is recommended as minimalism is the non-negotiable element in this style and so are functionality and durability. So, go for furniture that looks natural, is simple, is very functional, and is made to last. Think multi-purpose or double-duty furnishings made of wood.
Because the Scandinavian design has its primary focus on materials that promote coziness and come from nature, fabrics made of natural materials like wool and cotton are the no-brainers.
They must promote the feeling of coziness, which can be achieved from the texture they have, say sheepskin or chenille. Apart from these considerations, the neutral color choice is quite understood.
Talking of natural materials, flooring that is/ looks wooden is the go-to. You’ll usually find light wood floors in Scandinavian homes since they give good contrast against the generally white interiors and make the space feel cozy.
A lot of patterns like shiplap, herringbone, or chevron can be tried to give your Scandinavian floor some interest, or cover it with a cozy rug altogether!
As the Scandinavian countries are cold and dark, there are large windows and white walls to get the maximum natural light into the Scandinavian home!
In fact, since the mid-century modern design and the Scandinavian design have things in common, they are generally distinguished on the basis of how much natural light the room gets. If it’s a lot, it’s Scandinavian. So, natural light is pretty much a non-negotiable in Scandinavian homes.
Also, for artificial lighting, consider using those that make your Scandinavian room feel cozy and peaceful- warm and recessed lighting for example.
When talking about bringing nature in, plants are the go-to. Same for this nordic style. Plants are majorly used to appreciate nature, keep it close to yourself, and add some color and texture to your otherwise plain interiors. So hoard as many as you can because no number of plants is just enough!
Hygge is the concept around which we center our Scandinavian decorating. It is a danish concept that stands for creating peace, warmth, and coziness in your home by bringing together the things that promote it. It doesn’t involve maximalism or clutter under its umbrella though!
Although you cannot describe hygge with words since it’s quite a psychological feeling of warmth and peace, a few cozy textures like sheepskin and wool along with some fluffy bedding, candles, and fragrances can create hygge in your home, almost instantly!
There isn’t a lot of decor in this style. And if you find any, it’ll usually be sleek and minimal. For wall art, you’ll often find minimal clean lines in neutral tones as usually only one or two black elements against a whole neutral and plain background.
The Scandinavian style promotes simplicity the most! So, minimalism, functionality, and clean lines are some of the most important things to keep in mind when you are decorating with this style. Keep it airy and spacious (and cozy.) But don’t let modernity go out of the spectrum. You’ll be good to go!
13 Scandinavian Home Decor Ideas
Although Scandinavian Interior design prioritizes whites, browns, and blacks, even tones like sage green have found home in this style owing to its love for nature.
So, just like this beautiful Scandinavian space, don’t restrict your color choices when planning on the colors you’ll use- go so far as sage green, gray-blue, and blush pink tones. They’ll only add to the elegance.
Let A Lot Of Light In
When planning a Scandinavian revamp, overlooking abundant natural light is a recipe for a blunder! Any Scandinavian-style home you see, it’ll always be flooded with natural light.
So, take this Scandinavian home office as your sign and make your windows bigger than your doors! (Disclaimer: Anybody who takes this PJ seriously does it at his own risk!)
White Is A No-Brainer!
White strikes the first thing in our minds when we think Scandinavian. So naturally, when decorating in the Scandinavian style take inspo from this Scandinavian nursery and pick up the brush and paint!
But don’t let all-white be too gaudy, add some pops of colors in form of plants and furnishings for the best look!
Add A Cozy Rug
Since the Scandinavian design style enthrones the feeling of coziness and comfort, you can’t always get it in interiors that have very airy and leggy furniture. That’s where a cozy, furry rug can come to play!
This Scandinavian living room looks very cozy and warm because it has a rug that adds texture, warmth, and coziness!
Japandi interior design which stands for a mix of Japanese design and Scandinavian design is one of the most popular designs out there!
The Scandinavian and Japanese styles have a lot in common, think minimalism, neutral color palette, nature, and natural light. Just bring in the low Japanese furniture and Scandinavian hygge into the picture and you’re almost there!
Play With Hygge!
Hygge is the core concept in Scandinavian interior design as it means creating comfort and warmth in any space without creating clutter. Now, as tricky as it might sound, you can be creative and add some texture with the minimal furniture and decor pieces you use!
Even a space as minimal as this reading nook becomes cozy and inviting with the mere presence of warm tones like beige and cream plus the textured upholstery on the chair makes all the difference!
Go For The Boho-Scandi look!
Opposites attract can’t be any healthier than the boho-scandi combination that lands right in between the hyper-maximalism of Bohemian design and the ultra-minimalism of Scandinavian design.
Much like this scandi-boho bedroom, create a retreat that houses some boho decor like rattan furnishings, and heavily-textured fabrics. Bring in the Scandinavian flair with neutral tones and minimalism! (And plants and natural light.)
Add Contrast With Dark Tones
If an all-white space sounds too intimidating, add some dark tones to balance your Scandinavian color scheme.
This dining room uses dark gray for the chairs and curtains to bring just the perfect round of balance to the interiors. The large wall art is just enough to tie the look together!
Add A Scandi Touch To Your Library
If you are looking to add a Scandinavian touch to your home library, then keeping your books with their paged side on display so that they don’t mess with your scandi color scheme is quite creative!
Decorate your bookshelves with some other decor as well and you’re good to go!
Make It Functional
Functionality is key in Scandinavian interior design. For example, this entryway uses minimal furniture, plants, natural light, a Scandinavian color palette, and every other element but doesn’t let go of the functionality of the space by adding a black cupboard that’s so worth it!
Think of plants and nature as the second words for Scandinavian home decor. Whether it be your living room, bathroom, bedroom, or even kitchen for that matter, don’t compromise on plants. They scream scandi!
Though everything about Scandinavian and minimalism has been said, it’s worth reiterating over and over!
Take inspiration from this Scandinavian bathroom, and prioritize the use of clean lines and minimalist decor.
Add A Fireplace
Owing to how cold the Scandinavian homes are, they usually have a fireplace. So, mimic the look, and add a cozy and modern fireplace in your living room to make you feel like you really live in Scandinavia!
Why is Scandinavian Design so Popular?
Seeing how much peace and coziness the Scandinavian interior design brings to any home it is used in, people love to come back to this feeling of serenity after a hectic day at work!
Surely, the popularity of the Scandinavian design is less about the decor and more about the tranquility and calmness it brings home.
Is Scandinavian Style Here to Stay?
So long as people keep loving peace and calm, the Scandinavian style will stay. And because people will always love peace and serenity, there is no reason to think that the Scandinavian style will leave the picture anytime soon!
It’s surely here to stay.