Scandinavian Interior Design: Everything You Need to Know

scandinavian interior design

Get Inspired with Scandinavian interior design

Scandinavian interior design is one of the most popular styles to decorate with. It is simple yet elegant and can be adapted to fit any size of home. It works well in cozy city condos or rustic country homes. With its clean lines and a calming effect, it will make you feel at ease.

Scandinavian design is for those looking to achieve a natural, airy feel in their homes by customizing each room with simple furnishings, muted color schemes, and simplistic accents.

It’s the perfect style archetype for those who want to make tiny homes feel more significant or those with kids and pets. The Scandinavian home style prides itself in its “nothing-to-hide” design philosophy regarding storage options like enclosed cabinets with doors, cubbies, baskets under the sink, etc.

Scandinavian interior design is one of the most popular styles to decorate with. It is simple yet elegant and can be adapted to fit any size of home. The look is primarily white with pops of color, specifically green.

The critical components of this style are:

  • Clean lines.
  • Minimalistic design elements.
  • Natural light through large windows.
  • Sleek surfaces without too many decorations.
  • Open spaces.
  • A neutral color palette.

Applying this style in a Scandinavian bedroom, use a crisp white duvet cover for your bedding and clear nightstands to balance the proportions. Keep accessories to a minimum and invest in high-quality linen curtains that will create an airy feel. For living room and dining room furniture, choose light wood flooring with soft white sofas and armchairs. Play with geometric patterns on carpets or area rugs to lift the look.

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scandinavian interior design principles
Scandinavian interior design principles

Why do people like the Scandinavian design?

The furniture, the architecture, the kitchen appliances. There are some obvious reasons why Scandinavian design is so popular, but I think it goes deeper than just appreciating how light and minimalistic everything looks.

One of the main reasons people like this kind of design is because each piece looks like it has a story behind it – there is a history and an aesthetic to it. Even though the design is very minimalistic, there is such beauty in imperfections – such as scratches on wooden surfaces.

I find that Scandinavian furniture looks so inviting and warm. Maybe it’s because of all that white? Or perhaps because you get this feeling that people feel comfortable in it, they have all of their stuff there. It just feels like a home.

Another reason why I love Scandinavian decor is that it isn’t overbearing to look at. It’s not too loud or tacky. You can have everything in your home – including your kitchen- in a very minimalistic design and still have it look great.

Every time I visit a Scandinavian country, I want to buy things from all the different shops. There is such an abundance of great designs, but they always keep it simple and functional. Of course, some pieces might be a bit extravagant with their materials, and I don’t mind it either. But when you look at Scandinavian design as a whole, most pieces always have this minimalistic touch to them.

This is why Scandinavian design is so great, in my opinion; everything looks like it has its own story, nothing is too loud, and you can always find something that goes with your style.

There’s one thing I don’t really like about the Scandinavian design, though, and it has to do with the colors they use in their kitchens. If there is one place where you should bring out your personality, it should be your kitchen. Some pieces can easily be combined with other elements, but then some don’t go. There are too many rules with the Scandinavian design, which makes it difficult to connect things.

scandinavian minimalist interior design
Scandinavian minimalist interior design

How to get the Scandi look in your home?

The importance of simplicity and cleanliness when it comes to Scandi interior design style cannot be understated. Scandi is a design concept that, in its most basic form, requires only three things: neutral color palettes, simple and geometric shapes, and limited or no clutter in the space. While many might think these rules make Scandi style easy to achieve, it is pretty tricky when you try to apply it thoroughly in your interiors, especially when you are decorating every nook and corner of your tiny apartment. So how do they do it? We have some tips to share with you below.

1. Work with straight lines and simple forms

This is where most of the magic happens in Scandi style interior design. The simpler the shape, the better it looks! Rectangular or square shapes are preferred over complicated curved ones, making your space look more prominent. And since Scandinavian designers emphasize simplicity, avoid anything ornate that isn’t necessary for function, be it furniture shapes or accessories.

2. Limit color palette to only a few neutrals

Scandinavians love everything simple, so they tend to choose their favorite neutral colors and stick to them throughout their homes – white, black, grey, and maybe blue if they feel like spicing it up.

3. Have built-in storage and hidden electrical outlets

Scandinavian interiors are famous for their furniture with integrated storage; it is the best choice if you’re dealing with limited space! And this is why Scandinavian home décor always has clean and clutter-free surfaces, each item has its place, and they only bring out their stuff when they need them. Having all the electric sockets well hidden from sight will keep your surfaces from being cluttered too, which makes cleaning up very easy

4. Keep it simple when choosing paint colors

Take inspiration from Scandinavian designers to choose light base paints without much color influence. White works best, but off-white also a little bit. It also allows them to quickly bring in color using other elements like textiles or accessories.

5. Use only the minimum amount of furniture

You might think that Scandinavian interiors are always sparsely furnished, but this is not true; they understand how to use their furniture ideally. While it might be a good idea to have a sofa and armchair with a coffee table for your Scandinavian living room, you don’t need a bed if you’re a bachelor and buy yourself a comfy daybed instead, which is perfect for your tiny studio apartment. You can even choose shelves over cabinets for storage space, especially if you have an open floor plan, as they don’t visually block the area, unlike cabinets do. Also, try using stools with storage underneath instead of chairs.

6. Use IKEA for your small space living furniture

The Swedish furnishing store IKEA is very popular for its affordable and high-quality home furnishings that can fit any budget or scale of a room! They have chic pieces with customizable options, so you can choose the one that fits your style perfectly! Some designs are simply timeless. The simplicity of these Scandinavian homes is one of them.

For the plan to succeed, you need to have a clutter-free space, so opt for furniture pieces that serve multiple functions and hide electrical outlets behind doors or walls.

  • Choose a neutral palette of whites, blacks, and greys for your Scandi look. These colors will work with every piece you add or change in your home. Just imagine adding a colored cushion to the black sofa – doesn’t it pop?!
  • Add natural materials such as wood, stone, and iron to complement your white walls. These materials will add warmth and depth to your home.
  • Keep it simple! Choose a style that reflects your taste, whether you prefer classic elegance, rustic comfort, or traditional chic.
  • Go for pale colors on any surfaces you want to stand out – the walls, ceilings, and wooden flooring all look good in light colors. You can, however, use bolder hues on surfaces such as the furniture and accessories, so they catch the eye every time you walk into your living room.
  • Incorporate textures and patterns and keep them to a minimum. Choose one patterned item and contrast it with another simple thing, or choose just one texture for a room. Again, could you keep it simple?
  • Add a mix of light and dark furniture to give your home depth and interest. Alternatively, use one dark solid color as the base for your room and add lighter colored furniture as accents.
  • In traditional Scandinavian design, you will also see a lot of black/white fur used as a decoration to warm up the spaces.
  • Add pops of vibrant colors in statement pieces – collectibles, artwork, furniture. But keep it to just one, two, or three max! Trust me; less is more! Also, remember that prints are great for the Scandi style but again, use them sparingly and balance them out with plenty of white space.
  • Finally, remember how crucial natural light is in a home and ensure you get plenty of it! Your Scandi look won’t feel Scandinavian without the sun!

The power of simplicity should never be underestimated because it can truly change everything about your home, shall it be in terms of style or just functional value! If you’re into a minimalist ambiance, check out our previous posts on modern minimalist interior design to get inspired.

I hope these tips will help you achieve a stylish yet functional small living space!

scandinavian interior design style
Scandinavian interior design style

Keeping your space clutter-free

The absence of clutter makes the space feel open and airy in a Scandinavian aesthetic.

A lack of ornaments, bright colors, and other things would distract from the clean lines and emphasis on functionality. The philosophy behind the Scandinavian interior design can be described as “Less is more.” In this article, you will find some pieces of advice to achieve a simple but chic interior in your home.

Less is More It’s true! Keeping the house clutter-free means less mess for you to deal with every day. So, keep a spare closet for any bulky items you don’t use daily, such as winter clothes, etc., giving them time to rest while enjoying the beauty of simplicity. Fewer items mean fewer items to dust off! Enjoy your free time by using it more efficiently rather than cleaning the house.

scandinavian interior design ideas
Scandinavian interior design ideas

Nordic style vs. Scandinavian interior design

Often people say that they are very similar – however – after looking into it – there are some differences between them!

Scandinavian interior design: Distinctiveness of the three Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) is usually associated with simplicity, minimalism, and functionality. Natural materials such as wood and leather combined with clean lines characterize the Scandinavian look. Scandinavian style and Danish design are based on harmony; natural colors tend to earth tones; whites or greys dominate. These traits can be seen in examples of award-winning Scandinavian designs.

Nordic interior design: In the Nordic countries (incl. Finland, Iceland, and the autonomous region of Åland), geographical location influences its architecture and design. This is due to the long, harsh Scandinavian winters where natural light is limited – interiors are designed around the artistic use of artificial lighting. Light sources are often incorporated into modern furniture pieces or suspended from the ceiling to highlight this feature of interior decorating. Most apartments in Helsinki have very high ceilings because most people live in houses with attics which used as living space during wintertime when there is little natural light available outside.

You will notice Nordic homes‘ bright interiors with pale wood floors, painted white walls, flush windows, and skylights that allow for optimal insulation from the cold. In addition, walls are often painted in a light color to add brightness and create a sense of airiness.

Although Scandinavian and Nordic design styles can vary depending on the country, they emphasize functionality, minimalism, and clean lines.

It is important to remember that although Scandinavian designs originate from three countries – their interior style has evolved into its unique entity! So, while there are similarities – you cannot compare Scandinavian interiors with Nordic interiors.

I love many things about Scandinavian/Nordic interior design, such as simplicity; use of neutral color palette; balanced use of textures (especially wood which is so natural and warm); lighting. But what I especially love about Scandinavian design is its ability to look modern and timeless at the same time!

Scandinavian vs. minimalist interior design

In this post, we’ll look at the two main styles of interior design – Scandinavian and minimalism. And compare their benefits and drawbacks to help you choose a style that will look good in your home.

The Scandinavian interior design style is all about making a house a home with lots of personal touches, fun pieces, and bright colors – often accompanied by plants! The downside is that homes decorated in this style can begin to feel cluttered as too many parts compete for attention. So, if you want a more relaxed, lived-in feeling, then this might be the best choice for you.

The minimalist aesthetic is characterized by simple but elegant furniture pieces paired down into monochromatic schemes using blacks, grays, and even the occasional white. This style can be a bit cold and impersonal, but there is a natural beauty in the simplicity of its sleek designs.

However, if you live with children or pets, then this style might not be ideal for them to play off of since it lacks any distinguishing features.

So, after looking at both styles, let’s take another look at their benefits and drawbacks.

What are the benefits of Scandinavian interior design?

Decorating your home in this style can make it feel more welcoming (if you don’t go overboard). A house decorated with simple pieces will still feel cozy thanks to shades like blue, green, and yellow that leave an impression of warmth – even when paired down into minimalistic schemes. Placing personal touches (like family photos) on walls and bookshelves around the house, accentuating key pieces with accessories like curtains or lamps can make your home feel more like you.

scandinavian interior design characteristics
Scandinavian interior design characteristics

What are the drawbacks of Scandinavian interior design?

The downside to this design style is that if items begin to clutter, it can leave a room feeling small and cluttered, making an impression of messiness instead of warmth. If you’re not careful when decorating in this style, your home may end up looking cold and impersonal, which won’t be attractive for guests or yourself.

What are the benefits of minimalistic interior design?

One benefit of simple designs is that they require less cleaning since there’s less stuff in a room to dust around! Great for people with low motivation for cleaning or too busy to keep up with it. Another benefit is that they leave more visual space open in a room – making an impression of luxury and elegance.

What are the drawbacks of minimalistic interior design?

We’ve all seen houses where people have gone overboard with this style, decorating them down into monochromatic schemes using blacks, grays, and even the occasional white. While there’s nothing wrong with using these hues alone, they can create an impression of coldness instead of warmth when paired together. This design style also takes time to decorate since everything must be carefully considered before placing it around a home – which isn’t always ideal for people with low patience levels!

So, what is the right style for you? If you want your home to look welcoming and with a sense of coziness, then go with Scandinavian interior design. If it’s luxury, elegance, and something easy to decorate with simple pieces that’s more important than Minimalist is the way to go!

No matter which decorating style you choose, make sure that it reflects your personality for your home to feel like a refuge instead of an impersonal space.

Modern vs. Scandinavian interior design

The modern vs. Scandinavian interior design is an interesting topic because there are so many different styles of rooms. People have their preferences and opinions about what they want in a room, but the Scandinavian style is an excellent twist on a traditional, modern style.

Even though these two types of designs fall within the same school of thought, they both look very different from each other, and it’s essential to understand those differences before you buy some new furniture or paint your bright walls yellow.

The main difference between the two designs is that the Scandinavian design style is inspired by nature and natural elements. In contrast, the modern interior design tries to take a more industrial decor route.

Workspaces in Nordic countries are often designed with tall windows and light colors to bring in as much natural light as possible and not create a dark or gloomy mood. For example, suppose you were designing an office for your company in Scandinavia. In that case, chances are it would be a very bright and open feeling because people respond better to rooms like this.

They’re happier at work, which means they’ll get their jobs done faster and better than when they’re in a room that feels cramped or too closed off from the world.

However, what happens when you want to add some warmth to the room? You can still have a modern Scandinavian house by simply adding some dark wood furniture, throwing in some plants, and opting for light but warm colors on the accent wall. This will give your room that feeling of openness but also create a warmer atmosphere.

Modern interiors tend to be more industrial-looking with lots of metal, glass, and cold countertops like stone or concrete.

These types of rooms are what you might see in an office building or even in cafes and restaurants because they’re meant to impress people with how sleek and high-tech it all looks lined up against white walls. But this is also why Modern styles work well with bathrooms, laundry rooms, and most other small spaces because there’s not much else you could do to make it look any cleaner and sleeker than this.

That’s not to say that you can’t bring in some warmth into a modern or contemporary room, but it will take more design effort on your part because it won’t be as easy as just throwing in some wood furniture or hanging up a few framed paintings on the walls.

Tips for creating a Scandi-inspired space at home

Everyone loves Scandi-style at the moment, but how can you create your version of this Nordic trend? We’ve got some handy hints from an expert interior designer.

The Scandinavian design look is based on minimalism and simplicity. Most Scandinavian homes have a light, airy feel with a neutral palette of whites, greys, or blacks throughout with splashes of bold colors or prints used for artwork and soft furnishings. But there are so many ways to recreate this look in your home without going out and buying everything new! Here are some easy tips:

1) Keep it simple

Clever lighting is always key to help open up spaces and let the sunshine flood in (an essential factor if you’re thinking of recreating this look in your home). Adding a large statement chandelier with colorful shades to an entrance hall will cast bold shadows and give character.

2) Think outside the box

Storage is key if you want to keep clutter at bay, but there are lots of different ways you can achieve it! You could use open shelving or glass cabinets which are particularly great for showcasing objects. For more of a Scandi vibe, think about stacking up teacups, mugs, or plates on shelves, so they’re easy to see and grab.

3) Faux fabulous

If you don’t have the budget to overhaul every room of your house thoroughly, why not add some simple Scandi accessories? Rugs, cushions, and throws can update a whole room.

4) Stone walls are the key to Scandi style

Don’t think you need to paint all four walls white; adding wallpaper to one wall (a feature wall is best) will instantly bring an element of Scandi design into your home. But make sure it’s bold, like black and white striped or geometric patterns, rather than florals or pastels, which won’t be very Scandinavian!

5) Think about lighting

If you don’t want to splash out on chandeliers, then there are lots of other ways you can use lighting for dramatic effect. Table lamps, floor lamps, and pendant lights are all great. Why not go for brass or copper finishes to add warmth to a room?

6) Material matters

Scandi design is all about natural fibers. Cotton, linen, and wool are ideal for soft furnishings, while wooden furniture, especially teak, adds warmth. Look for upholstery in neutral shades with plain patterns or stripes rather than flowery designs that will lose the Scandi look.

7) Think about texture

You can bring visual interest into your home by adding textures with simple accessories such as throws and cushions. Keep it monochrome, so they’ll match any color scheme you choose, but just think of how awesome these kinds of items will look in front of a sofa against an otherwise bare wall!

8) Keep it limited

Exposed brick or a wooden element is famous in Scandi design, but you can achieve this look without the huge expense. Use paint to bring out the natural beauty of these materials, and just give them a quick scrub and coat of varnish now and again!

9) Mix and match

Mixing patterns may seem like a risky move at first, but you could even go for a mismatched look by pairing different designs together – especially if they’re black, grey, or white, as one will stand out against the others. Why not mix striped bed linen with simple navy towels? Remember, there’s no such thing as set rules when it comes to fashion and interior design; you should do whatever works for you! Consider these yellow sofa living room ideas too.

scandinavian style interior design
scandinavian style interior design

I hope that you now know a little more about Scandinavian interior design. Hopefully, you should have the confidence to move forward with your design ideas.

scandinavian interior design
Scandinavian Interior Design

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