Interior Design Style Guide: Scandinavian Design

Scandinavian design

Pictured above: Jonathan Louis Bennett Sofa

Simple. Functional. Yet so cozy and inviting it makes you want to snuggle up and stay forever. Scandinavian design strikes the perfect balance between minimalist style and ho mey warmth. Let’s take a look at where this style came from and how you can bring the coziness of Scandinavian style into your home.

What is Scandinavian Design?

Hailing from the region that introduced the world to hygge, Scandinavian design is a blend of styles from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Thanks to long, cold winters with little daylight, the Nordic people historically spent a lot of time indoors, making home design an important part of their lives.

In this chilly climate, Scandinavian design evolved with the goal of making homes feel bright, airy and warm — even in the dead of winter. Natural light and the color white play huge roles in Scandi style as ways to make the most of little sunlight. Traditionally, Scandinavian homes were also quite small, which led to a style that emphasizes clean lines, functional design and minimal clutter.

Although this kind of modern minimalism can sometimes feel stark and severe, Scandinavian style takes the exact opposite approach. To offset its simple functionality, Scandinavian design incorporates a blend of textures and natural elements to add interest and warmth. Unfinished wood, fur rugs and indoor plants bring a touch of nature into the home, creating the serene atmosphere that’s signature to Scandi style. Mixing materials, patterns and fabrics helps keep a mostly neutral palette interesting. Small pops of color or subtle black accents add contrast and depth.

Elements of Scandinavian Design

  • Soft, muted colors
  • Organic elements like natural wood, leather and fresh greenery
  • Clean lines and modern silhouettes
  • Simple, functional furniture
  • Efficient use of space without over-decorating
  • Layers of differing textures
  • Emphasis on natural light
  • Calm, cozy atmosphere

Scandinavian Style 3 Ways


Scandinavian Bedroom

Scandinavian design works especially well in the bedroom, where inspiring calm and relaxation is a must. Set the tone with a color palette of crisp whites and soothing grays. Pair natural wood finishes with shiny metal details for that all-important texture and contrast. But above all, coziness is key, so don’t forget to treat yourself with some luxuriously soft sheets and an extra-plush rug.

Scandinavian design

Scandinavian Living Room

Although clean white interiors are characteristic of Scandinavian design, this style isn’t limited to a monochromatic palette. In the living room, try mixing muted colors and warm wood tones to create a welcoming atmosphere that still feels balanced and bright. Metals like brass and copper add even more warmth while delivering a modern touch. And of course, no Scandinavian style living room would be complete without a cozy fireplace!

Scandinavian design

Scandinavian dining room

Another hallmark of Scandinavian design is blending vintage and modern styles. The dining room is a great space to experiment with this technique. Create a collected look by mixing and matching different styles of dining room chairs. Look for pared-down shapes and clean lines to keep the assortment cohesive. Choose simple, functional forms for the rest of the decor, then tie in natural texture with a cowhide or sheepskin rug.

Scandinavian design

Show us your Scandinavian style!

Is your home inspired by Scandinavian design? Do you have decorating tips and tricks you want to share? We want to see and hear them! Share your Scandinavian style with us by tagging us in your photos on Instagram or by using the social icons below.

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