With the busy modern life, homeowners are now more aware of their furniture choices and aim to find a balance between simplistic simplicity and the luxurious comfort of their decor ideas.
Here we explore the best of the Scandinavian decor trend – and how to effectively and beautifully use the popular interior design aesthetic in your home.
Scandinavian Decor Ideas – How to Embrace This Simple Trend
What is Scandinavian design, you ask? Expect to see Scandinavian influences displayed in their most subtle form yet. Clean lines, sleek surfaces, and a neutral palette strike a chic, casual balance.
Adopt Scandinavian design principles to create a space that is focused, functional and contains only a few elements that are meaningful and cherished.
Here we look at the various features as well as the aesthetic of Scandinavian design, with expert guidance to help inform a new room.
1. Add careful attention and detail
The lines and crosses of the Scandinavian living room ceiling reveal the beauty of its structure and architecture, and create a vibrant contrast to the serene space below.
In older homes, it can pay to investigate the original ‘bones’ of the house although it is important to consider the condition of the ceilings that may be present if you expose them.
The use of white paint here may have helped mask the imperfections as well as create a softer effect to match the room. This versatile neutral is one of the most popular paint ideas for Scandinavian interiors, and it’s easy to see why. Decking in white provides a blank canvas that brightens up dark spaces—a common problem in Scandinavia—and can make even small rooms feel spacious, light and light.
2. Woodwork in your design
Wood is a staple of Scandinavian cuisine, but this season it’s being reinterpreted with new and interesting techniques.
Here, 3D surfaces that transform with light give a modern feel to wood in the kitchen. Sophia Bon Strand, CEO of Sola Kitchens, explains: “Together with the sleek, flat-fronted doors in crisp white, thin vertical wood slats provide texture and depth, enhancing the tension between plain and style. (Opens in a new tab).
SKOG, which means “forest” in Swedish, is the name given to this stunning new wood-focused design from Sola Kitchens. She adds, “It’s called SKOG in part because the wooden slats resemble the outlines of trees, but the name also reflects the embrace of natural materials – a quality typical of Scandinavian design.”
3. Go for a white one white outline
White bedroom ideas evoke purity and cleanliness combined with confidence and sophistication, and are a timeless choice for a true Scandinavian scheme.
“The reason people like white room ideas is because they’re so versatile,” says artist and color expert Annie Sloan. (Opens in a new tab). There are many shades of white varying from warm white to cool white, and the great thing about decorating with it is that whatever your interior style – whether contemporary or rustic – white on white is a scheme guaranteed to look elegant in a Scandinavian bedroom.
Designed by Lucy Ayres, founder of 22 Interiors (Opens in a new tab), This space uses texture to perfection. Texture in interior design is vital, and it’s not just about the look of soft décor and furnishings, but it’s also about ‘visual texture’ – using different textures to add interest and breathe life into a room. This is an important element of the Scandinavian design ethos.
4. Put the focus on the furniture
The main purpose of Scandinavian design is to improve everyday life. So furniture is not only about chic style, but also about functionality – it has to serve a purpose and stand the test of time.
‘Choose a few key pieces of furniture in each room that look good but also work hard,’ says interior designer Whitney Parkinson, founder of Whitney Parkinson Design. (Opens in a new tab).
For a Scandinavian sunroom, for example, a comfy sofa and chair, a simple floor lamp, a few large, thoughtfully placed houseplants, a woven rug and accent pillows work well. Just remember to make room for the things and furnishings you really love.
5. Go for the monochrome palette
As a rule, Scandinavian design is simple and simple. When it comes to color, Scandinavian kitchens have light colors for a practical reason – think white kitchen ideas or wood kitchen cabinet ideas with faded finishes. “Scandinavia is very dark in winter and the lighter colors and materials will reflect the little light that’s there,” says Sophia Bon Strand, founder of Sola Kitchens. (Opens in a new tab).
The black and white decorating scheme is a brave choice, as it requires careful editing and a strong design eye. This type of Scandinavian interior design can also appear “flat” if you don’t offer subtle texture and color variation. But if carefully put together, it’s a great way to add drama and style. “The client had one request for this space: black, white with a bit of warmth,’ says Whitney Parkinson. We achieved this using a combination of wood finishes and paint colors. It is truly a victory for the senses. “
6. Instilling Scandinavian serenity into the workspace
The home office is one room that has become a necessity in many of our spaces. Although we all have different working styles and needs, there are some basic principles to follow.
Think of a soothing color scheme that motivates you and allows you to focus, says interior designer Bobby Burke (Opens in a new tab). “For me, that means decorating with clean white walls and a minimal amount of colour, often associated with Scandinavian design principles.”
“When I work,” he says, “I love eliminating visual distractions and a lot of ‘things’—the piles of papers and materials on the desk not only look cluttered, but they can also pull focus from the task at hand. “Letter trays and file containers keep clutter at bay, and if you have the space, a cabinet allows you to keep those extras organized and out of sight.”
In this chart, Gunter & Co .’s Erin Gunter (Opens in a new tab) It cleverly combines materials and textures to create contrast and a sense of dimension. A room without a lot of color can look really flat when you stick with similar materials. That is why it is better to bring warm wood tones, stone accents and accessories that will create a sense of depth.
7. Keep your space minimal and tidy
Designed by Joyce Downing Pickens of JDP Interiors (Opens in a new tab)This Scandinavian-inspired space in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood is a minimalist masterpiece.
Simple living room ideas and Scandinavian decor ideas go hand in hand, so it pays to keep your color choices simple and hassle-free. Authentic Scandinavian homes are becoming more and more practical – with little or no decorative details. Instead, their style is derived from the simple architectural lines and the sheer quality of the furniture and materials used.
8. Keep devices hidden away
Scandinavian interior design is all about functionality, so consider custom built built-in wardrobes, clever laundry room storage solutions, and slim benches to maximize every inch of space.
The ideal solution can also be hidden shelves or a “pull-out” cabinet, which does not encroach on the living or cooking space – and can be opened and closed when needed. Not only will this ensure an organized and calm area, but less fuss also means you’ll be better able to relax and unwind.
9. Mix styles and trends
Give Scandinavian design maximum height by pairing it with bohemian living room ideas. “Boho is one of those totally unique styles and can be interpreted in many ways,” says Bobby Burke. “And for me, what’s most interesting and unexpected is the combination of boho and quiet Scandinavian style for a true 21st century sophistication.”
At the heart of this look is an eclectic mix of materials, styles, and eras. So when you’re new, you’ll still want to embrace those broad references, but rather than maxing out, it’s all about eclecticism. Determining your color palette to tone is a good place to start, whether it’s using warmer or cooler shades. The use of white, black, and wood tones will also help enhance the sense of modernity.
For art, consider a large abstract painting or photo to add visual interest. You can also opt for framed fabric to give something a bit more eclectic. Accessories should follow suit, too, with globally sourced items next to simple ceramics and elegant pieces. Even the greenery you add can enhance the Scandinavian mood. Choose a large plant such as a fig leaf that will add a sculptural feel.
10. Decorate with natural materials
Bringing nature indoors doesn’t just apply to plants. Use materials that are usually found outdoors and make them a part of your indoor décor. Wood, wood, thatch, and stone work well to enhance the Scandinavian scheme.
Try adding natural elements to the home by decorating with natural materials such as wood, seashells, tree bark, flowers and feathers. The same feeling of relaxation and freedom of nature can be brought into your home by stimulating the senses.
“The joys of nature cannot be understated,” Contura lifestyle expert Katharina Björkman. “We feel more peaceful and comfortable in the company of nature; the plants, raw materials and ethereal color schemes remind us that we are part of a much larger world – and that we are fortunate to share it with nature.
“There is also the possibility that natural substances may be beneficial to our health,” says Sebastian Cox. “Biophilic design has a set of clear principles, one of which is the use of natural materials to reconnect us with the natural world.”
What are the Scandinavian colors?
It is best to associate muted color palettes with Scandinavian decor ideas.
The nuances of color are the reason why James Thorstan Waterworth, founder of Thurstan, prefers neutral colors in his Scandinavian-inspired schemes because they create a soft starting point from which antiques, art, and other motifs can sing. You can then build from here with touch surfaces, patterned textiles, eclectic furnishings and more modern motifs to create layers of interest, while allowing all of the individual elements of the interior to breathe.
“I gravitate towards natural color palettes, and materials too, because for me they give the design some timelessness and longevity.”