Scandinavian Decorating Ideas

From Nordic Nature to Cozy Textiles: Design Tips for Scandinavian-Inspired Interiors

By Interior Designer TRACY SVENDSEN | Published on Aug 6, 2023 | Updated on April 30, 2024 |

Scandinavian Decorating Ideas: Welcome to the world of Scandinavian-inspired interiors, where minimalism meets warmth and nature meets design. This design trend has captivated homeowners worldwide, from the mesmerizing landscapes of Nordic nature to the cozy embrace of textiles.

In Scandinavian-inspired interiors, simplicity reigns supreme. Clean lines, white walls, uncluttered spaces, and neutral color palettes create a sense of serenity and tranquility. But don’t mistake simplicity for coldness. Natural materials like wood, stone, and leather add warmth, texture, and organic beauty to the space.

We’ve got you covered if you want to bring the Scandinavian design aesthetic into your home. This article will share design tips to help you create a Scandinavian-inspired haven. From choosing the right color scheme to incorporating natural elements, you’ll discover how to infuse your space with the signature charm and timeless appeal of Nordic interior design. Feature image courtesy of Planete-Deco.

Scandinavian Living Room Ideas

Scandinavian-Style Living Room
Image courtesy of Emily Henderson Design.

Understanding Scandinavian Style Design Principles

Scandinavian design is rooted in simplicity, functionality, and minimalism. It embraces clean lines, uncluttered spaces, and a sense of openness. The focus is on creating a calm and serene environment that promotes relaxation and well-being.

One key aspect of Scandinavian design is the use of natural materials. Wood, stone, and leather add warmth and texture to the space. These materials connect to nature and bring a sense of authenticity and timelessness to the design.

Another essential principle of Scandinavian design is the emphasis on light and space. Scandinavian interiors are known for their large windows that allow ample natural light to flood the space and brighten the room, creating a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors. Incorporating these design principles into your home can help you achieve a Scandinavian-inspired interior that is beautiful and functional.

Scandinavian Decorating Ideas

Contemporary Scandinavian Living Room
Image courtesy of Luxe Interiors

Color Palettes and Materials for Scandinavian Interiors

Regarding color palettes, Scandinavian interiors often opt for a neutral base with pops of color. Whites, grays, and light pastels create a calm and serene atmosphere. These colors also help amplify the space’s natural light, making it feel bright and airy.

In addition to neutral colors, Scandinavian design also embraces earthy tones. Shades of brown, green, and blue add depth and a connection to nature. Incorporate these colors through furniture, textiles, and accessories.

Natural elements play a key role in Scandinavian interiors. Wood is a prominent feature in flooring, furniture, or decorative accents. The warmth and texture of wood add a cozy and inviting touch to the space. Stone and leather are also commonly used to enhance the organic feel of the design further. By carefully selecting a color palette and incorporating natural materials, you can create a Scandinavian-inspired interior that feels harmonious and inviting.

Scandinavian Color Ideas
Scandinavian Color Ideas

Contemporary Scandinavian Design
Image courtesy of Lili Jen Crantz

Minimalist Furniture and Functional Design

One of the defining features of Scandinavian design is its focus on minimalist furniture and functional design. Furniture pieces with clean lines and simple forms are favored over ornate, elaborate designs. The goal is to create a sense of simplicity and harmony in the space.

In terms of furniture, Scandinavian interiors often feature stylish and practical pieces. Multi-functional furniture, such as storage ottomans and modular sofas, are popular as they maximize space and provide additional storage options.

When selecting furniture for your Scandinavian-inspired interior, opt for natural materials with a timeless appeal. Look for clean lines, sleek silhouettes, and minimalistic details. Remember, less is more when it comes to Scandinavian design.

Scandinavian Furniture Ideas

Scandinavian Decorating Ideas
Image courtesy of Jenn Pablo Studio

Incorporating Natural Elements Into Your Scandinavian-Inspired Space

Natural elements are a vital component of Scandinavian design. They add warmth and texture to the space and create a connection to nature. Incorporating natural elements into your Scandinavian-inspired interior can help develop a sense of tranquility and harmony.

One way to incorporate natural elements is through the use of plants. Indoor plants add a touch of greenery, improve air quality, and create a calming atmosphere. Choose plants that thrive in low light conditions, such as snake plants, pothos, and peace lilies.

In addition to plants, you can also bring in natural elements through artwork and accessories. Consider adding landscape prints, nature-inspired paintings, or photographs of Nordic landscapes to create a sense of serenity and connection to nature. Furthermore, consider using natural materials for decorative accents. Woven baskets, wooden bowls, and stone sculptures can add a touch of organic beauty to your Scandinavian-inspired space.

Designing with Natural Elements
Designing with Natural Elements

Scandinavian Decorating Ideas
Image courtesy of The Style Files

Lighting Techniques for a Cozy and Inviting Home

Lighting plays a crucial role in Scandinavian interiors. The goal is to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere while maximizing natural light during the day and incorporating warm and soft lighting during the evening.

To maximize natural light, keep your windows unobstructed and use light-colored curtains or blinds that allow light to filter through. Avoid heavy drapes that block out natural light. Additionally, use mirrors strategically to reflect and amplify natural light in the space.

In the evening, incorporate warm and soft lighting to create a cozy atmosphere. Use a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to add depth and dimension to the space. Consider using dimmable lights or installing light fixtures with warm-toned bulbs to create a relaxing ambiance.

Lamps with soft shades and warm light are also great additions to Scandinavian interiors. Place them strategically in reading nooks, on side tables, or beside your favorite armchair for a warm and inviting glow.

Scandinavian Lighting Fixtures
Scandinavian Lighting Fixtures

Scandinavian Interior Design
Image courtesy of Lili Jen Crantz

Textiles and Patterns in Scandinavian Homes

Textiles and patterns add warmth, texture, and visual interest to a Scandinavian-style home. Textiles are essential to creating a Scandinavian-inspired interior, from cozy blankets and rugs to patterned curtains and pillows.

Opt for natural materials like wool, linen, and cotton for textiles. These materials not only add warmth but also have a tactile quality that adds depth to the design. Look for chunky knit blankets, soft wool rugs, and linen curtains to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

In terms of patterns, Scandinavian design often embraces simple and geometric designs. Stripes, checks, and subtle patterns add visual interest without overwhelming the space. Incorporate these patterns through pillows, throws, and curtains to create a sense of harmony and balance.

Scandinavian Interior Design Ideas

Scandinavian Decorating Ideas | Scandinavian-Style Home in Sweden
Image courtesy of Planete-Deco

Creating a Hygge-Inspired Vibe

Hygge, a Danish concept that roughly translates to coziness and contentment, is integral to Scandinavian design. Creating a hygge-inspired atmosphere in your Scandinavian-inspired interior is all about embracing comfort, warmth, and relaxation.

Start by creating cozy nooks in your space. Arrange a reading corner with a comfortable armchair, soft lighting, and a cozy blanket. Add a side table for your favorite books and a mug of hot tea or coffee. This cozy nook will become your sanctuary for relaxation and indulgence.

Incorporate soft textures and warm colors to create a sense of comfort. Layer your sofa with plush cushions, add a thick rug to your living room, and hang soft curtains that create a cocoon-like feel. By incorporating these elements, you’ll create a space that invites you to unwind and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Lastly, embrace the art of slow living. Take time to savor a homemade meal, enjoy a leisurely bath, or sit by the window and watch the world go by. By embracing a slower pace of life, you’ll create a sense of contentment and well-being in your Scandinavian-inspired interior.

Hygge Decorating Ideas

Hygge Decorating Ideas
Image courtesy of Planete-Deco

Scandinavian-Inspired Accessories and Decor

Accessories and decor are the finishing touches that tie a Scandinavian-inspired interior together. These small details can add personality, charm, and a sense of individuality to your space.

When selecting accessories, opt for pieces that are both functional and beautiful. Look for minimalist vases, sculptural candle holders, and sleek storage solutions. Displaying your favorite books, artwork, and personal mementos can also add a personal touch to the space.

In terms of decor, consider incorporating Scandinavian design icons. Classic pieces like the Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair, the Poul Henningsen PH Artichoke Lamp, or the Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair can add a touch of elegance and timelessness to your interior.

Additionally, embrace the concept of “lagom,” which roughly translates to “just the right amount.” Avoid clutter and choose quality over quantity. You’ll create a harmonious, balanced, and inviting space by carefully curating your accessories and decor.

Scandinavian-Style Design Ideas

Scandinavian-Style Apartment
Image courtesy of Planete-Deco

Scandinavian Living Room Ideas

This design style is perfect for creating a functional, beautiful space to promote conversation. Here are some Scandinavian living room ideas to inspire your own space: 

1. Neutral color palette: A neutral color palette is a staple of Scandinavian design. Use shades of white, gray, and beige to create a calm and serene atmosphere. Add pops of color with pillows, throws, and artwork. 

2. Natural materials: