Scandinavian Design

Anna Sotnik

Interior design is really about creating a quality of life, and a beauty in that life that nourishes the soul, that makes life beautiful. That’s what all this about, not just what’s in and what’s out.

Scandinavian interior design is known for its light, almost white color palettes, cozy accents, and modern, minimalistic furniture. “There’s not a lot of clutter, and it focuses on functionality, using natural materials”, says Niki Brantmark, the author of Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living and the blog My Scandinavian Home.
“Scandinavian design has a tradition of striving to ensure everyone has access to good design, not just the elite” –  she explains – “this is why you’ll see the beauty in everyday pieces. IKEA is a good example of this.”

It’s no wonder the Scandinavian (Nordic) style is so popular. It speaks to both our modern minimalistic tendencies and our desire to live in cozy and comfortable place. 

Elements of Scandinavian design include:

1. Focus on aesthetics, quality and functionality. Scandinavian design is marked by clean, simple lines, minimalism, nature and outdoor inspiration. 

2. Minimalistic window treatment, tendency to leave the windows bare of covering.

3. Wood floors tend to remain uncovered – light wooden parquets are frequently found in Scandinavian homes, and, of course, live plants are a popular choice when it comes to really bringing the outdoors in.


4. Multiple light sources – modern and simple pedant lamps, usually low hanging, sconces, floor lamps and candles.

Where to buy this lamp

Where to buy this lamp

5. Clean lines in furniture – sofas, tables and chairs with smooth rounded edges.

Where to buy these tables

Where to buy this armchair

6. Color palette is mostly white, with grey, yellow, black and brown touches.

Where to buy these vases

7. Wood and metallic finishes in lighting, furniture and accent pieces.


Where to buy this chair

8. No wall to wall carpets – small rugs or sheepskins instead.

Where to buy this carpet

“Clutter-free design concept is the basic in Scandinavian interiors” 

9. Colourful art is seldom found in Scandinavian interiors, but when it is, it’s often in graphic multiples or botanical prints.


Where to buy this wall art

10. Soft textiles (such as sheepskin, wool, and mohair), maple, natural flooring and a lot of plants create an atmosphere of warmth and coziness.

Where to buy this pillows

Where to buy this pillow

“Minimalism is often considered cold and stark to critics, but Scandinavian design creates warmth through textiles, rather than cluttering things with a lot of decorative items.” – sais Sienna Fantozzi from House Beautiful.

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