How to Achieve Scandinavian Interior Design

A theme that’s been steadily growing in popularity the last few decades, but particularly so now (possibly thanks to the rise in the budget, Dutch home décor store Ikea), is Scandinavian interior design.

Scandinavian interior design is generally categorised by the perfect blending of functionality with aesthetics; which is aptly named after its geographical origins from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

The interior design theme more specifically is comprised of ample light, heavily utilising natural elements, natural colour palettes, clean lines and uncluttered spaces.

Scandi Interior Design

The theme evolved mainly to compensate the harsh environment of Nordic countries. Long winters meant little daylight, and people often had small houses – this spelt a need for bright, airy, cosy homes that utilised and accentuate space and light.

Craig Ritche, Ikea’s Communication and Interior Design Manager, explained that “Scandinavian style is characterised by three key components – functionality, simplicity and beauty. Although simple in design, clean lines are often incorporated with understated elegance and warm functionality, which creates a very homely feel.”

It’s no surprise then that lots of people are after this clean, crisp and open atmosphere. Are you wondering how to achieve the Scandinavian interior design in your home?

How to Achieve Scandinavian Interior Design:



Scandi Interior Design/ how to achieve Scandinavian interior design in the living room and study

While the colour palette is typically (in other instances) very simple, it underpins the whole theme in this case.

White, or its variants (such as cream), are often used as the main colour. This can lead to rooms looking sparse when uncluttered (such is the Nordic design); however, this is avoided with the use of natural materials like wood, which add warmth and texture.

White is the best base for introducing colour combinations, such as soft pastels or black accents. For instance, grey and white palettes are great for creating serene atmospheres and is a common combination within a Scandinavian interior design. Just ensure that white is always your base or main colour.


Scandi Interior Design Colour Pop in a kitchen and living area

If you’d like to experiment more with colour, it’s commonplace to incorporate colour popping to brighten a room; yellow, green and blue are great natural tones that work well both within the theme and to counteract the sometimes-gloomy tone of grey. However, traditionally function is placed over aesthetics and so colour is usually kept to a minimum.

Over time, though, other styles have been combined with the ‘standard’ Nordic approach to creating unique style and personality.

An easy way to introduce a colour pop is by having one piece of furniture (sofa, armchair or another large item) to add a splash of colour. Then anchor this colour with a couple of home décor pieces that match the chosen tone; be careful not to over decorate as simplicity is the key to Scandinavian interiors.


Scandi Interior Design BlackGrey/ how to achieve Scandinavian Interior design in your bathroom

Black is a good choice and can be regularly used too. It’s stark contrast to the white base helps highlight your features of choice. While the Scandinavians are known for their clean white interiors, dark shades are regularly introduced and balanced with light and dark accessories.


Scandi inteior design big windows and fireplace

Incorporating lots of light into your Scandinavian interior design theme is paramount and a non-negotiable. The theme is categorised by earthy, muted tones which are created by natural light hitting honest materials.


Scandi Inteior Design White and Grey Bedroom with Wooden Floors/ how to achieve Scandinavian interior design

Wall to wall carpets never become popular in the Nordic countries and so all truly Scandinavian interiors will have a wooden, preferably light, floor in all rooms (apart from the bathrooms of course).


Scandinavian fireplace

Scandinavian winters are extremely cold compared to those in the UK, so most older houses will have a chimney or wood burner in the living room. However, unlike our fireplaces that are usually the focal point of the room, in Nordic countries they’re traditionally situated in the corner – often in simple columns.


How to achieve Scandinavian interior design? One answer is by being greener.

When it comes to being eco-friendly, the Swedes are leagues ahead of most countries; they’ve been implementing ways to create greener homes forever. Features like triple-glazing, wall and roof insulation and ground source heat pumps are all standard aspects of Swedish houses.


How to Achieve Scandinavian Interior Design Kitchen with Minimal Home Decor Items

Declutter! We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again – Scandi design features functionality over aesthetics; that really is the crux of the theme!


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