High on function, low on fuss. A balance of warmth and beauty. Scandinavian design is a favourite amongst minimalists who praise the simple, pared back aesthetic that promotes a feeling of wellbeing. Looking to incorporate this into your home? Read on to discover the key components—but of course, if you don’t want to adopt the style in full, remember it can also be incorporated with your own style to reflect your values and personality.
less is more
Our Nordic neighbours can teach us a thing or two about sustainable, strategic and purposeful purchasing. When it comes to interior accessorising, it’s about minimal ornamentation and choosing items that bring value, functionality or happiness. Always consider why you're bringing a particular new décor item to your space. Ask yourself: What’s the quality of craftsmanship? Is it something functional I’ll use often or something I’ll love to look at every day? A tasteful teapot, beautiful mugs, simple vase or carefully crafted ceramics will all add a truly Scandinavian touch.
(Image 1 by line_hamre, image 2 by scandinavianstylist)
Consider bringing the outdoors in with plant-life to brighten up a space and bring an earthy element to further the natural look. There’s an increasing interest in handmade items and biophilia—the connections between humankind and nature—as our world becomes more technology-driven. Not only are they good for our eyes, but our health too.
Image 1 by cocolapinedesign, image 2 by scandihome)
Beautiful, practical, functional and timeless. There’s a reason that Scandinavians value the importance of organic, natural materials. While there’s some overlap between Scandinavian and mid-century modern design, the main difference is that modern minimalist design often features stainless steel, chrome and plastics, with Scandinavian design focusing more on raw materials that showcase quality craftsmanship. Think hemp rugs, woven baskets and rustic woodwork. Just like plants, these items will add a grounding, connecting element.
(Image 1 by stylingbydenice, image 2 by scandinavianstylist)
a lesson in lighting
The right lighting. What a simple notion. Or is it? Danes seem to have mastered what’s actually more of a science and found the perfect alchemy—perhaps due to their long dreary winters. For a true hygge atmosphere, have different light sources that are strategically placed. The softer, more diffused the lighting is, the better. It’s not just about light fixtures, but also maximising window light as much as possible, too. Sheer curtains are often used instead of blinds or shutters. And of course, your Scandi style home won’t be complete without (lots of) candles.
(Image 1 by indivisualstyle, image 2 by svenja_traumzuhause)
Another difference between mid-century modern interiors and Scandi interiors is the colour palette. While modern design incorporates darker hues and works in low light, Scandinavian design aims to maximise light. It welcomes pale walls, floors and furniture that reflect natural light to make the space feel airy and calming. This could look sparse, but the natural materials such as wood add warmth and texture. You can also layer multiple complimentary shades of your chosen colour. Whether you go for whites, cool greys or warm neutrals, layering will create depth and interest.
(Image 1 by carlasofiemolge, image 2 by cocolapinedesign)
Light-wood floors are making a comeback and they’re the basis of most Danish and Swedish homes. You’ll usually find pale wood floors in almost every room, which contributes to that bright and airy feel. Engineered timber floors are a great option, and if you have existing hardwood flooring this can be sanded and whitewashed. As vintage is also a big deal in Scandi design, reclaimed flooring will make your space feel even more interesting and multi-layered.
(Image 1 by nordiskrum, image 2 by stylingbydenice)
don’t skimp on comfort
From underfoot comfort to a sofa so comfortable you’ll find it hard to detach yourself, getting this right is of upmost importance. While you’re unlikely to find wall-to-wall carpets in Scandinavian homes, what you will see is warming textiles like super plush rugs, blankets and cushions. The textures will also enhance your space, adding warmth and a feeling of cosiness to a neutral canvas.
(Image 1 by thesefourwalls, image 2 by myscandinavianhome)
Start your Scandi style bedroom with beautifully simple, beautifully made bed linen, and your Scandi style bathroom with comforting, timeless bath linen