10 Easy Ways To Create Stunning Scandinavian Interior Design

black gray and white scandinavian living room


The term Scandinavia traditionally refers to three northern European countries – Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Currently, however, the definition has been expanded in common usage to include Finland, Iceland, and even, though less often, Greenland.

Scandinavian interior design focuses on simplicity, minimalism, and functionality. This style emerged in the 1950s with an appreciation for craftsmanship and understated elegance in homes.

How To Spot Scandinavian Design?

At a glance, you’ll notice a few common characteristics like white walls, wood or bare floors and modern furniture. But there’s so much more to this elegant, minimalistic design. This style has a deep appreciation for light woods, decluttered spaces, simple accessories and the use of natural and accent lighting and let’s not forget the little hints greenery.

Want to infuse your space with the clever functionality and pleasing aesthetics of Scandinavian interiors? Here’s a quick guide.

So How To Create Beautiful Scandinavian Interior Design?

1. Lighting Is Key

Green and white scandinavian decor

Image Via Doan Nguyen

pendant lights with bulbs
copper pendant lights in kitchen Scandinavian design

The way lighting is used in the design is paramount to typical Scandinavian interior design. With as little as seven daylight hours in winter months, lighting is a life source. Scandinavian interiors utilize natural light first but typically have several types of lighting for adequate and ambient illumination. These vary from pendant lights, warm floor lamps and candlelight is also a must, adding a touch of whimsy and glow to the space.

2. Create Clean Lines With The Right Furniture

In terms of furniture, clean lines are a must for this style. Sofas, tables, and chairs often take on a mid-century modern style with smooth rounded edges and natural hues. Scandinavian design also prides itself on functional and innovative design when decorating interiors. There is a trend towards multi-leveled and sized wall shelving as Scandinavian style tends to be very much space-savvy through practical storage and visual interest.

pink gray and blue living room decor
black white and blue scandinavian living room decor

Related Post: This Furniture Style Is Perfect For Small Spaces!

blue scandinavian living room decor
black white and gray Scandinavian living room decor

3. Use Light Wood

Whether it’s on the floor, on the walls, or used to make cupboards, Scandinavian design includes a lot of wood. But not just any wood will do. In keeping with their light theme, the woods used in Scandinavian design are usually light woods, like beech, ash, and pine. If you want to get the Scandinavian style by decorating you don’t have to redo your cabinets or floors. Instead, try to incorporate these light wooden elements with furniture or accessories.

Scandinavian kitchen decor
gray yellow and white living room decor
light wood in interior design dining room

4. Light Flooring

Scandinavian living room with plants
white and blue dining room decor with light wood floros and chairs

Wall-to-wall carpeting is a ‘No-No’ in Scandinavian design. Flooring traditionally is hard-wood, often left in its natural color or painted white. This contributes to expanding the space and inviting in more light. White or light-colored tile works well with this design too.

If you already have dark flooring that’s okay. Again, you can still incorporate the style by adding white walls, wooden furniture & accessories. There’s always a workaround!

5. Add Greenery

Notice how almost every decor image shown in this post far has some kind of green, plant element. This is because it’s important to have living elements of color and beauty in Scandinavian interior design. Plants & fresh flowers are a necessity for this design. They help create a warm ambiance and break the frequent whiteness of the Scandinavian style.

minimalist living room blue white and gray
10 easy ways to create stunning Scandinavian interior design in small spaces
luxe dining room with woven basket bar seats

Related Post: Indoor Plants & Garden Ideas For Small Apartments

6. Open & Beautifully Decorated Shelving

Whether in the kitchen or the living room, open up those cabinets to create that Scandi style. Bear in mind that open shelves put all your stuff on display. So keep it beautifully decorated and curated. Shelves aren’t just for books; layer in some art and accessories. In the kitchen, a collection of beautiful dishware and glasses will make your space look like it’ was designed by a pro. Remember…stay away from clutter!

 open cabinets Scandinavian kitchen


decorated kitchen shelves Scandinavian design


7. Simple Or Mid-Century Modern Furniture

Where furniture is concerned Scandinavian design is more than just IKEA.  Scandinavian style uses a sleek, modern furniture style which is very simple in aesthetic. Light in color and material, this furniture is used to present a wholesome image that merges seamlessly with the rest of the room.

white mid-century modern coffee table

Mid-century modern furniture fits this description perfectly and is widely used in Scandinavian design. Some pieces are more popular than others. Scroll up this post and see what most of these images have in common. It’s these chairs. These mid-century modern molded chairs have become synonymous with Scandinavian design and we love them. This furniture style also checks all the boxes when choosing the right furniture for small spaces. They’re simple yet aesthetically pleasing. They can be used anywhere in the home and don’t take up a lot of space. All the things you want in Scandi decor.

wooden and white mid century modern dresser
gray blue and pink living room decor
modern dining room decor with mid-century modern dining chairs

There is often some confusion about the real differences between Scandinavian and Mid-Century Modern Furniture. Some have argued that the two overlap and that there is not much difference between the two. Aside from actual Scandinavian furniture, light-colored mid-century modern furniture designs are the next best thing. They’re easily accessible and very affordable!

8. Clutter-Free Spaces

One of the truest characteristics of Scandinavian interior design is making sure spaces are well used and decluttered. Traditionally, many Scandinavian homes were very small and didn’t allow for excessive amounts of stuff.

minimalist neutral kitchen decor
black and white dining room decor
blush pink and white Scandinavian bedroom decor

While homes are being built larger now and there’s more room for things, the idea of keeping a space free of clutter has remained an important aspect of Scandinavian design.

Storage is wisely implemented in the form of cabinets and shelving. The decor is intentional with a “less is more” mantra, keeping spaces looking clean and visually relaxing.

Related Post: 8 Ways To Avoid Visual Clutter In Small Rooms

9. Simple Accents

minimalist blush bedroom decor with Scandinavian art

Decor is kept to a minimum in Scandinavian design, which corresponds with the notion of keeping a space clutter-free. For this look, minimal wall accessories and empty spaces are appreciated. Decorative accents are simple and elegant in style, with subtle splashes of color look just as beautiful.

10. Use Neutral Colors

This doesn’t white. While White walls and furnishings are characteristic of Scandinavian design, you still have a lot of wiggle room where color palettes are concerned. Subtle grays, light blues, beige and even blush pink work great for Scandinavian design. The point is to keep it light and neutral.

blush pink, gray and brown Scandinavian living room design


For more Small Space Decor ideas, check out these posts:

Small Living Rooms, Big Design

This Is How You Choose Furniture For Small Bedrooms

How To Choose Wallpaper For Small Spaces?

The Best Sofas For Small Living Rooms

This 40 Square Meter Apartment Uses Color-Zoning To Separate Spaces


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One thought on “10 Easy Ways To Create Stunning Scandinavian Interior Design

  1. HUGE THANK YOU for making Scandinavian style more understandable. What some think is simple actually has plenty of details to achieve such design simplicity. But I wonder if Scandinavian people like bright, vivid colors such as vid red, yellow, purple etc.? Same as I wonder why majority of Whites dislike red, of any hue but like all hues of blue? It seems an oxymoron stance or maybe paradoxical stubborness at best.Regardless, I feel it’s utterly senseless to dislike the use of red and other vivid colors and the mixture of patterns in Interior Designs.

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