How to achieve the Scandinavian style

Scandinavian design, especially Danish style, has been trendy for years and it’s not difficult to see why. With minimalist interiors, warm wooden accents and white colour schemes, it’s easy to mimic the look from high end to budget. Check out our tips on how to achieve the Scandi style, below.

Try lagom

Scandinavian style living room with design armchair, black mock up poster frame, commode, wooden stool, book, decoration, loft wall and personal accessories

Lagom is a Swedish term that roughly translates to “just right”. The term is commonly applied to Scandinavian interior design, by focusing on minimalistic furniture and decor whilst eliminating unnecessary pieces.

This is the beauty of the sparse Scandinavian look: open space, smooth shapes, natural light and timeless furniture. The look might seem sterile at first, but it makes for a great neutral starting palette, especially in the kitchen. Accessories are very important, as long as they shy away from anything bling and gaudy.

White kitchen with round table and wooden chairs
Check out our modern minimalist kitchen design ideas

Look to Arne Jacobsen, Louis Poulsen, Alvar Aalto, and Georg Jensen for that simple, but functional design. Many of these iconic forms look modern today, although they were designed half a century ago.

Add natural elements

Cosy king bed with wood wall decor

Scandinavian-inspired rustic homes draw inspiration from the beautiful Nordic landscape. Think natural toned paints, folkloric touches and houseplants. Textiles, such as sheepskin, can also spruce up a space so it doesn’t look too functional and minimalist.

Scandinavian living room interior with design mint sofa, furnitures, mock up poster map, plants, and elegant personal accessories.

Wood furniture is commonplace, from solid wood beds to whitewashed coffee tables. These pieces become a focal point of the room, especially when crafted by a talented carpenter.


Contrast textures, sizes and shapes

Round mirror and ottoman chair in hallway

Contrasting elements give your home that ‘wow’ factor, whatever your interior design style. It’s no different when it comes to the Scandinavian aesthetic! Contrast helps to break up a neutral colour scheme and adds weight to your space. Consider contrasting:

  • Textures: A warm and soft rug looks stunning next to a sleek and modern table.
  • Sizes: Groups of vases in varying styles are a simple way to catch the eye.
  • Shapes: A circular mirror is beautiful against the straight lines of wall panelling. Wall panelling is also one of the top bedroom design ideas for 2021, so it’ll add a modern touch to your home.
  • Colour: Rich, dark cabinets stand out against neutral, cool walls, in a way that just makes sense. A painter and decorator can paint your walls to give you the blank slate you need.
Living room with abstract painting, wooden commode, design black armchair, tropical leafs and elegant accessories.

Signature prints in bright colours on wallpaper, housewares and rugs will lift anyone’s spirits. One word of advice however – take clichés such as moose and Moomin prints and keep them to a minimum. A mug or candle holder will suffice.

White dining area in home

In addition, glass art is big in the Nordic countries, with Kosta Boda, Orrefors and Iittala leading the way. These brands can provide both colour and beautiful forms, but will never look over the top.

Consider hygge

Spacious Scandinavian style living room with modern fireplace and sofa

Hygge is a Danish word for cosiness, comfortability and togetherness. It’s a key design principle for Scandinavian homes, adding warmth to a minimal style which could otherwise feel uninviting. Plush armchairs, a glowing fireplace and large knitted blankets tick many hygge boxes.

Hygge isn’t just an interior design principle, though. It’s also an important characteristic of Danish work and life culture. It’s definitely proven to work too, with the World Happiness Report 2021 ranking Denmark as the second happiest country in the world. Check out our top tips on making your life more hyggelige.

Wooden office desk against white wall

Are you ready to decorate your home in the Scandinavian style? Find a professional tradesperson by posting your job on Rated People.


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