Trending: Scandinavian Design

Author: Kiri Scott

Published: February 13, 2024

Scandinavia is a subregion in Northern Europe, including the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. This area has a rich culture that stands out from the rest of Europe. It began influencing interior design in the 1950s and has since become a design staple in homes around the world. Beginning between two world wars, the purpose of the Scandinavian design was to bring function, style, and low-cost production into people’s homes for a modern look at an affordable price. While the style gives off a minimalist aesthetic, the heart of Scandi design is functionality with incorporated style. Scandi also aims to create a sense of warmth and comfort that many feel is missing in minimalism: it does not wish to completely change your lifestyle, but rather wishing to create organization and function all while keeping your precious items and clutter stored away.


How to Implement the Style:

Scandi style is easier to add to your home than you may think. There are a variety of statement elements and characteristics that come from other styles. As an example, if minimalism is a style that you’ve been striving for, Scandi is a great transition from complete minimalism: Scandi allows for small additions to create the warmth that was missing from minimalist style. It may be more difficult to incorporate Scandi if you already have a decorated home, but if you’re planning to organize and create a better sense of harmony in your space, the design journey will be worth it. The list below contains some of the main points to keep in mind as you start to design for Scandinavian style:

  • Functionality
  • Light and Neutral Mixed with Dark and Muted
  • Airy and Light Spaces
  • Wood Furnishings and Details
  • Decorative Statement Lights
  • Plush Sofas
  • Steel, Brass, or Copper Accents
  • Natural Textiles
  • Artwork as Focal Points
  • Plant Life & Hanging Plants



When this style was first created, functionality was the main focal point for what the designers wanted to achieve in homes. Nearly all Scandi style furniture will and must have a purpose, whether it is an obvious function or a more hidden feature. As an example of functionality, the majority of Scandi style décor may have more than just decorative purposes, such as creating a warm tone to the room, adding light, or even extra storage.



Colors & Tones

The colors and tones of Scandi style are meant to reflect life in the countries it began in, so it has a variety of more neutral and muted tones of white, blue, green, and beige. These colors and tones create a more nature-forward theme as well as promote light to reflect off other surfaces. While choosing furniture, room colors, and décor, keep in mind the following list of tones to truly embrace this style:

  • White and Off-White
  • Grey
  • Muted Blue
  • Muted Green
  • Beige and Cream


Natural Wood Options

Wood is a vital element in Scandinavian style: it brings that extra touch of nature while remaining extremely durable. Some of the best options for wood furniture are beech, ash, and pine as they are durable, light in color, and generally have less knots and markings throughout the wood.

Beech wood is perfect for chairs, desks, and tables as it is affordable and tough. It can resist chipping and gouging better than other woods, and is functionally beautiful inside your home. Ash wood is a bit more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and is very lightweight. It also absorbs wood stains well if you’re looking to change the color. Pine wood has a similar appeal to ash wood, but typically has more knots when compared to the previous wood types.



Decorative Statement Lights

While decorative lights are meant to make a stand-out statement, they also need to provide a good source of lighting. These lights will generally have a more natural style to them, and many tend to have openings so the light can shine through without hindrance. While being statement lights, they will still be simple and have the main purpose of providing adequate lighting.



Natural Textiles

Wood, cotton, leather, and other natural materials help you achieve a natural living space with furniture to match. Nature is important in Scandi style as it brings positive harmony from outside to the inside of your home. The most popular natural materials in furniture include:

  • Wood
  • Stone
  • Cotton
  • Wool
  • Leather
  • Recycled or Repurposed Materials


Artwork Focal Points

While Scandinavian style is meant to be minimal and with purpose, artwork is one area where you can let your creativity shine. The artwork you choose should be a mix of personal preference, visual interest that draws your eye instead of simple decoration, and pieces that will add to the space. Art in Scandi style must still have a purpose, which is being the focal point of design in the room. Statement pieces that will attract one’s attention the moment they enter the room is important - all while still being decorated in moderation. You can use items like sculptures, paintings, and even lighting pieces such as lamps or chandeliers.

Take plenty of time to decide what type of artwork you’d like for your space: it’s important to understand the aesthetic you’ve created and how you can help add to that space. This is a perfect time to add extra muted colors that won’t draw from the current ones in the room – just remember that you do want the art to stand out. The goal for the artwork is not to distract, but to complement what you currently have styled.



If you’re looking for a new style that will help keep your home more organized, clutter free, and still eye catching, then Scandinavian style is the one for you. It works with a variety of different elements that you may already have in your home, and simplifies the design process so you can redecorate and furnish with ease.