Scandinavian interior design focuses on creating a space that feels like our personal sanctuary. This means strengthening our relationship with nature; Consider elements such as maximizing natural light, adding greenery and plants, using natural materials, and soothing color schemes. explains Katharina Bjorkman, Contura’s Scandinavian lifestyle expert.
It seems dreamy. And there’s so much that came of it that we’ve rounded up all of our favorite living room ideas and designer tips to help you achieve the ever-evolving Scandinavian style.
How do you design a Scandi living room?
Scandi living room design has two paths – the very cozy, very textural look, and the very Scandinavian look, and then there are the clean lines and minimalist approach. But they both have a lot in common and you can happily switch between them and combine them together as well.
A few staples with Scandi living rooms, no matter which version of Scandi design you’re going for — “White, off-white, off-white — focus on light, neutral colors for that clean look.” says the team at Day Home for the Danish brand (Opens in a new tab). ‘Less is more.’ More open spaces and less clutter are key to a peaceful Scandi feel. And incorporate natural materials like wood, linen, and sheepskin — and don’t forget the house plants! Mix old with new and combine different materials and textures such as rattan, wood or concrete.
1. Declutter your space
An essential part of Scandinavian design is minimalism. Everything in a room needs to have its place and there is no room for pieces that are all form and no function. So before you start designing your living room, de-clutter and clear the room of anything that doesn’t serve an obvious purpose.
“The key elements to creating a Scandinavian-style space are sticking to clean lines and eliminating clutter.” explains Lotta Lundas, founder of Norse Interiors (Opens in a new tab). Functional storage is key to this simple look. You rarely see bulky furniture in a Scandinavian home; The size of the furniture should adapt to the dimensions of the room and leave plenty of open space to give furniture and people a chance to breathe.
And to maintain this clean and clear space, you’ll want to make sure your living room storage space is zeroed. Choose a combination of open and closed storage – living room shelves will allow you to create beautiful displays and personalize the room, and closed storage will allow you to hide that unaesthetic, but unfortunately basic mess.
2. Get your living room lighting right
Since Scandis spend so many winters in the dark, it’s no wonder that a lot of their interior design concepts are obsessed with light, whether it’s natural or artificial. The consensus on living room lighting is that the more light and the more lighting options the better, so you can set the mood of the room accordingly.
Start by making the most of the natural light in your home – keep window decoration to a minimum to let in as much sunlight as possible. And remember, rarely is a natural space completely light or completely dark; Natural light has depth and texture. Katrina explains.
Recreate this in your home by incorporating a range of accent lighting options to illuminate different areas of the space, rather than just one or two ceiling lights that can be too harsh. Create clusters of light using picture lights, pendants, and dimmers, as well as functional and elegant freestanding lamps and table lamps, fairy lights, and candles.
3. Get naked on bare wood floors
While interior design trends may suggest that living room rugs are back in style, you won’t find them in Scandi interiors. As Katharina explains, “Wood floors are another staple of Swedish interior design – you rarely see matching rugs in the main living areas. Pale-colored woods such as pine or birch help reflect the light or you could also paint the floorboards white, as this will make The space feels bigger than it is.To add extra comfort, add some texture and a splash of color with a soft wool or cotton rug for a stylish and practical option.
4. Don’t be shy about color
A light, neutral color palette is synonymous with Scandi living rooms, however, don’t let that fool you into some of the bolder tones. Choose living room colors that add warmth and coziness to the space—pale pink, terracotta, and even yellow will be right at home in a Scandi vibe.
“Scandinavian interiors can be as bright and cheery as they can be clean and restrained.” says Patrick O’Donnell of Farrow & Ball (Opens in a new tab). “India Yellow brings a deep richness and warmth to a living room—creating a sympathetic backdrop for beautifully chosen, deceptively controlled portraits and furniture—especially paired with soft white as strong white.”
Instead of going for cool grays for your “classic” look, consider earthy tones to create a sophisticated Scandi living room setting like Pantalon with a chic neutral white in green. Mistaking it towards brown and more earthy tones – it will create a softer and gentler color ensemble.
5. Layer over the texture
If you’re looking for the one thing that will give your living room a Scandi feel, it’s texture. Texture, texture, texture. the more the better. Scandi spaces may be limited in color, but they more than make up for it by layering different materials and tactile finishes to create spaces as interesting as the ones full of color.
Scandinavian design is all about texture — layering soft materials over hard woods. This creates a luxurious feel in a sparse space. The trick is to keep those textures in a neutral palette. So, white sheepskin rugs, beige cashmere throws and gray woolen sofas will help you do this. suggests our editor, Pip Rich.
6. Mix and match wood tones
Another tip for adding interest to a neutral color scheme is to choose different wood tones and finishes when choosing your living room furniture. You won’t have to go as well with all the grays, creams, and whites, but wood can add depth and that all-important texture to a room.
“Choose solid colors on your main furniture, and to make the classic, lighter Scandinavian color palette more interesting, I recommend adding different textures inspired by nature.” Lotta suggests. “I think natural wood, dark walnut or teak, and light oak will be at the center of home decor in 2022. Finally, adding multiple lighting fixtures in each room is another vital element that enables you to change light sources throughout the day and seasons.
7. Invest in a wood-burning stove
Ah, of course, what Scandi living room would be complete without a wood-burning stove? There’s just something about a log burner that looks like this… Nordic. Of course, gas fires provide instant warmth, but there’s nothing quite like piling in the wood and making a bonfire yourself. In addition, wood-burning stoves are by far the most efficient fireplace idea, warming a room more quickly and effectively than an open fire.
“The final ingredient in creating that rustic country feel is embracing the essential comfort of a fire—a wood-burning stove is a must-have in any Scandinavian home as there’s no better way to unwind than by burning up a crackling fire.” Katrina explains. Agreed.
8. Bring the outdoors in
The whole concept of hygge may depend on hunkering down inside under a layer of blankets, but getting outdoors is an equally big part of Scandinavian culture. It is therefore not surprising that a key part of Scandi interior design is to bring the outside in.
Bringing the outdoors in is another key to creating that rustic, rustic feel at home. Choose later plans that are plentiful, like Pothos (Devil’s Ivy) or String-of-Pearls. Not only are they easy to grow and maintain, but they both have air-purifying properties. Growing herbs indoors is another great way to make a space feel more rustic – rosemary and basil will add a lovely, uplifting scent to your home and will also prove undoubtedly beneficial when cooking. explains Katharina Bjorkman.