Design Spotlight: What Is Scandinavian Interior Design?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

In recent years, the world has seen a surge in the popularity of Scandinavian interior design. But what is Scandinavian interior design exactly? Rooted in the Nordic regions, this design philosophy emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and a connection to nature. According to a 2020 survey, over 35% of homeowners expressed a preference for Scandinavian-inspired interiors. If you’re among those intrigued by this design trend, read on to discover its essence and how you can incorporate it into your living space.

The Essence of Scandinavian Interior Design

Ah, Scandinavia! A region is known not just for its breathtaking fjords and delicious pastries but also for its unique approach to interior design. The question on everyone’s lips: What Is Scandinavian Interior Design?

Well, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. The roots of Scandinavian design trace back to the early 20th century. It was a time when Nordic countries decided that even though their winters were bleak, their homes didn’t have to be.

The core principles of this design philosophy are as clear as a Swedish summer day:

  • Simplicity in design ensures that spaces are uncluttered and breathe easily.
  • Functionality ensures every piece has a purpose. No room for that chair that no one sits on!
  • A deep connection to nature is evident in the materials used and the designs themselves.

And let’s not forget the colors. If you’ve ever wondered why Scandinavian homes have an airy feel, it’s because of their love for light and neutral colors. Whites, grays, and soft pastels dominate the palette, reflecting the serene snow-covered landscapes outside.

Key Elements of Scandinavian Design

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into the nitty-gritty of this design trend.

Design Element Description
Natural Materials Wood (birch, pine), stone for a touch of the outdoors.
Minimalistic Furniture Clean lines, simplicity, functionality.
Incorporation of Life Plants and natural elements bring life to spaces.

First off, if you’re thinking of turning your home into a Scandinavian haven, you’d better be a fan of natural materials. Wood, especially from birch and pine trees, and stone play starring roles. They bring a touch of the wild Nordic outdoors right into your living room.

Next up, is the furniture. Forget the ornate and intricate. Scandinavian furniture is all about minimalistic designs and clean lines. Think chairs that look so simple yet are ergonomically perfect, or tables that are the very definition of understated elegance.

But it’s not all cold minimalism. The design also incorporates life in the form of plants and other natural elements. A potted plant here, a wooden sculpture there, and voila! Your space is transformed. If you’re looking for more inspiration on this, has some fantastic home decor and interior design ideas that align perfectly with the Scandinavian vibe.

And for those who are still a tad unsure about how to bring this design into their homes, offers a treasure trove of Scandinavian interior design ideas. From color palettes to furniture choices, they’ve got you covered.

Natural Materials in Scandinavian Design

The Role of Color in Scandinavian Interiors

Ah, color! The silent narrator of our spaces. In the world of Scandinavian Interior Design, color isn’t just a mere aesthetic choice; it’s a storyteller.

The Nordic palette predominantly sways towards whites, grays, blacks, and pastels. Ever wondered why? Imagine a snowy landscape under a muted winter sky, and you’ll get the picture. These colors aren’t just chosen for their beauty but for their ability to maximize light in those long, dark winter months.

Now, let’s talk about mood. Colors have this uncanny ability to play with our emotions. The soft neutrals of Scandinavian design create a calm, serene ambiance, making homes feel like a peaceful retreat. It’s like yoga but for your living room.

Choosing the right color palette can be daunting, but fear not! For those who break into a cold sweat at the thought of picking paints, Apartment Therapy has some nifty tips on embracing the Scandinavian color scheme.

Serene Color Palette of Scandinavian Interiors

Textures and Fabrics in Scandinavian Homes

Moving on from colors, let’s dive into the world of textures and fabrics. If the Scandinavian design had a middle name, it would be Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga). This Danish word encapsulates the essence of warmth, coziness, and contentment. It’s like wrapping yourself in a warm blanket with a cup of cocoa on a cold day.

Speaking of blankets, the fabrics used in Scandinavian homes are all about creating that Hygge vibe. Think wool, cotton, and other natural textiles. These materials aren’t just chosen for their tactile appeal but for their warmth and practicality.

But it’s not just about one texture; it’s about layering them. Mixing a soft woolen throw with a sleek leather couch or pairing a rough wooden table with soft cotton curtains creates depth and interest in a space. It’s like a symphony for your senses.

For those who are a tad messy (no judgment here) and worry about maintaining these textures, HouseBouse has some deep house cleaning tips that might come in handy. And if you’re looking for more inspiration on mixing and matching textures, Decorilla offers a comprehensive guide on Scandinavian decor.

Textures and Fabrics in Scandinavian Design

What Is Scandinavian Interior Design? – Modern Interpretations

The timeless charm of Scandinavian design has not only endured but evolved. Today’s designers are taking the core principles of simplicity, functionality, and nature and giving them a fresh spin.

Contemporary designers are pushing the boundaries, introducing bolder colors and innovative materials while still retaining that quintessential Nordic feel. It’s like the classic design got a trendy haircut!

Moreover, the beauty of Scandinavian design lies in its adaptability. It’s now fusing seamlessly with other design philosophies, from rustic to industrial. Imagine a sleek Scandinavian chair against a rugged brick wall. Perfection, right?

But what’s truly fascinating is the global appeal of this design. From Tokyo apartments to New York lofts, the world is embracing the Nordic charm. Wondering how to bring that Scandi style to your home? Modern Dane offers some fantastic tips and insights.

Practical Tips for Achieving the Scandinavian Look

Dreaming of a Scandinavian haven but on a shoestring budget? Fear not! Achieving the Nordic look doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank.

Firstly, focus on the basics. Minimalistic furniture, neutral colors, and lots of natural light. Thrift shops can be gold mines for Scandi-style finds. A little sanding and a coat of white paint can work wonders.

Got a creative streak? Dive into DIY projects. Handmade wooden shelves or a simple macramé wall hanging can add that Scandinavian touch without the hefty price tag.

And if you’re wondering how to blend this style with your existing decor, it’s simpler than you think. The key is balance. Mix and match textures, colors, and materials. Need more guidance? HouseBouse has some great tips on painting and decor, while Architectural Digest offers a deeper dive into the Scandinavian style.

Scandinavian Design Inspiration

Ready to dive into the world of Scandinavian design? Start by following some of the top designers in the field. Their innovative approaches and fresh ideas are sure to inspire.

But in today’s digital age, inspiration is just a click away. Instagram is brimming with accounts dedicated to Scandinavian design. From cozy homes to chic apartments, there’s a world of Nordic beauty waiting to be explored. For a curated list of the best Scandinavian design accounts, check out Design Studio 210.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Scandinavian Interior Design?

Scandinavian interior design is a design philosophy from the Nordic regions that emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and a connection to nature.

How did Scandinavian design originate?

Originating in the early 20th century, Scandinavian design was a response to the harsh Nordic winters, aiming to create bright, cozy, and functional spaces.

What colors are typical in Scandinavian interiors?

Neutral colors like whites, grays, and blacks dominate, often complemented by soft pastels to create a serene ambiance.

Are natural materials important in this design?

Yes, natural materials like wood and stone are fundamental in Scandinavian design, reflecting a deep respect for nature.

How can I achieve a Scandinavian look on a budget?

Focus on minimalistic furniture, neutral color palettes, and DIY projects using natural materials. Thrift shops can also offer affordable Scandi-style finds.

Is Scandinavian design the same as minimalism?

While both emphasize simplicity, the Scandinavian design also prioritizes warmth, coziness, and a connection to nature, making it distinct from pure minimalism.

Can I mix Scandinavian design with other styles?

Absolutely! Many contemporary homes blend Scandinavian elements with other design philosophies, creating a unique and personalized look.


In the realm of interior design, few styles are as timeless and appealing as Scandinavian. Understanding what is Scandinavian interior design is the first step to transforming your space into a cozy, functional, and nature-inspired haven. If you’re inspired by what you’ve learned, consider diving deeper into this design philosophy or even seeking professional guidance to bring the Nordic charm into your home.

Thank you for reading!