Guide to Scandinavian Home Decor

Alt: A gray sofa near a brown wooden coffee table.

Vackrare Vardagsvara or - More beautiful everyday things is the Swedish slogan that summarizes the famous Scandinavian home decor philosophy in interior design. It is easily recognizable for its bright color palette, the predominance of wood in decor, and simplicity. The Scandinavian style did not develop as a reaction to an art movement with too many decorative elements - it unpretentiously originated in the homes of Danes, Finns, Norwegians, and Swedes. Long winters have helped them develop and maintain specific cultural features.

So, how did the Scandinavian trend become so widespread? What are its specific elements? What are the characteristics of a piece of furniture, and last but not least, what interior design rules should inspire you if you want to decorate your home in the Scandinavian style? You will find the answers to these questions below, in the guide we prepared for you.

Characteristics of the Scandinavian home decor style

The practical beauty of this decor style is based on respect for natural materials and the use of bright colors of summer. After World War II, the style became popular in the United States due to its practicality and wood finishes. The post-war economic situation has encouraged a focus on durable, comfortable pieces of furniture that can be made with a minimal amount of material, without unnecessary embellishments. Initially, Nordic designers focused on producing modern furniture using traditional craft techniques rather than mass production.

Caption: The famous concept of Hygge is one of the main characteristics.
Alt: A wooden board with a paper that says ‘Hygge’ next to a candle.

The following elements are specific to the Scandinavian style of interior design:

  • Furniture that is compact, easy to maintain, and comfortable
  • Multipurpose pieces of furniture
  • Easy-to-use storage spaces
  • Tasteful artwork
  • Bright colors of wooden finishes
  • Simple lines, airy and tidy spaces
  • Natural light
  • Houseplants
  • Warm and comfortable fabrics
  • Minimalism and functionality

Let's continue with the ten ideas we have selected to give your interiors the Nordic look you have been looking for.

Tips for incorporating Scandinavian style into your home decor

1. A combination of texture and contrast

Scandinavian design is known for the way its neutral color palette blends seamlessly into environments soaked with natural light. However, don't forget to add contrasts because that makes the difference!

Caption: A tasteful contrast is always good.
Alt: A living room with Scandinavian home decor.

Textures, graphics, and patterns of different shades mixed with various fabrics such as sequins, denim, and cotton: contrasts work well in environments that are neutral bases.

2. Lighting design

In an environment like Scandinavia, where the dominant colors are gentle and neutral, you need a bold light fixture, such as those of an industrial character, that breaks the continuity of white and other bright colors. Alternatively, opt for a system of cassette lights that hang from the ceiling. Round off the look with a floor lamp of the same style.

3. Wood and metal finishes

The Scandinavian element par excellence is a light wood with visible grain and imperfections. Designers use it everywhere, from floors to furniture. For example, the soft oak wood floor makes the room even airier and open and focuses attention on the architecture and artistry.

Wood also goes well with metal finishes, like mixed in on chairs and armchairs made of natural materials with an attractive design. Natural elements are good in any shape or form.

 4. Ceramic vases and geometric motifs

Details make a difference in any environment, no matter its style. In the case of Scandinavian interiors, even the decorative elements are minimal and straightforward: designer vases with essential lines enrich the shelf; simple designs and geometric patterns on the textures of pillows and rugs always beautify a truly Nordic chic environment.

5. Less is more

Simplicity, functionality, and beauty are the key elements of Scandinavian style where there is no room for excess. So, play with clean looks and elegance. Do not overflow the spaces, but study every detail to have a functional and aesthetic purpose. This approach will also help you when the time comes to move to your new home. Look at each item to determine if it will fit well into the new space and decide what not to take with you. If it doesn't match your current style, it might be best to give it away or leave it behind.

6. Prints and graphics on the walls

In any Scandinavian environment, it is necessary to switch up accessories and furniture. However, what should not be missing are the Nordic prints and graphics on the walls. Positioned how? Arrange them in a gallery wall, on a floor leaning against a wall, on furniture, or on shelves leaning against a wall.

Caption: Artwork is one of the main components.
Alt: A painting on a cabinet.

7. Indoor plants

In a minimalist-designed Nordic apartment, plants are great to add color and a personal touch. Plants improve the air quality in your home, instantly make the room fresher and more comfortable, and bring life and energy to the environment.

8. Warm textiles

In Nordic countries, where the climate is freezing, it is not surprising that warm textiles and fabrics such as wool, sheepskin, eco fur, or mohair are present in the furnishings. Rugs, checkered couches and armchairs, blankets, and faux fur pillows give warmth and intimacy to the space and, especially during the Christmas period, are an absolute must!

9. Windows that let in lots of light

Whenever you see photos of Scandinavian homes, they are always bathed in light. To meet the trend of letting as much natural light into the house, it goes without saying that we have to give up various curtains and leave the windows bare. You don't want to without it? Go for light fabrics instead!

10. Minimal fireplace

Taking a cue from Nordic homes where winters are icy, a Scandinavian room can't miss a vintage cast iron wood stove or brick fireplace. However, be careful that they are not bulky and that the room's focal points do not fall out; on the contrary, a stove or fireplace in environments of this type are generally very simple, minimal, and located in the corner of the room.

To conclude

You can easily decorate in this aesthetic if you follow the principles of Scandinavian home decor: in a functional, inviting, and comfortable space, you will not find too many items - but exactly as many as you need. Recognize your family's needs, be inspired by our suggestions, and give your home a Scandinavian, fresh, modern, and minimalist flair.



Meta description: If you want to freshen up your interior and make it trendy and aesthetic, check out the guide to Scandinavian home decor we have prepared for you.

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