Tips to bring Scandinavian Style into your Home


Are you tired of the common Filipino-style design of your house? Where a lot of color patterns, contrasting decorations or furniture, and unnecessary pieces that are just going into places around your house? Don’t get me wrong though! Filipino-style houses were designed perfectly to be appropriate for our culture, climate, environment, and lifestyle. But then, in case you want to try something new like a Scandinavian minimalist interior design for a more updated, simpler, and sleeker house and lot, then go on, continue reading.

The Scandinavian interior design

The Scandinavian design offers a considered solution to achieve simplicity, beauty, and functionality in living. But mind you, there is really nothing lavish or extravagant about the Scandinavian interior–it just strips back or removes the unnecessary, highlighting only the essential elements of any product.

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The term Scandinavia refers to the European countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and sometimes it includes Finland and Iceland, depending on the context. Scandinavian interior design is characterized by a minimal, clean approach that aims to combine functionality with beauty.

The minimalistic design seeks that very natural and uncluttered look of your house by using a combination of textures and soft tones to make sleek, modern décor feel warm, cozy, and inviting. It highlights clean lines, value, and simple fixtures that are not just exquisite and soothing in the eyes but functional, and cozy as well. This popular minimalistic style will just never go out of style because it speaks to both our tidy tendencies and our desire to live in inviting and comfortable settings. These Scandinavian principles go beyond all areas of design, not just from architecture and aesthetic look, but also to electronics. Nevertheless,  it’s most commonly used to describe an interior design that includes furniture, textiles, ceramics, and lighting. Check out this article from BRIA Homes for your decor needs– 11 Most Popular AllHome Pieces for your Affordable House and Lot.

Below is a guide to help you understand the meaning behind the Scandinavian interior look, and to offer some useful Scandinavian minimalist interior design tips so that you, too, can enjoy the benefits of this exquisite, practical, and calming interior design style.

Scandinavian Interior Design History

The Scandinavian design is a prominent movement in its current form that has influenced everything not just from architecture and interior design but as well as to product design. It came into view in the early 20th century and rose throughout the five Nordic countries of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Iceland from the 1930s onwards and which became known around the world

The account of Scandinavian design is deeply rooted in some of the world’s most admired and respected architects and designers. Esteemed figures that have helped lead in the golden age of Nordic design include Alvar Aalto’s stool designs that can be seen in Apple stores, the PH lamp series from the Louis Poulsen collection, Kaare Klint, Olav Haug, Arne Jacobsen, Bruno Mathsson, and Borge Mogensen, among many others. More iconic designs from this era include the Spanish Chair, the Egg Chair, and the Finlandia glassware series, to name a few, which are still being used in the present time. At present, Scandinavian design is still one of the most popular progressions in contemporary design. The new designs that are being created by some young Scandinavian designers still follow the lead of the esteemed legendary pioneers from the golden era but they offer some fresh twists on the iconic Nordic style.

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The importance of Scandinavian design is that it was revolutionized to establish harmony with one’s environment and to create things made to last. It aims to complement the art of living well by encouraging a simple home environment that is filled with quality pieces and promotes a simple lifestyle devoid of excess consumerism. It is also good for the planet, it not only deepens our connection to nature but as well as helps us to avoid and counter rampant consumerism and the pressures of modern life. As Scandinavian design encourages a life well-lived, it is really important for an individual and for the planet.

Here are some of the characteristics and core elements of Scandinavian interior design:

  1. Has a minimalist aura;
  2. Toned down design that matches functionality;
  3. Light and neutral colors;
  4. Muted, dark hues;
  5. Spacious area filled with lights;
  6. Wood furniture pieces and wood accents;
  7. Decorative, bright, and statement pendant lights
  8. Flexible designs
  9. Plush sofas and soft fabrics
  10. Hanging plants and lush greenery
  11. Natural textiles
  12. Artworks as center points in a minimalist space

How to bring Scandinavian style to your home?

Every time you see a Scandinavian-styled interior image on the internet, do you wonder why you instantly feel calm?  It is because the Scandinavian design embraces clean lines, white walls to emphasize light but not to the point that it looks like a clinic thanks to all the pale woods like ash and beech, natural materials, and muted tones or neutral palette with pops of color. In a Scandinavian-designed room, you can also see more bare wood floors and white painted brick walls that add a rough texture while maximizing the light streaming in through large windows.

1. Bring in the Natural Light

Scandinavian interior design is popular for its minimalist, neutral color palettes, cozy accents, and fascinating modern furniture. Designing the interior often plays with natural light which is much in demand in Nordic countries.

In every room in your house, multiple light sources should be available. Good lighting and corner lights make a room more inviting and spacious. Hence, there must be a range of light from the warm, low light or you can also add a candle for more light. You should be able to spread and maximize light as effectively as possible without creating a harsh environment or too bright, just the right amount of light will do.  You should aim to create a perfect balance between minimalism and feeling relaxed.

Hang your curtain rail as high and as wide as possible so that you won’t block any light and the windows will appear larger. You may also add mirrors opposite windows to play around with the light and try using subtle reflective surfaces such as wood floors. Suggestively, you might want to add candlelight that has a natural fragrance on it so that you can light them up at any time of the day to create a peaceful and calm feeling. Try also some neutral-colored lamp shades.

2. Minimize

How can you achieve a minimalist design if you have a lot of unused and unnecessary things in your home, right? A Scandinavian-designed room is surely not a cluttered one. It rather highlights clean, light, and open spaces, with enough room for you to be able to move around freely and breathe within them. Clean lines and white space stimulate a sense of calm and capacity. Play with your visual elements.

We want to minimize or tone down but not the ultra-minimalistic look, rather we want not too much, and not too little, in other words, “just right.”  Therefore you may want to switch in high-quality, functional, or practical pieces to keep in with the Scandinavian principle of multifunctional and flexible pieces. Look for an ordinary design that still looks pleasing, you don’t need to sacrifice style in order to achieve this kind of interior. For instance, look for storage-as-décor pieces like shoe racks, shelves, organizers, and other storage-included items—all of which can function as helpers in your home and magnificent design elements. Other Functional items should have this modern touch that still remains simple and not overly colored. Just think creatively and cleverly on having hidden storage, modular shelving, or flexible designs.

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Avoid playing with too many color patterns, you may use patterns sparingly like in rugs and accents. Try to stick with your neutral shades and balance any too much-ness with opposite qualities in the room. Then touch up your own definition of decluttering, you define how much is too much and too little, by keeping in mind that you are aiming to make your home as cozy and comfortable as possible. Add or remove pieces until you feel like you’ve arrived at your definition of a clean and decluttered room. Be mindful though in buying additional items for this design because Scandinavian décor could be budget-friendly if you know exactly what you want instead of being impulsive.

3. Choose Muted Colors

The Scandinavian interior colors rely heavily on neutrals or muted tone colors, like bright white or beige with a splash of black and tan, basically more like earth tone. The warm tone of tan is so popular because of its style’s reliance on natural wood pieces as well as sage green and other nature-inspired colors, which just gives you a feeling that you’re closer and more grounded to nature. You might think it would look boring and dull because the overall spaces might tend to be monochromatic. Don’t worry though! The Scandinavian minimalistic design will not be completely devoid of color. You can play colors with your accent pieces like throw pillows or rugs. For instance, if you have a transparent minimalist table lamp that stands atop a mirrored cube, you can choose the muted colors of taupe, ivory, and sage. And incorporate black-and-white photography, and some olive branches to serve as minimalist decorative accents. You can definitely incorporate some colorful art pieces like a series of botanical plants, in keeping with nature.

4. Include Some Hygge

Hygge is a Danish word that somehow could mean cozy. Given that the climate in Nordic countries could be harsh and cold during winter, the Scandinavian design incorporates warmer textures and colors and anything that will make your home inviting, cozy and comfortable. To add hygge to your Scandinavian minimalist interior design, supply some pieces or things that remind you of warmth and comfort, such as candles, slippers, fur rugs, and others. A fireplace could be the best hygge in your home, and it could be your center point for gathering. In your bedroom, visualize how you wanted to feel relaxed and at ease, because that visualization will be your guide in adding some hygge in your bedroom and for planning the layout of your bedroom. It could be you drinking some hot tea in a corner while sitting on a rocking chair reading a book. So in short, anything that brings you comfort and peace, consider them all in designing your home. Don’t be afraid to fill your home with a lot of things that inspire you and give you joy.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Contrast

Contrast is not your enemy, the Scandinavian interior, in fact, heavily relies on the design principle of contrast. It is not limited to the contrast of colors, or the opposites of tones but it can be applicable as well to sizes, textures, shapes, and moods of the room. You could incorporate contrast into your old pieces and new pieces, neutral and flashes of vibrant color, hard and soft, functionality and coziness, and a lot more. Be creative! Sepias, off-whites, and wood tones blend and look well together and they create a welcoming, muted space.

6. A Guide on Creating a Scandinavian Living Room

In reality, the living room is the easiest area to design and to begin with transforming your house with Nordic design, as it is the heart of the home. Here is a guide for you to help you get started:

  1. Declutter your room, clear your room with any unnecessary items.
  2. Suggestively, paint your walls with white or a light neutral color.
  3. Install light wooden flooring if you can.
  4. Add some hygge like a plush.
  5. Accessorize your current furniture with natural textiles.
  6. Select a good center light to brighten up the space.
  7. Choose a few simple wood pieces to incorporate shelving, maximizing the space but at the same time making it aesthetic.
  8. Add a few plant pots in some corners that are available.
  9. Remove any loud or vibrant patterns, but don’t be afraid to use bold artwork on a wall.
  10. Pick muted blue accents that contrast lighter tones.

7. A Basic Guide on Creating a Scandinavian Kitchen

You can easily choose the Scandinavian look that best suits your preferences and your home’s decor.

  • Use white or light neutral hues on the walls;
  • Choose light cabinet colors for emphasis;
  • Contrast a darker cabinet;
  • Use wooden flooring;
  • Bright pendant lighting with a Nordic design;
  • Creative and clever storage solutions for kitchen tools;
  • Spread some practical yet beautiful creative accessories;
  • Bring out your wall art or wall decor;
  • A minimalist wall clock;
  • A long wooden dining table with comfortable dining chairs.

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Written by Katherine Kaye Villafuerte